Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 7th October

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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 (228)

  • Nick Newbury says:

    A BAPP question. I currently have Nationwide travel insurance linked to my bank account it costs £13/month ( not that I am travelling ATM) I note my BAPP card gives me free travel insurance, without reading small print is it worth still paying for the Nationwide insurance in mind of my BAPP insurance

    • Optimus Prime says:

      You should read the small print, because for example Nationwide can cover existing conditions for a fee.

    • Jonathan says:

      The travel insurance with BAPP is minimal, certainly not adequate to travel outside the EU (& within once EHIC ends). It’s essentially delay cover plus (?) baggage. No medical as I recall.

  • TedL says:

    Picked up CW to Sydney next March but unfortunately only Y on the return, using a 241 and the 50% sale. With Rewardflightfinder and Seatspy not currently working is the only way of finding if CW redemption seats for the return open up to check the availability on the BA website each day?

    • ChrisC says:

      Yes

      But IIRC you can only upgrade one cabin using avios so you would be able to upgrade fron traveller to WTP using avios but not to CW.

      • Umba says:

        I might be wrong but if CW became available wouldn’t you cancel the Y part of the booking and rebook the CW seats?

    • Andrew says:

      I wouldn’t worry about it too much, Australia won’t be accepting tourists in March – Qantas have cancelled all international flights (except to NZ) until May, so that tells you something.

  • Stanley says:

    Anyone know if Selfridges £30 off £150 offer works on cumulative transactions?? Thanks

    • Andrew says:

      If you’re doing it in store you can always buy a £150 gift card and then spend cumulatively. Doesn’t work online though as the gift card site is a third party.

      • Stanley says:

        Bit late now! My wife has just spent £139 in there. Should she go spend £11 on something ?!?!

        • Andrew says:

          She could always return the item bought and then buy again in a single transaction of £150 to be sure. Selfridges has very few exclusions from a full refund. Alternatively yes, proabably worth taking a punt on buying something for £11 and hope you get £30 back. Could always return the £11 item if you don’t get the credit within a week.

          • Crafty says:

            I wouldn’t return and rebuy. No guarantee the offer would be applied again. Unless of course you also have the offer on a second card.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Returning for a refund when it was under £150 woundnt do anything to the offer.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Last time It was ran cumulative didn’t work

          • Andrew says:

            I’ve noticed some difference in the wording of offers – some say “an eligible transaction” and others say “eligible spend”. Selfridges says the former, Bicester says the latter, suggesting cumulative works.

          • Stanley says:

            Ouch. we live and learn

          • Lady London says:

            @Stanley … and share… thanks to sites like HfP !!

          • Stanley says:

            Very true LL !

          • Crafty says:

            Sorry yes you’re right good point!

  • Anna says:

    I asked before but it turned into a discussion about Easter observation! Any recommendations for Abu Dhabi hotels – and has anyone stayed at the W (I think Harry T may have, or at least was going to!). Decents points AND cash rates for next year. Might go for cash as they are offering 50% off a second room if you book 2. Seems slightly better value than booking one room cash and a second on points.

    • Andrew says:

      I wouldn’t confine yourself to Abu Dhabi – it’s an hour’s (and very affordable) taxi ride to Dubai – so if that’s your preferred destination then look there for hotels too.

      • Anna says:

        Have thought about it but it feels like a lot of faffing for a 10 day holiday. I just want sun and sand (I want them NOW and we’re only at the start of October 🤦🏻‍♀️)

        • TGLoyalty says:

          I replied to the other thread but

          St Regis Abu Dhabi has a good lounge and all of the restaurants etc are well reviewed on tripadvisor etc

          IC is close to the edition but there was major construction around there in Feb. Last time I looked at flyertalk the IC was liked but getting tired.

          Saadiyat Island seems more of the R&R sun sea sand type hotels and the louve is over there too.

          W is near the race track rather than the beach not sure if they have a transfer to a beach club across the road or something.

          I like AD it’s so much more chilled than Dubai and far less of the young ex or party crowd.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            I honestly don’t know why that says lounge. St Regis in the city doesn’t have a lounge. I meant it has a decent beach club for its location.

        • Andrew says:

          Is it a lot of faffing about? You get a taxi from the airport to your hotel anyway and rather than it being 15 minutes, it’s an hour.

      • Nick Newbury says:

        Dubai The Atlantis Palm is doing fab deals!

        • Lady London says:

          Yes, there are a couple of long stay deals in Dubai (think I saw one of them on LL and it may have been the Dubai Atlantis Palm that you refer to @Nick Newbury !!! sounds like this is just what @Anna is looking for 🙂

    • Harry T says:

      Anna, I was going to stay at the W for the Grand Prix this year but the hotel has kindly offered to move it to next year, as spectators are not permitted this year (the hotel is surrounded by the race track).

      I haven’t stayed in Abu Dhabi but the EDITION is well reviewed and I personally would consider it.

      • Harry T says:

        Although location is not optimal. May be worth asking around on Flyertalk. Cash will go a long way in Abu Dhabi for hotels, it seems.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        The Edition is a very nice property and the marina is nice but I don’t think there is much around. But it’s the ME you’re going to have to get a car anyway.

