Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 15th 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.

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Comments (421)

  • Rich says:

    Earning on IB.

    According to BA TP calculator, MAD-PMI earns 20 TP in J, but BCN-PMI earns 40TP. Is this correct, even though MAD-PMI is longer?

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Probably to do with IB Express Vs IB regular?

      • Sam G says:

        I don’t think there are any flights with IB J out of BCN except to MAD, only Vueling codeshare, so the data is probably wrong. You’d get 40TPs flying BCN-MAD-PMI if you wanted to!

      • Rich says:

        Possibly, although the calculator didn’t distinguish between IB and express.

  • Tazzy says:

    BA have changed my flight times to St Lucia in November (more than 4 hours) and have cancelled my flight to Jamaica in February and booked me on a flight a day earlier. Both are avios bookings. What are my rights re accepting the changes? Thanks

    • FatherOfFour says:

      My Grenada (tag on from St Lucia) cancelled.

    • ChrisC says:

      Full refund for both if that’s what you want or rebook to other alternative dates.

      When BA cancel a flight they auto rebook yo onto the closest flight in case you want to travel. You aren’t forced to accept their suggestion.

      • Tazzy says:

        Is there a timescale that I have to accept this by?

        • Sam G says:

          No. you can just leave it until nearer the time to make your decision

        • Ikaz says:

          As long as your first flight has been cancelled, you can wait until after the original dates. I have cancelled flights for last week still to be rebooked once next year’s flights are on sale. no guarantee that BA keeps its rebooking rules though

  • MisterE says:

    I know that the University Arms in Cambridge is generally well regarded. I had a nice three night stay mid August but have just noticed the Parker’s Tavern Restaurant is currently closed for lunch, although remains open for lunch and dinner. Very disappointing although I guess a sign of staff shortages. Does anyone have any further insights?

  • BJ says:

    BA also cancelled flights to BKK in December, why can they not wait a bit longer? Getting so tired of this!

    • Rachel Robinson says:

      Yes, mine cancelled too. Need to work out what to do with my 241 that expires April 2022.

      • Andrew H says:

        If you book something and cancel you’ll get a FTV which has the FTV in it, valid to 30 Sept 2023

    • MIchael C says:

      Yikes, sorry to hear that, BJ. Will they re-route on QR if you want?

    • BJ says:

      @Rachel FTV I guess unless you can get a CSA to change for something suitable.

      @Michael, we have Japan and Thailand booked for Spring so need to wait until October 22 flights open and see if we can change to then. Failing that it will need to be a FTV as 2-4-1 expires June 22.

    • Andy says:

      Cancellation rather than retiming? mine got moved around 10 hours so got a refund a few weeks ago. But with bangkok opening up in theory i’m surprised they’re nixing xmas flights

    • Sam G says:

      Restarts 9th December looks like. Probably sensible will take a while for demand to ramp up if Bangkok does open soonish as currently expected

      • HBommie says:

        Bangkok opening in Dec?

        Where do I sign, been gagging for a break on the river for months.

      • BJ says:

        Thanks Sam, we were on the 4th. Now I’ll need to have a think as the March trip was fallback if this one was cancelled. Thoughts at the moment is now to pin hopes on March (which is one of tgevchangedb50% off bookings) and try to changed cancelled December flight to 10/22.

    • Lady London says:

      Oh dear BJ.
      If Thailand is open by then you might have to fly on another luxurious airline and claim original routing credit.

      • BJ says:

        @Lady London, I do not wish to fly any of those airlines that are hosted, financed etc by countries that fall short of my expectations on equality. The relationship between one and another airline we are flying is already bad enough. I would not say I will never fly any of them but they are bottom of the list for me. Sadly the reach of their capital is such that supporting them in one way or another is difficult to avoid.

    • Yorkieflyer says:

      Looks like 9December first flight date

      • BJ says:

        Yes, Sam posted that. Five days after our flight. Normally we would not go that early but when we booked it this time we allowed an extra two weeks for possible quarantine.

