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The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 21st 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 (189)

  • Anna says:

    @Peggers – more O2 info!
    A lady just called me back from the hotel very apologetic and saying that her colleague was mistaken and club lounge access is currently being replaced by breakfast in the restaurant, then complimentary afternoon tea and evening canapes and drinks delivered to your room. This sounds quite splendid, especially as she also said we’d be upgraded to the 2 bedroom Greenwich suite! Hope it happens now …

  • Hugh Jardon says:

    Ah! North Greenwich, Splendid indeed. The quintessential south/East London experience. One yearns for the throb of the slow moving traffic on the Blackwall tunnel approach, the gaily painted takeaways, tattoo parlours and betting emporiums a visual feast for the senses. On a clear day ,one can make out the dreamy spires of Poplar and the magnificent edifice that is the Tate and Lyle factory in West silver town, beloved of such luminaries as Sir Ian Mckellen, Jools Holland Dizzee Rascal and that bloke of the telly that married Cheryl Cole.

  • DK says:

    @Paul or anyone currently in Westin Costa Navarino
    Any feedback?

  • Maciek says:

    Any successes double-dipping on AmEx’s SLH and Hyatt offers?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I don’t believe there is a single hotel that crosses both offers.

      SLH hotels don’t process payment as a Hyatt so I don’t even see it working as a mistake.

      Hotel Cafe Royal offer should work with the LHW offer – they also have 3 for 2 atm.

  • Baji Nahid says:

    Just got an email from LNER stating this:

    “Also, please note, you will no longer be able to spend your Nectar points on LNER eVouchers after 30 November 2020.”

    and also that ” we’re making some changes to the 2% credit you’re receiving for booking with LNER, we can now confirm this will end on 31 October 2020. This means the 2% credit you have automatically been receiving on any bookings you’ve made since 1 August 2020 will stop.”

    Time to cash out points to LNER? Here’s hoping they do another transfer bonus but that is another nail in the coffin with nectar now.

    • BJ says:

      No, double up coming up. Also, just cash out on any discount offer at Sainsburys or Argos that appeals. For example, 50 % off toys that is on now or about to start soon. Another option is to buy guftcards for likes of Debenham or M&S and keep them for up to 70% off sales in those stores.

    • Andrew says:

      “Nail in the Coffin”?

      Surely that just depends on your use of the Nectar card. I rack up points like nobody’s business by simply shopping in Sazbo’s, every week I’m getting enticing extra points for buying shopping basket staples.

      LBG has offers fund return offer near perpetually on LNER, not that I’ve been on the Chieftain this year. My Nectar points will get doubled up and spent on Lego, Hardback Books and I quite fancy a slow cooker.

      • Harry T says:

        Amex is currently offering 5% cash back on many of my card. Has been nicely stacking with the 2% for me.

  • Super Secret Stuff says:

    Are we allowed to put Amex referral links in the comments? As it is coming up to that time of year… and nearly 2 years since Amex introduced their new bonus rules. Must be a few people applying for a card to put the Christmas spend thru?

    • BJ says:

      That’s you (and others) told!

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        Explains why I never see any on here, lol. Can’t have been the only one that was curious why, given the ratio of amex cards to readers!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Firstly Rob should get any referrals from the site.

      Secondly It’s against Amex rules to just post your code on the web so any random can use it. you are meant to know the person.

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        True he should get first dibs, but the referral earnings are capped. Anyway just curious as never seen any on the comment but seen other referral codes

        • The Urbanite says:

          Referrals may be capped but the affiliate scheme is something separate. It’s only fair that sign ups go through this site given the very useful service it offers!

  • Stephen says:

    Anyone going to Japan next year?
    Would be grateful for any recommendation on good redemption options. Hoping to go for 10 days in April (optimistic, I know!) – thanks

    • Bob says:

      I think a fair few of us on here have booked Japan for next year!

