Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 19th 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 (627)

  • Matthew says:

    UK PLF on return…my wife says she couldn’t upload the QR code as she had two codes when she clicked on travel pass in NHS app rather than the one it was asking for? Does the other pass in the app work better? Just wondering what HFPers have been doing? Thanks.

    • Pete M says:

      Scan the second one (second dose).

    • davef says:

      I had the same thing this morning, uploaded a photo of the whole page, then a close up of the QR code, nothing doing, just selected cant upload the code and moved on and it completed ok.

      Probably means I wont be able to use the e-gates tomorrow but they’re switched off most of the time anyway.

      • Pete M says:

        Not sure where you’ve been travelling through. davef, but all egates at LCY and LHR have been working for months (when not having a general fit). You should be fine going through them.

        • davef says:

          MAN…. nothing works at MAN… did you know they’ve turned the travelators off to save power. Couple of weeks ago when I had a flight departing from T1 (allegedly), it actually took from the closed T3, involving a long walk and no heating/ minimal lighting or staff when we arrived at the gate area.

  • Optimus Prime says:

    Data point – also got 2000 Bonvoy points for an existing booking. And another 2000 for paying the hotel bill with my Bonvoy card

  • Sam G says:

    Any ideas for a reasonable-ish hotel in London with a decent river view? Sea Containers and Marriott County hall are running around £400 for a Saturday night which is more than my wanted to spend. I had a look and Park Plaza Riverside seems to fit the bill at around £240 with breakfast. Can’t really see any others, was looking at the hotel credits (got hyatt, marriott luxury etc) but nothing obvious there!

    • David says:

      Are you a healthcare worker?

      • Sam G says:

        *dad was a missing word there! He isn’t a healthcare worker! I did suggest down towards the city or CW but he’s keen to stay more central

    • Memesweeper says:

      If you want a view of Canary Wharf Hilton DT Riverside can be a bargain sometimes. Get to connect on a boat too, which is a novelty. But the C10 bus to the tube … that’s less glam.

    • Rob says:

      IC O2?

      From November, Westin City.

      citizenM Tower Hill presumably has some river view rooms too.

      • Sam G says:

        I thought citizenM as some of the rooms must have a great view but surprisingly they don’t have an option to pick a river view room for an upcharge . Westin isn’t open for the weekend they want.

        @Tracey @ TGLoyalty Shard is indeed £££ and more than they want to pay

        Thanks for the suggestions

        • Wollhouse says:

          We just stayed in Leonardo Royal London City. I was VERY surprised… in a GOOD way! We paid about £130 and had a big room with a terrace- that you could actually get onto. I was gobsmacked as we were on the 6th floor and I’m so used to the windows that only open an inch so you can’t throw yourself out:) The views were Tower of London and a bit of river. But v comfortable, and the staff were great. I was early and messed about with checking luggage then getting it back when I realised they had a pool/sauna etc I could use whilst I waited for my room. This didn’t include breakfast but spitalfields is a short walk. And I HIGHLY recommend the immersive Van Gogh exhibition.

    • Tracey says:

      At those prices I’d be looking at staying in the Shard!

    • Richie says:

      Is the Tower Hotel at Tower Bridge any good?

      • Sam G says:

        Good shout but unfortunately only view Twins left for that night!

      • Rob says:

        You’re having a laugh? It was a dump 20 years when I walked past it everyday to get to work and it hasn’t improved.

        • David says:

          I stayed there in the 80s and thought it was a dump then.

        • Sam G says:

          LOL! It doesn’t look completely awful on the website and the reviews I skimmed looked reasonable. Sounds like the park plaza it is then

      • BP says:

        The executive rooms are OK. Normal rooms need refurbished. Not quite a dump but not the nicest place to stay – a solid 3.5 star. Great views of Tower Bridge. Breakfast is OK and they have an omelette chef. I’ve not stayed since before COVID.

