Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 28th 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 (516)

  • ash says:

    I have a 15k stamp duty bill to pay, I understand you can pay it using curve, any idea if you can pay it in two transactions e.g £4k beardy & £11k elsewhere. Also can you Bay with just the basic curvecard?

    • Stephen says:

      Usually can split HMRC payments

      Need Curve Metal to avoid the fronted fee

      Be careful that it doesn’t count as a cash advance

  • Michael says:

    Looking for any advice for New York and travelling with a baby.

    We’re spending Christmas in New York with our baby, who will be just over one when we fly. My wife and I have been to the NYC several times but this will be our first flight and trip abroad with the baby, so likely to be a whole new experience for us!

    We’re booked in Club World there and back so I’ve made suitable seating choices but the biggest question I have is over hotels. We’ve often splurged on Amex FHR hotels but now thinking space and amenities are probably more important. Does anyone have any recommendations for airport transfers (inc. child seat), hotels etc. that cater well to babies etc.? Preferably we’d still prefer to be in a nicer hotel so suggestions on which standard rooms etc. have a decent layout. One option I’m looking at is the Conrad Midtown as it’s all-suite and can also part-fund with points. The other thing is late checkout so presumably an Amex FHR hotel is the only option for guaranteed late check out?

    Thanks in advance

    • meta says:

      Regarding late checkout? Do you have any higher tier status? Marriott Platinum and above has guaranteed late-checkout till 4pm and purchasing IHG Ambassador gets you better chances of late checkout. Failing that, you could always pay for the extra night or contact hotel to see how much late checkout would cost. Most hotels offer this for additional fee and then you can guarantee it at the time of booking.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      Hotels that cater well to babies? They don’t require much catering, especially if Mum is “carrying” the preferred menu option 😀 . Don’t worry too much about this. Every even half decent hotel will cater to a baby no problem. Most will have a brief mention on their website, but either way, just Email them prior to arrival and they will put a crib/cot in your room no problem, and any other reasonable requests too. The concierge can often rent (or provide FOC if they’re posh enough) a “stroller” for you and even have it waiting in your room when you arrive.
      In Club World you might have space for a lightweight car-seat/pushchair combo in luggage but not sure I’d bother. You are allowed to use a yellow cab without a car seat, or you can book a private transfer or UberFamily with one. Or you can check out a service like this if you’re particular about safety and features:

    • BP says:

      Most airlines allow 2 free baby items to be checked like a car seat and a stroller. You can take the stroller to the plane and gate check it but it will likely come off the luggage carousel at the other side. Pack the car seat in a box and you can add some stuff to it 😉

      When I took my 7 month old to Thailand we ended up with 120kg of luggage for 2 adults and a baby as we took everything we might need! We did go for 7 weeks so needed a lot of stuff! Baby had stopped mothers milk at that point so we had 11 tubs of Aptamil, 24 bottles of aptamil, a tommee tippee machine, a steriliser…

    • Michael C says:

      Always found NYC incredibly easy with the little one!
      We used a YoYo stroller, which folds down to carry-on luggage size, meaning baby can rest/your arms are free during the walk and (sometimes) lengthy wait at immigration.
      You’re totally right about space being key. Not on a Conrad level, but the Residence Inn Times Square a) is not in T Sq but rather a couple of minutes from lovely Bryant Park, and b) has fridge/table/microwave for helping with food needs.
      Sure it will be fabulous!

  • ConfusedofGlos says:

    I feel like this is a basic question that has been asked before, so apologies if I haven’t spotted a reply elsewhere.

    With the “additional” BA AmEx 2-4-1 seat availability, are any of the search tools able to pick up these seats availability v. standard Avios availability. If so, where should I look please?

    • Pete M says:

      I think you need the new style voucher in your account and search “with the voucher” so to speak? Rob wrote an article about it a few weeks ago.

    • Rhys says:

      No, they don’t have the data unfortunately.

    • Anna says:

      From what I’ve seen so far you need to start the booking using your voucher then if there are extra seats available a message pops up at the top of the page confirming this. I have done a few tests so far and only NYC has come up as having the extra availability.

  • Phil says:

    My wife and I are returning to the UK on Friday 1st October and I am yet to order our Day 2 PCR tests.

    Can anybody recommend reliable post to home Day 2 tests for <£50 per person.


  • Marina says:

    I have reward flights booked next June for myself & a group of friends. We were due to fly out LGW & return LCY – I presume I will be offered LHR flights for the same day as the original LGW flights (which is fine) or will I need to contact BA ? Any idea when they may start sending e mails regarding the flight changes ? I know it’s a while off but need to change airport parking & hotel bookings already booked at Gatwick & just want to get organised.

  • Sunny says:

    Posted late last night so trying again.

    What is BA’s change policy for tickets booked with 241 vouchers, where the outbound has been flown? Am I still able to change my ticket without any penalty?

  • HBommie says:

    Santorini wont be any good weatherwise in the middle of October will it?

    • Rhys says:

      I was there early November last year and it was lovely (and very quiet!). It’s cooler but still managed to spend a couple of hours at the beach around midday. It does get windier though.

      • HBommie says:

        Thanks Rhys, I’m thinking that it’ll be nice to go on a few walks with it being cooler but also have the benefit of warm afternoons for pool/beach. The rates are much more reasonable as well.

        • EvilDoctorK says:

          +1 to Ryhs’ advice … was there in late October and it is very pleasant indeed in the sunshine … Days are shorter and evenings are cooler .. and if you get a windy day ( not infrequent) it can be a bit chilly if you’re not sheltered .. but you can reasonably hope for nice weather for sure !

        • Rhys says:

          There’s a beautiful clifftop walk from Imerovigli to Oia, highly recommend.

          • HBommie says:

            I’ve walked the short bit from Fira to ‘vicar of dibbly’ but not all of the way to Oia, thats the plan if we get there.
            Thanks EDK, think I’ll take a cardi.

  • Ming the Merciless says:

    Morning Re Octopus energy. Anyone topped their account up above £5k?

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