Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 20th October

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Comments (468)

  • Joints&Piles says:

    I don’t know why people come here for info about travel restrictions instead of looking up something more authoritative, but here are the 3 most useful tools that can answer all those questions in the easiest, clearest way:

    Summary of restrictions, rules, required tests and paperwork, and links to country specific sites -
    List of test providers –
    UK FCDO travel advice –

    • John says:

      Because it’s more reassuring when someone else confirms one’s comprehension of long text documents. Hard to know that you’ve missed something.

      Likewise plenty of information about EC261/2004 is available online so in theory nobody would ever need to ask any questions, but people prefer specific advice.

  • Ron says:

    We are going to Madeira on Saturday for half term. From what I can see on visitmadeira website, there is nothing for fully vaccinated passengers (and children under 12) to do, apart from showing NHS covid pass.

    Has anyone been to Madeira recently and can confirm this please? Thanks.

    • Tracey says:

      Yes. Nothing needed other than vaccine certificate and to download the MadeiraSafe app. Upload your vaccine certificate to it and you will be out of the airport even faster.
      Coming home the airport lounges we’re closed beginning of September.

      • Ron says:

        Thank you. I don’t think BA has a lounge at FNC.

        Just checked expertflyer, BA blocked the middle seats for us, that’s a nice surprise!!

  • Joe says:

    Hoping to go to Germany in a few weeks time – it seems somewhat unclear what the situation with entry requirements for those under 18 but older than 12 is.
    We have a 17 year old who has had 1 dose (all they can get at this stage) – are they allowed in so long as they have a negative test?

    • Rob says:

      What is unclear? 12-17 year olds must be fully vaccinated or quarantine for 5 days. A negative test result doesn’t help.

      • J says:

        There’s an exemption for visiting family that means no quarantine is required. It’s a check box on the digital registration form.

        • Rob says:

          This is only for first degree relatives. It does not allow my daughter to visit her grandparents.

  • Gormlesstraveller says:

    Am 80% of the way to a Solihull free night. I also got the letter.
    Is the consensus that I won’t probably be getting the free night even if I achieve the full £10k spend?

    • John says:

      Not unless you take action

    • Anna says:

      A few people have said that Creation has told them no free night but opinions seem to vary about how solid the grounds are for withholding it. They might cave in the face of 1800 FOS complaints!
      I contacted IHG and they have assure me my 2021 – 2022 free night will post on the anniversary date next year. I suspect they didn’t understand what I meant about the card closing, however the email will be joining my arsenal of weapons for the FOS!

      • JDB says:

        For what it’s worth FOS complaints are taking at least 4 months to be allocated to a handler at the moment, and it takes a couple of weeks from filing to get in that queue. Once allocated, they are taking c. 90 days to make a preliminary decision and if you or the firm don’t like that initial decision, either party can ask for a final Ombudsman decision that will take a few more weeks, so will be a slow process if they don’t cave.

      • Si says:

        I’m due my voucher on friday. That may be the first look through the window of what will happen.

        Also interested to see if they charge me annual fee tomorrow.

        My year ended 8th Oct. I haven’t used my card since the 6th.

        22nd October was day I received voucher last year.

        • Gormlesstraveller says:

          Thanks all. So whether I spend the £10k or not, the free night seems unlikely without a fight.

          • JDB says:

            That’s Creation’s position at present. By the way, you call it the ‘free night’ as many others do, but the IHG Rewards terms call it the Anniversary Night Voucher which explains part of the difficulty…

        • Froggee says:

          That’s weird. I also got my voucher on 22nd October last year but I wasn’t charged the fee until 21st November.

          • Colin MacKinnon says:

            22 Oct for me too, with charge on 21st Nov. So at least got a few days after 21st Nov to get billed the £99 before closure day!

            Card already in the drawer!

        • Anna says:

          Me too.

  • Gavin says:

    Does anyone know if police staff (ie not officers) can benefit from the Hilton Public Sector rate?

    • Nick says:

      Hold on what’s Hilton Public Service rate?! My resident police officer is rubbish at knowing about their own benefits 😩

      • BP says:

        PR11PN. If you’ve got police ID then I don’t see why not.

