Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 17th 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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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 (133)

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

  • Chef says:

    Morning all, I believe reissued tickets have to be for travel within. 355 days due to BA IT issues? Is that outbound or do I have to return within 355 days of original ticket issue?
    Many Thanks

    • Jonathan says:

      It’s not BA IT issues, more IATA ticketing rules. This is from someone very familiar with BA & their rules:

      “There are three rules, which don’t quite align. BA offers flights up to 355 days ahead. Tickets are valid for 365 days from issue date (which can be after the day of booking). If you have already flown one sector, the final sector cannot be more than 365 days after the first.”

      You will have to complete travel within the ticket validity so your window for return journey should be 365 days from ticket issue.

    • Charlieface says:

      If it’s due to a cancellation they should cancel and rebook at no cost if that is what is necessary to reticket.

      • Lady London says:

        +1. the 355 is purely an admi issue IMV it falls on the airline to overcome if they cancelled the flight. They should write a new ticket if they have to.

        Otherwise if I buy a ticket today 17th October flying 7th October next year and
        BA cancel my flight very near the date, and I might well miss an event that might only be o offer annually or if I ha e no more annual leave etc, then my rerouted flight would certainly need to be given to me on a new ticket because of its date and that’s perfectly reasonable.

  • Ryan Gill says:

    A quick question. Me and my partner are booked to go to the Maldives, flying business and arriving back at Heathrow on the 7th February. The trip yields 420 tier points, as yet I have none and haven’t flown with BA in what is my 1st BAEC year. Am I right in thinking that if I fly business to Edinburgh one way ( 40 tier points ) and economy back, I would ensure 460 tier points and the requisite 4 flights to obtain silver status? My membership year ends 8th February. Furthermore, would the silver status last 2 years? I am currently blue. The Maldives flights obtained from the easily initially mis-read 777 HfP business flights scoop, so thanks for that Rob.

    • Jonathan says:

      Are you sure it’s 420 tier points? LHR to Male is 140 tier points each way in business, 210 each way in First. A domestic connection would add an extra 40 each way so total 360 or 500 return in J & F respectively.

      If you’ve upgraded to First using Avios then the App/Website will say you’re getting the higher tier points but it’s an error & won’t actually credit.

      In answer to your 2nd question, you’ll get Silver for the remainder of this year & the following year up to the 31st March then a year of Bronze as a soft landing. I’m not sure if BA’s status extension policy still applies for February 21 year ends or not. If it does you’ll have Silver to 31st March 2023 & Bronze to 2024 so we’ll worth the Edinburgh trip.

      • Ryan Gill says:

        Hi Jonathan. Thanks for the speedy reply. I just looked for the email notification of 420 tier points, but couldn’t see it. The return flight is a stopover in Doha, so points probably emanate from this unless I read it wrong.

        • Andrew says:

          If it’s via Doha then yes that’s 140 from Male to Doha and 140 from Doha to LHR. A domestic U.K. flight earns 40 in business and from 5 in economy. If you log into manage my booking on BA it will clearly show the tier points and Avios that will be earned.

        • Doug M says:

          The 420 makes sense then. It’ll be 140 for the direct, and 2 x 140 for the connection in Doha. Do the stopover flights via Doha have BA codes? The rules on the 4 flights are quite specific, but broadly speaking it’s either a BA plane, or a BA flight number that counts.

      • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

        Routing via DOH one way would be 3×140 = 420

    • TripRep says:

      Hi Ryan

      Where/when do you plan to get your PCR test done prior to going? Note recent changes including needing your passport number on the certificate.

      https://immigration.gov.mv/time-frame-for-the-pcr-test-result-extended/

      • TGLoyalty says:

        It’s in Feb next year. Things can and will probably change by then

        If it’s for better or worse who knows.

      • Lady London says:

        the only thing is, 450 is the current concessionary level of tier points required.Some people have that in their next tier point year, some don’t.

        Make sure you know if your next year target is 450 or 600. I would still do it next year in any case, but YMMV.