  • Tom H says:

    Hi all, I m staying at the Kimpton in Paris at the end of the month, other than the roof terrace at the hotel, any other suggestions for nearby restaurants for dinner, not to fussed about the budget.

    • Reney says:

      the Bistro down the road was yummy. Apparently there is a M.star restaurant near by too, no idea of the name.

  • Cat says:

    Reply to my post yesterday (suspected nobody would see if I replied to page 7 of yesterday’s comments section!) – AJA, Nectar Collector, the link worked on my Android phone! Oddly I couldn’t do it via the BA website on my laptop, but when I followed the same link on my phone as AJA suggested, I didn’t get the “Bad request” error message anymore, and the unlink button was there!

    Just for future reference – if anyone gets a new Nectar card number, try going to https://exchange.shopping.ba.com/partner/nectar on your phone, rather than a laptop. No idea why this works! My new Nectar card is linked, and I’ve converted points to Avios.

    Thanks so much for the help! This has been really annoying me!

    Also, thanks so much to Lady London, Polly, Meta, Anna, Chas and Peter K for the lovely messages. That was really very sweet!

    Meta – I’ve been distracting myself all summer with Cornish beaches instead (hiking the SW Coast Path, I’ve now done 400 miles of it), and I’m daydreaming of Indonesian beaches, as that’s my plan for next summer (🤞) – via Cathay Pacific and JAL in first!

    Polly – how was France? Were things generally open and normal? Half term will be swimming in lakes and under waterfalls in the Lake District (don’t worry – I’ll wear a wetsuit! 6 weeks swimming off Cornish beaches has made me pretty cold hardened, but I have my limits!).

    Chas – I’m coping alright with it so far. I decided immediately not to change my behaviour (except keeping my phone in my bag while walking down the street, or in alleyways), and have taken the same route to and from school since. It has meant that there’s nothing I’ve been avoiding doing to build up and stress over in my head.

    Thanks all, I feel like I’ve been thoroughly welcomed back!

    X

    • Nectar Collector says:

      So glad you were able to sort this without another protracted phone call, and as you say a good lesson for others who might need to cancel a nectar card that’s already linked to BAEC

      • Cat says:

        Yes, one eye-gougingly tedious phone call was more than enough, trust me!

        Thanks so much to you and AJA!

        Trying to find the time when I have a long enough stretch with no lessons / after school classes / meetings, to phone Nectar or BA, sit on hold, then try to explain the problem and find someone who can help, without the next class turning up, expecting to be taught by a teacher who’s not on the phone (necessitating hanging up) can be somewhat problematic!

        So pleased this is all sorted!

        • AJA says:

          Cat I am so happy I was able to help you solve this problem. It’s good to know how to resolve it should anyone else have a similar issue. I am sure people lose nectar cards all the time. Or sadly suffer fraud and need a new card number (as happened to me several years ago). To be fair to Nectar they resolved my fraud issue and restored the nearly 20,000 points stolen from me without quibble.

          I think that we should go back to BA and Nectar and train them on how to solve the problem. They should pay us too for consultancy services in providing the solution to a problem they should have envisaged before now.

          Thank you for coming back and letting us know all is OK in the end.

          As for what happened to you on the street I hope that it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And that in future you only have other much more pleasant happy experiences. 😀

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      “(hiking the SW Coast Path, I’ve now done 400 miles of it)”

      Sounds fantastic!
      On the slim chance you haven’t read it already, this is a great and very funny book about walking the SWCP (despite the mysterious missing artwork…) – hopefully I’ve got the HfP-funding link to work:
      https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00NHIR0B4/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i08&linkCode=ur2&tag=heaforpoi-21

      • Cat says:

        I haven’t, actually! It’s referenced a fair bit in the Salt Path, which I’ve been reading (at the insistence of lots of people). I’ll have to look it up over half term!

        One thing I will say (for any hiking fans that are still looking for backup staycations) – the SWCP is just *stunning*. Every time I think “that’s it, I’ve hiked the best bit, with the most stunning views”, I’m proved wrong yet again within 48 hours. It’s a glorious hike.

