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.

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.

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 (516)

  • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

    Another question for the HfP brains trust – recommendations for activities / eateries in Biarritz and Hossegor please. Staying for 2 nights each at the Sofitel Le Miramar Thalassa Spa in Biarritz and at the Baya Hotel Cap Breton for Hossegor – ta 😎🙏

  • George K says:

    Heathrow car drop-off charge delayed to November. Is this a classic story of a job that’s not ready but was originally subcontracted for a ton of money and shown to be on schedule till a week before going live?

  • YH says:

    Has ANA cancelled the FRA-HND route? Trying to book a flight for next summer and can’t see it anymore.

  • r* says:

    Theres no quarantine or preflight/arrival testing required for fully vaccinated arrivals in poland from the uk is there?

    Theres lots of scenarios listed on the uk and pl sites and thats what it sounds like, but has anyone travelled there recently that can confirm?

    • APPL says:

      No, no testing required. If you’re fully vaccinated, there’s no quarantine. Need to fill Polish PLF, but it doesn’t have to be online, and they usually had paper versions onboard for my recent 3 flights to Poland(Wizz, Ryanair, BA). My last flight was mid August, but friends travelled more recently, and it still seems to be the same.

      • PerkyPat says:

        Flew out there beginning of this month, no tests needed, just PLF. All very smooth at the Polish end(and UK as well, even with Ryanair).

  • Oliver says:

    I recently discovered that BA no longer pays for lounge access at OTP (and many others across Europe, it seems).

    Any first-hand experiences of whether I can expect some goodwill Avios if I put in a complaint?

    • Pete M says:

      No chance – I complain about twice a month about this and the replies usually make me even angrier than the lack of lounges itself.

      • Pete M says:

        (But please do complain, as the more complaints, the more likely they’ll do something about it!)

    • AJA says:

      Good luck with that. But definitely complain. Especially if you are travelling CE as that lounge an integral part of the fare and the service differential over choosing economy.

    • Ka says:

      I think the days are over where complaining you only got 3 meatballs instead of 4 or that the contrast on your telly wasn’t right would automatically get you 5000 complimentary Avios.

      I’d quote the Club Europe marketing to them about expecting it to be a premium experience,how it was planned to be a special occasion and how disappointed you are, etc (unless you were on a £200 return tier run).

      I’m not a consumer lawyer but I’d imagine BA’s t+c’s would cover any legal obligation but following the HfP mantra, if you don’t ask you don’t get.

    • Char Char says:

      Seeing as CE is meant to include lounge access, choosing to not pay the provider anymore saves BA money but the consumer misses out, something not right there are many levels!

      I’d choose economy and pay for the lounge if needed.

  • Rich says:

    Just noticed in Cafe Nero app (quite useful – heavy in the promotions, and you can store your Amex to pay with)

    Buy two coffee vouchers for £3 with Pay by Bank app. Exclusively for HSBC and Barclays customers. Enjoy a free drink or give it to a friend! Max 10 purchases per customer. See Help Centre for full T&Cs

    • Rich says:

      Just done. Very quick. Can use on any hot or iced drink, voucher valid 90 days.

      Reasonable value even if you use it for 2x £1.90 espressos, Even better if you are into giant creamy ice milkshake things.

      No credit card points, obviously, but who cares at this discount.

  • Matthew says:

    Just a heads up incase you have the same issue. Apparently from 4 Oct, passports that have > 10yr expiry (i.e. issued before renewal date) like my wife’s who has almost 10yrs 9 months validity, may not be able to travel to Europe if you are in the extended period of validity. My wife’s passport actually has 8 months left of validity but in the eyes of ‘Greece’ in our example, it is no longer valid as it’s >10yrs since issue. So rapid passport application renewal required before half term….

    • Simon says:

      been like this for a while. there is a handy checker on .gov site that tells you if your passport is valid for any EU country you pick…..

    • Andrew H says:

      That’s the same for ALL EU (and EEA?) countries.

      It’s not new, just the government has kept this benefit of Brexit surprisingly quiet

      Some EU countries want 3 months left, some 6 months on the date you plan to LEAVE. You can be asked for proof of your arranged departure when entering.

      These are the rules for non EU nationals

      • Anna says:

        They haven’t kept it quiet at all, there have been several public information campaigns and widespread media coverage. All passport holders who might be affected by it were being contacted as early as 2019 (I know because I was one of them).

        • Matthew says:

          My wife wasn’t contacted and to be fair I wasn’t aware of the potential problem until today.

          • John says:

            Not sure how you expected her to be contacted. Your passport details are not linked to any address. Furthermore it’s a decision by other countries, should Germany ask the UK for all issued passports which might be affected and then attempt to get their details?

            UK gov have done the best they can which is to publish notices in the news and on the gov website and the media makes a big deal of this once in a while.

          • Anna says:

            John, of course they are, you have to give your address when you apply/renew, and it’s usually delivered to your home unless you make other arrangements. But in any case, I got text notifications from the Passport Office mid-2019 before the Brexit extension was implemented. I then renewed my passport early for a Christmas trip and didn’t actually need to. Then didn’t use it after that for 18 months because of the pandemic! But there was plenty of information out there.

          • Matthew says:

            Either way – I’m not complaining. Just highlighting incase it catches anyone else out. We are going away in 3 weeks so it would have been a disaster. £177 lighter and my wife is off to the passport office next week!

      • AJA says:

        The thing is although this issue is caused by Brexit the UK was an exception in allowing us to renew passports significantly before the expiry and allowing the unexpired validity of the existing passport to be added on to the new one. Most other countries just give 10 years validity from the date the new passport is issued meaning you just lose the unexpired validity.

        • Rui N. says:

          Yeah, in a lot of countries passports in practice have a 4.5 year validity max, as they only have 5 years to begin with, and then many countries ask for a minimum of 6 month validity when enter said countries.

      • mark2 says:

        Isn’t that like non EU countries?

        • Anna says:

          No, there are plenty of non-EU countries which only require the passport to be valid for the duration of your stay (though it’s always wise to have a bit of leeway in case your departure is delayed).

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