Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 25th May

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Comments (394)

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  • SV travels says:

    Morning all, does anyone have a useful website that shows what type of plane flies a particular route?

  • Eric the Half a Bee says:

    SS DV intern booking – looks like these are sticking. Made a points booking for one of the top suites in August and have been in touch with the hotel to check a few things. They confirmed the suite type in their response and that they are looking forward to hosting us in the summer. Result!

    • BP says:

      Excellent! I’m going to wait a few weeks before confirming flights. When I booked a Pool Villa at IC Samui on points they waited weeks before downgrading me. I fought it with IHG and got the villa I booked.

      Hopefully Ambassador benefits are given and that will be the cherry on top!

      • Eric the Half a Bee says:

        TBH I hadn’t even clocked the Ambassador benefits when I booked and was happy to pay for breakfast etc. Agree this would be a fantastic result if honoured.

      • Rob says:

        Might need to resign my wife up to get the benefits on her room too.

        • Pid says:

          Do you need two rooms? They confirmed to me that they would put day beds in for our two children free of charge. I posted their email response on the post the other day.

          • Rob says:

            My kids are 5’10 and 5’8 at 13 and 10 respectively …. they’re not putting up with day beds for 3 nights.

            Anyway, at 90k per night its only an extra £1080 equivalent to take the 2nd suite.

      • Kai says:

        The hotel isn’t IHG participating yet, but hopefully will be by the time we stay.

    • OP says:

      Every time I’ve looked for this hotel on points it hasn’t been available/seems not yet bookable on points? Am I doing something wrong?

      • DT says:

        They’ve probably pulled rewards bookings while they fix the pricing. I’m sure they cottoned onto something when their €1500 a night suite was booked out a few hundred times in the space of half a day

      • Whiskerxx says:

        Are you using the app? That worked for me but not desktop

        • meta says:

          It is not available on points any longer. There are very few dates in the next year where the top suite is actually available for cash.

      • Mouse says:

        All award availability was withdrawn around 4 or 5pm on Friday

  • meta says:

    @Eric the Half a Bee thank you very much for alerting them. When they realise what happened and that their top suite is booked out on with rewards bookings till April next year, it won’t hold much longer…

    I don’t understand people’s need to confirm the suite type! 🙄

    • Eric the Half a Bee says:

      Meta – FYI I (purposely) didn’t mention the room type in any of my comms to them; they proactively brought it up in their reply. I like to think I’m a bit more savvy than that…🙄

      • meta says:

        Ok then. Looks like they must have been running a promo then.

        • BP says:

          A clear mistake and I’m sure they will be having discussions on next steps. For a hotel of this calibre, I’d expect a notification in the next week or so if the booking is going to be cancelled.

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            Think of this hotel as a luxury brand, if they have consistent availability it is less desirable compared to being expensive and hard to get. Part of the reason why Nike does limited edition runs of celebrity branded shoes

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            Hit send too soon…

            So it is entirely possible that they did it intentionally

          • BP says:

            What do IHG pay the hotels in this scenario? I know for a standard reward booking it’s something like the average value of the room if the hotel is above a certain capacity level. Would IHG pay the average value of the suites or just the base room?

          • Rob says:

            The rules probably don’t cover this as you’re not meant to be in suites. Pretty sure it is 95% of standard room average rate.

            However, the fact that the hotel is so empty in late May means they probably aren’t confident of selling those rooms and will be grateful for our food and drink money.

        • James says:

          Running a promo, lol.

  • Ian M says:

    Crazy times. I was finally planning to visit England to see family this week (haven’t been in the UK for almost 8 months), got my Covid test done, flight booked, everything arranged and then the UK withdraws Belavia’s license to land at Gatwick and the EU following suit.

    This action is punishing ordinary people, not the president of Belarus. The land border is already closed, the only way in and out is through Minsk Airport.

    • John says:

      Can you fly via Russia

      • Ian M says:

        In theory yes, I’m lucky because I have a visa for Russia. The vast majority of foreign nationals here will be here visa free which means you can can’t leave by flying to Russia even if you have a visa for Russia.

