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Here’s what you missed at the Head for Points Travel & Loyalty Awards dinner

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Last Monday, Rob, Sinead, Caroline and I gathered with 28 industry guests to celebrate the winners of the Head for Points Travel and Loyalty Awards 2019.

We thought it would be a good way to treat the people who had the greatest effect on your travelling enjoyment last year.

HFP Awards

We gathered in the Marx Room in Quo Vadis, a restaurant in Soho. It is the same dining room we used for our private reader dinner in October. Karl Marx lived in the building with his family in the 1850s and called it an “old hovel” but you would scarcely know now that Quo Vadis has done it up beautifully.

We started with a drinks reception which allowed all the winners to mingle.  It’s rare to have people from the hotel, airline and lounge sectors in one room, let alone to meet your counterpart at another company.  The feedback we got was that everyone enjoyed making new connections and chatting with each other.

Head for Points Awards Quo Vadis

The drinks reception also gave us time to take some snazzy photographs of the winners with their awards.  British Airways was pleased to win ‘Best New Business Class Seat’ and ‘Best Airline or Rail Loyalty Scheme’:

BA HFP Awards 2019

We also had representatives from Amex, picking up ‘Best UK Travel Rewards Credit Card’ and ‘Best UK Credit Card Sign-Up Offer’:

Amex 2 HFP Awards 2019

…… Hilton who won ‘Best Hotel Loyalty Scheme‘ and ‘Best Hotel Loyalty Promotion‘:

Hilton HFP Awards 2019

…. Marriott, who got ‘Editor’s Choice’ for ‘Best Hotel Loyalty Scheme‘:

Marriott Bonvoy HFP Awards 2019

…. and Plaza Premium for ‘Best UK Airport Lounge (Independent)‘ for Heathrow Terminal 5:

Plaza Premium HFP Awards 2019

Meanwhile, at Virgin Atlantic, Daniel Kerzner was very excited to be winning ‘Best Travel Innovation (Editor’s Choice)‘ for ‘The Loft’ social space on the new A350s, and Editor’s Choice for ‘Best UK Credit Card Sign-Up Offer‘:

Virgin HFP Awards 2019

We were delighted – and slightly humbled – that every winner came along, with three travelling down from the Midlands and North West for the occasion.  Our other winners were:

Cathay Pacific for ‘Best UK Airport Lounge (Airline)’

ANA for ‘Best New Business Class Seat (Editor’s Choice)

Aspire / Swissport for ‘Best New UK Airport Lounge’

Crowne Plaza Heathrow T4 for ‘Best New UK Airport Hotel’

IHG Rewards Club for ‘Best UK Travel Rewards Credit Card (Editor’s Choice)

PremiAir for ‘Best New UK Airport Lounge (Editor’s Choice)

Qatar Airways for ‘Best Business Class Seat and Service’ and

Reward Flight Finder for ‘Best Travel Innovation’

Head for Points Awards Quo Vadis Marx room

After the reception we sat down for a three course meal.  The seat plan was carefully curated to make sure everyone had someone relevant to talk to, with Sinead, Rob, our occasional contributor and advisor Caroline and myself each hosting a table of eight.

Unfortunately what gets mentioned in Quo Vadis stays in Quo Vadis, so don’t ask us about the conversations we had.

I’m no food writer and the food was too good to hang around, so you’ll just have to take my word for it when I say it was excellent.

Head for Points Awards Quo Vadis menu

From the feedback we got, the evening was a resounding success.  It was great to bring together people who all work in travel and loyalty but rarely get to speak to each other.  An auspicious start for our Travel and Loyalty Awards!

Comments (30)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • BJ says:

    So what did we miss?

  • Alex W says:

    Next year why not combine the Awards Ceremony and Christmas Party? That way we don’t have to miss out!

