Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 21st 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 (378)

  • Anna says:

    Well this is good news, although it makes it even more bizarre that France has gone amber plus. Carrie wants a honeymoon in Marbs, maybe?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Is seriously doubt Beta will be the dominant strain anywhere Delta is.

      In any case the issue was that beta escapes the vaccine and still cause symptomatic Covid but still prevent severe illness exactly like what Delta is doing.

      • Anna says:

        Yes but France is on the amber plus list with about 1/8th of the recorded rate of cases that Spain has, which is why it’s odd …

        • Lyn says:

          It is even odder considering that a lot of the “French” beta cases are on the island of Reunion rather than mainland France.

          • Lady London says:

            as in, beta is practically nonexistent in mainland france at all.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            As in this government are about as useful as a chocolate tea cup

          • Anna says:

            Yes, but our ministers probably think Reunion is off the coast of Brittany 🙄😂

  • George K says:

    Hey folks – remind me, what would be the easiest way to protect a measly sum of avios from expiring inside a non-UK-based relative’s BA account?

    • Harry T says:

      Do they have access to an Avios portal for earning points on online expenditure? It will depend on the country but I know that Spain and Ireland have their own Avios portals, for example.

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Assuming the account is UK based? Get “them” to order you a domino’s on the online portal, either via VPN or you logging into there account

      • George K says:

        Hey both – no, account is EU based, so portal is out of the question, I think. I’ll try to login with their credentials and see if there’s an option to order something, but failing that, there is no avios transfer that I could arrange?

        Actually… I could buy the minimum amount of avios using their account, couldn’t I? Would that do it?

        • Sean says:

          but is it worth buying a measly amount given the one-off fee?

        • Lyn says:

          I don’t think there would be a problem ordering something from BA’s shopping portal even with a non-UK BAEC number and EU billing address. You can choose either UK or UK shops on the bottom left if you log directly into the shopping portal rather than through BAEC.

          The problem might be the long time it takes to credit avios and there is always the chance of them taking them back later for some undisclosed reason. AbeBooks (either UK or US) is useful for small things like used books.

          • Harry T says:

            I think portal would still work – you can choose a retailer with faster payout too. For example, Lululemon always seems to pay out within a few days – maybe order some socks from there?

  • QFFlyer says:

    Amex-Radisson Rewards transfers – someone asked about this yesterday, just seen this on my MR account:

    “NOTIFICATION: Due to a technical issue, it’s currently not possible to transfer your Membership Rewards points to Radisson Rewards. We are working on fixing the issue. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.”

    • Harrier25 says:

      Yes, I saw that too but didn’t notice it yesterday. As we now know that Brighton read all these comments on HFP, they must’ve added it after reading our comments on the subject yesterday afternoon!

  • mutley says:

    Not Marbs Anna because,

    1) They are going to the Caribbean middle of next week.
    2) Carrie Antoinette will get preggers during the trip.
    3) It will be announced during an election campaign in late October

    Number three is dependent on the third wave dissipating by late September, before the inevitable Winter (Jan/Feb) fourth wave which may see Boris off politically, not that I’m any sort of conspiracy theorist. I will announce Fridays euro millions numbers later! 🙂

    • Paul says:

      I too convinced early GE but my money was on the spring. Either way the clown will win which is utterly depressing.

      • Andy D says:

        What’s the strategy? You don’t think he can build a bigger majority?

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        I don’t think he can win, a lot of his older voters are very annoyed with his policies. Not to mention all those who have lost loed ones and probably can’t stomach voting for the party that is responsible for that

        • Super Secret Stuff says:


        • Andrew says:

          Those older voters have also been fully aware that the alternative would have been Republican candidate Jeremy Corbyn with his brother Piers as his special advisor.

          A clear test is… “What did Nicola Sturgeon do that was significantly different?” – and the answer is not much.