        Problem is there’s no flights between Russia and the UK currently either because of Covid. Plus Minsk – Moscow must be the most expensive flight route in the world currently per mile and there’s no seats available until the weekend.

    • John says:

      Supposedly Aeroflot will resume flights from Moscow on 2 June – maybe a connection will be possible via Sheremetyevo? I’m not terribly optimistic – the existing flight ban is for the ‘kent’ variant… would presume B.1.617.2 will set things further back.

      • Ian M says:

        yeah, should find out in the next few days hopefully. But like you I’m not too optimistic

    • Tocsin says:

      If you had stated some sympathy with the people hijacked on the FR flight, I might have had some sympathy with your plight…

      But of course, you couldn’t do that as you would be jailed and assaulted by the authorities.

      Airline and overflight bans are the least response to what happened over your country of residence.

      • Ian M says:

        Tocsin, why are behaving like a child?

        I have a lot of sympathy for Roman Protasevich and his partner. But that’s nothing to do with my post. Lukashenko has acted in a terrible manner many times in the last year, many times before and I’m sure he will many times in the future.

        The hypocrisy from the West is pretty clear for all to see.

        In my opinion, punishing the ordinary citizens of Belarus and all the foreign nationals in the country that need to leave, is not the best response. The diverting of the Ryanair flight had nothing to do with the people of Belarus and should not be taken out on them.

        • Tocsin says:

          You _still_ don’t get it that your ‘me, me, me’ post was totally inappropriate, given these events.
          Your “hypocrisy from the West” makes clear where your sympathies lie – stew in Belarus, as far as I am concerned.

        • John says:

          I read a suggestion on Twitter that the best way to economically ‘sanction’ Belarus would be to make it easier for young/educated folks to get visas to work in the EU. An interesting idea – potentially it could both punish the regime whilst not punishing ordinary folk who are now effectively held captive in a hostile environment.

          • Ian M says:

            Exactly, but sadly they’ve done the opposite. The vast majority of people here in Belarus do not like the president. If the EU/UK/US want to help the ordinary people of people of Belarus they’ve got a strange way of going about it

          • Anuj says:

            That would ruin the Belarus economy by causing brain drain which would only punish the normal citizens left behind.

          • Rob says:

            Taking out the smart people will actually make it easier to control everyone else, I think.

          • John says:

            It’s a shame China doesn’t understand that, or does understand it but doesn’t care.

          • John (a different one) says:

            Doesn’t sound like it’s a popular idea here then 🙂

            Just can’t help but feel sorry for anyone ‘stuck’ there. Punishing individual citizens for the errors of the regime seems unfair, if they have no realistic route to choose their government.

    • Rich says:

      Sad that ordinary people are caught up in this _ especially in the middle of a pandemic – but not sure what option UK and EU have. (Although I do like the idea of making it easier for Belarusians to migrate)

      For you, what are the practicalities of train to Warsaw, then onward?

      • Ian M says:

        No trains currently unfortunately

        • TeaNotWar says:

          I know someone who traveled Minsk to Vilnius about a week ago – probably by bus – so the land border is open. Of course most locals won’t have an EU visa so will be stuffed.

    • Paul Pogba says:

      What sort of response would you prefer or should the West ignore this sort of thing? You chose to live in a different country, sometimes that will have costs attached to it.

      • John says:

        I don’t think anyone has suggested that ‘the west’ should ignore such a criminal act. It’s just a shame that the tools most favoured by the European and US govt’s seem to affect every day people more than the leaders of the regimes they are targeting.
        The actions taken might actually be counterproductive – Belarusians with no hope of escape or assistance will stop agitating against the government, and Lukashenko will be driven further into the arms of Putin (who will finally get the union he desires).
        Something needed to be done, I agree – but also agree with Ian that it’s disappointing when the actual impact seems to only hit the everyday person.
        Imagine how people here would feel if the EU decided to curtail transport links to GB because Boris Johnson decided to violate the terms of the NI protocol… He was elected on a majority, so I guess we would ‘deserve’ whatever the EU handed out?

      • Ian M says:

        No I don’t think this should be ignored. But the hypocrisy is sickening.

