Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Friday 19th February

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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 (290)

  • Dr C says:

    Anyone had a message about their nectar card being unlinked from BA?

  • Wally1976 says:

    Hi folks, I’ve mentioned this issue on here before but it still isn’t resolved and I’m getting increasingly frustrated by it.

    I’m trying to do a dummy booking on for Avios tickets, London to Orlando in August (well) in advance of doing a real booking for August 2022 in order to price up the options.

    It is for 4 people (2 adults, 1 young adult and 1 child) in economy. I can book one-way (both directions) no problem but when I try to book a return with both legs in economy it gives me a message “Sorry there is a problem with booking this journey online. Try selecting other flights”. If I select premium economy for one leg it works but not if both legs are economy.

    I have tried two different browsers (Chrome and Edge) and also the BA app (Android) to no avail. I have tried all combinations of dates with outbounds on 2nd or 8th August 2021 and returns on 18th or 22nd August.

    Anyone any ideas??

    Many thanks.

    • Wally1976 says:

      OK, I just tried it from my wife’s BA account and it works fine. So it’s something to do with my account. I’m still going to need to resolve it, however, as that’s where the Amex companion voucher will be (in my account). Mmmm.

      • Stu N says:

        Either clear cookies or use private browsing. You’ve probably got something that makes think you’re already half-way through a booking.

  • YC says:

    Email from Easyjet- have their booking policies got better or I’ve just not followed? Refund if flight is impacted by lockdown. BA is still better but I’m tempted to book easyjet if the price is significantly cheaper

    • JimmyJimmy says:

      I received that email saying
      “We’ve introduced new policies to give you even more protection…
      If you’ve booked flights to a destination that goes into lockdown, you’ll be offered a refund – even if the flight runs. “ which I think (although not sure) is new.

      • Jody says:

        That’s interesting, definitely new. I’ve got Easter flights to Tenerife that haven’t been cancelled yet (although pretty sure they will be).

    • Travel Strong says:

      It’s ‘new’ but T+C’s totally unclear.
      “Refund if flight is impacted by lockdown”
      – what about existing bookings?
      – what if impacted already at point of booking?
      This information is not clear.

      The ‘transfer fee-free’ T+C’s say it’s for *new* quarantine requirements and you must apply within 7 days of the change in guidance.

      Nothing like that stated for the new Refund statement, but it seems unlikely that there is no questions asked refunds going to be issued for anything affected by a lockdown.

    • Phil says:

      It is new. I’m part of an easyJet “consumer panel” and got the trail of this release last week. I did feedback that the wording was ambiguous when you compared it to the actual terms but they proceeded with it anyway.

  • Niall says:

    I have a flight to the Dominican Republic early April with BA which was moved after cancellation last summer. It seems fairly unlikely this will happen now. Is there a likely time by which BA might cancel?

  • Benilyn says:

    Wear are people’s favourite dubai IHG redemption? Looking more budget ones like upto 30k (not Marina Intercontinental 50k)

    • TGLoyalty says:

      You don’t say what month as iHG redemptions are dynamic now.

      For example marina is 27,500 in May.

      IC festival city goes for around that. Rob doesn’t seem to be too much of a fan but the mall is pretty lively I’m told.

      Indigo Downtown is new and I like the downtown area
      CP Marina is probably the only other one.

      Personally I think IHG is pretty weak in Dubai.

      • Rob says:

        We did 5 nights at Festival City over New Year. The 2-room suite we finished with was shockingly bad but the standard room we had for the first 3 days was good and with a decent view. Executive Lounge is VERY civilised, one of the best I’ve visited in a while. Mall is bustling (by 2nd tier Dubai mall standards) with loads of eating places if you get bored of the hotel. Decent sized and very varied pool area shared with the Crowne Plaza. Not on a beach, of course.

    • Anna says:

      Sadly we had to cancel our Easter stay at the Marina IC, but they were very generous with upgrades, even on award nights, and lounge access when I contacted them. I would definitely book it again once foreign travel is possible. Award nights were around 30k points for Easter when I booked so you must be looking at the highest peak travel dates.

      • Travel Yoda says:

        Marina IC is very nice but pool a bit rubbish for sun especially in Oct-Feb when not so warm. Shadowed by to many other buildings.

