Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Monday 22nd March

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

We are running 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 (392)

  • IF1 says:

    Any speculation on further Amex platinum offers with non essential retail opening up next month? 👀 or highly unlikely with the recent £175 offer?

    • Blenz101 says:

      My speculation is that there is going to be no reason to incentivise people to spend. There will be sufficient pent up demand.

      Brands will also be conscious that running promotions to generate footfall in the short term may be considered irresponsible and risk reputational damage when cases inevitably rise again.

      • Andy D says:

        The job of the promotion is to get you to do your inevitable spend with vendor A and not vendor B, whilst you are in the mood for rampant retail. I’m still hopeful.

        • Andrew says:

          Agree, in the same way as you could argue that Mr Porter doesn’t need to incentivise spending as they have lots of online demand at the moment, and yet they are giving a £125 statement credit on a £450 spend. Just like we see in October, the usual retailers like Selfridges and Harvey Nics will be back with their £30 off on £100 etc. Today I see Bicester Village is back with £50 off £500 – virtual only, although it expires on 12 April, the day the shops are due to open, so if they do open then, it might work in store on that first day.

          I’m also hopeful for something with MR on Play, double points/value maybe – the BAPP is a much better option for spending at the moment with the 2 extra Avios.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            I agree there will be offers.

          • HeadingForNoPoints says:

            Andrew I noted you seem to get all the generous “luxury” retail offers consistently over several cards despite being a regular at mr porter for example? I’ve only ever had one mr porter offer and that was April 2020, I know there have been a further 2 rounds (late 2020 and now)

            I have since spent over £3k net with mr porter but have put through £35k gross spend (excluding refunds), is that why im not getting the offer?

      • TGLoyalty says:

        With the majority of those that end up in hospital vaccinated “cases” rising isn’t really as big an issue.

        This was about hospital capacity not cases.

        • Rob says:

          Good luck selling all those Christmas crackers and novelty jumpers without a discount.

        • Yuff says:

          TG

          I think the stats for vaccinated cases ending up in hospital, so far, are very encouraging.
          Cases have plateaued over the past 2 weeks but hospitalisation have continued to fall at a similar pace.
          Everyone is very cautious and rightly so, but Israel and UAE who are the only other 2 countries with a similar pace of vaccinations to the UK have a mortality rate that is approaching single figures on a daily basis and drops of approx 60% in the last 2 months, not as good as the uk but we have had a stricter lockdown over the same period.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            UAE pretty much always had a single figure per day. Think it peaked at 15

            As per Rob the risk of unvaccinated groups outside phase 1 ending up in hospital is tiny (ONS survey shows around 40% have antibodies anyway) and the risk of them dying is even lower than tiny.

            There is acceptable risk from everything we do. Nothing is risk free.

          • Alan says:

            Certainly a vast improvement – we went from >130 cases in Jan to single-digit numbers recently thanks to vaccination kicking in.

        • Yuff says:

          I haven’t seen any evidence they eat out to help out, in properly controlled covid safe environments caused any spike in cases.
          The country cannot be locked up in cotton wool to protect a small minority who have not had the vaccine who might be susceptible to serious illness on the basis a mutation may or may not happen with no evidence to back that up.

        • Scott says:

          In my opinion, it’s not going to make a lot of difference whether sales and/or discounts are available.
          My town for example, seems to be getting busier by the day, and as soon as pubs and say Primary or TKMaxx opens, practically everyone under the sun will be there, even if its just to get out the house for the 50th time that day.
          I know a few people who would happily camp outside Primark to go on a shopping spree, and others who will be banging on the pub door before it opens. Sad, but that’s people for you.

        • Yuff says:

          Each to their own, but with half the adult population vaccinated those are the kind of things people should be able to do.
          Why can’t vaccinated people socialise with other vaccinated people now?
          Otherwise what is the point of vaccinating at such a pace?

          • Rob says:

            The risk of 2 vaccinated 70-year olds mixing is probably the same as the risk of 2 unvaccinated 30-year olds mixing, offsetting vaccine effectiveness against the risk posed by age. So why allow one and not the other?

        • Tiff says:

          Eat out to help out “had a large causal impact in accelerating the subsequent second COVID19 wave.”

          Fetzer, T. (2020). Subsidizing the Spread of Covid19: Evidence from the UK’s Eat-out To-help-out Scheme. University of Warwick, Department of Economics.

        • Polly says:

          Well, we are hoping for another July shop small

        • Track says:

          Typical econometric exercise of causality tools, Granger and what have you. Economists need ‘to sell’ papers to stay in business too, not only epidemiologists with 7-day SMA decision rule.

          propter hoc ergo ante hoc fallacy remains.

    • memesweeper says:

      When we had a relaxing of the rules before we saw lots of offers. So I’m expecting the same again.

  • Ming the Merciless says:

    Hi rebooking question I’m afraid.

    I booked a RFS at T-355 for this coming April. The flight has been cancelled and I need to re book. It’s an annual trip so the only interest I have if traveling is April 2022.

