Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Friday 2nd July

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Comments (316)

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  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    Advice on Guernsey please.

    Looking at weekend after his, with direct BA flight (on avios) from Edinburgh to Guernsey, out Friday back Monday.

    But where to stay (budget about 200 a night – we are Premier Inn sort of folks – so Old Government House out of bounds!) Trouble is, most of the accommodation looks very old fashioned – almost as though it will have lumpy mattresses and nylon sheets!

    We do like top-quality restaurants, so recommendations there would be good – as would be unmissable walks – weather forecast is for sunny, sunny, sunny 🙂

    Thanks in advance.

    • meta says:

      Do you have Amex with Red Carnation hotels offer? I think that Old Government house and Duke of Richmond might have a promo for cheaper rates for 2-3 nights which if you split over two Amex cards might work out at £200 per night or thereabouts.

    • Andrew Mc says:

      Unmissable walks = all of south coast. St Martins area good as a base. Stayed at the Saints Bay Hotel years ago, but was very happy with at the time.

      • Yuff says:

        If you have a car you need to go to Pleinmont for the walk around the cliffs, but l’ancresse and Pembroke, where the royal golf course is, is pretty good as well.

    • Genghis says:

      I normally stay at OGH when I go for work. Yes, it’s a bit old fashioned but I like it for what it is. The Hook is a good restaurant: sushi / steak fusion kind of place. The fish restaurant – the Pier – is decent but old fashioned. Le nautique too – nice bernaise sauce.

    • Yuff says:

      St Pierre Park, might be similar price to OGH though
      20 min walk from St. Peter port
      They have a pitch and putt next door and driving range
      Bar/restaurant 19 is very good but more gastro pub
      Chinese restaurant China red very good

      • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

        Unfortunately China Red is closed at the moment for renovations (until August I think).
        Agree with all other comments above!
        Fermain Valley Hotel is also lovely although I think their prices will be more like £250 a night even on their 3 night offers. It’s on the east coast just past the outskirts of St Peter Port. There are regular buses and the hotel also runs a courtesy bus to town and the airport. The valley it is set in is beautiful and leads down to a fantastic little bay. The beach cafe there is sensational for a long lazy lunch too! Great coast path walks also, including the route into town so you can do that to go for lunch and then either walk or bus back. They also have a decent steak restaurant (Rock Garden) and a mexican (Buho). As my user name suggests, we live on the island and go the the Fermain Valley for staycations it’s that good!

        • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

          Also, to echo Andrew Mc’s comment above, the other St. Martins / south coast hotels are set in lovely quiet lanes and near spectacular coastal cliff walks and little coves, if you don’t mind being a bit out of the main town. Have a look at the Douvres Hotel (although ask if they’ve got weddings going on at a weekend) or La Barberie Hotel – both should be cheaper than the Fermain Valley, have decent accommodation and food and are practically next to each other (near the Saints Bay Hotel that Andrew also mentions). Have not stayed at the Saints but the owner Ashraf is a great chef and quite a character. It’s a 3 star hotel as opposed to the other I mention that are 4 star but you’d be assured of a warm welcome wherever you go Colin – the hotels are desperate to welcome tourists back!

        • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

          Also if you’re happy to be in town and are looking more for a ‘chain’ type hotel we have two Best Westerns. Moore’s Hotel is right on the high street and has a decent restaurant, bar and patisserie and couldn’t be more central. The Hotel de Havelet is on the out-skirts (and up a steep hill) but has a great restaurant (Copenhagen) and fantastic views over the castle and surrounding islands. Both would come in under the £200 per night full flexible I think and you’ll earn points. I’m still Diamond with BW after a status match from IHG Platinum back in October 2019 – never stayed with them since either!

        • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

          PPS For activities highly recommend a day trip to Herm Island. Walk around the island, check out beaches and cafes and partake of a good lunch at the Whitehouse Hotel (or its Ship Inn restaurant for less formal dining). Shell beach is amazing, as the name suggests consisting of tiny shells washed up by the gulf stream, and on a good day feels like the Caribbean! You can even hire a kayak there from a mate of mine 🙂

        • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

          PPPS Restaurant list should also include : West coast (for sunsets) – La Reunion and in town La Fregate Hotel’s restaurant (great view over the town from on high) or Octopus (French bistro down by the water with views to Castle Cornet which is lit at night).
          Right – now I’ve remembered I need to book a table at La Reunion for me & Mrs T for our anniversary this Sunday so enough from me …

          • Colin MacKinnon says:

            Happy Anniversary!

