Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 6th July

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 (481)

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

  • John says:

    So farewell, Heathrow Express.

    Really like the Liverpool Street escalators photo.

    • ChrisBCN says:

      The Heathrow express is staying…

      • Andy says:

        It is staying but it’s not a particularly attractive option for those who can travel point-to-point with Crossrail. On the other hand for those taking a cab from Paddington or who need to switch onto other lines, HEX may work out faster and on occasion cheaper

    • Babyg says:

      tourist will still be herded toward the HEX and away from the cheaper options like they are now (e.g TFL Rail)

    • Andy says:

      Not necessarily, with the discounted HEX fares you can get from booking in advance, it can be cheaper to switch onto HEX at Paddington.

      Crossrail makes 6 stops between Paddington and Heathrow but I am curious to see how long switching from Crossrail to HEX takes, altogether it’s probably a similar journey time

      • ChrisBCN says:

        Elizabeth will take between 7 and 12 minutes longer than HEX from Paddington (depending on terminal). By the time you walk up from the Elizabeth platforms (underground) and wait up to 15 mins for a HEX, you haven’t really saved much, if anything. Plus you will need a separate ticket for HEX.

        If you are starting from Paddington or the underground, it’s a different calculation.

    • HH says:

      The cap was announced back in 2018… Must be a slow news day at the Standard.

  • tonyb says:

    I want to pay a VAT bill with HMRC using Curve metal do I need to have fronted switched on?
    Many thanks

  • Louise K says:

    I bought 4 Randox ‘Green’ test kits for a family I work for.

    Unforch, they are unable to travel now as one of the party will not have had her 2nd jab.

    Can’t get any answer from Randox, any chance of them taking them back???

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Unless it’s covered under distance selling regulations I can’t see why they would.

      For future reference there is absolutely no need and no advantage gained from buying these any earlier than a day before you (they) come back. In fact their is only downside, which you have no unfortunately encountered.

    • Oli says:

      In their T&Cs, Randox say these kits are non refundable, even within 14 days.

    • Tracey says:

      Maybe easier to get her her second jab than get a refund!

      • Louise K says:

        Tried. She had Moderna a tried the mass vacc centres but they have refused.

    • Joe says:

      I had this issue a few weeks ago – they told me they would refund 90% if I returned them, but then looking at terms they were covered by first 14 days – 100% refund. Still waiting on them to process it though….!

  • Ds1980 says:

    Hi all

    Currently have ~100k in Avios and a companion voucher valid until Oct 22

    We have to go in school hols as work in schools. Been searching around and see we can get New York (business) flights in easter ‘22 for 100k avios and £1300 in fees. Problem is we can by the same flights for about an extra £1k hardly makes the companion and point spend worth it does it? Any thoughts on how better to utilise in this situation. I see there may be more availability from September but as we only have pretty specific dates to be able to book I don’t want to get to a stage where we have even less choice. Any thoughts?

    • BJ says:

      You’re getting the ballpark 1ppa plus flexibility. Reasonable deal to me. However, I think you would be happier if you are more focussed on where you want to go than how much value you get.

      • BJ says:

        That’s based on the difference in cost not the total cost before somebody takes issue with my comment. However, it’s actually a bit less even than that if you factor in avios and TP earned. So it really comes down to how much value you attribute flexibility. In normal times you would not be getting a pair of flexible revenue tickets for £2k; at the moment you have TWC.

        • Ds1980 says:

          Hi thanks. Sorry I’m new to this but think you are saying that the 1p per point is reasonable. Based on the £1k saving and 100k points? Is that fair value? I don’t know what is. I remember looking pre COVID and pretty sure £2500k for business return to NYC was normal if booking in advance and a bit of luck? Maybe I’m wrong. We’re pretty restricted in the zone 5 areas at those levels I believe and I don’t really understand what you mean by flexibility. I’d have thought we didn’t have any really? Twc? The World Cup? Not yet but the European one hopefully on Sunday! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🦁

          • Cabal of rabid baboons says:

            Flying somewhere other than New York would give you better value but if it’s New York or nowhere then using Avios gives you the opportunity to cancel up to the day before for £35 per person which adds value to that option

    • Tariq says:

      Earn a few more Avios and book in First. The taxes/charges are pretty much the same but the higher equivalent cash ticket cost improves the value calculation.

