Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 23rd 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 (327)

  • AL says:

    I know a few people here who like the Majestic in Harrogate. Stayed last night – had to complain. Arrived early, expecting to be told to leave bags at front desk; instead, given a room.

    Room had no CleanStay sticker on, but didn’t notice this until much later on. A few hours after checking in, noticed candle wax like marks on furniture and no towels or bath linen. Felt very much to me as though room had been rushed through housekeeping, signed off prematurely or just not cleaned properly (hence no sticker).

    Front desk sent towels up that evening. Offered to switch rooms, which was good of them, but didn’t take them up on that offer. Room was cleaned, I’d say, but not to the standard they advertise.

    Have asked the Diamond desk for their comments. Would make it second Hilton this week that has had to give me a free night – first was Angel Islington where the HVAC didn’t work!

    To top it off, Marriott I’ve just checked in to this evening has an old Chinese (maybe – can’t tell!) takeaway in the fridge…

    Not sure what I did in a previous life! 😂

    • Anna says:

      AL – when we stayed at the Majestic both rooms had the stickers on but it was clear that behind & underneath the furniture hadn’t seen a hoover or duster since Queen Victoria stayed there so I’m not sure they actually mean anything!

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Those stickers mean f all other than the remote was actually wiped.

        I always take my own wipes for those types of high touch surfaces.

    • ChasP says:

      I would suggest inviting manager to lunch – as if he likes Chinese

    • David says:

      I like cold Chinese takeaway.

    • Blenz101 says:

      Why ask Diamond desk for comments? You were offered a change of rooms but didn’t accept. What is it you want?

      For some candle wax marks you have now complained to the hotel, complained to Hilton and complained to the internet. Missing or not enough towels for the number of occupants is pretty common at hotels worldwide and resolved in minutes with a single phone call.

      You sound like a a complete compensation warrior. You should watch four in a bed on channel 4, you would love the room inspections when they are flipping the mattress and climbing on chairs to look for dust. Going through life seeing the positive in things is much more satisfying way to exist.

      It’s been pretty widely reported there is a huge lack of hospitality staff in the UK many not returning after C-19 and helped along with Brexit if you want a reason as to why things may not be as they once were.

      • Harry T says:

        Agree that a room swap, maybe to a slightly better room, would have been appropriate if you weren’t happy. I’m not sure why you wouldn’t accept that. I’m Hilton Diamond too and would have just accepted the service recovery.

      • ianM says:

        And also you got an early check in, I think you sum up your attitude quite neatly in your second sentence…..”HAD TO COMPLAIN”

    • Gormlesstraveller says:

      You sound like the sort of traveller who inspects sheets with a infrared light to see whether they have been changed between guests. So do keep the reviews coming, this is useful stuff for the HfP community even if people disagree about the compo.

      • Joints&Piles says:

        Many years ago (beforeI knew better) I stayed in a Travelodge in Hemel Hempstead. All was fine until I pulled back the duvet to get into bed. The bed looked clean and neatly made up on the outside. Inside was covered with black and green mould, fluffy and slimy, thick and wafting spores into the air. Like a murder scene from a TV crime show. With lights off, I very nearly climbed right in but just noticed the darkness, turned the light back on, and nearly spewed.

        Not just a little bit of mould. Covered, end to end, thick enough to plant potatoes in it. Imagine the half empty milk bottle left on a windowsill in the office kitchen through lockdown that grew into an alien life form, and imagine that at bed scale.

        The receptionist was offering me a different room even as I was half way across the car park, on my way to the poshest hotel I could find, where I spent the next 3 hours in the shower.

        When I enter a hotel room, the first thing I do is check inside the bed, and shudder a little at the memory.

