Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Thursday 25th November

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Comments (511)

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  • Whisper says:

    BA Black Friday deal seems to have gone live this morning.
    For a BA Holidays booking of flight and car it is showing an extra £50 discount for me if I book by 30th Nov.

    • ChrisC says:

      Save £50 on a holiday booking of £ 1250 or more

      Flight and cat save £25 for a booking of £650 or more

      I guess they think they are doing OK booking wise and don’t need to do much to create demand,

  • Paul says:

    I have 250 Shangri-la GC points expiring next month, this is too low an amount to order a dining award voucher, however I was wondering if I can simply just turn up to the Shard Shangri-la outlets and use it towards payment by showing my eCard within the app? Also I wonder if these could be used at Bar31 on the ground floor, I’m not quite sure the hotel operates it?

    • MD says:

      I have the exact same question Paul, 250 points expiring at the end of the year. Anything that be done with them in the Shard? Maybe combined with the Ting Amex offer?

      • Paul says:

        Ah I must have missed that Ting Amex offer! I had seen an earlier comment here suggesting they can be used instantly at Bar 31 although not certain what that means and how that works.

      • Andrew says:

        Much as I like Ting, I’m not sure that I’d be able to drink £150 worth (or about 400 cans) of Jamaican Grapefruit Crush before the BBE date.

    • Nigel W says:

      Speaking of these points, can the voucher be ‘created’ and used at a later date or is it a case the voucher has to be used immediately?

      • Sam G says:

        You can create the voucher and then use within the next 6 months

        The only outlet at Shard you can’t go to is Oblix otherwise you just show your ecard and they’ll deduct from your bill

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      I’ve only done it upstairs with a physical membership card, but otherwise that’s indeed how it works. Bar31 is part of the hotel yes.

      • Matt says:

        If you’re Jade, do you get an enhanced $1.25 per 10 points to redeem on instant dining? The website says you do, but it doesn’t seem to apply if you order a $50/$100 voucher

  • Niall says:

    Offers for upgrade to Club Europe in the BA app or manage my booking – do the prices changes or are they fixed for the route? I thought it said upgrade for €109 yesterday but today I checked and it is €209. I probably misread yesterday but really want to know…

    • Deb20 says:

      The prices vary, depending on their perception of demand.

    • Ikaz says:

      They do change sometimes, I have seen it jump from 89€ to 609€ overnight once (when Covid green list changed). They don’t typically change daily/frequently though

  • Shaw West says:

    For those who want to travel to JNB. Etihad running Promo £1300 from LHR. Will stack nicely with the Amex offers 🙂

  • aviosnewbie says:

    What are the rules for changing a reward ticket on Virgin if the flight is cancelled? We had tickets to LA, but Virgin cancelled the flight and put us on an earlier flight, which is a 787. Very first world problem, but I was looking forward to their new upper class on the A350. Can I call and ask them to move me to a different time/day that has the A350, and does there need to be rewards availability only? After being on hold with them for over an hour yesterday, I gave up. Just asking here if it’s worth another attempt and if they’ll give me seats from cash availability.

    • ChrisC says:

      As they cancelled there doesn’t need to be reward availability for the rebooked flight.

      Personally I wouldn’t get too hung up about the plane type as it’s likely to change later.

    • Shaw West says:

      If the airline cancel or move your flight you have the right to choose the dates irrespective of availability of the award tickets. If the flight is not in the next couple of days you could mail the customer service team and they would sort it out. I spend 2 hours trying to call Virgin last month. But did finally get through though

    • AJA says:

      I think, as Virgin cancelled, you have full EC/UK261 rights and can reroute on a later date at your convenience. You should not need reward space.
      Whether Virgin will do that is another matter. You may have to go MCOL or CEDR . Give them a call with your proposed flights and see what they say.

      • AJA says:

        I see I was 3rd with almost identical response, should have refreshed page first 😉

      • Jonathan says:

        Virgin are playing fair now with cancelled flights & offering rebooking before April(?) 2023. You can find the info on their website & this is also mentioned in the e-Mail they send shortly after cancellation.

        If it’s not for imminent travel I would e-mail rather than call. I’d also be wary of basing your itinerary around a particular aircraft type as lots of chopping & changing atm.

  • Iain says:

    Morning. I’m going to be doing a fair bit of work related travel soon. My employer now uses a third party portal for hotel bookings and I am not personally billed. Am I still able to earn points etc with the large hotel chains? Any I should avoid? I don’t really have a preference for a particular chain. Thanks in advance

    • ChrisC says:

      Generally no points earned with 3rd party bookings.

    • Ikaz says:

      It depends on the system that they use, I have seen businesses use a version of expedia and others use a company like CWT. Bookings with real travel agents (Emyr on here, CWT) will typically give you points, although you sometimes have to chase when someone else pays

    • Sam G says:

      Depends. If it’s a GDS booking then you should get points still. If the hotel sees it as Expedia or similar then no points. Have to see what happens! You can either add the loyalty number in your booking if you can retrieve it on the hotel site, message the hotel or ask at check in.

