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What happened at the Head for Points reader dinner last week?

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Last Thursday we held our first Head for Points reader dinner at Quo Vadis, a restaurant in Soho. It is one of the things we are trialling following some DIY market research where many of you said you were keen to come to different types of HfP themed events.

I should start by apologising if you registered your interest but were not selected to take part. We were massively oversubscribed with 120+ applications for just 20 seats, so we ended up picking names out of a hat.

We are hoping that this will be the first of many such dinners so hopefully you will be able to make one in the future.

We ended up with a great mix – roughly 66% male / 33% female and with a 55 year age gap between the youngest and oldest person present!

Back to Thursday night….

We started with a champagne reception in the very stylish blue room.  Unfortunately, since it was dark, my iPhone struggled a little to capture it ….. it really was nowhere near as dark as the picture looks.

HFP reader dinner Rob

It actually looks like this:

Quo Vadis Blue Room

This was followed by a delicious three course meal in the Marx room, around this large table:

Here is everyone from my end:

HFP reader dinner

Everyone seemed to enjoy chatting to their neighbours. I was worried that the table might be too large and that people would struggle to hear but some readers even chatted across the table, so it can’t have been too bad!

This is the view from Rob’s end of the table (his phone can clearly do better low-light images than mine):

The feedback we have had from all who attended is that they had a great night. Everyone seemed to start chatting very quickly. If you have been to our Christmas or Summer parties you will know how friendly everyone is!

We have to give a special thanks to Tim from Reward Flight Finder who came in as a last-minute sponsor.  Whilst we were originally going to run the dinner as a loss-making trial, Tim very kindly stepped in to cover our costs, which also allowed us to increase the drinks budget.

(There were many happy Reward Flight Finder users in the room.  If you’ve never tried it, give it a go.  You can search BA Avios availability in seconds – far more quickly than you can at ba.com – and set up alerts so you are emailed when seats open up on flights you want.)

Does your company want to sponsor the next HfP Reader Dinner?

The idea behind the dinner – apart from offering a more intimate evening than our large parties – was to trial a concept which we can offer to our travel and loyalty partners as a fun form of market research.

We believe that we can persuade hotels, airlines, car hire groups and credit card companies to underwrite future events if we provide the right mix of people.  This should allow readers to attend for free or at a nominal cost.

Our readership is so big that we think we can meet most requests.  If Virgin Atlantic wants to treat 20 BAEC Gold card holders to dinner to learn what would make them switch, or Emirates wants to meet 20 people who have recently flown BA Club World to Dubai, or Marriott Bonvoy wants to pick the brains of 20 top tier IHG Rewards Club members, we are in a great position to arrange that.

We can find the right readers, validate their credentials and get everyone together in a room.  Let us know if your business is interested.

Comments (164)

  • Ian says:

    No bits…so O/T

    Could this signal the end of the road for the Frequent Flyer hobby…

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/14/air-miles-should-be-taxed-to-deter-frequent-fliers-advises-report

    • Anna says:

      This is the 4th time this has been mentioned since last night! Stop making Monday morning more depressing than it is already.

    • TripRep says:

      Ian – surely the solution is to just increase APD and use that funding for planting trees and more eco forms of travel.

      • Dev says:

        Currently HMRC and HMT take all the APD collected into one central cash pool and do what they want with it, depending on government priorities. Unless they truly segregate the funds and demonstrably prove that they use it for dealing with climate change related issues, I’m afraid that hiking up the APD will only result in the funds being used for current promises by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

        • Lady London says:

          Just like state pensions in the UK, really. Money deducted now from people’s salaries is not ringfenced for anything – it’s always used to pay current expenses.

          So promises end up broken, and the UK says they can’t afford to keep paying someone the pension they’ve had deductions taken from them for, 35 or more years of work, if they have the temerity to move overseas once retired.

          Bit OT sorry.

        • Doug M says:

          Are any taxes specifically separate and used only to pay for areas they were initially introduced to cover?
          I have seen one shred of evidence that we’re still fighting Napoleon.

      • ankomonkey says:

        Increasing APD just encourages people to fly ex-EU, usually adding to the number of flights it would take to get somewhere. Or maybe those ‘in the know’ are a relatively insignificant number…?

        • ken says:

          Increasing APD just encourages people to fly ex-EU

          Maybe at the margins.

          most brackets of APD have more than doubled in 12 years – passenger numbers ex UK continue to march upwards.

        • Polly says:

          Everyone in the know about ex EU on this site, l think.
          we mention it and advise each other on the ins and outs of it whenever the sales appear. It’s certainly no secret. We have our QR Arn Sin coming up shortly, and with the amex 200 off spend they were 1150pp. Great value. Plus most of the way to silver. Think plenty is shared on the site.
          And most of the time those biz cabins are only half full. Sometimes only 3 or 4 couples. Some we spotted in the BA lounge day before like us. Never had the nerve to ask if they are hfp ters!

