Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 14th August

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We are running this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Comments (332)

  • Ros says:

    Secure a standard reward room upgrade to executive room at £120pn for 3 adults or chance it at check in? High occupancy rate on enquiring about upgrades at Hilton Malta unfortunately, no budge!

    • Anna says:

      I definitely wouldn’t risk it if there’s the chance one of you will be left with nowhere to sleep! Would they put a roll away in the room for less money if the 3rd adult is small enough for it?

      • Anna says:

        Apologies, thought you were referring to extra space for the 3rd person!

    • John says:

      Are you gold?

      Would you spend £40 each, every night, on food and drink at the hotel if you didn’t have lounge?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Is this just so you can access the lounge? Spend the £120 a night out.

    • Tracy says:

      Just back from Hilton Malta. As diamond upgraded from standard room to executive room a week before checkin on the app.
      Executive lounge was dire, really slow service at all times. Struggled to even get 3 drinks in the 2 hr evening slot. Breakfast chaotic & afternoon tea not worth leaving the pool for. Good enough as a perk but wouldn’t pay for it during covid times.

      • Ros says:

        Thanks all! Yep Gold, would be a good perk for a couple drinks before we head out and avoid the crowds for breakfast at the main restaurant so was very tempted, but yep, I’ll save the £360 on a nice meal out there or a boat for the day!

        • Ros says:

          Can’t do my maths, staying 5 nights so that’s 600! Definitely a few good meals out with that

        • Tracy says:

          As diamond I was told I had to have breakfast in the lounge not the main restaurant, disappointing…..

          • Ros says:

            Interesting, wonder if that’s where they make the golds have breakfast too?

  • Anna says:

    Grief, BA now charging £93 to reserve an exit row seat in long haul economy! Ryanair charged me £9 for the same on a flight a third of the duration.

    • Babyg says:

      Cripes… TP run to get brozne/silver might be order…

    • Ls says:

      Exit rows on Long haul really make a massive difference. Not sure I’d sink £100 per person though. That is likely to be >20% of the flight each way!

    • Harry T says:

      BA long haul economy must be one of the worst products out there!

      • Anna says:

        It’s a route I don’t consider to be worth flying J on the return for numerous reasons! Tried and tested all the cabins over the years and Y with an exit row seat is (just about, still) the best option. J is a joke, PE not worth cash or avios prices. Outbound is 12 hours of fabulousness though!

    • Eppleby Green says:

      BA will just throw you out of a ‘better class’ and then be economical with the truth about it!

  • Reney says:

    Another case of disappearing Amex offer? One of our cards still had the BP offer yesterday which I was going to use tomorrow. Couldn’t find it anywhere today.

    • thehornets says:

      Me too

      • TJ says:

        +1 Quite a few offers have disappeared & reappeared over the past few days, but the BP one remains elusive. Amex via chat confirmed that the offer is still showing as saved from their side. If you are concerned (and can be bothered), best to confirm via online chat and save/screenshot the confirmation.

  • Harry T says:

    Perhaps a useful data point for some – entry to restaurants in Dublin for indoor dining is made possible by scanning the QR code of your second jab in the NHS app. The system recognises the UK QR codes.

    I have also managed to acquire a French covid pass by importing a screenshot of the second dose QR code from my NHS app.

    I’ve had two doses of Pfizer. Unsure if the (likely made up) palaver about Indian AZ jabs affects this.

    • meta says:

      Yes, but you won’t be able to use any of the codes outside Ireland or France. Other countries’ verification apps don’t recognise it. It’s still essentially NHS QR code.

      • Harry T says:

        Fair enough. I suspect the NHS proof of vaccination will be accepted elsewhere in Europe anyway.

        • meta says:

          Yes, all good. Though some establishments might turn you away due to lack of knowledge.

          • Harry T says:

            Thanks for the heads up. Guess they will just lose my business 😉

    • HH says:

      Both French and German apps surprisingly accepted mine, despite one Indian dose.

      • ChrisC says:

        German app accepted mine too.

        Need to upload again as the certificate has now expired. Good feature of the German app is that it allows you to check the validity of the certificate.

    • Blair says:

      Where are you staying and what deal did you get tho???

