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The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 30th September

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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 (124)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • N says:

    Any ways to slice a few % off (or earn some extra points) off Forest Holidays booking?

  • fivebobbill says:

    Hi everyone. I have a couple of Hilton stays coming up in the next few weeks, so for the first time have downloaded the Hilton app to manage.
    Just having a look around my bookings in the app this morning, I’m a Gold member, what happens if I click on the “Request Upgrade” icon? Is that my free upgrade request or am I asking for a paid upgrade?
    Many thanks

    • Rich says:

      That will be your options for a paid upgrade. No harm in looking though. I booked the lowest possible room option for Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh last week. I kept looking at the options, and then the day before I was going to stay, I went to check in on the app and they had allocated me the room to which was over £100 on the options the day before.

    • Travel Strong says:

      You’ll see on the next screen that it offers up prices for paid for upgrades, albeit often cheaper than it would have been to book the room type up front.

      As a Gold or Diamond, you stand a fair chance of being upgraded for free (personal experience is ~50% of the time).

      Good practice is to:
      A) book a room type you will be happy with
      B) do not check in before you arrive,
      C) cross your fingers for an upgrade but do not bank on it

    • fivebobbill says:

      Cheers guys, clicked the link, “sorry, no upgrades available at this time”! 🙂

      • BJ says:

        You should never click on it, nor should you ever check in online. Just be normal and polite at check in. Do not request benefits or upgrades, just accept what they give you with thanks. If you are unhappy with room provided once you have seen it, don’t disturb it, just call reception from the room, explain why you are unhappy and enquire if an alternative might be available. If they have missed any other benefits you are entitled to then let them fix it later too. It is best to avoid creating a scene or giving them hassle at check in, especially if they are busy. As Gold always book the cheapest available room unless you must have something better. If you are a new Gold member then be sure to select your myway benefits for each brand.

        • fivebobbill says:

          Thanks BJ, appreciate the advice. Been Gold for quite some time though, stayed in many Hiltons across the globe and had some great upgrades, best of which in ME or Asia. However never downloaded the app before and was just looking some advice on how best to use it. Am currently in the middle of a Diamond run, given the double nights promo. Currently sitting on 27, and with these 2 weeks coming up in October taking me to 55, just 5 short. Plan then is to spend a couple of nights here at home before Xmas, then when those 59 carry over to 2021 just one stay gets me two years Diamond 🙂
          Oh, and quite a few points to use as well, given they are currently coming in at a double rate too!

          … assuming we’re then allowed to go anywhere …

        • Charlieface says:

          I usually do a “what room have you got for me today” followed by a quiet “any chance of an upgrade”, and I do the same thing with car rentals. Usually gets what I want

        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          BJs advice is perfect, especially the embarrassment of status holders who beg loudly at the desk Literally millions of people are Hilton gold yet they think they are special 🙄. I think of it as “free breakfast club” which is a pretty awesome benefit to have for a year simply for a bit of credit card spend! Don’t expect a thing more than that.

          • Lady London says:

            +1
            There are ways that will get you a lot if it’s available. But kicking up at the front desk doesnt work very well – or might work only once.

            The higher the level of hotel the more careful you should be. Decent ones keep extensive records and will remember your favourite things – and possibly other notes are kept (in discreet codewords).

  • Joe says:

    Just triggered my BAPP 2-4-1 voucher (showing on AMEX activity summary
    as 29 Sep BA Companion Ticket Bonus) but just discovered it takes a few days for it to be issued to BAEC. Anyone know if I should still qualify for the 6 month extension? Thanks!

    • Makrxx says:

      I have a transaction that is still ‘Pending’ which will take me over the £10k…fingers crossed.

      • BJ says:

        A week or so ago somebody reported something inexpensive that will post on amex same day. I forget what it was though but I am sure others can help.

    • Anna says:

      AFAIK, it’s valid from when it was triggered, so you should get the extension. Otherwise some people would lose out due to the varying amount of time it takes for the voucher to show in your BAEC account.

      • meta says:

        Actually the expiry date on my last voucher is 3 days later than the date of the transaction which posted the following day. So I would say it does vary.

    • Sina says:

      I’ve trigerred my 2-4-1 on 28th and it was in my BAEC account yesterday, also with 6 months extention to March 2023. Downgraded to free last night!