    Any tips on how to handle it with BA? I assume thy won’t rebook be as flights aren’t available?

    • AJA says:

      Be prepared for a battle to convince BA to re-ticket. You run into the artificial 1 year validity issue before you even start. So good luck getting BA to reschedule to May’21 let alone Apr’22.
      That said you are entitled to reroute at a later date convenient to you.

      • Ming the Merciless says:

        Thanks for your reply. What happens if you don’t respond to the cancellation?

        • WaynedP says:

          If it’s BA Holiday (i.e. hotel or car hire added for all or part of trip) then they process refund quickly – I think they’re obliged within 14 days. I nearly got caught when I wanted time to consider rebooking but didn’t want refund.

  • Nick says:

    Been using the Amex Morrison’s offer almost daily. All credits tracking fine on Amex.

    But I also register this Amex with virgin instore offer for the in store offer. Only 1 purchase has tracked. For an amount I cannot reconcile. Why aren’t others tracking. Hesitant to submit a claim as points may not be awarded on the gift card element

    • TGLoyalty says:

      In my experience they hardly ever track

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Just to clarify I meant they hardly ever “track” but just go straight to payout.

        Remember to use the card directly and not via Apple Pay etc

    • Jonathan says:

      They asked me for a picture of receipt for one purchase that didn’t track in previous round. I just let that go. Most of my purchases did initially track though. A couple then didn’t pay out but that was resolved by CS (who didn’t ask for receipt).

      • Claire says:

        None of mine ever track on my husbands Amex but always track on mine – go figure!

    • The_real_a says:

      Offer was pulled for some in recent days. Check you still have it on your virgin account.

    • Andy D says:

      How long does it take for the credit from Morrison’s to post? Been waiting since 18th for a £405 big-shop to credit.

  • Anna says:

    Data point re IHG Ambassador free night certificates expiring in April. I’m obviously not going to be able to use the bonus certificate from the promotion last autumn, however my sister still occasionally has to travel for business at the moment so I wondered if I could use the certificate for her to stay in a nicer hotel than her company would normally stump up for! I emailed the relevant hotel at the weekend and they said they are quite happy to accept the booking as long as she has a valid reason for travel, so I am very pleased that the free night isn’t going to be wasted.

  • George1976 says:

    Oxford vaccine 79% effective at preventing any symptoms and 100% at preventing serious illness in the US trial. The trial contained a reasonable proportion of over 65s too.

    No safety issues either.

    Bad day for the mad anti vaxxers who used to say “why hasn’t America approved the Oxford vaccine if it’s safe?”

    • Garry says:

      Kickbacks from AZ

      • meta says:

        And yet Biden sent all AZ stockpile to Mexico and Canada and US won’t be using any AZ vaccines any time soon…

        • Brian says:

          Makes it difficult for people, doesn’t it? Are they going to say Biden is clueless, or the vaccine is iffy? If only Trump was still in power, then they could just blame him…

          • Chris Heyes says:

            Brian Can they not say Biden “is clueless” But its all “Trumps” fault

        • Louise K says:

          4mln doses they sent to Canada and Mexico – on ‘loan’

          • meta says:

            That’s all they have in stock for now and US doesn’t plan to order any further. They have enough Pfizer and Moderna. They have also started now with Johnson and Johnson which requires only one dose, so why would they give out AZ? It just slows down the whole vaccination rollout as you need to space it out for 3 months.

        • GeorgeJ says:

          Meta,

          Where did you get that tosh. The US is sitting on a lake of the AZ stuff ready to go when it is approved. They have loaned a minuscule amount of it to the neighbours, initially under 5 million shots.

          • meta says:

            NYT article today says AZ vaccine won’t be needed as they have enough of other vaccines and the FDA authorisation won’t come until May anyway.

          • Rhys says:

            They expect to have 50 million doses by the end of April

          • meta says:

            @Rhys not according to NYT article. I think they are just going to use it for vaccine diplomacy.

          • Rhys says:

            I meant that the US would be in possession of 50 million doses by the end of April. Yes, it looks like they won’t be needed – good news for us and the EU potentially.

          • GeorgeJ says:

            The 50 million is AZ, in fact they have most of it now (30 million packed ready to go). There was a much better in depth article in the NYT on 11 March which went through the numbers and where the stock was being held.

      • George1976 says:

        🤣

        • George1976 says:

          That was a reply to the “kickbacks” post

          • WaynedP says:

            +1

            I also took @Garry’s comment to be ironic.

            Truly perplexing irony (as pointed out on BBC Lunchtime News today) is that the one vaccine being delivered on a not-for-profit basis is the same one being shunned by Europe and US for alternatives that will add “billions” (not millions) to Pfizer and J&J and their shareholders. Despite rigorous studies repeatedly revealing phenomenal efficacy rates.

