Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 22nd May

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 (289)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • bafan says:

    Visited Vienna, Stockholm, Lisbon, Tel Aviv and Amsterdam after their Eurovision wins…wonder where will be next on my series of “Eurovision winners trips”. Fingers crossed for Lithuania or Moldova 🙂 (been to the rest already – otherwise rooting for Cyprus / Malta).

    • bafan says:

      The rest of the favorites that is…haven’t made it to Azerbaijan just yet…

    • TimM says:

      It would be more sporting to visit the countries that come last!

  • S879 says:

    Travelling to the USA on an exemption. Haven’t had time to buy something to take. Am I only allowed to buy a 100ml fragrance due to liquid restriction or could I buy more?

    • Ian M says:

      Once you’ve cleared security at the airport you can buy whatever size you like

      • Lyn says:

        It would be a little more complicated with a domestic connection in the US.

        In that case anything above 100ml (or any fragrance in a box that won’t fit in the single small plastic bag for liquids) would have to be put in checked luggage after picking it up at the arriving gateway airport and before rechecking it / going through security.

  • Yuff says:

    Are BA/Qatar still cancelling flights from Doha?
    I have Avios flights booked on the 6th and assuming if they aren’t cancelling by tomorrow they won’t be cancelled?
    Also, I’ve been caught again by the Ryanair 7 day free booking switch which is fine for passengers but not their bags, a bag costs 50% more to switch than it does to book it in the first place 😡

    • Erico1875 says:

      When I tried to change a Ryanair flight for last Nov , they were still flying the route, he cheaper ones were excluded. I could only switch to a more expensive option.

      • Laura says:

        That’s exactly what they told me. Extremely infuriating. I think I lost 3 or 4 return flights last year because their “flexible” booking wasn’t really.

    • Rich says:

      What’s the price differential for adding bags at the time of booking vs later?

      I tend to book flight only, zero extras, if there’s a chance I might want flexibility.

      • Yuff says:

        I paid £22 for the bag, they want £36 to change it.
        Not sure what dates I need so not sure it’s worth changing it.

  • Gary says:

    Tried re-routing BA club LHR-BKK 4 seats (2 companion vouchers utilised). Tickets issued Dec 20 for travel July 21 which was cancelled by BA. CS happy to re-route to any day within 1 year of ticketing without avios availability, but anything beyond would require avios availability (I asked for Apr 22 which she declined). Explained EC261 trumps 1 year limit started in condition of carriage to no avail. Is this being over ambitious? Or just matter of trying a few more times? Has anyone re-route avios booking beyond 1 year without avios availability?

    • Jonathan says:

      Try a couple more times but unlikely to succeed. Should be a straightforward MCOL/CEDR if swapping essentially like for like (school holidays original & new dates). There isn’t any stipulation about peak/off-peak or redemption bookings in legislation but it’s clear you’re being reasonable rather than gaming here so “at passenger’s convenience, subject to availability” would favour you.

      • Gary says:

        Helpful thanks Jonathan. Indeed both school holiday periods. What’s average MCOL/CEDR lead time to a final outcome? Do I need a formal written declination of re-routing before starting the claim? Considering purchasing 4 fully refundable tickets for Apr 2022 (perhaps from whichever CS that declines the re-routing to show true intent!) as still just under 1 year to departure rather than faffing about with BA agents.

        • Memesweeper says:

          Call once more, record the call, send a letter before action, then buy the refundable tickets. Refundable can be justified IMO as they are flexible, which is what Avios bookings are. Many judges will want to see that you have minimised your losses so cheapest non-flex might go down better in court. Having wasted time with CEDR before and won twice with MCOL I’d personally not bother with arbitration again. IANAL.

          • Gary says:

            thanks again. Purely technical question, should one obtain consent of BA agent at the beginning call it is being recorded in case this is required to be presented later on?

          • Lady London says:

            Only one party needs to know the call is recorded IIRC last time I checked.

            It will change what’s said by them in the call. I would get to making my request for my dates to be rerouted, mention tied to same holiday dates next year is why, then before they answer be very English and apologise but you are having to record the call as you really need those dates and will need to take further action if there is any problem..apologise again.

            Do the call Tues-Wed-Fri 10-11.30 or 2.30-3.30 if you possibly can as you never know they may involve a supervisor before giving you your answer.

