Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Thursday 28th January

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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 (321)

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

  • Amy says:

    Q: Used skyward points to upgrade a flight with Emirates, however the Infotainment system kept crashing (start up code + stuck handset) Will they offer compensation? I used 38,000 points and have a picture as evidence? Assume the phone lines wont help, so need to make a formal complaint. Anyone complained, whats the best route? Twitter, Email or Letter?

    • N says:

      Did you complain in the aircraft?

    • James says:

      I have complained twice to Emirates regarding issues flying Business and First and they’ve been very good with compensating me both times with points. Go through their website, you’ll get an answer in a few days.

    • Jill ( Kinkell) says:

      We had a similar issue some years ago. In fact we had a variety of issues on 3 of a 4 leg Emirates trip and each got 40 k skywards points. We phoned, and within days points appeared in our accounts. Most impressed.

    • dezbez says:

      We had something ‘similar’ with Virgin last year in Upper, albeit food related; they took everyone’s meal orders in the cabin but it turned out everyone wanted the filet and they didn’t have enough. So they came back to our family group of 4 and asked if 2 of us would be happy to change – they offered us 5,000 points each to do so, which we accepted.
      Not trusting this process would actually work, when we got home I called Virgin and asked them over the phone for our recompense there and then – they duly obliged giving us both 8k miles. Then 2 months later, the original 5k landed in each of our accounts. So thought that was a very satisfactory outcome.

  • David says:

    To our resident Australian HfPers – what’s the latest noise re Qantas resuming flights later on this year?

    I got my permanent residency partner visa approved last week and we are looking to emigrate in Sept / Oct of this year.

    Fully aware of the rules / flight caps etc but on reviewing options the cheapest currently appears to be connecting via Sin onto Qantas.

    Any up to date info appreciated.

    • Louie says:

      They put flights on sale from July and then just a few days later the Gov (or I think more accurately the chief medical officer) made it pretty clear Australia wouldn’t be opening up until way later than that. Maybe not even until next year.

      I’d ask your question at https://www.australianfrequentflyer.com.au/community/ which is pretty much the Aussie equivalent of FlyerTalk.

      • Yuff says:

        I wouldn’t be so sure about that, Aussie education minister is openly discussing vaccination passports as a way of not having to quarantine.

        • Yuff says:

          In Australia, education minister Alan Tudge said on Monday planned “digital vaccine certificates” would allow international students to return to study in the country without the need for them to hotel quarantine.

    • Louie says:

      Oh and congratulations. Tis lovely over here!

      • David says:

        Thanks for the info. Yes I did see the recent announcements re poss not opening until next year. Looks like Qatar and Singapore are still flying in consistently although there are additional issues with not being able to transit Sin right now from the UK – hopefully that changes by Sept!

        And thanks! It’s been the plan for a couple of years now so just a shame it’s in such a disruptive time period.

  • N says:

    Was there a fortnum and Mason amex offer recently? I seem to remember one but can’t see evidence of it on my app!

    • Kevin C says:

      There were a couple last year. Separately Fortnums offered ten per cent off in January but you had to register for it.
      You can pay Fortnums with Paypal if you have that offer.

  • YC says:

    Is it normal to see Virgin redemptions completely 0′ out for all of December to BGI (in all classes)? I know they don’t have a policy of x seats/flight but find it strange they have just decided to not load any on for the past few weeks

    • ChrisC says:

      Yes completely normal to see this.

      As well as not having a guarantee of releasing x seats in each cabin they also don’t have a policy of releasing them at specific times such as when they put revenue up for sale.

    • Jonathan says:

      That’s peak, peak season to one of the least price sensitive winter destinations so would have zero expectations of any appearing unless we’re still (or back) in lockdown in the Autumn.

  • dezbez says:

    Hello there. Apologies I’m sure this has asked before, when/how do new Sainsbury’s shopping offers appear on your nectar account? Do they just pop in weekly or do you have to select them from somewhere?

    • Greenpen says:

      Both, they pop up weekly but you have to then select them. Selection seems instant, you can shop for the item and get the points within moments. There is a select all button so you need not do each one individually although you can if you want.

    • Andrew says:

      Once a week, and they usually last for 8 days so there’s an overlap. It seems to depend on what day of the week you set up your account as to which day you get the offers updated.

      If you switch on push notifications, you’ll get a reminder from the App when the new offers have loaded.

  • KP says:

    IS there a way to get FT subscription cheaper than the rates advertised on their website? (Apart from the £1 4 week trial). Thanks

  • ian_h says:

    I’m interested in other readers views on Pet friendly rooms in hotels.

    I am sat on a lot of points / vouchers and would be willing to take weekend break staycations if only the big chains had Pet friendly rooms (Of course I’m willing to pay an additional cleaning fee, guarantee behaviour etc).

    Lockdown has given my bestie separation anxiety and so kennels are not an option until life gets more back to normal.

    It seems its only Independents that seem to offer Pet Friendly rooms – are the chains missing out?

