Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 28th July

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Comments (467)

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  • Gareth says:

    Morning all. Just booking a single night over Christmas at Kimpton clock tower Manchester- guessing for a single night no benefit of going via Emyr?

    • ChrisC says:

      His deals apply to even one night stays (well they do for IHG not sure about other brands)

      He booked one for me at that very same hotel next week no problem.

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      You have nothing to lose. If you’re paying the flexible rate anyway then you’ll be getting extra benefits on top of what a normal booking would get you.
      If you’ve got a good advance purchase rate then mention it to Emyr and he can see if the hotel is still willing to do a deal. Normally the extra benefits he can deliver means it’s worth paying a little more for the best flexible rate over an advance purchase rate (and as the name suggests it’s flexible)

    • Harry T says:

      It’s a fantastic idea to book via Emyr for a single night, as you’ll benefit from loads of extra perks, including breakfast, 2pm checkout and 100 USD credit.

    • Anna says:

      Definitely worth it – you get all the benefits (breakfast was £18 pp last time I went so well worth it) and the $100 credit pays for a fantastic meal at The Refuge restaurant.

      • AP says:

        The $100 credit was £77 pounds last weekend when he stayed for 1 night. Breakfast was really good.

    • Yorkshire Rich says:

      I booked for one of my friends in this hotel via Emyr. Around 130 pound for one night. I booked a him Deluxe room, so not sure how probable it is he will get an upgrade as I think next room level is a suite. He does however also gets 100Usd to spend and breakfast included for both guests.

      I think that’s an awesome deal for one night.

  • trader363 says:

    Data point: plaza premium lounge in T5 closed this morning – was disappointed but am impressed with the galleries club lounge table service. Really easy to use!

    • Ikaz says:

      It stopped accepting people at 15:00 on Friday also as it was closing around that time

    • AD says:

      Which is the best lounge to use at T5 evenings please? I’m travelling BA 1st and have Amex Plat. Many thanks

      • Rob says:

        You get access to the Concorde Terrace (the ‘outside’ terrace in Galleries First which is now exclusively for F passengers until The Concorde Room reopens. It’s not exactly great but the best BA has. Plaza Premium is meant to open on 9th August and your Plat will get you in there. If you’re lucky The Concorde Room will reopen before you travel and then you’re sorted.

        • AD says:

          Many thanks Rob, much appreciated

        • Andrew says:

          You just need to hope it’s not a warm day when you’re wanting to use the Concorde Terrace, as the AC isn’t very effective out there, so best to grab your LPGS and take it back in to the main First lounge – the food offering is the same on the Terrace anyway.

    • Dr Tom says:

      It was closed when I went there just after 15:00 on Monday as well (my first flight in over a year). Galleries Club was good and at 17:00 we got thrown out of there and moved into First (largely the same food, better drinks).

  • Mark says:

    Can I confirm the Virgin 1 for 1 / upgrade voucher can be used for flights originating anywhere? (i.e ex UK)?

  • Nick says:

    Booked 4 one-way tickets using Avios.

    I am no longer flying, but other 3 family members will fly as scheduled.

    When I call BA to cancel just my seat – what options do I have?

    1) Lose the £17.50 taxes and get my 10000 Avios back?
    2) Get an “e-voucher” or “future travel voucher” that keeps my £17.50 and 10000 locked together for a future flight? Any difference between these 2 vouchers?

    • ChrisC says:

      1 – yes

      2 – an e-voucher is for pure cash bookings (and can be used on line) an FTV is for all other bookings and you need to call to use.

    • AJA says:

      Correct. Re 2 the difference between an e-voucher and a FTV is that you need to call to redeem the voucher. The e-voucher allows you to do it online. I think Avios flights only get the FTV, am happy to be corrected on that.

  • Gormlesstraveller says:

    Hi, every time I log into my Amex app, they ask me to input my annual income. Is this normal and if I don’t, will they do a review? I don’t carry a balance month-to-month and don’t spend very much, but I don’t want to tell them about my income in case they drop my limit.

    • Anna says:

      That sounds really odd, I’ve only ever been asked about that on the application form!

    • Jonathan says:

      You shouldn’t have been dishonest about your income when you applied in the first place !

