Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Sunday 17th October

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

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Comments (334)

  • Harry T says:

    Was quite surprised to see on my folio today that spend ages Berner’s Tavern is not eligible for Marriott Bonvoy points, even though you can charge it to your room. Has anyone else found any other cheeky non eligible hotel restaurants at MB hotels?

    • Harry T says:


      • OP says:

        Just seems a bit crooked to me, even if you otherwise like the hotel. I would contest this, as I have no idea which get out clause they would use on that one.

  • Rma says:

    Harry T. Thanks for your help re e vouchers. Good to know it’s actually worked for someone.

  • SSR BAQ says:

    If I book a BA Holiday and just pay an initial deposit. For subsequent payments can you pay on credit card (AMEX) or are you restricted?

    • Harry T says:

      You can use Amex to make any payments to BA, including paying the deposit or balance of a BA Holidays booking.

    • ChrisC says:

      You can use any payment card you like

  • VerdantBacon says:

    Has anyone been to Switzerland recently? Do restaurants and venues ask for EU vaccine certificates? Will they accept NHS certificates?

    • tom1 says:

      All restaurants now asking for vaccine certs since for about a month now – can still sit outside without but getting cold now.
      I got my NHS cert converted to Swiss, and I know you can apply as a tourist but it was taking 10+ days recently. Before, my NHS cert wasn’t accepted because Switzerland wasn’t accepting AZ – not sure if that has changed now, sorry.

      • VerdantBacon says:

        Thanks Tom, very helpful, seems we may have left it a touch late if it’s taking that long but will apply anyway and cross our fingers!

    • John says:

      Until 24 October NHS certificate on its own is accepted. After that you will need to get a Swiss one from one of the cantons you are visiting, which you will do online in advance. I believe it will cost 30 francs and may take a few days

    • fivebobbill says:

      I’m just back from Geneva on Tuesday, and everywhere from McDonalds to the finest restaurant is asking for proof of Covid double vax. I had downloaded the French version prior to my trip and uploaded my UK QR codes into that, but to no avail, red light on every scan.
      That said, I was never refused entry after some discussion, ranging from a quick chat and explanation to the person scanning the pass, to having them fetch the manager and explaining the same to them.
      The short answer is NO, UK covid certs are not officially accepted, but once you get talking to someone with a bit of sense and/or clout you do eventually get in.
      Although after 24th October as said above, who knows.

      • VerdantBacon says:

        Thanks fivebobbill, good to know what it’s currently like, we’re flying into Geneva on Friday and had scanned the NHS cert on the French app as well in preparation, useful to know it doesn’t work anyway

        • tom1 says:

          yes, agree with FBB – until I had my Swiss one, I had the same experience. Had to explain a few times, but never turned away.

          • VerdantBacon says:

            Thanks both, reassuring to know we at least won’t get turned away. Did either of you have any problems getting checking into the hotel? Do they also want to see an EU cert?

          • tom1 says:

            I didn’t need to show at the hotel – only bars and restaurants. Although when I checked in to the hotel was some time ago, before it was mandatory. But I can’t imagine hotels will operate any differently – sure will be ok.

            Where are you going?

          • fivebobbill says:

            My hotel actually DID ask me for my Covid cert/vax proof, and I showed them my code in the French one which seemed to be ok for them.
            Just to add, when I said before that on scanning the French app a red light showed, whilst this is true every time, their scanner still showed my name and vax details, it was when accompanied by that red light which brought the confusion, hence the need to speak to a superior sometimes.
            So sill use your French app if you have it.

  • Aston100 says:

    OK, so £2.5k pp in F LHR/SIN in summer (school holidays) next year.
    Sounds cheap to me. Only 2 seats left at this price on my preferred dates.
    Currently on a 787.

    Will use this as a springboard to go elsewhere in the region via an LCC most probably.
    BTW, BA can get me to DPS Bali for £2.7k pp (F to HKG, J to DPS with a 17 hour overnight stopover) but the Youfirst lady was not confident I’d get a reroute if HKG don’t allow tourists to transit or stopover by then, and that is too risky for me.

    Can anyone please give me some good reasons not to book a return to SIN in F at £2.5k pp please? Otherwise I may pull the trigger later tonight or tomorrow.


    • Anna says:

      It does sound a good price but I’m still not booking anything non-refundable yet unless I’m prepared to lose the money. Is BWC still running?

    • Louise K says:

      Can you tie in with a hotel for even a night and make it a BAH?

    • Harry T says:

      Make it a BA holiday by including a single night at a cheap airport hotel or a day of car hire. Then you’re only on the hook for the deposit. I think you could also voucher the deposit under BWC.

      Btw I approve of your balling in First.

      • Aston100 says:

        Wow, I added a hotel for a week and the overall price went down to £2.4k pp including the hotel stay (now playing with length of hotel stay in order to try and tweak it downwards even further).
        What is this madness?

        By the way, what happens if I don’t use the hotel? I assume it isn’t the same as missing one of the flight sectors right?

        • Louise K says:

          Nothing will happen if you don’t use the hotel.

