Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 4th September

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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.

The comments under this article are where you should post questions about travel and, indeed, anything else on your mind.  At this tricky time, and given that many of you are at home, we want the HfP community to have a place to chat.

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Comments (456)

  • David says:

    American Express has MR transfer bonuses on 12 partners in The States are we likely to get any in the UK anytime soon ?

    • Harry T says:

      Probably not, although they did buy a lot of Avios – I suspect these are being mostly used for the enhanced SUBs.

      • David says:

        I know the rule is only convert MRs as you need them but the best value Bonvoy redemptions book up a long way ahead – want to book the St Regis NYC so I don’t know if waiting is wise.

        • Chrisasaurus says:

          Book it with the point advance thingy and if nothing amazing in time for the deadline then convert points?

          • David says:

            will do – thanks – do they remind you before they cancel the booking ?

          • Tariq says:

            You get charged by Bonvoy at the current price though when you redeem don’t you? I thought they changed it so that Points Advance doesn’t lock in the price at booking anymore.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Yes you’ll be charged whatever the points price is on the day you have enough points.

        • Rob says:

          If you’re booking now then convert. Just don’t convert and leave them in Bonvoy unused.

    • Rob says:


  • Marie says:

    Just paid €2.10 for a 500ml bottle of water in departures on way home from Portugal. What’s worse there’s 4 of us! No sign of a free water fountain.
    Can anyone beat that ?

    • KBuffett says:

      That’s cheap for an airport. Easily £2.95 or more in parts of London/Events/Restaurants

      These things are to be expected when holidaying.

    • Aston100 says:

      Pretty sure water was three or four quid in the airports at Antalya and Marrakech. Pre Covid.

      • Marie says:

        That’s shocking. There should be an airport charter that allows access to free / cheap water

    • Rui N. says:

      “Beat that” in terms of being the cheapest you’ve ever seen I guess?!

    • Anna says:

      TFS and PMI both had water fountains and also machines which sold 500ml of water for 1 euro. Admittedly the fountains were placed seemingly at a randomly chosen toilet entrance but at least they were there! The meal deal in the newsagent at PMI was 8 euros though, which made Boots look like great value!

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      I paid £4.90 in Dubai once…

    • Bigmaggot says:

      €0.50 for a 500ml water in WDF at Heraklion Airport Departures today.

    • Andrew H says:

      You used to be able to get a free bottle at many airports with the Telegraph. Seems such a waste though as the paper would be instantly ditched. Ok, I’d look at the sport…

  • Luke says:

    Has anyone else had issues with the 6k additional card holder offer on AMEX being posted? Got 3k, then spend £500 a few weeks ago on the card, haven’t had the additional 3k points yet.

    • Barraclough says:

      I’m still waiting for the extra 3k. I checked with the chat line and was told it could take up to 90 days to post.

    • Alan Todd says:

      Yes hasn’t posted here either. Someone mentioned a while back that Amex had told them the points would post sometime in October, but who knows…

    • AJA says:

      I’m also keeping an eye on this. I am a supplementary card holder on my OH’s BAPP Amex under this deal. The initial 3,000 Avios arrived in OH’s account within minutes of completing the application. I am working on the assumption that the 3,000 bonus Avios will post after 31 October when at least £500 is charged to the supplementary card by that date. I have the screen shots of the BAPP T&Cs and it actually says “Please note, it may take up to 120 days for the up to 6,000 Avios to be applied to you Account” So it could actually be the end of 2021 before the Avios post.

  • VickyTM says:

    Just checking that If I am transiting through Germany and not leaving the airport, I don’t need to complete the German PLF form?

    • kwisstan says:

      Yes, if you aren’t leaving airside, then you don’t need to fill out their version of the PLF

  • Graham says:

    I have a friend who has fallen ill in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Do any of the wise ones who read this site have a view on how I could get there and back. Using AVIOS is not the challenge it’s more which route in, quarantine rules in Cambodia and route home to the UK I am trying to come to grips with

    • Sam G says:

      Singapore Airlines have resumed flights to Phnom Penh which is probably your best option. You’ll then need to do 2 weeks quarantine there before travelling to Siem Reap – getting your hotel to arrange a driver to take you probably best. You can now select your quarantine hotel including Raffles and a couple of other good ones.

