The new HFP chat thread – Thursday 9th July

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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!

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  1. Barry says:

    Where have the chat threads from previous days gone? Trying to refer back to something that I read in yesterday’s one but the thread is gone!

    • Hiding! under ‘general’ in the ‘filed under’ part at bottom of the article 😀

    • They haven’t gone, they’ve just been hidden from the home page. Click on ‘General’ in the categories list, either in the menu or under today’s post, and all the ‘General’ articles will appear including old chat threads.

  2. MonkeymaN says:

    Question re Amex platinum travel insurance.
    I had Ryanair flights booked at the start of the yearfor travel in July. The flights were not cancelled, but I did not want to travel against the then current government advice,
    The flights were booked using by BA amex, rather than my platinum card. I was under the impression I was covered if booked this way, but my claim was rejected as it was not paid for on the platinum card.
    Were Axa correct in this or was I not covered booking with the BA Amex?

    • the_real_a says:

      No. You need the definition of “card account” in the full terms and conditions and challenge the decision if this was the sole reason for rejection.

      “Account” or “Card Account” means your consumer and small business cards issued by American Express in the UK, excluding corporate cards and any American Express cards issued by bank partners

      • the_real_a says:

        By using your BA AMEX you have fulfilled the requirement to make the payment via your “card account”

        • MonkeymaN says:

          Thank you very much for that. That was my understanding also, so I will challenge them.
          I really appreciate the collective knowledge, experience and helpfulness of the HFP community.

  3. I don’t know if it will make much difference, but I’m due to hit IHG Spire status at the end of this month. I’ve got several stays booked as Platinum, will the hotels know about the change when I check in?
    I got a cracking deal at the IC Vienna for February by being Ambassador, 3 nights for the price of 2, no deposit required, 2 category upgrade to Executive Suite and buffet breakfast (though this last may be via lounge access). They’ve also said they’ll do something special as the trip is for our silver wedding anniversary.

    • Yes, they’ll kmow. When you check in tbey will look and ask you if you want rubbish welcome points or rubbish snack etc. In most cases you should expect to see little to no benefit from being Spire but once in a while breakfast and/or lounge will come as a bit of a shock.

      • Thanks – also I booked a room at the CP MAN for next Easter for 12k points when they were doing the points deals recently but could only get a double so I’m going to email them when I hit Spire and beg for an upgrade to a room which can accommodate 3 of us!

        • Andrew says:

          Spire really gives you nothing extra, I’ve been Spire for years and rarely get anything other than a standard space available upgrade and often not even that. Don’t expect the red carpet treatment, I did at first and was quickly disappointed. IHG is great for earning and burning points – recognising loyalty it isn’t!

          • I’d just like a family room or even a rollaway the night before we go on holiday without being utterly fleeced! The MAN Hilton is excellent in this respect as it usually offers a family room for the same points as a standard one, but the CP deal was unbeatable!

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Seems unlike my experience. Even if I don’t get a great upgrade I still end up with one of the better rooms.

            Lounge access at a CP, usually two drinks vouchers for a couple Drinks/cocktails at the bar and More often than not get the welcome points anyway.

      • ChrisC says:


        I got Spire very late last year.

        Before travel was stopped I was given room upgrades on 4 out of 5 stays (including to CP club rooms) .I think I got one out of half a doxen stays as Plat. At a Kimpton I was left wine and some macaroons. Never got those as a plat (except once as an apology for a minor issue and another for my birthday)

        I usually take the points rather than the free drink.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Take the drink you’ll probably get the points anyway.

          • RedEyeDonkey says:

            Yes always take the drinks lol. I think at most CP’s the drinks cost more if you bought them than the value of the points anyway and the times you get the points too…

          • Lady London says:

            Always take the drink. Even if you use it for a capuccino. Same at Hilton.

    • Chris Heyes says:

      [email protected] We have never flown from Manchester on Holiday
      Used to fly Manchester to Gatwick when BA did that route (was £10 each with a meal, hardly time to eat it 30min flight)
      every couple of Months to get to our flat in Bognor Regis
      But When we fly from Gatwick we always stop in the Hilton overnight and i can tell you we “always”
      get upgraded (without fail) and that includes Lounge Access, so it’s always worth sticking to same Hotel (can’t be sure of Man Hilton though) we have been stopping there for years & years,
      We always talk to the manger/s and compliment the staff
      Flying from Heathrow it’s the Sofitel but again always upgraded to Junior Suite (occasionally a Suite) Same tactics seem to work
      My point is stay at same place even if costs a little more once they get to know you I’M sure its put on your booking record (at the Sofitel i say at checking in “can you ask the manager is my usual Suite available” we are upgraded to Junior Suite that’s why i think it must be on record
      If you don’t ask you don’t get

  4. The hotel will be able to see this in their system. Spire recognition seems to vary widely by individual hotel and region. Crowne Plazas may offer lounge access. Spire seems to carry more weight in countries where status can’t be earned through IHG credit card spending, so outside the UK and US.

    • Sorry, this was a reply to Anna’s question re IHG Spire above.

      • Thanks Lyn, hoping to swing an upgrade at a CP next Easter!

        • IME CP is the IHG brand most likely to recognise status. However, I’ve had upgrades to a suite at both HI and Indigo too so perhaps I was a bit harsh but they are certainly not as rewarding as Hilton.