      In terms of flights BA are currently scheduling an A350 so club suites on one of the daily flights to/from Haneda

      Particularly if you have Hilton Gold or above then the Conrad in Tokyo is an excellent redemption there

      • Stephen says:

        Thanks Bob, I managed to get a few seats using Virgin points on ANA. The trouble is they all leave from different EU airports (which is going to make things difficult).

        Will take a look at Conrad Tokyo, does anyone have any recommendations for Kyoto or Hakone area?

        • Bob says:

          Ah nice, do you mind sharing how much the taxes are approx on the ANA flights booked through Virgin? Looking to do that redemption too hopefully at some point !

          • Stephen says:

            Business return (London to Tokyo) – 95,000 Virgin miles
            First-class return (London to Tokyo) – 120,000 Virgin miles

            One-way redemptions are not possible (but you can mix class on way there/back)

            ANA have removed their “carrier-imposed surcharge” so you are looking at tax of £252.16 if departing from UK and £106.80 if departing from other European airports – crazy value compared to British Airways but very difficult to find seats.

            Hopefully, there is 3 of us going in April 2021, but due to limited award seats, two from London and 1 from Munich (but also check Frankfurt/Dusseldorf/Milan/Paris)

            Virgin Atlantic cannot easily search for award availability, so you should use United.com to locate award seats and then call with specific flights for them to check

            Hope that helps!

          • Stephen says:

            All of those figures quotes (miles and tax) are return (not one way)!

          • Bob says:

            Thanks, most helpful!

        • The Streets says:

          I also just snagged the First Class flight to Tokyo with ANA for April next year! So happy that i didn’t cash in all my Virgin points for hilton

    • BJ says:

      If you are heading to Osaka, Kyoto and Nara during your trip then the newly rebranded Holiday Inn & Suites Shin Osaka is selling for 12.5k or 15k per night (check reviews Oakwood Hotel & Apartments). I see CP Kyoto down to 22.5k. Good redemption rates and cash rates at new Fairfield Inn in both Kyoto and Osaka, includes breakfast. Good cash rates at new Mercure Kyoto. In Tokyo Hilton and Conrad at standard rates unfortunately. New Kimpton is 70k/night, ICs around 42500-55000. All of those are for June/July so YMMV.

      • Stephen says:

        Thank you! Will definitely check them out. Has anyone had any experience with trying to get 3 adults into one room?

      • BJ says:

        Many Japanese hotels have rooms with three or more single beds or a mix of singles and doubles. I am not so sure about the main chains but I have seen them at HI and Ibis IIRC. If you are planning to be out all day and happy with budget options you could do worse than Ibis Shinjuku Station and Ibis Kyoto Station. Reviews suggest the hotels are basic but fine, and locations are definitely excellent for getting around. If you are happy with only a day in Hakone, you would be best to stay close to Shinjuku Station and use Romance Car train on day with best weather firecast. If you want to stay at least one overnight then check Indigo Gora to see if they have released reward nights. Otherwise consider a Ryokan. We have booked Hilton Odawara Hotel and Spa but plan on having a hire car.

      • The Streets says:

        Just been looking at this as was tempted but then saw cash rates were so low.. £18 for a best western in downtown Osaka

        • Stephen says:

          The Mitsui, Kyoto is opening soon – they are offering 70,000 Marriott Bonvoy points (5 nights for the price of 4) – cash price was £742 per night!?

          • BJ says:

            Thanks, I don’t have 280k bonvoy points though. And am not fussed about high end when I only need a bed for the night.

        • BJ says:

          Some crazy prices out there in Osaka even as far out as next summer. I just used points to avoid any issues refunds.

  • S says:

    TAP status match – https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/08/17/match-your-british-airways-executive-club-gold-or-silver-card-to-star-alliance-gold-via-tap-air-portugal/

    A bit late to the party with this, but has anyone applied for this recently – it seems to be active? Any idea of the timescale?

    I’ve signed up in the last few days and uploaded proof of my BA status, so will update this when I (hopefully) get matched.