Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Wednesday 12th 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 (206)

  • Jim says:

    “To guide us in building the very best travel Loyalty program, we searched the globe for new ideas. We worked with industry-leading partners to develop better products. Most importantly, we listened carefully to the 36,000+ customers who generously shared their suggestions and provided feedback as we tested new features. Thank you very much.

    Today, we’re excited to share the results: a transformed Aeroplan, with improvements driven by you. We’re making it easier to earn and redeem points; we’re making it possible to share benefits with friends and family; and we’re introducing new ways to upgrade your travel experience. Above all, we want to earn our place in your life, and be the program you count on for your travels—near and far. “

    This is why, at every opportunity, one should exploit loyalty programmes as far as possible, as quickly as possible. The strong survive and the weak do not deserve to survive. “…we searched the globe…”


  • Nick_C says:

    Disposable face masks cannot be used on flights to France. Single use surgical masks only.

    • Worzel says:

      More research maybe Nick? You can’t always rely on what you read in the papers………

      • Nick_C says:

        Sorry. Typo.

        Reusable face masks cannot be used on flights to France. Single use surgical masks only.

    • BJ says:

      What am I missing here, are single use and disposable not the same thing?

      • Anna says:

        I think they mean the 3 layer surgical masks as opposed to “home made” face coverings. Though even with the former they won’t know if you have use it before!

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Its not you BJ, they’re definitely synonymous!

      • BJ says:

        Something lost in translation I guess 🙂

    • Nick_C says:

      Sorry. Typo.

      Reusable face masks cannot be used on flights to France. Single use surgical masks only.

      • Lady London says:

        note that what France calls a surgical mask, I am sure any surgeon would never be allowed to wear for work.

        They mean those packs of 10 disposable masks that now cost so much more than they used to from places like Boots, for example.

        • Nick_C says:

          The article states they have to be EN 14683 compliant.

          That means “medical face masks intended to limit the transmission of infective agents from staff to patients during surgical procedures and other medical settings with similar requirements”

  • Andy says:

    No, reusable masks cannot be used.

  • Gavin says:

    Anyone know what loads are like on BA short haul now? We’re on BA2876 on Friday to Paphos. A glance at the seat map shows 50% of the economy seats still empty with two days to go. Anyone without status can only choose a seat from tomorrow though…

    • Brian says:

      The requirement by Cyprus for a test carried out within 72 hours of the flight might be why it’s half full/empty.

      Many flights are reasonably full at the moment as the number of flights is down massively vs last year.

      • Rob says:

        I looked at going to Hamburg. BA is running 3 per week vs the usual 20 or so. Not exactly useful.

      • Sandra says:

        Also be prepared on landing for spot check testing. My friend (Cyprus resident) says that when her neighbours flew in last week they were held on the aircraft for 3 hours whilst everyone was retested despite all having had a test 72 hours before flying!

        • Lady London says:

          you mean….held on the aircraft without the full proper air cleansing systems working..

          so as to ensure any passenger on that plane with Covid infected at the very least 41 others?

          Way to go, Cyprus!

          • Gavin says:

            Looked in again just now. A lot more seats blocked though still 40 hours out.

            They’ve released the extra legroom rows though… nabbed.

    • Lottie says:

      My flights to Brindisi, Italy were pretty much full both ways just the odd free seat. It was still looking fairly quiet until free seat choice at 24 hrs.

    • memesweeper says:

      I’ve taken four European short hauls with BA in the last few weeks and all were 80 – 95% full front and back.

  • Anna says:

    Like another poster yesterday, I’ve cancelled my subscription to RFF – showing no availability whatsoever this morning!

    • Pat the Postie says:

      Yeah its broke, I cancelled after the Virgin flights disappeared and no reduction in costs, since then i used the free version no problems.

    • Lady London says:

      Does anyone think BA is messing up the available feed to sites like RFF and Seatspy to disrupt them commercially?