      It’s currently Amber list and vaccination is progressing well there so your arrival back into the UK should be simple – pre-departure test there (PCR required if you transit Singapore) and then a day 2 test when back – assuming you are vaccinated then you won’t need to isolate here in the UK

      The only thing I’m not sure about is getting a visa now – you need it in advance they don’t issue on arrival currently. I had one friend who went there for work so her company arranged it, not sure if you can get one for non-business reasons

      • Sam G says:

        lastly all the best for your friend. Siem Reap is not an ideal place to get stuck in when ill – depending on how ill and their insurance situation a move back to Singapore could be feasible – they will likely issue a short term visit pass for medical treatment – it is a common reason for travel to Singapore in that region of the world

    • AJA says:

      Sorry to read this. BA will sell you a flight via Hong Kong to Phnom Penh (on BA metal to HK and then CX to ). The question is whether HK will allow transit passengers. I think that it is possible

      says the following:
      Transiting Hong Kong
      Transit services at Hong Kong International Airport resumed on 15 June 2020 for passengers who can be checked through from port of origin to final destination. Transiting between flights operated by different airlines is now allowed. Transiting through Hong Kong from, but not to, mainland China is now allowed. You should check with your travel agent or airline before travelling and check the Hong Kong International Airport website.

      There is a risk you will be placed into isolation in hospital in Hong Kong or 21 days government quarantine. All passengers transiting Hong Kong International Airport will be subject to advanced screening measures, including temperature checks. Passengers deemed to have a high temperature will undergo further checks by the Port Health Office at the airport. If you meet further risk criteria, you will be transferred to a Hong Kong public hospital for mandatory checks/treatment, where it is highly likely you will be asked to complete a mandatory COVID-19 test. If you successfully pass health screening you need to sit in designated areas at boarding gates and use designated queues in dining facilities and shops, in line with Hong Kong International Airport anti-virus measures.

  • Javier says:

    Does anyone know if the “book with confidence” from applies to flights using Iberia metal? I guess it does?

    • AJA says:

      I think it applies if you choose a codeshare flight ie have a BA flight number.

      • Nick says:

        No, it has nothing at all to do with flight number. It counts if you have a BA ticket, i.e. one starting 125-XX.

        • AJA says:

          That’s what I meant – buy the ticket on the BA flight numbers rather than just buying it with IB flight numbers. If you buy it through BA I thought it defaulted to issuing the ticket with the BA flight numbers on 125 stock? I didn’t think it was possible to buy it via BA and be allocated the IB flight numbers?

  • James says:

    Got my BA Maldives holiday back on. Changed to QR outbound. Mr BA on the phone told me I could get a full refund if Maldives stays on the red which I was totally unaware of. I thought with the departure time being within 3 weeks, my only other option was to change the date. Very impressed with the service once I finally got through to them.

  • Aston100 says:

    Amex Platinum
    Does anyone have any experience / success with claiming for a replacement tyre for a hire vehicle (UK)?
    Tyres are not covered by the t&cs of the car hirer and they require me to replace it at my cost. Perfectly normal of course, so was wondering if the car hire aspect of the Platinum insurance benefit covers this. Any first hand experience?


    • Aston100 says:

      *Tyres are not covered by the t&cs of the car hire company.

      • lumma says:

        Isn’t the whole point of the platinum car hire cover that you can reject all insurance from the hire company without any worry?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Isn’t U.K. car hire only covered by Platinum if you had a pre booked over night stay somewhere before you hired?

      • Nick says:

        Is the ‘holiday’ clause new? Has never been there before, and wasn’t mentioned the one time I needed to claim (thankfully, as I was at home!)

      • Aston100 says:

        Hmmm… I did have a stay in the Cotswolds earlier this week.
        I wonder if that’s where the the tyre developed the problem.

        I’ll say no more for fear of triggering JDB.

      • Gavin says:

        There’s nothing mentioned in the T&Cs about this

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Perhaps it’s just the travel insurance where it will only cover in U.K. if it’s prebooked.

          I very rarely have use for a hire car in the U.K. (on my own dime) unless it is a holiday or an Iberia offer 🙂

          • KS says:

            This is specifically allowed as per T&Cs:
            “Trip is extended to include any journey within Your Country of Residence for Car Rental Benefits (Section 1.5) only.”

    • Matt says:

      Claiming for tyres on a SA hire was very easy. Done over the phone in 15 minutes with no need for paperwork. UK though… not tried…I think there’s a “holiday” clause but I haven’t looked more closely.

      • EvilDoctorK says:

        There used to be a requirement that you were ‘on a trip’ which meant at least one night’s paid accommodation away from home .. but not sure that is the case any longer

        Can’t help on the tyre q, but I have claimed for a windscreen crack before without problem .. often they are excluded too from car hire excess

    • KS says:

      I did it for a claim of nearly £150 that included charges for roadside assistance and tyre replacement. It was very smooth once I got all the documents from car rental company.

    • Kumar says:

      I did claim for tyre damage through Amex Plat. for a tyre damage invoice from Hertz while in France.

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