Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Monday 18th 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 (472)

  • Scott says:

    Is it worth booking an IHG hotel I.e. Holiday Inn, at LHR (near end of Nov)?
    They’ve started to reappear to book, but there seems to have been a lot of cancellations etc. recently, so not sure if they will open or get another “the Government forced us to serve them” message.

    Any news on the T5 Hilton restarting its shuttle?

    • Reney says:

      Didn’t someone say over the weekend they had a horrible experience at that holiday inn and wished they booked elsewhere? There might be more than one HI and I’m confusing them.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        There are many HI in London let alone in the U.K.

        Think the one in question was Kensington forum on Cromwell road. It’s a dated eyesore that they want to knock down but the council seems to be against it for some bizarre reason.

        • JDB says:

          The council wasn’t against it in principle, but the owners/developers refused to sign s106 agreement in respect of the casino, traffic mitigation and other related issues. The developers also wanted to remove the green space in front which the council would not accept. Owner appealed, but then withdrew that appeal at the last minute. That was in 2016 and I think the site was then sold. A new, very different plan submitted last Autumn which the GLA planners support; not sure what the outcome is.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            I’m talking since then. Council Rejected, Mayor approved, council appealed and judge revoked, mayor approved again then called in for public inquiry which was then dropped and now being peddled on the open market

            https://www.housingtoday.co.uk/news/plans-for-1bn-kensington-tower-scheme-withdrawn/5111040.article has some history on it.

          • Rob says:

            The site is 100% up for sale.

            The problem, which may never be resolved, is that the disruption to residents from demolishing one tower and building two more is unacceptable. We may end up seeing a refurb of the existing tower.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Small time thinking from busy body residents though really.

            Let’s be honest in that location The sainsburys, The HI and the Waitrose building are all ugly and rather than fighting short term inconvenience the should embrace long term improvement.

            The planned scheme was far nicer than than the awful building that’s currently in situ.

          • Rob says:

            Problem with that Waitrose is not the architecture but the internal layout, with two aisles of booze bizarrely in the middle of the store instead of the far side.

          • ChrisC says:

            Disruption (noise / dust / extra traffic etc) caused by construction is not a valid planning consideration to refuse a planning application.

            What would be a consideration is say if they wanted to have a roof top nightclub but a sensible developer would put in all sorts of noise limiting features in the application to nip objections in the bud.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Ha yes one of the many issues in that waitrose … residents at the Chevel must wonder why they’ve paid £500+ a night to look at these buildings though!

    • ChrisC says:

      Given there are now only a handful of red countries requiring people to hotel quarantine the “government made us do it” (not that the government ever forced the hotel bid for the contract) excuse will soon not apply.

      And yes are there are several HIs in the LHR area so depends which one it was.

  • Lee says:

    Can someone please guide me on what insurance I need for car hire in the USA with Hertz having an Amex Platinum card (or my wife does).

    My options are:

    Your Insurance options in the U.S.:
    Loss Damage Waiver:
    Liability Insurance Supplement:
    Liability Insurance Supplement (Only applies to car hire commencing in California.):
    Personal Accident Insurance/Personal Effects Cover:

    Can I decline them all?

    Many thanks!

    • Harry T says:

      It is my understanding that the Amex plat car insurance means you can decline them all. As you are the supp cardholder, make sure you are named on the rental agreement too, or the insurance won’t cover you. And double check the actual insurance document, as I’m just some rando on the interwebz.

      • Aristeides says:

        +1, refuse them all. Technically you are supposed to refuse them for the Amex Plat cover to be valid. Although it feels counterintuitive, it does work. Ensure you are named on the rental agreement too.

        • Lee says:

          Thanks – the car hire is in my name anyway. Don’t think my wife is even mentioned on it as she is just covered as my spouse automatically.

    • Peter Taysum says:

      Buy separate “comprehensive” car hire insurance, which has a zero “excess” charge. It’s worth looking at annual policies (unless you’re only going to have one car for two weeks). I’ve used iCarHireInsurance for years, only one claim (vandalism to car; paid out in two weeks).

