Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 24th 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)

  • @mkcol says:

    After an almighty eff-up at the BA call centre yesterday while trying to date change & upgrade cabin on the inbound I’m now stuck with a Future Travel Voucher which was originally for 2 return LGW-TFS bookings made using 70000 Avios & £70 cash (reward flight saver).

    I actually don’t know what this voucher is worth! Is it the number of Avios + cash as above or is it some other mystical figure?

    • ChrisC says:

      It is worth whatever you paid for the flights so check your original booking Email.

      So if you paid 70k avios and £70 that’s what the voucher will be worth.

      If a 2-4-1 voucher was used that’s is wrapped up in it as well.

      • @mkcol says:

        Thanks, knew people here would know.

        • James says:

          I’ve had a big problem trying to rebook a reward flight from MArch 2020 with inbound cancelled by BA while I was in USA. They refused a FTV because I had ‘started my journey’ and I have phoned 5 times last 3 weeks and still their ‘Avios Team’ haven’t been able to come up with a value to set against another flight. Unreal

          • Charlieface says:

            Just buy it yourself and send them the bill. EC261 open and shut case

  • Ashish says:

    I have qualified for elite status with IHG. Kindly tell how I obtain the 25’000 bonus points?
    Thank you

    • ChrisC says:

      You mean spire?

      There is an area/box in your account that says “spire elite explore your benefits” where you can chose it as a benefit.

      Once you chose it the points will be added to your points total as “spire elite choice benefit redemption”

      • BP says:

        If it’s not there contact customer service and they will manually credit your account. I need to do this every year.

  • meta says:

    Anyone has experience of being downgraded at Marriott? Basically, I booked a room with a pool at Domes Zeen in Chania and a rate which included complimentary upgrade. The upgrade was guaranteed by the rate. On the app last night, I saw that I have been upgraded to a better room with a pool as well. Then I wanted to check in today and saw that they downgraded me to a room without a pool which costs 100 euros less per night. I called the hotel and managed to reinstate my originally booked room, but the hotel said that they cannot upgrade me to better room with a pool. That room costs 16 euros more. I am thinking that the hotel should at least compensate me this as it’s included in the rate. What others think?

    • meta says:

      Scrap that. They now upgraded me.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      “The upgrade was guaranteed by the rate.” The weirdness of hotel promos always baffles me. If it’s a guaranteed upgrade under that rate then why not just sell it as what it is … a booking for the next room type up; rather than a booking for the lesser room with an upgrade?

      • meta says:

        Exactly. I guess it is marketing thing. Somebody thinks it’s a great idea so that it doesn’t look like they are selling some rooms cheaper than others. In my opinion, the problem is that it probably messes the whole reservation system as then they sell more rooms than they can upgrade. And then elite status comes into play as well.

        I haven’t even invoked my Platinum status with them although I could have said something about that. It’s not very nice way to treat someone who is doing a status challenge at the moment and your trying to win business from. But that’s another issue

      • David says:

        Some of these are also designed to work around corporate travel policies. With the booking being for the permitted category.
        Others give them inventory flexibility – they can upgrade you at least one category, but don’t have to say which, which can let them continue to sell a wider spectrum of higher category rooms for longer.

        What I do wonder about is whether the revenue maximization from running a wide variety of room categories and up selling, can result in an administration/complicity overhead that starts to outweigh the benefits vs. having a hotel full of decent standard rooms.

      • Rob says:

        I recommend an Open University degree in Psychology.

    • Harry T says:

      Upgrades that show in the app are not guaranteed to stick, though they have recently for me!

      • meta says:

        I don’t care what it shows in the app. I booked a rate which guarantees one category upgrade. I precisely booked a room with a pool to be upgraded to a better room with a pool and they downgraded me to a base room (three categories below!). It is very clear what the categories are when you look on Marriott website as they are differently priced. In any case the hotel rectified it, so all good.

        • Harry T says:

          Yes, in that case it sounds like your chagrin was justified. I’m just saying that what the app shows isn’t necessarily what you will receive. You have to be careful with some of these rates that include upgrades too, as some of them say that the room you book is already considered an upgrade I.e. you’re paying the rate of a lower category room and receiving the higher category room.

  • KBuffett says:

    Are there any stackable Amex offers for use at Bicester. Genuinely finding it hard to track with my 7 Amex Cards and so many offers!

    • Andrew says:

      Possibly Tory Burch, but I think that’s the only store there that has a stand-alone offer as well as the general bicester offer. Also if you have Platinum Or Centurion card you can present that at the visitor centre and get a “VIP” e-card which gives you 10% off at places which aren’t taking part in the “Private Sale” – this would be Dior as an example and all the eateries including Wolseley and Pret where you’ll get 10% off.

      • KBuffett says:

        Thanks Andrew. I didn’t know the the VIP couple be used at Pret and Wolesely. I could have saved a few £ over the years!

  • xcalx says:

    Data point
    Contacted Iberia on Wednesday re cancelled award flights cash back on CC yesterday avios in account this morning.

  • oblong says:

    what happens to all the previous daily chat threads? And will there be an article on the Virgin Holidays CAA slap on the wrist?

  • Mart says:

    Can anyone recommend multitrip worldwide travel insurance ? We have used the cover with our NatWest bank accounts and claimed successfully in the past but we Just realised the trips we have already booked are not covered because I booked them when FCO travel advice was still in place.

  • Josh says:

    Does anyone know if the black creation ihg card needs to be used to pay for a stay at ic/kimpton to get the bonus 5k points?

    With the amex spend offers seems better to use those but don’t know if you can split the bill, put a couple quid on the ihg card and get the points as well?