Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 24th August

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Comments (511)

  • KBuffett says:

    Anna – has the hacking incident been resolved?

    • Anna says:

      Well I’ve set up a new email for all my travel arrangements and changed all my passwords so time will tell! So far all my points and avios are still where they should be 🤞🤞🤞

  • S says:

    Has anyone stayed at Al Maha in/near Dubai? 5 nights are very good value on points. But I’m thinking I may get bored after a 2-3 what with it being in the middle of a desert? Any thoughts/pointers would be greatly appreciated.

    • Harry T says:

      There’s a good flyertalk thread on the hotel. I’ve not been but I think it depends on what you’re looking for out of a holiday. If you want to relax in an opulent and unique environment, and try some unusual desert activities, then it looks terrific. I might do five nights later this year – will report back if I do.

      • S says:

        Thanks for that. Yep have read a few posts on that thread, some prefer three and some prefer five. Think I will be going with five purely from a value perspective…56k MR a night for three vs 45k MR a night for five.

        • Babyg says:

          I’ve wanted to go there too, but it looks like a 3 night stay to me unless youre going to shell out on lots of excursions?

        • Babyg says:

          maybe i looked at the wrong place, its 85-100k per night?

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Sure you’re talking about the same place it’s usually 70-100k so even cheapest 5 nights would be 56k each more likely to get around 65k-70k average over 5 nights.

        • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

          I think S is talking Amex points, which covert to Bonvoy @1.5 ratio – so 56k MRs = 84k Bonvoy points.

      • OP says:

        Five nights is tempting value (I assume you are choosing five for a five for four redemption) but depending on your preferences might be too long. I’ve stayed for three nights before and although it was delightful, with the restaurant menus and activities not changing day to day I think the opportunity cost of staying any longer on cash or points wouldn’t have been worth it for us.

    • Tom says:

      I was hoping to go over the Christmas break but there is no availability for points bookings on the dates I wanted. Hoping to jump straight on it for Christmas ‘22 when availability opens up.

      As Harry has said, there is a good thread on Flyertalk. Having read that, five nights sounds about right to me provided you are interested in doing some of the activities (which I believe are included in the cost anyway).

    • DZOO says:

      We did 2 nights as a couple in Nov ’19 – it was great and fantastic value with HB at the time … the value proposition is there redeeming 5 nights but I suspect you might get bored (the activities are fine given they are “free” but very “Dubai-ified” if that means anything, and you might find it repetitive with the same dining options etc.). To give some context, we are the type of people who are happy to sit by the pool all day…

  • Super Secret Stuff says:

    Trying to do a status match using but it says error 503 service temporarily unavailable. Have they pulled the programme?

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    Alitalia are getting replaced by a new airline and it has created this weird situation:
    – Alitalia will be stopping selling tickets beyond 15 October from midnight tonight
    – Alitalia will from tomorrow be offering free refunds or option to move bookings before 15 October

    So a narrow gap for people here. Do you have a spend target to hit? Buy Alitalia tickets for 2022 today, get over the spend threshold. Wait until your bonus points post and then get a full refund on the cancelled Alitalia tickets.

    • Jonathan says:

      Rob has mentioned before that he’s lost count of the amount of bailouts they’ve been given by the Italian government

    • JSemity says:

      surely it would just get refunded back to credit card, so no different to buying a refundable flight / hotel and refunding? Unless I’m missing something

      • Colin MacKinnon says:

        Yep, you are missing the cancel you card in the time between spending and getting the bonus and the refund being processed.

    • TheInsiderFly says:

      Apparently their frequent flyer program is shutting down and can’t be transferred to the new airline. So everyone will lose their points and status and need to start again on the new one. Ouch if you’re an Italian frequent flyer!

      • kitten says:

        Due to some obscure Italian law the Alistair programme was shut down anyway every very few years and all points lost by members if not spent with very little warning. Still recall promotional incentives from Alitalia to earn points continuing until relatively shortly before we were informed the program was being forced by Italian law to close as well. A new points program would then open the following day with no carryover of points.

        I can recall two cycles of this, and I’ve not been watching very long. I am certain any future incarnation replacing Alistair will do similar.

        • kitten says:

          *Alistair=A l i t a l i a

          II am going to bin this bl*sted Samsung phone if I don’t find where to switch off its cr4ppy autocorrect soon.

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    This is the details of Alitalia, posted this bit separately as often links get passed to moderation

  • IanM says:

    Quick query – if you do manage to get into USA, perhaps via Canada or Mexico – is it possible to fly back from USA mainland to UK no problem??

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      That’s fine, subject to usual rules (i.e. does the US end up on the UK red list?)

    • TGLoyalty says:

      You would have had to have been in the USA for Atleast 11 days if you go via Mexico. Therefore it’s a 25 day trip.

    • VickyTM says:

      Not forgetting that when you arrive in Mexico it’s counted as day 0. You then need to do 14 clear days so can leave for the US on day 15. Then the same in the States. Arrival day is day 0, then 10 clear days, then depart to UK on or after day 11.

  • Crafty says:

    Very “newbie” question, sorry – if I book a “day 2” test to do at home when I get back from holiday, do I need to have physically received it before leaving the UK (in order to get a code number), or will the required number be accessible immediately after payment and the test can turn up while I am away?

    • Blenz101 says:

      Code comes by email straight after the booking the test. It isn’t linked to delivery.

      • Crafty says:

        Brilliant. So I can wait until the day of departure to book the return-to-UK test (if I want)? Still can’t decide whether to go away…

  • Terwri says:

    For some reason my monthly full payment on the Amex premier plus card hasnt gone through immediately ( from First Direct) or been reflected on my Ax balance . Money has left FD. Anything for me to worry about?

    • Peter K says:

      Is it a direct debit? If so then the direct debit scheme will surely cover any issues?

      • Terwri says:

        No I pay on the app. Normally credits immediately

        • DAJ says:

          I have paid using debit card which usually credits immediately but on occasion has taken a day or so to show.

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