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            You forget that Corbyn is not the leader of Labour anymore. Also Nichola Sturgeon has made decisions earlier and as such a lower level of mortality, however only so much she can do as the Scottish border will always be open to the home nations.

            My money would be for Labour, Lib Dem and Greens to all make significant gains and Conservatives to loose there majority. Tri party government? Maybe…

          • Anna says:

            Super Secret Stuff – can you show that Scotland’s mortality rate is lower? Also it has been illegal to travel from England to Scotland at various times during the pandemic, so the English can’t really be blamed for Covid there.

          • TJones says:

            Given a choice between free broadband for everyone or tax-cuts for billionaires, the public predictably preferred the latter.

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            @ Anna Scotland: 334,141 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Scotland and 7,820 deaths. Population: 5.5 million. Average age 42.1

            England: 5.5 million confirmed cases, 129k deaths. Population: 56 million. Average age: 40.2

            Population of England is 10 times that of Scotland, yet 16 times the number of cases and 16 times the number of deaths.

            At a glance england has a younger population so should have less deaths as age is a big factor but is significantly ahead of Scotland when factoring in population size

          • Anna says:

            SSS – Scotland has nothing like the population density of England, which also needs to be factored in. And I would imagine many more multi-generational households living at close quarters.

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            @Anna good point but then the age demographics makes up for that

          • David S says:

            I wish we could have Sturgeon running England as well. At least she sounds convincing

          • Lord Doncaster says:


            Tories won’t lose the next election. The number of seats they have means it isn’t probable.

            They lost the most recent bi election due to HS2 protest vote… Nothing else. It’ll revert Tory at the next GE.

        • Aston100 says:

          Tories did very well at the local elections a few months ago.
          There seems to be a disconnect between disliking Bojo & his circus of clowns and voting Conservative, which is quite disappointing.

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            But they also lost a recent MP bi-election, the votes that really matter…

            Local votes is an interesting one, however given the amount of money Boris is using to “level up” deprived areas, i.e buy votes and making local conservatives look better, I don’t think it is a fair representation

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            for where MP votes will go

          • ChrisC says:

            The large wins in the Midlands and north hid loses in the south.

            For example Labour won 4 seats off the Tories in Worthing .

            The Tories lost 14 seats on Surrey County council.

          • Yorkie Aid says:

            SSS – The Batley by-election was won by Labour albeit with a significantly reduced majority. And it was won by the sister of murdered MP Jo Cox. Do you not think there might have been an element of personal rather than party line voting happening? Also infection rates (throughout the world) are largely dependent on population densities as the single biggest factor. It makes perfect sense if you think about it.

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            @ ChrisC I Agree, a very mixed bag. I think we are witnessing the self destruction of the covserbative party, similar to Lib Dems in 2010 ish.

            @ Yorkie Aid It is possible that played a key role but it was a heavily contested seat which brief analysis suggests it probably lost labour more seats than the conservatives. Personal opinion as let’s be honest, no one really knows

        • Ash says:

          Yes, us older ones are fine with it.

    • Anna says:

      1. My first thought was Barbados but I’m wondering now whether even BJ would think that too ostentatious in these constrained times!
      2. Don’t put images like that out there on a lovely summer afternoon.
      3. Didn’t we just have an election?!

      • Yorkie Aid says:

        Personally I cannot foresee ANY possible reason for a GE before late 2023 / early 24. Why would BJ risk throwing away a massive majority? Would make absolutely no sense especially since the opposition could appear marginally more electable now.

        • Harry T says:

          He would want an early election to avoid having a GE at a time point when they have to raise taxes to pay for the all the covid related borrowing (also, the payments to Tory donors). The plan is apparently to call the election when the economy starts to pick up and covid is “vanquished”, but before the more delayed economic consequences of Brexit and covid hit.

