Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Tuesday 11th August

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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.

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.

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 (233)

  • TheThunderer says:

    Does anyone know what’s happening to BA flights to South Africa in late July / early August next year (Lions rugby tour)? No surprise that I can’t see any Avios availability, but I can’t see any cash availability either. I’ll try to speak to BA today but it’s taking a long time to get through again.

    • Anna says:

      They may not have been released yet, though it’s also been mentioned on here that summer schedules for 2021 haven’t been finalised yet.

    • pauldb says:

      There was a discussion on FT. Apparently BA were quite open that they were giving themselves some extra time to plan capacity and tour operator fares. So presumably one day the flights will appear without warning.

    • BSI1978 says:

      I likewise have a daily reminder to search for flights but can only see dates out to the end of July, whilst I am keen on the latter 2 tests!

      Having spoken with a pal at the weekend, the view/suspicion was that BA et al wouldn’t release flights until the various operators had released their own inclusive packages early September.

      • Anna says:

        You’re never going to see cash fares more than 50 weeks in advance, I’m not sure why anyone is even looking as far ahead as next August yet.

        • Craig Maurice says:

          I looked on RewardFlightFinder and see first class seats to JHB for literally everyday up until end of July 2021 … is this correct!!??

          • Rob says:

            Probably not. RFF and SeatSpy have issued at present due to a dodgy BA data feed.

  • Ant says:

    Got a flight booked with Westjet to Vancouver for September. Anyone has any experience with Westjet? What happens if they cancel the flight? Thanks

    • Rhys says:

      You’re departing the UK (I assume) so they have to abide by EU261 🙂

    • AJA says:

      Ant Not sure what cabin you’re travelling in but there are several favourable reviews of Westjet business class on youtube. According to the Westjet website they are currently (until 4 Sep) only flying LGW-YYC (Calgary) so I think you should expect to receive a cancellation email unless they can re-route you via YYC. That said according to user ID YYCCL3 on FT Westjet is refunding UK customers due to pressure from the UK CAA. All other cancellations seem to be in the form of credit notes to be used against future flights. I don’t know how long refunds are taking to process.

      • Lady London says:

        As flights to Vancouver also seem to be disappering out of shorter term schedules personally if allowed entry I would ask Westjet to reroute me.

  • WillPS says:

    Curve MCC – anybody know if this is likely to be fixed anytime soon? I’m cycling £2k via HH and ERNIE and it all seems to be going fine…

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      No, just keep riding the gravy train until it reaches its final destination!

      • Graeme2 says:

        I thought I read here last week that this had been fixed now – is that wrong?

        • stevenhp1987 says:

          Curve have fixed MCC pass through. Ernie worked with that enabled anyways as it goes through as 9399 “government services”.

    • Crafty says:

      Bizarre to ask this openly

      • Doug M says:

        It’s been mentioned in comments thousand of times. Eventually it’ll end, and they’ll be something else.
        @WillPS up your game, £2K is peanuts 🙂
        Those Whiz adverts are really ugly and intrude in my sight line.

    • FP says:

      Works for me with another underlying plastic.
      I know Ernie, but not HH. Sounds like an hotel heiress name and her honours, but I thought that plastic was Brighton and therefore would not work? Help please.

      • Wally1976 says:

        Yes it is what you say but not Amex, it’s a VISA (the US version is Amex I believe).

  • HH ADMIN says:

    WillPS. Thanks for telling us. We’ll shut that down ASAP.

    • WillPS says:


    • AJA says:


    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      It’s been mentioned here basically every day for months. Really don’t think there’s any HfP chat thread reader who is not aware of it already 😀 😀

      • Crafty says:

        It’s not chat readers that are the issue, it’s anyone doing sophisticated and systematic Googling of their financial product’s name in relation to other trigger terms.

  • Anna says:

    Good experience with IHG, which is encouraging after meta’s issues in Amsterdam. I booked a night at the Kimpton Clocktower in September (for a conveniently-placed mini-break and to trigger the extra Ambassador 40k night) at a very good rate, but subsequently saw an alert on the booking that the hotel is closed until October . IHG have made no attempt to contact me about this and haven’t responded to an online query. I called the hotel directly yesterday and was told to email my preferred date to them and they would honour the original price. A few hours later I got an email back confirming the new date and original rate and upgrading us to a deluxe room 😀

    • meta says:

      Great result!

    • Harry T says:

      Great result, pleased for you! So many hotels are closed at the moment but still bookable. The Glasshouse in Edinburgh are closed until November but have kindly moved my booking until next August bank holiday and retained the price (I imagine rates on those dates will be two or three times higher, if the festival goes ahead).

