Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Tuesday 4th August

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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.

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: https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/08/04/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-tuesday-4th-august/comment-page-1.  The page will refresh with this article but the comments will now show the first page and not the last page.

Old chat threads are hidden from the HFP home page.  If you want to look for something in an old thread, click here.  This brings up all the articles in our ‘General’ category which includes the chat threads.

Comments (222)

  • Loser Shopper says:

    Having spent most of the last 12 months flying on non-BA metal, I’ve found myself needing to complete 3 BA flights to retain status (tier points are not an issue) this side of my September year-end date.

    Is there a route I can take to accomplish this in one day? Looking at the affected schedules, I’ve not found a route that gives me enough time wriggle room between flights or that has a destination with a further BA flight.

    • ChrisC says:

      Where are you based? You get better advice when we have more info.

      There is a thread on the BA flyer talk board about ‘back to back’ airports where you basically get off the plane and then get straight back on it such as AMS, EDI and NCL (there are more than that but those are the three that come to mind) without having to go through passport control or security.

      Though at the moment doing this in a single day with the rediced schedules may be tricky.

      BTW when you say Sept year end I assume you mean the 8th Sept as TP collection year end rather than 30th Status year end (which would mean TP collection ends on 8th August)

      • Loser Shopper says:

        I’m based in Brighton. LGW is the most convenient but not much use for BA at the moment. LHR the next best, but still inconvenient, hence the need for a 1 day slog.

        Ideally domestic flights – Jersey and Dublin did look like good, cheap choices for the start of September but no options for the middle leg of the run. Newquay was also an option but would be cutting it fine with less than an hour between arriving and departing.

        • ChrisC says:

          If you chose an airport where arrivals decant into departures you basically get off and just wait there until boarding is ready.

          I believe Jersey is one such airport but Dublin is not.

          If you go to the BA board on flyer talk and search for “turnaround” there is a very good thread about doing back to backs and which airport are beer for it.

        • Andrew says:

          You do realise that at Newquay you’ll be boarding the same plane you arrived in?

          If it’s late arriving, it’ll be late departing… Not sure if you have to go out and back in though. In Edinburgh you arrive into departures on a domestic and can just join the boarding queue.

          If it’s a domestic, unless things have changed recently, you don’t have to do the tier runs yourself. 😉

        • Lady London says:

          lgw-dub-lgw on one ba ticket, then lgw-dub on ba and ryanair back to lgw? or secod ticket with a return far, far ahead dub to lgw if pricing works better that way, that you could either not use or if worth it pay s change fee to amend later.

          • ChrisC says:

            EI does not appearing to be operating LGW-DUB at the moment. And the OP needs a BA qualifying flight that counts for status not merely TPs. And EI isn’t a member of One World so I’m not sure they would count as qualifying flight even if booked on a BA codeshare number that would get avios and TPs.

            The risk of doing a back to back on EI is that the plane doing the LON-DUB leg may not be the same one as goes back to LON because DUB is it’s base so it can be sent anywhere EI wants it to go. A BA flight has to go back to LHR (even if it is sent somewhere else afterwards)

            Also DUB is not as easy as AMS or EDI or NCL as you have to clear immigration and security all before doors close 20 mins before the flight and is not for the feight hearted or risk averse.

            OP needs to look at airports where they can basically get off and then get on again without reclearing security or immigration to keep it simple And given the restricted schedules it’s something that might best be done over 2 days rather than 1 even if that is a bother.

            If things were normal LHR-AMS-LHR-NCL* -LHR would be possible in one day but it would make a long day!

            OP would only need to clear immigration and seciruty on arrioval from AMS otherwise AMS and NCL* are get off and on again

            * or any of the other domestics where you can do it.

      • Loser Shopper says:

        …and, yes, 8th Sep year end.

    • Rhys says:

      Domestic flights?

    • GillyDee says:

      Am I missing something here? I thought they’d waived the number of BA/IB flights required?

      “You don’t need to have met the minimum eligible flights requirement to benefit from the 12-month extension, which is being applied to those memberships with Tier Point collection end dates of July 2020 – June 2021.

      The eligible flights requirement will apply for members to qualify for the 25% Tier threshold reduction in order to upgrade, or subsequently renew their membership for the following year.”

      • Loser Shopper says:

        I am Bronze with enough tier points for Gold but with only 1 BA flight this year. There is no forbearance on number of BA flights flown. I have had a long and unpleasant online chat with Exec Club staff who are not giving me credit even for flights that BA have cancelled.

        • GillyDee says:

          Ah.. I see. Retaining Bronze when you’ve earned enough TP for Gold is a bummer,

    • AJA says:

      Are you sure you need to bother? Isn’t your status automatically extended by a year as part of the concessions announced in June?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      only advice I can give is IB flights count but means visiting Spain and currently 14 days quarantine

      Or give up two days and stay at a cheap LHR hotel?

  • Zoe says:

    I notice that the UK had over 900 cases yesterday and believe Spain having over 900 was what triggered the quarantine. If it’s all about the data will the whole country be joining me in 14 days of quarantine now I wonder?
    Yes I’m only on day 6 and I’m still 100% compliant but struggling to see any logic – my husband can’t wait for it to be over I don’t think it makes me easy to live with!

