Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Monday 23rd March

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We have decided to run this new daily chat thread on Head for Points.

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the defacto repository for random comments and questions.  It is unlikely that the news flow will be so big over the next few weeks that we will need many ‘Bits’ articles, however.

The comments under this article are where you should post questions about travel and, indeed, anything else on your mind.  At this tricky time, and given that many of you are stuck at home self-isolating, we want the HFP community to have a place to chat.

Please only comment under the main articles on the site if your comment is directly related to the topic of the article.  This has long-term benefits as its keeps the commentary relevant for people who read those articles in the future.

We will review how this works after a few days:

we could potentially split it into a daily travel and non-travel chat thread

we may install some basic forum software

we may start suggesting potential topics for daily discussion

Let’s see how it goes.

We will do a separate article in a day or so about how we plan to run the site over the next few weeks.  Take care!

Comments (183)

  • QwertKnowsBest says:

    Anyone cancelled non refundable (which are now refundable) Marriott/Sheraton bookings? I did about 6 days ago and still no refund for the charge made as a pre-payment.

  • Liam says:

    Is it possible to cancel Virgin points bookings online? I’ve taken a look and can’t see an option. It’s not urgent—it’s for a flight in August—but it would be good to know just in case things start looking a bit hairy for the airline.

  • AndyF says:

    Thoughts on Marriot Points Purchases – https://storefront.points.com/marriott/en-US/buy
    I was going to buy 100k (total 150k with 50% bonus) to finish topping of an account for a holiday at the end of August. (Better value than paying directly with the hotel) with everything that is going on I’m in halves about buying the points. Ultimately, I can use them another time if the holiday gets cancelled but maybe the hotel becomes dirt cheap by july who knows. Do people think this points buying bonus will return over the coming months?

    • Rob says:

      Who knows what happens when things pick up? What I’d say is that we have never seen a better offer than this one so unless Marriott went absolutely nuts (not impossible given the cash would be handy) it won’t be massively beaten.

      • AndyF says:

        Any chances of Marriot running into the same trouble the airlines are/may run into? A consideration when buying the points. Thanks, Rob

        • Rob says:

          How can Marriott go bust? It has no assets. All it does is collect the franchise fee from all the independently owned hotels.

          • AndyF says:

            Thanks, good advice. I thought as much but it’s worth asking in case I missed anything the past few days.

    • Ken says:

      The 50% bonus is barely better than the 30% discount they run all the time.

      Doesn’t make any sense buying at the moment unless you can guarantee you will use them for a specific redemption.

      • AndyF says:

        Even with a 30% discount, I’m still saving a couple of grand by topping up my points than paying directly,

  • makrxx says:

    Is it worthwhile to pay cash at the airport to upgrade from Economy to Business (on BA)? Flying LHR – SIN on a 777 and seems like its the new club suite.

    I’m also reading that if I pay to upgrade, I’ll get the Avios and Tier Points as a Business Class ticket?

    • WaynedP says:

      I’ve upgraded a couple of times this year from Economy to Club Europe at the airport, and both times been quoted about 50% of the best price that I had previously been quoted over the phone with BA, so my experience of upgrading at the airport has been positive.

      And yes, within 48-72 hours the additional tier points and avios appeared on my account statement.

    • AJA says:

      I assume you mean a paid upgrade from World Traveller Plus to Club? You can’t upgrade directly from World Traveller to Club. If you do yes you will earn the TP and Avios for the paid cabin.

      • Anna says:

        ET to CE, no middle cabin.

        • AJA says:

          Anna, my answer was aimed at makrxx who stated “Economy to Business (on BA)? Flying LHR – SIN on a 777 and seems like its the new club suite.”

          They made no mention of Club Europe. That was WaynedP in their response to makrxx.

      • Gavin T says:

        You can absolutely upgrade directly from WT to CW if you do it at the check-in desk for cash. Done it at least 3 times.

  • Talay says:

    Etihad cancelling flights and not offering refunds or compensation.

    yeah, like we’ll swallow that garbage 🙂

    Your trip has been impacted by Covid-19 and we’ve made it quick and simple to change your travel plans.

    You are entitled to change your booking for free. You can rebook to fly any time before 30 June 2020, or cancel and use the value of your booking as credit towards your next trip. Visit etihad.com/travelalerts for more details.

    • Novice says:

      I was lucky my agent cancelled and promised refund.

      They are taking the mick seriously. They have been the worst.

  • Pangolin says:

    The whole Lufthansa group have now eliminated cash refunds. Vouchers only from now on and any refund will not be before September, at the earliest.