            Big thanks for your help.

          • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

            You’re welcome Colin – good luck with your booking!

          • Yuff says:

            Colin if you like Chinese food, I’ll find out when it’s re-opening
            It is one of the best Chinese restaurants I’ve eaten at.

          • Colin MacKinnon says:

            Hi Yuff,
            Thanks, like Chinese food by other half no so keen!
            Getting all excited now I have booked the flights – no other seats on the aircraft reserved as yet and just a week to go!
            Thinking we’ll rent some bikes to see as much as possible in a few days – e-bike for me!

          • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

            E-bikes are a great way of getting around our little island Colin! Have you seen these rental bikes ?

  • DY says:

    Question re Ryanair: I booked a flight (London Stansted-Chania) scheduled for 4 Aug a few days ago, but since yesterday this flight has disappeared in the system. I have not yet received any cancellation notification. Do you think Ryanair has decided to cancel the flight? I need to apply for a tourist visa as well, so this uncertainty is far from ideal. Many thanks in advance for your tips/guidance.

  • Brian says:

    Just made a booking to Berlin from LCY for September but accidentally put myself down as both passengers! There is a 24 hour cooling off period, so I tried to call to get the other name changed to my wife. The BA call centre just states “we are unable to take your call this time” – really? is this standard practice?

    • Dave says:

      Try press a different option when you call or try again later.

  • Travel Strong says:

    Flying Easyjet LGW – GIB:

    If you are hand baggage only – the first check that all docs are in order is at boarding gate.

    Top Tip: Even if you have no checked luggage – go to the bag drop desks when you first arrive to get all the document checks out of the way. If you do this, you get a ticket to just walk straight through at boarding time, and avoid the boarding gate checks. That said – the boarding gate checks were quick enough… but you would have zero time to fix anything if you were missing anything.

    Timeline on landing:

    Seatbelt sign off 20:32
    Out of Airport 20:36
    Arrival test completed 20:38
    Arrived at IHG HIX hotel 20:53
    Walked in to room 21:04
    Test result and cert email received 21:07

    32 minutes from standing up out of seat to being in the hotel room, even with testing.

    Went to Bruno’s bar just before 10pm, and had fillet steak, possibly the best steak i’ve ever had, for £19.99. Highly recommend Bruno’s.
    Plenty of bars and restaurants open til late – so can get out and and about even if arriving late.

    • kitten says:

      Thanks for the tips Travel Strong especially the steak

    • idrive says:

      HI, sorry if I ask something that has been asked million time, maybe it would be great to have a pinned page on the website here…about testing/opportunities etc.
      If I want to go to GIB for a weekend, what is the procedure? and tricks to avoid multiple tests expenses (ie. 48 in and out or similar) or anyway the best way to optimize the process..?
      ie. for GIB, what is the mandatory requirements in terms of testing in GB/UK? sorry but I read bits and pieces and do not have a full view at the moment , all in my head

      • Travel Strong says:

        Check out the hfp article here:

        For leaving the UK – you need no tests if fully vaxxed. Just the NHS cert, and fill out the gib gov passenger locator and arrival test booking.

        If not fully vaxxed – you will need a test before leaving the UK (check official sources for specifics – not applicable to me so haven’t looked into it).

        For leaving GIB within 72hrs of landing, you can do the arrival and departure test at the same moment – but you still pay the £30 fee so no games to be played on savings.

        For return back to the UK, need to book a ‘day 2 or earlier’ test and do the UK gov locator within 48hrs of departure. If you have a randox box box nearby, use that. If you don’t, use the airport testing options at you UK arrival airport. I will be using Colin’s son’s one at LGW. Use discount codes for these (widely available with google searches).

        • idrive says:

          Amazing, thank you very much for the quick reply! i missed the point of vaxx/double dose indeed and now clearer on the test when back

      • Travel Strong says:

        P.S. everyone working in the airports at either end is keen to make this all as hassle free as possible – no one wants it to be difficult.

        … but explaining the above testing requirements to most people does seen to make them recoil in confusion and fear!

