Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 20th October

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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.

Please only comment under the main articles on the site if your comment is directly related to the topic of the article.  This has long-term benefits as it keeps the commentary relevant for people who read those articles in the future.

Old chat threads are hidden from the HfP home page.  If you want to look for something in an old thread, click here.  This brings up all the articles in our ‘General’ category which includes the chat threads.

Comments (468)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Damian says:

    Aer Lingus – Avios. Booked to go back to Cork for Christmas 23 – 28 December last night for my wife and I from LHR. Used combine by Avios to move form BAEC to Total cost 18000 avios plus £212.26 taxes and charges.

    The same flights booked on Aer Lingus as a plus fare (includes 20kg suitcase) were £1215.96. Other option was Ryanair from STN with bags and seats priced at £799.92 and a less enjoyable experience.

    Still available reward seats if anyone else considering travelling to Cork. Wouldn’t usually use Avios on this type of flight but a substantial saving in cash fare.

    • Anna says:

      Good grief, I realise this is for Xmas but I had to read your post a couple of times to check that you were travelling from the UK! That’s even worse than usual school holiday prices.

      • Damian says:

        Yes Anna, it’s incredible. They usually go up to around £250 to £300 at Christmas but this is on another level for an hour’s flight.

        • JDB says:

          Well if it’s any consolation, we used to fly to Cork or Shannon every year for Christmas and the fares were that price 25 years ago and much more from Paris where only EI operated! Apex economy tickets, really the only cheap non charter/package flights that you had to book 28 days in advance and non ref were £269 to France and £289 to Italy or Spain at that time as well.

          • Nick says:

            Wowee! Just checking you know the old ‘sailrail’ tickets are still available? At those air prices I’d definitely be doing it instead, £70 absolute maximum from any station in GB.

          • Damian says:

            That’s interesting JDB, pricing doesn’t seem to make any sense sometimes.

            Thanks Nick, I didn’t know about it Sailrail, handy to know for future trips.

  • Chrism20 says:

    A week or so back I asked for suggestions with park & fly in Aberdeen. Many thanks for the replies at the time. The Moxy was fully booked for the night we needed and IHG have no park & fly rates for ABZ for some reason. Managed to book the Jurys direct with them for £61 with 8 days parking. The airport wanted £69 just for the car. Still can’t believe how expensive parking in ABZ & GLA is compared to EDI at the moment.

    • John says:

      Did you try the Hilton TECA, they seem to have a huge empty (gravel) car park and it doesn’t look like there is any enforcement.

    • Andrew says:

      EDI Official Parking has the huge Scotpark in direct competition nearby as well as the large (free) P&R site that’s handy for day trip to London (no overnight parking).

      It’s also very well connected to public transport with the direct express buses to Fife and Stirling as well as the trams connecting to 4 mainline stations.

      • Chrism20 says:

        Yep the Aberdeen airpark which we have used in the past appears to have shut up shop, not sure if it’s permanent or not but it will certainly be one of the reasons as to why it’s so high. Not sure what the issue is with Glasgow though as I’m sure the flying Scot is still going.

    • Tw33ty says:

      The issue with parking at hotels near Aberdeen airport atm is that a lot of the oil companies are telling the rig crew to travel in there own cars to get to the hotel for their pre helecopter COVID test.
      This means the cp hie moxy Marriott etc car parks are full with the oil workers being on rigs for two weeks, so the car parks at short stay airport are being used by cp and hie etc as overflow.

  • Andrew says:

    Make a payment by Faster Payment from your current account.

    LBG’s systems are far more sophisticated than the small operators.

  • Andy says:

    For some reason my COVID App now says “No COVID 19 records found” even though it worked fine when I needed it last month.

    Anyone else having the same problems?

    • Dan says:

      Mine disappeared recently when moving GPs. Have you done that?

      • Andy says:

        Nope, haven’t done anything! I have just tested positive for COVID which I guess might mean it’s being updated? I’m not going anywhere until next month but conscious these things can take a while to fix

        • John says:

          I believe when you test positive by PCR the vaccine records will disappear for your isolation period

          • Andy says:

            That makes sense! I guess I should have thought of that but stuck in a COVID fog!

          • Nick says:

            Same. Currently isolating – NHS app won’t allow access to vaccine passport, which is logical.

  • jek says:

    We are heading for Tulum for 4 nights as a base for ruins exploration with rental car in February (after Beach time elsewhere). Tulum has many new hotels – anybody has any recommendation? There is a new Kimpton, a new Aloft, and a large number of independent hotels.

    The Kimpton sounds great, but has $18 resort fee and 19% taxes even for reward stays. What is 19% taxes of a reward stay?

    • John says:

      May be 19% of the reimbursed amount received by the hotel from IHG, 19% of the best available rate for that night, 19% of a made-up number, or 19% of $0 = $0

    • Anna says:

      I’d contact the hotel and get a confirmed figure in case they try to gouge you at check out.
      Have a wonderful time, we were supposed to visit Tulum years ago but our inbound flight on AA was severely delayed so that section got cut from our tour itinerary. Still hoping to go at some point.