          • Yorkie Aid says:

            Sorry Harry T, I just don’t buy it. I think it would be political suicide. Mind you I suppose Theresa May did that to herself in 2017. Everyone knows we’re going to have to pay the piper for the Covid financial measures over the long term and nobody is going to believe KS if he starts promising yet more free money to just about everyone like Corbyn did. It just sounds like wishful thinking from the BJ haters to me. Time will tell I guess 🙂

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      3) will be announced when there’s some bad news about the govt (as if there hasn’t been any so far!)

      • Andy says:

        Boris hates being PM. He wants out to make more money. but he also wants to be the first Tory PM to win a majority two elections in a row for a while which his bete noir Cameron couldnt do.
        So he wants an early election to maximise his chances of that/He couldn’t care less about the Tory party or the country really, just the usual ego narcissim

        • Aaron C says:

          Thatcher won 3 elections so 2 is hardly a prize.

        • Yorkie Aid says:

          Andy – You may be right about BJ hating being PM right now. I wouldn’t wish the responsibility of leading the country through a pandemic on my most hated enemy. But Cameron did win two elections (not getting an overall majority the first time is a different thing, he still won the most seats). The ones to beat are Blair and Thatcher who each notched up three wins. Statistically that would be hard given the Cons have already won four straight times. His best hope might be for Scotland to become independent which would virtually guarantee a perpetual Con govt all else being equal. So maybe we should all be careful what we wish for. Obviously as SSS said, this is all just personal opinion.

          • Lord Doncaster says:

            Labour is a vanquished entity at the moment. You’re all deluding yourselves otherwise, or living in your Londom bubble.

  • WaynedP says:

    Am aiming to issue Letter before Action to IHG in the next day or two before MCOL for the troublesome “Stay 1 night by 29 July, get 5k points” promotion.

    Despite sending two pages of app screenshot showing the offer (with no means or requirement to register) clearly included in my IHG account landing page with my name and verifiable points total at the time (May) IHG have refused to honour this promotion on the grounds that i) I was not targeted if I didn’t receive an explicit email and ii) I didn’t register.

    It’s not the amount but the principle and I’m confident that any judge will consider the fact that the offer appeared on MY IHG Rewards Club account landing page, with no possible means of registering nor alert of additional T&Cs means that any reasonable person wold consider themselves eligible for the offer.

    MCOL amount is £48.60 based on standard IHG website cost of $67.50 to purchase 5,000 points and IHG recently applied currency conversion rate of 0.72

    I have screenshots corroborating all of the above, plus an HfP comments extract from page 3 of 1 July 2021 comments starting with Aston100 at 09:58 and including Anna (10:09), Pete M (10:29) and concluding with TJ (13:22).

    It would be helpful if I could include this in my supporting documentation to demonstrate that this was an acknowledged, troublesome promotion on at least one travel-related forum. I’d prefer to include it unredacted as I just think that enhances credibility, but if any of those individuals involved feels strongly, I am willing to redact their HfP handle if you register your wishes in response to this comment.

    I do have sympathy with front line staff who are misinformed and are bound to dig in their heels, but I am of the opinion that a poorly executed promotional marketing campaign shouldn’t be the reason to deny the advertised benefit to any consumer who met the published requirements in good faith.

    • Swiss Jim says:

      For £48.60. Really??

      • WaynedP says:

        Principle is important, I feel, including possible benefit to others apart from myself in same predicament.

        I’ve already gifted hundreds of pounds away this month, I have no need for £48.60

    • Paul says:

      £205 in costs for £48.60. That is some risk. plus of course a further £305 if it goes to court. I have just done a MCOL but it was for £4500 which seemed a reasonable risk.

      • Nick says:

        It’s £35 in fees, not £205!

        IHG will fold even if they were in the right (they’re not), they can’t defend not paying to the mediator with a straight face!

      • WaynedP says:

        All the more reason for IHG to concede in what I believe to be a very solid consumer case.

        Let the judge be the final word on the matter, unless IHG sees sense and recognises my implacability in my LBA.