      • bafan says:

        To be fair a lot of people have suffered income reduction during the pandemic (including me). I didn’t lie but I wouldn’t want them to ask me just now…

    • JDB says:

      It may seem counter intuitive, but your low spending vs credit limit and originally declared income can trigger enquiry. Amex is constantly checking these things, even if it is usually in the background, rather than asking you for info. The regulators require them a) to monitor their exposure and b) not allow customers to over extend themselves (even if the credit limit isn’t being used today). They may also look at total credit limits across all lending. Firms are more sensitive now as many people’s incomes have changed during Covid.

      • Gormlesstraveller says:

        Thanks – are they able to check my credit file on an ongoing basis and see my other credit card limits elsewhere?

        • sloth says:


        • JDB says:

          Yes, you will have agreed to this at the time of application. You will most likely find it in the Privacy section rather card T&Cs. The wording may vary but one current Amex sample:-

          “During the lifetime of your account
          We will continue to make searches at CRAs to assist in managing your account and this will include looking at the associated records of your financial associates. These searches will not be seen or used by other organisations to assess your ability to obtain credit. We will also carry out further credit checks whilst any money is owed by you on your account (including contacting your bank, building society or any referee approved by you).”

          • Gormlesstraveller says:

            Scary. And if they do ask my bank, presumably I have also agreed at some point that my bank can tell them what’s being paid into my current account!

          • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

            No – I don’t think there’s any mechanism for Amex to access info such as income level from your personal bank account. That’s why they have to ask you for the figure. The credit card balance sharing is totally different and designed, as previously mentioned, to stop people over-extending (or committing fraud by taking out multiple loans they then never pay back).

          • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

            Conversely, however, your bank WILL be able to see what credit card balance commitments you have as they will have access to the credit agency data…

    • sloth says:

      my gf gets the same on her account so I wouldn’t worry abt it. ha been there for a year and she has never bothered to update it (she gave her correct income on every card application)

  • Ben says:

    OT but I guess its flying related. Im looking at buying a drone – got my eye on the DJI Mini 2 – does anyone know of any discount/offers I could use to get the price down. I dont seem to have any that would work on my Amex Gold.

    • Craig says:

      Can’t help with discount, but I’ve got the original Mavic Mini and it’s brilliant.

      • Ben says:

        Cheers @craig. I was looking at the Mini 2 or the Mavic Mini as its a good place to start.
        Great to hear you enjoy it though. Im not sure if it will be a 10 min toy.

  • Graham Walsh says:

    Hi all, I’ve got 7500 points in my FlySAS account and they expire at the weekend. What’s the best thing to do with them? Setup an Amex transfer of 1k or just let them drain away?

    Would be great to have an article on how to keep points active via shopping portals etc. Might be one, may have missed it.

  • Anna says:

    Just had an email from Ryanair saying that our cabin bags will be searched for alcohol at the gate and if any is found we’ll have to pay to check the bag in! Not that we were planning on taking any on board but haven’t they got enough things to check at the moment AND I bet they are still selling their own on board!

    • Blenz101 says:

      Seems fair enough. Had someone on my last WizzAir flight who had clearly drank their duty free standing up and chanting in the aisle thinking we had landed when we were at perhaps 300ft from touchdown.

      He was arrested on arrival and even that didn’t seem to deter his party spirit.

      Big difference between a 1.5l bottle of vodka and a few coke size cans of beer / 50ml measures.

    • fivebobbill says:

      So if you buy any Duty Free booze in the airport you have to price in the cost of placing it in the hold!?
      Yeah, that’s gonna work right enough!
      Are they also gonna unscrew all your 100ml “medicine” bottles 😝

      • Blenz101 says:

        I would think the only people really at risk here are stag and hen parties or large groups. Very easy to spot!

        • fivebobbill says:

          Hope so, I quite look forward to a few 100ml medicine doses on those short haul European trips 🙂
          Especially as Ryanair were charging 15 euro for a wine & a vodka on my recent trip to Majorca!

          • fivebobbill says:

            ….. in a plastic cup with no ice 🤮

          • Blenz101 says:

            Sounds like a bargain – I was charged €30 for a G&T at a beach bar here in Mykonos yesterday!

    • SteveKicks says:

      Where are you flying to Anna? Could it be a special new rule for certain routes?

