Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 11th September

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

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Comments (481)

  • Roselin says:

    Any hotel recommendations for San Sebastian? I’ve emailed Emyr about Arima Hotel & Spa which is part of SLH so let’s see, a bit out of the way but much cheaper than the luxury ones bang in the centre.

    • tintin38 says:

      The Arima is a great hotel, we stayed there in July. It’s on the edge of a forest so very peaceful and has a great restaurant with terrace with amazing food. Breakfast is pretty decent too. Spa also very impressive. It’s true it’s out of town but only 10 minute / €10 cab ride away from the hustle and bustle of San Seb

    • MS Saviour says:

      Londres is bang on the beach and in the heart of everything location wise. We had a great stay there 3 years ago and also has a car park underneath if you are driving too.

    • Tony1 says:

      Avoid the Mercure. But visit for the view !

  • Amy C says:

    Desperately trying to find BA chat on my iPad. No access to my pc where I am & never had any trouble at home on it. Does it somehow not work on a mobile device or something and that’s why it doesn’t show up when I’m searching the site for it?

    • SteveJ says:

      Not sure what is possible in Safari, but if using Chrome select the “Desktop site” option and that should load the page as if you’re on a desktop.

    • Graham Walsh says:

      I couldn’t find it earlier on my ipad. Over 3hrs on hold to the Gold card line. Upgraded my booking but got cut off for the 2nd time, so thankfully booking was upgraded but then got an email saying I need to call back. I can’t cope with another huge wait of their on hold music

  • AJA says:

    Repost- just posted on last Saturday’s chat by mistake!

    I’ve just discovered that Axa Insurance UK no longer offers travel insurance for new customers! I had it as a saved bookmark as I had an annual policy but cancelled ealy last year when it became clear that travel wasn’t happening for a while.

    The following message pops up:
    “AXA Insurance UK no longer provides travel insurance for new customers.

    Existing customers can still access their account online.”

    I’m guessing that you are still covered until the policy ends and then they won’t renew? Also isn’t Amex’s Platinum Card insurance via Axa? Is that continuing?

    • mark2 says:

      They are no longer providing travel insurance for Lloyds either.

    • Luke says:

      I’m just renewing my travel insurance now, think I’m going with Aviva.

    • George K says:

      Just as a point of reference, I’ve just had a payout from Amex Plat travel insurance and everything was handled by Axa as usual. Have consistently been very happy with their service

  • Boi says:

    Dear All,

    My sister (in Leeds) and I (in Canada) would like to meet somewhere for xmas that is nice and warm (not Europe). Any recommendations? We are all fully vaccinated.

    • Richie says:

      Mayan Riviera maybe.

    • Super Secret Stuff says:


      • BJ says:

        +1 for Cuba, always fancied it and it has always seemed the most interesting destination in the region by far IMO. We decided to try there if we cannot get to Thailand in December as planned. Supposed to be reopening 1st November without quarantine requirement. Let’s see.

    • marcw says:


      • Yorkie Aid says:

        We once did 10 days in Cuba over Xmas and new year. It was warm but we were unlucky and it rained for 8 of the 10 days! I think that was pretty freakish though.

        • Boi says:

          Thanks everyone.
          I should have mentioned I am mainly looking at commonwealth countries or those that dont need visa for a UK resident (for my sister, I hold an EU passport).
          So this unfortunately rules out Cuba….the other options are good.

          • Boi says:

            Also, my kids will be on tow…(visa wise they are ok as they have dual EU nationalities)

          • Anna says:

            Isn’t Mexico on the red list at the moment? Your sister’s insurance might not be valid if you book now.
            Otherwise, Bahamas? Or several Caribbean islands are also part of the Commonwealth.
            AFAIK all visitors need a visa for Cuba, I don’t think there’s a difference whether you hold a UK or EU passport (but I think Cuba is also red list atm).