          It’s crazy. I did something similar for family joining us in Hawaii next year. Flight only was >£3.5k each, added hotel for a few nights and reduced the price to £3k 😂

    • Sam G says:

      You might be able to get a Jetstar leg in either way for not much more if you want a protected transit in one direction

      • Aston100 says:

        Hi Sam, could you please advise if I can do that without involving an OTA?

        • Sam G says:

          BA can sell them. The website sometimes seems to show them but actually I just checked Jetstar website and they don’t seem to be selling Bali at the moment unfortunately !

          SQ will check bags to BA so you could take their afternoon flight and have a last trip into the city before a lounge crawl perhaps (all assuming everything gets back to pre covid arrangements !)

    • Lady London says:

      Only that CX and SQ are far better, if you could use miles.

      Personally I think it’s too much money to risk as it’s not an exceptional F even though I know you are very restricted on times when you can travel.

      The bright side is that when F is removed you’ll be able to claim 75% of about £2300 each in compensation. If you don’t think that’s going to hapoen then either pay just £2500 for both if you can manufacture or beg or borrow a 241 cough! cough! or just fly J if it’s much cheaper.

      • Aston100 says:

        Hi LL.
        Club is £1800 pp return on those dates.
        Assuming it is club world, I think I’d rather pay the extra £700 pp for F in both directions.

        I have a couple of unallocated companion vouchers, but no availability in club or first on any of my preferred dates.
        Even if there was availability, I feel there is greater value from cash on this occasion (isn’t it something like 140k Avios each way plus about £1300 ‘taxes’?), as well as a bunch of Avios and TP.

        But thanks for your suggestions nonetheless.

        • Lady London says:

          Yes First + hotel night or two does seem to be the way to go. Be quick. Insure it asap?

  • tom1 says:

    Sunday maths test / logic check.

    Comparing Virgin Upgrade voucher.
    LHR-JFK return, one person, flying Upper class. Off-peak dates.

    Option A pay cash PE fare £637 + Upgrade Voucher + Diff in YQ £263 (400-137). earn tier points + approx 7000 miles (earning level from PE as red member)

    Option B Redeem 35,000 points for PE + Upgrade Voucher + Tax/fees of £667 (yes!). Earn tier points, but no miles. Redemption flight refundable less £30 admin fee.

    Summary: option B costs £233 more, but earns/saves 42,000 miles. But stricter cancellation terms?

    So effectively I am buying 42,000 miles at 0.55p each.

    Anyone spot any errors?

  • CS says:

    Hello all,

    I hope someone can give me a clue about the double tier points promotion. Next week, I will be going on a holiday with BA Holiday Club Euro (5 nights). So, I will qualify for the double tier points, and I worked it out; that should give me the silver status.

    However, my tier points collection year ends on the 8th of November, just wonder, will I still be able to qualify the Silver status?

    (yes, I know, it is a silly time for booking a holiday right at the end of my collection year, but that’s the only time that I can get a holiday out before the double tier point promotion ends.)


    • Rob says:

      Put it this way … the double points do not arrive in a hurry and based on precedent may even take longer than the promised 30 days. I have no idea what BA will do in this situation.

      • CS says:

        Rob, thanks.

        I did message them last week about this but have not had a reply yet. I am going to give them a ring tomorrow.

        • Cabal of rabid baboons says:

          Good luck getting through on the blower?

          • CS says:


            The last time I called them, I made the most out of my phone contract’s inclusive minutes. My phone company will not appreciate me using a 03 number on an unlimited inclusive minute. 😂

      • Nick says:

        The BAH points are not added separately, but rather as an adjustment to the original flight. So they will credit to the day of travel. The system should still recognise 24-48 hr later that you’ve been pushed over a tier boundary, but no big deal if it doesn’t, you can call (or fill in the online exec club contact form if you don’t want to call).

        • CS says:

          Hi Nick,

          Thanks, so, let say the bonus tier points are awarded (adjusted) after the 8th Nov, I should still be able to get the silver status even though it is awarded (adjusted) after the 8th, because the return journey is before the 8th?


  • Ollie says:

    I’ve only just seen this so it may have been discussed already, but apparently someone was forcibly ejected from Eurostar for wearing the “wrong type” of mask:
    I’m aware certain train managers can get overly officious sometimes, but this is ridiculous. Sort of makes me not want to travel with them again…

    • Paul says:

      When we returned from Vancouver 3 weeks ago, there were signs at security with a long list of “not allowed” face coverings. No bandannas, no masks with exhaust vents, no face shields, no medical masks, whatever they are… and it was being strictly enforced, with about a dozen people refused entry whilst I was passing through, mainly for the bandanna crime, but several for ‘vents’. They were sent back into the landside area to “get acceptable masks”, but given nearly everything was shut, not sure how they fared….

    • Rob says:

      Assuming it was a vented mask, they were correct to do so. These masks protect the wearer BUT the air they breath out is pushed out at high speed via the vent, meaning that particles travel far further than they would if you were not wearing a mask. For everyone except the mask wearer, they are riskier than no mask.

    • Ollie says:

      True, he could have been wearing a vented mask but apparently he switched to a compliant one but was still apprehended by armed police some time later…

    • Char Char says:

      All rather pathetic really

    • David says:

      Half the story. There will be much more to the passengers ‘approach’ than reported here.

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