      • Anna says:

        Probably more to do with us Mancunians and our Scouse mates finally being let loose to go on our jollies …

    • Pablo says:

      Who buys booze in the uk on their way to Tenerife??? It’s cheaper just about everywhere in Europe.

      • Anna says:

        I can believe people would buy it and try and get away with drinking it on the flight.
        I’m not bothered about the no-alcohol policy, I don’t want rowdy drunks on the plane. My point is that how long is this going to take on top of all the current document checks? Our party alone will have 8 cabin bags between us!

        • Blenz101 says:

          Will be random spot checks and heavily profiled towards the suspects already mentioned.

          Don’t turn up to your chat chanting with an inflatable phallus attached to your cabin bag and you will be waved right through!

          • Anna says:

            We’re going in the Escape Lounge first so I may pack some breath mints… Never mind inflatable phalluses, we’ve barely enough room for our clothes and other essentials 🤣

      • Blenz101 says:

        Large groups travelling for whom the party starts as soon as they are through airport security. Airport bar at 8am for shots and a breakfast.

        Bottle of spirits for the plane to keep the party going. Buy a coke and ask for a glass of ice from the cabin crew to use as a mixer. Pour your own measures.

        3 hours later the cabin crew have a large groups of rowdy drunks on their hands whom they served nothing more than cola.

    • r* says:

      Thats laughable, are they even allowed to do that?

      Wouldnt you then just put them in your pocket or something as presumably they arent yet wanting to strip search.

      What next, will they also want to be sniffing the bottle of coke bought airside to make sure you didnt mix it with some minis?

      • Anna says:

        They might not technically be allowed to do it but the alternative would undoubtedly be that you’d be denied boarding then hauled off by security if you tried to argue the point!

        • Marie says:

          As a boring middle class mother I was happy for this intrusion to ensure the flight was calm and trouble free.

    • Lady London says:

      Hold on a minute…you wouldn’t have got through the scanners if you’d had the alcohol in your suitcase then. So you would have perfectly reasonably bought it airside at the airport.

      I don’t think Ryanair has the right to change your terms and conditions after you purchased your ticket to restrict what you can take on board. IIRC alcohol wasn’t on the list of banned objects previously. The only way I think they could introduce this ban would be for urgent imminent safety danger specific to that flight or widespread enough to introduce a blanket restriction for so long as the danger was proved and widespread and I don’t think there’s been enough to override the terms they sold at.

      Additionally I can’t see the shopping area known as Stansted and its tenants particularly Dufry? be happy as passenger purchases particularly of alcohol and perfumery are meant to subsidise airport costs.

      Looks like Ryanair is being unfair again who on earth would fly them if there’s any alternative

      • JDB says:

        It’s actually been Ryanair’s policy for at least four years. No idea if / how they actually enforce it. Along with other UK and US airlines they also don’t allow people to serve their own alcohol. As you mention re duty free, I don’t know how that works with Ryanair although you aren’t allowed to open the duty free until you reach your destination. I think the CAA has persuaded the airport shops no longer to sell miniatures??

        • Anna says:

          JDB, not allowing you to consume your own alcohol and searching your bags for it and confiscating it are two completely separate things …

          • JDB says:

            I’m not sure what the niceties are, but this is something Ryanair started imposing on certain routes in 2017, so presumably it hasn’t been successfully challenged. Hand baggage searches are permitted and to the extent that alcohol were discovered they wouldn’t confiscate it, it just has to go as hold baggage. As you said earlier, whatever the rights and wrongs, the passenger on the spot isn’t in a strong position to challenge any of this. It’s good that from what you say that at least they specifically warn you shortly before the flight.

          • Anna says:

            It says if you haven’t got a bag which can go in the hold, the alcohol has to go in the bin, so that’s pretty much confiscation in that situation!

    • Memesweeper says:

      Some US airlines have a “we must pour it for you” policy for any BYOB. Obviously helping the customer and other passengers in this way isn’t in Ryanair’s DNA.

      • Muhammad Abdullah says:

        I dislike alcohol in all forms, so this is good news. I choose to fly Saudia when I go home for this reason.

        • Nick says:

          Does ‘all forms’ include alcohol hand gel used by surgeons in operating theatres, which very obviously saves lives? Would you insist on your surgeon not using it if you were the recipient?

        • BrotherBear says:

          Luckily it’s in most places in the UK

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