Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Thursday 23rd 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.  Let’s see how it goes.  Take care!

Comments (152)

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

  • Martha says:

    Pet advice
    Since there has been so many cat insurance policies here, I thought I would ask.
    A potential long term tenant of mine has a indoor British Short Hair cat.
    Should I be worried in potential damage or affect to the apartment?

    • spinner99 says:


    • Lady London says:

      Does it depend on the cat? Mine do damage. As they’re cats, they’re very hard to train our of it.

      I think I’d ask their previous landlord.

      • No lockdown for moi says:

        Our cat does very specific damage, she likes to claw one particular leatherette-covered set of 4 chairs (ruined) and an old Persian rug that now has holes in it. Everything else is ignored.

        We don’t try and discourage her as those items are not worth much and could be easily replaced – and she’s not doing damage to more valuable stuff.

        I imagine most cats need to claw something when indoors.

        • Lady London says:

          My cats have done similar. Anything wood
          ok inside or out is fair game for them. They’ve also ruined quite a few “soft” things. Even top end official scratching-posts have not entirely drawn their attention.

          Depending if you’re renting unfurnished or furnished you might want to interview the cat and it’s previous landlord.

    • Lyn says:

      Some of the nicest people have cats, or should I say are owned by cats, so you may be lucky and have found a good renter!

      Seriously, if you are renting out the apartment unfurnished, you probably don’t have much to be concerned about. Most cats are fastidiously clean. But it would be worth discussing any concerns you have with your potential renter.

  • Alexander Pinnock says:

    I’ve just come to cancel my Hilton Booking for 7th May due to Covid and they are offering either a full refund or a free night certificate for each cancelled night that can be redeemed through August 31 2021. Does anybody know how the free night certificate will work. I currently have a family room booked at an AI resort and wouldn’t want to end up with certificates for a standard room at a non AI property.

    • philco says:

      Unless there is some clear benefit (like a bonus on the certs) why would anybody take them over cash? Cash is king especially now. So unless they have communicated to you a clear benefit on taking a time limited voucher I’d ask for cash and move on.

      • Alexander says:

        I may want to go back later in the year at peak season when the room rates will be double what I paid. With a certificate it will allow me to do that.

      • Alexander Pinnock says:

        Also, the free night certificates are possibly valid for any Hilton property so I could potentially get 7 nights in the Maldives for the price I paid for 7 nights in Turkey

    • Don says:

      The voucher is only for reservations in the US, Canada and Mexico. Is that where your stay was booked?

      • Don says:

        Ah Turkey. Then you’ll find you won’t get the certificate. Please report back. But given the way Hilton corporate hold the money in the three markets I mentioned I’m 99% sure you will just get a refund because outside those three markets the hotel charges the card directly.

        • Alexander says:

          I’ve mailed the Hotel to ask what my options are so will report back

  • Qwertyknowsbest says:

    Anyone still having success with the BA cancellation workaround with an iPhone?


    • Martyn Ford says:

      Yes but it has been closed now unfortunately.

      • Qwertyknowsbest says:

        Thanks Martyn.

        Been trying BA for 3 days and cannot get through. Anyone have any knowledge of downsides for just going for Amex (BA) chargeback?

        • AndyW says:

          Just keep trying at 20 minute intervals. You get through eventually and it will turn out much less painful then a chargeback.

  • Baji Nahid says:

    Right hopefully this should work! 10th time hopefully!

    I applaud those that have patience with the BA e store. I am currently waiting for 6000 avios for shopping that I have done with them over the past few months. I literally had to drag them last time and was on my knees to avios in surrey to investigate this absolutely horrendous 3rd party provider of the BA e store.

    I have no nice words for such a service and I am sure many are absolutely familiar with it. How do you all go about using this diabolical service? and how do you manage to get your avios points. They don’t credit my points after the time periods stated, the website does not even record my transactions. I have to screen record them and have to fight tooth and nail but they just wont budge in giving me my avios. I’ve tried different browsers, there are no plug-ins etc that could hinder tracking.

    I am honestly tired with this and I hope they lose the contract or completely shut down. What a mess the e store is.