    • AJA says:

      Ryan, for Silver you will have to complete 4 trips on BA or IB metal or a BA marketed flight. I notice that you say your membership year ends 8 Feb (meaning your TP year) and the trip to the Maldives ends back at LHR on the day before. That will mean that you will need to have done the EDI trip before you go to the Maldives. Also status will only be for 1 year 1 month as the status is for the remainder of your current earning year plus the whole of the next year. In your case you would have Silver until 31 March 2022. Others have answered the number of Tier Points you would earn.

    • Lady London says:

      If you get the chance, make the flights from 9th February That way they fall into your second year. As soon as you earn the tier points in that year and provided you’ve done enough BA-coded flights then you have that status for rest of that second year and your third. If in third year you dont make Silver then fourth year you get Bronze aka close to a waste of time.

      Miles are kept across years but tier points you lose each year and have to start again from zero.

      • Ryan Gill says:

        Thanks Lady London et al. Surely, I’ve got to get the 450 points in prior to the 8th February. I guess you’re suggesting I might try to gain the points after the 8th to gain nearly a full additional year of silver? Might be worth considering.

        • Lady London says:

          Yes that’s precisely it. IMV the last thing you should be doing is earning all your tier points and any flights with BA flight number thar are still needed just before your year end. The opposite should be the case – do them all as early in the year as you can.

  • Gareth says:

    Have the previous days chat threads disappeared for everyone or just me? Using ios mobile.

    • KS says:

      I was wondering about that as well then I saw that it is mentioned in the article:
      “Old chat threads are hidden from the HfP home page.”

    • MD says:

      You need to click on the General category link found e.g. at the bottom of the most recent chat thread to get a list of the older ones.

      • AndyF says:

        I have had exactly the same problem trying to find older posts. MD I followed your directions and I still have no idea how to access the daily threads. I gave up trying to find them.

        • MD says:

          AndyF, I’m not sure why you can’t see them. Can you can see where it says “Category General” below this very article (but above these comments)? The word general is a blue hyperlink. If you click that it will take you to a long list of all the articles which they’ve labelled as general, so there are other things listed there as well as all the chat threads from previous days. I can see them all. I don’t know how to explain it any more simply than that. 🙂

          • Gareth says:

            Found it with your instructions! Thanks.

          • AndyF says:

            Found it now a much clearer explanation. Thanks, MD!

            I would say @Rob, I found the general chats daily exceptionally useful. thank you for doing them for us all. Maybe they should have their own separate page as a drop-down from the home menu where only the daily threads show. As an idea if you don’t want them clogging up the HomePage scroll.

          • Rob says:

            Bingo!

        • Crafty says:

          So many workarounds to avoid the simple solution of installing forum software…

  • John W says:

    What is compromised when you travel to a country which will allow UK travellers but not in UK exception list . Maldives for example !
    I I understand you need to get insurance which covers travel to non exemption country = anything else ?
    Trying to look where to go for new year in the sun and struggling to find destinations we can enter plus allowed to enter according to UK rules
    What are other people doing /going this year ?

    • ChrisBCN says:

      Wherever you go, I wouldn’t aim to land back in the UK in the first week of Jan due to all the potential border chaos…

      • Nick_C says:

        Why are you expecting border chaos at airports?

        Nationals of Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and the USA can all use the e-gates, and citizens of the EU/EEA will continue to do so.

        The only change surely will be the abolition of the Blue channel at customs.

        Dover will be a different matter of course.

        • ChrisBCN says:

          I didn’t say I was expecting it, I was saying there is the potential for it. Despite everything we know (and think we know) today, there is still time for many complications to happen.

    • meta says:

      You also won’t find any comprehensive insurance. There is no covid insurance in the UK market that covers absolutely everything – medical, cancellation, repatriation, border closures, travelling against FCO advice.

  • KS says:

    Question regarding Hilton. If I book using Amex Travel (not FHR), will they honor status?

    • meta says:

      Yes. You can even add the booking to your Hilton account.

