Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 5th October

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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 (602)

  • Thywillbedone says:

    HSBC Premier offering £10 back on £2,000 Mastercard spend in November …the marketing genius who thought that might promote spend deserves the most sarcastic of slow hand claps …

    • meta says:

      Yes, just got it. The moment I read £2k I pressed delete!

    • Harry T says:

      Where did you see this though?

    • JDB says:

      Arrived at the same time as the opportunity to win a year’s supply of Pip & Nut butter; not sure which offer is more attractive.

    • Rich says:

      Funny how £10 for £2000 doesn’t sound like much, but

      ‘Increase from 1 to 1.5 Avios per £’ (albeit with a cap) appeals.

      • Peter K says:

        That’s because you don’t *have* to spend £2k to get the bonus.

        • Ed says:

          Also for someone who qualifies for hsbc premier £10 isn’t going to be particularly exciting

    • Harry T says:

      Is this offer for the debit card or the World Elite Credit Card?

      I don’t know why I never get their marketing emails. Anyone have some insight?

      • Thywillbedone says:

        I have the World Elite Credit Card although the email with the ‘promotion’ only mentions HSBC Premier and Mastercard.

      • Froggee says:

        Ta & Cs say you need to click on link in email.

  • Hanif says:

    Can the Lloyds Avios voucher be used to book an upgraded Avois ticket for someone else ( not the voucher holder)? Thanks

  • Bearing up says:

    Hi, Need some help here please.
    Trying to register my day 2 randox test. Won’t let me past the point where it suggests you can press next to move beyond the test to release or day2/day8 schemes.
    I’ve been waiting for customer support for the last 20 mins and patience running thin.
    Am I doing something obviously wrong? Why is it preselecting that I wish to participate in the above schemes when I haven’t chosen them and didn’t apply for them?

    • Cambridge Dad says:

      Try a different browser and start again. Ie if you are on Chrome, switch to Opera/ Edge/ Mozilla etc – you’ll get a fresh start each time. They are all free to install which takes a minute or so each. no problem with our Randox registrations last week (Opera).

      • Bearing up says:

        Thanks CD, cracked it. Phone answered after 30 mins-turns out my interpretation of their day2/day8 guidance was mistaken. It should be read as either day2 or day8 not combined. Why it didn’t just state ‘and/or’ I’ve no idea-but that’s my fault!🤷‍♂️
        Thx anyway. The trip was well worth it anyway.

  • Super Secret Stuff says:

    A380 article / head for points just got mentioned on the DJsAviation Chanel

  • James says:

    I have a bit of a situation… I have two virgin credit card vouchers and I would like to use them for the four us to fly to LAX using only 60k miles (instead of 120k) and also pay taxes for all of us. I was told that I can only use 1 voucher which obviously breaks my plan into pieces :/
    Is this the case or I can use both of them?

    • Rob M says:

      There isn’t anything in the Ts and Cs which says you can’t – which I’m aware of? Maybe try again and hope for better luck with the agent? I want to do something similar in the future as well! It is something you can do routinely with 2x BA vouchers.

      • James says:

        Well, exactly. @Rob what is your understanding?
        Both vouchers are under my name and I want to use them for the 4 us paying just taxes and 60k miles instead of 120k (for a return LHR-LAX) Should be doable?

    • Gary says:

      Try another CSA, should not be an issue. Booked four seats in UC in Mar 21, and VS took the points for one passenger and debited 3 vouchers (which were all in the same name).

      • Jonathan says:

        So you got a 4-4-1?! That’s deal of the century & definitely a generous agent rather than policy. It does highlight the fact that the vouchers are applied in a very manual way so definitely worth HUACA as there have been plenty of reports on here of “bank error in your favour”.

  • BJ says:

    Only ever flew from UK directly into New York twice. Once to JFK and one to EWR. So long ago I cannot even recall the flights. Need to book with BA to use voucher: any obvious reasons to prefer one airport or the other for arrivals? We will be staying in Midtown. Do the flight from LHR into EWR fly over the city affording worthwhile views?

    • Mattb says:

      As a couple travelling fairly light EWR was extremely convenient and quick into Manhatten. We were staying at the Innside Melia so only a few mins walk from Penn St.

    • Sam G says:

      EWR arrivals should be smoother and it’s a very speedy journey into town through the Lincoln tunnel & you get some nice views from the car (no idea from the plane!)

      The negative is potentially it’ll be a 787 & JFK is almost guaranteed CS these days. But old CW is quite sociable as a couple so perhaps EWR in and JFK out

    • Andrew H says:

      Reserve seats as near as the door that you can. Immigration can be a pig so quickest out is best. Egates last time were much better than the old system but you still have to see an immigration officer for fingerprints etc… This was JFK.

    • BJ says:

      Thanks all, it’ll be a Sunday which might hopefully make both transport and Immigration a little bit easier. Cannot try both as return will be from LAX so a380 but no CS.

  • Andy says:

    What are the club Europe meals in a edi to LHr flight like? Am a veggie so should I preorder?

    • John says:

      Don’t book CE for the food. Catering pics on flyertalk

      • Andy says:

        Yeah I didn’t intend to but got loads of points to burn and no availability in economy for the flight I wanted.

        Had forgotten initially food was included so just wondered if it was worth it

        • Cats are best says:

          As above, check flyertalk for current food offer, looks like it’s been slowly improving compared to a few months ago.

          Or, stoke up in the lounge, then you can concentrate on enjoying the in-flight bubbly.

