Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 13th April

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We are running this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Comments (288)

  • James says:

    Looking at staying in either The Fairmont or Sofitel on the Palm, it’s for a couple. Does anyone have experience of the two?

    • Travel Strong says:

      Sofitel is excellent on the palm, highly recommend it and I have not found anywhere that comes close. As I understand it, One&Only Royal Mirage is the other top notch option.

      However – the apartments are the way to go with the Sofitel. Have stayed in both the rooms and apartments and whilst the rooms are nice, the apartments are another world of luxury in comparison. I have not stayed at the fairmont to compare though.

      • Blenz101 says:

        Try and get a beach suite at the Sofitel. Lounge is also open and amazing, has moved to ground floor with a superb outdoor area. If you have status you will get an upgrade / free drink voucher / welcome gift in room and I’ve checked out as late as 7pm. Sofitel also does all inclusive drinks packages if that is your thing – you can save a lot over pay per drink.

        Not stayed at Fairmont.

    • Jake Taylor says:

      No, I’ve not met either of you.

  • Anna says:

    Currently on hold to You First, the CSA is refusing to recalculate the taxes when adding the return leg to a 241 booking and saying it has to be done as a separate booking and will be over £1000 in taxes/fees! This is more than I paid for the outbound. After speaking to a supervisor & now saying the only option is to cancel and rebook as a return. Not good news if this a new policy ☹️

    • Peter K says:

      I thought this had been the policy for a long time?
      If the legs are booked separately and then combined they recalculate the avios but not the fees. Good for Hong Kong, bad for USA.

      • Anna says:

        No, if you make the booking online then call, then they refund the Avios but not the taxes, if you call and ask them to add on the return leg they normally recalculate the taxes, which should be lower on a booking to the US.

        • Cathy says:

          I added a return about two weeks ago and they recalculated as they normally do. Had to be transferred to the team that you speak to when booked with avios though. Nothing was said about anything changing, the CSA was working from home. This is surely going to be a huge issue with Easter flights next year as it’s not reasonable to wait a couple of weeks after outbound flights are released

          • Anna says:

            Yes I thought I’d get a better service with You First but I should probably have just hung on for the Avios team. Worth knowing about though if you’re in a hurry to bag seats before they go, even if you’re flying in F You First might not be the most knowledgeable/helpful option!
            My itinerary was a bit complicated & date restricted so I didn’t want any of the sectors being snapped up before I completed the booking.

        • Peter K says:

          I thought that you had already booked both legs online and were asking them to combine sorry.

    • Anna says:

      This is MAN-LHR-BOS, out in F, back in J.
      I’ve had to cancel & pay the £35 pp, fortunately the F seats on the outbound reappeared straight away. Coming back on the day flight in J which should be very pleasant so it’s not the end of the world just really annoying especially as I’ve been stung for the phone booking fee as well!

      • Michael C says:

        Do I remember you saying you were looking at IC for Boston, Anna?
        I’m just about to put down a deposit for LHR-BOS/NYC-LHR for late summer, but the
        Boston hotel offerings never make pretty reading! As it’s summer, might go for location
        over indoor pool or b/f….

      • Cathy says:

        Anna, two years ago I had a poor experience with a CSA insisting on a change fee for adding Manchester domestic leg, as much as I told him he was wrong he insisted. Completed on-line complaint that went through to customer relations in Newcastle who phoned me a few days later for bank details to transfer said refund. Worth a try.

    • Harry T says:


      • Anna says:

        Neither she nor the supervisor would budge – I ended up with the itinerary I wanted in the end and after a year of no travel the extra £100 won’t break the bank & is certainly less than booking the return leg separately. Next time (in less chaotic times) I might call the Avios team instead of You First as they seem to be more experienced with this.

        • chris1922 says:

          That all doesn’t sound right at all, I’m sure I’ve done exactly this in the past couple of years, and the taxes rose slightly, around £650 mark for each pax if I recall. Incidentally, it was a GLA – LHR – BOS, one of my favourite cities.

        • meta says:

          I’d write a complaint to BA and ask for £100 back.

          • Anna says:

            I imagine they would just say this is the official policy & tough. I don’t think there’s anything official saying they are obliged to recalculate the taxes (Rob & Rhys might know different though), it may well just be something they do as a goodwill gesture due to the limitations of the 241.

        • Louise K says:

          Try a DM to the Twitter team. They seem to be the most knowledgeable/ efficient.

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          You were lucky to see the F seats come back online

          • Anna says:

            I know! If they hadn’t I would have hopefully been able to get F seats the following day but would have had to wait another 24 hours for the return seats to become available.

