Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Wednesday 29th 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 de facto 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.

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Comments (184)

  • Sam says:

    Hi I was considering booking a points stay with IHG and then paying for a board upgrade when I get there e.g. paying X amount to have full board or all inclusive whilst in the resort.

    Can anyone please advise if incidental spend such as the above would earn IHG points when on a reward night stay?

    Thanks

    • Paul74 says:

      I wouldn’t want to answer your question definitively but I have earned points on incidental spend on reward stays, yes.

    • Andrew says:

      On regular IHG point stays, I’ve definitely had points for my £10 breakfast.

  • S says:

    Future travel voucher questions

    I’m sure this has been done to death recently so apologies in advance

    My 241 got extended until the end of May next year, but given the general uncertainty I’m just not sure I see it getting used by then. My question is can I use the future travel voucher scheme to my advantage here?

    i.e. book a short haul now with the 241 and minimal Avios, cancel it, claim the voucher, 6 months later book something long haul while retaining the 241 benefits and chip in the extra Avios lump & taxes?

    • Anna says:

      That seems to be the case. My 241 was going to expire in Feb 2021. I genuinely had to cancel a trip to Vienna and I was sent an email with our ticket numbers confirming they are now valid until April 2022.

      • S says:

        Thanks – do you appear to have the option of rebooking a different reward flight (if available…). It’s difficult to figure this out definitively. Would rather not waste a 241 on a one way to Heathrow!

        • Colin MacKinnon says:

          Yes.

          I purposely booked a 241 – in CE – EDI-LCY knowing that it would be cancelled.

          It was, and so my 241 was reinstated with a longer validity and then I rebooked EDI-LHR-San Diego in F.

          If doing it again, I would maybe book regional to Lon City, Lon City to Europe, Europe to Gatwick and then Gatwick to regional. Gives you four chances at a flight being cancelled!!

    • Lady London says:

      people have done this, seen it reported a couple of times

  • Bob says:

    Morning

    How does a BA FTV work for an avios booking which was then upgraded using a POUG? so (avios + cash) + cash paid for the POUG… flight is to ICN in Nov so no idea if it’ll be operating or not at this stage…

    Similarly as HKG have extended quarantine till end of 31Dec20 would a refund still be obtainable on a VS reward booking also in Nov for which a miles booster has already been paid for?

    both booked pre covid!

    Thanks

    • ChrisC says:

      Re BA – I belive all the value is wrapped up into the voucher

      Re VS – as this is a reward booking and you want to cancel then it’s a refund of miles / points less admin fee. If they cancel there is no admin fee to pay.

      not sure about the booster. I’m thinking that this is in effect a points purchase so non refundable.

  • Mike G says:

    BA Future Travel Voucher…I accepted FTV for Avios + Companion Voucher +Fees + Seat Reservations, principally to extend the Companion Voucher beyond its current December expiry. My seat reservations were costly because I booked the upper deck on what were 747 flights. I’ve read somewhere that seat reservation costs included in the voucher can only be used against future seat reservations. Anyone had experience of whether this is the case and any way around if so??
    Thanks

    • Anna says:

      Not heard that, but would the booking agent even be able to see that part of the voucher applied to seat reservations?

    • Lady London says:

      hmmm…wondering if you can tell BA now the 747’s gone you dont want to pay for seat reservations on any other type of aircraft and you want your seat reservation money back.

  • HHR says:

    Question re Travel Insurance hopefully someone can help with

    We have a villa and separate flights booked for a trip to Spain in September. Trip is a family one of 8 adults but I’ve paid everything. I’m the only one with travel insurance (I know!)

    If we assume that we will be unable to go on the holiday due to FCO travel advice:

    – Does anyone have any experience of claiming for the full cost of the villa under a single travel insurance policy?
    – If the villa was booked just for my wife and I and she doesn’t have travel insurance, would I be entitled to claim the full cost in that scenario? She’s not currently working not sure if that would make a difference.

    Related question:

    – Family member has medical condition that requires them to reconfirm answers in respect of it when booking travel insurance. Cover was in place at time of booking holiday but ran out earlier this month and doesn’t auto renew because of the medical questions. Could there be any argument that renewing that policy should cover the trip?

    Many thanks in advance!!!

    Hopefully this posts as second time I’ve written it out.

    • Rob says:

      Not all policies will pay out if FCO advises against travel, so you need to check that.

      If you paid and your name is on the agreement (with your wife) then I would assume that you can claim for 100%. The contract for the rental is with you at the end of the day.

      On the 2nd part …. if you can still renew your existing policy AND you have not been given new wording by the insurer then you’re OK. However, I would be very surprised if any insurer is rolling over contracts without inserting clauses blocking covid payments, especially as it is now a known risk.

      • Air Miles Man says:

        Thanks Rob!

        Wording does cover not being able to travel due to FCO advice so am ok on that front.

        This clause is the one that they could attempt to wriggle on:

        We will only consider the unused expenses of a person who has taken out insurance cover with us. For example if you are travelling with someone who is not insured, we only pay your proportion of costs not theirs, regardless of who has paid for the booking.

        That clause is under the cancelling your holiday section which would be the applicable one.

        Wondered whether anyone else has had a similar situation.

        • Rob says:

          I would argue that this wording only applies to flights or a hotel where you have separate rooms. A villa cannot be proportioned. They could, admittedly, try to wriggle out of it.

