Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 11th September

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Comments (481)

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  • Kipto says:

    Rang up Amex last night to cancel my platinum card. I was offered 50000 membership reward points to stay. I clarified twice with the agent whether I could cancel later in my membership year ( next may) and she said “ we’d like you to stay “ . I’ll give it a month or so and I’ll be back on the phone. I was promised the extra points by today but they’ve not appeared as of yet. If others have had this retention offer as well how long did they have to wait for the bonus points to appear ?

    • Anna says:

      Need to get my OH to call re this. Tried via chat and was told we should be happy with the £200 restaurant offer and not to expect to be able to use the Priority Pass! Certainly not a Platinum CS experience …

    • Reney says:

      I think next day when they filed it properly. I once had to chase several times which took over 2 weeks because the agent did not submit the request and they had to listen to the call again.

      May I ask how long you have had the card for?

    • Thomas Shelby says:

      some more context would be useful………

      when was your last retention bonus, assuming you had one last year…when was your renewal?

      • Kipto says:

        I have not had a retention bonus before and as per my post, I took the card out in early May

    • Mr. AC says:

      Does anyone know if retention offers are possible on a BAPP? Tried via chat yesterday, 3 years without a retention bonus, was told there’s nothing for me.

      • BJ says:

        Only saw one person reporting a retention bonus on BAPP, all other reports were negative.

        • Ben says:

          I got 2000 avios which wasn’t a retention offer as none available on my account but was put on as a goodwill gesture by the CS agent.

      • Reney says:

        Was offered extra points per £ spend for a few months a while back. Did not take the offer.

        • Aston100 says:

          I think a bunch of people here (myself included) were offered 1 extra avios per pound, for a 3 month period.

          • BJ says:

            That’s been the norm. What I think people are trying to get now is unconditional avios of the 5 digit variety.

      • Grant says:

        Extra 10k Avios for spending £3k within 3 months.

  • BJ says:

    [email protected], IIRC you have a lot of experience with Alaska Airlines (or was it just with MP miles on other airlines)? If so, any thoughts on relative merits of both coach and premium versus AA for domestic flight within USA? One flight is likely to be coast to coast. Thanks.

    • Chris says:

      I don’t have any experience with economy. The food and service is much much much better on Alaska than AA. Alaskan lounges are generally far better than AA ones (assuming you have some status that would get you into one.)

      For transcontinental depending on the flights the hard product is likely better on AA if you are travelling with 2. If you are on a Transcon A423T with lie flat Business or First. If its not an A321T then AA and Alaskan will have anInternational flight Premium economy recliner style seats in /first/, Maybe with a bit more legroom and pleather. Personally i find the recliners on the non transcontinental AA seats on the A321 far too hard. Don’t recall having that issue on alaskan; but its been 18 months since i flew them now.

      I dont use IFE but WiFi on AA has generally been good. My only long alaskan flight it was out of service so cant comment.

      • Richie says:

        I had a very good AS flight from Mexico to LA. It was a new aircraft with a very good choice of extra legroom seats and very pleasant crew. Well worth considering.

    • Lyn says:

      A little of both. I’ve only flown Alaska Airlines, and their subsidiary Horizon, up and down the west coast, including Vancouver and Victoria in Canada, and unfortunately only in coach.

      I personally prefer their customer service and general attitude to American’s and they have some useful direct routes. Their lounges seem reasonable as far as US lounges go. I hope to be able to be able to use them more now that they are part of OneWorld and I don’t have to worry about not earning status points when I choose them instead of AA.

      Alaska miles awards have some unique aspects and have been very useful for several BA and Qantas flights over the years. So I always try to have some Alaska miles on hand, even topping up if necessary from Marriott (I know, blasphemy), and to keep up with the changes in their programme.

      Hopefully someone else can comment on Alaska premium service or their coast to coast flights. I would recommend giving them a try though. The only area where they may not be competitive with AA is a coast to coast operated by AA as part of their 3 class flagship service, but I haven’t tried that either.

    • BJ says:

      Thanks all, very helpful. It sounds like AS is first choice in coach or premium except on AA transcontinental services operated by AA which have flat beds. I would prefer to spend the extra avios for the flat bed on the coast to coast service I think. The problem at the moment is that only Y on AS is available from IAD to SFO on the date I have in mind. Nothing on AA at all from any WAS airport and no availability from DCA on AS. I could get AA premium from PHL but 2h to get there from DC sort of wipes out the benrfit. Still early days so hopefully a better option will turn up. Any lounge access will need to be PP-facilitated unless I can get premium availability. Ideally I’d like to get any of the two airlines out of DCA regardless of class but based on your feedback preference order should be AA flat, AS F/J, AS Y, AA Y. Not sure if they still designate domestic cabins in USA F and Y as opposed to J and Y, and how this designation is reflected in the four tier avios pricing?

      • Jonathan says:

        AA Redemptions price as J/Y now for all domestics except 3 class transcons. It’s the positive bit of the change a couple of years ago when you stopped earning F level TP’s for domestics (used to be able to get BA Gold with a £1000 J return to Hawaii via JFK/LAX).

        Note that you don’t get lounge access with an F domestic ticket in USA unless you also have status.

