Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Monday 26th 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 (425)

  • Anna says:

    Morning all – middle of the night conundrum as I can’t sleep! Trying to price up a BA holiday and have long wondered how you book different cabins for each leg of the flight. Someone suggested starting with the flight then using the add a hotel or car option. This does indeed give a BA holiday pricing, however the hotel is the same duration as the flight dates and I can’t see a way to amend this. I don’t need the hotel (or car) for the entire 3 week trip!

    • 1ATL says:

      In which case this doesn’t constitute a BA Holiday I don’t think. A fully inclusive tour requires land/sea arrangements for the full duration; be that car hire, accommodation or cruise in combination with the flight. You can add on a car or a hotel to a mixed class flight booking but it won’t trigger the BAH book together and save discounts (essentially a discounted air fare). Also some land arrangements are excluded from sale (One&Only Hotels for example) because the confidential negotiated rates BAH has would be exposed. You should trigger a ATOL certificate which brings some additional financial safety to the booking but it wouldn’t I don’t think allow you to book now and pay later in the same way a BAH does.

      • Anna says:

        Nope – you can custom create a BA holiday and even only have 1 night’s accommodation added to your flight and price it as such, it’s discussed a lot on here. However, doing it the way I just mentioned doesn’t seem to bring up the option of paying an initial deposit.
        Hopefully the hive mind might have a way around this later!

    • Anna says:

      Found it – there’s an option to change the dates before you select the option to see the list of hotels. Phew! Another mystery solved …

      • Anna says:

        Though that doesn’t let you just pay a deposit – arghh!

        • Zanderblue says:

          You’re right about using create custom trip option. Add your flights, then add your hotel or car. You will also have option to select alternative flights or hotels and can edit or add options from mini menu on right hand side of page. This always prices up fir me as a holiday and gives “secure with deposit” option.

        • Michael C says:

          Morning, Anna – any chance of booking in same class, paying deposit, then ringing to upgrade one leg with Avios? Hope you’re sleeping and not reading this!

          • Anna says:

            I thought about this but there’s the risk that there won’t be availability in J by then. One of us would have to travel in PE, Michael, while the other 2 were in J 😱🤣.

        • mradey says:

          I encountered this problem (no option to pay a deposit) whilst trying to price some J class fares a couple of months ago.

          I was never able to resolve this, despite many attempts and various combinations of car and/or hotel options.I’d be interested to hear if you manage it.

  • Anna says:

    Last one before I go back to bed – can FTV from BA holidays be used towards new (cash) flight only bookings now?

    • Chris Heyes says:

      Anna and rest of HFPs who gave help regards Daughter staying in London for London Eye, River Cruse and dungeons.
      She has booked Hilton Hampton Waterloo, now she just needs to fig out how to get to Hilton from Victoria and from Hotel to London Eye, River Cruise and Dungeons ?
      Free Brekky and premium wi-fi for kids swung it plus 2.00pm check out

      • Michael C says:

        Chris, it’s ideal with kids: also massive reception/bar area with long counter facing street with stools & charging points!
        London Eye is literally a direct couple of minutes’ walk in straight line. Tube for hotel is Lambeth North, also v close.

        • Chris Heyes says:

          Michael C Thanks So she should catch Tube to Lambeth North “NOT” Waterloo ?
          I presumed being called Hilton Hampton Waterloo, Waterloo tube would be where she would get off ? thanks

          • Michael C says:

            Both completely walkable, Chris, Lambeth a bit closer. It’s on the Bakerloo, which worked better for us. I’d just go for fewest changes! Also next to Waterloo are many buses going to different parts of London, just as an fyi.

          • PerkyPat says:

            The Jubilee line exit at Waterloo is possibly closer? Not much in it though.

          • Rob says:

            Lambeth North is a more idiot-proof way to go, assuming that you don’t know where each Waterloo exit comes out and don’t want the grief of navigating the road network and trying to walk around the station if you’re on the wrong side. Once checked in you’d probably use Waterloo thereafter as you will know the way.

      • Peter Taysum says:

        I’d recommend her downloading City Mapper. This gives teal time directions around London using all methods of transport; it’s really easy to use (I can use it).

      • Rob says:

        I’d be tempted to take a taxi from Victoria if they have luggage, it isn’t too far (£10-£12?).

        It may also be worth getting off the train a stop or two earlier, depending on which direction they are coming from, and getting an Uber – could be even quicker.

    • Louise K says:

      I asked this question and was told yes. This was via the Twitter team.

      • Anna says:

        Thanks Louise, I’m assuming that was a reply to my original post!

    • Eoc says:

      Yes . I did it in the weekend sale

  • Gtellez says:

    New Amex offer in my gold card: NH Hotels spend £150, get £50 back.

    • Ikaz says:

      The only UK hotel is the NH London Kensington

      • Andrew says:

        And the prices are crazy – they seem to have not got the memo that mid-market hotels in London are dirt cheap now.

