Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 3rd August

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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.

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Comments (315)

  • Paul Pogba says:

    Just the two articles today, does this mean there’s exciting news, or just not much news?

    • Andrew says:

      I think it was because of the late additional article about golf yesterday.

    • ChrisC says:

      It’s August IIRC there are always fewer articles in August.

      • Rob says:

        We are hoping to stick with 3 articles, if only because we have sold a lot of ad space and therefore have an obligation to deliver content around it. If you do an extra article the previous day, however, we have to cut back the next day because of the ‘3 emails per day’ set up.

  • Roger says:

    Any ideas on how do I manage my booking to add BAEC number to an Iberia booking which is 5 character long?

    Tried Finnair, BA and QR but no luck as it expects 6 character long booking reference number.

    • Lyn says:

      I think Iberia booking references are usually 6 characters. Are you sure they have given you the correct booking information?

    • AJA says:

      Have you tried adding it directly via IB? The 5 character ref is IB’s PNR. There should be a 6 character BA equivalent but I can’t remember how you find it.

      The alternative is to add it at check in. You will probably have to claim afterwards anyway as IB is notorious for not crediting TP and Avios so keep boarding passes as you will need to submit copies when you retro claim.

  • Ab Fab says:

    Do upgrades happen at all on BA flights these days?

  • SwissJim says:

    Apologies, as I know this issue is covered regularly. However…

    BA have just cancelled return flights for October, (suggesting) moving us (family of 4) to a flight departing the following day. I know compensation is not due, but that they have duty of care. (They are Avios flights, but I understand that’s irrelevant).

    In terms of accommodation, I assume this has to be “reasonable”. I assume reasonable doesn’t mean cheapest – but it doesn’t mean most expensive either. Is there any guidance in terms of comparison with where we are currently booked (4/5*) – or even any sort of right or expectation that we simply stay on in the same property (3 hours from airport), which I’m sure will be more pricy than our moving to a hotel at or near the airport…. Similar questions but less important re food – are they expected to cover greasy spoon cafe (or foreign equivalent) or the cost of breakfast in a 4/5* hotel…?

    • AJA says:

      You’re right BA has duty of care obligations. I’d contact the hotel you’re staying in and add a night. As long as its up to GBP200 per person they should not quibble. Even if it’s more I don’t think BA would kick up a fuss. They are also on the hook for food and drink (not alcoholic) and for breakfast so if you get to stay in the same hotel get a separate receipt for the extra day to submit to BA. Be reasonable, don’t spend £500 per person. Breakfast at £15 per person and dinner £30ish per person should be OK.

      • roberto says:

        £200 per room rather than per person is more inline with my understanding but depends on where you are of course. if youre in Barbados/Maldives etc then hotels are dearer than some places.

        Pay first and claim after. Its a simple process to which I have always been successful. You cant claim for stuff like extending your car parking or kennel fees and make sure your insurance is valid for that extra day.

        • Rob says:

          I think it goes to £300, but basically as long as you keep screenshots showing the options that were available to you then you’re fine whatever the cost.

          I would also expect that – if you are staying in a luxury hotel but cheaper options are available – BA would be expected to pay for you to stay in the hotel you are already in and not force you to trade down. Similarly, if you are in a 3-star and move to a 5-star because BA is paying then you should expect pushback.

        • AJA says:

          Thanks Roberto, yes you’re right that’s what I meant, £200 per room. Thanks for pointing out that error.

          As you say if you’re staying somewhere like Barbados or the Maldives where rooms are generally more expensive than that you’d be OK.

          • SwissJim says:

            Thanks AJA, roberto, Rob. Just to check – simply book, stay and then claim? I get that in that it avoids having to listen to BA trying to disuade me of my rights. Or should I really go via them first to put them on notice? I am Gold, in case it makes any difference (which I doubt!).

            I also assume rejecting their proposed flight but opting for one later in the day, or even arguing for re-routing makes no difference to the above.

          • Blenz101 says:

            You need to speak with them first if you want your claim to stand a reasonable chance. Let them decline to come up with a reroute of an alternative flight within a few hours of your original departure.

            The last thing you want is to willingly accept a flight the next day, incur costs and then BA decline your claim saying none of it was reasonable as they would have been able to put you on alternative flights had they been given the opportunity.

    • AJA says:

      You don’t have to tell them but out of courtesy I would confirm that you expect them to pay under duty of care when you accept the revised flights. You have every right to choose a later flight on the same day assuming there’s availability (doesn’t need Avios) instead of the flights you’ve been provisionally allocated. The choice is yours. Reroute is an option too but be reasonable about it and be aware that they may not accept this as their duty is to get you home and if there are other direct BA flights . I’d look carefully at the options and then phone BA to request what you want.