      • Anna says:

        It’s a B & B rate at weekends but it’s quite limited, I’ve only ever seen availability on certain dates (and possibly also only in the UK but I might be wrong on that). If you google “Hilton Public Sector” a booking page should come up with a code on it.
        Gavin – I would think it would be fine with police staff ID., I don’t think it’s actually limited to the police as an organisation.
        It’s 30% off the best flexible rate , so not always the best deal.

        • Anna says:

          I was wrong, there are some hotels abroad which offer it, but in all cases it’s non-refundable which remains a risky option at this time!

        • Gavin says:

          I’ve got a police staff ID badge so should be ok. Thanks all. I’m tempted to book a flexible rate anyway given the covid situation as I’m attending a gig which may be cancelled if things worsen.

          This is for a Thursday night by the way. The rate seems to work on some weekdays so always worth trying. I’m diamond so don’t gain a free breakfast but it often undercuts the cheapest Honors rate – which if you’re gold means you can swop the benefit for points I think.

        • Sandgrounder says:

          What it is good for is last minute bookings. If, for example, you check London for this weekend it yields genuine savings. Or tonight for that matter, it’s not just for weekends.
          Tonight Waldorf Hilton. PR11PN £261, cheapest HH rate £291 or £310 with breakfast (for no status folks).

          • Gormlesstraveller says:

            Anyone thinking of paying £261 for Waldorf Hilton should possibly consider other options unless they are diamond and planning to go in hard in the lounge and breakfast.

      • Sandgrounder says:

        Public Sector Leisure Rate
        I’d guess police staff would qualify, but it seems we are between landing pages at the moment (frontline covid rebrand pulled?) So I can’t find the ts and cs

      • Anna says:

        It’s selective. Me and my OH are not very clued up about Blue Light card offers, but my friend was whipping hers out all round Edinburgh this weekend! In fact thanks to her intervention we got an extra 10% of a new Shark vacuum cleaner lol.

        • Anna says:

          To Nick!

        • Gavin says:

          I can’t get a blue light card as I’m not paid by the police. But my ID pass doesn’t suggest I’m agency staff so it’s a live option for me.

          • Pablo says:

            There’s also Governenment/Military rate which is different from the Public Sector Leisure rate. IME they always accepted my gov uk ID for the former.

        • Jody says:

          Anna, you’re really missing out, there are loads of great discounts with the blue light card. Well worth checking the app when you’re out and about.

          • The cyclist says:

            To be fair any old ID that you knock up at home and laminate will suffice, most shop staff have never seen one before and will just accept, as they don’t want any problems from a potential copper,

          • Anna says:

            I know! I think the problem is when it started out it was pretty rubbish and I never really got into it. My OH is generally rubbish with discounts and offers, hence I am the family curator of points and avios! We’ve had some good discounts with Lauthwaite’s though.

    • ianM says:

      If you are already gold or diamond it’s usualy more expensive as you are paying something towards the breakfast

    • Keely says:

      I’ve booked the public sector rate several times (I do work for local authority)- never been asked for ID .

    • @mkcol says:

      Yes, have done so several times.
      Yet to be asked for ID but always have it in case.

  • H says:

    I recall reading about a JV between Emirates and TAP on HfP earlier this year. Is this now effective? Can I use my TAP gold to get benefits (eg lounge access) on any Emirates flight or is it only applicable on relevant JV flights?

  • BlueHorizonUK says:

    I wholeheartedly apologise for asking a question I would roll my eyes at as being asked every day in the chats. If I book a flight using my eVoucher and then UUA one of the legs, and I subsequently cancel. Does the Avios become part of the booking or does the avios get refunded and the cash element comes back as a eVoucher or does it become a FTV (only redeemable by phone and only for the exact same passengers)?

    Thank you all in advance.

    • Sam G says:

      you can ask them to first remove the UUA and then do a FTV request and you might receive an evoucher but no guarantee. Even if an FTV is OK for you it isn’t a bad idea to remove the UUA first as attempting to redeem an FTV with a UUA inside was literally hours on the phone being passed between commercial and exec club!

  • Harley says:

    Creation called me to say that all transactions via curve will not be honoured from the summer [email protected]@ck promotion. As all my transactions were via curve for fx savings i therefore am entitled to nothing despite 95% of my transactions actually being for stores etc!

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