Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 20th October

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Comments (468)

  • YC says:

    Just walked a hotel (Sina Medici) for the first time… It’s 20 degrees+ and hotel has decided to turn off its ac in all rooms (moved to winter season so only heating). Windows barely open due to safety. As a result, the room is stuffy and uncomfortable. Front desk wanted to charge me a variety of amounts from 50% to €70 (cost of cleaning) but I knew hfpers would be very disappointed if I accepted anything but €0. Avoid this hotel not just due to ac but location is not great and hard product is subpar – no idea how it’s an Amex Fhr hotel! Rant over

    • Harry T says:

      Florence? I would walk if a hotel wouldn’t turn on the air con (and I have before).

      • YC says:

        Yup Florence. St Regis/Westin both are much better located but are expensive (cash or points). I probably should have just skipped Marriott altogether here but I’m chasing some nights and SM had a decent hjh rate

    • Gormlesstraveller says:

      “walk” is hotel jargon for when a hotel transfers a booking elsewhere due to overbooking.

  • 'anonymus' says:

    even though the admins would be able to tell, but will try and keep ‘anonymus’ on this one.
    Have a trip coming up where need negative PCRs. have left over day 2 tests that I never used. Can I use those and ‘get away’ with it or would it have to be a dedicated pre departure PCR.Theoratically what does it matter whether day 2 or pre departure, a PCR is a PCR… Morally – can be frowned upon…dont want to turn up at the airport and be turned away for a save of 43 pounds

    • Rob says:

      A PCR is a PCR BUT the acceptable paperwork is not. A ‘Day 2’ PCR only gets you an email back saying ‘you’re fine’. You do NOT get a certificate with all of the information on it which is demanded by most countries.

      • meta says:

        It actually did have all information required on my Randox PCR one and PDF certificate. It has my DOB, my passport number, lab number and phone number, type of test.

        However this was a home test and it says so on the PDF certificate. Many countries require in-person test, so need to check for your destination.

      • Tracey says:

        I’m sure my nationwide pathology result came as a certificate

        • Rob says:

          You need to look at the exact requirements for your destination. Most ban home tests for obvious reasons.

    • Nick says:

      Yes, totally fine for most countries – vast majority don’t need things like passport numbers or ban tests at home. Obviously check or share your destination here.

      Too many people with vested interests or limited knowledge love to make up additional requirements, have a look at your destination’s website!

    • ‘Anonymus’ says:

      destination is Maldives

  • Aston100 says:

    Anyone know a way to get discounted Amtrak tickets please?

  • Dace says:

    BA Sale/Double Tier Point question.

    Can you book the holiday use the flights but not check in and go to another hotel of your choosing?

    Need to know as I prefer to book the cheapest option then book my hotel through my own account to get status recognition.

    • Rob says:

      You could, but possibly easier to show your face and then walk straight out after leaving the key in your room.

      • Tony1 says:

        Don’t forget to “take” the toiletries and ruffle the bed ….
        Also report back on the coat hangers, toilet paper and kettle ….

      • Aston100 says:

        Thinking of doing just this next year.
        Wondering if it’s worth just being honest with the hotel upfront, as surely they’ll soon discover you aren’t staying with them? In my case it seems I need to book six nights to get the greatest reduction on the overall cost.

        • AL says:

          Do hotels care? I’ve been doing remote mattress runs with certain well known chains for some time…

  • James says:

    Looking to book with BA to fly to Marrakech next June but there doesn’t appear to be any direct flights. Have BA pulled the route? Thanks.

    • meta says:

      Have you not seen the news? Morocco banned flights from UK, Germany and Netherlands indefinitely.

      • James says:

        Well that will be why then! Hopefully that’ll be sorted in the meantime. Thanks.

      • The Original Nick. says:

        Well, I’m due to fly TAP in November LHR – LIS – layover for one night and then fly LIS – RAK and stop there for 2 nights and then fly RAK -LIS – LHR but I’ve heard nothing of cancelled flights etc. I’ve sent TAP an email asking if i can drop the LIS -RAK flights so we can spend the 3 nights in Lisbon instead but they’ve not got bacl to me. No Idea what to do now.

    • Jonathan says:

      I booked with them to travel from LGW in September, the flight was then moved to LHR, this was then cancelled, then they cut the flights to about 3-4 per week, this was also cancelled !

      I ended up using RAM, they don’t fly directly to RAK, CMN is their direct route (when the Moroccan government will permit direct flights again) but there’s still internal flights, or for the cheaper route to Marrakech, the train, which takes roughly enough the same amount of time (or a tad longer).

