Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Tuesday 31st 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.

By default, HFP shows the last page of comments under the article.  If you want to see the first page of comments and read them all from beginning to end in order, click here: The page will refresh with this article but the comments will now show the first page and not the last page.

We will continue to monitor how this is working:

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 (243)

    • Mac D says:

      You can’t order wine now so …

    • Paul Pogba says:

      I love Joyce trying to dictate how much government money hes going to get. pmsl.

    • Ian M says:

      BA have a lot more cash in the bank than Virgin. So it will be Virgin that fall long before BA/IAG.

      • Rob says:

        BA is good until July-ish if you believe the burn rate numbers being floated around. To some extent it depends if IAG decides to sacrifice weaker airlines in the group to save BA or if they decide it is all or nothing. The Irish Government would obviously bail-out Aer Lingus for example so it seems stupid spending tens of millions per week keeping it alive if that money can be used elsewhere. No Government is saving Vueling or LEVEL.

        • Sloppy says:

          not smart to invest in IAG then?
          The stock was tempting…

          • Rob says:

            Always worth remembering that, allegedly, the airline industry has not – collectively – been profitable if you add up all the figures for the last century!

        • ChrisBCN says:

          The Spanish or Catalan governments will likely step in to save Vueling, it’s the main airline in Barcelona for anywhere domestically or around Europe (Iberia don’t have a base and only fly to Madrid).

        • ChrisBCN says:

          And the Austrian government may step in to help Level, but probably only the short haul (you should look at what Level are nowadays, it’s no longer just a few duplicate international routes …)

  • JD says:

    apologies as this isnt directly points and travel related, but hotel related and hoping someone might be able to offer some insight.

    I work in a NHS hospital in London and our ward has recently been turned into a dedicated COVID-19 ward. All the patients on the ward have it and I am in close contact with them. Thankfully we have ppe in good supply but I live with vulnerable people and ideally do not want to unwittingly take it home to them. Some of my colleagues are in a similar situation.

    With presumably low hotel occupancies at the moment does anyone know if any hotels in central London are offering subsidised long term stays (eg 1-2 months) for so called ‘key workers’?

    hope everyone is staying safe and many thanks

    • Spursdebs says:

      I believe I read that Roman Abramovich has offered his Hotel at Chelsea FC for NHS staff workers.

    • Mac D says:

      Yes thats one of the reason any hotel stays open now, not sure who is paying or how to find out more though

      • Spursdebs says:

        If I was an NHS worker my first point of call for info would be HR department or union.

        • BJ says:

          Agree but probably wait a while for that, and my niece go messed around by them on child care issues. If JD and a few colleagues went in person to the three closest hotels and asked they might get a result. Face to face (2m before anybody says anything) makes it harder for them to say no. Good luck JD, take care.

      • Rob says:

        IHG has a number of hotels which are only bookable by NHS staff (do a London search on the website and they come up) albeit at pricing which only works if they are married to an investment banker ….

    • Harpo says:

      Depends on your job but if you’re a clinician and can’t stay at home (Vulnerable relative etc.) most Trusts are putting people up in hotels – a couple of people in my team are doing that. My wife’s trust are now providing a hotel opposite the hospital for her on calls which are now up to 72 hour resident.

    • Gráinne says:

      AirBnB are also offering accommodation to Trusts and individuals, although not sure how much etc. News reports claim free, but haven’t tried to make a booking since I don’t need [email protected]

  • Sammy says:

    Am I right in thinking that if a flight is booked in one travel class then upgraded with miles to a higher class, if that flight were then cancelled by the airline and passenger chooses to reroute at later date, EU 261 would require the reroute to be in the matching higher class even if no award availability is available on the new dates? And when would passenger have to commit to the new dates by — is it any time before the flight leaves? Earlier? Later?? (in case it’s relevant, airline hasn’t actually outlined EU 261 rights properly, instead just offering same day reroute / credit refund)

    • Trevor Gardiner says:

      +1 Iur exact position also.

    • Charlieface says:

      Yes, but the airline could do an invol downgrade, for which compo at 25/55/75% is definitely payable even now.

  • chuckle bros says:

    my flight to Tenerife with BA has been cancelled with less than 14 days notice, can I sue them for damages as I now can’t use my hotel?

