Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Friday 4th December

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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.


Please only comment under the main articles on the site if your comment is directly related to the topic of the article.  This has long-term benefits as it keeps the commentary relevant for people who read those articles in the future.

Old chat threads are hidden from the HfP home page.  If you want to look for something in an old thread, click here.  This brings up all the articles in our ‘General’ category which includes the chat threads.

Comments (292)

  • Anuj says:

    My comments seem to keep getting hidden. Any idea why?

    • Coucou says:

      Comrade Rhys is deleting them.

      • Rhys says:

        Wasn’t me! And it’s not in our spam folder either. Could be a technical problem

        • Coucou says:

          I’m joking Rhys! Maybe it was Comandante Rob.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          So mine was deleted because it said a cashy back portal abbreviation.

          Give they guy atleast some clue as to why they might be being moderated!

      • Alex says:

        Comments are only ever removed for a valid reason, such as banned words as said above or if it’s abusive/mean and generally unnecessarily unhelpful

    • The Urbanite says:

      There is a word filter – if your post contains anything in there it won’t be published.

  • BJ says:

    Quantile rules in Scotland have not changed; no relaxation for business travellers.

  • Bazza says:

    What does everyone think about this?


    What was the price in this recent sell off 85p?

  • Ben says:

    BA changed my flight to Dubai from the overnight flight to the one that leaves at 12 in the afternoon. So now I need to add an extra night at the hotel at the beginning of the holiday. Should BA cover that?

    Originally had an early check in, in the morning after the overnight flight landed at 7.30


    • Brian W says:

      I’ve had the same thing, got the email yesterday. They’ve reduced the schedule from 3 to 2 daily. Both the flights I had cancelled were on the A350 in Club so I’m not best pleased as I wanted to try out the new suite, put into two Dreamliner ones now.

      My situation was the opposite in that the replacement return which was supposed depart 9am was changed to a 1.15am departure so I was loosing a day which the accommodation already booked. Also meant a 10hr stopover at Heathrow so I had to call them first thing this morning and change the return to the one just after noon. The email said you could do this via MMB but you can’t, need to phone.

      I don’t think BA are liable for your extra nights hotel though, I could be wrong though.

  • Paul C says:

    BA have downgraded my June21 LHR-LAS (booked with Avios in the recent 50% redemption sale) from F – CW

    They are only offering me the difference in avios between the F and CW redemption costs (or half for the promo), rather than 75% of the avios price paid and 75% of the surcharges (I know tax cannot be claime). They are asking me to accept the downgrade in my booking, can I do this without jeopardising a claim for the 75% of avios/surcharges? It doesn’t mention what they would offer on the acceptance page. Also, should I request the difference/start the dispute now or after the flights? There has been some different views on flyer talk about this


    • Jonathan says:

      Just ignore their requests to accept. They can’t cancel your booking if you do nothing. Put claim in after you’ve flown & expect to have to escalate to CEDR/MCOL.

      • Anna says:

        What happens if you don’t accept though, could BA cancel your tickets (as in theory they don’t know if you’ll be travelling and therefore might sell your seats to someone else). I don’t think accepting the downgrade negates your rights to EU261.

        • Jonathan says:

          There’s no obligation to accept a change or confirm a flight. Only exception would be if you had a cancelled flight and wanted to push dates back when you would need to action any change before outbound flight to avoid being seen as a no show.

          If you want to fly on those dates & are happy to do so in the downgraded class then absolutely do not accept any change on-line or over the phone, just ignore.

      • Paul C says:

        Thanks Jonathon. Does this mean if I accept it will invalidate my claim? As I said, it doesn’t tell me any compensation I would be agreeing to, and the law is the law no? I am concerned about seat selection.

        • Lady London says:

          Possession is 9/10ths of the law with BA. If yoi accidentally ‘accept’ the far lower amount of just the difference in avios/cash between the clasd you booked and the class you were downgraded by BA to, then yes it’s technically true that BA was supposed to advise you of your right to far more but once you are deemed to have ‘accepted’ getting what you are due becomes much, much harder.

          Remember that even though British Airways adjusted their systems to ‘con’ people who were entitled to a fullrefund, into taking a voucher. BA did not advise those passengers of their rights -as they are legally obliged to do. When passengers realised they had been conned, not advised of their legal rights and pointed this out to BA wanting to change the voucher they’d been conned into to s refund, BA refused. BA still has their money, and it would take a class action (UK is not big on those) or action by our supine regulator to make BA reverse what they’d conned people into.

          So on no account, if BA downgrades you from First to Business, should you accept any of your avios / cash back. After you’ve flown in the lower class, claim your 75% for involuntary downgrade, likely you have to do CEDR or MCOL claim but it’s worth it for that downgrade.