        • Lady London says:

          Are you on the hook for the whole of the villa cost even if you are the only one occupying it? of course you are. So dont give it a thought and claim the whole cost.

        • tony says:

          “Wording does cover not being able to travel due to FCO advice so am ok on that front.”

          Be careful with this, My policy didn’t say that either, but it does say “the policy is invalid if you travel against FCO advice”. I had assumed that the corollary of that was if the FCO said you couldn’t travel, they would permit a claim, but evidently not. Apparently ABI members are being rather more accommodating here.

          I read a piece back in March/April suggesting almost half of UK travel insurance policies were no longer covering changes to FCO guidance and presumably that % has increased since.

    • BS says:

      Yes, I’ve tried this before. They are well clued up to this and will ask who is going. They will then pay your portion of the villa (in your case 1/8th).
      Yes, you could lie, but this would be fraud, and if every found out would cost you far more than any loss on the villa would be. I would strongly recommend against it. The only time they would exclude people from the calculation is if they were your dependents, and they would probably knock them off the numbers involved in the villa.

      • Lady London says:

        I would challenge that in court if they tried that on me.

        Villas normally cost the same regardless of how many people. As a single person I will take any suitable villa and that might be advertised for able to accommodate up to 12 people. I’d still have to pay the full price. The fact is that I’m going anyway when I can get time off work. I may invite others but that is a separate thing – I’m taking it anyway. If the particular villa offered a lower rate for lower occupancy and if that was all I got charged of course Id only claim for the lower rate.

        No way would I accept some slimy division of costs by insurance company when my costs are the full amount as soon as I decide I am staying there and I’d tske that as far as it needed to go. I would expect that to be a very short court case with them paying my costs.

        • Charlieface says:

          I agree with you, but you need to be careful. They could maybe argue that you wouldn’t have booked such a large villa if going by yourself.

          • Lady London says:

            unfortunately that’s the reality of travelling as a single. I pick places I stay on location and level of quality I require for the trip(higher quality if weather may be bad) and the cottage or villa rate offered is not reduced because it’s just me.

            The key points are that’s the price for any numbers from 1 to whatever capacity and I was going anyway regardless of whoever else I might decide to invite after I’ve discovered Ive taken a place that it turned out would accommodate more.

            That’s how this type of accommodation works and there’s no way I’m letting some sleazy insurance company get away with that.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Agree with LL here

        Villa and 1 return flight covered I’d say the rest of the flights are lost unless they are Avios bookings or the airline offers a voucher for future travel.

      • Sukes says:

        +1
        Some villa companies require a full list of names of those staying. Has this been provided? I expect insurers would ask about any such disclosure to the villa owner/management which would obviously swing the dial with regard to a claim. At the base of it you have accepted to enter into a contract which includes the clause you quoted with regard to insuring on basis of expense per insured person, not payment per insured person. In essence if other villa occupants have not sought insurance then this is an issue for them of their own underinsurance.

  • DJ says:

    @Rob, You recommended Hilton Bankside for my stay in London next week. However, I just noticed that I’m ~9k points away from IHG Spire. I’m very tempting just to book my stay with Hotel Indigo, with additional points package, as none of the ICs are open this month.

    Do you happen to have a recommendation on Indigo in London? I read the Leicester Square one is quite good, but they are currently closed also 🙁

    Thanks

    • Andrew says:

      The ‘Kensington’ one at Earls Court is very nice, as is Tower Hill. Generally Indigo standard is very good with nice extras in the room (the mini bar in Earls Court is free, including beer and wine).

      • Rob says:

        Yes, Earls Court is OK and convenient for the tube. Paddington is also fine but not a very exciting area (albeit Earls Court is a bit rundown too!). Can’t comment on Tower Hill.

    • DJ says:

      Thank you both!

  • Wollhouse says:

    I know options w curve are reduced, but I thought I’d give it another try… EVERY transaction I previously tried was declined (curve said they were high risk fraud – Edinburgh Zoo and my local coal supplier, all ATM attempts, and my local cafe…) because I’m a glutton for punishment, I thought let’s try again… so, tried to load my card into Apple Pay…. only to get “Your issuer does not yet offer support for this card”… when I know it does…And yes, I’ve tried deleting the app, restarting phone, and reloading app.. I think the universe is trying to tell me something!

    • Lady London says:

      did you reinstall the app

    • Peter K says:

      It could be your card linked to curve. Sometimes they (creation can be bad for this) block a card/transaction as fraud and don’t tell you.

    • Wollhouse says:

      Customer service responded quickly- they advised that my black legacy card doesn’t work with any of the new features (like Apple Pay). He said it is also the reason all my transactions were declined. Not what they told me at the time, but changing my card might at least let me see if it works;) thanks for your help. Fingers crossed

      • DJ says:

        Hmm, I’m not sure if that’s entirely accurate, as I have a Black Legacy card, and I am using a Creation IHG card as the underlying card, with Apple Pay enabled on my phone and watch.

        With creation, you get some old limit per transaction, for example, I have never been able to spend more than £1000 per transaction a day via Curve .. and then smaller transactions that add up to more than £1000 would be okay … Anyways, I think the transaction problem could be entirely Creation

  • Nigel W says:

    Quick question, does anyone know when Cathay Pacific flights are loaded onto BA for Avios bookings?

    • The Original Nick says:

      Just checked a random date in November and seats are there.