    • Anna says:

      What damages have you incurred?! Unless your booking was part of a package you will have to go via whoever you booked with or your travel insurance for a refund on your hotel stay.

      • Anna says:

        Also – Spain and Canaries very badly affected with COVID-19, it would have been really in advisable to go anyway.

        • Doreen says:

          There are NO hotels open to tourists in Spain incl Canaries. Closed by decree a few days ago. I’ve had a few flights cancelled by BA under 14 days, but have applied for refunds rather than voucher & wouldn’t dream of seeking added compensation given the crisis & how it affects BA

    • Nick_C says:

      Did you pay by Credit Card, and were the tickets more than £100 each? If so, you could try a S75 claim.

      Airline Conditions of Carriage will normally say they are not liable for consequential loss, but when Malev went under in 2012, HBOS refunded my hotel costs.

  • BJ says:

    Hilto: anybody else missing their Barclay to Hilton points transfer this month? Usually get mine around 24th of the month but they still have not arrived.

    • Doogie says:

      Jist checked and mine show as transferred as normal on 23rd March

    • mark2 says:

      my wife received hers (12 points) on 23rd March.

    • BJ says:

      Thanks guys, looks like I’ll need to chase mine up then. Never fun, Barclays and Hilton CS are a toxic combination.

      • ChrisW says:

        I had issues with Barclays and Hilton in Dec and January, a message to hilton and they all appeared within a few days!

        • BJ says:

          Thanks Chris, I’ll try that now. Called Barclays today but nobody there.

    • Peter K says:

      Mine went though as normal this month.

  • Andrew MS says:

    Whilst in Asia , trying to make new flight bookings due to Coronavirus disruption, I was unable to complete the purchases because the security code sent by Nationwide BS never reached me by SMS . Thankfully I had my AMEX whose SMS took a couple of days to arrive but they also email the code which did get through instantaneously.
    Does anyone else have problems receiving SMS when overseas and is there a workaround ?

    • John says:

      May be a separate issue but I usually don’t leave my UK SIMs connected when overseas. In order to receive a banking SMS, I need to connect my SIM for at least a minute before trying to log in or make a purchase.

      Also I have an app which receives SMS over wifi. It is a regular 07 mobile number which none of my friends or business associates have problems with, but for some reason 50% of banks cannot send SMS to it.

      I wonder why no other bank or card issuer besides Amex thinks email is suitable for 2FA.

      • guesswho2000 says:

        They’re very hit and miss. Nationwide I just use the card reader, but some I need a UK number for (like you though, have to make sure it’s on for a few minutes first while it finds a carrier to connect to).

        Creation and Amex will send the codes by email too, which helps. MBNA/Lloyds Bank are the best (never thought I’d say that), they’ll accept an overseas phone number, and verification calls/SMSs arrive every time in seconds.

    • BJ says:

      Too many potential issues make generalisation difficult. Found these new extra security steps a real nuisance. I tend to rely on amex and their trusted merchant list or whatever it’s called. Let’s most of my transactions through without a code and there is always the email backup if they do send a code.

    • Paul Pogba says:

      This is also a problem in some rural areas of the UK, trying to purchase something online or setup a new bank payee is a nightmare.

      • Qwertyknowsbest says:

        Wifi calling, most new model of mobiles now have this. Works with any WiFi connection.

        • Genghis says:

          Not if they send the info by SMS?

        • Nick_C says:

          My Samsung Galaxy Note III is still going strong after 8 years, so no WiFi calling on that for me, but EE gave me a “signal box” five years ago which transmits a local EE signal when connected to my (VM) router.

    • PB says:

      Turn your phone off and back on again! Seriously.

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    Average wait time at present for Amex referral points anyone?

    • Paul says:

      Referred my wife for gold c/c (from my platinum), points, and indeed new cards had both arrived within 48hrs…

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Cheers Paul, 48 hrs for referral points has got to be a new world record!

  • John says:

    Good news for those who have status with Aegean (and maybe even for those who don’t), they have extended membership years by 6 months without any notification.

    I don’t want BA to do this because it would mess with my usual requalification strategy. Personally I have already requalified with BA until the end of 2021 so I don’t care that much, but if I hadn’t, I would prefer it if they just did a Hilton and extended everyone’s status for a full year.

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