          • Lady London says:

            *correction sorry do the call Tues-Wed-Thur not Fri if you can

          • Mouse says:

            What is special about those specific times Lady London?

          • Lady London says:

            What is special about those times @mouse?

            Just that I would like @Gary to have the best chance of having a supervisor around and best likelihood of trained experienced staff as a second chance of having BA do the correct thing.

            Based on my cynical belief that :
            – you want UK (Newcastle call centre) to pick up not India. So Mon-Fri normal UK office hours.

            Modified by:-

            – supervisors far more likely to be able to choose their hours. So eliminate Mon & Fri as these make long weekends if not worked.

            – Supervisors may have seniority effects. Such as being allowed to start later so 9.30 plus coffee and a gentle easing to work means 10am. Or could have to attend or run team meetings say 8am or 9am for 1 hour. So again 10am.

            – Your call could take 30min to do what you need. So arrange to connect no later than 11.30am as some people (supervisors and others) really, really start to think about lunch at 12.

            Ditto p.m. start 2.30pm as even late lunchers are back by then. 3.30 latest as some mothers have hours that work to pick up kids from school. Prob 3pm better, actually, to allow half an hour to do what you need. And some would say 2pm is late enough to be back from lunch.

            Dial 5-10min after any hour rather than before. Shifts often change on the hour. Some people won’t pick up, say, 10min before they leave, or have to write up other calls before going home. New shift starts on the hour plus 5min to settle/get coffee.

            Lesser similar effects around the half hour.

            Of course many more times the most capable will be available and this is tongue in cheek 🙂 . But it’s about targeting timeslots to allow for best chance to get what you need. Covid will of course have changed these routines but unsure yet how much.

  • Craig says:

    Morning all, vaccine volunteer update. I’m out again shortly for what will probably be my last shift for a while, the surgery have two more dates in June but I’m working away unfortunately. I think including today we will have given about 15k vaccines with Mrs S well north of 1000 herself. The surgery quite rightly have decided that they need to start catching up with other areas that have fallen behind. I’ll carry on coordinating and volunteering if they do decide to do more, just a case of wait and see. As I’ve said before, one of the most satisfying things I have ever done and the gratitude of the vast majority of the public has been heartwarming. If you haven’t already, get a jab when you can and if you can.

    • Idontfly says:

      Legend. Thank you

    • Jody says:

      Thank you both for everything you’ve done.

    • Jonathan says:

      My dad came out of (a 12 year😬) retirement to be a vaccinator. He tried to sign up for the mass vaccination centres in November/December but hit an (outsourced) HR brickwall. Rang his GP who had him sorted for the local GP clinics in a week…

      He’s found it incredibly rewarding as well. Feeling like he’s contributing, albeit in a small way, to getting life back to normal has turned him from someone who was appearing increasingly pessimistic/depressed into the sprightliest I’ve seen him in 20+ years. He’s even bought a bike & now cycles 20+ miles 5 times a week.

      It’s certainly made me consider my thoughts about retirement. My parents had a great 10 years of travel, learning languages etc but at the end of the day you can’t beat the feeling of doing something that benefits others over yourself.

      Anyway, he was told this week that all the GP centres will be winding down in June as the priority groups will be double jabbed. Youngsters will have to go to the mass vaccination centres. I need to find him something else to get him from under my mum’s feet now!

      • Roger W says:

        That’s great about your Dad. My wife re- registered as a nurse and tried to apply to do vaccinations. After four months and countless emails and online courses she gave up in frustration!

      • Princess says:

        Craig and Jonathan, thank to share your story, really inspiring! made me emotional.

      • Craig says:

        Thats brilliant to hear Jonathan, the national system has been a bit hit and miss with regards volunteering but at a local level has been amazing. We have one chap who put his name down in Feb for the mass centre, heard nothing. When we found out had him doing his first session the next day!

      • Lady London says:

        Hi Jonathan that cheered me up. I don’t think people should go to waste in their retirement this is great.

        Could I just ask is there any harm in taking 1/4-1/2 an aspirin prophylactically 2 weeks either side of the vaccines?

        • Tracey says:

          I read an article about this, if your only reason is to mitigate any clotting effects then don’t. Taking aspirin for a short time will increase the risk not decrease it apparently. I didn’t follow the medical reasons why this was so.

