Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 5th June

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Comments (338)

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  • Nick G says:

    Bit of a data point and people’s experience. Stayed at double tree st Annes manor for two nights this week. Booked on the app specifically for the room type as it said bath over shower. Arrived to find only a shower. After stressing my point the manager then claimed there is only two rooms with a bath in the whole hotel and not even in the suites stating the website is different to the app. Wouldn’t even let me pay for the upgrade for a suite either which I thought was odd (I’m gold and wanted to pay).

    After a screen shot of the room description the manger finally conceded and gave me 10k points in compo. Never had the app say room features that aren’t there before. Just wondered if others had similar issues with Hilton?

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      If it’s the King Deluxe, the website says it has a bath too!

      • Nick G says:

        It was the two queens bed deluxe and the app is still wrong! I was quite surprised at how much the hotel couldn’t understand they’re advertising something you don’t and can’t get…..

    • southlondonphil says:

      Bath OVER shower, now that IS novel! 🙂

    • Lou says:

      How did you find St Anne’s? Good place for a break?

      I’m itching for another holiday run 🙂

  • Anna says:

    Has anyone ever collected a hire car at Malaga airport late at night? We arrive just after midnight and the latest collection time I seem to be able to find is 2300 hours (apart from Sixt who who seem to be charging 2 times as much as other rental companies!). Would rather collect the car as soon as we arrive than mess around with taxis then have to get back to a pick up point the following day.

    • Nick G says:

      One of my favourite and very underrated places to go I love the city! Where are you staying? Have you looked at rental options downtown for the day / morning after? We usually taxi to Malaga centre so never hire but done it before in various cities to get round your issue. Either that or pay for an extended opening hours of the branch if you can? Done that before.

      Personally if I was landing at that time I would just want to get to my hotel. The car would be an issue of day two for me

    • TJ says:

      With most of the cheaper in-terminal companies (e.g. Firefly), you can make a request for an out of hours pick-up. The issue is whether you can trust the company to actually fulfil the request. I’ve managed to pick-up after hours in the past, but it was off-terminal and not the best experience (and my Spanish is pretty good).

    • Frankie says:

      Don’t know about late at night but someone on here recommended to me a few years ago and they were great. Good price. I also wrote off the car due to a flood and they were great in their help and service.

      • N says:

        +1 for malagacar

        sometimes more expensive than others, but no surprises and relaxed on dinks/damage compared to others

        • Anna says:

          Thanks, I will contact them. It must be fairly common for flights to arrive/leave very early or very late on LCC schedules.

          Nick G – we have visited Malaga city several times, especially love the castle and Alcazar but we’re doing 2 weeks in Mijas/Fuengirola this time (unless Spain goes red before August), a week in our timeshare and a week at the Hilton Curio Higueron. After much deliberating it seemed one of the safest bets for travelling just now, e.g. can use GHIC if necessary, short flight, speak the language, have dual nationality in case they suddenly decide they’re not letting 3rd country nationals in!

          • Nick G says:

            Sounds great! I can recommend do you granted they’re just a screen scraper of companies for hire cars. Prices are good and I believe they are British and live in Spain. Any issues I’ve had they’ve got right on to them. Re Malaga I love the castle and harbour it’s great for a stroll plus the beach of course. Plus fab shops and tapas bars. We stayed at the hotel gran mirimar last time for my wife’s 40th. No loyalty programme as such just a fantastic (expensive but worth every penny) hotel. Breakfast was one of the greatest varieties and options I’ve ever had. Plus the hotel restaurant is superb. If you want somewhere to go at night try the roof top bar and admire the views at sunset. I was surprised myself at just how beautiful Malaga is!!!

    • AJA says:

      I have used Avis at Malaga airport – excellent service as an Avis Preferred customer. Just checked and unfortunately they only operate 07:00 to 24:00 for pick-up of cars. They do have an after-hours key drop service though that’s not going to help you.

    • Oliver says:

      Espacar is another local company worth a look. They do 24h collection/return. My in-laws have a place near Malaga, and must have done 50+ rentals with them over the years.

  • Rob says:

    Had an awful stay in a Hilton in the Manchester area last night.
    Executive lounge air conditioning want working making it basically unbearable. Later that evening the same air-conditioning caused the fire alarms to go off at 4am in the morning resulting in the whole hotel having to evacuate down 20 odd flights of stairs.
    At breakfast this morning I was served curdled milk in my coffee and the service was so slow I just got up and left.
    I’m a diamond member but have not ever complained before.. Just wondering what others think and if its worth lodging a complaint.
    Thank you

    • Rob says:

      Air conditioning *wasn’t working*
      Spell check sorry.

