Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 23rd 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 (329)

  • C says:

    Undoubtedly like many on the site, I’ve rebooked my Easter 2021 holiday flights on BA to depart on 17 May. After giving me a hard time a week ago when I tried to rebook for the summer (I was told the fare class only available on certain random dates), this time they had no trouble moving my ultra-discount CE flights to my preferred dates. I’m skeptical I’ll actually be able to travel on those dates (and our destination currently requires hotel quarantine on return), but a lot can happen in the intervening three months. Anyone want to post odds I’ll actually be able to travel without hotel quarantine on the return?

    • Andrew says:

      You do realise that May 17th is just a guideline, not a fixed date and certainly not promise of international travel by this date, as that’s subject to a review to publish in April. So it’s just an assurance that it won’t be before this date we were told yesterday.

      • C says:

        The flights were paid with BA previously, so if they cancel I can get a refund, and if I cancel I get a voucher. Hotel and car hire will be paid on arrival or refundable until at least a few days before. Thus, no incremental out of pocket cost, until I actually travel, and I can also cancel the entire trip with, at worst, a BA FTV for money I originally spent in October 2020.

      • BJ says:

        Setting dates was simply foolish and investing much confidence in them is even more so. I am still not going to plan any overseas travel before my December trip. Sure, there is a good chance that travel will be possible before then but with what confidence? All I see is too much potential for anxiety, disappointment and inconvenience. Where can we actually go? Back in December there were over 70 countries banned travellers or flights from the UK if I recall correctly. Have these restrictions been lifted, is there an up to date list of countfies that ban or alow travel from UK?

        • Harry T says:

          I agree with BJ – you could have just waited 4-6 weeks before rebooking to see if May dates would be feasible? Odds are they would have cancelled your original flights for April anyway, giving you even greater flexibility for rebooking. This is one of those times where trying to be clever is actually not very clever. 17th May deadline could easily slip and you have given up some flexibility now.

          • C says:

            From my perspective it’s a question of keeping modest expectations, while trying to be optimistic. It’s a nearly free option – no additional cash out of pocket, and I’ll have no issue with an FTV for the modest amount involved, and there is significant potential upside from retaining some optimism and hope. Those dates also have greater personal value than others, if we can get away; waiting (and then rushing to book with everyone else) is more stressful. The last year has shown that government policy will not be predictable or logical. So, from my perspective it’s a free option.

        • Tiff says:

          Agreed. Government using the “data not dates” catchphrase in the days leading up to the announcement, but then going on about the dates (which is what people remember) and nothing about the data. Modest expectations is the way to go – many things could still go wrong, unfortunately.

  • Rob says:

    Looks like the Aegean thing doesn’t work, tried transferring 6k points to accor live account and getting a random ‘73’ error when I hit confirm. Anyone else getting this? Tried different browsers and same thing..

  • Nicky says:

    My silver Status on BA was extended for a year, does anyone think they will extend again because of not being able to travel for a year (otherwise going to drop to the lowest level in September)?

    • Andrew says:

      Here’s hoping!

    • Rob says:

      It is in BA’s interests that you have status when you restart travelling, put it that way ….

    • AJA says:

      If you’re currently Silver you should drop to Bronze (Rust?) Which is still higher than Blue (the lowest level). Also if you see travel reopening after September and can get the required TP for Silver easily enough fairly soon after dropping to Bronze then you get nearly 2 years of Silver again. Maybe an option?

      That said I think another extension is likely.

  • Gareth says:

    We have a BA Holiday booked to depart 15th May, before the earliest date for international travel. I see TUI and other package holiday companies automatically cancelling everything before that date. Is it likely that will be what BA Holidays will do too do you think? Would be nice to have a refund rather than a voucher and preferably before the balance payment becomes due.

    • Rob says:

      BA isn’t cancelling some flights until VERY late in the day, often 2-3 days before departure, to scare people into taking a voucher when they could get cash by holding on. If you want the money you need to hold your nerve.

      • WaynedP says:

        That’s potentially a problem for customers, given that you have to pay full outstanding balance three weeks away from scheduled departure, or trigger FTV by then. I was told that terms of my last BA Holidays booking were no opportunity to trigger FTV inside of three weeks from scheduled departure.

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        I am pretty hard nosed and have pushed it to 5 days before departure over the last year for pre-booked things but 2 days would stress me out. Unless it was guaranteed to be cancelled I can’t imagine how many people stick it out till the end

  • Ant says:

    HI, My gold card is renewing this month. Once I receive the 10,000MR what is the best strategy to maximise my MR? Upgrade to a green card or Platinum?

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Ultimate earning strategy is to ring them and say you are thinking of cancelling because you don’t feel like the fee is worth it anymore until travel fully recovers. Ignore ALL the scripted responses around benefits and offering pay monthly fee. Allude to the fact you’ll stay if a better offer comes along but don’t directly say it

      If you do want to change cards, I think BAPP is your best option

    • Rob says:

      Nothing you can do to maximise points (Gold is the most generous MR card due to the airline and FX bonuses) but you can save £140 by cancelling and getting Amex Rewards Credit Card instead.

    • Genghis says:

      Paying £140 pa on the Gold is never worth it IMO.
      Is your Gold an old charge card or credit? Only the old charge cards can upgrade directly. Get a green and then upgrade but a bit long winded? Not done this route in a while TBH. Get BAPP next if not had BA earning card in the last two years. Referrals with partner possible?

      • Harry T says:

        I’ve paid for my Gold card for a few months of the second year due to earning an extra two points per MR – I did the maths and I profited. But mostly it’s better to refer your partner for the card and spend on that for the free first year, or cancel your Gold and get referred for it again a short time later.

  • Tony says:

    We have a flight booked for 25th May, even if we do open up on the 17th May for flights do you think BA will be running all it’s scheduled flights? If Covid numbers are under control we would love a holiday but probably can not wait so late to cancel hotels etc so looks like we will have to cancel our trip anyhow…

    • BJ says:

      What the UK government or BA does or allows is less relevant than what your destination does or allows so I’d base your decision on that.

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    Ernie working again today.

  • YC says:

    Any thoughts between Blue Palace vs Domes Elounda?

    • Rob says:

      They are only a few minutes walk apart. Blue Palace has a bigger beach and is nearer to Plaka (5 mins walk vs 15 mins). Absolutely no idea what it is like inside though as we only walked past it getting to/from Domes.

      • Magic Mike says:

        I’ve only stayed at BP but it didn’t really impress, unless you’re going to shell out for an Island Luxury Suite, which is $$$ and not in the status upgrade pool. The bungalows are not, and some of the rooms that are claimed to have heated pools don’t really (and you really need one because with east facing rooms the pools never heat up in the sun). Flyertalk has a good thread.

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