    • Andrew says:

      My niece flies twice daily to go to/from school.

      So clearly part of the 15% that take 70% of flights. No Clan points on school flights though.

  • Stu N says:

    OT: Amex offer, spend £100 get £20 back at Hawksmoor Edinburgh. On all 3 cards, potentially profiled as I am in Scotland.

    • Alastair Actually says:

      Great to see, as although I am based in Edinburgh I have seem so many London offers on my cards recently.

      • xcalx says:

        Yes and Amex claim they are targeted offers.

        • Andrew says:

          Targetted, yes. But what data are they using to target?

          I haven’t been in London this month, but I have bought a Now TV package from Isleworth, event tickets from Fixr in London and even Scotrail Tickets from London.

    • Liam says:

      I have that offer too, on my Gold credit card. A shame it’s restricted to Edinburgh; I have actually been to that one (and would have used this card) but I live in London and I’m actually going to the Seven Dials one tonight. I’ve saved the offer to my card just in case I end up spending over £100 and just in case it works regardless of location.

      They had an offer of £20 back on £100+ spend at Hawksmoor before, maybe three or four months ago, but that one wasn’t restricted to any of them in particular.

  • xcalx says:

    OT no Bits

    I asked on Saturday but am a little confused.

    I have had the BA paid card a month. Just missed the points transfer by a day when I made the purchase to hit spend target. I have 33000 now waiting for a month before they transfer over. I want to pay the balance off and downgrade to free card. Will the 26k bonus be downgraded to the free card bonus if I downgrade now.

    Thanks.

    • Anna says:

      You will keep all the avios unless Amex have changed their Ts and Cs and nobody has noticed.

  • marcw says:

    I’ve see Maldives prices diving. The Banyan Tree is very affordable in the current Accor sale. No OW villas, but nice resort.

  • Chelseafi says:

    O/T. Do you still get referral points for the BAfree card, I know there are a couple that you don’t get any referral points for, so just checking first. Thanks

  • SimonW says:

    O/T Back from a 35k points night at the Langley…. Restaurant still a shambles. We gave up after the starters as mains were still not served after 2 hours. Spa is superb, gym fantastic too. And rooms very well appointed.
    Worth a visit, but eat dinner at the Red Lion pub in Stoke Green down the road. And we had a great brekky in the cafe in Langley Park a ten minute walk away.

    • Benilyn says:

      Interesting! i have mine booked for June so lets see if it improves. What was their excuse??

      • New Card says:

        We went a few weeks ago – on the advice of HFPers we didn’t eat there (The Tudor Room in Egham, not too far away, is exceptional). I’m not quite sure how it’s possible for a buffet breakfast to be shambolci with only 4 tables in use, but it was. However once all was sorted the breakfast food was pretty good, though nothing special.

      • SimonW says:

        They were “busy and had lots of room service orders”!! But as has been mentioned, there were only about 12 tables for dinner. It is def worth going, and if you are lucky in June, the outdoor pool will be brilliant. Just eat at other places suggested by HfPers…..

        • SimonW says:

          Oh, and might be useful for some – they will let you pay to upgrade a redemption booking to a suite that will fit 2 rollaway beds for kids…..

          • Anna says:

            That’s interesting – how much is it to upgrade?

          • Tom H says:

            +1 would love to know the cost?

          • SimonW says:

            She implied it would be roughly the diff in price between a room and the suite. So i’m assuming £150 to £200 ? But would need to call up to check my specific dates…..

    • Nick M says:

      Thanks for the recommendation.. will look to book a table here for one of the evenings we will be there in December.

      Does anybody else have any other lunch/dinner suggestions? – Tudor Room looks like a nice option, but ideally something a little closer, and preferably cheaper.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Strange been there a couple times and eaten breakfast/lunch/dinner over the various days.

      Not encountered that long a wait and everyone seemed to get what they wanted. Last visit breakfast was packed and no one seemed p*ssed off.

      Perhaps they are still working on staffing levels etc?

  • Benilyn says:

    OT: How do you see if your free night from IHG Credit Card from 10k spend has come through on anniversary date? I want to book!

    • Benj says:

      It shows in your IHG account on the website and app – next to your points balance on the app.

    • Anon says:

      I didn’t notice it for ages when it came to mine – Ambassador free nights show up in their own section on my account but the credit card free night is on the top left hand side (of the desktop website) in the box where it shows your available points.

  • guesswho2000 says:

    OT AwardWallet – free upgrade coupons (10x available) – free-i6e5zlmoe4 (Rob feel free to remove if this steps on your toes, I don’t think these would?)

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