  • BJ says:

    Lufthansa group have just launched another round of companion fares in J and F through 20 July. For example 2 in J to Dubai for £1999 or Bangkok or Hong Kong for £2599.

    • Aston100 says:

      Thanks BJ.
      Ends just before the English school holidays.
      Have Lufty & co ever done these companion offers in very late July and throughout August?
      For that matter, has any other airline done very decent deals to E/SE Asia at that time of the year?

    • idrive says:

      On Lufty: i just got AwardWallet’s reminder about point expiration. What is the latest news on the UK replacement Diners cc to avoid expiration, are we all on the same..boat? A bit difficult to book trips at the moment and i recall that MM policy on rebooking is not very handy

      • Rob says:

        Ex-M&M credit card holders are protected until 31/12 so you can ignore AW for now. Looking less likely that we will see a new card, if I’m honest.

        I am not too concerned. Most of my miles were earned in the last two years, so even if expiry kicks in again I will have some time to get bookings in.

        LH seems to have closed the loophole whereby you could book a reward flight, get the miles back and not have them expire until the next quarter end (eg you could book with some miles which expired 31/12, cancel the flight on 1st January and the miles would come back, not re-expiring until 31st March. Rinse and repeat.) It looks like miles from cancelled flights which have expired now disappear instantly.

        • idrive says:

          i see, thanks for the heads up. Hopefully i can use these miles to fly and enjoy the original idea!

    • Michael C says:

      Thanks, BJ.
      Btw did you get your Ploenchit hotel sorted out?

      • BJ says:

        No, got loads of points so good as the deal was I might just let it go as I doubt I’d get any favour from Hilton anyway. I’m tempted to take 5 nights at Conrad Residence for 120k as I’ve never stayed there before and it rarely ever comes up on points. If it is still going cheap I would try the new Kimpton for the other 5 nights.

  • krys_k says:

    Anyone have any idea what the kosher breakfast meal in club Europe is like ?
    (I remember back in my younger days ordering the kosher meal on intercontinental economy flights and it was hugely better than the standard fare).

    • Eligold says:

      Currently there is no free food in economy, only in club.
      In the two times I flew club Europe pre pandemic, one was a nice platter of meat sandwiches (afternoon) and the other was a yoghurt and omelette etc.

    • Chrism20 says:

      It was a big plate of fruit a couple of weeks back at breakfast time. All three flights at other times of the day that I’ve ordered the KSML on has been the chicken with slaw.

      There is a picture of the fruit plate on FT in the modified catering thread.

      From my experiences requesting the KSML is generally a better plate of food and more substantial

  • Adele says:

    Anyone know the sort of average cost of coming back from an AMBER country and doing all the tests including the extra test to release 5 day one?
    I know it can vary but just after a ball park figure.

    Thank you

    • Cats are best says:

      Depends heavily on how fast you want the TTR result.

      For the pre-flight return to UK test I used Qured…

      Took the kit with me, fast result, cost 33 with the BA discount code

      With Biogroup…

      I paid 150 for in-clinic day2/8, and an extra 135 for same-day TTR.

      There’s also a 3-hour TTR, but it costs way more.

      All in-clinic tests – going for a test is allowed even when quarantined, I wouldn’t use mail-in, it adds risk/delay.

      Making 318 total. Good experience with both providers so far.

    • N says:

      I just paid 135 for all three. Randox with BA discount.

    • Anna says:

      When are you travelling? It’s being rumoured that there will only be pre-departure and day 2 test from July 26th of you’re vaccinated so it might be as well to hold off spending any money until the next travel announcement on the 15th.

  • swifty says:

    hello all, BA cancelled my flights to Malta in May 2020, (I booked a package for 2 ppl thru BA) and I was given a refund. They cancelled the night before with no reason, then transpired they had just stopped flying to Malta til Mid June. Can I get compensation for this?

    • Alex says:


      Reason? Pandemic

      • TGLoyalty says:

        That’s not true. You can and others have.

        Pandemic is no longer an excuse for Chopping and changing flights last min when you’re allowed to enter and they can fly without restriction.

        • Alex says:

          May 2020 though.

        • Swifty says:

          It was amber. They sold me the package and I booked all the necc tests

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Ah package holidays can not go ahead if FCO advice not to travel for anything but essential reasons. That’s why it was cancelled.

        • Swifty says:

          Thanks TG

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