        When Saudi Arabia chopped up journalist Jamal Khashoggi what did the UK do about that? When France, Spain and Italy joined together on the orders of the US to force down a plane in Austria because the US thought that Edward Snowden might be on board I thought that was outrageous. What did the UK do about that?

        Actions like this are never ok. Sadly the UK government is happy to turn a blind eye when it’s an ally.

        In my opinion the West should look at extremely tough targeted sanctions on the president and those around him. Those keeping him in power and do everything they can to support, not punish the people of Belarus. The problem with this flight ban is that it won’t even last, it’s a temporary action that only punishes the people of Belarus, those people need support, not punishment.

        • marcw says:

          It’s not the president! It’s the whole state! It’s a regime! Armed forces, public servants, press, and a long etc…. which clearly suggest majority of people are not necessarily against the regime (too much to loose) – probably also including yourself, otherwise you would have left the country already.

          Also, of course – countries play in different leagues on an international level. Belarus is just Belarus. Belarus is no Turkey, no Kingdom of SA, no USA.

          • John says:

            I like Luka, he’s a strong man, I admire strong men and the West fear them. He’s been very good for Belarus and he’s positively a Big Teddy compared to the various “dictators” the West has been happy to deal with over the past few decades.

            As long as VV has got Luka’s back, nothing will happen.

            Is the land border at Brest closed? I know someone who took ground transport from St Pete’s to Minsk, and with your visa is that open to you? You could then fly various airlines from LED like LOT to LHR.

          • Ian M says:

            Personally I’m happy here yes. Are there some things going on that I think are abhorrent? Yes there are. But sadly that’s the case in almost all countires.

          • Mike says:

            B2 are still flying to WAW, you could also try flying to KBP (Y2) or standby on IEV but I suspect IEV will be canx due to the UA flight ban coming in at 00:00. Then from UA fly to the UK on PS or various other EU carriers, including LH to the UK or LO.

  • Michael C says:

    So I’m finally resigned to cancelling my 1 June flight to lovely Nice.
    As far as I can see, I do this on MMB and will simply receive an e-voucher for the total (it was a cash booking) – does that sound about right?

    Then I guess I can use that to pay off some of the BA Holiday trip to Boston in Aug? Then we’ll see what happens with that one!

    • ChrisC says:

      You can’t use a voucher towards a booking that was obtained after the holiday was booked

      Also dont’t use the MMB cancellation. Use the form on this page

      https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/incident/coronavirus/vouchers-refunds#cancel

      • Michael C says:

        Thanks for that – any special reason not to use MMB? It appears under “cancellation options”.
        And I guess I can’t pay off the hols as it’s not a “future booking”…no biggie, they were only bargani basement prices!

        • ChrisC says:

          Because of this –

          IMPORTANT: Please do not amend your booking in Manage My Booking yourself – we will do this on your behalf.

          I include cancellation to be an amendment. Plus it’s in a section headed

          “Need to cancel and claim a voucher?”

      • Anna says:

        I don’t really understand what you’re saying here – if the FTV is valid till April 2023 it should be applicable to any booking up till that point, surely?

        • ChrisC says:

          Anna because it says this re e-vouchers

          “Vouchers can be used as payment, or part payment, for a future booking”

          and

          “Your voucher can be used as payment, or part payment, for a new future booking. Your new trip booked using your voucher must be fully completed by 30 April 2023 (departure and return).”

    • Anna says:

      That’s what I did earlier this year. Then that trip got cancelled so my FTV got bigger! I’m now hoping to be able to use it for either of my BA holiday bookings to Spain or Florida in August (2 holiday bookings 😱!) Spain looking the favourite just now as saying no tests required.

      • ChrisC says:

        Anna remember if a trip gets cancelled you can have a full refund even if it was paid for using an FTV.

        • Anna says:

          Yes – I think in this case it was me who pulled the plug and getting a FTV without having to speak to BA is so easy!

      • Michael C says:

        I have fingers crossed for US last week of Aug. too, Anna – though I’d say you’re 90% sure of Spain. We may swap Boston for O Barqueiro in the end!

  • @mkcol says:

    Will MCC code 6012 trigger fees/interest charges when using AMEX?

    Husband thinking of making an investment via CrowdCube & 6012 appears to be their MCC.