        • Anna, I hope you get your family room at the CP! Definitely wait until after your Spire shows in the system before you e-mail them.

          By the way, I don’t agree with BJ’s assessment of the rubbish welcome snack. We always enjoy our free “welcome” champagne, nuts and olives sitting in the light-filled lobby of the Le Grand in Paris (the photo that Rob often includes in IHG or IC articles), even if we have access to the Club Lounge. Having said that, the Le Grand offers this for platinum as well, and perhaps also for gold.

          • That’s an IC though so it’s not typical, and lets be honest, it’s not great either unless the refurb has worked miracles.

    • Lady London says:

      I found when IHG was my go-to chain that CP’s are where you get status recognised and without prodding. At regular HI and HIX I found charm and being nice secures the same as status – because at those hotel formats there is not much they can give you.

      If I stayed more for business right now than Covid is allowing then I would give serious thought to Amb but only as a business expense could make it certain to have value on a relatively low number of stays. I’d then also push my leisure stays to IC and take the chance to try out the Europe ones posters like on here.

      Otherwise I am happiest in Hiltons and despair of Accor who are dishonourable and whose customer services is powerless to own and fix the messes they make. If I was a regular stayer at Accor’s Sofitel and Fairmont then I would probably have a different view. But that would be because I would never need ro encounter Accor customer services.

  5. Keith says:

    Where has all the First class Avios availability gone?!
    I’ve been keeping an eye on MIA – LHR in the hope to upgrade. There was loads of seats for 2019 but minimal for 2020. Now there is nothing and nothing for LHR – JFK too 🙁

    • When are you looking for? I think they are being snapped up quickly for 2021 as people re-schedule their holidays. I bagged 3 seats in F to JFK for next Easter but whenever I’ve looked to see if nearby dates have become available to give us a extra couple of day or 2, there’s nothing.

      • Though there looks to be a glitch in the system just now, as LON-NYC is showing no award availability in any class for the next 12 months on RFF and SeatSpy. Or else there’s some really bad news coming from BA…

        • There are a few F seats showing on, depending on your dates (I checked next March). SeatSpy and RFF seem to have lost all their data, however.

        • Lady London says:

          Sounds like BA are reorganising and have pulledto reload soon. Sometimes when seats have come back after such in the past year or so, there has been a positive result jn seat availability or a new promotion. So do not despair just watch patiently.

      • Keith says:

        My dates are possibly never going to come available as I’m looking early January from MIA. I’m in Club now, I just want a cheap upgrade. I was just shocked that everything has been removed this afternoon. There was about 100 dates this morning. Now, nothing for MIA or JFK. JFK usually has loads of seats

        • Have you checked As above, RFF and SeatSpy seem to be malfunctioning.

          • Keith says:

            Nah I’ve not. I’m not too optimistic about getting the seat. I check every day out of boredom and was just curious as to why it’s all vanished.
            I’ve just noticed I’m still living in 2019 in my post too 🤦🏻‍♂️ Haha

          • It’s only vanished on RFF and SeatSpy. is showing F seats to MIA in Jan 2021.

        • Lady London says:

          You will be fine nearer the time esp from around 10th jan onwards – unless equipment changes so there is no First.

  6. By the way, there’s something wrong with RFF and SeatSpy!

    • Gavin says:

      Yes, all availability to GVA has disappeared from RFF and SeatSpy the last few hours, but in reality it’s still there!

    • marcw says:

      Major changes to BAEC tomorrow!!!

  7. dezbez says:

    Apologies if this has been discussed previously, did anyone else get the Curve email this afternoon re refunds and then going immediately back onto your Curve Cash Card? Potentially some good further points earning opportunities as a result of this?

    • Bigmaggot says:

      I did, I guess everyone knows so not discussing it

    • memesweeper says:

      I read that as meaning refunds from the Wirecard era. I might have read it wrong.

      • Whilst you would assume that’s what they meant, it actually isn’t how it reads (and Curve also emailed me directly about this). It is very possible that does not allow them to do the same functionality that Wirecard allowed.

        • Lady London says:

          Oh dear. They will have to fix it though for compliance reasons, eventually. Everyone will just have to suffer the lack of functionality in the meantime.

  8. RFF and SeatSpy seem to be back.
    In other news, the FCO is advising against cruises now. Presumably this means you won’t be insured if you go on one?

  9. My Inbox is going crazy with RFF alerts for F and CW seats over Xmas – if you’re looking for premium cabin avios seats, now might be a good time to bag them! (It might not just be Xmas but those are the only alerts I have set up).

    • Aston100 says:

      I’m keeping an eye on South Africa, and a number of SE Asia destinations.
      Not seeing any availability for Xmas / NY yet.

  10. Munch says:

    About to cancel a Virgin Atlantic rewards flight. Booked on a Virgin credit card now cancelled. Does it work like Amex where Virgin Credit card will transfer the credit directly back to my bank account even with the card cancelled?

  11. What on earth is happening with SeatSpy at the moment?
    Contacted about alerts I had registered,looking at availability next May NYC/LHR or MIA/LHR 2 x F class.SeatSpy shows availability in F for 2 seats from Jul 20 to May 21, have checked various dates this of course is total nonsense (there is the odd seat available on some dates) did contact them to advise them of this,advised by them that this now includes AA, that of course is also not available either. This of course means that alerts are useless!

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