        • meta says:

          @Anna I rate Sofitel very highly, but this is because they upgraded me to their top suite last year. Lounge is very good as they do a la carte + buffet breakfast (even before covid).

          I also think St. Regis Abu Dhabi is excellent. There is also Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat island. You might be able to get a better rate booking with Emyr on that one.

          • BP says:

            Sofitel Abu Dhabi is a bit crap in my opinion. More like a good 4* hotel than a 5*.

            Breakfast wasn’t to 5* standard, the pool area is tiny and doesn’t get afternoon sun. The suite was nice. Lounge was OK. I paid £120 a night for a club suite and wouldn’t return even at that price.

            We were considering AD for some November sun and Anantara Mangroves had an amazing full board deal when booking direct. Grand Hyatt looks a very good deal via Emer with the Hyatt 3 for 2 offer.

        • rk says:

          Correct W is on Yas Island, Ferrari world and shopping on the free shuttle (locally), you are away form the beach and downtown Abu Dhabi if that is what you are after.

          • Anna says:

            Thanks all – I have asked Emyr to try and find us something nice! Just hope it opens up by the next spring now.

    • Jill (Kinkell) says:

      We stayed at the Shangri-La on Saadiyat Island ( I think) lovely suite, great views of the Mosque. I would stay there again.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Shangri-La isn’t on Saadiyat but can imagine the view of the mosque is amazing.

        The Ritz Carlton is nearby but from accounts on flyertalk it’s not really a Ritz Carlton standard so put me off staying.

  • Andrew says:

    LBG Offers

    On Halifax, 10% back when you spend £100 or more at Sazbo’s. Max reward £30. Colleague’s Lloyds it’s 5% back on £100 or more, max £30.

    New offers on my BoS brand are 10% at Pret, 10% at Costa, 20% Laithwaites.

    Plus a quick reminder of current travel offers that might be on your LBG Account.

    10% – Etihad
    5% – LNER
    15% – Hilton
    10% – Apex
    15% – Marriott

    And not forgetting the Barclaycard Offer which might be helpful with the “taxes” on BA’s Avios offer.

    10% – British Airways when spending £200 or more. Maximum back £200

    • Andrew says:

      Where are the Barclaycard offers? Are they on your online account somewhere?

      • Andrew says:

        Nothing on the site that I can find, I was notified by a single marketing email from Barclaycard on 1st October.

        The offer runs until the 31st October and is targetted. I’m “Platinum” Barclaycard, not entirely sure what that means though, other than a standard APR of 9.9%

        • Andrew says:

          That’s the card I have but sadly no email. Maybe I’ll call them to see if it’s targeted. Although I do prefer to put flights on my Amex so I get my Platinum insurance.

    • Nick says:

      Do the ‘good’ LBG offers go on all brands or only some? I have BOS but don’t seem to get any, so wondering if I should open a Lloyds as well? Or is it linked to ‘spend’ and then thinking it’s a main account?

      • Andrew says:

        From memory you have to actively join the scheme under “Everyday Offers”, then they start coming through. Most of mine are under BoS brand – but that’s the account I use most often. The more often you use the debit card, the more offers you get.

        I’ve got 35 at the moment.

        • Nick says:

          I’ve got the offers tab active but only 4 crap ones. I think it’s spend based as I don’t use the account much. Will try to make an effort to use it more.

  • poida says:

    Quick question re EC 261 rights. I’ve just received confirmation that my Qantas LON-PER return direct flights for next month have been cancelled, as expected they have given me a ‘flight credit’ to my QFF account. I know I can phone up and ask for a cash refund, but how does the re-routing option at a later date work in practice? And is it worth trying to get Qantas to reroute me once the quarantine restrictions are relaxed? The flight credit expires in May 2021, so I assume I have until then to make my decision?

    • Lady London says:

      If you want a refund I doubt it would be wise to let the “flight credit” stand for any length of time at all.

      I’d pursue my refund immediately if I wanted one as Qantas has not covered themselves in glory on refunds – and they may be used more to the Australian lack of legislation, that lets them get away with it!

    • Sukes says:

      I would contact Qantas direct with your Qs. I) EU261 offers right to reimbursement or re-routing but once that choice is made you cannot ask for it to be changed. If you leave the flight credit in your account for mths after they have made you aware of it they could try and argue that you ‘chose’ reimbursement over re-route. Ii) EU261 does not state a time limit on when you can re-route ‘at a later date at the passenger’s convenience, subject to availability of seats’ but clearly in practice this does not mean open ended into eternity. At the same time the current situation, with mass cancellations and multi-month border closures, was not envisioned when the regulation was enacted. In other words you may have to come to an agreement with Qantas about a suitable future re-route date because the law is, at the moment, silent on this.

  • melonfarmer says:

    CommonPass LHR-Newark trial: any ideas on how to volunteer?

    Thanks.

  • Spaghetti Town says:

    BA 747 to be preserved apparently

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