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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  • Grant says:

    Can anyone recommend any decent hotels around the Taunton / Bridgewater area? Looking for something kid friendly to break up a journey home from Cornwall. Ideally more than just a bed for the night as will have an afternoon to kill, so a pool / spa would be great or some interesting attractions nearby.


    • Rob says:

      Historically, although it is 20 years since I stayed there, The Castle in Taunton which is what it sounds like, dead in the centre. No pool though.

      Depending on the route you are taking back, look at Hilton’s DoubleTree Cadbury House just south of Bristol which meets your requirements and is nicer than it needs to be.

    • Gruntfuttock says:

      Best Western Tiverton is comfortable. Canal boat cruises nearby.

      • Njb says:

        Best western Tiverton is a very popular LA training venue. Been there many times over many years. Wayne the Manager is a star – if he is still there. Stayed there when we had Christmas events – basic but clean. Nothing else in hotel but things to do nearby.
        Used to have a great lunch buffet!

    • Njb says:

      My vote would be to travel a but further to the Hilton Cadbury House or a bit less and stay in Exeter and explore the city/Crealy/Bicton Park.
      Darts Farm is a great stop just off motorway and Hilton by Hampton is not too far away from here.

    • Alex B says:

      The Holiday Inn in Taunton, has a pool & gym and is perfectly pleasant. Not in the most interesting place for a stroll however.

      • Rob says:

        I spent 2 weeks in that hotel back in 1991 🙂

        It was a Posthouse then.

    • Grant says:

      Thanks all, some useful suggestions here. Cadbury House looks ideal but is unfortunately full for the date I need.

  • Stephen says:

    I’m looking to travel from LHR to Corfu (1st to 6th August) and then LHR to Croatia (7th to 12th August)

    2 x Lateral Flow (for return to UK – taken in both Corfu and Croatia)
    1 x Day 2 Test (for return from Croatia, my understanding is no need if “in transit”?)

    If at the next government review (early August), Greece gets added to “Amber Plus” list, could we extend Croatia to 10 nights then travel back without issues?

    If we decide to not go to Croatia (as we arrived back in UK before the new rules), what date should we use when booking day 2 test? Does the date need to reflect the actual travel date or can it be flexible?


    • Pablo says:

      The next review is late next week so if Greece goes amber + it will likely be from 9 Aug. It makes more sense to pay for day 2 test after returning from Greece rather then stating you’re in transit as that way you start a fresh trip on the 7th and you wouldn’t need to declare your Greece trip on return from Croatia.

      • Stephen says:

        Thanks, so no need to declare even if you’ve been in that country in last 10 days, if you’ve returned to UK first?

    • meta says:

      Don’t forget you need PCR or antigen test to enter Croatia (new rules as of 19 July!) if been to the UK in the past 10 days even if fully vaccinated.

  • Blindman says:

    Excuse the repeat question, asked it late last night

    Thoughts on the best IHG property for upgrades freebies?
    Using Free Night cert
    Spire elite member

    Kimpton ?
    IC (been here before so I don’t expect anything)

    Any of the Indigos?

    No CP available for the dates, which is my usual option.


    • Anna says:

      We were spoilt rotten at the Kimpton in May. Spire but booked through Emyr so got a double upgrade to a gorgeous junior suite. Cocktails vouchers for the Fitz bar and they fill the tuck box with crisps and Green & Black chocolate each day. Breakfast served in the suite at no extra cost, and wine hour was in Burr & Co so you can combine it with an early dinner if you feel like it.
      Managed 3 (different) Kimpton stays this year and honestly don’t feel like staying anywhere else now!

      • Tom H says:

        I went as Spire Ambassador on a free night cert though to the Kimpton and got nothing around 12 months ago I think when lockdown eased. Breakfast was so bad they comped it. But the hotel is stunning

  • CE says:

    Is it possible to change an Avios booking cancellation on voucher to just having the Avios & cash refunded to my account (minus the. £35 cancellation fee)?

    • Pete M says:

      Someone said yes the other day, if you call. Wonder if Twitter would do it as well.

      • CE says:

        Thanks 🙂 i’ll give it a go

        • CE says:

          Update: used the live chat on contact page, waited 15 mins for live chat but once connected to agent the Avios refund completed in 5 mins. Very easy.

  • Gormlesstraveller says:

    Please can someone check my maths on the promotion – double stamps equates to 13.89% discount (assuming 20% VAT and no city tax/resort fee)?