    It’s the same for Aegean. Flights are being auto-cancelled with no refund option. They’re being even sneakier because when they cancel it they send you an email saying that you cancelled the flight yourself!

    It also seems that if people try to initiate S75 chargeback against Aegean they can get their account closed with all miles lost!!

    Source: FlyerTalk forums

    • Pangolin says:

      Bear in mind that these airlines will have already have received some of the tax part of your ticket back from the airport etc, due to the schedule cancellation. So they’ve been refunded the tax part of your cancelled flight but will not be passing any of that on to you, the customer.

    • Talay says:

      Travel insurers are also saying to try to get a refund and then claim on S75 before claiming on insurance.

      I don’t think S75 ranks above their liability.

      • Nick_C says:

        Insurance is always the remedy of last resort.

        If you can get a refund from the supplier or a credit card issuer, that is always what you should do.

        Nothing new there.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Yup s.75/chargeback is before insurance.

  • AJA says:

    The BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, says Prime Minister Boris Johnson will address the nation at 20:30 GMT tonight.

    This sounds like it will be different from the normal daily government briefing.

    Could be heading for national lockdown

    • Shoestring says:

      yep that’s the lockdown announcement, I have it on good authority

      supermarkets, pharmacy, essential workers, essential ‘motives’, walking the dog – all OK

      otherwise: sanctions

      • Anna says:

        You’re not even here!

      • Optimus Prime says:

        I better run off to buy a dog asap.

        • Shoestring says:

          apparently Boris has had a bit of a telling-off from Macron, he is imposing lockdown a bit earlier than planned because the French don’t think UK is acting fast enough

          luckily Boris speaks French passably well so Macron gave a cheesy French smile & the thumbs up, no border control just yet UK-France

          • Optimus Prime says:

            Also Macron told Boris he would deny his daddy’s passport application if UK didn’t enforce lockdown.

          • Shoestring says:

            The Foreign Office urged as many as a million Britons on holiday or business trips abroad to return to the UK immediately.

            yeah right 🙂

          • Shoestring says:

            I didn’t get the (first) lockdown date but I guess we’re looking at 15th April

            probably a 2 week extension after that

          • Shoestring says:

            Boris speaks: coming right up

            Are you feeling lockdown, punk? 🙂

        • Shoestring says:

          got a cat if anybody wants a pet to walk?

          • Optimus Prime says:

            He’s letting us go out for a walk/run once a day.

          • Shoestring says:

            and who’s counting/ going to report you if you make it 2?

            nosy neighbours maybe but frack’em 🙂

            just told my wife the strategy: go shopping, get a receipt, carry on to your preferred place to sit (alone) in the sun for a few hours – police have got far better things to do than question a single person who paused her exercise to rest up

          • Novice says:

            A guy in France ran a 6.5 hours marathon on his balcony.

            Why can’t y’all use your gardens?😒

          • You know who you are says:

            Selfish people busy figuring out how to get around the rules put in place to protect all of us.

      • marcw says:

        Clearly UK experiment did not work. Who is resigning?

        • Shoestring says:

          they got new information or insights and acted accordingly

          I just read a long Guardian article about how the rest of Europe can’t understand why UK is being so slow in its strategy without actually reading what the author thinks the UK is doing wrong
          https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/23/europe-views-uk-coronavirus-plan-disbelief

          obvs the numbers matter so we have to wait & see

          • Jeff says:

            What was the new information?

          • marcw says:

            What new information? that the UK hospital capacity is limited? is this really new information? Or did they look at FT cases/death graphs on their article this weekend and realised “holy crap, this isn´t looking good!”. They had all that information beforehand.

          • Shoestring says:

            they may have officially abandoned herd immunity as a strategy but no doubt still see its advantages

            which means UK was in no hurry to adopt lockdown

            herd strategy was a perfectly good strategy (cf Netherlands) but politically unacceptable

          • marcw says:

            Herd immunity is the goal. It´s not a strategy.. But it´s going to be a controlled process (first they need to control this first burst in cases, and then slowly, very slowly, back to “normal”. But by normal, our behaviour will change). All very slow. At this point it´s impossible to eradicate the virus (unless someone comes with an interesting, promising and effective vaccine). Btw, Netherlands has also started a lockdown, with similar rules.

      • Jeff says:

        You can also go out to drop off food to elderly relatives, unless you’ve abandoned them of course and buggered off abroad

  • Aston100 says:

    Looks like EasyJet customer services has been handed over to a bot.
    Looking at Twitter, EasyJet are not offering refunds after cancelling flights and simply directing people to links that are not working, where they can apparently ask for a voucher or an alternative flight (you pay the fare difference).
    Its all so fristrating.

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