      • Anna says:

        The Clocktower is definitely the best option for triggering the 40k free night – minimal travel involved and at £92 for the night well worth it for the $300 value I’m hoping to get for the free night, plus it looks a lovely hotel and the Manchester Food & Drink festival is on while we’re there.

        We’re at the Newcastle Indigo this weekend, £45 per night on the current bogof offer and looking forward to trying the Marco Pierre White restaurant.

        • Harry T says:

          Thanks for the heads up on the Kimpton Clocktower – I shall probably try it at some point.

          Wave at us from the Hotel Indigo this weekend! 😂

        • Hugh Jardon says:

          Make sure you order the Stottie in Newcastle. As you are retired, Greggs do a 2 for 1 for pensioners.

          • Michael says:

            To me a pensioner means someone of state pensionable age, not someone who retires early at 50.

            My retired, multimillionaire ex dentist uncle (59) claims the pensioners price when he gets his haircut.

            I guess that’s how the rich stay rich.

          • Anna says:

            I was starting to miss you, Hugh. I do love a Gregg’s breakfast, though, it’s so cheap you don’t need any kind of discount!
            Michael – it’s not “early” retirement if it’s always been a provision of your pension scheme. As for these “pensioner” discounts, I assumed you would have to show something like a bus pass to prove you’re eligible, which obviously you can’t get at 50. Otherwise I suspect my OH would be dragging me to B & Q with him lol.

          • Nick_C says:

            Shopping in TJ Maxx in Florida when I was still in my mid 50s, I was both happily surprised and slightly insulted to find a 10% senior discount on my bill. No ID asked for. I guess my face said it all 🙁

          • Lady London says:

            Grrr they never gave me that.

          • AJA says:

            @ Michael I do hope your ex-dentist uncle gave you mates rates when you had any work done. As for being a pensioner I think that anyone who gets a pension is entitled to call themselves that. A person who gets the state pension is an old age pensioner.

            @ Anna how did you manage to get a pension at 50? I thought the earliest you can get a private pension is 55 soon to rise to 57. I plan to start taking my private pensions at 55 so got another 3 years to go (thankfully before the 57 age limit comes into force). Unfortunately I do have to wait till I am 67 to get my hands on the State Pension 🙁

        • Pid says:

          We really enjoyed the Newcastle indigo when we stayed last year for the Great North Run. Was not such a bargain as £92 pound though!

  • Brian says:

    “ President Trump is considering new immigration rules that would allow border officials to temporarily block an American citizen or legal permanent resident from returning to the United States from abroad if the authorities have reason to believe the person may be infected with the coronavirus.”

    I doubt that this is even possible but if it’s true that it’s even being considered it shows how unlikely it is that people from the U.K. will be allowed in any time soon.

    • ChrisC says:

      Source for that? Putting something in quotes does not make it official.

      A country cannot deny entry to its own citizens. But it can require them to undergo medical screening or quarantine at home or in a hotel etc.

      People from the U.K. can enter the US from all sorts of countries if they either comply with restrictions or arrive from a safe country and have spent enough time there.

      • Anna says:

        I would have thought they already have procedures in place for “dealing with” anyone considered a health hazard, citizen or otherwise, and don’t need more specific powers for COVID…

      • Nick_C says:

        Copy the text and Google it. Takes all if two seconds.

        • ChrisC says:

          And it would have taken Brian 2 seconds to post that link in the first place!

          Standard blog policy across the web is if you quote from an article then blooming we’ll link to it,

      • Brian says:

        “ Putting something in quotes does not make it official.”

        Well yes. Hence why I put “if it’s true”. Obviously they can’t do that but if it’s something they would want to to do then they clearly won’t allow most foreigners in any time soon.

        It might be nonsense of course, but given the recent mad stuff coming out of America it could be true.

      • Brian says:

        “ People from the U.K. can enter the US from all sorts of countries if they either comply with restrictions or arrive from a safe country and have spent enough time there.”

        For most people that’s not an option though. I can’t think many will go to a “safe” country for two weeks just so they can go to America for a holiday.

        • Peter North says:

          Relax mate, its not as if your going there anyway. Its lovely day chill out and crack open a beer.

      • Lady London says:

        Is anyone aware of another country than Turkey that 2 weeks could be spent in as a Brit en route to the US?

        In that case is a visa needed? i think my Esta just expired.

        The state I need to visit for an urgent errand has similar infection rates to England.

  • Keely says:

    Morning all , quick questioned IHG card – how soon do the bonus points post to your account please? Do I have to wait til the end of the qualifying period ,3 months in this case ?

  • Reney says:

    Question to others who have the Tesco credit card, if you get charged a cash advance fee will you see it straight away in the app or will it be end of the month in your statement? Thx

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