Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Monday 30th 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 (236)

  • Keith says:

    Has anyone worked out what the deal is with the E Store. Avios for purchases that have not been returned vanishing? Is it the Retailer or Avios or BA that’s causing the issue? Or is there a legitimate reason? Who do you approach for help? How likely is it that it gets resolved? Thanks

    • Baji Nahid says:

      I had this too Keith, and its happening more often that it should! I gave them abuse last time and was compensated with 10000 Avios. So I am currently compiling a report to the avios folk to let them know this system really needs to change. I’ve really had enough with the poor practices they’re really been operating with.

      • Keith says:

        Did they actually explain why it was happening? Retailers seem none the wiser, so you have to assume its caused at the E Store end?

        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          They try and blame it on an IT glitch. It clearly isn’t. They just want to pocket the money without giving the reward…

          Personally I only take the risk if the reward is substantially higher than other sites such as TaCo Bell

    • KBuffett says:

      It’s time for these cashback type sites to be regulated.

    • Doug M says:

      I think it’s the retailers. Apple, Dell and Microsoft been near flawless for me. It was said on FT that Currys/PC World web order collections are the worst, staff cancel your web order, and redo as a shop sale to trouser commission, meaning the Avios reverse. Many of the sites apply small automatic discounts to void the Avios offers. Certainly don’t think of any part of this as trustworthy or transparent.

      • Andy says:

        I have been ripped off exactly like that by Currys/PC World. Other TV stores are available…

        B&Q don’t honour Avios when buying Click and Collect, and Harrods don’t give any either, even though they have 12x promotions every so often. Apparently it depends upon what brand you are buying – some refuse to allow “discounting”, which is what Avios count as. Only, they won’t tell you what brands those are, but they’re definitely Mulberry and probably anything else that you might go to Harrods for.

    • Rob says:

      It is very, very simple.

      Estore does not list the T&Cs which apply to each offer. Which brands or categories are excluded, what codes are allowed etc. I see these terms for companies we work with, and the same rules apply to estore purchases but you are not told what they are.

      • BuildTheWall says:

        Makes sense. Voldemort clearly specifies which categories dont earn.

      • KBuffett says:

        Thus it needs regulating

        • Lady London says:

          needs a misrep case or two to be won then ?

          • meta says:

            Just threaten them with court action and it will be paid up immediately or Avios/ money returned or go to payable. I have done it a few times with BA store and Voldemort. They got the message now and don’t mess with me anymore! I don’t think they want this to go anywhere near courts as it would expose their con.

    • Craig says:

      Today is a prime example, 5 months after the transaction and 4 months after the award, 644 Avios have been removed and 580 added. No detailed explanation as to why?

      • Rob says:

        VAT adjustment?

        • Craig says:

          Maybe, it just would be nice to know? When comparing the various shopping portals knowing the earning rate ensures you choose the most lucrative.

        • Andy says:

          580 x 1.2 = 696

          I had a VAT adjustment when buying a mattress from Dreams beds a couple of years ago. They had a good 10x promo, but reversed out the VAT a few months after awarding the original number.

          What happens if you have already spent them?

        • Craig says:

          I think I’ve worked it out, I have a standing 10% discount for having shares in a Scottish brewer. The change in Avios reflects that discount.

      • Lady London says:

        hmmmm 10% less. not sure how that equates to VAT. Perhaps taking delivery out of comissionable ?

  • KBuffett says:

    Does anyone know the best was to accumulate Emirates Skywards Points other than Amex?
    I’ve got plenty of Avios and I think Emirates Skywards might be more useful to me.

    • Baji Nahid says:

      Emirates eMall, online shopping portal but it doesnt have a great rewards scheme with retailers like avios.

  • EOC says:

    Canary Island Question for the group.
    The Covid test is supposed to be 72 hours before arrival but if you have a late afternoon arrival flight or are delayed then you would need to have an evening test done 72 hours beforehand.Hmm.
    I browsed a couple of local boards out there and theres some debate as to whether just having a date 3 days before would pass muster for a valid test rather than a strict 72 hours. Anyone got experience with this yet?
    Apologies if there was a big discussion a while back, I didn’t see one. . Its tiring wading thru endless debates about Morrisons and Harvey Nicks discounts 🙂

    • Colin MacKinnon says:

      My wife used Medicspot the other day: handed the test in at one of their “hub” chemists for the 2pm collection and got result the following day at 9pm.

      They offer a 11p next day “guarantee”, but don’t say what that actually means!

      She did it on Tuesday before a 6:30am Thursday Ryanair flight. She had something on on the Monday and also worried about any late arrival if doing the test then.

      So, worry about the flight being late/worry about the test result being late!

