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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Comments (382)

  • Zoe P says:

    Morning all. I am after some help with something. I just added my first supplementary card for my partner to my BAPP. I have the card and have activated it, and I thought it would sit in my amex app, but when I activated it seemed to say it needed a separate account. Is this right?

    • Benilyn says:

      yes

    • Reney says:

      So you are the main card holder and the supplementary card is for your partner? The card won’t be added to your login, should be added to your partner’s login.

      If your partner has an existing login he/she should be able to add it. Sometimes that doesn’t work, others find waiting a few days help. Sometimes waiting doesn’t work then it is your choice to get your partner to create another login or see if Amex can fix the IT (that has worked for me before).

    • JDB says:

      A number of people have reported this so although I’m afraid it may not help you Zoe P, but for others, when I received a supplementary card (from my wife’s account) last week I activated it from my app when logged in to my own card account and it went straight in.

      • Rob says:

        Supps tend to not be addable for a few weeks. My wife’s supp business card threw up loads of errors. Put in the desk, dug it out a few weeks later, added to her existing Amex account first time.

  • ao40 says:

    Does anyone know if you can still use Suite Night Awards on a Marriott Stars reservation via a travel agent like Emyr?

    • Harry T says:

      Potentially but a lot of STARS properties are Ritz-Carlton and EDITION, who don’t allow SNAs anyway. Some Luxury Colleciton properties also block them.

      Slight tangent, but I’ve always thought it was odd that Marriott considers W to be distinctive luxury but only includes the W hotels in Luminous, rather than STATS…

      • ao40 says:

        Thanks, I’m looking at a luxury collection that definitely allows SNAs on direct bookings so should work then.

        • Harry T says:

          Thanks, do let us know. I’ve only booked RC and EDITION via Emyr for STARS, so I’m curious.

      • Tariq says:

        Can you tell in advance which hotels allow/block the use of SNAs?

        • Aso40 says:

          Just by doing a dummy booking using a fully cancellable rate. Or by emailing and asking.

    • Ikaz says:

      I successfully applied a SNA for the JW Marriott Grosvenor in London last year

  • Calum says:

    Good morning all. I’m looking at booking reward flights using our BAPP 241 for next year. Ideally we’d like to start in EDI but long haul leg departs LGW and at the moment BA aren’t flying EDI-LGW. If I book the long haul return now would I be able to add the EDI-LGW connection to the booking if/when BA reintroduce those flights? Or if I book a EDI-LHR connection now would I be able to change that to a LGW flight if they open up without having to cancel the whole booking and risk losing the long haul seats?

    • Stu N says:

      You can amend a redemption with a 2-4-1 once booked so adding EDI-LGW or swapping an EDI-LHR to EDI-LGW wouldn’t be an issue subject to availability. You certainly don’t need to cancel the whole thing to do this so no risk to your long haul seats. You would probably be charged £35 per person for the amendment though in normal circumstances – but read on…

      Personally, I’d book EDI-LHR/ LGW-XXX now; there are several reasons for this
      – Sounds like you would need to get to London anyway so why not book something that works, even if it’s not ideal?
      – you won’t pay the Avios for the domestic connection if you book as a oner so no extra Avios cost, maybe a few extra pounds of charges? It can be a bit more challenging to get the domestic added on later without being charged any more Avios – they should do it but might be a bit of a debate which is avoided by booking Heathrow.
      – having a domestic leg attached gives you 4 flights on the booking – if any one flight is cancelled/ significantly retimed this gives the option to free changes to the whole thing which could be advantageous. More flights = greater chance of one being cancelled.
      – if your EDI-LHR is cancelled or retimed nearer the time AND they restart Gatwick, you’ve got a much better chance of getting a free change to a Gatwick flight than if you have nothing booked.

  • mutley says:

    I have been asked to go to the US for work in early September, my company are all to aware of the restrictions the administration have on European nationals visiting. It appears the best options are Barbados or Mexico for 15 days, any other other feasible locations?

    • kitten says:

      Company paying? Barbados 🙂

    • JDB says:

      There are other options like Turkey and some non Schengen EU countries, but these are perhaps more likely to change and you are travelling in the wrong direction. Assume your company is paying, but Barbados is supremely expensive for everything and two weeks there is a long time. CDMX currently full of Europeans doing their ‘quarantine’ to get into US and that border (except by land) has I think stayed open in both directions throughout. Added to that, Mexico is a brilliant country to visit.

      • Pete M says:

        Fully agree with JDB and that would also be my choice. CDMX is brilliant.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      If you can get a work visa, for something that falls into one of the reasons why you can, you’ll be able to fly directly.

