Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Sunday 18th July

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We are running this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Comments (430)

  • Luisa says:

    Was supposed to travel to Denmark for non essential medical treatment. Now UK are a red country so all cancelled. Any way round this by travelling somewhere first (preferably without quarantine) or better to just wait until it’s gone back to green/yellow? I have BA miles to use for flight/hotel.

  • Leon says:

    I have a question about Amex supplementary card application please? I have just applied online for a supplementary card of my PRGC because I would like to take the 6000 MR offer. To my surprise, the application was not approved straight away! Instead I received a message on the screen which reads ” Thank you for your application! We have recorded all the relevant information and will finalise your application as soon as possible. We’ll send you a note in the post or email within the next 10 days to advise you of next steps… Thank you for your patience.” Has anyone experienced this before? Is this a normal procedure or part of the process of applying a supplementary card? I am getting worried whether this is a message for unsuccessful application? Could Amex decline to issue a supplementary card? Thank you in advance for all your help!

    • John says:

      Hi Leon . Of the dozen or so Amex applications I have had over the years all of them have had have said the same and then have been approved within a few days. Yet strangely my 20 year old son uni students application had been accepted straightaway . This despite his salary declaration being only a part time job and my household income being 6 figures. So I am never unduly concerned when I get this message.

  • Alex B says:

    Any hotels between London Bridge and Greenwich with good air conditioning sub 90-100 a night. Need somewhere to ride out the heat but don’t want to pay if I could just end up with a trickle of cool air.

    • Tony1 says:

      Probe would be cheaper to buy a air con unit for you house ? Think B & Q do a basic one for £200

    • Blair says:

      The 2 Residence Inns? Price may have soared during school holidays though

    • Optimus Prime says:

      Novotel Greenwich? I haven’t stayed, can’t comment on their aircon.

    • Peggerz says:

      Doubletree Greenwich had v good aircon when I was there for 6 nights last month. Normally in the £70 range per night. Great staff too.

    • 1ATL says:

      Ibis Styles Borough Market on Southwark Bridge Road is a pretty decent bang for your buck. £77 a night and breakfast included for Monday night currently. For the location and the air-conditioning it pretty much ticks all the boxes. Stayed there many times and can recommend it for a clean and functional budget option.

  • Yorkie Aid says:

    Could anyone be kind enough to point me to a guide about Turkish Airlines and where the best place to credit miles might be? I am thinking about a return business flight from UK via Istanbul to Miami (staying for 15 days on the way for US quarantine) and maybe just a day or two on the way back (I can’t find any direct UK flights with Turkish). The return price is not much more than one way otherwise I would come back direct with another carrier. I had read a while back it might be best to leave the points in their Miles and Smiles programme to use for really cheap domestic redemptions with Delta (I think). However I would appreciate any advice or experience on here before I take the plunge. In normal times I would probably only take short haul flights within Europe or within USA. I usually travel to USA and back by cruise. Thanks in advance.

    • Blenz101 says:

      You are aware Turkey is on the red list as part of the UK trying eliminate all travel via ME transit hubs. If you head back via Turkey then do factor in £1700 and day 10+ days of your life in institutional quarantine. At which point miles may be the least of your worries.

      Wheretocredit should have what you need if you do decide to go ahead.

    • Blair says:

      “ I usually travel to USA and back by cruise.” – the spirit of the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts lives on. What a lark to have the time to cruise back to the UK. Good on you for keeping the gilded age alive.

      • Yorkie Aid says:

        Thank you Blair 🙂 Being retired I DO have the time. Very nice it is too!

        Cheers Blenz I shall take a look at wheretocredit. I’m hopeful the red list thing won’t be an issue because much to Blair’s annoyance I wouldn’t be planning to come back to Blighty until April or May next year 🙂

      • Andrew says:

        Perhaps the route to the States in early course. Load up a liner with PCR tested people. Anchor off shore, Test on board day 2 (PCR) – send to mainland by boat. Six day non-call trip around UK shore. Test day 8. If everyone clear, full steam ahead to NYC. Final test before landing day 15.

        Hugely expensive, and infuriating if someone was dirty and it had to be cancelled – but can imagine there are many keen to pay the price.

  • SteveC says:

    Anyone know how long the Avios to Nectar transfers are currently taking?

    • Peter K says:

      This was asked in yesterday or the day before’s chat. I can’t remember the response but try looking there 🙂

  • Rimmingtown says:

    I am travelling up to Preston next week, staying overnight, looks like there are a couple of Holiday Inns and Marriott, anyone had any experience of these places, Preston itself looks a bit grim, I may stay in Chester if they are no good. Thank you.

    • QwertyKnowsBest says:

      Preston is grim. Chester better but traffic depending at least 1+hour from Preston.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Preston is grim. Chester is not

      • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

        Preston 🙂
        Reminds me of that classic early Happy Mondays number ‘Country Song’ … Google it for the Preston connection!

    • JonD says:

      Lancaster Holiday Inn is pleasant enough although nothing special.

      Chester seems a bit far to travel to Preston. Manchester/Warrington would almost be a better bet if you didn’t want to stay in Preston.

      • Andrew says:

        If you’re going up the M6, HI Warrington is less than a minute off the M6. First exit going North over the Thelwell viaduct. It’s a regular Friday stopover for me in normal times.

        I’m usually an 11pm arrival, always recognition, they’ll upsell breakfast at checkin at a discount. Decent big rooms, good shower, good breakfast, excellent double glazing (zero M6 sound) and you’re on the Motorway 90 seconds after starting your car in the morning.

        (Obviously things might be different in Covid, I haven’t stayed there since March 2020, but have been staying there since 2000ish)

        • Anna says:

          OH spent 6 years commuting between Preston area and Warrington and the traffic was horrific, if he didn’t set off by 6 am it could easily take 2 hours to get to the office.

