Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Thursday 31st 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 (239)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Dwadda says:

    Asking again cuz I cannot find Wed chat thread…

    Is there any scuttlebut about how long BA will continue flying to Antigua and other holiday destinations? With foreign travel banned. It must be that the outbound flights are flying mostly empty. So there is a limit to BA ability to repatriat holiday makers.

    My doctor suggests I stay out here as long as possible… I just don’t want to be stuck here..

    • ChrisC says:

      See the last paragraph of text above starting “ old chat threads …” There is a link there to previous “chat” threads.

    • Rob says:

      Last nights Dubai flights were virtually full looking at a report I read.

      I think most people are getting the heck out before the hospitals are full and curfews are introduced.

      • Anna says:

        Wish I’d gone myself now that schools are online until at least Jan 18th so quarantine wouldn’t be a problem!

  • Ervo says:


    Does anyone have any experience of getting through to Whatabuy? I ordered (and paid) for some china on 2 December and I’m still awaiting delivery. Emails just get standard replies. A phone number would be useful? Pretty fed up wiht this ‘great deal’!

    • Tocsin says:

      I got a reply to my email about breakages (out of stock, so no replacements, will refund) – that was from [email protected] – there were no other contact details on the email.

  • Harry T says:

    Has anyone stayed at La Ville Hotel, W Dubai, Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Finance Centre or the Andaz Dubai The Palm? Looking at booking a four night stay in Dubai next November/December – I don’t have much experience of the place. I’m Marriott Bonvoy Titanium, Hilton Gold and Hyatt Grub, if that helps. Would appreciate any advice/opinions.

    • Rob says:

      I am about 5 mins walk from La Ville as I type. Set in a new outdoor shopping and entertainment area on the water, very pleasant and Euro style. Have eaten there.

      Waldorf DIFC is a new business hotel. Other two are resorts on the Palm.

      Really depends what you are after. Nowhere is near everywhere here and taxis are cheap. Beach or no beach is really the call.

      • Genghis says:

        The new Waldorf DIFC looks nice. In the same block as our office there so planning on using it for my next visit, hopefully later in 2021.

      • Harry T says:

        Thanks, Rob – we will have a think about whether we want a beach. La Ville looks decent for the equivalent of £200ish a night but the Waldorf is a similar price…

      • NC says:

        We are in La Ville now. Very nice, stylishly designed, hotel with plenty of places to go within walking distance in City Walk (rare for Dubai!)

        Waldorf DIFC gets rave reviews but is in a business area. Carnival restaurant in the hotel is excellent.

        • Harry T says:

          Thanks NC. Do you have any Marriott status and was it recognised?

          • George M says:

            I can categorically reccomend NOT going to the W on the Palm. Was there 2
            weeks ago and the stay was well below average. Poor service and has somehow got worse since opening.

          • NC says:

            I have Platinum status – recognised with free breakfast but no upgrade given high occupancy for NYE.

        • Rob says:

          I’m having dinner in City Walk 22 🙂

  • Martha says:

    Any car lovers(travel related:) ) that can help please!
    My son is mad into cars and I want to subscribe for some car magazines(auto express or other suggestions please) for as cheap as possible.
    Can anyone advise the best way to do it?
    Many thanks

    • Anna says:

      magazine . co . uk usually has a good range of publications and you can often get 6 or 12 month subscriptions for the price of a couple of individual editions. Electronic versions can be even better value and are more convenient and environmentally friendly.

    • Craig says:

      Have a look at registering through your local library. Most have something similar to this; for Lincs I was able to link RBdigital to my library account which gives free magazine downloads. Auto Express is one of them.

    • Tracey says:

      Tesco club card deals

    • Charlieface says:

      Suscribe on one of the £1 for 3 months, rinse, repeat

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      Evo is probably the best of the car titles.

    • Wally1976 says:

      Can get a free magazine subscription with Club Lloyds account. There’s probably a car related one in there.

  • 747_Brat says:

    Woke up to 4 emails from BA Avios store informing me of points clawback on genuine purchases, which were not returned at all. They are now seriously taking the p!$$. 😡

    • Anna says:

      It’s a pain. You can challenge it and sometimes get them reinstated but it’s a huge faff as you have to do each one individually and often end up going back and forth between BA and the retailer.
      I don’t bother any more, but once I had 800 avios clawed back from an Elemis purchase; Elemis said it definitely wasn’t them! You do have to wonder whether this is a BA revenue-maximising tactic of some sort.

      • memesweeper says:

        Conversely, the Virgin portal has never once clawed back a single air mile from me. I won’t use BA’s one unless there’s absolutely no alternative, regardless of the advertised earnings rate. It’s just not worth the disappointment.

        • Genghis says:

          Agreed – the Virgin one is much more reliable. Now I just go for cash, even if the rate is lower.

          • Nick says:

            The problem Avios has is that retailers often don’t pay up. Avios don’t want to wait until they’ve been paid themselves (pay periods are very long to allow for potential product returns/chargeback claims) as this gives customers a poor experience, so they award points earlier, but if the merchant doesn’t eventually pay up, what are they supposed to do? If they claw points back, people are annoyed, but if they don’t, the economics of the whole thing are shifted and it’s not worth doing it, even though the majority of transactions do go through fine. It’s annoying, but from AGL’s perspective, they’re damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. Am sure they’d love some constructive comments though, if anyone had any to make…

          • Anna says:

            Constructive, how, exactly? Maybe, if this is actually the case, tell the customer that the retailer is at fault so maybe the customer won’t use them again, instead of annoying people by removing their avios and providing no explanation!

          • 747_Brat says:

            Apart from the Morrisons in-store offer of 8 Miles / £1, I have never come across any good offer on the Virgin Shopping portal. But like you, I will stick to the cash in future, even if it is at a lower earning rate.

  • Fred S says:

    ihg HELP! So I had 3 x CC Free Nights in my ac. Used 2. Sure enough the one expiring today is the only one UNUSED (as others have commented). Now trying to use the one expiring today and refused to produce Free night on an date in any destination…any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

    • YC says:

      Same boat as you. Tried all sorts of combinations to get the expiring voucher to be used for 2021 stay – no luck. Called IHG and they are telling me its is ‘stay by’. I am resigned that I got unlucky with this voucher compared with others. Tried web/app, 1/2/3 night combinations

  • memesweeper says:

    Bad news for anyone looking to book a Singapore partner award using Virgin miles, from the Virgin website: Due to specific Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore’s (CAAS) requirements, booking redemptions on Singapore Airlines are temporarily unavailable.

  • babyg_wc says:

    Whilst BA are allowing you to move to any date once they cancel im not sure this is virgins policing, the normal rules say refund or rerouting on a date similar to your original booking.

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