      • Yorkie Aid says:

        I would definitely complain to the duty manager in the first instance. Have an idea what you want by way of compensation. Even budget chains like Premier Inn have a no quibble money back guarantee if you don’t get a good night’s sleep. Hilton Hamilton certainly used to do it too (haven’t stayed at one for while though). I would have thought at least 50% refund of the night’s charge in cash or points would be reasonable.

    • Char Char says:

      Similar thing happened at Liverpool, ended up getting full night refund, I mean there are safe guards for the fire alarms going off for false reasons.

      • Paul says:

        Had 2rooms for 2 nights this week in Liverpool. Awful simply awful. Aircon set to 23. Complained and got 5000 points. Paltry and unacceptable. Was promised 30,000 which I give them till Monday to post them it’s the diamond desk.

        • Andrew says:

          23 Too cold or too warm?

          When I was working around the UK, I often carried a 1kw electric fan heater with me. It can take air con a long time to bring a room up to a comfortable temperature.

          Although, last february in the Novotel in Monte Carlo, we were absolutely cooking, there were no openable windows, and the air conditioning is only switched on in the summer…

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I’d be looking for a complimentary night.

      I think Hilton do make it up to you vouchers which are a free night at any Hilton

    • Travel Strong says:

      Hilton are excellent so long as you make your complaint known at the property first. In the few occasions i’ve had issues as bad as yours – hilton honors refunded the stay completely. But the key questions are always – did you raise it at the time (yes) and has it been resolved to your satisfaction (no).

      • Muhammad Abdullah says:

        I’d bet the fire alarm was set off by smoke, not the a/c if it led to a full evacuation.

    • Dr C says:

      I would contact the manager or assistant manager of the hotel rather than online support who are able to compensate in points, once I received the value back in points.

    • Rob says:

      I took your advice and emailed in and it’s been already sorted by the Hotel Manager with a full refund… thank you all for the super advice.

    • David says:

      I used to be a bit of a air conditioning sado – used to travel with an infra red thermometer
      One night in the four seasons Koh Samui the temperature registered 35c – I didn’t pay for the room on the grounds that a hotel is primarily somewhere you sleep. Not only did the hotel agree to this but paid for a personal lobster barbecue at the next hotel – 250 dollars – always ask to speak to the manager if you ain’t happy .

  • s879 says:

    What happens if you come back from an Amber list country into the UK and need to fly out on Day 5 or even Day 6? I feel the results of a test sent on Day 5 wouldn’t be back by Day 6. Has anyone been in that situation or is travel not allowed at all till the Day 5 negative result is back?

    • Tracey says:

      You are always allowed to leave. Don’t bother with the day 5 TTR as you’ll be on your way out of the UK before the results come back.

    • Blair says:

      What does Roberto mean re buying only Day 2 test? I was under the impression the PLF required a booking ref for the Day 2/Day 8 package for all Amber arrivals.

      • TJ says:

        Correct. I’ve been researching this as I’m in the same position. The Gov website makes it clear:-

        “If you’re travelling to England for less than 10 days, you will need to quarantine for the whole of your stay. You must travel directly to your place of quarantine when you arrive in England and directly from your place of quarantine to the port or airport when you leave. You should follow safer travel guidance and avoid public transport if possible.

        You must still book day 2 and day 8 travel tests.”

      • bafan says:

        Even if you’re in the country for less than 24 hours? Ridiculous.

  • Michael C says:

    Oxford Wine Company are in Shop Small!

  • AJA says:

    I have just received my second AZ jab. I was originally booked for next Tuesday but popped into the pharmacy today to pick up a prescription and they were doing vaccinations. I asked on my way out whether they had the list for next week as I received a confusing text saying my appointment is for 6/8/201 ie August when it should be 8/6/2021. The man checking paperwork said no he only had today’s list but then said why don’t I just have the jab today as long as my first jab was more than 8 weeks ago which it was. Joined a small queue and was done 5 minutes later. Now need to cancel the appointment for next week and I also need to download the NHS App.