    • Anna says:

      I’ve no separate record of being awarded 5k points, so I wouldn’t be able to say for certain that I got them.

      • WaynedP says:

        Thanks, Anna. Your comment of 1 July helpfully corroborates a germane fact of the matter when you stated “I remember not being able to register for the offer.”

    • ChrisBCN says:

      If you believe you are in the right and want to spend the time and hassle to do this, then the principle is more important than the money. Go for it, and good luck!

      • WaynedP says:

        It is the blatant misinformation that I’ve been fed over several weeks of escalating the matter that irks the most.

        • Pete M says:

          No problem at all. There have been a bunch of other discussions on the topic as well, some months back, but I couldn’t tell you when exactly.

    • Aston100 says:

      I eventually got those 5k points as a ‘goodwill’ gesture.
      I too sent in screenshots and about 4 emails before they gave up and gave me the points to go away.

      Would suggest you keep escalating by email.

    • WaynedP says:

      Thanks all, need to step away for a couple of days taxiing graduated daughter to her new job placement orientation (ironically booked into HIX, ha ha).

      Will post on further developments shortly.

  • Stu N says:

    Anyone booked AerLingus short haul flights with BAEC over the phone recently?

    Looking at EDI-DUB return, 9,000 Avios plus £76 taxes, fees and charges on and historically it’s been cheaper to book via BAEC.

  • Tom says:

    Will a transfer from my OH’s Amex account to my Marriott account definitely fail? Same Surname if that helps… I know you can transfer between Marriott accounts but have already sent 100k for the year… Alternatively will Marriott allow you to transfer more than 100k?

    • Harrier25 says:

      No, it’ll be fine. I have both mine and my wife’s Amex accounts linked with my Marriott, Hilton & Radisson accounts and all MR transfers work just fine to all hotel accounts which are just in my name.

  • MQ says:

    Hi all I need some advice, please. My hotel only booking with Broadway travel is cancelled, due to the hotel opening date being postponed. They informed me 7 days ahead of my travel date, due to check-in on the 27th of July. Broadway travel offered another option, which I accepted but they took too long to book, and now that hotel has also become unavailable. Am I entitled to a full refund? I tried speaking to customer services but the team only works until 3pm. Is a hotel only booking covered by Abta?

    I paid with American Express perhaps I can ask them for a chargeback?

    It’s beyond annoying as I am meant to go to Santorini and a few days before the travel date, the prices are sky-high.

    • Genghis says:

      Not sure a definitive answer can be given based on the info that’s been provided.

      Is Broadway Travel acting as principal (i.e. they’re selling you the hotel room) or as agent (i.e. they’re selling you the hotel room on behalf of someone else)?

      I presume you still want to go? Was your Amex a credit card and room over £100 etc? If Broadway acting as principal, may be eligible for section 75 and therefore maybe claim consequential loss (i.e. the increase in costs).

    • Lady London says:

      Genghis’s advice is your best hope. If you are eligible to make a s.75 claim for replacement cost on your credit card, this would cover you to book the most similar reasonably available alternative accommodation by another means and have your credit card pay for it even if due to late failure of your existing booking, all reasonably similar alternatives now cost several times the price as going rate.

      You do not want a chargeback as that only gives you what you paid and that’s not enough to replace.

      Why am I surprised a hotel on Santorini is not open again in peak summer? Have you checked if it’s still being sold anywhere? (could be the hotel is open, and has dumped your booking for another one…. this wouldn’t surprise me.

      And why do I think Broadway would really, really just like you to walk away with or without a refund or the promise of one?

      This does not seem right. Whatever’s going on it can probably be sorted at some level. If you qualify for Genghis’s suggestion this is the most protective solution for the least hassle

      • MQ says:

        Thank you all for your advice. I emailed customer services with the s.75 advice and low and behold I received an email back almost instantly. They booked me into an alternative accommodation which I’m happy about. Much appreciated!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment

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.