    • G says:

      Just before the the first lockdown hit, we stayed at Esmeralda Boutique Residences & Hotel and had a great stay. It’s away from the beach but close by to restaurants and shops. We booked via Airbnb and the guys running the place, Andres and Scott, were great. Good variety of apartments to choose from and all come with kitchen facilities so can so self catering if needed

  • Harry T says:

    Bendy Metal

  • John says:

    To pay off a credit card with another credit card, you either need to use Curve Fronted and take the risk that the underlying card is unhappy with this, or you request a balance transfer.

    • Blindman says:

      Thanks for all the replies.

      Does Beardy get “unhappy” behind Bendy?

      It’s a new card so I don’t want to upset it before I get the bonus!


      • Harrier25 says:

        You are really thick skinned if you do go there with all the noise at this time. There is no way I would take that route with my new Beardy card!

        • Alan says:

          Why would Beardy care, doesn’t Bendy take the hit re the difference in charges.

        • blenz101 says:

          If Virgin thought it was an acceptable risk to them to allow people to liquidate their credit limit straight into effectively cash they wouldn’t apply charges and high interest rates from the day the cash was accessed.

        • Babyg says:

          Feels like HFPers and comments is helping Curves “Your wallet in one Card” because all your other cards will be shutdown (ala Creative)

        • Blindman says:

          Some confusing answer here TBHO

          I’m NOT MSing, just doing as pert the Curve Fronted blurb which is pay off a credit card with another credit card by using Curve.

          If it’s so terrible/illegal then WHY is curve advertising as such and charging a 1.5% fee

        • Babyg says:

          curves T&Cs says you cant do that… and most likely so does your underlying credit card…

        • Blenz101 says:

          Nobody suggested this was MS but you are attempting to pay off a credit card with a credit card. MBNA don’t want you doing this and neither do Virgin. Both intend for you to use the card to make retail purchases and repay it (part of in full) using the methods detailed on your statement.

          Curve has a tainted reputation due to the amount of MS and is actively taking card provider fees from them. Billhop less so.

        • Blindman says:

          “curves T&Cs says you cant do that”

          Curve Metal describes Fee-Free Curve Fronted
          Pay your UK taxes or credit card bills with another credit card”

  • Nick says:

    Can someone settle a debate I’ve had with someone for some time now about the original BA Executive Club cards. You’ll need to be an old codger like me probably.

    I can’t remember exactly when BA started the Executive Club, but I believe it was in the 1980’s, but an article I found on Google says 1995? Can anyone say for sure, but I do remember joining pretty much when it started. In fact, maybe BA just sent me a card?

    Another question. I always believed that the BA Executive Club membership nos. for Blue started “333xxxxx”, Silver with “222xxxxx” and Gold with “111xxxxx”. Is that true, or just a fallacy? All I can remember was that my original |Blue number was, and still is “333xxxxx”, although i’ve moved in all levels since.

    Thanks for any help!

    • John says:

      Surely everyone started off as Blue?

      My BA account opened in 2011 starts with 25___ and my BA account opened in 2016 starts with 47___

      • JDB says:

        In the old days, BA gave gold & silver cards to employees of big corporates where they had special fare deals.

    • JDB says:

      The BA Executive Club was founded long before that, in the early 1980s, but in the early years you couldn’t accumulate miles – you needed to do that via another airline. I had AAdvantage for collecting miles on BA which was very lucrative then! Re card numbers, I’m afraid I don’t recall that.

    • RobL says:

      BA started awarding miles around ‘92 iirc. I dad been tipped to keep my boarding cards for some time before and was given retrospective credit. Can’t recall if it was called Executive Club then but probably was. My number starts 72 and has always remained the same.

      • Lyn says:

        Mine also starts with 72 from sometime in the 90’s. I also remember having to credit BA flights to another programme before that.

    • Nick says:

      Thanks for all the input guys!

    • AJA says:

      My BAEC number begins with 78 and is 8 digits long. I opened my account in June 2000. My other half joined BAEC 10 years earlier in July 1990 and has an 8 digit number starting 76 so not sure your number format theory is correct.

      I think BAEC originally used to be a 2 tier program ie base level and Gold but in late 1989 they created the 3 tier system Blue, Silver and Gold. Then only in 2011 BA created Bronze status equivalent to Oneworld Ruby. Until then BAEC only had Silver aligned with Oneworld Sapphire and Gold aligned with Oneworld Emerald.

    • WaynedP says:

      If you scroll down the article on super travellers in the 100th edition of BA Club Magazine ( which Rob flagged in his Bits article of Saturday 16th Oct, you will read:

      And now to five of The Club’s longest reigning Members…
      (who signed up to the Executive Club back in 1989)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.