  • Wally1976 says:

    Suggestions please for the most convenient Hilton, Marriott or IHG hotels for Heathrow T5. Preferably with free bus to the terminal. Thanks

    • Chris Heyes says:

      [email protected] We always stay at the Sofitel (never stayed anywhere else)
      If no good deals on Sofitel features on secret escapes most times easy to find
      couldn’t tell you if any better Hotels around there but I’M sure others on here would know

    • Lady London says:

      If I was rich I would do HGI T2 and take the train. Better priced would be HGI Hatton Cross taking train. IHG has 2 hotels right at T4 also take the train. Apparently bus 423 which is free in that area would take you from the IHG Stsybridge/HI on thr Bath Road but there is a barriered dual carriageway in one direction requiring you to schlep your luggage to the traffuc light crossing IIRC.

  • Chris Heyes says:

    A Word of warning i did 6 referrals from platinum, because they didn’t come through at same tine
    i didn’t notice one didn’t come through at all (my stupid fault i know lol)
    When i finally noticed i gave them a ring they investigated and yes i was missing a referral
    But they said the person hadn’t used my link (but she had)
    After a couple more phone calls (Brighton) I Told them I’ve found my sent email with my link on
    which i could forward to them, they said no need we believe you we will add your points on manually will take 48 hours to show
    Moral is keep a check on any referrals and KEEP your sent email with link

  • C says:

    Has anyone had any success getting a shop small credit when a restaurant was listed on the map but actually did not accept Amex? I got a receipt. Thanks

    • Craig says:

      I have but it took perseverance, make sure you have a screenshot of the map too.

    • dezbez says:

      Bizarrely I had Boots and Next showing on my local map, which I’m pretty sure aren’t eligible!

  • Mark says:

    Hi, I have a 2 night stay at the Hilton Syon park this weekend but want to maximise the 2k per stay points offer…if I change the stay to 2 separate 1 night bookings from people’s experience when you arrive can the front desk give you the same room for both nights? Thanks

    • Rob says:

      Does no harm although Hilton Honors IT should be set up to spot this. Easier to book 2nd night in your partners name and transfer the points across to your Hilton account (although you would lose your status bonus).

    • Connor says:

      Yes, they did this for me for 2 separate Hotels.com bookings no problem.

    • Lady London says:

      consecutive nights in the same hotel are alays considered all part of the same stay *even if* you check out thenbin again. IIRC this rule applies for all chains.

      The wa round this is either switch between hotels each day (tends to get protest from some partners) or better solution..

      you book one night on your membership, your partner books the next night on their membership. Rinse and repeat for any following days you’re staying that dont have at least 1 night’s gap. At checkin advise the hotel you’d prefer not to change room (not usually a problem – just be candid). check out and in each day and make sure they dont combine the folios.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Unless you’re switching the name / account booking it won’t get you two lots of 2k

    • Tracy says:

      I booked 2 weeks in Florida a couple of years ago alternating nights between me and OH to qualify for platinum challenge through stays lol. Main issue I encountered was the credit card deposits took a week to cancel off and we had to pay it 14 times……also the key card stopped working everyday even though they kept us in the same room lol.

  • William R B says:

    Niche question:

    Has anybody entered France on arrival at BSL (Swiss side) recently? Can one still just walk over as usual or are there forms now needed for CH and again for F? Or put another way, what is the likely time from disembarkation to arrival on the French side?

    • Lady London says:

      you used to just choose if you walked out under the sign to france or the sign to switzerland (CH). once youd gone out one way you couldnt change your mind. The 2 exits were never ever mixed you didnt gp through one then the other.

      Has that changed?

      • John says:

        On the arrivals level landside (inside the building only) you can freely cross between both sides, but sometimes customs officers are posted there.

        • Lady London says:

          correct for landside.
          for airside, to leave the building you alwayshad to choose to exit to either F or CH.

          Which side is very important for things like car hire. For car hire it’s also very important to hire from the side you want.

          If you’re driving back to the airport from Switzerland it’s actually quite a detour to realign yourself and get yourself over the border back to F if you hired in F and dropping in F. You can’t drop a car hired in F in the Swiss side rental carpark even if you’re running late for your plane. You have to drop it in the F side rental carpark. Even, technically, if they’ve given you a vehicle with Swiss plates. Typically the charge for dropping a car in another countryis about £300 and I wouldnt want to give them an opportunity to charge it.

          To increase the chance of getting a car with the Swiss motorway pass already stuck on it I used to put a note on my F booking requesting a CH-registered car if available. This saves a lot of money on short trips.

          • Tom H says:

            +1 on this, I had to return a Sixt car to the F side having picked it up in Grenoble. Having never been to the f drop off, it was an absolute nightmare, and I was running extremely late, then there were no checkin desks on the F side for LH so had to go through to the CH side. An experience I would try to never repeat.

    • John says:

      I don’t think either country requires a form.

      • William R B says:

        Thanks all, even though nobody has recent experience. I’ll report back in September if anything has changed – that is if BA don’t cancel the flight (happened twice with Easyjet).

  • Ben says:

    Has anyone managed to get the TAP status match to work? I today received the email confirming validation of my application. I now have to either buy miles or join the Club TAP Miles&Go. Joining the club at the lowest level costs EUR99 however it needs a tax number and I can’t get any combination of numbers to be accepted!

    Buying miles, the email states that you must buy at least 4000 miles (not 2000 as in the HfP article) and this costs EUR140. I’m reluctant to do this when joining the club instead yields 14,000 miles. So, has anyone managed to do this?

    • AJA says:

      I am.yet to apply, I am trying to maximising the time I hold it. But to answer your question I read somewhere that people have used their National Insurance number.

    • Lady London says:

      someone said they used their NHS number. Alternatively for these kinds of cases its always worth a google to get format expected or other creative ideas 🙂