    • Yorkie Aid says:

      What about the Macdonald Tickled Trout. Lovely hotel when I was last there (25 years ago)

      • Cabal of rabid baboons says:

        The Preston Marriott is in the Broughton area South of Preston and is a very pleasant area despite what previous posters lead you to believe.
        Outstanding local restaurants and very rural.

        • Anna says:

          It’s actually north of Preston on the edge of the Ribble Valley but yes near some lovely countryside.

    • Anna says:

      The Preston Marriott is quite pleasant and well out of the city centre. (HIs look really grim from the outside at least!) If you are Bonvoy gold or above you are likely to get at least a room upgrade, and there are also spa facilities.
      Preston tends to be a lot cheaper than Chester so it depends whether cost is more of a factor than the surroundings

      • Pete says:

        Yes Marriott Preston is the one.

        Don’t even think of commuting from Chester to Preston unless you plan to leave before 7am. It is about the distance from London to Brighton!

      • Tariq says:

        Only stayed once, but found it OK for a one night stay, convenient to the Motorway.

      • xcalx says:

        Stayed many times at marriott Preston (old gold status got us 2 drinks and 2 nibbles vouchers plus free breakfast) it was our base when having a weekend in Blackpool. Lovely place up the road from the Marriott for food and drink is Guy’s thatched hamlet, they do rooms too but never stayed in one. Nice canal side area for lunch on a summers day

    • Alex B says:

      I stayed in the HIX in the centre(ish) of Preston for 1 night. Perfectly standard, onsite restaurant was acceptable if not slightly on the expensive side (for what is was)

    • Bill says:

      I’ve stayed in the Premier Inn near the station. Perfectly acceptable for an overnight

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Preston is grim but the holiday inn in the city center is nice. Had a refurb in 2019

    • Dani says:

      The HI Preston..checked out today after my 2nd stay.. the rooms are compact, the Aircon is ace.

      Less than 5 mins walk to the Guild Ale House and their Sister Orchard bar within the Permanent Market Hall.

      If you wanna be in Preston, I’ve stayed the P I and HI and would pick the H I.

      There are 2 Spoons maybe 6 mins walk away.


    • BP says:

      I once slept rough on pizza boxes in Preston for a night when I missed the bus home after the Radio 1 Big Weekend festival. Any hotel will beat that experience 😀

    • Lady London says:

      new Hampton at Blackpool on the way?

  • mark says:

    bit nervous about this – appreciate thoughts. Looking to go to Koh Samui in August. Thinking Amsterdam – Bangkok – Koh Samui with the Last leg as a separate booking using Bangkok airlines. Do you think that would cause problems in terms of connections?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      August 2022?

      • mark says:

        August 21. I have been reading about the agreement for Koh Samui and Phuket operating the sandbox and hence my apprehension.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Cool. Just thought it’d be good to be clear

          Good luck though I’d be worried that 1) anyone testing positive on the flight means you’re all quarantined and 2) testing positive no matter how mild means you end up in a Thai hospital.

          • BP says:

            Thai hospitals aren’t all that bad (the private ones). I spent 6 nights in hospital in Samui once after catching Swine Flu. I ignored the symptoms and continued partying until I eventually sought medical treatment and found out that I had early onset of pneumonia and the lowest blood oxygen level the doctor had ever seen.

          • marcw says:

            The whole plane does not go into quarantine. “Only +-2 rows from affected passenger”.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            @marcw perhaps I read some fake news two weeks ago about 1 person testing positive on a flight that landed in Phuket and the plane was quarantined

          • marcw says:

            @TFLoyalty the full plane was not sent to quarantine, only +-2 rows from positive COVID passenger. You may have been reading LoyaltyLobby, but they got it wrong. Better read some local (in English) Phuket news, Bangkok Post or The Thaiger.

    • marcw says:

      Based on this website, no, it has to be on the same ticket:
      Book your Flight to Thailand
      You can fly to Samui on a direct international flight or international flight via Bangkok and be connected with approved sealed flights as details below.

      For the flight via Bangkok, the ticket must be issued on the same booking with an international flight in conjunction with such approved Bangkok-Samui-Bangkok flights. Any flight reservations booked separately will not be allowed.

      Bangkok Airways Flights: PG5125, PG5151 and PG5171

    • Gavin says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if they pause or scrap the sandbox scheme at some point given the large increases in COVID cases in Thailand recently.

    • Lady London says:

      your plans mean you should choose your airline very carefully. you will for sure be changing your plans so you need to be on an airline that won’t be a problem rebooking or even refunding.

      Make sure your insurance covers you for unexpected rule changes by government at either end, if you can.

  • Mark says:

    Best way of getting from Canary Wharf to Heathrow for a 7.30am flight? Zipcar is not an option as I only can drive auto…!

    • Dani says:

      Stay over or risk the traffic…

    • Blenz101 says:

      Taxi, bus or lift with friends.

      N550/1 and then N9 if bus. Taxi via Uber. Get a lift with friends of your choice.

    • Mouse says:

      Most Zipcars are automatic

    • marcw says:

      There are automatic Zipcar.

      • Rob says:

        There are, but they come and go. Couldn’t find a single one near us yesterday from the 20 or so vehicles offered.

    • Lady London says:

      previous night in a Hesthrow hotel. much more restful eg HGI at T2. Also check your bag night before 4pm-9? pm

    • Pete says:

      Rookie mistake-learning in an automatic. Takes away all the fun as well!

      • Rob says:

        I will never understand why the UK – the perfect country for automatic cars – hates them whilst the US – which could happily stick with manuals due to bigger, wider, straighter roads – does not. There is zero benefit, at all, to driving a manual car.

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