    Does anyone have any advice before i go bonkers? I cannot handle the stress that they give me anymore.

    I would really appreciate all the help.

    • Baji Nahid says:

      Wooho it’s posted finally! Sorry for the behind the scenes spamming rob! Also just to let you know the word e store together is problematic and the comments section won’t support this!

      • Genghis says:

        It might even be purposefully blocked?

        • Spaghetti Town says:

          Couldn’t really see why.

          • Genghis says:

            Read under Affiliate Policy

          • Baji Nahid says:

            Hi there,

            I have used the e store many times for a variety of retailers, i’ve used different browsers, ensured that the cache was clear and no cookies being blocked at all, the BA e store does track my visit and for some reason it makes it extremely difficult for them to cough up my points or record the purchase.

            I’ve made sure that its a 99% full-proof procedure however still they wont reward me my avios for the transactions and honestly im not stumped as to where to go 🙁

      • Fred says:

        I always use it for online shopping from the main brands (John Lewis, etc) and only once had to chase up on the Avios. If you’re going to buy something anyway then would always use it – and don’t see why you wouldn’t use it unless going through a cashB site. I reckon I’ve got 10 x my Avios points in last 12 months than I’ve got from the BAPP

        • Baji Nahid says:

          Hello Fred,

          I am in the same boat as you, as I do a lot go shopping and there is some real high value points not to be missed! Just a shame that I cannot reclaim any of them now as months have gone and I am tired of chasing these up .

    • Doug M says:

      Why do you keep returning to a store that you find doesn’t work, if it’s as bad as you say just go elsewhere.

      • Baji Nahid says:

        Well why would I want to miss out on my avios if i am spending whilst at home! Im sure you wouldn’t miss out on the chance to get the avios either. And I have to shop at certain retails for continuous products that I have to use, not that it is of your concern thanks.

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          Use other sites offering similar rewards instead!

          • Baji Nahid says:

            what would you suggest SS?

          • Genghis says:

            Or pay your HfP subscription! 🙂

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            Avios store, aer Lingus store. Usually give same amount of Avios Points.

          • Lady London says:

            Amazon only is showing zero stock or even removed from their catalog loads of things I keep regular tabs on – either things I repeatedly order or things I had in mind for a few upcoming orders. It’s really frustrating

    • Anna says:

      Do you check that all your visits are tracked on your account? Fingers crossed I haven’t had to chase anything up for a while, but I do stick to a few retailers I know are reliable, like Selfridges, L’Occitane and Clarins. But they are not necessarily your thing!

      • Baji Nahid says:

        Hello Anna,

        I hope you’re well and keeping safe! I have actually made sure that the website tracks my movement and i can see this on my transaction history however from there on it doesn’t get credited. I’ve even attached screen grabs of my process but they won’t budge and keep saying that I’ve not shopped on the ba e store, and it makes me laugh because they actually said that!

        I’ve shopped at some of the retailers you mentioned in your post however i just don’t know what the issue is. I think it is something their end.

    • Brian W says:

      Baji, I collect about 80k Avios a year through the e store so I feel your pain in relation to non tracking of purchases and raising claims.

      Mine are virtually all through hotel bookings for Hilton, IHG or but I learned an excellent piece of advice here about 9 months ago. Use incognito mode on Chrome to login and make the purchase. It sorted out all my tracking issues and I haven’t had one fails since.

      I still need to raise claims a lot as many don’t become approved within the 120 days (it’s 120 days for hotels not 35), but I keep all the checkout receipts and I get about 99% of the claims paid out eventually. I’ve got a save piece of text for raising the claims and simply alter date, click and purchase ID that is relevant to that claim.

      It’s hard work but worth it with what I get in return.

      Another tip, use the Vueling or Aerclub e store platforms rather than the BAEC one, works much better for me, more reliable for tracking, albeit the same back end. Maybe it’s just my imagination the last bit!