  • Amo says:

    I’ve been trying to find train tickets for a weekend away in Manchester, but seeing prices for ~£95 return from London. I was sure the last time I went it was around £60. Does anyone know any ‘hacks’ to bring the train fare down? Considered flying but the 90 min trip to Heathrow puts me off

    • Sam G says:

      not sure when you are travelling but if it’s soon then they’ve had to cut capacity so I imagine there are less advanced tickets available and if it’s future dates then they might just not be released yet

      try and see if it throws anything up that might be useful

      Wouldn’t bother flying if you’re starting point is better for Euston (& BA have been slashing the schedules anyway)

    • Colin MacKinnon says:

      Try split tickets –

    • Anna says:

      Man-Lon has been really expensive all year, unlike Man-Edi and similar length routes.

    • Richie says:

      Consider split ticketing. If you are travelling at off peak times consider getting a Network railcard and splitting at Milton Keynes Central. If there are two of you travelling consider a two together rail card for the return from Milton Keynes Central to Manchester. Only consider the railcards if you are likely to re-coup the cost.

      • Amo says:

        Thanks everyone! Managed to find tickets for £65 using ticket splitting

  • bill says:

    Currently on the phone to Easyjet trying to rebook a flight that was scheduled last September. It was cancelled last September. Easyjet insist that i am only entitled to a voucher or a refund due to it being over 6 months. I’m trying to rebook new dates….. This happens to be something I have done in the past…

    • bill says:

      well, they point blank refused to rebook. has anyone got any advice on how to proceed ? original flight reservation was made using a voucher. i havent accepted a refund or voucher. should i book new dates and then dispute the charge with amex or is there an alternative resolution method ? am i being unreasonable or fair ?

      • Anna says:

        I’m assuming this would still fall under EU261 if EasyJet cancelled it, though I’m not 100% sure if there is a time limit on when you have to rebook – hopefully LL or meta can clarify! In this case you could book an alternative flight then take EJ to CEDR or MCOL to claim the money back. Amex dispute might get your original payment back but this might not cover the cost of a new flight.

        • Lady London says:

          replied and dear Wordpress moved it to page 6

        • Lady London says:

          Beware refunds as prices and especially fees and extra costs have increased hugely on Easyjet since you would have booked.

          Provided you don’t accept a refund then your rerouting rights are still there. I’m referring to your EU261 rights. In particular this means you get like for like at no extra cost including any baggage, seat, other extras you bought and no change fees.

          If you let Easyjet force you into a refund the odds are you’ll have to pay a lot more.

          They practically stopped flying all winter and only relatively recently started bringing back flights. Many routes haven’t come back at all or they are only flying very few flights on days or at times not everyone is able to use. On my particular route they are still messing around putting up flights then cancelling them or replacing them with different number flights at a different time of day so in my case a nightmare to even trust them to fly anything useful.

          Also replied it got moved to page 6.

          I think you’ll win at MCOL. Try again and keep us informed. keep good notes of calls when they refuse.

          • Bill says:

            Thanks for the reply. I’ve emailed a few high up people and wait a week before deciding what to do next. Route cancelled was IOM-LPL last October. Have now decided the new date when I want to use the flight and thought rebooking would be simple. easyJet flight club point blank refused to rebook. Interesting thing is that they couldn’t show me the “internal only policy” that seemingly contravenes EU261. I wait with interest to hopefully get a reply from Heads of Customer Service, Head of Loyalty and Head of Call Centre. My belief is EU261 is silent on the rebooking deadline as is easyJet public policies

      • Lady London says:

        If you paid by UK *credit* card then raise a Section 75 claim on your credit card for replacement ticket cost after this breach of contract. Much easier than other methods as cardco sponsors new ticket then gets cost back for themselves from airline.

        • Bill says:

          @Lady London – we weren’t able to rebook until now due to one of the passengers being diagnosed with cancer last July.
          I’ll wait a week for a reply and if nothing is forthcoming I’ll get a refund

  • TGLoyalty says:

    Anyone have any recent experience of entry issues in Spain (or anywhere else) when a passport has a middle name but your NHS vaccine certificate doesn’t?

    Does anyone actually have their middle name on their cert?

    • Anna says:

      Ours have just first and last name. Logic would suggest (and I hope!) that they’ll just treat it like your boarding pass which also has just first and last names. Loads of people have flown to Spain in the past couple of weeks so I think it would have been highlighted in the hysteria media if anyone had had an issue with it.

    • PMG says:

      My girlfriend had no issue when we went to Croatia two weeks ago – neither of her two middle names are on her NHS certificate…

      I would really be surprised if it was an issue 🙂

      • meta says:

        My friend just arrived yesterday at Spanish border (Malaga), they only scanned PLF and that’s it. It seems onus is now on airlines to check and they do just that.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Thanks all

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      Arrived in Malaga on Friday evening.

      They just scanned the PLF and checked the date of my second vaccination.

      I didn’t put my middle names on the PLF just in-case, so it matched my vaccination certificate.

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