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      I’ve not had any issues paying Crowdcube with Amex in the past. Won’t be investing this morning though that’s for sure!

    • HeadingForNoPoints says:

      No proper financials in their crowdfund deck, just revenue and EBITDA from 2020 and forecasted into the future, bunch of cowboys. 😂

      • Sean says:

        Although interesting that they appear to be at 400% of their funding target.

        • Harrier25 says:

          This will end up being a financial scandal one day with the FSCS left to pick up the pieces 😢

          • Rob says:

            No it won’t – as long as the info provided to you is accurate. You can question when Joe Public understands what EBITDA is but the risk warnings are very clear.

            This is no, for eg, like minibonds, where the FCA logo appeared in the ads but failed to mention that, whilst the marketing firm was regulated, your investment was not.

            I should probably have taken 1% in Curve in return for the promo work we did, since HfP effectively launched it in the UK ….

          • Michael_s says:

            I’m struggling to understand how this curve is going to kick off? “Too many bank cards” is not a real problem for many, even the financially literate people have 1 debit and 1 credit card, I haven’t seen anyone outside points and miles community complaining about number of cards. Convincing average Joe that BA premium plus is a good card is already a tough proposition, how can you sell this curve (which is effectively a second derivative of credit cards) to wider market?

          • Harrier25 says:

            Save your money for a rainy day, Rob.

  • Mike79 says:

    Is there anyone planing on visiting N Ireland in the next few weeks from the UK? I’m just wondering what your take on their covid rules are? It seems to me that I would either need to isolate for 10 days on arrival or have a reason to be exempt but then need to do covid tests? I am not sure how they are going to enforce it unless they are checking passengers on arrival?

    • John says:

      Changed yesterday. You’re good to go.

      • Mike79 says:

        I must be looking at something old then on the NI government website. That says I can visit friends and family but if I just want to visit for a holiday I have to isolate for 10 days.

    • Dave says:

      This is what it says on the BBC website:

      Non-essential travel from Northern Ireland to other parts of the Common Travel Area (CTA) is to be allowed from Monday and people will not be required to isolate on return if they have visited family or friends in other parts of the area.

      The CTA is the UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

    • John says:

      btw NI is in the UK.

    • Sukes says:

      @Mike79 there is no legal requirement to take tests before or after arriving into NI from rest of CTA, nor any legal requirement to self-isolate. Stuff published is NI Executive guidance only & is not enforceable. If you google ‘NI Executive Press Releases’ you’ll find the most uptodate & clearest info. I flew into Belfast City last night & there was noone there of any description to Q your arrival. NI is open to tourists!

  • Laura says:

    Anyone stayed at The Ned in covid times?

    Mum has 50% NHS discount and the midweek rates are very tempting (weekend rates, even at 50% off, are not very band 3 salary friendly).

    However, some of the reviews from before covid are pretty bad. Not sure how things are now or how busy it is. We’re not Soho House members so not sure how much we can actually access on site!

    • Rob says:

      There’s a £100 Amex credit too on some cards for spending £400.

      If the pool / roof are open AND its sunny then it’s worth it. I’d do it myself as a one-off just to see how it is. I don’t think much if restricted – it is basically a hotel first and restaurant complex first and foremost, the membership side is very secondary.

      • Laura says:

        Thank you Rob!

        Sadly, I don’t have that offer on my Amex, but the rate is so good, that I’m not sure we would spend that anyway.

    • A says:

      One important point: if you are a hotel guest, by default you do not get access to Ned’s Club on the roof (including the pool). If you read the booking confirmation email, you need to apply for “Temporary Membership” of Ned’s Club – you do this by emailing a specific email address. If they approve, you get a paper membership card for your time there. It’s all a bit ridiculous really but there you go.

      We saw a number of disappointed guests turned away from the rooftop terrace while we were there as a result

      • Laura says:

        Thank you for the head’s up!

        We’re hoping to go in early September so finger’s crossed they grant the membership to us!

        • Sandra says:

          Well that was another offer on my Amex card that I couldn’t be bothered to look up and see what it actually was, no need to now and I still won’t be using it 🙂

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