  • Ollie says:

    I had a very bad checkin experience with BA recently threatening to deny checkin at LHR to DXB unless we had PRINTED copies of PCR tests. Had digital PDF from eurofins which met all the requirements from the UAE gov, but unfortunately the check in agent’s iPad said it needed to be printed (looked like internal BA guidance). I showed him Sherpa and the BA website which links to FCO which links to UAE gov, which linked to the Emirates airline website with the full info but that was not accepted as official advice as it was from another airline (albeit owned by, and referred to as official from, the official UAE gov).
    We were directed to Lost Luggage to pay £10 for printing the requisite 3 pages. After 45 mins of wasted time we were allowed to check in. Upon arrival in DXB I made sure to only use the digital certificates and of course, they were accepted.
    I have raised a complaint with BA but have only been met with copy paste responses that the guidelines are always changing and it’s the passenger’s responsibility to check with the official sources. Well that’s what I did, and it explicitly says printed is fine. There’s no way I could have known BA have a secret
    Internal rulebook used to extort passengers at checkin and invent rules they fancy.
    I did try to escalate the matter at checkin and he checked on the phone, but was met with the same stubborn refusal. I didn’t want to push the matter further at that point as the Eurofins cert said contained something (in their error) which could have been grounds to refuse it so I didn’t want to attract further scrutiny.
    What should I do at this point? I do want a meaningful response and compensation from BA as it wasted a lot of time at the airport and with 3 upcoming Club World trips with them, I don’t think I can trust them to apply the official advice correctly, so can’t really “travel with confidence”. They shouldn’t be able to get away with insisting on following the official rules (which I agree with) but then misinterpreting or inventing their own without notice.
    I’m also raising the certificate issue with Eurofins as I feel that prevented me from sorting the situation there and then, and their support has been terrible.

    • Anna says:

      There doesn’t seem to be any mechanism to complain about individual BA staff. I was £100 out of pocket because of a refusal from You First to adjust the taxes on a return leg I wanted to book (longish story). All I got was the usual cut and paste response and they ignored my next email completely. You’d have to go to MCOL or CEDR and it’s not worth it for £20.
      I recouped my losses by other means which I am not writing about …

      • Ollie says:

        I would have gone to CEDR to make a point but I now think I can recoup my losses through a dispute with Eurofins – basically I did an in person test with them, administered by a professional, and yet the cert said Home Testing which isn’t allowed. They assured me this wouldn’t be the case when I booked so that’s a straight fail and grounds for dispute I think.

      • Harry T says:

        Lol Anna, spill the beans!

    • Cambridge Dad says:

      They clearly won’t give you your £10 back for the reason you state, despite you no doubt being correct and out of pocket due to somebody’s incompetence. Don’t waste your time pursuing this exact matter.

      You can’t realistically expect to get more than your £10 back.

      So devise a method to get £10 or more back from BA. Perhaps in points compensation for a seat that didn’t recline properly or the food was cold/ the service rude & shoddy.

      It’s called levelling up.

    • Richie says:

      BA don’t care.

      • meta says:

        For a different perspective – in covid times always carry a printed copy too. You never know when you’ll get a border official or check-in agent on a power trip. I had it once this summer (not BA, but TAP) and she was quickly put down to earth by me producing printed copies. It’s back to old days with a folder in hand until things return to normal.

        But if I was really brave, I would have not gone and printed and let them deny boarding wrongfully and then wack them with compo, new tickets and associated costs. I am afraid that’s the only thing that will make them change their behaviour.

        • John says:

          Well that depends on being happy to delay your trip

        • Cambridge Dad says:

          Agreed. Had a sheaf of papers last week. We went through check-in desk even though we just had small backpacks (I travel light) & could have avoided. Merit being, we got a bit of paper saying no need to go through docs another time at the gate. Plus had loads of time BEFORE the gate queue. Worth doing, there were all sorts of anguished noises as people tried to pull up docs on mobiles (at gate). PLF, pre-travel antigen proof, boarding pass, Day 2 PCR, passport etc.

        • Lady London says:

          Speaking of power trips I was once given a really hard time by a checkin agent in Zurich as to why, as a resident of the UK, I was choosing to travel departing from Switzerland to Australia. She was trying to deny me boarding and that was the entire reason!

          After I got over my shock at this comment I said quite truthfully that I was a frequent visitor to Switzerland, I had just taken a short holiday in Switzerland and elsewhere, and it was convenient to leave from Switzerland and btw it was also cheaper. I got a 15 minute grilling including after I asked her to call her supervisor who supported her employee by asking me the same questions and ended up making a great show of officially giving me permission to board my flight.

          I very nearly decided never to bother visiting Switzerland again. Could they have been trying to offload passengers from an overbooked SQ flight?

    • Lady London says:

      So…was checkin’s friend the one that owned the Lost Luggage counter? That would have been my first thought

    • Jord says:

      I had the same thing to DXB, they insisted it had to be printed i tried to show them that wasn’t a requirement from UAE but they didn’t listen. Anyway, they said i could print it in the lounge and they would re check at the gate (they never did). However, the printer in the business lounge was broken (shock) so they let me use the one in the first class lounge and the agent said i could stay in there for the inconvenience (small wins).

    • Tarmohamed says:

      Ollie, I forwarded your comment to a CSM at BA at LHR, you should hear from him via comments/through Rob

      • Ollie says:

        That’s very kind of you, thank you! I would be interested to know whether I was just unlucky this time with a rogue check-in agent or what BA suggests I should have done. I can’t wait to travel more so I hope BA can sort out these kind of inconsistencies for future trips.

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