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The HfP chat thread – Monday 31st August

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We have decided to run this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the de facto repository for random comments and questions.  With the news flow being lighter, we are running fewer ‘Bits’ articles.

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 at home, we want the HfP community to have a place to chat.

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Comments (142)

  • Manny_D says:

    I had read a couple days ago that the Amex Platinum annual fee could be paid monthly. Would this apply if I were to upgrade from the Green to the Platinum?

    • Genghis says:

      Only on request to Amex. Ask them.

      • Manny_D says:

        Will give it a try again. Called yesterday and was informed by the CS agent (not Brighton) that this was only available as a retention offer for those already on Platinum.

        • Anna says:

          I’m hoping they’ll let me pay monthly when I apply again next March, but if they don’t it’ll get added to my repertoire of reasons for cancelling!

          • Andrew says:

            It’s available to existing members on request to try and retain you, not for new members or upgrades.

          • Anna says:

            They might be more desperate for new customers by next March. The economy is only going in one direction.

  • Doug M says:

    Finally accepted my Orlando trip in October is not happening. Delta moved the Orlando to JFK return first sector by 3+ hours which meant free refund. Just called Delta, refund handled promptly and professionally in 5 minutes, including wait time, email confirmation received before call finished. Delta going up my list of good behaviour.

    • Harry T says:

      Delta have been great throughout this crisis, from what I’ve heard.

      • Harry T says:

        Glad you got your money back!

        • Doug says:

          Harry if recent events have taught us one thing it’s that getting a refund and having the money returned are separate things 🙂

  • Ian says:

    Could someone please help me with maths on Hilton points.

    I am getting confused!

    Is a £1,000 stay or 268,000 points better value?

    Rob says he gets 0.33p per point.

    This is for a Conrad on 5 for 4 nights so already reduced in points requirement.

    • Anna says:

      It really depends on whether paying in cash or points is more important to you – £1000 for 5 nights sounds quite reasonable for a Conrad, though you don’t say which was it is.

    • Andrew says:

      Impossible to define what is right for you.

      What else would you spend the 268,000 on if you don’t spend it on the Conrad?

      What else would you spend the £1000 on if you don’t spend it on the Conrad?

    • Genghis says:

      As others have said, it depends on a lot of things. I’ve loads of points so would spend the Hilton points almost regardless. If you’re not flush with HHs, running the numbers, at first level you’re better off paying with points (getting 0.37p) but then you’d earn points on the cash stay (you’ll need to run the numbers on the net return yourself). HH points can generally be bought for 0.4p ea so arguably, if you can get between 0.37p and 0.4p elsewhere and you’re not flush with points, pay cash. Confused? Lol.

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        “you’d earn points on the cash stay” Or the points stay too. So many offers running that I got back just about the points cost of a night from the many and various bonus and promo points on my points stay last week.

  • Anna says:

    Has anyone ever stayed at the Intercontinental Maldives? Having planned (if not booked) most of my travel for next year, I’m mulling over options for OH’s retirement (and our first proper holiday as couple for 17 years!) in 2022. I will have a lot of HH points plus IHG points, free night certificates and Ambassador bogof nights, so Hilton or IHG are the most likely options. I’ve looked at the Seychelles Hiltons but they all seem a bit lacking in either location or service for what they charge. The IC Maldives seems to offer a decent package in terms of Club benefits, which would hopefully persuade the OH that it’s worth the cost (and the diving is supposed to be very good).

    • Anna says:

      There also looks to be a newish Curio Maldives, which is piquing my interest as it’s only 15 minutes by speedboat from Male. It does look slightly like it might be an artifical island though. Anyone tried it? It’s 74k points per night so would be a decent option if the HH points don’t quite stretch to the Conrad (plus the transfer costs are far lower).

      • Anna says:

        Sack that, just had a look on TripAdvisor and it sounds awful! It’s not going to do much for the Curio brand reputation.

      • Anna says:

        Thanks Debs – it might just be worth it at that price, there are some terrible reviews! Inedible food and no marine life by most accounts.

