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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Comments (133)

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

  • John W says:

    SEATSPY – Is it only me that despite having a subscription can no longer access the website ?? – Payment was taken recently and I do not seem to have any access !

  • Ray says:

    Does anyone think the UK Amex platinum concierge for restaurant bookings is useless? Literally they show the same availability as open table… If I need a reservation I just use my friends centurion. Anyone think otherwise?

    • Rob says:

      There was a time, a few years ago, when Amex did a deal with a group of top restaurants (ie bunged them some cash) to hold back a table per night for Plat cardholders. This has now gone I believe.

      The only reason Amex has sway is that restaurants believe Plat cardholders are wealthier than average customers and will spend more. This requires the concierge team to call up.

      The easiest way to get a table in London is to have a female call and say she is the PA to a couple of Goldman Sachs partners who want a table to celebrate a big deal they have just completed. This usually works – a newspaper once did a test to prove it.

      • Andrew says:

        There is such a thing as a male PA you know!

        • Rob says:

          1. Never met one in 20 years of banking
          2. Whilst indeed true, for the purposes of this charade it won’t work

      • Nick says:

        Once managed to get a table at the Ivy by phoning and being honest, that we were working investigating the London Bombings, had been and were going to be working ridiculous hours ( how we could pay for it!) and wanted a break and to spoil ourselves, they couldnt have been nicer, finding us a table for 6, where they initially said there was no availability. Best Sheppards Pie I ever ate to this day!!

    • Andrew says:

      It’s odd how comments like these are seen as acceptable, but a woman in a traditionally male occupation is admired and encouraged. This is why young male suicide is much higher than for women.

      • Lady London says:

        Not really true. I had a male PA working for me in banking and it was fine.

        But if I’d wanted to pull a stunt like that to get a table, I’d have got one of the other PA’s to do it. You have to play to people’s prejudices and expectations if you’re pulling something.

        Quite often though the really good places were as aware of what a Goldman’s phone number looked like as we were (I have a vague nemory it was mostly (771-) or would occasionally call you back via switchboard – prob harder for them to do now that offices have dematerialised.

  • Wally1976 says:

    The Waitrose £100 back offer on Amex Platinum – can anyone confirm if it works on a Waitrose e-gift voucher and/or online grocery shopping please? The terms seem to suggest both are OK but just wanted to check then I can weigh-up options!


  • Ronald Jeremy says:

    Its six o’clock and time to contemplate tonight’s dinner, which is a spin on Caprese, with Parma Ham and some Avocado. As its the weekend a glass of something sparkling without going crazy wouldn’t go amiss. Cremant, Cava/ Prosecco?

    • Anna says:

      Prosecco would be in keeping with the Italian theme but I prefer the greater depth and complexity of a cremant, especially one which benefits from a terroir such as Burgundy.

    • Lady London says:

      I’d do a Pinot Grigio not too dry with that, in preference.

      Otherwise Krug with anything. Most enjoyable with a Qatar ticket.

      Henkell Trocken if you’re feeling cheap and trivial.

    • BrightonReader says:

      I thought this was a points / travel site. Not one on what should you have for dinner or for medical advice,

      Your posts aren’t relevant to this site so STOP with this nonsense.

      • Connor says:

        “The comments under this article are where you should post questions about travel and, indeed, anything else on your mind.”

        If you’re not interested, just scroll past.

  • Tom says:

    Looking at Bali next June. Anyone have a preferred route? I have avios and Virgin points. If possible I would like to fly (or have a good possibility) of Club Suite if flying with BA. TIA

    • Amber Lynn says:

      Forget flying anywhere until there is a vaccine.

      • Tom says:

        Think you are on the wrong website then. Now back to my original question…

    • Harry T says:

      Qatar fly to DPS – possible avenue to burn Avios, and their business class is almost certainly superior to Club Suite.

    • Lady London says:

      Got a funny feeling Sri Lankan might do it economicallyvia CMB. Who’s flying which route by then, of course hard to predict.

      • chabuddy geezy says:

        Hong Kong has avios and Virgin options.

      • The Jetset Boyz says:

        Sri Lankan fly to Jakarta, not Denpasar (Bali) – they probably interline with Garuda on connecting flights but you wouldn’t earn or be able to spend Avios on this sector.

    • Chris K says:

      Only ever done Bali as a side trip from Singapore. But if I was going I would concur with Harry’s Qatar suggestion. Unbeatable Biz Class. Check how long the layover would be in DOH etc.

      In ordinary times I would suggest looking for “Ex-Europe” QR flights in the £1,200-£1,600 region from e.g. OSL, ARN etc. But that’s not for everyone and especially not with potentially navigating two lots of quarantine rules etc.

      • Chris K says:

        Just to clarify that obviously ex Europe wouldn’t be favourable with points, but if there was a bargain to be found then that would be worth weighing up against using points.

      • Harry T says:

        Agree, Chris K, I’ve seen a few cash fares in that range. Better to pay cash in that situation, unless cash poor and Avios rich. Flying ExEU sadly looks a little risky for at least the next six months, as entry restrictions etc keep changing dynamically.

  • Alex B says:

    I got given the 5k MR points for £1k spend on the Amex Gold. Does this appear anyone on your account or does it appear ‘behind the scenes’?

  • old bob says:

    Has anyone got a recommendation for an effective laxative? I recently went to my doctors for a flu shot and general check up, he advised me to cut down on the drinking and smoking, I have cut down on both but having gone down to approx 25 pints a week I now find that I am experiencing constipation, Any suggestions?

    • Charlieface says:

      Prunes, raisins, general lot of fruit.
      Drink lots also, although 25 pints indicates you get enough just from beer!

    • Lady London says:


      • Lady London says:

        Fybogel if you’re really stuck and if this is a serious question – just don’t overdo it. Works more naturally than others.
        Avoid anything with senna if you possibly can.

        Fybogel might actually chuck well into your beer (prefer the orange version) if you drink it quick.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Go back to drinking

    • Harry T says:

      Couple of sachets of Laxido/Movicol twice a day. Senna at night if you really need it.

      But you’re best off increasing your fibre intake through fruit, vegetables and whole grains!

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        Just the thought of laxido’s terrible attempt at an 9ramge flavour is enough to unblock me!

    • LB says:

      Undercooked chicken???

    • Nick_C says:

      Boy. We really are scraping the bottom of the barrel on this thread today.

      But travel related, I find a glycerine suppository very effective. I usually use one before flying.

      Although it’s important to know how to take them. Thinking of the legendary story of the patient who complains to his GP “for all the good they did, I may as well have stuck them up my a***”

      I’m here all week.

    • BrightonReader says:

      stick a hosepipe up upt fundament and turn the tap full on.

      This is not a medical site.

  • S says:

    Has anyone had any luck with Virgin S75 claims recently?

    Booked 2 x Business flights to New Zealand with GoToGate (Lufthansa). Flights were cancelled (by airline) in August, but they are still refusing to provide a refund, stating the fare rules do not allow them to.

    • Baji Nahid says:

      Yep! Its all BS, funny that they day my S75 claim was successful the TA suddenly decided to email and state that oh your refund is here from us. They actually had my refund a long time ago and virgin confirmed this.

      Wouldn’t want to wish any company folding but, if it they do, its karma lol.

      • S says:

        Travel insurance has got a £100 excess per person so trying to avoid going down that route, or would the credit card company cover the £200?

        • MarianC says:

          I believe travel insurance will ask you to contact the credit card company first, at least that’s my case.

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