    • Blair says:

      Far more reasonably priced on the continent though, and a massive list relative to say the Hyatt offer. Use by 31/10 so plenty of weekends to activate this offer

  • Dej says:

    Anyone flying out of Heathrow this morning, t5, how busy is check in and security?
    Thanks

    • Keely says:

      We were there yesterday at 4-45 , security was already getting quite busy at that time so I wouldn’t expect it to be quiet . We checked in the night before but the BA check in desks looked ok as we went past.

  • SSR BAQ says:

    Does anyone know – if I book a redemption flight through BA for an Iberia flight, is it still possible to take a FTV?

  • Tazzy says:

    I ordered randox pre flight on Thursday. Due to fly this Wednesday, but it looks tight for time. What experience has others had?

    • Graham says:

      If you post it in their drop box today before it closes it will come back tomorrow.

      That’s the experience we had for a parent a few weeks ago. Very impressed.

      • Tazzy says:

        Sorry … should have said it hasn’t arrived yet!!! Fingers crossed for today!

    • Michael says:

      I ordered a Randox Health day 2 and day 8, and day 5 test to release late on 22/07.
      Today is my day 3 (first day back in the UK is day 0) and neiter of the tests have been dispatched yet.
      Customer service took 1 hour to get through yesterday, in which they confirmed it may take up to 6 days for the 1st test to get delivered, which was not apparent on their website during order.
      I recommend either book another PCR test with a walk in provider (e.g. Express Test at Heathrow) or do a lateral flow test before you travel accepted by the country you fly too. These can be done at Heathrow also by Express Test and Colinson for example.

      In my case I might challenge Randox Health for a refund, as I need to book an alternative test, as they did not deliver on time.
      I am thinking of doing that via sec 75 cover of the credit card. I wonder if that will work, as these packages are non refundable.
      If they explain it might take up to 6 days for the test to be delivered, they shouldnot allow to order these 3 days before.

      • Tazzy says:

        Exactly! I’m in belfast so the only provider of other in person tests is….. randox

      • TGLoyalty says:

        You won’t have s75 as each test is below £100

        • Pete M says:

          I was actually thinking of posting a note of warning about this – a bunch of friends who ordered Randox on my advice have struggled, as the boxes are taking a while to arrive (at least 3-4 days, whereas it used to be overnight). So I would recommend ordering at least a good week before going away. Results seem to be coming back fine – next day usually.

  • Oliver says:

    Good morning from Zakynthos!

    For anyone interested in the Greek COVID testing process, they were randomly selecting roughly 1 in 5 people for a test.

    All very slick… They had a nurse doing the swabs, and got all my details by scanning my PLF, so I was literally only sat there for 10 seconds.

    You don’t have to wait around for the result, and I got a text with my (negative) result before we had finished picking up our rental car.

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Ahhhh good old Zante, enjoy! Probably the most peaceful it’ll ever be 🤣

    • Wally1976 says:

      Thanks Oliver, we’re due in Zante next week so useful information 👍

      • Billyk says:

        Hope it’s the same at iguminitsa I’m Friday morning.

        For those who don’t know it’s off the ferry from Ancona.

  • YC says:

    Anyone following Italy covid entry rules closely? Currently require 5 days quarantine if coming from the uk but this is expected to end 30 July. Thoughts on this actually happening?

    • Lottie says:

      I’ve been following the Italian newspapers as they normally give a clue early, but nothing so far. BA have just cancelled my flight so I assume they think quarantine will carry on. Ryanair still flying though, so hoping will hear something this week.

    • Rhys says:

      I am supposed to go to Italy second week of August.

      Not at all clear if the guidance will be extended or what will replace it. I hope Italy announces something soon!

      • YC says:

        U have been spot on with ur holiday timings so far this summer. Long may it last!

    • HBommie says:

      Middle of August for me, the regulation is up to 30th July but that doesn’t mean it’ll end. I’m sure new regs will apply but what they are ???

    • Mikey says:

      Quarantine / self isolation for 5 days is set to continue I believe (been following Local.it & actually paid for a subscription since its all so much up in the air, post authors & members seem to think it will perpetuate). The local test (after 5 days) is on day 6, normally arranged by the province health service that you are required to report to within 48 hours of arrival. UK Gov info says antigen test is sufficient but some provinces are requiring PCR instead, with a longer wait for the results so be prepared for that. Make sure you ask for the QR code of the test result, as from 6 Aug the Green Pass (certificazione verde) will be required to enter things like museums, some restaurants & other public spaces (long distance trains currently exempt). This pass is proof of vaccination (or recovery or tests) IN Italy, which a lot of people cannot obtain without the local health card – the Tessera Sanitaria. Unfortunately the NHS app proving double vaccination is not recognised (though we do not recognise theirs either). Other EU nations and US and Japan’s respective equivalent vaccination proof are recognised (thanks Brexit). Tourists from the UK can only get a temporary pass that last 48 hours following a test but if you’re going for a more than a few days this may be costly or time consuming to do more than one (I was going for a month but have had to shelve the trip).

      • Pete M says:

        So the super dodgy American hand-written card is accepted above the UK app / NHS letter? That sounds like total madness to me?!

        • kitten says:

          I cannot believe that either

          How can they expect any respect for this

          • Billyk says:

            From France to italy tomorrow through Switzerland will report back if there any problems.

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.