Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Thursday 29th 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 (177)

  • SammyJ says:

    Does BA still allow you to change to an earlier flight on the same day? I’ve got a package (fly + car) booking due to return tomorrow evening from GIB, and wondering if I can change it to the afternoon flight by ringing them first thing?

    • Rhys says:

      I haven’t heard that anything has been changed, but it might be more complicated with a package booking.

      • SammyJ says:

        Thanks. I read somewhere that it requires a call rather than being able to do it online but not read anything more recent about it.

        • Graham D says:

          I did a same day change on a BA holidays package last year – although FT seems to suggest it doesn’t apply to package bookings – but I had no problem.

          You have to call in (as with any changes to a package booking, they can’t be done online).

          • SammyJ says:

            Thanks. Just trying to work out what time they’ll be available to answer phones in the morning, as it can take a while to get through! If the flight leaves at 12 (11 U.K. time) and they don’t open until 9 in the U.K., it’ll be tight.

          • memesweeper says:

            call the US number at 00:01 , it will be changeable from midnight

          • Lady London says:

            Japan, maybe? their new day starts before Europe.
            US days start after Europe day starts?

        • ChrisC says:

          I’ve not been able to same day change flights using the app but have using the web site so I have that as a bookmark on my iPad

          I always understood it to be for standalone flights so it may not be possible if it’s part of a BA Hols booking (but it’s worked for some people but not guaranteed)

  • Corey says:

    Quick question – is there an article here looking at whether to get a FTV vs pay 35pp cancellation fee?

    If not any thoughts on what I should do with a reward booking comprising of 56k avios + 241 voucher (issued Jan 2020) + 1400 in taxes for Apr-21 to Orlando. This was for a wedding that was now cancelled and may move to New York in August. Now considering which cancellation option to go with.

    • Andrew says:

      The only questions are: do you need £1400 back now or happy to keep it tied up in BA; do you trust BA not to go bankrupt before you can use it (low risk); do you mind having to ring up and make your booking using your voucher rather than on line; do you mind a loss of £70. Only you can answer those questions.

      • Rob says:

        The bigger issue is the 241. Taking the FTV keeps it alive until 30 April 2022. Cancel and it is only valid to its standard expiry date.

        • AJA says:

          I think the 2-4-1 voucher is not an issue unless it was earned on the free BA Amex which I doubt it was as the flights booked for Apr 2021 are beyond the 1year validity that you get with a free BA Amex. Corey says the 2-4-1 was issued in Jan 2020 so would have had an expiry of Jan 2022 but that would then have been extended by 6 months to Jul 2022 anyway which means taking a FTV is pointless.

    • AJA says:

      @ Corey, when did you book the flights to Orlando? Instead of cancelling is there a possibility of just changing the booking to fly to New York in Aug 2021? If Aug 2021 is still within 1 year of original ticketing of the Orlando flight it should be possible to change to NYC. If not I’d just pay the £35pp and get everything back and rebook for Aug when you’re a bit more sure that’s when and where you’re going. You could also just wait until closer to the time to see if BA cancels Orlando in Apr 2021 but that’s a long time to wait.

      The FTV option still requires reward seat availability and you have to phone BA up to utilise it although reward seats to NYC are much more likely to be available than most other destinations. You’d have far more flexibility with the 2-4-1 back in your BAEC as you’d be able to redeem it online in the normal way.

  • Ed says:

    Anyone know if it’s possible to book two different IHG hotels on the same night, using points from the same IHG account? Thanks.

  • Anna says:

    Catalonia has closed its borders for the next 15 days, it is reported – hope noone has break booked in Barcelona.

  • stevenhp1987 says:

    Cyprus and Lithuania added to the quarantine list (removed from Travel Corridor) from 4am Sunday.

    No country added to Travel Corridor list.

    We can almost breath easy for my Stockholm trip next Saturday!

    • Harry T says:

      You’ll be lucky to escape quarantine IMO but I do hope that you get away and return quarantine free.

      • stevenhp1987 says:

        Not fussed if I have to quarantine to be honest.

        Worked from home every day since March anyways.

        The wife would miss a birthday meal but she’s happy with an early present of going abroad and visiting some museums!

  • Rob says:

    You won’t find anything under £600. Even in ‘cheap’ countries like Thailand you’ll find they don’t least anything under £200ish per night.

    Plats got this offer a year ago and no-one has yet found a way to ‘maximise’ it.

    • Amar says:

      I checked with OFS . . . you can split across as many cards as you like. Tempted to do a 3-night stay in notting hill for £100 (£900 minus 4×200 credits)

      • TGLoyalty says:

        How do you split? The booking has to be made online?

      • Rob says:

        Try it and let us know, but I think whoever in the call centre processes that will be fired the next day.

        • Amar says:

          Does it have to be booked online? The CS agent said I can split on multiple cards but only by booking over the phone. If I do end up booking it, will let you all know!

    • Ollie says:

      The only way I found to maximise the plat offer (which applied to every stay, not just once) was as follows:
      All city places have a 3 night minimum and most country places have a 7 night minimum. This makes it impossible to stay for near £200, *apart from* Bali which has a 1 night minimum stay and villas going for less than £200. There are a few of these villas near each other so if you hopped between them each night on different bookings, you’d essentially stay for free!
      I haven’t actually tried this, but I scoured the Ts&Cs and It technically should work.

      • 747_Brat says:

        Thanks for the tip mate. I have a Bali trip booked for next year. I will try to use the offers. Cheers!

  • Brian says:

    Does anyone know if you could digital check in and out through the Hilton app without actually having to go to the hotel to use the key and still get that counted as a night? Thanks

    • Rob says:

      No, in theory. In practice, it might work. In the UK The Innkeepers Act does, I was once told, require a personal signature from the guest to enforce the contract between both parties however.

  • Craig says:

    Looks like the Canaries just approved the 72-hour requirement for a negative COVID test.

    • Harry T says:

      When is it coming in?

      • marcw says:

        Not yet. It’s still need to go through the Parlament of the Canary Islands. it will apply 10 days after it’s published in the Boletin Oficial de Canarias.

        Remember this is not a requirement to enter the Canary Islands, it will be a “requirement” to be able to stay in hotels / apartments.

        There will be exception as well… which I think will be very “generous”, since you should be able to check-in and eventually take a test as well… but there are islands where there are no private labs that do covid test.

        Once it gets published in the Boletin Oficial the canarias, i’ll make a summary here.

        • Harry T says:

          Thanks, @marcw. Looking at the timeline, I’ll probably be flying out before this comes into force (outbound Nov 8th).

          • marcw says:

            In that case, you don’t have to worry at all. Enjoy your stay in Tenerife then! 🙂