  • r* says:

    I want to book BA flights using a 2 for 1, but I want the return flight to leave from a different airport to the arrival so I cant book it online.

    Is there any reason to not do the following/would I be able to book it as –

    Book 2x one way outbound tickets using 2 for 1
    Book 2x one way inbound flights (no 2 for 1 for this one)
    then call BA to get them merged onto the 2 for 1?

    • ChrisC says:

      Why is there no 2-4-1 on the return?

      Is it because only one of the passengers is returning on that flight?

      If so then the can’t be merged as all trips in the same pnr need to be the same – same flight, cabin, passengers

      • r* says:

        I may have worded it badly, the same ppl will be on the outbound as the inbound, I meant that the return would be booked online without using a 2 for 1 online but that I would want BA to add the returns to the 2 for 1 by calling them 🙂

    • Genghis says:

      If your flights are all available to book NOW, then call up and ask BA to book this.
      If your outbound is now available to book but inbound not available to book, you can book your outbound now, applying the 241, then when the inbound becomes available, either:
      a) call BA at midnight GMT to get them to add the inbound to the outbound, creating a booking with one PNR or
      b) book the inbound as a single for two people then call BA in the morning to get the avios (but not the taxes), trued to the correct amount and you’ll then receive a refund of the avios. The bookings remain as two PNRs (so if you need to cancel it’s 4 x £35).
      a) is good for USA travel, b) is good for returns from Hong Kong.

      • r* says:

        All flights are available now, theres a significant reduction in fee’s if it were booked as one ways rather than as a full return (as it sounded like they wouldnt charge the extra compared to booking as a return)

        I wasnt sure if I could encounter and problems with having them add the 2 return flights to the outbound 2 for 1 (ie refunding half the avios for the returns)

        • Anna says:

          You shouldn’t have any problem getting the avios refunded but they usually won’t link the bookings these days (IME) so you’ll still have 2 PNRs and 2 lots of cancellation fees if you end up deciding not to travel.

  • S FRED says:

    urgent reminder re Lloyds uprade vouchers: anyone who has one expiring today, you gotta call asap to get it extended by 3 months – it’s not automatic, you have to request it

  • Harry T says:

    Hyatt is dropping the status requirements by half next year and extending its promo to February. So you can get Hyatt Globalist status for 15 nights in Jan and Feb 2021 (normally 60).

    • meta says:

      Yes, very good and this year’s nights from October onwards are transferred over to the next. I should be Explorist with just one extra night. I might transfer some nights in January and February from Hilton to Hyatt to hit Globalist. It could be very useful for stays at Park Hyatt Kyoto where breakfast is £30-35 per person and elsewhere in Asia.

  • Andy says:

    I have recently bought a couple of Club Europe flights to Athens in October next year. With one of my 2-4-1 vouchers, I paid 34,000 Avios, and £100, which I didn’t think was bad.

    When I checked what the cash price for the same tickets would have been, it was £3,200. For two people. To Athens.

    While that is ridiculous for flights nearly a year out, and no one in their right mind would pay that, it does, in effect mean that I have got 9.1p value per Avios.

    I think that’s probably OK.

    • Harry T says:

      Pricing is always a bit weird very far in advance!

      • Anna says:

        Sometimes if BA knows that its flights are released before the competition it charges silly prices as people who need to book will pay up anyway. You see it a lot of trans-Atlantic routes where BA release their flights a few weeks before AA.

        • Andy says:

          Thanks. There were only two Avios redemption seats available which is why i took them so early.

    • Alexander says:

      I had the same situation for flights to Corfu – booked for 36,000 and 100 instead of something silly like £2150. Again well in advance at the time of booking which might be why

    • DK says:

      Yes, prices to Athens are ridiculous. I bought reward fights for October half-term as really wanted to secure the dates. It is quite possible we will see better prices later

  • Ross says:

    Off topic. My friend and I just bought WTP return tickets for LHR-DXB in October 2021. Same fare, same selling class and booked same time.
    He just called them and they changed his flight to the following day for £30, and upgraded him to Club World for 20k avios and £53 in taxes.

    When I called they said the change fee is £150, and couldn’t waive it (so would be £203 total instead of £83). Does this sound right?

    • Matthew says:

      His original WTP maybe in a more flexible booking class than yours perhaps?

      • Ross says:

        As far as I could tell it was the same selling class – we booked at the exact same time and paid the same fare

    • memesweeper says:

      Did he call within 24hours of the original booking, and did you leave it longer than that?

      • AndyGWP says:

        Would they have charged £30 if within 24 hours?

      • Ross says:

        No, he called after the 24h grace period. As did I. I think what might have happened is the BA agent he spoke to assumed he was under the book with confidence policy so only charged him service fee? Even though that only goes up to 31 August 2021 so normal old fees should apply.