        Except for the bit through Plymouth – that bit’s sh!te.

        How have you been Savage Squirrel? Are you braving travel again?

    • BJ says:

      Seems like I missed something bad but trust you are well @Cat.

      Regards the Nectar links, I found it usually works best if you have the relevant BA page open and logged in within browser while using the Nectar app.

      • Cat says:

        Hey BJ!

        TLDR: I got mugged, and had all sorts of new Nectar card number / old BA account number problems unlinking old Nectar and linking my new one (plus no longer walking down the street reading / commenting on HfP on my phone has really cut down on my ability to keep up with the ever-expanding chat thread!)

        I’m genuinely fine, it was last June, and was a complete PIA, but I’ve lived in London for 2 decades now, and TBH I’m amazed that it’s taken this long for that particular London experience to occur. I’m now the cautionary tale at school – why you don’t walk down the road engrossed in your phone.

        How have you been? Are you back to travelling yet? Any new bothy recommendations?

        • Cat says:

          I’ve just read the comments above, so sorry your Thailand plans are going pear-shaped. Its rubbish after being stuck here for so long.

          If you’d rather avoid partner airlines (BTW, I may be being daft here, but is JAL a problem too?) could you change destination? I know it sucks, but are there any other possible destinations that could work? What airlines would you be happy flying?

    • meta says:

      @Cat Wow! Need to do Cornwall soon and Indonesia sounds glorious. 🤞

  • Duncan Stevenson-Price says:

    Another weird hotel question… Intercontinental Vienna… any thoughts? It’s listed in FHR, but I’ve also got Ambassador. Do those benefits stack?

    • Anna says:

      We were supposed to stay there earlier this year but of course it was cancelled! I don’t think it the best-kept property from what I’ve heard, however they did upgrade us (Spire/Ambassador) to a 1 bed suite with lounge access just after we booked!

      • Duncan Stevenson-Price says:

        Nice upgrade! What room did you book for that upgrade? The guaranteed upgrades are really tough to work out when there’s no official list of all room grades.

        Shame you couldn’t go though. We’re looking at November and I’m keeping everything crossed that we can make it!

        • Anna says:

          It’s come back to me now – I booked the cheapest junior suite for 3 of us (which didn’t come with lounge access); I contacted them in advance and they told me to book that one and they would upgrade me to the 1 bed with lounge access. I was gutted that we had to cancel – easyJet has now pulled the route entirely as well. Limited direct options from the north.

        • Anna says:

          If you can go late November the Xmas markets are fabulous.

    • Phil W says:

      My experience is that Ambassador, Spire, and FHR can stack. I’ve received double upgrades (AMB + FHR), AMB F&B credit, FHR F&B credit, Spire Free drinks voucher and breakfast at a few ICs. Though I’ve never been to the Vienna property.

    • Rob says:

      Ugly building, convenient for airport train, short walk into old town. Bit bland.

      • Duncan says:

        That’s unfortunate. The location appealed to me, as did the idea of using the Ambassador benefits (purchased for a different trip). I suppose the benefit of staying at the Intercontinental is none of the views from the hotel will have the hotel in them.

    • Blair says:

      I recently told a Vienna native I had IC Vienna booked and they visibly grimaced and advised me to cancel. Having said that, they are also a snob.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        It’s pretty ugly.

        Some good Marriott properties in Vienna inc the Imperial (must be fully refurbished by now) and Bristol all pretty good value on points.

      • Rob says:

        It’s just …. like any other big IC in the world. Totally fine but lacking in flair.

  • Degsy says:

    Anyone else still using WeSwap (don’t really see much talk about it on here, so assume I’m in a minority)
    It has just semi re-invented (well refreshed) itself as WeSwap2.0…. Not that much difference as far as I can tell, although the forex rates it now uses seem less competitive than before, with no option for a longer swap date in return for a more favourable rate

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