    • SteveJ says:

      Crowne Plaza Albert Embankment?

    • GaryC says:

      You could try the Locke at Broken Wharf. It’s near St Paul’s and some of the rooms have River views. I’ve used it a few times when I’ve needed somewhere just to crash. It’s functional rather than luxurious, but not expensive.

  • Super Secret Stuff says:

    Just noticed that I think I have an offer on my Nectar card for 130 points that triggers every time I buy Pink Lady apples. I used it yesterday and I can see it in the app as a separate bonus points transaction, but its still an offer showing as available on the app

    This might explain the random extra points I posted about a whole ago

    • ChrisC says:

      If it’s a smart scan offer then those are multi use.

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        No I did it at the till, it’s the normal buy this for x many points

    • Mattb says:

      The wife and I both had that although for 150 off
      Doubled up nicly with her 120 off weekly offer so total net cost was 35p.

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        Not sure you get what I mean, unless you’re talking about using it with individual apples? Which I hadn’t actually thought of

        I have an offer that I can use as many times ad I want prior to expiry date. Any size packs

        • Mattb says:

          Yes my wife had the same. She also had another offer as part of her weekly one-use offers for additional points off a 4 pack of pink ladies. In total 270 points (at least £1.35) off against the £1.70 cost.

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            Weird though right? The offer I have came through as a normal weekly offer, nothing special about it other than it keeps activating! Not smart shop or anything, just a normal Nectar Offer

          • Anuj says:

            Does the 150 point offer work with single apples ? There’s no small print.

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            Will report back after I go and buy my lunch for tomorrow!

    • Mark Peterborough says:

      I have a 150 points offer for cooked chicken , I’ve used it twice so far and it’s still showing amongst my saved offers . This is the first time that I’ve had an offer that doesn’t disappear after use .

  • James says:

    Wondering what people’s experiences with Amex Plat Purchase Protection have been like?

    Had my iPhone stolen this weekend on a trip to London. It’s well within the 90 days and from reading the ts and cs, there doesn’t seem to be anything excluding it from the insurance. I have submitted a claim through CHUBB as told by an Amex rep.

  • Nicky says:

    RESULT….the two package holidays with a well named cruise line have seen sense and have agreed damages for my first contract and a Full refund and cancellation for the 2nd. Goes to show that if you know what you are talking about it is harder for them to feed you BS. Mega chuffed

  • Grimz says:

    Sorry to ask about testing again but I need to know what is the cheapest most reliable PCR test before we fly to the USA next month?

  • Tim says:

    Hi all, losing the plot here.

    Booked directly with AA (BA wouldn’t ticket) for LHR-JFK-SFO-BOS-LHR for next month. They’ve changed the itinerary a few times and I’ve never confirmed it. I’ve just phoned up and, as I find the new flights unacceptable, asked to change the itinerary to a different date.

    I’ve been told I can’t cancel or change the dates now without paying fees. Is this right? With BA I’m 100% sure I’d be able to cancel or change as the airline was the one that cancelled flights…!

    Might be really simple. Thanks for your help all

    • Anna says:

      If there have been actual cancellations by BA and you have never accepted any alternatives then you retain your re-routing rights under EU/UK/261. BA love to try and convince you otherwise, though. Try HUACA and if still no joy you may have to start action to get the itinerary you want.

      • Tim says:

        Thanks Anna, but this is booked with AA not BA. Should it be any different?

      • Tim says:

        The issue being an evening flight out of JFK is now a very early morning one, and they’re unwilling to book me onto another day without change fees.

    • ChrisC says:

      You booked via AA so it’s their rules that apply.

      How exactly has the schedule changed? By what amount of time?

      AA are pretty strict on not permitting free changes if a schedule change is less than their policy allows for (which IIRC is 4 hours)

      • Tim says:

        Thanks ChrisC. I’m aware it’s their rules that apply. I referenced BA as those are what I know best and what I’d assume would’ve been pretty close to matching AA’s. Schedule has changed by 9 hours (cancelled flights, so different flight numbers).

