Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Monday 13th April

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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.  Take care!

Comments (173)

  • pauldb says:

    Sorry if I’ve missed chat about this: has anyone probed at BA’s rebooking flexibility? This will become more relevant when hopefully things re-open: there are still likely to be lots of selective cancellations, especially if Gatwick stays closed.

    The trade website says, under rerouting for a cancelled flight: “Yes – as per standard customer guidelines … For Europe – rebook onto any alternative European BA gateway”. Does that mean you can swap a cancelled flight on to an different route (LGW-AMS -> LHR-LCA)? I doubt it but maybe they are being more flexible than the standard 300 miles policy. Or maybe they have decided they’d rather carry us anywhere at any price than have the seats go empty.

  • Paul Pogba says:

    Semi interesting opinion piece on dealing with the china virus and the near future of travel down under:

    “This implies that until there is a cure or a vaccine, there will be minimal international tourism, fewer international students, and few migrants. Of course, we are in this world already. Most countries have imposed strict border controls. International air travel has slowed to a trickle.

    We might well impose fewer restrictions on passengers from countries that also successfully eliminate the virus”

    • pauldb says:

      There are very few countries that could even consider making this work. They’ll be some tough choices ahead for tolerating infections and deaths vs restarting the economy. Even for Australia lower domestic activity and passing up international tourism and trade would be really hard to sustain, but they are maybe more built for this than anywhere else since their mining exports will still be in demand.

    • Cat says:

      Don’t call it “the china [sic] virus”.

      • Paul Pogba says:

        I don’t usually indulge authoritarianism, incompetence or corruption but if I sleep on it and decide to correct my thinking, what should I refer to the Zika, Ebola, West Nile, Marburg, Hantavirus, East African cassava mosaic, Nipah, Lassa viruses?

        • Cat says:

          Given the number of attacks on Chinese nationals that have taken place (and on many people of Asian ethnicity indiscriminately) in the last couple of months, the nuance of your choice of words is especially important in this case.
          However, if you really are comfortable with that level of xenophobia, you should probably capitalise the C and turn the noun into an adjective, so it’s at least grammatically correct.
          On the same note, it’s either “How should I refer to the Zika…..viruses?” or “What should I refer to the Zika … as?”.

      • KP says:

        Im of the opinion that if it originated in china, it definitely can be called the Chinese virus.

        • Nelson says:

          Loads of viruses get mislabeled and later found to not originate from previously thought places. In many cases scientists can’t agree. In any case, it’s been agreed not to refer to virus by origin as this generates xenophobia and serves no other purpose. People who continue to use it in such a way despite this, just arouse suspicion about why they generate hatred in this way. Ignorance is no longer an excuse

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Since it’s been officially named the SAR2 Virus which leads to the COVID19 disease why not stick to one of those

          • Kev 85 says:

            Yep. Just for clarity, I’m not “offended” by anyone calling it the Chinese virus but it does make you seem a bit odd, if it’s got an actual name that everyone knows.

  • Matthew says:

    Got return flights with BA LHR-FSC (Corsica) for May half term. Hoping they will be cancelled so I can get full refund as I booked it before the £1 cancel feee kicked in. And booked as two one ways so would lose £70 each way in fees.l if cancel myself.

    Surely I’m best just holding out and waiting for them to cancel or is there slim chance of this route still going ahead? I hope not as everything else to do with the holiday has been cancelled!


    • AJA says:

      Matthew, assuming this is an Avios booking I’d wait for BA to cancel. I am pretty sure that the flight won’t happen, then you can get everything back (don’t take the e-voucher). On the very slim chance that it still operates you can cancel 24 hours before and pay the £35 per passenger cancellation fee.

  • memesweeper says:

    OT: lots of phantom availability on seatspy for Virgin Premium to/from India. Is there an alternative half decent way of finding availability for reward flights when one can be flexible with dates?

    • Kip says:

      On the Virgin website? Find a date from SeatSpy that looks good then find that on Virgin and click the Flexible option that loads up dates month by month. SeatSpy has been pretty accurate recently tbf.

  • S k says:

    Hi if Virgin do not get a bail out and do go under what happens to the credit card and the points accrued?

    • memesweeper says:

      Card is issued by Virgin Money / Clydesdale… they’re not at risk AFAIK.

      If the airline goes bust miles might be worth something still … but probably not much.

    • Freddy says:

      Similar to what happened to Thomas Cook gift vouchers when they didn’t get a bail out

    • Genghis says:

      The credit card will stay on and will become something else, perhaps just a generic VM card. Best guess is you might get back pennies on the pound akin to Topbonus

    • ChrisC says:

      Virgin money is a totally separate company from Virgin Atlantic.

      Virgin Group only owns around 15% of VM shares.

    • Andrew says:

      They’ll re-brand as Clydedale.

      Then switch back from a grinning Richard Branson to having Robert Burns on the banknotes. 😉

  • Stu says:

    IHG question.
    Cancelled 2 pre paid bookings, one through the call center and the other with the hotel direct, as call center said they were unable. Both done under confidence guidelines brought in by HQ.
    It’s 4 weeks and nothing back from either.
    Both are New York hotels and given the circumstances I a little reluctant to be chasing immediately.
    Do the refunds get issued by the property involved?, and does anyone have any recent experience they can report back.

  • Gavin says:

    Looking to go to Buenos Aires in December as a couple, business class. I have a 2-4-1 voucher. Assuming I value Avios at 1p, the cash equivalent per person cost using a 2-4-1 comes out at £1595 pp, but a straight Avios redemption on Iberia from Madrid + easyJet or BA flights from London comes to £1290 pp, quite significantly cheaper!

    I glad for the 6 month extension of my 2-4-1 (I’ve had it nearly 1 year already) but I’m struggling to find a situation where it actually makes sense to use it.

    • Cam says:

      It looks like you’re comparing a nonstop on BA to 2 separate tickets and a connection in MAD, potentially with an overnight stay (the costs of which also need to be considered). How much do you value the simplicity and certainty, and likely shorter travel time, of the BA option? If £300+ per person, then you have your answer. The £ is also less prone to sudden devaluation (assuming one’s expenses are also in £!) than are Avios, such that there is always a benefit to capturing certain value today rather than saving to spend on more expensive future flights. Also, if you are Avios rich but cash poor or liquidity constrained, then spending Avios instead of cash makes sense. Finally, what is the next best use of your Avios, as compared to £? For example, could you save the £ for a nicer hotel or special experience once there, or add another trip? Or, for the speculative and financially sophisticated, spend the Avios invest the money and capture a return to spend on future travel?

      • Gavin says:

        Thanks, yes lots of factors to consider. In fact, if saving cash is important then booking Iberia would be the best option as the cash component is only £200 per person, while BA Charge around £620 per person.

    • Spursdebs says:

      You can only use 241 on BA metal.

      • Gavin says:

        Yes, I’m comparing using a 2-4-1 on BA with a normal Avios redemption without a voucher on Iberia.

    • Sean says:

      Depends how many avios you have and if you have another use for them.

  • Lee says:

    I have a future travel voucher and want to use it to book flight and possibly hotel for next Easter. I can’t get through to make the booking and speak with someone and I don’t know the value of the voucher, what’s the point of providing a voucher without telling me the value and then not taking calls to makes bookings. If anyone has a number I can get through on please? I am calling from Ireland so don’t think I can use an 0800 number.

    • Anna says:

      Is this with BA? What was cancelled, you should know from the original booking how much it cost? If it was a cancelled award seat booking, you can only book another award seat with it.

    • Lady London says:

      You can use Skype for that

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