    • Harry T says:

      Sheraton Grand Park Lane is pet friendly. We saw a lot of cute dogs in their bar when we stayed there last year. Also a lovely hotel.

      https://www.marriott.co.uk/hotels/fact-sheet/travel/longr-sheraton-grand-london-park-lane/

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Kimptons are pet friendly not sure on the size limit though.

      I’ve seen dogs at Langley too not sure if they’ve been snuck into the brew house rooms though.

      • Anna says:

        At the Manchester Kimpton we saw an arriving guest’s dog being towelled down by the duty manager and generally made a massive fuss of (it was raining, of course). Appreciate that Manchester isn’t the most scintillation spot for a short break, though the hotel is gorgeous!

    • Harry T says:

      Renaissance St Pancras says it is pet friendly on its website and this seems to be supported by other websites. They seem to charge extra though.

      https://www.marriott.co.uk/hotels/fact-sheet/travel/lonpr-st-pancras-renaissance-hotel-london/

    • Peter K says:

      Some do and some don’t.
      Hilton Doubletree Cheltenham used to for example and Mercure Newton Park.
      You just need to look for them.

    • Harry T says:

      My friend took his rather large poodle to Trump Turnberry last summer and they didn’t mind at all. Absolutely great hotel too with delightful staff. You can book stays with points for about 35,000 points a night, which is usually around 1p per point value.

    • Anita says:

      Kimpton are dog welcoming! We went to Edinburgh in September & our golden retriever was welcomed. Allowed in the restaurants too but a slightly different part – much nicer & a more exclusive part! People without dogs were also there.
      Also wine hour & dogs allowed.

      • Mikeact says:

        Dogs in restaurants…..no thankyou.

        • Jill ( Kinkell) says:

          my husband can’t stand dogs and fails to understand why anyone would want to have one. The ultimatum in our house is if I want a dog (it would have to be a black lab as I grew up with them ) , I’ll not have a husband!

    • BJ says:

      Canopy London states it is pet-friendly. DT Treetops in Aberdeen was too but has now closed. There must be a list somewhere.

    • memesweeper says:

      Lots of IHG and Accorr are dog friendly — I’d guess most in fact — plus some Hilton.

      • kitten says:

        It may depend on the country. In Germany/Austria, France have always seem dogs in all levels of hotels.

        I am allergic to dog hair. i found this out after using the couch in my then favourite new-model Ibis in Austria.

        I literally did not stop scratching for 9 months. (Yes I did shower etc. but the reaction had been triggered and then did not stop returning for 9 months.) Since then I add a note to most hotel reservations “if possible no previous dogs in room”. Then some non-understanding desk manager assures me at checkin it does not matter as they have such high cleaning standards etc.

        Like now during Covid, I check anyway and twice I’ve returned to the reception with what’s clearly dog hairs stuck on the sellotape I use to check.

        • Peter K says:

          Sounds like you needed a very high dose of fexafenadine (2 twice a day) to combat this. A family member had severe hives and was prescribed this by a dermatologist. She said it would make the pharmacist question the dose but was considered safe by dermatologists for shortish periods. It soon reduced the issue and took 3 months to fully resolve the problem but it worked!

          • kitten says:

            You are right but i stay away from doctors (sorry to all the docs here) and try not to take any medication if I can avoid it. I think I might have tried if it had gone on for a year.

            It takes energy and specialist vacuum cleaner to successfully remove pet hair etc. from the types of surfaces in mid-range hotels and a lot of hotel cleaning is not effective regardless of what the hotel might say.

            I actually avoid so-called dog-friendly hotels but in some places dogs in hotels (and even their restaurants) is quite a normal thing.

    • Chris says:

      In my experience all Kimpton are very pet friendly. they usually have a jar of special dog biscuits somewhere within the reception

      • kitten says:

        Metro Bank used to always have help-yourself sweets and fog biscuits freely available in dishes.

        I nearly ate one of the dog biscuits a couple of times until I remembered.

  • Will says:

    Anyone seeing bonus 5k red by DUFRY points in their account? Any information provided?

    • Travel Strong says:

      I can’t even get the app to show the points balance, clicking in the menu goes to offers instead. Gave up after a few minutes of fighting the app.

    • gerjomarty says:

      Not sure if this covers your case, but this happened to me in my brirthday month. The points were removed after the month finished.

    • 747_Brat says:

      Is it your birthday? I received 5k DUFRY points on my birthday last year.

    • Sina says:

      Anyone knows what the points are for? Or if they can be used for anything? 😅

      • kitten says:

        I think that might be £5 off in a dufry outlet. obviously you’d have to be at an airport then. I didnt know they grab the points back.

        Heinemann used to have some great joining and membership offers for airport duty free – they were particularly strong in Germany but also found in quite a few other countries. They also did decent birthday offers (this is a German thing)

        • Will says:

          Correct. Was recent Birthday but couldn’t find further details re removal later. By logging in online. I discovered the app was tracking an old card (somehow duplicated registration) and I am plat not red. Unlikely to take advantage of this though in current world situation. App really doesn’t seem to work well even now it tracks the correct account.

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