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The HfP chat thread – Monday 16th November

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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 (249)

  • Tony says:

    Some “nice” comments about hotel cleaning in the times.

    Basically don’t stay at a Britania Hotel – but everyone knows that already. Shame they did a hatchet job on the London St James.

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/blood-and-bacteria-at-hotels-left-in-a-stomach-churning-state-of-filth-w38xtpn89

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      I cannot for a second there is a single reader here that would set foot inside a Britannia hotel- this is not a surprise to anyone I’m sure

      • Lev441 says:

        My business partner once booked us a night at a Britannia hotel in the middle of nowhere on a long trip up north. All I can say is never again! It was like being in a time warp…

  • BuildTheWall says:

    15% bonus on transfer of (bank) points to Singapore airlines Krisflyer.

  • George says:

    Using Morrisons gift cards for petrol – is that easily done or do the cashiers need to be taught how/convinced to do it?

    • The Streets says:

      I’ve never had any issues. They just scan it like they scan the Morrisons loyalty card

    • TGLoyalty says:

      There is one cashier at my local who is adamant they don’t work. The rest just get on with it.

    • mark2 says:

      You may encounter ignorance; just be firm.

      • Sandgrounder says:

        I stood at the checkout for 10 mins while both cashiers messed about trying to get into work and the queue built. I haven’t tried using them for petrol since.

        • S says:

          Same, it took me 45 minutes once, I didn’t have any other cards on me. It took a manager to come across from the main store to show them how it should be processed, but no issues since

        • Polly says:

          Shame not to, easy 10% off petrol. Just persist, they do sort it in the end…

    • Lev441 says:

      It’s taken my local store a while to get to grips with it – there’s one cashier who always forgets how to do it, but the others just take a few seconds now..

      • Chef says:

        They need to locate the Morrison’s gift card button, enter the purchase amount, sub total, scan the card and the receipt prints. Simples

    • Chris says:

      Do Morrisons still sell paper gift vouchers?

  • Andy says:

    I thought my flight to Gran Canaria today got cancelled. However, I was a bit surprised to see Award Wallet telling me to check in to BA2600: the destination has changed to Bentonville Arizona. Is that where planes go to retire for a few months? I wonder if I can still go on the plane? I’d be happy to go anywhere…. 😀

    • Anna says:

      It’s so depressing when your phone reminds you to check in for a cancelled flight 😥

      • Andrew says:

        Indeed – although BA emailed me last week with the “Let’s get you ready for your flight” message 3 days before my cancelled/changed flight to Gothenburg. You’d think at least they would know!!

      • Michael C says:

        I nearly keeled over backwards in May as I’d thought I’d forgotten to cancel a SIN I’d booked a year earlier!

        • Andy says:

          I had a 10 second panic thinking someone had hacked my ba account to book a domestic flight in America. Looks like I still have a booking but it contains no flights. Got me thinking, I wouldn’t mind if an airline sold a return flight to “somewhere warm with no entry or return covid restrictions” and you only find out when you land…

          • Anna says:

            Like the old style allocation-on-arrival holidays sold on Teletext! Though it was only the accommodation, you did get to actually know the destination. We had some stellar bargains with those in the 90s, inclduing 4* All-Inclusives in the Bahamas and Maldives.

    • Lady London says:

      Ooooohhhh….sad

  • Anna says:

    I think @meta might have had an IHG stay cancelled by the hotel earlier this year – if the hotel cancels are you entitled to re-booking at another date/location or are they only obliged to refund you? I’ve got a points stay at The George in Edinburgh next month which isn’t looking hopeful now, but they seem to have pulled award stays from the inventory as well as racking up cash prices!

    • BP says:

      The George cancelled my reservation earlier in the year and refused to rebook me in the Kimpton.

      I complained to IHG about reward inventory being pulled but multiple agents failed to understand the issue. They just kept telling me all the award rooms have been taken despite me having it in writing from the hotel that they will not be offering reward nights any more due to all rooms having club access.

      • Anna says:

        IHG CS are very hard work if you’re unlucky enough to need them. I spoke to 3 different departments and couldn’t make any of them understand why Platinum members would want standby upgrade offers. I gave up in the end and won’t be renewing Ambassador after this year as the upgrade offers (even though not guaranteed) I got as gold were actually better than the Ambassador benefits!

