Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Friday 23rd 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 (142)

  • Jen T says:

    Flying from Stansted in a few weeks. Has anyone managed to access the Escape Lounge with their Priority Pass?

    • Paul says:

      Yes though only open reduced hours. Something like 5 til 5.

    • memesweeper says:

      I managed with Lounge Key a few weeks ago. Set your expectations low, it’s a poor lounge.

    • Lady London says:

      Why?

      • Lady London says:

        *the lounge befits the airport, need I say more.

        Even when I carried an unlimited Priority Pass I stopped bothering.

        The only thing that would make me use it again would be something like a meltdown of flights or a very, very long delay caused by a flight cancellation.

  • Henry says:

    Hi all, I’ve seen a first class Avios redemption on an Airbus a320 plane on a short haul route within Europe the redemption price is more than the normal business class price for this route.
    I’ve not come across this before and didn’t think BA offered first class on short haul routes anymore?
    Is it a computer glitch or are they offering first class and if so does anyone have any experience of the seat etc?
    Cheers

    • meta says:

      Which route?

      • Henry says:

        If I put the route on here the tickets will disappear faster than Trumps tax returns.
        No thank you lol
        Just want to know if it’s possible that’s all the plane is an A320… that’s all I can say.

        • meta says:

          Well it can be that the plane is actually not A320. It might also be an IT glitch. Have you tried going to the payment page?

          • henry says:

            Think it must be an IT glitch tbh as it’s not letting me book the seats.
            Thank you for the info 🙂

    • Andrew says:

      Must be a glitch. Even when a long haul aircraft like a 777 is used on a short haul route they don’t sell First tickets, you might get lucky and get to sit in first but it’s not First service or tier points etc and often the cabin is blocked off.

  • William PH says:

    Canary Islands now being removed from the quarantine list. Just hopped on to the BA holidays site, saw business class flights and a decent hotel for £520 pp on a Friday in early December. Started the booking process and got a message “The advertised price has changed”. Now £806 “due to availability “. A big jump from thee advertised price!

    • Anna says:

      Travel companies are really going to milk this, as people will book in droves. Even if the Canaries go back on the naughty list, many people will be covered with their jobs as they have technically booked while quarantine wasn’t required and will therefore be treated more leniently by employers and schools!

      • marcw says:

        The effect on prices has been amazing. I now live in The Netherlands, but I’m originally from the Canary Islands. I was thinking of booking my Christmas flights to the Canary Islands, as I found a nice and cheap business class via LHR with BA (300€ return). Surprise surprise… same flights now are over 700€…

        • Anna says:

          Don’t you miss the weather? I did my study year abroad in Tenerife for my Modern Languages degree, not many people know there is an excellent university in La Laguna. I mainly remember being able to use the outdoor pool at our apartment complex all year round!

          • Lady London says:

            Ahhhhhh…. jealous

          • Anna says:

            LL it was 30 years ago but I remember so clearly sitting on a sun lounger gazing up at the snow covered peak of Mount Teide! A lot of people don’t fully appreciate those islands!

        • meta says:

          Yes. I booked tickets to Athens and back from Crete in the Avios sale (wanted flexibility), but cash prices were cheap as well. £200 return in CE. Now they are £1000 return to Crete because it was removed from the list.

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      If you were looking on the holiday finder, it says at the top that the prices on there are “updated every 24 to 48 hours”. I think it’s fair to assume that a lot of hotel inventory has gone since yesterday.

  • Prune says:

    I’m having a bit of a brain melt today. Am I right in thinking that I can book the return leg of a 241 using Avios at midnight when released then call up the next day to Merge the bookings for points and tax refunds. I seem to remember there is a slight issue I think with the taxes coming back from the states doing it this way or have I just imagined this?

    • Jane says:

      the points will be refunded but not the taxes which if you are going to the states will cost a lot more £’s than if you call them to add the return on rather than adding it on line and asking them to merge later.

      • Prune says:

        Aha! I had a feeling that would be the case. Does anyone have the BA numbers for booking after midnight? Which locations do people use?

  • KBuffett says:

    When people land in the UK and are supposed to quarantine for 14 days, how to they travel to their place of quarantine? ie surely if they travel by taxi or any form of transport then they are not quarantining? Also, is there place of quarantining really checked, ie if you quarantine at a house with people that didn’t travel with you, then that’s not really quarantining.

    • memesweeper says:

      It’s not really quarantining. You stay where ever you like, with whoever already lives there, and don’t go out for 14 days. Checks are between cursory and non-existent. You may still move to a new quarantine location or leave the country entirely during the 14 days. However limited the effectiveness of these rules, and even given the weak enforcement, most people will abide by them, including my household.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Exactly. The fact that the number of travellers to/from UK to most destinations that require quarantine fall of a cliff means most people do take the obligation seriously.

        • meta says:

          I went for a weekend away to a country on the quarantine list at the beginning of October. Took a pre-booked taxi back home. Strictly wore a mask throughout the journey. Did 14 days self-isolation. Ordered food deliveries. It flew by very quickly and didn’t feel like quarantine as I work from home and don’t go out of my house often (have garden to exercise if I want). No one called me to check.

      • Anna says:

        Also people have been reported by their neighbours (or colleagues in a couple of cases where people have actually gone back to work!!) and been fined £1000.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Best to check gov.uk for the rules

      You are asked to Avoid public transport but if it’s your only route then that’s ok

      You are asked to isolate from others but if you live with other people who didn’t travel they do not have to isolate with you.

      They random check via phone but I’m not aware of random checks at your actual home.

      The quarantine is to reduce risk of transmission not to eradicate any chance. They are relying on you the traveller sticking to it

      • Lady London says:

        Heaven help us if quarantine is ever really needed, if this is what the government is calling quarantine.

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    Anyone experience problems using Rev to pay other cards this morning?

  • Jane says:

    anyone got a feeling as to when is a good time to ask Curve for a limit rise ? I’m heading towards the £50K limit (legacy black) but not sure whether to ask n ow with £12K to go or wait till I’m really close. it’s a mix of normal spending and money to Ernie, probably slightly more to the latter recently. thanks

    • AJ says:

      wait until close otherwise I’ve found they don’t grant you an increase

      • Jane says:

        thanks

      • PJJ says:

        How close is close ? 5k ? 2k?

        • Matt says:

          Upgraded this week 15k short of limit, but on metal. Majority spend ernie and sipp but I have put absolutely everything through curve for a couple of months. I think a hint about not renewing a paid for card if it became useless after 5 months helped.

  • BuildTheWall says:

    Curious to know the name of the resort pictured in yesterday’s Maldives article.

      • meta says:

        Yes I booked Radisson for end March as back up for Japan. A mix of cash and points. They also have very good cash rates which include 25% off sea plane transfer for £500 a night full board plus 50% off spa and 25% off drinks and other food. You can also pay extra $60 per person for half board and $100 for full board if booked on points. Plus +22% tax. So I booked 6 nights (five full days). First night for cash and the rest on points. Standard room is overwater pool villa. Sea plane transfer comes to £225 return per person with discount.