      If you are travelling significantly then it’ll be worth trying to stick to one chain to get status but depends on your situation- for me we preferred a Hyatt in one place and a Marriott in another etc and it would have been awkward with colleagues to try stay somewhere else but still collected all the points up! Overall I actually found I got the best use of my points redeeming in Hyatts but Marriott and Hilton you’ve got ways to earn or buy in the UK to top up for a redemption.

      You may find between the hotel statuses and the lounge access that an Amex Plat becomes a worthwhile investment for you to make things a little nicer but again depends on your circumstances (economy vs business etc)

    • Dave says:

      My employer uses a third party but I still get the points. Just email your number ahead of stay or give it at check-in. See what happens

      • CH says:

        I think it depends on how they handle the payment. If it is a pre-paid Expedia/ type system, then likely no points. IME, master account billing (e.g., where a conference organizer pays hotel fees for attendees/staff) is also not eligible for points. Sometimes, payment is through some sort of corporate purchasing card, so from the hotel’s perspective it is no different than if you presented a CC in the usual manner, and you will receive all the usual benefits. My experience has also been that even if i don’t get points for a room booking, i have sometimes received stay credit and points for incidental expenses (i.e., that room service dinner I paid directly triggered stay credit and points….). And if you are a frequent guest at the same property, regardless of payment method i after a few visits they will likely take good care of you. YMMV.

      • Aston100 says:

        Same for me.

    • Andrew says:

      Generally if it’s a corporate travel site you’ll be fine – my employer’s one works fine with Hilton and IHG.

    • Jonathan says:

      Did you read the article on here about RocketMiles ?

      They’re good for this sort of situation, prices not good at all though !

    • Andrew says:

      So many rules and so many exceptions to the rules. It’s been a while since I travelled for work regularly, but the zero-points for most travel agent bookings has been running for more than a decade

      There is nothing to stop you contacting hotels ahead of making a booking to ask if they will voluntarily honour the brand rewards scheme when you follow company policy by booking through a travel agent. They know you (generally) still have a choice about which hotel to stay in, and outside of key destinations like Edinburgh and London, it’s not as if the hotels are having to turn away bookings because they are full.

    • Shaw West says:

      My corporate uses Amex Travel. But I do get the hotel points on Marriott.

    • elguiri says:

      Using Concur, I haven’t been able to add points to HI stays. However I have consistently had Mercure grant me points when I ask at check in if they could add my number. Hilton often works, doubletrees have acknowledged status and given me points/benefits/better room.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      Three steps give you the best chance.
      1) Email hotel after reservation made and ask them to add loyalty scheme number to booking
      2) Ask again at checkin if they didn’t confirm this or refused (you sometimes get a different answer)
      3) Pray

    • Iain says:

      Thanks all for the advice

  • Tw33ty says:

    Just had my annual fee returned by creation £99 that was charged end of September.

    I did complain and received a letter a few weeks ago saying I wouldn’t be getting my money back, but I would still earn points until closure.

    Last two months no points have moved over, but not many to move over as only used it a few times.

    • Jonathan says:

      Looks like this card will be one of the rarest cards around very soon !

    • Anna says:

      Hang on to that letter then as it strongly suggests that Creation thinks you are entitled to the card benefits until the closure date. I wonder if they will actually transfer all the points over after December 3rd (though refunding fees tends to imply otherwise!)?
      My OH has had the fee refunded from August, mine hasn’t been charged at all (October end of card year).

  • Paul says:

    Anyone able to manage their BA booking re selecting seat at the moment? Arrive at the “request a seat” page, and usual list of Passenger, Seat, Change all show, but no actual map, so cannot change seat allocation. Presumably (another) plane change has booted us out of selected seats (again) and left us 3E and F (was 10J and K). Hoping BA IT may stabilise soon, but also hoping for a lottery win, and wondering which is more likely…

    • Anna says:

      Map showing ok in all my bookings though I haven’t attempted to reserve or change.

    • Sam G says:

      try Malaysian Airlines website

      • Paul says:

        Bingo, thank you!!
        So now with a map, it would appear to be the new club suite, in which case, any opinions on which seats are best for a couple, who may like to chat to each other on a long flight, but equally at least one of whom would like a window to look out of…

        • VerdantBacon says:

          There’s no real way to chat with one another comfortably in CS, first time we were in CS we chose the middle pair which are very far apart from one another and you have to awkwardly lean forward and in to chat without raising your voices.

          The next time we went, we just chose two window seats and this seems to work better, realistically you aren’t going to be chatting much anyway in the middle seats so you might as well both get window seats. It also means that you are both on the same side of the plane without needing to walk all the way around to get to each other for any reason.

          Haven’t tried a window and middle combo but you would face away from one another so it doesn’t seem to be any better for conversation than two window seats.

        • IMH says:

          Sorry if I am dumb ……………… how can I use Malaysian if I have a BA account? Do I have to create a Malaysian (or Qatar) account?

      • Polly says:

        And Qatar, very easy to switch seats there..

    • Paul says:

      Thanks all, think we’ll go for 2 windows behind each other…

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