Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Wednesday 19th 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.

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Comments (139)

  • Lottie says:

    has anyone had any luck booking a flight and car with a BA voucher, i rang yesterday to use mine and was told it couldnt be done, flight only. Very frustrating as adding the car was a lot cheaper and i was trying to compromise over making several complaints about getting a voucher i didn’t request in the first place. I still have no sign of the transcript of the calls to BA that i have requested twice. Back to the drawing board i guess.

    • Anna says:

      Is it a purely cash voucher? I had one of these and only recall that it specified it had to be a “new booking”. I used it towards the cash element of a 2 4 1 avios booking, so I can confirm it can be done that way around anyway.

      • Anna says:

        How many of you are travelling? If more than one, could you get round this by using the voucher for flights but booking one person on the BA package? (You can have a package for one traveller, I’ve done it a couple of times).

        • Lottie says:

          There are 3 of us travelling. I tried that as i remembered you saying, the car for one was an option before. Unfortunately it came out pretty much the same price as flights for all 3 plus a car from somewhere else, no saving.

  • Anna says:

    Data point – IHG. If you’re counting on collecting nights via the current bogof offer, be aware that only half the nights are credited. I had 2 nights in 2 rooms at the Newcastle Indigo last weekend but they have only been counted as 2 nights towards status. I do seem to have been credited the full amount of points though.

    • marcw says:

      I think that’s how it should be. You get credited points for both rooms, but only nights for one room. I stayed in a couple of Ibis in France last couple of weeks, and got points and nights for both rooms.

      • Anna says:

        Thanks, that explains it. I usually book a 2nd room on points but I’ve been taking advantage of the bogof offer recently.

  • Paul says:

    Does anyone know how open barbados is at the moment? Thinking of going for a week next week.. I dont mind getting pcr etc but not so keen if we will be the only tourists there!

    • meta says:

      I’d like to know this too, but I don’t mind if there are no tourists as long as things are open.

      • Rob says:

        We have it booked as back up for October half term if the UAE falls through. Quite like the idea of empty hotels! Virgin had a lot of Upper Class reward availability a few weeks ago.

        • meta says:

          Rob is weather ok in late September/early October?

          • Rob says:

            In theory it’s hurricane season but Barbados hasn’t been hit since 1955. In my experience of June, you get sharp burst of torrential rain and then blue sky immediately appears and everything dries up in 10 minutes.

      • Pid says:

        Currently planning to go to in Oct and I think the weather will be fine. Just need to decide where to stay.

    • Doc says:

      How are you planning to get the PCR test? Its only free on the NHS if you have symptoms and everywhere else it seems very expensive and no guarantees of a 48 hour turn around time?

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Certain occupations can get one regardless. Also depends on your feeling about using the NHS even if you don’t have symptoms, what if you are asymptomatic and would risk passing it on?

        There’s no chance the NHS capacity is being used right now.

      • lumma says:

        Working at one of the NHS sites, while in theory it’s only free if you have symptoms, most people we test are people wanting a free test before holidays. It’s still a bit of a risk as there’s a chance it could come back unclear, more likely if you opt to test yourself rather than have the NHS staff do it

  • Michael C says:

    Mini-report: long w/end at Conrad St James.
    Just to say had a lovely stay: I had a King Exec. for 3 booked at GBP160 (admittedly via Family and Friends) which I upgraded for GBP36 to a Junior Suite (nice recommend Rob, thnx!).
    Everywhere was of course quiet, but the staff could not have been kinder, including a couple of sms a day checking if all was well/asking for any requests, etc.
    Exec. lounge. “only has soft drinks”: not even any individual cereal bars/crisps, etc. Would have been a nice space to work in, if needed. To compensate for this, we had a free bar in the Blue Boar for an hour each evening, including small canapés.
    Breakfast was the highlight: as there was no buffet, we could literally order anything off the à la carte – fabulous.
    Room ok size for London, even with extra bed, revolving tv, separate shower/bath and, nice plus for me, Shanghai Tang products!

  • ChrisC says:

    Because there is no guarentee that BA would award Prem to the person in the other company.

    It would be expected that the company deciding to award a contract to BA has gone through it’s own processes before awarding the contract and that would reduce any possible bribery.

    The the decision by BA to award Prem is made after the contract is awarded and with no guarentee of Prem being awarded anyway it’s difficult to say there is any bribery involved.

  • Nick Newbury says:

    Guys a question. I just got a BA Amex card. The reason I did was due to spends on new kitchen and other stuff which will get me the £10,000 2 4 1 flight deal. I understand I can get pro rata refund on the £195 fee if I want to cancel within 12 months. If I hit the £10 k quickly can I downgrade/ get refund and change to a no fee card but keep the avios and the voucher?

  • Optimus Prime says:

    Looks like Hawaii has delayed reopening (again) till October

    • Louise K says:

      Yes, rise of cases on Oahu and a few on Maui and BI.

      I wouldnt expect it to be open by October either.

  • graham says:

    Am £1,000 away from triggering a 2-4-1 BA voucher and have no ‘big spend’ to get me over the line in the time left. So was thinking of booking an AVIOS flight with taxes in excess of £1000 and once the voucher is in my BA account simply cancel the flight. Anyone know if that logic works ?

    • Connor says:

      Reserve an expensive phone from Argos, wait for the voucher and cancel the reservation. Much easier.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      It’ll work as will Argos

      Or Buy some gift cards for your usual supermarket or Amazon etc?