      I am still annoyed at what the airlines did to myflights, which was a highly useful and
      timely service alerting you when the airlines didnt, and before that checkmytrip.

  • Anna says:

    Has anyone redeemed a Lloyds upgrade voucher on a Cityflyer regional flight recently? I don’t think there was ever a definitive answer to this. I have a last voucher I need to redeem before October and it would be really good to be able to use it on a direct flight from MAN.

    • Mick S says:

      You might be able to get the voucher extended by 6 months.

      • Anna says:

        I think even so I won’t have the avios for another long haul next year, got 7 return flights (2 family trips!) using 3 companion vouchers already booked! Need to start building up avios again when my Amex sign up eligibility resets next March.

  • FFoxSake says:

    Cheap rates at Thistle Heathrow T5 via available today – rooms from £27.50 twin/double. £43 family.
    I was looking at September, but it could be for all dates.
    POD transfers unfortunately still closed I believe. Always a fun part of a trip.

    • Pat the Postie says:

      Thats a bargain might even cancel my staybridge booking, but the lack of PODs means I still have to get a taxi or worse the bus…

    • Rob says:

      It’s the ONLY fun part of that Thistle 🙂 For £27.50 though ….

    • Jody says:

      We’re staying here in November. Think it was booked on a non refundable rate though.

      Is there a free bus I can get to terminal 5 if the pods aren’t running? I vaguely remember something about this.

      We are off to Nice (booked when it was the offer for 3 nights for the price of 2 and free helicopter transfers!). Yesterday I had an email from BA to say the outward flight had been cancelled. Contacted BA and was put onto an earlier flight. Was a little bit surprised they didn’t just do this automatically though.

    • Anna says:

      Sadly not for next summer!

  • Rahaney says:

    It seems some have been able to move BA redemption flights into future revenue seats?

    Can anyone attest to this and give some data points – like which office you spoke to etc.


    • Anna says:

      IF BA cancels your avios flight, you are entitled to be re-routed (on BA or another airline) even if there are only revenue seats available. Also some people have been reporting using future travel vouchers taken for avios seats on new bookings where there was no avios availability. Any CSA can do either of these.

      • Rahaney says:

        Hi Anna. My cancelled flights were WTP & Avios upgrades to CW in September to ZA. Can I change my dates to next year in CW without charge?

        • Anna says:

          When were they cancelled and have you accepted anything from BA yet? If it’s recent and you’re just deciding what to do (i.e. not asked for refund or voucher), you can call them and ask to be put on another flight at a later date, in the same cabin. However, bear in mind that South Africa appears to be closed to visitors for some time to come.

          • Anna says:

            You could also ask for a different destination in the same zone, a reader said they had done this yesterday.

          • Rahaney says:

            The first leg was cancelled overnight. I spoke to India and they said any flights I wanted to change to next year needing to have a reward flights available. So I left it. Figure I’ve got some time to sort. Thanks

          • Lady London says:

            @Rahaney that’s rubbish. Airline has to give you any available seats in same class of travel on a reroute.

            Call again, and this time make sure you’re not speaking to India.

          • Lady London says:

            *whatever you do, do *not* accept a voucher because if you do tgen when you do come to rebook the avios seats restriction will apply.

            So best to wait till a few days before your cancelled flight to optimise the length of your forward booking window and then reroute (rebook to a later date) and no they cannit insist on an avios seat being available. Just make sure you’re not talking to India.

    • pauldb says:

      I gave this a second go yesterday and was successful. I had an off peak CTA-LON cancelled this month, and wanted to move it to Jun next year (peak: the last Saturday of half term). First time I was refused as no avios availability. Second time agent (India) said no availability but without prompting put me on hold, presumably to check, and came back to say they could do it.
      I now appear to be booked in C (flight was J9C9D0I0U) and I can select seats for free! Wondering if I should put in my IB+ number instead for more chance of getting avios. 🙂