        • meta says:

          @ChrisC no, under EC261 in case of cancellation, operating carrier is responsible. You need to speak to BA (possibly legal department). I believe what will happen is that they might have to take control of ticketing from AA.

          • Tim says:

            @meta the cancelled flights are AA flights from JFK-SFO, not BA operated ones

          • Anna says:

            Apologies, just read BA in the last section of the post and assumed it was the carrier.
            EU261 applies in some cases, namely flights leaving EU/UK, regardless of airline so it depends what exactly was cancelled as to what applies here.
            BUT – under US law, airlines must refund you if they cancel your flight. The US DOT deals with any claims and makes them pay up pretty damn sharpish on the 2 occasions I’ve had to resort to contacting them (and not even about US carriers).

          • AJA says:

            @ Tim Then you are at the mercy of AA. You are not covered by EC/UK261 as it’s not an intra-EU flight and it’s not on an EU airline.

          • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

            Then EC/UK 261 will not apply and I am not sure you’ll find any US aviation law experts on here!

        • ChrisC says:


          It wasn’t clear that there were flight cancellations just changes. Please if you want accurate info then you really need to give full information.

          No AAs policies aren’t the same as BAs. Mentioning BA is just confusing as you have seen from people assuming these are BA flights and assuming EU261 applies

          AA policy seems to be a schedule change of more than 4 hours means you can get a refund. Less clear about a schedule change.

          There is a thread on AA board on flyer talk that would give chapter and verse But I can’t locate it on my phone at present.

          • Tim says:

            Hi @ChrisC, if this is a large inconvenience just don’t respond! Equally, if you don’t understand, just ask me to clarify. I’m not meaning to provide inaccurate information. That would be silly.

            Can’t find the answers I need on or FlyerTalk, hence coming to HfP for some assistance.

          • Anna says:

            Tim – read my post above. You are partly covered by EU261 and also by US legislation. I’m not claiming to be an expert on either but I have had to claim against an airline twice during the pandemic for cancelled flights which would have departed from US soil.

          • Anna says:

            Your JFK-SFO flights are covered by US DOT regs and AA must refund you.

          • AJA says:

            @ Tim, take a look here:

            If your travel plans change
            You can keep the full value of your original ticket but will need to pay the fare difference if your new flight is more expensive. If your new flight is less expensive, you’ll get the fare difference in the form of travel credit to use on a future trip.

            Example: If you paid $500 for your flight and change to a new flight that costs $300, you’ll receive $200 in travel credit for a future trip.

            The new change fee policy also applies to AAdvantage® award tickets.

            No idea what AA offers if they cancel a flight

          • meta says:

            I haven’t been able to come and check replies until now, but my advice still stands EC261 applies if it is all on one ticket and the flight is originating in the UK/EU then EC261 applies for the final leg to US. Is SFO your final destination and then you have several days between your return flight to LHR via BOS? If so, JFK-SFO is essentially a connecting flight. The 2019 Ruling allows for that. You can read the full judgment and ruling here.


    • Tim says:

      Thanks @Anna, @meta, @AJA for the assistance! V helpful

      • Colin MacKinnon says:

        One thing I discovered with an AA ticket when I had a familty illness at the last minute which prevented my trip:

        American airlines in general have non-refundable tickets, so you can cancel and get a future travel credit valid for a year from(I can’t recall) date of ticket issue or date of a flight you cancel. Obviously, if they cancel, you get the cash back anyway..

        European airlines tend to have non-cancellable tickets, so if you try and cancel you lose all your cash (except for govt fees, but minus “handling fees”!). If they cancel, you get your cash back.

        So the trick with AA, at the very worst, is to make sure you are not asking for a refund on a ticket you have cancelled, but want a future travel credit.

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