        • Lyn says:

          Not sure if there is any difference between Alaska and American here. I think I’ve read though that American DO give you lounge access with F if it is their coast to coast (3 class) Flagship service. Tier points may be different as well. It would be worth checking carefully before booking.

          BA silver works with AA and now also Alaska for lounge access though.

          • BJ says:

            Cheers Lyn, I don’t chase status these days as we mostly just fly two longhaul trips per year in J/F with any shorthaul being the most convenient available from EDI. I get feeling the choice in USA may ultimately be made for us by award availability. That’s probably not much from DCA on a weekday.

        • BJ says:

          Thanks Jonathan, that clears up a coupke of points.nit’s years since I last travelled much in USA abd I’ve list tich. Back then it was UA and ANZ for me too, not AA/OW.

  • Definitas says:

    Does anyone have an Octopus energy referral code that they would like to share (Assuming Rob is OK with it)?

  • Mco says:

    Been travelling last few days so haven’t kept up with this thread. Who are people transferring to from Three now? I pay £12 a month for unlimited everything but only ever use 15gb. A similar plan on EE with roaming is £20 a month.

    Better to stay on three and pay the £2 a day roaming then right?

    • Andy D says:

      I reflected on this the other day. Now that free roaming in 70+ countries is gone, I will pick the best performing network for my usual haunts at home, and buy a local esim when travelling. Roaming was never great performance but the price was right. If I’m paying a few quid a day, then I will pay that to a local operator and have higher performance.

      • Lady London says:

        How will you receive calls for free if roaming?

        Like, if someone in the UK dials your number, and you are in, say, Germany.

        Will that mean Three will charge you £2 on any day someone calls you if you’re in the EU? I can’t see a local esim helping you in that situation.

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      Three are still offering Go Roam on contracts until the end of the month. You could lock it in for another two years this month if you wanted.

    • Grant H says:

      I’d suggest looking at o2- I’m paying £20/mo for 100gb, eu roaming and I selected the international travel package (you can choose 1 ‘perk’) that covers the US and Canada (this is very rare) along with a few other world wide destinations 🙂

      • Grant H says:

        Also comes with 6 months Disney if that’s something that interests you, aswell as o2 priority which offers early bird tickets to gig/events, a free weekly sausage roll from greggs and a weekly free hot drink from Nero.

    • ChrisC says:

      so the EE with roaming will cost you an additional 8 * 12 = £ 96 a year extra over your 3 contract.

      @ £2 a day roaming that’s 48 days you’d need to roam before you came out even.

      Have a look at 02. They have a 20 GB plan for £18 a month (12 month contract) which includes Europe roaming.

      Thats £ 72 more than your current plan – or 36 days roaming – before you came out even (not including the other benefits like a free coffee at Nero and a Greggs sausage roll )

      If you travel to the US or farther afield there is a £24 a month contract.

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Just go with Voxi, free EU roaming plus a few extra countries. Unlimited calls, texts and social media as standard. Other data is the only difference between all the plans. Not a contract so you can change at any time

      Refer a friend too, £20 Amazon voucher for each. (I won’t refer as I hate amazon! )

    • Andrew says:

      If you know anyone with PAW or who works for the NHS, or has an employer with an EE contract, you can get 20% off all EE contact themselves or their friends and family.

  • Super Secret Stuff says:

    What’s the form that someone needs to fill in so I can ring amex for them?

  • ChrisC says:

    At some point AMEX will start to drop the retention bonus points on a monthly basis to make sure people really do retain their cards.

    • bafan says:

      Yeah people on here seem to be asking for retention bonuses after a few months which is crazy to me. Kinda like the people who MS too much and ruin it for everyone. Or the people who call companies and ask “is X fare / price a mistake”. You really wonder how some people actually survive in life with so little cop on lol.

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        Yeh im fully against asking directly. I go with the Genuine issue first, then say I’ve been thinking about cancelling the card as its not useful anymore

      • VerdantBacon says:

        I wanted to actually cancel player 2’s Plat as I’d gotten my new one. They offered 35k points and let me know “a great offer” (the £200 dining credit) was coming soon. Convinced me to keep the card but I told them I’m not sure it’s enough for us to keep the card long term and they said no problems at all.

        I assume CS need to maintain a certain level of retention KPIs but eventually Amex will need to adjust this if the retentions keep getting abused

        • ChrisC says:

          I don’t have a problem asking for and receiving offers but cancelling after a few months is taking the proverbial.

          If I was AMEX I’d be offering 2,500 a month plus 20,000 at the end of the year. Still 50k on offer.

        • Andy says:

          It seems random sometimes. I had the plat card for three years until recently. Phones up and wasn’t offered a retention bonus. “Nothing exciting” coming up either so cancelled. Next day, £200 restaurant offer went live! Still better off as saving monthly fee but strange they didn’t let me know..

  • Wheezer says:

    Has anyone used the long stay car park at Gatwick recently? I’m interested in how long it would normally take from parking to get to the terminal. It says buses take 10 to 12 min and leave every 10 to 12 min to it looks like it could take 30 min if you just missed the bus. Also wondering if the service is as regular during Covid times.

  • Andy says:

    How are BA tier points allocated if you have a flight overlapping with the end of the collection year? So the flight departs on the 8th of the month (end of the current year) but arrives on the 9th

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