            If I were a conspiracy-theorist I’d focus on the suspicion that there was some sort of big pharmaceutical lobby group with heavy wallets ready to pounce on the ears of the nearest senator seeking re-election / boost to social media profile / populist credibility (delete as appropriate) … oh, hang on …

    • Sandgrounder says:

      But if you are an anti-vax conspiracy theorist, these reports just harden your beliefs- they exactly the kind of lies the establishment tells people to push their microchip-laden control shots! 🙂

      • Andrew says:

        Everyone knows the nano-chips are in tattoo ink.

      • George1976 says:

        😂

        They really are loons aren’t they? I would say that they should be ignored but it’s also something to laugh at.

    • Anna says:

      A few Americans on my timeshare FB page seem convinced that their kids are going to be vaccinated by the summer so they take them on holiday. Do they know something we don’t?!

      • George1976 says:

        No. They just don’t have a clue what they’re talking about

  • Lady London says:

    @Number9 are you OK? haven’t seen you for a while.

    Don’t worry one day Covid mess will end, and then Spurs might start winning too 🙂

    • Number9 says:

      Haha cheeky mare, I’m ok just mega busy my Mum died at Christmas so sorting out her affairs and I am selling my house buying another. Every day someone sends me vast amounts of paperwork to deal with. We did win yesterday but that’s a rarity. The joys of being a Spurs supporter it’s the hope that kills ya. I do try and read HFP first thing before the day starts, sitting on 2 241 and nearly million points and nothing booked and no idea when we will go any where.

      • Anna says:

        Sorry for your loss, Number9, it doesn’t help with all the admin a bereavement entails, either.
        When things are better you can plan the trip of a lifetime with all those points.

        • Number9 says:

          Thanks Anna, it was her time, I’m just great full I managed to keep her at home and nurse her.
          I’m plotting and planning some travel ideas but need to renovate my new house first. On the plus side I’m going to be able to hit my gold card and BAPP card spend bonuses very easily this year with what needs spending. Always a bright side.
          I did move all mums amex points into Hilton then transferred over to my account before I closed her Amex account. I found her receipt for a trip on Concorde in 1999 £1500 for two people for a 2 hour flight to Bay of Biscay. She kept all the original menus, flight tickets etc She took my Son on the flight with her not me unfortunately.

  • Reney says:

    Has anyone tried to use the Virgin CC Morrison CB more than once? Did it track? Thx

    • Alex says:

      Do you get any notification if/when it tracks? I used it yesterday for the first time and nada…

      • Reney says:

        I did not get any notification it just tracked when the transaction comes off pending.

        • Alex says:

          Thanks. Will check when it comes off pending. Is it meant to be one-time only? Need to comb through the T&Cs.

          • Reney says:

            That is what I want to know, have asked this question several times over the last week but no clear response yet. I think previously when I have used an offer once it is no longer on the list of offers but it is still there… the T&C is not that clear to me…

    • thehornets says:

      Yes, I have done it twice and both have tracked and are showing as ‘pending’

  • TripRep says:

    Rob – any thoughts on trying to phone BA at midnight for redemptions rather than on the web? Tried and failed via the web for MLE CW 241 about 7 times now.

    Grateful for other folks thoughts…

    • Tracey says:

      For 241, you need to be booking a flight on BA metal. BA do offer other airline flights via Doho, so make sure you are trying to book a direct flight. That said, they are extremely popular, so I’m it surprised it is proving difficult.
      I would phone at 5 to midnight and have the agent primed to go as the clock strikes.

    • Michael C says:

      I nabbed an Osaka cherry blossom redemption online: filled all the details out, then around 2358h just did refresh, refresh!

      • Hotelier says:

        @Michael C – Osaka redemption I imagine in JAL not BA, are BA flights back for that route?

        • Michael C says:

          Sorry, Hotelier, should have clarified that it was last year while the route was still on…and my flight was then cancelled! No JAL with 241 of course, sadly.

    • Anna says:

      How did you do it the last 2 times, TripRep? You’re the only one I know whose ever done it once, let alone twice!

    • Rob says:

      Telephone agents have priority over web bookings, because they can hold the flight. Online the flight is not held, even though you think it is in your basket, until you click ‘pay’. Unless you can do the entire booking process within 30 seconds or so, you won’t beat the telephone agent. I’m not sure if there is also a lag of a few seconds of the website updating.

      • TripRep says:

        Tracey I’m well aware of the metal constraints.

        Telephone it is then. Thanks folks. 🙂

      • Yorkieflyer says:

        It’s also the case that you need to judge not ringing too early, told to go away, and not ringing too late, wait times, security etc
        Also having lifetime blue doesn’t help! If you get a helpful agent sometimes their finger isn’t quick enough as on popular routes and dates there is likely other callers on the line.
        If it’s a 241 booking optimum approach is both of you call, also be online and have a second choice destination in mind or accept any of a multiple daily

        • Anna says:

          My next couple of bookings are going to be to destinations where I can book both legs online in the same booking. Can’t be bothered faffing about adding return legs on and/or calling up to get avios refunded any more! I’ll see where it takes us …

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.