Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Monday 6th September

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Comments (363)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • John says:

    Are both Galleries lounges and Fast Track security now open at LHR T5?

    • Rob says:

      Yes to Galleries.

      When I was in T5 the other week, the Fast Track at the very far left (the one no-one ever uses because it is separate to the main security area) was shuttered and looked like it was semi-permanent. Rest were open OK. First Wing isn’t open until 6.15/6.30ish.

      • John says:

        No online check-in available for BA2678 LHR-DBV ?! Avios redemption to Croatia. Are they really doing manual document checks for everybody?! Verifly checklist is asking for an irrelevant pre-departure test which is not needed for fully vaccinated travellers. What a mess :/

        • meta says:

          You’re mistaken John. You need a test regardless of your vaccination status if travelling from the UK. It’s clear from FCDO website and from Croatian government websites.

          • Anna says:

            I wonder what would happen if you put the 10 digit code for ordering an NHS test on a PLF?! (If JDB is here, I am asking hypothetically 😂)

          • John says:

            Thank you. I realised my mistake and we sprinted to get a Collinson test at St Pancras.

  • manilabay says:

    Sorry for silly question but follow up to LHR T2B Singapore Airlines Lounge query yesterday. Besides the length, how easy is it to get from T2B to T2A? Is it just the same route or is there one way escalators that stop you from returning to T2A?

    So long since I’ve Been at T2…

  • Tom says:

    Is Amex live chat broken? Not working on app or web.

    • Anna says:

      Not worked for me on app for a couple of months now.

      • Babyg says:

        worked for me a week ago… it keeps the history of chats too, so maybe popblockers and cookie cleaners kills it?

  • BrianN says:

    Any idea why I have a lot more Amex offers when viewing on the laptop than the app? Thanks

  • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

    Seems fine for me – restart or maybe try another browser?

    • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

      That was for Tom ref Amex live chat query above…

      • Harrier25 says:

        Live chat not working for me either….they keep saying “No” to my retention points request! ☹

        • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

          Lol – me too (on Plat Bus card). Never had one. Maybe we don’t push enough spend through. It would be helpful if people posting data points would mention their annual spend (ours is only £10-20k on that card)…

  • Anna says:

    Looking at 5 nights near Porto for next August – there seems to be a new Hilton at Porto Gaia which is coming up at 99 euros or 26k points per night (20,800 with 5 night free). This seems very reasonable – am I missing anything? We will have a car so not bothered about not being in the city centre and will be travelling on to northern Spain.

    • Richie says:

      Are you planning to drive from the hotel ti the city centre?

      • Anna says:

        I’ve no concrete plans yet, just looking at getting hotel and villa (for Spain) booked in case prices go silly when everyone decides that summer 2022 is going to be when they start travelling again!

    • Red Flyer says:

      There is also a Tapestry opening bang in the centre of the old town in November too. Based on Madrid hotel the rates and/or redemption could be good value too.

      • Anna says:

        I saw that, I’ll keep checking back for when it starts taking bookings.

        • meta says:

          If it is first time in Porto, then you want to be in the city centre. The new Hilton looks great, but it’s towards the end of the promenade in Gaia, so to get to the city centre you’ll need to take a taxi or walk. If you’re looking for cheaper options on points then HIX or the new Tapestry. More expensive, but still reasonable is IC Porto if you can get it for 40k points or less.

          • Anna says:

            Thanks @meta, I knew you’d be along! IC is over 60k points per night or 315 euros for a double room. I’ve decided that while we’re still travelling with a teenager it’s a waste of points and money to get him a separate room (or pay for a suite) somewhere expensive as it’s totally wasted on him and he doesn’t even get up for breakfast!
            Looked at HIX but the location looks a bit grim from the photos.
            I will look out for the new Tapestry; I was surprised there is no Hilton in the city centre but I think they don’t have a big presence in Portugal?

          • meta says:

            @Anna HIX is quite good location. You’re on the main shopping street and there’s Majestic Cafe (a must for the excellent old school service!). If you want to be closer to the watefront and the main city restaurants, there are also some nice independent hotels on Flores (Casa de Companhia, PortoBay,…). Some are also quite new. There is also a new Mercure in city centre with a small pool.

    • Rich says:

      I stayed at that Hilton (assuming it’s the Boeira Garden?) in Gaia in May.

      Very pleasant and quiet. That’s a good price. 10 min walk downhill to the river, or 10 min to the tram stop, and you can take the tram into town.

      Parking was free when I was there.

      • Anna says:

        No it’s a new Hilton opening at the end of this month. Currently cheaper on points and cash than Boeira.

      • meta says:

        @Rich have totally different experience at Boeira!

    • AndyGWP says:

      In 2019, we (4 adults) did an Airbnb in Porto for a football tournament that England were involved in. We all had our own bedrooms, and it had a kitchen, lounge and a balcony / terrace with approx. a 10 minute walk into the main touristy areas.

      We were there whilst both semi-finals were played (so the city was really really busy), and the accommodation cost £450 *total* for the 4 nights (so approx £25 per person, per night)

      TL;DR: might an Airbnb be a cheaper solution for your needs in a city like Porto?

      • meta says:

        The problem with AirBnBs at the moment is that many have quite strict cancellation policies which is no good when you’re planning a year ahead and by the time you actually decide to lock in, all the good ones are gone or the prices have gone up!

  • Oliver says:

    Does anyone have experience with how long BA take to repost Avios from a refunded rewards booking? Just had a leg cancelled on flights to Tokyo and opted for the refund. Was hoping to book some new flights but need those Avios back first. If it’s a while, would calling BA speed things up? Thanks.

    • JDB says:

      They usually redeposit the Avios almost immediately, whereas the money takes longer, especially if it is a manual refund. The Avios return doesn’t seem super automated, but if you don’t see them in your account within max 5 days, I would chase them.

    • ankomonkey says:

      With the current length of wait time to speak to a BA call centre, your Avios and possibly even cash will probably be refunded before you get through!

  • Clive says:

    If anyone is transmitting Singapore it seems that the PCR Test is now required within 48 and not 72 hours as was previously

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