    • Tarmohamed says:

      Not IHG, but HGI Al Jadaff is our favourite Dubai hotel when visiting for a more than a few days. It’s located well if you are driving and is very affordable.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        I’ve just seen there is a residence inn opening in Al Jaddaf again very accessible if you are driving

        • Tarmohamed says:

          I think there is an all suite Marriot as well which recent opened. But they apparently don’t accept Amex or recognise elite status

  • Alex says:

    Curious to know if anyone can help

    A friend has a purchase £60K ish a year from a supplier in Europe. The supplier only takes bank transfer not card. They want to try and earn some points from the spend. They suggest topping up revolut and transferring to the bank from there. They’ve asked me for any other ideas and I’m blank… any suggestions?

    • Harry T says:

      If they top up Revolut with 60k, they won’t have a Revolut account for very long.

      • Alex D says:

        It would be spread out over the duration of the year, not in one go to add. I believe it’s paid every few months. if they had the paid version would it be more favourable?

        • Harry T says:

          I would be very surprised if they got away with putting £5000 into Revolut a month and then exiting it via bank transfers to the same person. Revolut also don’t have FSCS protection, so I wouldn’t be keen on keeping larger sums in there. I’m trying to be helpful rather than dismissive here – Revolut do not have an illustrious history of treating people fairly.

          I seem to recall amex recently released a payment system for businesses that allows you to pay with Amex and earn points? It’s not free but it is worth looking into. They could also try negotiating a better rate with Billhop.

          • Colin MacKinnon says:

            +1 HarryT

            Revolut may work if you put all your banking through them, but without FSCS protection, I wouldn’t.

            So I put six or seven thou a month in to pay one or two bills and my mum’s care home. Got a year and a bit out of it before told cheerio!

            They quickly refunded my £150 or so balance.

    • Steve says:

      Beardy or Creative via Bendy to Ernie, to current account to supplier.

    • Yuff says:

      I’d be careful about bank transfers into euro accounts, someone ive been paying for a year by bank transfer suddenly got hit with an €18 charge on a €40 transfer last month.
      As to doing £60k a year, I’ve had metal for 18 months and no problems doing those amounts.
      Not all top ups have been with points earning cards though.

      • Lady London says:

        No the receiving bank cant di that @Yuff as the UK has remained in SEPA – I am sure someone reported that happening last month then was revokef and this was the stated reason.

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Safest option is billhop but they charge a 2.95% fee

  • Roger says:

    Pardon my ignorance and perhaps I am daft contemplating it. I find Virgin more difficult to understand than BA. Have actually never flown wth them but have a hefty total

    Considering using Virgin to fly to Miami in December for a cruise. We have 2 companion vouchers, so presume I can book pay/use points for Premium Economy and upgrade with the companion vouchers to Upper Class as there is availability.

    If the flights are cancelled will I be able to change the flights to another date regardless of Reward availability?

    • memesweeper says:

      If the flight is cancelled your legal rights are strong — however , the reality of dealing with rebooking policies is just as important. I’ve not tried a rebooking with Virgin during the pandemic, but in normal times I’ve found them much more customer friendly than BA. YMMV.

    • Alex says:

      It might be cheaper to pay cash for the PE seats and then use both vouchers to upgrade you to Upper. This way you earn some miles aswell. It was cheaper for me this way flying to NYC so I’d check

  • Tarmohamed says:

    I’ve got to a point where my current business is ticking over and until at least Hospitality re-opens I only need to dedicate a few hours a week.

    I want to explore/venture in to another business area, funds not an issue, but absolutely no idea where to start right now. Any pointers/direction would be appreciated.

    • Travel Strong says:


    • Colin MacKinnon says:

      Get invovled in aviation.

      How to make a small fortune in aviation? Start with a big one!


      Airiline boss called in to see bank manager. Bank manager says I don’t like the look of your accounts.
      Airline boss asks: What do you know about the airline business. Bank manager says: Not a lot.
      Airline boss replies: That’s a shame, because you’re in the airline business now!

    • bazza says:

      Reward Points blogger

    • Lord Doncaster says:

      Become a self-styled teenage airline consultant like that Alex Macheras bloke…

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