Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Sunday 26th September

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

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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 (285)

  • NN says:

    Looking to book through Amex FHR for the first time for a group booking 7 months away, but it says I need to pay upfront? On the hotel/resort website I can reserve if I go direct- but will not get the FHR benefits. Was there the option to reserve and pay on arrival through FHR before… My query is whether anyone has any experience of whether this is different if I call them tomorrow during opening hours and make the booking with them? Thanks in advance

    • roberto says:

      Can Emyr help? What’s the hotel?

    • Blair says:

      Call Amex Travel. Pay on arrival has always been an option in my experience. It might be a slightly different price to online though (sometimes lower, sometimes higher)

    • NN says:

      I called online to FHR and they sorted me out! Only had to pay first night & taxes, rest on checkout. Thanks all.

  • Duncan Stevenson-Price says:

    Question on the IHG 3x promo… do those additional points count as elite qualifying? I know bonus points from status don’t, but it wasn’t clear for the ones from this promo. I assume not?

  • davef says:

    @Anna from yesterday’s thread. Applying FTV to BA Hols booking

    Send it to where?

    I’ve just tried replying to both the email address on the FTV and the email address on the BA holidays booking and both bounced back with address not monitored messages.

    • roberto says:

      I used [email protected] for the same.

      • Anna says:

        That was the email address my vouchers came from so the one I replied to.

      • davef says:

        Thanks Roberto, just tried that address and did actually get an auto reply which gives a 14 day window for processing the voucher.

        • AJ says:

          I’m waiting for a sizeable voucher to be applied to my holiday booking where the remaining balance needs to be paid in the next 5 days. I emailed request 4 days ago.

          If the voucher isn’t applied by the time I have to make the full final balance payment, am I right in thinking that BA will actually refund me the value of the voucher? This is what it seems to imply in the info within the email from them.

          If things get tight, would a call assist?

          • ChrisC says:

            Yes if you paid the entire balance BA would refund your voucher amount.

            Have you checked if the amount due had changed in MMB?

            When a voucher gets used it seems that BA Holidays systems adjust the “total price” line rather than showing it as a payment against the total.

            Personally before contacting BA Hols I’d wait until the day before the balance is due before calling / using the chat thread.

    • Aston100 says:

      (as per yesterdays comments) when I replied to the BA voucher email, requesting it to be used on another booking, they replied to say I couldn’t use it on any flight where Avios was used.
      They used the following wording: “The voucher provided is valid for use towards a new British Airways Holidays booking or British Airways flight only booking. Please note: vouchers cannot be used towards a flight only booking when part paid using Avios.”

      This seems to be at odds with other peoples experience.
      I have queried BAs response.

      • Anna says:

        Are you going to do the email equivalent of HUACA? I noticed all my refunds were processed by 2 particular CSAs from BA holidays, so I might have struck lucky that they were answering the emails the week I requested them all. But as discussed yesterday, there is nothing in the Ts and Cs to say what kind of new booking it has to be.

        • Aston100 says:

          Yup, have queried. Hopefully someone else will handle it and apply it.
          Else, will reply again to the voucher email, as if for the first time.

  • ayearinmx says:

    when is the BA status extension going to show up in our accounts? I’m looking at down-grading a business flight to eco as i don’t need the tier points anymore, but i only want to do that when its confirmed in writing…..

  • KBuffett says:

    I’ve never paid attention to Nectar.
    I have 8500 points. Are there any ‘no brainier’ transfers that I should be making?
    Or any other Nectar related activity I should consider?

    • John says:

      £42.50 at ebay or sainsburys, 24 caffe Nero drinks or 5250 avios

    • Toby says:

      I’d get the App and check out the partner offers. There seems to be a steady stream of incentives to transfer to Avios, and also decent bonuses for linking to eBay, argos, train companies etc…

      Also check out, within the app, nectar connect and weekly offers at Sainsbury’s, both can be quite lucrative.

    • mark2 says:

      Probably £85 for Taste the Difference wine in Double Up promotion Novemberish.

      • Tracey says:

        No more double up. They’ve announced it’s cancelled.

        • captaindave says:

          Really ?!?!

          I rely on double up to get my stash of christmas booze 🙁

          @Tracey – where did you see that ?

          • Pete M says:

            No Double Up? That’d be a disaster! 🙁😋

          • Chrism20 says:

            The internal comms I had the other day didn’t specifically say it was cancelled but it wasn’t far off saying it.