      • Baji Nahid says:

        Thanks so much Brian I will try this tip from now on, it is really appreciated. It is very annoying the way their system is run and incredibly annoying in how slow their systems are. And don’t get me started in having to chase them up. I will now use incognito and report back and see how it goes.

        it is just so hard to use the store. The aer lingus one kept playing up with me stating it was broken so I gave up on that even though i kept tweeting them for so long as to get to the bottom of it.

        I shall try and thank you very much for the tip! I just hope they can come up with a much better system like typing in your BAEC number or something along the lines.

  • Harry T says:

    EasyJet are offering to let me change my rather cheap May tickets to Milan to any other flight at any other time, without a fare difference or change fee. The only catch is they won’t refund me if the changed flight is cancelled.

    This sounds like a pretty good chance to score some more expensive flights to a sought after destination. Has anyone else received this offer? Has anyone deliberately booked summer flights to take advantage of the chance to switch dates without a fare difference?

    • Charlieface says:

      Not refunding after a cancellation is against EC261. They would have to prove you explicitly authorised this witha signature

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        What’s the average wait time for the annual Amex Gold anniversary bonus 10k MR’s to turn up?
        I’m sure last time around it was 3-4 weeks max!

      • Harry T says:

        Charlie – it’s in the T&Cs of the email. They want me to email them my preferred flights to change to. I agree it could be challenged. The tickets cost about £50 each, so my thought is that I would rebook on to a more expensive route in 2021 and take my chances.

        • Harry T says:

          I’d also have s75 because the total is over £100 and it was paid on an amex PRGC.

          • Aston100 says:

            But as the tickets were £50 each, wouldn’t they be excluded from s75?

    • Rob says:

      Another reader sent me this – and he’d only booked a £20 ticket!

      • Harry T says:

        @Rob they are doing better than me, then!

        Currently trying to find the most expensive European route from Edinburgh and book it for 2021. Prague for New Year looks decent.

        • Lady London says:

          Make sure you will still want to fly because if you need to move it again,unlike a regular move an irrops move keeps only your original moved-from value on the new booking.

          • Lady London says:

            And remember that if you need to move the flight again in normal times, with easyJet you only have 2 very exoensive ways of moving it

            – online and paying truly monster change fees. Get yourself a stiff drink and look sometime.
            – phoning them to move it. There are situations when phoning would mean you don’t pay the change fee but what easyJet does not tell you is the following. If you phone in they don’t give you the price for the new flight that you see on the internet – they operate a different, secret price list you can’t see that adds a minimum of £20 to each leg of your ticket (very, very occasionally they might leave a phone in price that’s not quite so much but seems more by a ccident). So if you need to move them later your flights could become worth nothing.

    • Lady London says:

      Personally I would take a refund. That’s because I am not short of flights ATM. And normally no LCC will ever actually refund your ticket no matter what. So it’s a good chance to actually get a ticket on refunded by them which you normally could never do. But if you look at the small print carefully you may find other things to think about in there.

      TBH I’m finding some of Ryanair’s new routes look a lot more interesting than easyJet. And with easyJet delaying taking new planes I can’t see them opening up anything interesting for 2-3 years. I may even give Ryanair – my most hated airline – some money when we all start flying again.

      Milan is also a bit like NY in that there’s a variety of good capacity in there so I wouldn’t expect to have much trouble getting reasonably priced replacement tickets when I am ready so another reason to phone and get the cash.

  • J says:

    Agreed. No harm in someone sunbathing in a park keeping their distance… Unfortunately so far the UK hasn’t been able to implement things which appear to actually work (mass testing/tracing, masks/temperature checks entering crowded places) so instead we have PC plod telling people off for sunbathing.

    • J says:

      I think that’s always been the case with the police, always a few bad apples…The Nazi era should not be forgotten because as you mention educated, civilised people ended up going along with or even committing atrocities; it’s right to question authority. But, the authoritarianism we are being asked to accept right now is motivated by a public health emergency and guided by the aim of preserving life.

  • Reeferman says:

    BA has just cancelled all my flights in June between LCY and AGP – seems the airport closure (LCY) may have been extended beyond end-May (not a surprise, I guess).

  • No lockdown for moi says:

    Thousands of operations are cancelled and heart, stroke and cancer victims miss vital treatment despite empty hospitals

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