    • Rob says:

      Are you saying:

      a) you already booked the return online and you are trying to merge it into an existing 241 outbound (in which case the agent is correct) or

      b) you have a 241 outbound but are trying to add the return via a telephone call, in which case the agent is wrong, based on precedent

      • Anna says:

        b) – I knew I was right unless they have just changed the policy but I needed a specific 4 sector route and was very limited on dates so the important thing was to get it booked. I’d booked the outbound a few days ago and was calling to add the inbound today.
        Also on the plus side they are still charging off-peak avios rates for the end of March – the agent didn’t query it, fortunately.

    • Chris Heyes says:

      Anna Did you inform them when you booked the first leg.
      That’s the way to avoid any misunderstanding (argument)
      I’ve been there, now i just say check your transcript i told you when i booked i would want my return linked as its not available to book now.
      They normally say o yes I can see it now

  • Zoe says:

    Just a quick report after our first night in the Grand California. Took advantage of pub last night but had takeaway so could eat without freezing. My husband rates his sleep as not as good as at home but better than business class. I can’t help but think an Airbnb would have ticked the boxes but maybe I’ll grow to love van life.

    • Anna says:

      Sounds great, the open road, going where the mood takes you!
      We are in a delightful little holiday cottage near the North Yorkshire/Co Durham border, off out to explore some nearby waterfalls later then eating either al fresco or takeaway depending on the weather!

      • Jody says:

        Enjoy your break Anna.

      • Lady London says:

        Shock news!

        Are you saying you’ve actually booked accommodation that hasn’t closed ot cancelled you, @Anna?

        • Anna says:

          Yes LL! Though the cottage belongs to a good friend and is in England so barring disasters with the actual building it was quite a safe bet.

          Please don’t be cross with me if Scotland and Wales both change their mind about visitors from England in the next couple of weeks 🤦‍♀️😂

  • Reney says:

    I have used my Tesco CC limit a few times this month (use it up, pay it off). Everything has been paid off but my available limit is stuck at 1/5 of what the stated limit is. Has this happened to anyone?

    • Genghis says:

      Been using it with Curve, by any chance?

      • Reney says:

        yes, am I now on the naughty list?

        • Reney says:

          Does anyone know what happens next?

        • Genghis says:

          I had this issue and I know of others who have too. You just need to wait until the pending (even though it’s cleared and paid) falls off. Curve do not know what’s causing the effective double accounting.

    • Connor says:

      Yup, had to wait a week for it to return to normal. I’ve been using it with Curve too.

  • Ski_Sunday says:

    Did anyone get their 30,000 Nectar points fromt he Daily Mail yet?
    I was one of the ones to get the email about the offer of subscribing to the Daily Mail for a minimum of 2 months at £26.80 /month to get double Nectar points and a bonus worth £150, to be paid 25 days after paying for the 2nd month subscription.
    The double points were intermittent and kept stopping and sometimes started again after a phone call or email to them but the bonus points have not arrived and are a week overdue. Has anyone had any success with this offer?

  • 747_Brat says:

    Is anyone facing delays with IHG card statements? My statement is usually generated on the 9th of every month, but it is still not generated.

    • Benilyn says:

      Mine was 4 days later this month (prob due to Easter) if that helps so I wouldn’t worry about it…

  • Benilyn says:

    Just to check before I shoot my shot with Amex.
    1) Holding Business Gold MR has no impact on bonus on personal Platinum?
    2) How is the 24 months wait for the bonus calculated, is it a certain number of days (365×2), or matches the actual date you cancelled. I cancelled my MR card c9-Apr-21

    • Jay says:

      Get Amex to confirm the closure date on their system e.g. 9 Apr 2021, then apply 10 Apr 2023.

  • Blindman says:

    So, this looks too good to be true and goes against all my many years of independent travel
    It would tick off the “Maldives”
    Would it bee good value for say Feb 2022?
    Comments pitfalls welcome!

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Seems a great deal for AI in Feb 22 inc Seaplane transfers. I’ve never heard of Cocoon but if the pics are true it looks good.

      • Blindman says:

        Would you say 7 days is enough-I assume you would lose 2 days travelling.

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          @Blindman: it all depends what you want out of a holiday. Maldives is about pure relaxation on a beach or sun deck not doing a lot else for the stay. You can do snorkelling, diving or boat excursions but be prepared to pay a lot for diving or excursions.

          • Blindman says:

            Thanks for the reply.

            That’s my issue. Flying a long way just to sit on the beach.

      • Blindman says:

        The sea plane transfers are only free April-July

        So this deal is not looking that good for me anyway.

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