      You need to check the policy of the hire car company; some make you pay excess against credit card (which can be thousands if declining their insurance).

      Not sure about the card benefits; someone else will be able ti answer that…

    • Rahaney says:

      Not only you can decline them all but Amex t&cs say you must decline all that are optional to be covered.
      For example Avis has a free mandatory CDW that’s included. Sixt and Hertz do not.

  • Magarathea says:

    I am doing my first trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi next month since the pandemic started. These countries require me to have phone apps to display my covid vaccine / test status etc. The Alhosn app for Abu Dhabi and the COVID19 – DXB Smart App for Dubai. Does anyone have experience of the operation of these apps as there are some horror stories online of people being unable to get into anywhere including restaurants and shopping malls if the app does not work and show a green status. Will I starve in the UAE! Also do these apps need live mobile phone connectivity? Could be very expensive on roaming charges. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • Sam Wardill says:

    I’m trying to cancel an Avios booking due to travel on Saturday to Portugal. I can’t travel because I have COVID. I can’t get through on the phone and nobody replies to my Twitter messages. The website only allows me to get a future travel voucher. What to do?

    • SteveJ says:

      Cancel online, take the FTV. Then later when you have time on your side call / tweet / chat to get the FTV refunded.

      • Dave says:

        Can you do that if you take an FTV?

        • SteveJ says:

          It’s the original ticket frozen in a FTV, so the same options apply in terms of cancelling for £35pp and getting the Avios + any cash back

    • roberto says:

      Keep trying and if push comes to shove take the ftv on Saturday. Its not a big issue and the 241 will be valid for almost 2 more years.

      Speak to your insurance company as see if you can claim for any other losses.

      Get well soon.

  • BH says:

    I have a £10k CGT bill to pay. Any creative ways to get some points out of it please? Best I can come up with is the Sainsbury’s credit card via Curve for a measly 1250 Avios (if my calculations are correct) but I’ll pay 1.5% for Fronted which makes it pretty pointless when I can buy nearly 10,000 for that price.

  • Adam says:

    Newbie question – do I understand correctly that virgin voucher will show up within a month after 10.000 spend on a paid virgin card (not anniversary like Creation)? Where will I be able to see it?

    • Sean says:

      look on virgin red app under activity and you should see a line that says “you have qualified for a credit card reward voucher”

    • Gary says:

      Yes voucher appears not long after spending target hit.

  • Tom1 says:

    I took advantage of the status match(?) promo for Qatar and now have gold until end of the year.
    I won’t be able to get the 150TP before expiry – does anyone know if there’s a soft landing ?

  • Toby says:

    Do I have any grounds to complain (and get anywhere) about BA’s handling of check-in for a flight back to the UK?

    Short story is that check in/bag drop only opened 1h45 before departure with one desk. There was no queuing system so it was a chaotic mess, and felt pretty unsafe when it came to covid. After a while they did open a desk for club, and then for a short while a third desk.

    It wasn’t due to lack of desks, there were plenty of empty ones. My guess is that the local ground team are under-resourced.

    We saw the chaos and opted out, waiting outside for it to feel safer. Eventually checking in about 50 mins before departure and then having to rush through security to get to boarding.

    It was a poor experience, but I’m not sure it’s worth making a fuss about. Appreciate any thoughts.

    • Sam G says:

      Sounds about right for most of BAs smaller outstations to be honest….

      • Toby says:

        Sigh. That’s what I feared. Perhaps I’m just out of practise at flying!

        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          I’d complain so that they are at least aware of it, if it is an expensive ticket they might comp you some Avios. But TBH I think it is a mix of under resourcing and out of practice!

    • ChrisC says:

      You’ve not said where this is but if it’a a one ot two flight a day departure airport for BA it’s unlikely they have an on-site BA staffer to oversee the contract staff so have no idea what the agency is actually doing in terms of opening up desks etc etc

      So an email to BA would alert them to an issue they may not otherwise be aware of.

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