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)

  • Tical says:

    Someone mentioned being in St Lucia the other day – after BA moved flights around our week long planned trip has now become 5 nights only, which is a nice break but also 9 hour flight each way with a 2-year old. Particular hotels to recommend – seems like most are reassuringly expensive (sugar beach £1k per night)? Thanks

  • Jonathan says:

    Good afternoon, just wanted your advice please as I’ve heard two different things regarding the future voucher for avios flight cancellations.

    I have a avios 2for1 Mauritius club world booking that’s been moved and have the option of future voucher, move flights or refund. My Amex 2for1 has been extended to June 2021.

    Does the future voucher allow me to substitute my flights for a equivalent zone flight to any destination if there’s a cash ticket still available? I’m thinking peak Easter barbados flights if available which are roughly the avios of off peak Mauritius.

    If I need a avios ticket to be available I gather theyre still potentially hard to get.

    • AJA says:

      If you swap your Avios and 2-4-1 booking for a FTV you still require reward seat availability when you come to use the FTV. Plus you will have to call BA to redeem it. The only advantage to the FTV is that it extends expiry of the 2-4-1 to the end of Apr 2022. I would only swap for a FTV if there was no possibility I could redeem my 2-4-1 voucher again before it expired. So do you see yourself travelling by June 2021?

      In your case I would go for a full refund and then rebook as soon as you see availability to a destination you want to go to.

    • ChrisC says:

      An FTV simply collects everything you have already paid for your flights – cash, 2-4-1, avios – into a single wrapper.

      You can then use that as (part) payment to any future flight. You aren’t restricted to flights only within a similar points zone as your original flights to Mauritshuis.

      If the new flights cost more then you’ll be charged more, if less then you’ll get a further voucher for the remaining avios and cash.

      I agree with AJA on their last point as it’s probbaly easiest to get a refund of all the individual elements which will give you maximum flexibility

  • Ed says:

    I took the option of early subscription to SeatSpy and it looks great, notifying you via alerts on availability. The only problem being when you contact BA the availability is not there! Anyone else found this?

    • Anna says:

      It’s been unreliable for quite a while now, mentioned quite a lot here!

      • Ed says:

        Apologies, I’m not a frequent reader of the comments sections but I do read the daily emails.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Always check the BA site first, saves you all the time on the phone.

    • Rob says:

      It has been an issue for a few weeks. It’s not a SeatSpy issue, it’s an issue with the underlying BA data feed they use.

  • Nick_G says:

    Does the Amex Bicester Village offer trigger on cumulative spend of £300, or do I need to spend £300 in one transaction?
    TIA

  • Nadeshka says:

    Another free cash offer from Amazon for me on the homepage for changing your one click card. I had one a couple of weeks ago to make my one click card a Visa, and now it seems like Mastercard are fighting back as I got £10 to switch it back!
    Worth checking if you have it. I’ve got ~£30 from these sorts of promotions in the last month (change cards/top up giftcard etc)

    • BJ says:

      I tried to bounce my account into such offers without success. Anybody got any clue how amazon targets offers generally?

  • SL says:

    Can virgin be used with curve metal to pay hmrc corp tax?

    • Chas says:

      Yes – have used it extensively in the past with no issues. If you have plenty of time until your payment is due, you might want to carelessly use last year’s corporate tax reference when making the payment….

  • Nick_C says:

    SIA are reinstating Singapore to NYC next month – the world’s longest scheduled non stop flights.

    When this service was inaugurated, they used a specially configured A350 with 67J and 94PE seats. The service will resume with a standard config of 42J/24PE/187Y.

    https://www.singaporeair.com/th_TH/th/media-centre/press-release/article/?q=en_UK/2020/October-December/ne1720-201020

    • Nick_G says:

      They are using A350-900 rather than A350-ULR due to the cargo requirements, which is the main source of revenue for the airlines in the current climate.
      SIA also moved this flight to JFK from EWR.

    • Gruntfuttock says:

      SQ used an Airbus A340 when it first started the route. I remember asking the pilot what the total flying time was from JFK when the flight overflew the North Sea sector, he replied 18hrs 17 mins with a sigh, happy days!

  • EvilDoctorK says:

    Ambassador Weekend Voucher – this is online now and you don’t need the paper one any longer ? I think /hope so .. can anyone confirm … using mine this weekend and I know previous years I had a paper voucher, but I have a vague memory the physical voucher is no longer required and they didn’t send one this year .. can anyone advise

    • Craig says:

      Correct, no paper voucher anymore.

      • EvilDoctorK says:

        Phew, Thanks Craig

        Also if anyone has any comments on the IC in Athens worth knowing let me know!

        • Craig says:

          It should show in your account management page on the IHG rewards site. When used it will change from the expiry date to redeemed, I used one earlier this year with no issues.

        • ankomonkey says:

          I asked about the IC Athens a few months ago and feedback was positive. We had to cancel the trip so I didn’t get to find out first-hand.

          • meta says:

            Pool is closed at the moment. I’ve chosen Grand Hyatt which is 1-2 minute walk down the road from IC. The area is not the most convenient and nice (30-minute walk to city centre). Rooftop pool is open and there aren’t many guests. Athens is devoid of tourists. At Acropolis they told us visits are at 10% of last year.

          • EvilDoctorK says:

            Interesting meta … I emailed them the other day and they told me the pool was open until the end of the month ( weather permitting, but the weather looks like it should permit at the moment ) .. Don’t care too much personally but the kids would want the pool !

    • ChrisC says:

      That’s correct. The voucher is now all electronic.

      • meta says:

        @EvilDoctorUK Hm, when I enquired two weeks ago they told me it’s closed. I would have used my voucher there. Also they told me Club is closed and indeed they weren’t selling any Club rooms.

        • EvilDoctorK says:

          I’ll let you know tomorrow ( well Sunday it will be quite late tomorrow when we get there!) but on 16th the hotel emailed me and said it was – I emailed to the athens [at] ihg.com address on their site and someone from the hotel replied directly.