Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 27th 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 (382)

  • Graeme says:

    I’m reaching here and I know it, but you can’t win a raffle if you don’t buy a ticket….

    We booked last year to go to Corsica for a week in August. BA moved the return flight by over seven hours in December, meaning our car hire booking needed to be extended. Hertz won’t let me change it as the payment card has been cancelled and they won’t accept another card (which is complete nonsense), and rebooking is obviously stupidly expensive. Their advice is to just tell the people on collection that we’ll be returning it about six hours late and that it “should” (ho ho) only cost about £25. Clearly this won’t be the case.

    There’s no chance that I can get BA to pay the extra under Duty of Care/EU261, is there? Or does anyone know of a way to ‘encourage’ Hertz to accept another card?

    Thanks all.

    • Harry T says:

      Can you just change the Hertz booking online? I would probably escalate it within Hertz if that doesn’t work, rather than pursuing things with BA initially.

      • Graeme says:

        The booking isn’t recognised properly online for some reason, although it’s definitely confirmed. I’ve called several times but I think I need to get more forceful.

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      Car rental isn’t covered under duty of care. Just a ride to the airport/hotel, any extra nights hotel and refreshments.

      • meta says:

        Any extra transport expenses are covered. There are no such exclusions regarding modes of transport. If you chose to hire a car to get yourself to your accommodation to/from airport that’s perfectly reasonable.

        • Graeme says:

          Thanks meta. The booking only needs to be extended because of their change – otherwise we’ll be at the airport six hours early or something – but while that is unreasonable, I wasn’t sure if it’d be something I could get them to pay for.

        • Lady London says:

          I would make the 6 hours a completely separate booking. Even if you agree with the rental place they might not want it back?

          Or find some way to get a separate invoice with the extra time on it

          • Graeme says:

            You, Lady London, are a bloomin’ genius – I didn’t think of making it a separate booking! Even if I can’t get BA to pay it’s infinitely cheaper than a fresh booking and I’m more than happy to pay it. Thank you VERY much.

      • Graeme says:

        That’s what I assumed, but I prefer meta’s answer! 😉

  • Matt C says:

    In relation to my recently cancelled open jaw BA flights in F (Avios and companion voucher) for next month. Had a nice discussion with YouFirst who confirmed I can rebook up to a year from my departure date and not the ticketed date. Just need to wait until August 2022 flights are loaded. He specifically commented on the revised rules.

    • Yorkieflyer says:

      Is a year ahead after your 241 would have expired?

    • BLT says:

      That’s great to know. Will hopefully allow me and the family to finally do Miami in F at the 3rd time of asking.

    • AndyW says:

      Are they putting any first class on the route? They seem to be loading planes without a first cabin a lot (presumably as the schedule is so up in the air). I have flights to Denver in first which have been cancelled but everything is being loaded with A350 so I will have to move into business when I rebook. This would be fine with club suite, but closer to the departure high possibility they switch it for an older plane (watching schedules this is what they have been doing).

    • Jane says:

      what did they say that you needed to do in the mean time, just leave your canceled flight alone in MMB or is it OK to wait till after you should have flown ?

  • David RG says:


    I have a bit of a long-winded question if anyone can help please…..

    If I have a FTV containing minimal avios/cash and 2 x 241 vouchers (only created for the purposes of extending voucher length), and I then use this FTV to book a long haul trip in a premium cabin using substantial amounts of avios/cash, is this trip still fully refundable?

    ie. Would my avios/cash be at risk due to using a FTV to part-pay for the booking if I later need to cancel, or could I still get a full refund (minus cancellation fees) like a normal avios booking?

    Many thanks

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      What KARFA said to your question on FlyerTalk is correct:
      Usual rules still apply and you can cancel your reward up to 24 hours before the flight with full refund minus the £35 per person cancellation fee. Using a FTV to partly/fully pay for it doesn’t change that

  • Michael C says:

    Any Singapore/hotel experts?!
    Was just wondering if we had slightly more specific dates than “‘2022” for the Hilton becoming the Voco, and the Mandarin Oriental becoming the Hilton?!

    • Rhys says:

      Even if they did, I can’t remember the last time a hotel opened/rebranded on time….

      • Michael C says:

        V true, Rhys – will do the traditional triple-cancellable booking!

      • Sam G says:

        Especially in Singapore currently as construction labour is in short supply vs good yielding demand for hotel rooms / conferencing facilities etc, so I’d say there is no particular rush to finish these projects earlier in the year vs later so definitely have a back up option

        (+ I don’t see Singapore being an option from the UK for tourism for a good while, latest news would either mean a lot of expensive tests and/or a 7 day home quarantine, which is doable for expats wanting to get back home to visit family but less desirable as a start to a holiday!)

