Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 27th July

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

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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.

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Comments (382)

  • Roberto says:

    Any help would be appreciated.. on my passenger locator form I can add my son who’s six years old but when go to book a day 2 test the company will only issue oner test code per passenger.
    On the locator form there is a box for my test code but not one for his, so do I put 2 codes in the same box or do I need to complete a new locator form for him?
    Thank you

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      Under 18s travelling with you should go on your record locator. They only need their own if travelling alone. So you can put your code on there, don’t put 2 in the same box as it’ll confuse any automatic processing.

      Have both references in case you need to visit a desk at immigration.

      If you don’t need to stop by a desk (so nobody knows the reference number for the 2nd kit) you could always keep your sons test kit for future use and grab a free NHS test kit to ensure he’s ok then you could use that test kit later. Be aware of expiry dates though.

      • Babyg says:

        But arent the free NHS ones rapid antigen and the official day2 PCR?

        • Anna says:

          Is anyone actually checking whether people do the day 2 test?

          • Babyg says:

            i flew back on from am amber country on Saturday… i bought the randox day2, no calls from anybody official – i dont think the gov cares anymore about checking (nobody checked forms PLF at immigration etc)… which is vast contrast to 1 month ago when i had to show everything, and i got multiple calls a day for 10days

          • Mr. AC says:

            We had a physical visit from track and trace on day 6 – according to them because we didn’t have Day 2 results in the system (Randox processing delays).

          • fivebobbill says:

            With the greatest of respect Mr AC, that’s a load of absolute b******s!
            Not what you have posted, but what you were told, there is no system, just tell them you did the test and to go away!

          • Babyg says:

            @Mr. AC interesting.. so they do care 🙂 when was this?

        • Save East Coast Rewards says:

          What I mean is if the 6 year old hasn’t had to declare the booking reference for their test anywhere and the parent needs to travel again in the next few months they might as well keep that test for later, do the free NHS ones just to ensure he hasn’t got covid and if anyone asks just say they did the test

          • Babyg says:

            wont go into what people might think is right/wrong.. but i think the chances of being “busted” for not using the official day2 test are low… but i believe the day2 test helps if you are positive track down new variants…

          • Save East Coast Rewards says:

            @Babyg – if the NHS test showed positive you could always then do the official day 2 test to help detect any variants. I think the public need to push back against silly rules but still act responsibly to minimise the risk of covid spread.

          • Babyg says:

            @ Save ECR – Mr. ACsays:
            27 July 10:44
            We had a physical visit from track and trace on day 6 – according to them because we didn’t have Day 2 results in the system (Randox processing delays).

  • Anna says:

    Morning all. At the weekend I contacted BA by Twitter (after getting cut off straight away on the phone) and requested our “back up” avios flights for this coming weekend be cancelled. I got a response that the query had been passed to an agent but nothing since. I’m assuming I’ve done my bit by providing all the details they asked for and the onus is now on BA to cancel the flights as per the terms of avios bookings?

    • Babyg says:

      I would assume youre request will be processed in due course… , but I am not sure an answer on here saying yes/no will help you if BA do not cancel your AVIOS flight?

      • Babyg says:

        your* grrr

        • Anna says:

          Thanks – I’m just wondering if I am going to have to call BA and argue for the return of my 100k avios if they don’t process the cancellation before the day of travel and we are assumed to be no-shows!

          • Babyg says:

            id want the warm and fuzzies… vs a vague twitter repsonse… FYI it took my 40mins to get through to cancel a flight yesterday, the silver line seems to be working..

          • ChrisC says:

            You have it documented (via the twitter messages) that you contact BA and told them what you wanted and a reply that it had been passed on to an agent.

            If they don’t process the cancellation in time that’s not your fault.

            TBH BA communication at the moment is awful and a lot of it isn’t down to the pandemic but a failure to invest in IT.

            I made a bookign on Sunday. Then got an email saying ‘we need to speak to you about your booking’ but absolutly no details as to why.

            Tried the phone – all the options other than book a new flight cut me off. I gave up on the bookign line after 30 minutes. Moved to the live chat. Told there was an issue with my card. They can’t take cards over that (fine I get why).

            They don’t have a direct number for queries like mine and they won’t call me back. I insisted they put a note in the PNR that I had attempted to resolve and not to cancel booking – didn’t want to lose the discount.

            Called yesterday morning (sales line again). Was indeed a problem with their system and my card. All sorted out after two attempts by the agent.

            NOW if BA had a proper web messaging and customer support online system I could have solved this myself but I had to phone.

            It could have been like this

            1 email – there is a message in your account re your booking ref

            2. go into MMB where they would have been a message saying ‘payment card problem’ please try again

            3. Use web tools to process the payment again by rentering card number etc etc

            4. reissue the ticket.