          As @Jonathan says, if downgraded from Business to Premium Economy then you would probably prefer to reject the downgrade and request to be rebooked to another date when a Business seat is available as the loss of a flat bed is not usually sufficiently compensated by EU261 % on that particular downgrade.

        • Jonathan says:

          For seat reservations then you should be able to still do them through MMB or over the phone. Just make sure you don’t click on anything accepting the change as you’ll find the Avios/fees difference refunded & a bigger battle to obtain the correct amount.

          • Dan says:

            I can’t do anything through MMB. Overlay screen with Accept Flight when closed goes to homepage.

      • Lady London says:

        do not accept any form of refund or avios back as this means you wont be able to claim the 75% refund that is due to you for the involuntary downgrade which is.due to you which you will be able to claim after you’ve flown in the lower class.

        Not taking any form of refund or even partial refund is really important as you will be deemed to have “settled”.

        • Simon CH says:

          Excellent advice 👍

        • Gareth says:

          Is there any difference for a BA Holiday booking with only the deposit paid so far? We’ve just had our May trip to Toronto downgraded from first to club world. We are waiting for a callback but had assumed they will automatically reprice the balance due in April to reflect the change.

        • Chef says:

          I’m in the same position as Dan, I can’t view seats or my new itinerary until I accept the changes ?
          Is it possible to accept the changes from first to business but refuse their initial offer of recompense of Avios?

        • Paul C says:

          Thanks for the replies, spoke to You First who assured me that accepting the downgrade won’t impact any claim, especially as no other flights on that route within a reasonable time frame offer First. We did reject the Avios offered and have submitted a complain/claim to BA.

        • Lady London says:

          @Dan ! move away from the keyboard now !

          Phone BA for your seat reservation.
          Don’t touch the keyboard, and close that window.

          If you dare click ‘Accept’, then as @Jonathan says it’s highly likely you get automatically refunded the avios/cash between the two classes..

          Whereas you are due about 3x that in cash. If you paid avios you can make a case for the amount of cash they are valued at in various ways, but Rob is saying it works out at 1.6p per avios.

          Anyone who has bern downgraded from First to Business should leave the keyboard alone and just call BA for their seat inreservaton.

          If you do nothing you will still have a valid ticket in the system that will get you on the plane in the class you were downgraded to.

          Watch out in your phone conversation with BA that nothing is said about returning avios or cash to you. Do not accept this. Make it clear it’s still an involuntary downgrade and you expect the full compensation for downgrade provided by EC261 to be offered by them otherwise you will take it up at a later date (you cant claim till you fly really as especially in these times your loss hasn’t crystallised until you do).

  • Nick_C says:


    Just received my sign up bonus from Metro Bank. Credited today. Hopefully, you will get your referral bonus.

    For anyone else new to Metro Bank, “Thank You Bonus B” refers to the £50 incentive for opening a new account, “Thank You Bonus A” refers to the £50 bonuses for referring others.

    • 747_Brat says:

      Did you get any “Thank You Bonus A” at all? I used your code to sign-up, and have met all the requirements.

      • Nick_C says:

        No. Have you had your Bonus B yet?

        My Bonus B wasn’t actually due until 9th December. I’m not sure if they pay the referral bonus before the switching bonus? I know from a thread on MSE that they have been failing to pay some bonuses on time. I’ll give it a couple of weeks before chasing them.

    • Lady London says:

      Thanks for letting me know @Nick_C I am glad you got yours. I am sure mine will appear 🙂

  • Anthony says:

    What do HFPers tend to expect in terms of service recovery when a hotel room falls short on cleanliness standards? Staying at a hotel at the minute, crouched down and caught sight of something rather disgusting just under the edge of the bed. Front desk have acknowledged it was unacceptable and have sent house keeping to deep clean whilst we’re out but curious what people would expect in this scenario?

    • Jay says:

      What hotel chain and what status ?

      • Anthony says:

        No status but a 5 star Hyatt

        • Jay says:

          OK, did you take pictures of the issue and also of any other cleanliness issues in the room ? I would request to speak to the Duty or General Mgr. Advise of the issues, ask them how the room could have been cleaned to GBAC STARTM accredited standards, how you can be confident that the room has been correctly cleaned throughout and if they can’t clean what can bee seen how can you be sure that invisible threats have been eliminated (i.e. bacteria). Ask if the room was inspected by the Hygiene & Wellbeing Leader and if not, who signed the room off as acceptable. This issue has obviously caused you great stress, concern, disappointment and inconvenience and in light of the threat of Covid 19 you expected an 100% clean room which they didn’t deliver. Advise them you won’t pay for the night and if they argue, advise that you will send photographic evidence of service failings to Hyatt Corp, Chicago. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

          • Anthony says:

            Yeah, we’ve got photos, there were zero other issues with the room and it looked spotless apart from an unwrapped used sanitary product obscured by the bed

          • Lady London says:

            Nice one, @Jay. @Anthony please let us know how this goes.