    • KK says:

      Intercontinental Maldives Maamunagau is in Raa atoll on a (mostly) natural island with lots of marine life (has a house reef which is key for snorkelling) but is a seaplane from Male airport so extra cost. Curio is completely man-made so no reef & lots of construction damage and is within view of trash island (google Thilafushi) but does have the advantage of being a 15 min speedboat ride.

      • Anna says:

        The Curio made me think of a Disney hotel somewhere like Nassau, which you can get to much more easily and quickly! It would need to be somewhere special to do the slog to the Maldives again. Apparently the IC is near a marine reserve with whale sharks and manta rays so it’s unlikely to spark any protests from my OH!

    • pauldb says:

      There are also Six Senses in both destinations which might come on to IHG at some point – don’t know if there’s any guidance on when.

      Other than the SS on a private island, SEY is not really like the Maldives. The choice is whether you want the Maldives isolation/snorkelling or not. I actually enjoyed SEY more, but for exploring Praslin and La Digue. The Hiltons are decent but not worth the trip.

  • Reeferman says:

    Does anyone have any recent experience of the extension period on a Lloyds Avios upgrade voucher for a cancelled flight?
    The return leg of my flight to USA in Oct has been cancelled (not that Avios/BA has told me) and obviously I want to cancel. The flight was booked Nov 2019 – and the voucher due to expire that month (I think)
    Am keen to know the current extension period policy to work out my options before I call them
    Thanks

    • Doug says:

      In a broadly similar situation my Lloyd’s voucher reinstated to 31st Oct.

      • AndyGWP says:

        Also in a similar position and would be interested to know the latest position. Flight cancelled (discovered by accident – wonder when Avios will inform me) and can’t do anything online as not booked direct with BA.

        My destination has 4 flights per day (and has been cut to 2), so I could change flights to one of those still operating, but may still cancel and wonder how voucher will be treated.

      • Reeferman says:

        Thanks Doug
        Will give it a few weeks and then call the Avios number and see how generous they’re feeling.
        A “book by” date of 31st Oct would be fine – as long as it’s not the “fly by” date!

        • Doug says:

          Yes that’s def book by, Lloyds always were, and that was confirmed on the call.

    • pauldb says:

      My voucher on a voluntary cancellation 15 days ago was extended for exactly 3 months from that date: i.e. to book by mid Nov. I believe that’s now the policy.

      • Reeferman says:

        That’s great news – hope I get the same outcome
        Thanks

      • Fredy says:

        you are permitted to cancel a Lloyds Upgrade voucher booking voluntarily? and still receive a further/extended three month validity period (assuming original voucher had since expired?)

        • pauldb says:

          Yes, in my experience (x2 including family). I also got all the fees back: no £35 fee. I presume this is their version of the flexibility guarantee, since avios.com cannot issue a future travel voucher.

  • Ian says:

    What is Ernie?

  • Joe says:

    There’s good reward availability for LCY -> San Sebastian (EAS) next summer. It sold our very fast when there was availability this year, just booked mine.

    • New Card says:

      Which months are you seeing? I’m seeing nothing at all searching for 2 seats.

      • New Card says:

        Am now seeing it. Do CityFlyer only release 2+2 award seats instead of the usual 2+4?

  • Gavin says:

    Has anyone successfully received a BA FTV (or eVoucher) for a booking including codeshare flights? I want to make a booking including BA metal and codeshares on another carrier – I’m not 100% sure if it’s allowed for a FTV according to the T&Cs. There’s a fair chance I won’t be able to fly, so need to be sure that I can claim a voucher!

    • memesweeper says:

      Relevant terms seem to be:-

      Applies to customers with bookings made prior to 3 March 2020 for travel up to 30 September 2020.
      Applies to customers with bookings made between 3 March 2020 and 30 September 2020 for travel up to 31 August 2021.
      Applies for journeys that are due to have been completed by 31 August 2021
      Booked direct via our contact centres, ba.com or trade outlets
      Excluding franchise airline Sun-Air
      Bookings made on BA tickets only

      So, I’d read that as any BA ticket (ie ticket number starts 125-), including codeshares, that doesn’t involve Sun-Air. Sadly what the terms say and what BA *mean* (or train their contact centre to process) can differ, so, take a screenshot at the time of booking.

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