        • Jonathan says:

          I’m not a haematologist but in general wouldn’t advise taking Aspirin for this reason, same as I wouldn’t for longhaul flights. Clot formation is a complex process of which Aspirin affects just 1 component (platelets). Platelets are the primary target for prevention of clots in high velocity parts of the circulatory system eg. Coronary arteries. The predominant site of clots reported in association with AZ vaccine is the venous system.

          The clots are also thought to be the result of a very rare & strong immune overreaction to the vaccine so this would probably overwhelm any treatment you were taking to prevent it.

          There is a similar phenomenon seen occasionally as a reaction to Heparin (heparin induced thrombocytopenia or HIT) a medicine that is given to treat/prevent clots which shows what a complex area it is.

          I would still take any of the vaccines (& have had both doses of AZ) as a healthy 37yr old. My 35yr old wife also had her first dose of AZ last week.

          • Lady London says:

            Thanks Jonathan. Makes sense what you and Tracey are both saying as suspect one family member had a clot – not a bleed – after warfarin was adjusted.

          • Reney says:

            I thought the current policy is that under 40 would not be offered AZ. I am surprised that our wife was given AZ last week.

          • Reney says:


      • Tracey says:

        Interesting, I’ve been volunteering at local centres excessively to date (70 sessions under my belt). I’ve just been asked if I would like to take on a paid admin/ vaccinator role as they are losing people who are reverting to previous jobs and envisage continuing until at least end September

        • Craig says:

          Well done Tracey, I’d say if you want to then go for it. Scheduling the volunteers has become more challenging as people have returned to work.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Great work from both of you

      NHS website down to 32 now

    • John Gallagher says:

      Great effort-)

    • ankomonkey says:

      The most impressive thing for me about our resident volunteers (Craig, Tracey and others) is that they’ve continued to volunteer regularly. Great job by selfless people 🙂

      • Linda says:

        I also volunteer and trained up as a Vaccinator through St John’s Ambulance but my area is only using trained professionals for now though it seems that will change, I do the caring and advocate shifts until then and it is tremendously rewarding. We are going away in our motor home to Shropshire next week and I am actually feeling miffed that I won’t be able to help for 10 days or so.

        • Craig says:

          Weird isn’t it? I’ll miss the last two days because of work, I know what I’d rather be doing.

    • WaynedP says:

      Worked with and as volunteer for years and never known of a single case when the volunteer hasn’t benefitted from volunteering.

      There’s good reason it’s one of the five MELCO steps to looking after mental health advocated by the NHS:

      Learning continually
      Celebrating our Contacts (friends & loved ones)
      Others – doing things for them incl volunteering

      When I run sessions I always add an F to the end for Fun (enjoy yourself and resist taking yourself too seriously)

  • Jan M says:

    Germany has designated the UK as a virus variant area late on yesterday, on the same as Spain decided to waive testing for British arrivals…

  • Ian M says:

    Update on my post yesterday regarding my IHG account being disabled. Pleased to say the account has been reinstated now after a 35min call last night. All is well.

    • Jonathan says:

      Moral of the story…

      • Ian M says:

        stick to Marriott in future as it’s a lot easier lol

      • Yorkieflyer says:

        Just ring and IHG are happy to book a room in another name in my experience

      • Jonathan says:

        Listen to Genghis was my answer but you also have a point!

    • Aston100 says:

      I’m surprised you managed to get someone from IHG with any authority on the phone.

  • a270 says:

    My flight today is delayed by 3 hours 11 minutes. Is there any compensation I can claim? I have HSBC Premier card but not Amex Platinum. Do have the Amex Gold and BA card but I don’t think it covers travel insurance.

    • Anna says:

      It’s largely going to depend on the reason for the delay. Most airlines are currently citing covid which exempts them from paying compo for the most part just now.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        How does Covid cause an operational delay even if it was due to staff having to be replaced etc if it’s a hub then it’s reasonable that they would have staff on standby.

        Eu261 compo stands for delays depends how far you’re travelling if you’ll get compo or not. Keep an eye on time doors open when you land.

        • meta says:

          I’d also record any messages the captain/crew do on board. It helped me get compo five years ago.

    • Genghis says:

      Read your policies

      • a270 says:

        Thanks all. Flight is to USA. I will read up a bit more when I land.

        • AndyGWP says:

          And don’t forget that your delay upon arrival may well be under 3 hours

          • Charlieface says:

            It’s always the doors-open time you need to look at.

            If it’s mechanical failure or a drunk pilot, then you get compo, Covid or no Covid.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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.