            Important to make a fuss while you’re still on site. If I was the Manager @Jay’s solution would probably make me comp you an extra night as well 🙂

            Photos important.

          • John says:

            Hygiene and Wellbeing Leader? Aka Housekeeping Supervisor?

          • Jay says:

            @John, hotels are making so much fuss at the moment about their Covid Safe procedures an bringing in lots of smoke and mirrors to make people think the room is clean, when in fact it is no cleaner than in the past. Hygiene and Wellbeing Leader is the name given to the ‘supposed’ Hyatt employee who has been trained in inspecting rooms to a ‘supposed’ Covid 19 secure level. I doubt any hotel actually knows what the Hygiene and Wellbeing Leader as they never really give much attention to the finer detail of HQ led media campaigns. In reality it is the HK Supervisor or in the case of a 5* property, the Executive HK will be the appointed individual (or one of their direct reports). Take Hilton as an example walk, into any Hilton in the UK and ask to see their Lysol, Dettol, Sagrotan or Napisan product and you will get a blank look as they don’t use them even though the brand standard for Clean Stay says they are used. Likewise with the Clean Stay Lysol sticker on the door, the room will never have seen any Lysol product used in it. As I said, smoke and mirrors.

        • Lady London says:

          Which Hyatt ?

    • Jay says:

      I run a consultancy that writes SOP’s for hotels and cleaning is one key areas that we consult and train on. Let me know the brand and tier and I’ll let you know the expecting service recovery.

    • BP says:

      My only experience of a hotel falling way short was finding an opened box of condoms in the drawer of a room in Aria Las Vegas. They gave me $100 when I complained. The room was pretty clean and this was just an oversight I think.

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        Many people in Sin City would consider that a helpful complementary offering 😀 .

    • Nick_C says:

      Take pictures. Talk to the loyalty manager at the property.

      I got 10000 SPG points a night for a complaint about cleanliness at a Marriott in NYC last year. Housekeeping were cleaning the room, but the grime around the windows when I drew back the voile was disgusting.

    • Jay says:

      Based on the nature of the product found under the bed and the biohazard that such an item causes, I would escalate as this has nothing to do with Covid 19, this is a downright failure in basic housing keeping standards. On the basis that 99.9% of what can make you ill in a hotel room is invisible, you have been very unlucky to find such as item. I would be inclined to email to Peter Fulton, Group President – EMEA, and ask if he would like to sleep with such as item!! Regardless of what the hotel does to placate you, I would raise this with him as this is a health hazard on so many levels.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        I dont see the OP actually telling us what it is.

        One persons disgusting is another persons get it cleaned and carry on.

        What to expect? A free night? Some free drinks? A meal? A few points? You have to be happy the resolution is adequate and that’s all that matters.

        • Nick_C says:

          Anthony’s post @ 14:30 says it was a used ST

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Well someone’s got problems if they discard them under beds!

            Strange people out there. I’d expect a new room / upgrade to an acceptable sized suite.

  • Optimus Prime says:

    London at risk of being placed tier 3. So people wouldn’t be allowed to say in an airport hotel?

    • Jay says:

      I thought tiers lasted 2 weeks until c.16th Dec.

    • Rob says:

      Not for leisure, but fine if you say it is for business.

      Heathrow isn’t in London though. (EDIT: see reply below for clarification)

      • Optimus Prime says:

        The large suitcase might give us away 🙂

        My postcode is at 113 cases per 100k, will see what happens between now and 16th Dec. What’s the threshold for Tier 3?

        • Rob says:

          It’s not based on that, entirely. It is based on the rates in the elderly and the % of NHS capacity sitting idle. The latter number is still low.

          • Optimus Prime says:

            I was counting on having a PCR test done at Sofitel T5 but if they move us to Tier 3 on the 16th it’ll be too late to find something else. Might as well come up with a plan B…

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Business trips don’t require big suitcases?

      • AJA says:

        I thought Heathrow was in the London Borough of Hillingdon? Is that not classed as London? I thought all 32 boroughs of London were in the same Tier. So if London moves to Tier 3 that would imply that Heathrow would fall in the same restrictions.

        • Rob says:

          You’re right. Technically the airport is but many hotels are not, given how the border runs. The Hilton Terminal 5, for example, has a Slough address and a Slough postcode.

          • Mart says:

            We were due for staying at the Radisson Manchester this coming Wednesday also tier 3 ,we received a email stating they would be checking it’s a essential trip (it’s not)so cancelled ,all Manchester airport hotels are in tier 3 so got a cheap premier Inn in wilmslow.5 miles away in tier 2 ,it’s a joke tbh

        • TGLoyalty says:

          That’s how they’ve decided after lockdown lite but that doesn’t mean that is what will happen on Dec 16th.

          I’m hoping they see sense as it needs to be more localised than it is.