  • Jill (Kinkell) says:

    Any help/advice gratefully received.
    241 September 2021 BA flight to Denver cancelled. Route is INV-LHR-DEN 6 Sept 21 and return ORD-LHR-INV. 27Sept 21.
    I would like the whole trip to be put forward to same dates in Sept 2022. ( would like to drop ORD and just return from DEN, but realise this might not be possible in the new ‘rules’).
    CS agent in YouFirst adamant my options are: refund ,FTV, , or rebook within system range. T-355.
    How on earth do folk manage to get their bookings pushed forwards more than the calendar year?
    The agent states he was happy to book within current system range, then proceeded to tell me as my 241 has an expiry date of June 2022, it couldn’t be used for sept anyway. Is he talking rubbish?
    I thought ,regardless of avios bookings and expiry dates, BA were now offering rebooks where out bound had to be before 6 sept 2022 and inbound before 5 sept 2023 .
    Have read all the posts from the HfP article last month and LL helpful comments. Still not sure.

    • Harry T says:

      You can move bookings to 365 days from your planned departure date now, but there are issues ticketing beyond t-355. It’s possible some agents could get around this but I haven’t had any luck with our BA holidays booking – apparently they just couldn’t do it. This may be because of the holiday though. Theoretically maybe they could place your booking on hold until the new dates become available but you probably won’t have much luck. Agents seem willing to try but unable to do so.

      The 241 validity is irrelevant, they got that part wrong.

      • Jill ( Kinkell) says:

        Yes…agent talking rubbish about validity…pretty shocking that an agent on the F line ( where you might expect a pretty knowledgeable agent) is spouting cr#p. Makes you pretty sure the rest of it is as well! thanks for reply.

        • Anna says:

          Jill – back in April one of the YouFirst CSAs refused point blank to recalculate the taxes when asked to add a return to an outbound leg and her supervisor backed her up! I ended up having to cancel and rebook over the phone as I didn’t want to lose the seats with BA hardly releasing any F avios availability at the moment, so I ended up £100 out of pocket with all the related fees. I did submit a complaint but received a complete BS reply from BA ignoring what I was actually telling them!

        • Harry T says:

          Hope you get it sorted, Jill. Sadly, not even the “best” agents are always properly trained or cognisant of the necessary facts.

    • ChrisC says:

      Yes correct on the ‘year’ rule but it’s an issue when that date is currently outwith of the current booking window – which is what you have come across.

      Personally I’d just wait until the new dates are available and rebook then.

      Change of departure point back home is a different issue.

      Would be fine (and free) if it was within 300 miles but DEN-ORD is 1,000 so that would require a reprice.

      • Jill ( Kinkell) says:

        It would be great to change from ORD to DEN for return part, I maybe need to see what’s within 300 miles!
        However, will phone again and hopefully get a more knowledgeable agent to help us out and advise.
        Thanks for reply

  • lumma says:

    Looking at reward flights to Madrid and the BA site is saying two of the three Iberia flights are on a330 planes. (The third one doesn’t show a plane type)

    Is this correct?

    • Richie says:

      What does it say on

    • e says:

      Yes IB are running A330 aircraft on the Madrid route, I flew it four weeks ago

    • Blair says:

      Correct, mix of A350 and A330 bar one flight a day on A320/1/the narrow body one. Often the most convenient flight time if connecting onwards at LHR alas.

  • His Holyness says:

    I noticed Starling seem to be taking Amex for Settling Up. Will that be subject to interest?

  • r* says:

    Am I right thinking that double vaccinated needs no tests or anything to go to Tenerife other than the nhs vaccination pdf and the spth form completed in the 48 hours prior to departure?

    • TGLoyalty says:


    • Cats are best says:

      At the moment, yes, though always keep an eye open for changes.

      You’ll also need a test prior to return to UK, plus the UK PLF and a day 0-2 test.

      The islands have an alert level system, I’m in Lanzarote which currently is on level 2, looks likeTenerife is level 4 which imposes more restrictions…

    • Anna says:

      Just got back from Tenerife yesterday, it’s very easy to get a pre-departure test which should cost around 30 euros.
      Did most activities outdoors so mask rules didn’t affect us too much. The locals are clearly taking it very seriously and wearing masks even outdoors when alone (e.g. walking the dog first thing in the morning!), it makes me wonder how effective they can actually be when their infection rates are reported to be so bad.
      The social distancing actually made for a lovely trip as there was plenty of space round the pool and on the beaches all the time!

      • Cats are best says:

        There was a spike in infections in Lanzarote due to a single gym, I recall they had an earlier spike due to a party, both of these were pre-delta.

        With small populations it doesn’t take much to drive the rate per 100k up, even though the absolute number of infections is quite small.

        But with limited hospital capacity they’re rightly cautious – as you say, people seem to treat mask wearing, using alcohol gel etc. far more seriously than in the UK, even tiny places out in the sticks are strict about it.

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