        • meta says:

          @Anna You should be emailing Ambassador, not regular IHG CS. They are much better although in my Amsterdam case they sided with the hotel. On other occasions, I got results immediately.

    • meta says:

      @ Anna Yes, Kimpton Amsterdam cancelled my stay 10 days before I was due to stay. I booked on points. IHG and the hotel argued they are only obliged to refund me. Obviously the hotel prices that close were quite high and it was supposed to be a low cost trip, so was not prepared to let this go easily. I also had my plane tickets sorted just 3 days prior. The hotel said they could move me to another IHG hotel, but I would have to pay full price (rewards or cash) or they could move me to Pulitzer for £250+ a night their sister hotel. I could also get a refund or be move to another date after October (this was in August). After several back and forth and them not budging, I emailed their press department and said that this is not acceptable as we had a contract. It was their commercial decision to take bookings knowing well they are in the process of refurbishment. I told them that I will be voicing my discontent on social media/tripadvisor. They came back and offered £80 rate at Pulitzer incl. breakfast, all points back, 25% discount on F&B at Pulitzer and a promise of a suite upgrade on next stay. As an extra sweetener for all the ordeal, I got 6x points on my Bonvoy card at Pulitzer (SPG hotel till 2015 now an independent five star).

      I’d first wait and see when they actually cancel. Then I’d argue that you would like to be moved to another IHG hotel (free of charge) or move dates if that’s better for you. If they don’t budge, be more assertive and say that they have contractual obligation, send an email to GM/press department, etc.

    • Harry T says:

      Contact Ambassador customer service – they are usually excellent. I’ve never used generic IHG CS.

      I doubt the IC George will be open next month, unless restrictions are eased – Edinburgh is a ghost town right now.

      • Anna says:

        That’s what I’m thinking and I read in the media that infection rates are going up so they may well have another lockdown in December. Choice is basically cancel myself or wait for the hotel to do it!

        • Peggerz says:

          Hi @Anna. Infection rates in Edinburgh have stabilised and gone down over the last 5 weeks of Scotland’s level 3 intervention. However, Glasgow and Lanarkshire are in danger of going up to level 4 ( pretty much full lockdown) because of their infection rate.

    • Lady London says:

      I dont think I’d want to stay at a hotel, ever, if they were closing for a period and refused to move my booking to any other date I wanted with no extra charge. I’d also warn others this hotel leaves you in the lurch when they have a problem so better to stay elsewhere.

      If the hotel was an IHG hotel and IHG gave no support then that would reduce my bookings anywhere with any IHG hotels.

      • Harry T says:

        @LL
        Several Marriott hotels have moved my cancelled bookings as far as next summer when they couldn’t accommodate me due to the lockdown etc. They will be getting my repeat business.

      • Anna says:

        LL – some hotels seem to be making it up as they go along these days! But in respect of my O2 stay, a manager called me last night and to cut a long story short in exchange for relinquishing my claim to the larger suite, we get to stay in the one originally booked for the full 4 nights at a very attractive discount!

    • Sukes says:

      If hotel has cancelled then their contract with you is voided and you are due a refund as the service cannot be delivered. There is no additional eu261 style right to rebooking as an alternative, although the hotel may wish to offer it/grant it.

  • BLG says:

    MCC 6012 do these transactions incur fees, thnx

  • Crafty says:

    Having changed from Curve “commercial” to “personal” and today activated the card, I still cannot pay HMRC. The transaction gets put through to the app for approval, and that seems to work fine, but then is declined (for no specific reason). Has anyone else encountered and/or overcome the same?

    • Nigel W says:

      Have you got Curve Fronted on? I had that issue when I did the same move a few months back and it was because it was off at first.

    • BLT says:

      Use SMS – the app function seems to have stopped working for me on curve

      • Peter K says:

        +1 don’t use the app for approval. Get an SMS.
        Metal is free to HMRC. You need curve fronted on otherwise and 1.5% fee.

        • Crafty says:

          Sorry, I wasn’t clear. It’s not the approval that’s the issue, this is now working fine both for in-app and SMS. It’s the step after that – card getting declined.

          Fronted is on, so that also isn’t the problem unfortunately.

          • Genghis says:

            Sounds like an underlying card block as you’ve created a new link with new curve card. I’d contact underlying card issuer then start with smaller payments and work up ££££

          • Crafty says:

            Contacting Creation, oh joy…

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