Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 9th 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.

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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 (280)

  • Boi says:

    Any recent experiences with the Revolutionaries and barclaycard? I was charged £59 about 2 weeks ago which barclaycard refunded as goodwill gesture

  • Baji Nahid says:

    Has anyone recently done a status match with TAP and heard anything back? I am waiting over 2 weeks now and not heard anything back from TAP regarding my status match.

    • Doc says:

      Yes, applied on 21 November. Just had an email this morning confirming the status and asking me to buy the points/activity within next 10 days.

      • AJA says:

        Don’t buy the 4,000 miles, join the club for €99 instead. It’s cheaper and despite the fact that says it only awards 2,000 miles you then receive 1,000 miles every month afterward and it will get you gold.

      • YL says:

        I waited more than 3 weeks to get a reply.

    • Pete says:

      About 3 weeks here.

  • A270 says:

    I booked 4 x CW tickets for April 2021 to see family in the USA. I used the 50% Avios deal and 2 x 2 for 1. If we don’t wish to travel then, is BA allowing to change the date to say August 2021? It will be the same peak season or is my only option to wait for the flight to be cancelled to rebook at this rate. I know there are other options or refund, FTV and re booking but I don’t want to lose the rate.

    • Andrew says:

      If you decide not to travel then rebooking will be at the current (higher) rate. If BA cancel the flight then you can rebook at the rate you paid.

    • Louise K says:

      As above, you will be charged the higher rate.

      I had my 50% avios booking cancelled last week, travel dates were April so maybe hang tight for a cancellation. My route was LAX

      • Colin MacKinnon says:

        And all the Denver flights – I have May, July and Sept – have lost F.

        So face slumming it in CW!

        Just trying to work out how I can be sure of the 75% refund for involuntary downgrade. Surely BA would be better just cancelling?

        • Lady London says:

          “They don’t know you know” @Colin M, about the 75%

          • Polly says:

            That’s the beauty of this site, most avios travelling community would not be aware…and BA would get away with it…

  • s879 says:

    I have the £250 off Etihad offer on my main and supplementary card. We are a family of 4. A close friend has the offer but doesn’t seem keen on using it.

    1. Could I book the ticket for say me and my child on her card?

    2. If the flight gets cancelled (or due to restrictions I am unable to travel) and we opt for an Etihad voucher, will that be in her name or is that a voucher code usable by anyone?

    • BuildTheWall says:

      It’ll be in passengers name.

    • Dave says:

      Someone may correct me, but I don’t think AMEX check the name on the card when a payment is made. If so it means you could probably use your friends card and address etc when booking, but your name.

      • Andrew says:

        Correct

      • s879 says:

        Thanks but what about if I have to take the voucher? I guess Etihad will issue it in my name, right? I’m also wondering if its not worth the risk as some airlines ask for the credit card that the ticket was paid with or am I imagining it?

        • Andrew says:

          Sounds like your approach to risk (which is reasonable) means this offer isn’t for you.

        • BuildTheWall says:

          You can get a letter from the owner of the card (hiding the 4 digit security code) that he authorised the card to be used by you for booking the flights. It’s not unreasonable as some old people don’t have cards and request others to book tickets for them.

      • Ali M says:

        I have used on someone else s card

  • AviosNewbie says:

    Is there a way to pay off H$BC via bendy? Don’t seem to have a debit card payment option. So is H$BC the ‘last link’?

    • BuildTheWall says:

      Yes

    • The Urbanite says:

      You can top up your account then do a bank transfer to keep the money-go-round in motion.

      • memesweeper says:

        A money-go-round with H$BC is strictly for those that don’t value their account with them. Given the hundreds of thousands of points they’ve earned me, I treat it strictly as the end of the chain, funded fully from my personal account, which itself has nothing interesting or creative arriving in it.

  • Brian says:

    Outgoing international travel ban for Australians extended until March 17th.

    Presumably there won’t be any travel into Australia for foreigners before then either although there doesn’t appear to be any confirmation of this online.

    • Andrew says:

      That’s right. Likely borders will be closed for tourists to Australia for the majority of the year.

      • Yuff says:

        So the Aussies aren’t going to vaccinate their population then……lol

        • BuildTheWall says:

          No country will be able to complete vaccination by March 2021.

          • AJA says:

            Biden is proposing either to vaccinate 100m in his first 100 days which is just under 1/3 of the population or he might mean 50million people (it is 2 jabs) , it’s not clear exactly what he means. Either way not sure if they are going to get the number of doses required by January or even March, seems very ambitious to me!

          • Rhys says:

            Challenge in the US is a lot more complex too, as there is no national health system. Imagine keeping track of 300+ million people with thousands of different private healthcare providers, hospitals, insurance companies etc….much easier when it is all one system! Plus the millions of uninsured. NHS must make logistical challenges a whole lot easier I imagine

          • Anna says:

            And all those anti-vaxxers in the USA …

          • Lady London says:

            Late 2021 for Oz incoming seems to be speculated on Oz sources

        • Andrew says:

          Similarly slow rollout as here, so towards the end of next year they will be confident to open boarders.

        • DT says:

          What country do you live in that you expect complete vaccination by March?