      Now that RAM has joined Oneworld, you’ll earn Avios and Tier points on their flights

      There’s still the likes of EasyJet and Ryanair again when the Moroccan government permits direct flights again

  • Jill (Kinkell) says:

    Thinking of a spring break to Lisbon for a few days. Any advice on number of days..3,4 or5 to see the city without getting blisters? Plus decent hotel recommendations . The more I look, the more I can’t seem to make up my mind!

    • SteveJ says:

      It’s all personal opinions but I’d say leisurely is 4 days. 5 too many, 3 doable.

    • cabal of rabid baboons says:

      We thought that we’d stay near Belem next time as we enjoy walking and its lovely and flat there and only a tram ride or boat trip away from the centre.
      Central Lisbon is incredibly hilly.

      • ankomonkey says:

        +1 for Belem. Really enjoyed being based there for 4 nights in the summer. Easy trip to Cais do Sodre for the more central stuff. Train in the opposite direction for the beaches.

    • BP says:

      3-4 days. I done a lot of walking while there – 25,000+ steps a day and that was a lads weekend focussed on drinking.

    • The cyclist says:

      I went planning on spending three days, on the last night I got drunk in the presence of two ladies from Brazil and overslept waking up and missing my plane ( and wallet), so I stayed an extra couple of days. So I would say four days would suffice.

    • TJ says:

      Just came back from Lisbon. Three days is sufficient. Really enjoyable but very hilly so can get a bit wearing if you decide to walk everywhere. Good news is that the Metro and Uber are very cheap (or scooters if you like a bit of risk in your life).

    • Colin MacKinnon says:

      Five days, every year!

      Have a little 40 min trip on the local train to Cascais and lunch at the Albatross Hotel’s terrace (or stay a night in the Estoril Intercontinental?)

      Have a day out in Sintra – nice places to eat there.

      Go over the bridge and take the little coastal train down the estuary with all its little stops at each beach – there are beaches for every persuasion!

      Don’t queue to go up the Eiffel elevator – take the escalators in the nearby department store! The queue for coming down is far shorter!

      (there are lots of other public lifts hidden in buildings!)

      Go to the cinema – fab old-style palaces with films in the original language (with Portuguese subtitles). Great to see the cultural differences in how people react to various scenes!

    • AJA says:

      I think 4 nights, 5 days is a nice number of days, you could stay longer if you want to do a day trip to Sintra. As for hotels I want to stay at The One Palácio da Anunciada. It’s just off Av de Liberace near Praça dos Restauradores, so on the flat part of Lisbon easily walkable to all the main spots and just use the trams to climb the hills.

      Or check secret escapes for discounts. Someone posted a mini review on the hotel a few weeks ago.

      • AJA says:

        Av de Liberdade not Liberace! [email protected]#ing autocorrect has a lot to answer for!

      • BP says:

        I stayed there and loved it. Got a fantastic rate on Agoda using HSBC Premier 10% off – £120 a night including breakfast and a room upgrade and a free cocktail. Ended up with a double room upgrade!

        • AJA says:

          Thanks BP, it was your review I remember reading. The hotel looks impressive especially at the rate you paid.

    • Spurs drive me mad says:

      I’ve stayed at Lapa Palace … very nice hotel.

      • Rob says:

        As did we last Summer. Old fashioned and bit of a hike but good grounds and outdoor pool. Not sure I’d do it in Winter without the pool.

        • Spurs drive me mad says:

          Did you stay in the old Palace wing Rob? Our terrace was bigger than my lounge! We did 3 nights there and 3 nights in Cascais at the Albratroz hotel.
          Took my Mum she loved Lapa Palace I emailed them before our trip to ask for a particular room for Mum which they organised no problem. Must be 14 years ago since that trip. Think it’s changed hands since we went.

  • 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 ?

  • Tom1 says:

    Next question….

    I have LHR-JFK booked on Virgin, and will book GVA-LHR on separate tickets to get to Heathrow in the first place

    Is there anyway to get BA or Swiss to check my bags from GVA-JFK, and same on return?

    (Sorry If I asked this before – I thought I posted but cannot find it for the life of me)

    • Sam G says:

      BA definitely not. not sure about the others but it’s reliant on check in agents on the day so I’d plan enough time to need to collect bags and recheck

      • AL says:

        It isn’t solely reliant on the agent, though. You need two airlines to co-operate with a handling agreement — and VS and BA certainly haven’t got one! They also fly, for the most part, from different terminals.

        In this case (…sorry!), your only option is to re-check them. The HX is free from T5 to T3 and is one stop.

        • Tom1 says:

          Yep ok thanks – will certainly give myself enough time to use virgin lounge so not planning to try a quick connection!

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