Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Sunday 11th April

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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.

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Comments (200)

  • 1ATL says:

    @AJA you asked me to come back regarding Iberia points, in particular if I decided to purchase a token amount of IB Avios in order to safeguard my IB balance that was about to expire. I can confirm that I did end up purchasing the minimum amount of 2000 Avios at and 2 days on than original expiry (09APR) they are still showing in my IB account along with the avios that I purchased.

    • AJA says:

      Hi 1ATL Thanks for coming back to me! That is very good news as I did not think that simply buying Avios on IB would work to prevent existing Avios expiring. If you are on FlyerTalk you may wish to report back on the IB board as well as there is a specific thread on how to prevent Avios expiring and there are many reports of people losing Avios when trying to simply buy them. Am very pleased it worked for you.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        It could always be that expiry is actually suspended for a while due to Covid.

        For example Marriott shows the original expiry date but they won’t actually expire prior to 1/1/22

    • Terri says:

      I also have experience of Iberia nilling out the avios nearer to the end of the month rather than on the exact date of expiry.

  • Mot says:

    Would appreciate if someone could help me. If I come to UK for only 2 days is their anyway to purchase before arriving in the UK only 1 test as appose to the standard 2 tests for days 2 and 8 at £210?

    • Rob says:

      Given that I read about someone getting fined at the border for not buying them who was on a day trip (and so not using either) I guess not.

    • Greg says:

      You can’t’ board the plane without the receipt of the booking for the two tests.

    • Sukes says:

      No idea if they actually answer the emails but dhsctesttrace.customerfeedbackteam at is published as the official email address to contact for advice if your circumstances for travel to England do not fit into the norm & you need quarantine/test advice. You have to include your (intended) date of arrival when you contact them.

  • BrianATJ says:

    Hi re the lyft/donate/Hilton 2000 points offer.

    Anyone else have a delay with receiving the donation receipt by email and the donation amount coming out your bank?

    The reason I ask is I donated and it said on screen thanks for donating and a receipt would be emailed to me. However that’s been five days nows and no email receipt and no payment has been been taken.

    Not sure if its went through or not. Thanks

  • JayCoo says:

    Guys – have long haul avios prices just increased? Maybe I missed it – looking at SYD – LHR 31st March 2022, its now showing as 165K avios in Club World when making a booking. Was previously 150K avios (in fact still shows as being 150K in Seatspy’s tool).

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Isn’t the difference due to way the Singapore flight is treated?

      • Louie says:

        Yes it will be. Can’t remember the flight numbers but if you have the same one on both flights it will be 150k; if you change planes in Singapore it will be 165k.

  • stairali says:

    Has anybody Bern able to use two Virgin upgrade/companion vouchers at once to both upgrade a flight and get a second ticket?

    • babyg_wc says:

      I used 2 vouchers on 3 people, one as a bogof and one to upgrade from prem to upper

      • stairali says:

        I should have specified that I am looking at two people only. I suspect it is not possible though.

  • Mot says:

    Would appreciate if someone could help me. If I come to UK for only 2 days is their anyway to purchase before arriving in the UK only 1 test as appose to the standard 2 tests for days 2 and 8 at £210?

    • bafan says:

      The rules are / have changed so yes you can do this. On FT they were saying the providers are implementing the change ATM to match updated government guidance.

  • Chrism20 says:

    IHG/Mr & Mrs Smith question

    Has anyone ever stayed at the Mr & Mrs Smith Linthwaite House in Bowness on Windermere?

    I’m looking to get a few long weekends sorted for late summer/autumn and this one interests me.

    • RussellH says:

      Since no one else has replied yet…

      I have not stayed there, but we did have an excellent meal there some years ago, and from what I read in the local press, it has moved upmarket since then. Did not know it was now Mrs/s Smith, but that would go with the attempt to move upmarket.
      Location is attractive, certainly.

      • Chrism20 says:

        Yes the restaurant is Simon Rogan so definitely in the upmarket bracket.

        • RussellH says:

          We were there before Simon Rogan came on board. I should have remembered that he had taken on the restaurant there – there was enough excitement in the local press!

    • Anna says:

      I suspect it will be heaving in the lakes this year at weekends, especially around Windermere which is one of the first stops (and the only stop for many). What about Middleton Lodge near Richmond? It looks gorgeous and the area is just as picturesque but much less touristy. When I last looked it was about £280 or 60k points pn.

      • Chrism20 says:

        How busy it will be isn’t a major issue. Has to be The Lakes as I’ve got a £500 gift card for L’Enclume that I won in the raffle with work at Christmas. We’ve done the rooms there already so were looking to try somewhere else.

        • RussellH says:

          You lucky b*****. I am envious.
          Personly I was not that taken with L’Enclume – I found it on the pretentious side, but my partner would disagree strongly!
          But he also did a private event locally a couple of years ago that we went to which I did really like. I was able to chat to him for a few minutes at the end while he was relaxing while we were getting our coats and he seemed a very pleasant, calm and normal person. Quite unlike the likes of Gordon Ramsey, say.

          • Anna says:

            We ate there years ago, my OH wasn’t impressed as he was still hungry afterwards!

          • Chrism20 says:

            Yes it is quite full on but the last time we were there we thoroughly enjoyed it.

            Agree that he is quite level headed unlike some of the other big name chefs out there although Marco Pierre White was completely different to how we expected him to be when he done his meet and greet in Glasgow.

  • Gerry says:

    Has anyone been able to arrange for the IHG Ambassador 2020 Free Night renewal offer to be usable after 17th May when UK hotels open? Second response from Ambassador Customer Service again “As per promo terms and conditions, your Ambassador Reward Night is valid until April 30, 2021. It cannot be extended or transferred.”

    • Sarah says:

      I emailed AMB customer services and got the 40000 points added to my account in place of the voucher.

    • Peggerz says:

      Hotels in England are not open for leisure visits prior to 17th May. Scottish hotels open 26th April and I intend to use my 40k reward night shortly thereafter.

    • Anna says:

      After many emails back and forth (you have to carry on until they give up and just want you to go away) –
      I got 40k points to replace my free night certificate (though the cert is still showing in my account!)
      OH who didn’t earn the certificate got permission to activate the cert by June 30th and use by Nov 30th (I think this is in line with the offer for new members or re-joiners).

      • Anna says:

        You have to lay it on really thick about not legally being able to travel and that it’s completely unfair that they are luring new members in while refusing to honour offers to current, loyal members.

        • @mkcol says:

          How funny I’ve just sent my 3rd email (prior to reading your latest comments) and was mentioning how I was legally unable to use my certificate, and asking if they were advocating that I should have broken the law.

          I shall next turn to your “it’s completely unfair that they are luring new members in while refusing to honour offers to current, loyal members” line 😉

          • @mkcol says:

            Another email & they’ve relented a bit by offering 20,000 points.

        • Gerry says:

          Thanks – Good advice: I’ll be more robust with my next email to them.

    • Gerry says:

      Many thanks: I appreciate hearing about sucessful outcomes and will now press on for a fair result from Ambassador.

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