    • Rich says:

      It’s worth hanging on to them, if you have no immediate need. There have been a few double-up offers in the last few years, for redeeming at eBay and LNER. (LNER no longer a partner now, sadly.)

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      If u decide to hold on to them, keep them active by spending atleast once at sainsburys every 12 months.

  • Ant says:

    Got a weekend in Milan booked in October, any suggestion for restaurants?
    Looking for one high end dinner and a couple of reasonable price dinners. Aperitivo ideas also appreciated

  • Laura says:

    What a bloody palaver last night trying to use the Marston’s offer.

    No Marston’s in my town, so drive 25 mins to the next town to go to theirs.
    “Sorry, we have a wedding on, we’re serving drinks but not food”.

    Back, in the car, drive 25 mins back, literally past the front door, and head 15 mins the other way to try another pub. Arrive at 20.04.
    “Oh..we stopped serving food at 8pm”.
    Ended up in a Green King with a limited menu due to supply issues and didn’t use the offer.
    Argh!

    • Claire says:

      The vast majority of Marstons near where I live are not in the offer 🙁

      • Laura says:

        There’s some weird ones on the list around here. Some that are proper “locals” pubs that don’t serve food and I would be surprised if they even took card payments!

    • ChrisC says:

      Why didn’t you phone before driving all that way?

      • Laura says:

        That’s far too sensible! (Also, definitely not the kind of pub I’d expect someone to hold a wedding reception in!)

    • Barraclough says:

      A case of sunk cost fallacy perhaps?! (I’m not an economist, more a fellow victim of this tendency!). https://thedecisionlab.com/biases/the-sunk-cost-fallacy/

      • Laura says:

        Oh god, all the time!

        • Anna says:

          I have been guilty of this on occasion. I was extremely annoyed to find 500 MR points which posted late to the Platinum card I’m about to cancel, after I’d moved 24,500 out. I spent about half an hour this morning looking for a book on Amazon for the exact amount the points were worth!

    • Andrew says:

      You drove for over an hour to save £10???!!

      • Laura says:

        We had it on two cards so it was £20, but yes, the joy of living in a small town in the countryside!
        We’ve driven 45 minutes each way before to go out for lunch at a nice pub.
        It gets very boring, very quickly, eating at the same handful places all the time

    • Jody says:

      Oh dear, not good. We’ve booked our local for Monday. It’s on the list, and I’ve already phoned them to check they have a separate fryer for gluten free and confirmed they take Amex!

    • Harry T says:

      Why not just eat and drink at a nice local pub? The wasted time surely isn’t worth £20?

      • Andrew says:

        And wasted petrol at a time when it’s seemingly like gold dust!

      • Laura says:

        All the nice local pubs are probably 15-30 mins drive anyway.

        There’s one nice pub that serves food in town and it would have been packed last night.

  • elt says:

    BA have cancelled our LHR/Tokyo 241 booking out 2/10/21 ( was prev LHR/Seoul route cancelled, then Seoul via KL route cancelled.) Return 28/10/21 is still ok.
    Orig booking made 13/12/20.
    BA said yesterday ticket validity only 1 yr from Dec 20 so I quoted 8 July rule change. BA then agreed but insisted RETURN had to be flown by the 1 year.
    Is this true?
    Altho we want to be away for 4 weeks I asked how they could book us out say 18/9/22 and back 2/10/22 when flights not yet loaded and they agreed they could not yet.
    I asked how long I had to ask for flights to be changed, was told had to be done by 2/10/21, date of outbound flight.
    I am abroad soon and over that date so there is no way I can phone. BA just suggested I get someone to phone for me!
    Help please!
    What do I do?
    Thanks in advance for suggestions

    • ChrisC says:

      Get your travel companion to phone for you?

      You’ll need to give them authorisation to act as a 3rd party on your account but IIRC you can do that online.

      • elt says:

        Thanks – BA did actually suggest this but as I had spent approx 3 hrs per day for a week trying to get through dont think I can ask anyone else to phone for me.

    • AJA says:

      To answer the 1 year rule yes BA is right ie return flight must be within 1 year of outbound.

      • elt says:

        Thanks – but do you mean return date must be within 1 yr of the CANCELLED oubound?
        Or 1 yr within the NEW outbound?

        • DZOO says:

          NEW outbound. There is no deadline by which you need to reschedule by (ie can be done after 2 Oct 2021) but would recommend this is done sooner rather than later as there are conflicting reports whether the 8 Jul rule change still stands

    • Lady London says:

      There is so, so much incorrect from BA here.