          • Anna says:

            OR – weather would be reasonably pleasant in Bermuda, direct flights from the UK and there always seem to be plenty of reward seats available if you or your sister have avios. The downside is that accommodation is eye-wateringly expensive, but there seems to be a good Air B n B presence these days.

    • Lady London says:

      Capetown but not sure of entry status for covid by then, my guess would be it’s open

      • Boi says:

        Capetown is too close to home. 🙂 been there.

        Like the idea of Bahamas. will check it out. Thanks all.

        And yes, we do have plenty of Avios and VS points to get her there. And hotel points.

    • Christina says:

      I thought that the Turks and Caicos were the go-to hot destination for Canucks.

  • Anish says:

    Hi all,

    Booking an FHR hotel for my parents using my plat and paying in advance with a prepayment link (stay is a gift to them). Do I definitely have to pay with my plat or can I use my BAPP (latter more favourable as trying to hit 10k). If it makes a difference, my father has the plat as my supp which he can show on arrival if need be. Thank you all, really appreciate any help. Cheers.

  • bafan says:

    Hoping to fly to Canada on Thursday evening, PCR Test for £55 with Collinson’s on Tuesday afternoon in St Pancras should get me my result back in time, right?

    Yes £125+ for a guaranteed service is out of my budget ;).

  • Lady London says:

    Why did you not raise a complaint? Them saying they contacted you when they didn’t makes the whole thing suspect.

    After 18 years I wouldn’t have walked away. Unless, of course, opening the toy cupboard would have made loads of MS skeletons fall out. Was that your case?

    After following Amex’s complaints procedure, if still unsatisfied I believe there’s an industry ‘treating customers fairly’ rule you could have complained externally under. Them starting off lying to you would put them in a bad light for that

    • Lady London says:

      *above for Yorkie Aid Page 6

      • Yorkie Aid says:

        I did raise a complaint directly and then with the ombudsman. Ombudsman said Amex had the right to terminate any relationship without giving a reason if they so choose. Although he was sympathetic there was nothing he could do.

        • Lady London says:

          Ombudsman is not always reliable and is overloaded. What they said may be true, but a provider is nevertheless obliged to operate fair procedures. And they lied. I am not sure who the responsible regulator is, possibly the FCA.

          • JDB says:

            The Financial Ombudsman Service is part of the FCA. Treating customers fairly (“TCF”) is one of the 11 principles in the Handbook that sits above the rules and guidance (the same structure as most professional services handbooks). However, the right to terminate the relationship without any reason is absolute (in both directions) so TCF doesn’t come into it, and there was unfortunately no prospect of winning the appeal. Equally, in the circumstances, the allegation of lying is irrelevant. Even if you win, you might get some small inconvenience payment but your account stays closed. Most cards have this provision.

          • Yorkie Aid says:

            Agreed. I must admit it felt awfully unfair at the time but the more I thought about it I’m pleased that such a dreadful company is no longer earning interchange fees from my business. It’s their loss as far as I’m concerned.

          • Harrier25 says:

            JCB, FOS is not part of the FCA. It operates as a seperate identity and exists to settle consumer disputes. The FCA regulates financial businesses.

          • Harrier25 says:

            I meant JDB….sorry!

          • JDB says:

            @Harrier25 if you wanted me to be more precise, this I what the FOS says, but I tried to paraphrase it for simplicity’s sake: “We’re accountable to a board of non-executive, public interest directors appointed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The chairman is appointed by the FCA with the approval of HM Treasury.”

            In essence the FCA regulates conduct of firms but does not consider individual complaints for which the FOS is responsible. To the extent that any individual complaint raises conduct issues, the FOS reports those to the FCA. For all practical purposes they are one public organisation.

  • George M says:

    Have booked LGW-MRU for mid October. It is an 8.00 pm flight. Firstly are airport upgrades still reasonably priced? Econ upgrade to biz is my preference.
    Secondly am I right in thinking no lounges are open whatsoever at that time?!

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