  • Diydegsy says:

    Any advice please? I was on holiday in Portugal when my dad passed away and had to fly back after 1 day. Since then I have contacted axa insurance through Amex platinum card to claim for flights and accommodation etc the person on the phone said the claim will probably be thrown out as it was against foreign office travel advice to travel to Portugal is this correct? Thanks

    • BS says:

      Yes. If you traveled when it was against all but essential travel on FCO the Amex policy will not cover any aspect of the trip, unless you were abroad when it changed.

    • BS says:

      PS: Very sorry to hear your loss.

    • ChrisC says:

      Depends on when you booked and if it was before or after the FCO advice was issued.

      Like a lot of issues such as this the devil is very much in the detail.

      There is nothing to stop you from actually making a claim despite what the call handler said to you.

    • Chris Heyes says:

      sorry for your loss, make a claim anyway you may be offered a sympathy payment if a loss assessor decides a payment is appropriate to your circumstances.
      But be aware it’s at their discretion no legal entitlement
      Never travel against Foreign Office Advice is the moral of this
      but i sympathize with your loss

  • John says:

    Thinking of booking 5 nights next August at Hilton Rome Cavalieri with club lounge access.
    Anyone been recently?
    Looking to deplete my large number if Hilton points !

    • Lady London says:

      someone said lounge was closed when they went so proceed with caution (call hotel, maybe?)

  • Makrxx says:

    How often is it that Virgin comes up with a better promotion for their credit card sign up bonus?

    • Rob says:

      Would be surprised if you see one for a while. If you read their accounts, Virgin Money is actively trying to halt new customer recruitment across all products as it deals with overstretched existing customers.

      Most credit card companies are also likely to assume that anyone applying for a card now is about to be made redundant and is trying to shore up credit lines before they are withdrawn.

      • Graeme says:

        I wonder if that explains my recent £2200 limit on a new BAPP. Nothing else has changed in my life at all.

        • Crumbs says:

          Is this the only Amex you have at the moment or do you have another one with a higher limit? Wondering if it would be possible to shift some of the limit between cards?

      • James. says:

        Oh no. I was hoping to apply for a credit card in the next month or so for a 0% balance transfer. Wont be easy if they only offer small limits

  • YH says:

    Are there any good departure locations for getting good business class flights from Europe to South America?

    I am usually able to secure a good price to Asia going from ARN with QR or to the USA going from DUB with AA.

    Does any such sweet spot exist for flights to South America? I’m thinking mainly Chile and Brazil.

    • Nick says:

      Anywhere that has BOTH a non-stop service and a decent connecting proposition would normally see the most competitive fares. For south America this would most likely be AMS or Italy, where TAP sees to it that there’s some competition in the market. FRA/MUC perhaps also, but there’s usually a business mark-up here.

    • BJ says:

      Varies by place and time, depends what airlines want to push and in what markets. See LL airfare of the day yesterday, not what you want I think but worth a look.

    • Doc says:

      Don’t see many deals for Chile however noticed a few on Iberia and LATAM from Spain to GRU recently. Can’t remember the exact dates though.

      • Lady London says:

        at least once a year Iberia does a promo with stunning fares to key South American destinations. Unsure if just Y though or to what extent J benefits.

    • Clive says:

      I have often seen good deals out of Spanish cities

  • Anthony says:

    I’m having a bit of a mare with Vietnam airlines at the minute. I had a flight cancelled back in March and they acknowledged finally in June that I’d get a full refund for the flight (around £50). About 4 weeks later I got a refund for £15, missing around £35. I’ve tried emailing them once every few weeks since then but I’ve not received a response at all. I opened a dispute with Amex for the remaining amount but due to the time since the flight Amex aren’t willing to investigate it. What are my options now? Or has anyone had any success getting money back from Vietnam airlines?

    • marcw says:

      Don’t bother. Take that loss. You probably have wasted a lot of time, which is not worth it.

      • ChrisC says:

        I had an insurance claim for two hotels. Expedia later refunded one which left the other for insurance(if only I’d phoned expedia using that bookign reference as well!)

        Took the decision to withdraw the claim because after the excess I’d only get back £50 plus they were wanting all sorts of info on cancelled flights – even though I wasn’t claiming for any flights.

        I really couldn’t be bothered to submit all that paperwork for £50.

        I know there are sometimes points of principle but I don’t think for £35 it’s worth it,

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I get that this is probably principle but all this hassle for £35?

    • Anthony says:

      Thanks all, suspected as much, I think I’ll have to drop it

    • Lady London says:

      s.75 may just be within time to raise IIRC if you paid on credit card.

      • Charlieface says:

        Presumably you meant chargeback. S75 has time limit up to the statute of limitations

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