      I personally know many work colleagues that have flown to the USA from the UK on their work visas

    • Sukes says:

      Canada is expecting to reopen to fully vaccinated intl tourists from 7 Sept and its air border to US is open. So a feasible route albeit currently uncertain.

  • fivebobbill says:

    Rob, blenz101, anyone…
    Currently still planning to visit UAE early Sept, first 5 nights in Dubai then a week in Ras al Khaimah, before back to Dubai again for the last 5 nights. I know I will need proof of a PCR on arrival in DXB (or a free one at the airport I believe), however I’m reading that you need a negative PCR on hotel arrival in RAK (also free I believe)? Does hat mean I’ll need to take the PCR in RAK when I arrive there from Dubai, or will the arrival one in DXB 5 days earlier suffice?
    And anecdotally, will I also then need a third PCR on returning to Dubai again! 😲

    • fivebobbill says:

      I suppose in hindsight I should also ask, are there any restrictions on travel by taxi between Dubai – RAK – Dubai!?

      • Blenz101 says:

        No restrictions on entering RAK or any of the northern emirates whatsoever. The only internal border issue is heading south to Abu Dhabi where there are various restrictions which have changed. Basically don’t try and cross in a cab to AD as even if you meet the requirements your cab driver will almost certainly require another test at the border.

        I would say almost zero chance of the situation changing with RAK. Have never been any real restrictions even when Dubai was in lockdown and everyone went their to escape Dubai’s rules (when they closed beaches, pools, bars etc). RAK and Ajman just carried on but had mask wearing indoors.

        • Blenz101 says:

          Just to be super clear – no test required at hotels in RAK or DXB either but in RAK they will arrange a free one if you are staying over 3 days to assist you with your return home requirements as needed.

          • fivebobbill says:

            Thanks as always Blenz101, might be worth re-jigging the trip around RAK then to avail of the free PCR to get home (assuming you gotta pay for one in Dubai?) Won’t make any difference to us which end of the trip the RAK stay is on…

          • Blenz101 says:

            Tests in Dubai are super cheap and available in every part of the city and plenty of testing services will come to your hotel/accommodation. Prices capped at about 150AED/£20 and results are back in typically within about 12 hours from any service in the city.

            Assuming you are going back from DXB then you can still take the test in RAK a couple of days before you travel back but I wouldn’t worry about testing as part of the trip planning.

          • fivebobbill says:

            More great feedback, thanks again.
            Hardly worth re-jigging hotel plans for 20 quid 👍

        • r* says:

          How can you get from dubai to abu dhabi? Im due to fly to dubai in dec and was planning to get taxi to abu dhabi so a few months yet but…

          • Rob says:

            You get into a taxi at Dubai Airport and say ‘take me to Abu Dhabi’. Costs £40.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Not if the taxi driver isn’t able to enter AD…

            Guess Blenz means hire you’re own car

          • Blenz101 says:

            You will need to check the rules in place at the time of travel.

            Currently to enter AD from another Emirate you need a PCR test taken in the last 48 hours or can take a DPI test (c.50AED) at a border testing station, you can’t enter twice in a row with DPI test (which will impact the driver if he has previously entered).

            You can’t order a taxi or get one at the airport and pick out drivers who are eligible for a DPI test, you will have to ask and they may not want to pay for or have the finger prick blood test. Results are in about 15mins but you could be waiting an hour to get to the front of the queue.

            You can get driven to the Ghantoot where the checkpoint is and swap into an AD taxi. Provided you meet the entry criteria and AD driver will be able to take you.

            Note that additional rules apply on how long you are staying including taking additional tests.

            Taxi capacities are limited in both AD and Dubai. A regular taxi can taxi only 2 people for example. Nobody in middle seat and nobody in front other than driver.

            All this changes often. Dubai to AD is not currently straightforward.

    • Mike says:

      I would definitely check / monitor the list as UAE is currently a red list country

  • Memesweeper says:

    If planning a krisflyer transfer I’d assume the best ICC to hold for now is the US$ one? I’ll be transferring the MRs from a regular UK account, not actually earning much by spending $.

  • bartas8891 says:

    It looks like combining Avios between BA/IB/Avios is down again.

  • Oh! Matron! says:

    Just booked a day room at the Waldorf on Aldwych tomorrow for a very reasonable £95

    Check in and check out was set to the same day

    However, the confirmation says check in tomorrow, check out the day after

    Is this wrong, or have I got the Waldorf for the night too (which I doubt)

    Cheers in advance

    Paul

    • Oh! Matron! says:

      Update: The email has workspaces in it, so all good, but the attached iCal calendar has a normal reservation in it.

      Think I’m all good

    • Rob says:

      I had this come up occasionally when I was doing day rooms last year. Will be fine at check in.

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