        • Rhys says:

          Singapore is saying it is planning to open travel to vaccinated individuals from September onwards, so fingers crossed….

          • Sam G says:

            “Singapore will also begin to reopen borders, especially for vaccinated persons. This will start by establishing travel corridors with countries or regions that have managed Covid-19 well and where infections are under control.

            With these arrangements, full vaccinated persons will be able to travel to such countries or regions without having to serve a 14-day SHN in a hotel upon returning. “Depending on the risk level of the country they visit, we will either replace the SHN with a rigorous testing regime, or shorten the SHN to 7 days at home,” he said.”


            I’m not sure Singapore is going to consider the UK “low risk” at our present numbers ! But fingers crossed indeed, can’t wait to get back and visit friends

          • Track says:

            Singapore, Thailand and SE Asia destinations have a degree of practicality about it.

            They have long lived with bird flu, SARS-1 and dengue fever — including local outbreaks.

    • Sam says:

      Singaporean here. I don’t think it’s the Mandarin Oriental but rather the Mandarin Orchard. Mandarin Oriental is 10-15 minutes away and much nicer!

      • Michael C says:

        Oops, totally right of course, Sam! I WISH it was the Oriental, but half the price!!

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Bookings open.
      Flyer talk might have latest updates.

  • Mark says:

    Thoughts on best hotel for Heathrow Terminal 3 pre-honeymoon flight at 8am?

    Also, package holiday flight has moved from 12.30 to 8am (obviously frustrating as no longer a nice leisurely drive and requiring us to be nearby – we were 22 days out, so presuming no recourse?)


    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      Hilton Garden Inn T2, rooftop bar is nice for a few drinks the night before and then you can walk to T3 in the morning.

    • ChrisC says:

      You could ask your travel agent if there is a later flight you coould be booked on rather than the 08:00 one.

    • Vern says:

      Agree with Hilton garden inn. Nice rooms. Very quiet and half decent food. Sky bar is nice if it’s open now.

  • Ming the Merciless says:

    I’ve got a 3 night stay (2 rooms) redemption booked at london kimpton.

    I’m spire elite but was thinking of joining ambassador program (40k points) specifically for this stay. Any point in this? Ive got more ihg points than you can shake a stick at.

    • Anna says:

      I don’t think you’ll get any further recognition as Ambassador, the only reason I would join for that stay is if you’re going to cancel one of the rooms and rebook with the BOGOF certificate (but check firstly that it’s available and that it’s worth it for the price difference).
      We got an upgrade plus free cocktails in the gorgeous (but packed) bar, but pretty sure this was for being Spire anyway.

  • Stuart says:

    Hi, travelling through Heathrow on Sunday. What is the current offering in the lounge? Is it still order at your table or back to help yourself to slop? Is galleries north open yet? Also on the domestic economy flights are you still getting a snack and a bottle of water?

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      It’s still table service order via a QR code. The north lounge is sometimes open but only at really busy times. If you have plenty of time you can take a look (or ask if dropping a bag). There’s still free water and crisps on all short haul Y. They’re currently rolling out buy on board (the pre order Speedbird Cafe is also available) but the free water and snack will remain.

    • James K says:

      I was there last Sunday. North open until 2pm offering brunch around 1230 when we arrived. (Bacon and hash brown rolls and soup) we then shifted to south which was packed but was offering lunch – salads, sandwiches etc. Both were order at table. North fast, south slower, understandable since it was busy. Fast track security not open at north end of terminal. Personally I would go straight to south if I was passing through at similar timings…

  • Muhammad Abdullah says:

    LHR rewards points are about to expire, is M&M a decent redemption considering the difficulty in collecting those miles in the UK?

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      If you don’t collect M&M miles the answer is no as M&M miles have a hard expiry unless you have one of their credit cards. In other words the miles will expire regardless of other activity. If you collect BA of Virgin it’s better going there as they have a soft expiry where any activity will keep them alive.

      • Muhammad Abdullah says:

        I’ve got SEN so the expiry is OK. Just dreading a promotion popping up for 50% more.

        • Save East Coast Rewards says:

          If you know someone passing through Heathrow soon you could see if they’d buy something small at WH Smith or M&S and scan your card. Heathrow Rewards points are like BA, any activity keeps them alive for 3 years (the old scheme BAA Worldpoints had hard expiry like M&M).

          Alternatively transferring the smallest amount possible to M&M would also keep your account active for another 3 years. This is another option worth considering if you’re worried a bonus will pop up in future.

          However, I think Heathrow have cut back on a lot of staff so they’re probably not going to be thinking too much about promotional offers in the near future.

    • xcalx says:

      Phone HR they will extend them for you. Last June they extended mine by 3 years

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.