      • Gruntfuttock says:

        Hmmm, we have had similar issues with hotel room cleanliness over the years. We tend to use Hilton properties as a rule and apart from checking if there are pillow protectors and mattress covers when we first arrive (that sets the standard in our little world lol) we take it as we find it. However once you’ve spotted something obvious (litter on the floor, toilet with stains on seat) then you can’t help but look more closely at the rest of the room. In our experience bringing it to the attention of the management ASAP is the only way to resolve. It’s not the front desk staff fault but the Housekeeping Supervisor’s responsibility to inspect the detail before it’s released for use, especially given the last 18 months where confidence in cleaning has been a guarantee. Pressure to return rooms for early check in etc. is no excuse for poor cleaning. To be fair Hilton have been pretty good in responding and resolving to our satisfaction but quite honestly we would rather have a hassle-free stay instead of chasing down management and writing emails eating into what should be an enjoyable break and not doing an ‘Alex Polizzi’ on them.

        • Harry T says:

          I’ve stayed at more hotels over the last couple of years than most people do in ten and I can attest to the excellent Marriott brand standards for cleanliness.

          • meta says:

            Stay away from Sheraton Grand London then if you don’t want this image to be tarnished.

          • Harry T says:

            I had a very clean suite at Sheraton Grand Park Lane when I stayed in 2020

          • meta says:

            @Harry T that was 2020, now we’re in 2021 when luxury hotels don’t care about guest experience as they don’t have the staff to support what’s expected of a luxury hotel.

            I’ll spill the beans now as I’ve been holding for a while. After coming back to our grand suite at 11pm, we prepared to go to bed and we open to find completely piss stained sheets (it was dry for sure!). So called the reception and they couldn’t deal with it as no housekeeping staff. The receptionist doesn’t know how to change sheets??? Hotel full, so can’t move us. So I asked them to bring some sheets and we’ll change them ourselves (imagine!). They bring duvet covers instead of sheets! Can’t be bothered to call them again. We then take off the sheets only to find the multiple brown and yellow stains on the mattress protector and duvet cover (we didn’t spot it earlier). We take off the mattress protector (luckily all fine there) just placed duvet covers and slept. Just because you think it was clean, you probably didn’t check what was underneath the sheets.

            I don’t how whoever cleaned the room think that’s acceptable even if they had zero training. That is just common sense and like basic of the basics. And to think we also waited for two and a half hours past check-in time to get to the room. Nobody was interested in dealing with the problem the next day, I made a big fuss so they actually put some kind of note on the file. Zero apology neither the night before or in the morning! The manager called after we already left. He saved the day for the hotel just as I was about to send of a complaint and post a review. The first person who actually knew exactly what the problem was and how to deal with it.

            I actually stayed at Sheraton Grand many times before covid and was absolutely shocked by the level of service. Besides the cleanliness issue, the staff in the lounge and in the restaurant were arguing in front of guests.

            So Marriott hotels are just as guilty as Hiltons or any other hotel for that matter. Badly run hotel is a badly run hotel. Following several stays at luxury hotels in the UK last and this year, I can say that five-star service is on decline and it probably needs to hit complete rock bottom before it gets better.

    • Darko says:

      I started carrying a tiny pocket uv lamp with me and you would not believe how many things are actually not clean in a “covid clean” accomodation.

      • Peter K says:

        You do know that many, many things light up under UV light, including some cleaning products?

        • Darko says:

          It wold be very unusual to see a cleaning product stain in the middle of the cushion and nowhere else 🙂

    • Char Char says:

      Not sure what you should expect from candle wax, I think at best an apology but I doubt a free night

  • MiddleEngland says:

    BA Galleries South has indeed opened the self serve bars but in the process have got rid of champagne, even on request.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Champagne shortage supposedly

      • Andrew says:

        Tesco seem to be managing. BAexcuses I feel.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Its no where near the same requirement. The quantity per day from their supplier at a cost they are willing to pay is the issue.

          Anyway I hear the English sparkling is actually pretty good

          • Ben says:

            Interesting. I’m going to be at T5 on Friday for the first time in two years, was hoping for some champers. Is it the case in all club lounges do you know?
            Is it still not self serve food?