      I haven’t a lot of time today so I will hit the highlights.

      No you do *not* have to rebook by date of outgoing flight or any flight on yr booking if BA cancelled any flight.

      As a courtesy and to make it easier later, if the outbpund flight isn’t the one cancelled you would call or Twitter them (keep record) that due their cancellation you now have to replan and so you will call them to sort out your choice of rebook or refund etc. Can call them months after the booking.

      EU261 and its equivalent in UK law say *you* not the airline, can choose a later rebooking “reroute” date convenient to *you*. There is no time limit in the statute that ssys this, which always outranks any rules if BA ir anything they or their systems can’t do. Fact.

      You can also choose to ssy you need to travel as close to your booked time and date as possible and request them to reroute you on another airline. Open and shut you’d be able to claim cost of this off them if they failed to do this after you’d asked.

      Getting these rights may involve CEDR or MCOL (please search this site as it’s covered so much) but open and shut you win and get the small fee back and it’s done online.

      Also under EU261 you can get a full cash refund if you choose. You don’t have to take an FTV or any sort if voucher. If you got low price or sale tickets you’d not take a refund as you’d have to pay full price when rebooking. In that case you’d take ome of the rerouting (reroute) options as these cost you nothing and keep the trip. The only reason to take an FTV is if you paid with 241 voucher as taking an FTV will mean you can still use the FTV to book andv fly omething else including thw 241 being extended, until end September 2023.

      I’d wait till the dates I want are showing available to book for cash (including the return date) and try again to rebook to new dates based on the cancelled flight. With the number of times BA has cancelled you no court in the land is going to find it unreasonable that you, as a normal reasonable person with various constraints like work vacation time, family etc., need to rebook to a complete new year and perhaps could well be over 12 months. But try it the nice way one more time at the right time first.

      • Chris H says:

        Hi Lady Luton,
        I am replying to your reply to this question as you seem to be the person who knows a lot about EU 261 and other rights. I am hoping you can advise me on my options before I phone up and ask for the impossible 🙂 If anyone else knows about options, please reply.
        Swissair have already cancelled our outgoing flights and booked us on an alternative flight out once (originally leaving 20th Oct, changed to 21st Oct – Bangkok via Zurich), and we accepted that change. Now they want to change our return trip too from a 1pm flight to a 00:20 flight over12 hours earlier than the original flight.
        All the info I can find on EU261 talks about delays. What about this one where what they are offering is bringing the flight forward by about 12 hours.
        This will mean leaving a day early which means a total of 2 days holiday lost. (All assuming Thailand comes off of the RED list, and opens up for tourists).
        I don’t want to ask for a refund as we booked on a 2 for 1 offer in business. Can I ask them to re-route us to Pucket at their cost?
        Can I require them to rebook us with another airline to depart at a similar time, again at their cost?
        And if they say no, how should I proceed?
        Thanks for any help. All the info on other websites don’t seem to cover my situation,

        • ChrisC says:

          This is going going to be complex because of the way Switzerland deals with the EU 261 regulation rights and then the problem will be getting LX to give you them.

          This is because whilst Switzerland adopted the original version of EU261 it does not accept ECJ rulings because it’s not in the EU. And things like delay compensation and definitions of “exceptional circumstances” were awarded via ECJ rulings and. It the regulation itself.

          It might be worth you posting on the LX board on flyer talk as they are far more familiar with how the Swiss – as a nation and an airline – deal with the regulation because of their specific legal position.

          • Chris H says:

            Thanks. I will try Flyertalk and see if anyone can help there.

          • ChrisC says:

            were awarded via ECJ rulings and. It the regulation itself.

            SHOULD read “…via ECJ rulings and not by the regulation itself.”

      • elt says:

        Many thanks Lady London, was hoping you would see this as you seem to be v.knowledgeable – and I met you at a Hfp party.
        I will wait until flights loaded for Oct 2022 and try BA again.
        Will ask for flight into Seoul, (pref on Qatar rather than MAS) and back from Tokyo, as per our original booking.
        I never understood when they cancelled Seoul route and rerouted us into Tokyo how they could refuse to pay for the onward flight Tokyo/Seoul and eventually I gave up.
        Will def persist this time and use MCOL if nec.
        ( We lost a club 241 maldives flight which they refused to rebook in jan as ticket had been issued almost a yr before. I took it to Chief exec but they still refused, and I am still cross)

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