      • Sukes says:

        Morning Meta I left a reply on your comment last night about travel insurance and ehic which you might not have seen. You mentioned your ehic continuing after 31/12/20 on basis of being dual national. Assuming you’re UK resident wd you mind explaining how? From what I can see ehic is based on residency (linked to that country’s social security system) and not on citizenship. Cheers

        • meta says:

          Under the withdrawal agreement UK will continue issuing EHIC to EU nationals who were resident before 31 Dec 2020 and EU will do the same for those UK citizens who were resident in EU plus some other categories.

          https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/apply-for-a-free-ehic-european-health-insurance-card/

          EHIC from 1 January 2021

          You’ll still be able to access healthcare through EHIC for visits that begin after 1 January 2021 if you’re either:

          – a UK state pensioner living in the EU before 31 December 2020
          – a UK student studying in the EU before 31 December 2020
          – a ‘frontier worker’ (someone who works in one state and lives in another) before 31 December 2020, for as long as you continue to be a frontier worker in the host state
          – an EU national living in the UK before 31 December 2020

      • BS says:

        Are you sure? I’ve done a booking before and it was treated like a travel agent booking.

        • Lee says:

          Amex Travel is 3rd party travel agent, you may get status benefit but no SNP.

          • meta says:

            You get full benefits incl. points. FHR rate is always pay at the hotel.

          • meta says:

            Sorry, just re-read that the questions is for Amex Travel. Yes no points or benefits. My bad.

    • Harry T says:

      No benefits provided if you book through Amex travel, whether that be free breakfast or points earning. However, bookings through UK FHR (and Hotel Collection?) will provide the Amex benefits in addition to your status benefits. And you will receive your elite nights and points.

      As a rule of thumb, unless booking through FHR, Virtuoso or another preferred partner program, your status won’t be recognised.

  • Oliver says:

    Hello – hopefully anyone with EC261 knowledge can help – I have a flight from Rhodes-LHR tomorrow that has been cancelled/delayed by a day due to Greek ATC industrial action. Should I/can I seek any recompense from BA in this day and age?

    • meta says:

      Duty of care and reroute applies even if extraordinary circumstance such as strike. BA will most likely try to deny you this right, so you’ll have to pay for it and take them to small claims court.

      • ChrisC says:

        BA won’t deny the duty of care element. DoC because of strikes – no matter who caused them – is settled law.

        Thjere are things you can do before going to MCOL to get reimbursement and you are expected to have tried a couple of times to resolve this before even thinking about MCOL.

        And in any claim to BA Oliver needs to mention reimbursement of DoC costs and not recompense or compensation. When people ask for compensation that is when airlines – not just BA – turn the claim down.

        • meta says:

          No BA at the moment denies Duty of Care as well as reroute. I have an ongoing MCOL case at the moment. Of course you need to first contact them and ask them specifically for duty of care and/or reroute under Article 9 and 8. But BA will most likely flatly refuse and say they are reasonable. Agents are trained at the moment to refuse it. One agent even quoted to me from a manual.

          • Oliver says:

            Thank you all! Will try Duty of Care argument first – I think if they don’t pay insurance should be sufficient to cover the costs in this case

  • JohnT says:

    For info with DragonPass, made contact to check expiry dates and got this in reply
    “I am happy to confirm that your membership will automatically renew in January 2021 for another 12 months. Renewal is free of charge and any unused visits will also roll over for another 12 months.”

  • Darren says:

    HMRC bill to pay, which route is best for avios or hotel points collection. I don’t have curve, yeah I know, shocking!

    • BuildTheWall says:

      Tesco debit card?

    • Crafty says:

      How big is the bill, and is it personal or corporate?

      • Darren says:

        Personal, not big a couple of thousand.

        • memesweeper says:

          In the past I used Revolut. I don’t know if this route still works, the top ups will likely be seen as cash advances by your credit card issuer and must be paid off immediately to avoid interest; some issuers also charge a fee which will exceed the value of any points.

          Billhop will send the money to HMRC for a fee that will exceed the value of the points, although if you have a spending target to hit you would otherwise miss it might be worth it I guess.

          I’ve switched to Curve Metal as I have a business with significant VAT turnover. Perhaps find a friend who has one?

          Topping up Monese at Paypoint over the course of a year in preparation for this might work; but large or frequent top-ups will see them close your account.

          The free curve card allows a limited number of cash withdrawals a year. You could pay this into a standalone account (eg Monzo) over the year and pay HMRC from that.

          I can’t think of anything else.

        • Crafty says:

          If you have a Tesco debit card just use that then. Not worth getting Curve Metal, and Tesco is fine for personal.

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