          • Anna says:

            Totally agree communication and IT are dire! It would save so much time (also for BA staff!) if they would just make a few tweaks such as reinstating the refund option.

          • Michael C says:

            Anna, don’t know if it’s worth doing the “set your BA homepage to Ireland and use the chatbot”? You can save the transcript so at least would have something in black and white! During my lengthy LHR-BOS chat, I did the occasional “this is just to formally state I do NOT want booking ref xxx cancelled and the deposit refunded”!

          • ChrisC says:

            Michael

            You actually don’t need to change the country. The chat bot appears on the UK site usually after clicking on the ‘contact us tab’ but I’ve had it just appear as well as a blob on the bottom right hand side of the screen.

          • Pablo says:

            Anna, they currently take a couple of days to respond on Twitter. If the flight was cancelled and you didn’t accept the rebooked flight in MMB then you won’t be a no show as you’re unconfirmed on the flight. I had unconfirmed seats on some speculative cheapo bookings back in March and I asked for them to be refunded only last week when it was clear I wouldn’t be rebooking them. They processed the refund without issues.

  • Anna says:

    Lol I’m here – trying to get my head round what one needs to go abroad these days!

  • David says:

    Pete M – thanks for the great Mexico write up a couple of weeks ago.

    All being well I hope to be heading out on Sunday and plan to almost replicate your Cozumel / Mexico City dual trip.

    Where did you stay in Cozumel? Any other tips / pointers / advice for the island?

    Any other Mexico advice from anyone greatly appreciated 🙂

    • Will says:

      See if you can spot our wrecked plane in the jungle 5 miles from the Playa Del Carmen airstrip if you fly to visit the ruins at Chichen Itza 🙂 , also don’t miss the cenote/waterholes and Tulum ruins and the Bacalar lagoon.

      • Pete M says:

        That’s brilliant, David – really happy to hear and hope you have an amazing time! We stayed at Villa Las Anclas in Cozumel (highly recommended) and the IC Presidente in CDMX (highly not recommended).
        I am sad, so make a point of leaving TA reviews, here they are if you’re interested in restaurants and activities: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Profile/peter102110

  • M says:

    Virgin voucher not showing on activity statement?

    This morning I received my free Virgin CC statement that tipped my spending over 20k. The points are already showing in Flying Club. I cannot see any mention of the voucher either in Flying Club “Activity” or on the CC statement. Where should I see the voucher? Does it take a few days to post after the statement?

    Sorry this is my first voucher ever so I am excited 😉

    • Tom says:

      Should see it in your Flying Club activity when the points for this month land.

    • Chas says:

      The easiest place to see the voucher is in the Virgin Red app (go to account > activity), and there should be a line that says “You have qualified for a credit card reward voucher – 0”.

      My CC miles normally post on the 4th / 5th and the 8th / 9th (I’m lucky to have both cards as I took them out when they were first released, and before the “one card only” policy was introduced). My most recent vouchers posted on 7th June (presumably related to the 4th / 5th above), and the 28th June for the other card. I’ve no idea why there is a such a discrepancy between the time it took to issue them after the statement date.

  • Mark says:

    Good morning,

    What is the cheapest before departure at home PCR which is reliable?

    Thanks in advance

    • Pete M says:

      I’d generally say Randox, but everyone seems hit and miss at the moment. They seem to be struggling to get testing kits out, but returning results next day as long as dropped off at one of their locations. I’d personally probably go for an in-person test currently.

      • Will says:

        Randox worked perfectly for us this week. 4x Day 2 tests were turned around from their drop box within 24 hours. British Airways website link gives each PCR test for £43

        • Will says:

          Note also BreatheAssured also good for the quick certified antigen via video link (Teams Think), once they had resolved their booking system. both for pre-departure and pre-return, around £32 each using BA website link.

  • fivebobbill says:

    Can anyone tell me how long it usually takes for Melia Hotel stay points to post to your account? Checked out of the Palma Marina on Saturday…

    • Sina says:

      I’ve checked out on Friday and still nothing…

      • fivebobbill says:

        👍

        • fivebobbill says:

          Just on Melia, they are now offering free Antigen departure tests at all their Majorca hotels up to 31st Oct (book before 8th Aug).
          They were charging 30 euro a pop last week across the island.

          • Pete M says:

            If you test positive you’re at the mercy of their local arrangements, though, and will probably end up in a not-particularly-nice quarantine hotel…

          • fivebobbill says:

            You gotta take a test anyway Pete, well to get back to UK currently anyway, otherwise you won’t be able to go anywhere! We just took the free NHS ones with us to do a private test beforehand to avoid your scenario, if you test positive with those then just hang around until you don’t!

    • paulm says:

      Usually around 7 days for me

  • Dave says:

    Can someone please advise if an amex card belonging to someone else can be used when making a BA flight booking using a companion voucher, or does the BA Amex belonging to the BAEC member need to be used?

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