        • Louie says:

          No plans to start vaccinating until March. Not so much urgency here as people aren’t dying of Covid left, right and centre so they are taking longer to look into the vaccine efficacy and safety. Hope they hurry up, I want to see my family 🙁

    • Anna says:

      There’s still been no mention of what will happen with families who want or need to travel. Does Australia intend to vaccinate children as well as adults? This has wide implications for other countries as obviously children could still be carrying COVID if travelling with vaccinated adults.

      • Andrew says:

        Indeed. The vaccine isn’t changing travel restrictions any time soon.

      • Brian says:

        None of the vaccines have been tested on children so they won’t be getting vaccinated any time soon. In terms of what it means for travel to countries like Australia, no one knows.

        • Margaret says:

          And children certainly carry thr virus. My youngest caught it at school, has been ill for 10 days (tested negative 6 days after exposure btw take note), and gave it to us. Hubby and I are quite unwell. Her friend in the affected class asymptmatically had it and passed it to her mum.

          • Andrew says:

            And children don’t wear masks which really irritates me.

          • Anna says:

            Hope you’re all better soon, Margaret and fully recovered by Christmas!

          • Anna says:

            My teenager wears a mask – he’s quite attached to it! They seem to have got a good system in place at his school, hand sanitiser at every door and they’re not allowed into a room without using it. Homework “quarantined” for 48 hours before the teachers will touch it. They’re all outside if not in actual lessons (some grumbling about that of course!) So far confirmed cases still in single figures and hardly any sent home to isolate (again grumbling!).

          • Lady London says:

            @Andrew +1 that really irritates me too.
            I do not think this government has ever really thought it through to really take care of the full ways infection is spread.

      • Rhys says:

        Don’t forget that we don’t necessarily need the entire population to be vaccinated for things to start happening again. Hospital admissions significantly lower for 15-44 year olds

        • Brian says:

          That’s the key point. Whilst I’m hopeful that the vulnerable will be vaccinated by April (as had been claimed) I’m reluctant to believe anything the government says given how much of what they previously said turned out to be untrue! It’s also a big logistical challenge.

        • Lady London says:

          Good comment but officially secondary school pupils are the most infectious.

          It’s not about who is affected ny symptoms but who (ultimately more vulnerable) in the chain of infection they might infect.

          • Anna says:

            Yes but they seem to be doing better at containing it than all the other schools in the area!

      • Chris Heyes says:

        Anna It will soon become apparent (middle of next year) that you will need a vaccine to enter most countries.
        If you are traveling with Children (or somebody who hasn’t had the vaccine) It will be necessary to pay privately for them.
        At least until it is rolled out to everyone
        It will also apply to passengers arriving in the UK

        • Andrew says:

          Although the UK has no plans currently for vaccination certificates, so it won’t necessarily even be possible to demonstrate to another country that you have been vaccinated.

        • pauldb says:

          There is not even a commitment yet to vaccinate under 50s. Some countries will take a harder line but once the vulnerable are vaccinated, there won’t be any appetite for restrictions in Europe. That said, a lot depends on more data as how how effective vaccines are are preventing serious illness: if it’s 80% effective you can’t let the virus rip; if it’s 99% they inevitably will.

          • Rob says:

            Not one single person became seriously ill with the Astra / Oxford one – whilst it may only be 70% effective, the other 30% don’t seem to get very sick.

          • pauldb says:

            Sure but there were a limited number of older candidates in the trials (none on the “more effective” half+full dose regime). By the time we get to April, outcomes from the early recipients will be more relevant than trial data, i.e. whether they’re still dying in scores.

        • Anna says:

          It sounds like it’s going to be a very long time before vaccines are available privately, though. Family holidays are a huge part of tourism revenue, so even if vaccinated adults are able to travel, how economically viable is it going to be?

          • pauldb says:

            It was viable, or rather economically imperative for Europe, in summer 2020 (ie without vaccinations for under 50s) so it will allowed in summer 2021, with likely lower cases and substantially lower deaths.

          • Rob says:

            The Astra one should be due to ease of storage and manufacture. However if the NHS controls certification you may not get the paperwork required anyway.

        • Anna says:

          They won’t make it obligatory to enter the UK, too many human rights lawyers around!

        • Mike says:

          I suggest some kind of tattoo or microchip, failing that, a blood test before travel. Certificates could be faked and checking each persons database will be a disaster. Overall, a chip would be best, takes seconds to verify at boarding and very difficult to fake, like cloning a chip and pin card!

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Get a grip. There are far more deadly diseases that they haven’t gone to these lengths for.

    • Mike says:

      Australia is no longer a democratic state. They’ve gone mad. North Korea forbids its citizens from travelling abroad. So did Soviet Russia.

  • EvilDoctorK says:

    Whoever gave the recommendation to me for Driiveme for my one way car hire needs thanks .. it looks as though they have something available ( though obviously you have to wait for them to confirm ) .. so if Europcar don’t get their website act together this should be a good fallback !

    • Lady London says:

      be careful if you’re picking up in congestion zone area or drive through it that will add to your costs as you’ll have to pay it promptly

      that is why I will never pick up at Euston, for instance

  • Doug M says:

    Apologies if posted previously. But it looks like Virgin found a bit more of the family silver to sell and lease back.
    https://news.sky.com/story/virgin-atlantic-sells-dreamliners-to-aid-post-covid-recovery-bid-12155513

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