    • BJ says:

      But HFP probably would 🙂 So even though we are missing out now, we just have to hope that Rob adheres to the original ethos of blogs and let’s us know anything we need to know in appropriate and good time. Would be a sad day if it gets to the stage we can rely more on the DM than the likes of HFP.

    • Rhys says:

      Next year will be very different to this year we hope 🙂

  • Andrew says:

    I’m curious to know what Marriott and Virgin did to warrant their “editor’s choice” awards?

    • BJ says:

      Discussed at length in the respective award articles.

      • Freddy says:

        I thought the editors award was a code name for the wooden spoon award

        • Rob says:

          No, it is aimed for things which are not popular enough to win but are really good. The current Radisson promo, for eg, would be a serious contender next time. If new luxury Newcastle lounge is amazing, we might give them one etc.

          Basically, it would be hard for Amex, BA, Hilton or IHG to win an Editor’s Choice. It is hard for anyone EXCEPT BA, Amex, Hilton or IHG to win a reader vote.

          • marcw says:

            Because it´s not the “Best”… it´s the most popular. Sometimes the best is the most popular, but often it´s not.

          • Rob says:

            Can’t gave it both ways. Either people only vote for things they have tried (BA bias) or they vote for what they like the look of even if they haven’t tried it (moans of illogical voting).

          • Andrew says:

            So pure coincidence that without their editor’s choice awards Marriott and Virgin were the only major UK players (and hfp advertisers) going home empty handed?

          • Rob says:

            No. The awards are totally in line with what we have praised in our editorial.

            We take money off everyone, to be frank, so that doesn’t swing it!

  • Lord Drinkalot says:

    For at least the 4 years, every month I’ve paid the extortionate HFP membership fee which increases faster than an Amex Platinum card and devalues like a dodgy hotel point. My Avios balance is now part of the national debt. I am force fed endless tips and ideas on flights, hotels, plus financial wheezes in the comments threads. Now I see the website management is carousing with industry movers and shakers with absolutely no cost to me. Will it ever stop? Hopefully not.

    • Mike says:

      LD – I spilled my coffee laughing very well written. I often consider what has HFP/Rob ever done for us in the manner as “What did the Romans ever do for us !”

  • CC4118 says:


    Apologies if this is covered somewhere already – I had a look at the guides but couldn’t find anything definitive.

    My SO has never had any credit cards and is looking to get into the Avios game. Is there any guide on which order to get the Amex cards in order to maximise sign up bonuses? I recall there used to be a gold > plat upgrade bonus, but I’m unsure if the best way is to just get the plat straight off and then later the BAPP, ignoring the gold altogether.

    Any hope much appreciated.

  • Unsavage gerbil says:

    O/T I have a morning meeting in Truro at the end of this month, and am thinking of travelling on the sleeper the night before and travelling back lunchtime on the Pullman service from Plymouth, anyone had any experience of these?

    The Gerbil

    • Aeronaut says:

      The Night Riviera sleeper is great, a very civilised way to travel. The carriages were refurbished recently.

  • Mr(s) Entitled says:

    I just hope you sat Hilton and Amex next to each other.

    • Freddy says:

      Or virgin next to BA so BA can mention their superior 241 voucher….whilst sitting rewardflightfinder on the other side of virgin so he can give them the cold stare for blocking redemption seats from his website.

      Or Marriott next to Hilton so Hilton can suggest gold status customers gets breakfast.

      Amex in the naughty corner for their relentless negative changes in the UK.

      • David Safir says:

        Except Virgin’s 2-for-1 (via Virgin Master Card) is easier to earn/acquire than BA’s and in some cases cheaper/easier to redeem 1) on the admittedly limited routes where they and their partners compete and ii) on routes such as LHR MSP and LHR SLC where BA and AA can only offer one-stops.

  • Zara says:

    Total OT: we were planning on attending our first ever Hfp dinner tomorrow but cannot due to kids being unwell. Please let me know if anyone is interested in the tickets or if I need to pass back to Rhys/ rob however it works. Thanks

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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