  • Aliyah says:

    Question about using Curve metal abroad for cash from ATM. What is the daily withdrawal limit abroad? To double check, there will be no charge, right? Do you select amount in GBP? I want to get USD.

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      Use the local currency to have Curve do the FX. Don’t let the ATM convert for you!

      Daily cash limit is £1,000 (you can see that in your limits).

      Just the Fair Usage Policy which restricts you to £200 cash per month on a credit card. Highly unlikely a one-off will incur their wrath though if you used an underlying credit card.

      • Aliyah says:

        Thanks. So when I put the card in, i should choose USD to get charged in. Is that correct? Never withdrawn cash before and yes am aware of fake usage and weekend charges.

        • Aliyah says:

          Fair I meant

        • Blenz101 says:

          You should pick whatever currency the machine dispenses. If you are in the USA then this will be USD. Do not let the machine offer to dispense USD but charge you in GBP as this will mean the ATM is doing the conversion at a terrible exchange rate.

          Same goes for any regular spending on the card, when offered the choice on the pin pad as to which currency always pick local (i.e. USD in the USA).

          • Genghis says:

            Even then, need to watch out for dodgy DCC. I remember once selecting paying in HKD and entering my PIN and getting a HKD receipt but it billed me in GBP. I complained to restaurant and they refunded me in cash.

    • Sina says:

      There is a 0.5% charge on payments/withdrawals in weekends as well.

      • Harrier25 says:

        I leave my card set on GBP, withdraw in the local currency, usually EUR and then Curve do the conversion. Why change it to local currency in the Curve app?

  • Adam says:

    Any idea when to expect the Barclays Bonus Avios of 25K? I have received 6K (4 months) of Avios… still waiting for the bonus

    • Sina says:

      I got the bonus today with my 5th set of 1500 avios. I’d suggest waiting another month.

    • Optimus Prime says:

      Have you checked your BA account today? Some of us have received them this morning (see page 1 of this post).

      • Adam says:

        Got the 1.5K for this month (4th instalment) today but no bonus 25K yet

    • Red Flyer says:

      I also got mine today as well as the 5th 1500 monthly avios so looks like yours will be next month.

      • Zoe P says:

        On the back of this I just went qnd checked mine and the 25k is there also.

  • Justin says:

    Have a BA flight from LHR to Vancouver for 2 September. Still showing as flying at the moment.
    Any idea if we are now past the point where BA are likely to cancel it? Obviously we can’t fly to Canada at present due to travel restrictions, but I’d rather BA cancelled and therefore I can move the date rather than cancel for a refund myself. Especially as it was booked using the 50% Avios sale.

    • Blenz101 says:

      You will have to wait a little longer to see what happens. Canada reopens on the 7th September to those double vaccinated from UK/Europe. Reasonable to assume there may be some reciprocity in the coming weeks which will determine the viability of those flights.

      BA have flights scheduled for 23rd Aug so keep an eye on those being cancelled as perhaps an early warning. If that flight runs then you will have a good indication.

    • Tracey says:

      I had a flight from TLV on 30 August that was only cancelled yesterday, so you probably have a few days to wait.

  • Grant says:

    I have a friend who is flying long haul economy with BA from LHR T5 next month and would like to gift lounge access before the flight. Is this possible and if so what are the best options?

    • Blenz101 says:

      The only option is to purchase your friend entry into the Aspire lounge. Reviews are on this website.

      Given how poor the lounge is perhaps also consider a gift voucher for Plane Food who do some reasonable packages. It isn’t a lounge but would be a far better experience.

    • Babyg says:

      I don’t believe this is possible with BA lounges (although BA themselves are running a special based on spend to access their lounges), but you could purchase paid for lounge access (eg plaza premium) ..

      • Blenz101 says:

        Plaza Premium is still currently closed. So Aspire is the only paid lounge currently available to be able to give as a gift unless the OP has status and can guest access but from the way the question is written that doesn’t appear to be the case.

    • Babyg says:

      alternatively you could book a cheap BA flight, and guest them in 🙂

      • ChrisC says:

        Not a good idea to be honest.

        Even if you then cancel it because of a ‘last miniute emergency’ it can take over an hour for BA to off load you and for HAL staff to escort you out of the terminal.

    • Grant says:

      Thanks all. I won’ be travelling myself so no option to guest in to any of the offerings. I wasn’t aware that PP was still closed and having once used Aspire myself a while back, it doesn’t sound as though it has improved any. Plane Food is a good shout and looks like the best option.

    • Memesweeper says:

      Avios upgrade to club for your friend?
      Plane food (better than the lounge)?
      Cheap Avios flight for you and guest them?

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