      • BJ says:

        +1, also means that if you have the misfortune to get downgraded then you still very likely find yourself in J/CS. By contrast, any downgrade from J results in a huge disappointment.

      • Ds1980 says:

        Definitely not NYC or nothing. Just not that many places in zone 5. Possibly Dubai but not sure our dates are best visit there? Any recommendations welcome. I think I need to look into seat classes as no idea what j or lots of abbreviations being used. Ta

      • Aston100 says:

        You talk as if first class is always available.

  • Sam says:

    Hi all, perhaps a stupid question. I have received the rapid lateral flow test at home (ordered from the website) – hoping to buy a Wimbledon ticket for this Friday once they are released. I’m pretty sure I don’t have Covid at the moment (and not had it thankfully). I need to do the test within 48 hours of this Fri. Haven’t done one of these tests before so thinking of doing a ‘test’ test run of the rapid flow test to see how it works so if I do one tonight and then another one on Thursday evening, I think that would work? Thanks!

    • BJ says:

      I can think of at least one very good reason to do the test only once 🙂

    • SteveJ says:

      Not an answer to your question, but Friday tickets are already for sale FYI. Don’t wait for the Amex tickets, go direct to Wimbledon’s site.

    • SteveJ says:

      And to actually answer the question, it’s 48 hours from arriving at Wimbledon. Do it tomorrow afternoon and be done with it, no value in leaving it to Thurs eve.

    • Tracey says:

      What can go wrong? Do it once at around the 48 hour mark. You only need to repeat it if you get an inconclusive result.
      It isn’t difficult, watch a couple of videos on YouTube if you are unsure. I use the alternative method of both nostrils rather than my throat and one nostril, I’ve never had an inconclusive result.

      • Sam says:

        Thanks all, esp @SteveJ, booked a ticket! Hope the test all goes ok now with the test!

    • Tracey says:

      Hopefully the encouragement the doubters need to get themselves vaccinated.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Completely utterly the wrong reason too

        Might aswell pay them or stick them in a lottery.

  • BJ says:

    The reward tickets are flexible in that they can be refunded or changed for £35. A cheap J ticket bought for cash cannot. However, right now you can book cash tickets under Travel With Confidence. 1ppa is taken as a general ballpark figure for satisfactory value. Based on full price you are getting about 2ppa, 1ppa based on the difference between the cost of the reward and cash flights (ignoring avios and TP earned on cash flights). Some people claim they get huge values but a number of assumptions underpin their estimates and they like to feel better by making it look good. In reality, if you compare the cost of your reward flight to a flexible as opposed to a discounted cash flight which is a more realistic comparison then you are already far exceeding 2ppa here. However, you can only honestly say this if you would ever contemplate paying the cost of such a flexi ke J flight. I recommend you focus on where you want to go as opposed to notional value you get.

  • Blenz101 says:

    Nonsense. They can easily argue the extensions to their quarantine contracts were not foreseen. Will all very much depend on when the booking was made and a judges view on what is reasonable.

    The booking contract likely gives the hotel a get out as well.

    Presenting the right to a booking at a rival hotel in the same way as EU261 would entitle a new flight is disingenuous.

    I know the devoted few here want to take everything to court but some balance is important.

    • meta says:

      People have taken hotels to court before and won when they cancelled. There are damages to be paid under contract law, especially if you booked non-refundable stuff around the hotel booking such as train/flight, etc. and the hotel is liable to pay that. It is an option that you are perfectly entitled to present to a hotel if they don’t want to pay damages. Customer-oriented hotels will actually offer to move you without you asking them!

      You keep banging on about quarantine contracts, but they are voluntary. Nobody is forcing a hotel to take a contract. They chose to do it. Slam dunk case for MCOL. There is also no get out clause for covid like there is for EC261 and airlines.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      contra proferentem

      The consumer has the upper hand

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I agree balance is required.

      Hotels absolutely should be given lee way for situations out of their hand this is not. This was completely their decision. If they side up for something that could be extended with a weeks notice without their agreement they should have thought twice about taking more consumer bookings.

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.