            Also, is South the more quiet of the two still (not counting 5B)?

  • J says:

    Hi All,

    Anyone have experience with International to International connections at any of the following airports:


    We need to fly into the US before leaving for the carribean but struggling to decide which airport would be best for UK/non US nationals?

    I’ve heard JFK is awful for this?


    • ChrisC says:

      I’ve never found JFK to be as awful as some make it out to be.

      Whatever airport you chose you’ll still be going through US immigration and customs and all airports have their off days.

      The use of kiosks to do the initial processing of entering passengers has led to speedier queues to see a CBP officer for example.

      Personally I’d be chosing flights based on the best routing to get to your destination quickly and / or cheapest.

      You could even fly via DUB and do the immigration formalities there rather than in the US.

      • CH says:

        If it works, I would endorse the DUB pre-clearance. Even as a US national it made the international to domestic connection much more relaxing.

    • Phil W says:

      Personally I would fly via DUB or SNN first, get through US security in 20 minutes and then land stateside as a domestic. So much easier IME.

    • kitten says:

      TPA is generally preferred to MCO as a better experience so that makes it better than MIA.

    • Mirp says:

      I’ve connected at JFK and MIA just give yourself enough time. For the Caribbean I would transfer through MIA versus JFK as there tend to me more flights incase of delays. Also the weather in the winter can be awful at JFK (leading to delays).

      • Anna says:

        Book 3/4 nights in the US and have a city break at one or both ends. I love doing this, it breaks up the journey and feels like you’ve had 2 holidays!

    • John says:

      Don’t connect through the US.

    • Graham Walsh says:

      I’ve connected at JKF heading down to MIA and had 3-hour window. Made it with minutes to spare. Always try to avoid it unless I need the TPs

  • Matthew says:

    HSBC Premier WE card – do you just show your credit card at the lounge or need to use a special Lounge Key app? Wasn’t clear how to access. Many thanks.

  • Gareth says:

    I have just booked a Lufthansa ticket for next year, London to Frankfurt lufthansa, Ana to Sydney , Cathay to Hong kong, Lufthansa to London via Frankfurt in business. Not a miles and more member. Is it worth joining. (NB only £3200, for business flex ticket

    If not could I at least earn BA miles on Cathay flight .

    • John says:

      Consider a different star alliance program depending on your future star travel. Business flex should earn something in all programs, business saver or equivalent often earns nothing except in m&m.

      If you go to Greece yearly I recommend Aegean, otherwise united is good for redeeming with low fees. Would only choose m&m if you plan to fly with lufty group frequently

      • Gareth says:

        Thanks , although fare said business flex and it’s cancellable and transferable it’s only come as class P, which I worry won’t work except on LH

    • Memesweeper says:

      Your points will expire in M&M. I’d avoid.

      where to is the gospel for where to send your miles…

      • John says:

        Well it tells you how many miles you’ll get for a given fare class but it doesn’t tell you how useful the miles will be

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Consider Turkish – their award chart is pretty good. But ticketing an itinerary can be a pain.

  • Toby says:

    I’m somewhat belatedly thinking about how to use the ‘double tier points’ offer from BA Holidays. We have a lot of flexibility right now, so I was wondering, does anyone have success of getting great last minute deals from them? Their last minute offers don’t really excite me/strike me as competitive.

    • Nick says:

      There are good last minute deals, particularly in quiet months such as November. The Holiday Finder is your friend – get to know how to use the filters properly.

  • George K says:

    Hey folks – could anyone with an EF subscription (or otherwise!) tell me why today’s LHR-ATH flights BA632 and BA622 flights have been cancelled, with BA634 moved to tomorrow?

    Thanks in advance!

  • Lilly says:

    Waiting for my Amex Avios to credit my account. Will the credit to my BAEC account post on a weekend? Desparate to get my booking but I need this month’s points!

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.