    • AJA says:

      Just set up the NHS app, painless. Can see the first Covid vaccination on the “Your COVID-19 vaccine record” page, but it doesn’t show the second dose. How long does it take for this to show up here? I can see the record of today’s second dose being adminstered under the “Consultations and events” page of the app.

      • Tracey says:

        At least overnight and possibly another 24 hours.

        • AJA says:

          Thanks! I will wait until Monday and check again. I like the NHS App, it has loads of info about me. Should’ve downloaded it a while ago.

          • Muhammad Abdullah says:

            What kind of data is in the QR code and what purpose does it serve? Has anyone with a tech background taken a look at it. I see some countries are using Ethereum blockchain in their barcodes.

          • Yorkieflyer says:

            As has been mentioned elsewhere it expires on 20 June for some reason……

  • Oz_Traveller says:

    – IHG Points Booking Redemption –

    Looking to book a room for 3 people via the IHG app using points, and the only rooms available for points only are standard rooms. Can you only book standard rooms using points, or do I need to contact IHG direct to make a points booking for larger rooms (incl. suites)?

    For reference I’m a Platinum Ambassador – not sure if this will make a difference of what I can and cannot see.


    • Peter K says:

      Standard rooms only on points. It’s a big omission in the IHG system.

      • Oz_Traveller says:

        Arrgghh that’s terrible! Thanks for the reply guys.

    • Sandra says:

      No only standard rooms with points.

    • Tudway says:

      You can occasionally get lucky with upgrades. I was upgraded to a fab suite when staying on points in IC Sofia. Not so much at IC London O2.

    • Pid says:

      Email the hotel. They have sometimes agreed to book into a larger room or allow 3 into a room that states maximum occupancy of 2.

  • David says:

    On 6/10/20, I booked EDI-LHR-LAS return flights in CW using a BA Amex Companion Voucher in a Sale and only had to pay 62.5k Avios instead of 125k. The Sale was bookable for travel completed by 30/6/21. BA cancelled our flights. It wasn’t possible to re-book for alternative dates online so I called BA and was put through to Avios agent. I wanted to book for 27/10 returning 8/11 and I was told that I can re-book but, because the flights would take place after 30/6, I would have to pay the difference in Avios (62.5k) and, because the original ticket is only valid for a year, a new ticket would need to be issued and I would have to pay the cash difference which turns out to be only about £25 each.
    I called back a few minutes later to clarify my options and got through to a different agent and was told that, if I re-booked for flights which are completed by 5/10/21, there would be no requirement to pay the 62.5k Avios difference, as there would be no need to issue a new ticket.
    Does anyone know which version is correct?
    Also, I can’t remember what the expiry date on my Companion Voucher was. My e-ticket just lists the voucher number. Is there any way to check what the expiry date is?
    Finally, if I go for flights beyond 6/10/21 necessitating the issue of a new ticket and my voucher’s expiry date is before the date of the new flights would I lose my voucher?
    Thanks in advance to anyone who can clarify any of the above for me.

    • Louise K says:

      The 2nd agent is correct, you can travel anytime up to the validity of your ticket without paying anything.

      If you are prepared to put up a fight, you could possibly book past the validity date.

    • Harry T says:

      If BA cancelled your flights, you do not have to pay them any more Avios or cash. You have a right to a free rerouting.

      • meta says:

        And you have the right to at any time, even beyond ticket validity, but BA will try to wriggle out so you might have to fight it via Money Claim Online (MCOL). Have a look at previous threads, this question gets asked so often.

    • Lady London says:

      Perfectly reasonable that due to your work you can only do trips esp longhaul at some particular times available to you in the year. They cancelled you have full rights to rebook to another date convenient to *you* not the airline.

      The legislation EU261 now in UK law overrides anything BA says and even outranks their t’s and c’s. It’s the law you do not have to pay 1 penny and no more avios if they cancelled your flight. Not even if you only paidv£50 in a sale and the replacement flight you need (“reroute”) would now cost £490. They are responsible for providing you your reroute at no cost to you.

      Issuing a new ticket is no biggie for an airline that wants to do it and also allowed by IATA (governs ticketing rules) in case of involuntary rerouting such as they cancelled you. They just endorse it “INVOL’ to go beyond the year, or issue a new ticket.

      HarryT and meta are right. Do what they say. Look out for posts by Jonathan too who’s very good on step by step method if BA continue to be silly and refuse and you have to MCOL.

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