Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forum Replies Created

  • My previous cashback with SLH has always triggered when I have made a payment at the hotel, as it is the locations that seem to trigger it. Might be worth trying to get the hotel to put the transaction through directly via the front desk.

    in reply to: Gothenburg Hotels (inc Radisson)
    JenT 155 posts

    @ExpatInBerlin – The Dorsia is a very nice hotel, great location, a little quirky inside. Definitely worth trying the ‘pay now’ rate to see if you can get the cashback.

    in reply to: International Airline Program – worth it?
    JenT 155 posts

    The only benefit we have found recently is when booking ex-EU fares, we would get charged in the local currency so would get a 3% FX charge if we used one of our Amex cards. The price on Amex Travel was in £, with a fair exchange rate, so we could buy without FX fees and get the extra Membership Rewards points. A small benefit, but better than nothing!

    in reply to: Thailand for digital nomads
    JenT 155 posts

    Second recommendation for Chiang Mai – perfect for this type of life, good community and facilities. Just beware of the periods with poor air quality when neighbouring countries burn large areas of land; it’s not good for asthmatics at those times.

    in reply to: “Surprise” email from Virgin Voyages
    JenT 155 posts

    It’s likely to be the new announcement of the very delayed ship Brilliant Lady. I’d be very surprised if there is a points deal to be had as the new ship launches tend to sell well.

    in reply to: 15% off reward nights
    JenT 155 posts

    Definite savings – I’ve just cancelled and rebooked a few reservations we have for next month. Thank you!

    in reply to: Parmelia Hilton Perth?
    JenT 155 posts

    We stayed at the Doubletree in Perth – very new hotel, great location and a very generous continental buffet included as part of the HH status. It was only 10AUD to add on the hot bit of the buffet and this could be chosen day by day and person by person; we didn’t choose it often but it was nice to have the option.

    in reply to: Rotterdam (or anywhere)
    JenT 155 posts

    We had a great six days in Rotterdam last month (took advantage of the reduced-Avios price of flying out of LCY when sold around Black Friday 2023). We did a day in Amsterdam (got the train there), which was enough to see the major sites and a lot cheaper than staying in Amsterdam for the whole period. Found hotels to be a bit pricey in Rotterdam for what was available, so went with a very affordable Airbnb instead. Plenty to fill the time in Rotterdam with art and particularly architecture. A nice afternoon out was spent at the UNESCO windmill site which was easily accessed by waterbus.

    in reply to: Argentina – advice?
    JenT 155 posts

    When we stayed at the Belmond Hotel das Cataratas (on the Brazilian side of Iguazu), we used the early park access to wander around just after sunrise. We walked all the way along the boardwalk into the lake alone – it was really special and lovely to be in a quiet place admiring the beauty of the location. A few hours later, once the park had opened, it was full of people with selfie sticks, etc, so we were pleased we’d managed to miss that ‘over-popularisation’ feeling.

    We visited the Argentinian side during normal hours as we didn’t stay in the hotel on site – defintiely more touristic, but we still enjoyed it. I cannot recommend splashing out on the Belmond enough|

    JenT 155 posts

    Sad not to get to do our booked Singapore-Perth for this year, but very glad we managed to fit in Singapore-Sydney last year! Thankfully the decision has been made far enough in advance for us.

    in reply to: The car hire tips thread
    JenT 155 posts

    Have needed a few rentals from Heathrow and Southampton Airport in January and February – have discovered that the one-way fee with Avis from Heathrow to Southampton is currently £1.20. Seems that Southampton is short of cars! Hopefully this might prove useful for some others heading to the south coast from Heathrow.

    I think I can beat that. Just dropped off a car at Heathrow which I rented at Southampton Airport and, to my surprise, there was no one way rental fee at all!

    Who was that with? I’m trying to book that (not my usual one way) and prices are ££££!

    in reply to: The car hire tips thread
    JenT 155 posts

    Depends where you are going, but public transport to other cities from CDMX is really good – worth considering depending on destination, cost and hassle factor!

    in reply to: The car hire tips thread
    JenT 155 posts

    We use America Car Rental when in Mexico. No issues/scams, and using a local place seems to be a lot easier than the franchises (Hertz, Avis, etc). They have Mexico City branches but not one in Chetumal – the closest is Tulum unfortunately.

    My only query about you hiring a car in Mexico City is related to the amount of traffic and limited parking in some places – are you just using it to travel out of the city?

    in reply to: The car hire tips thread
    JenT 155 posts

    Have needed a few rentals from Heathrow and Southampton Airport in January and February – have discovered that the one-way fee with Avis from Heathrow to Southampton is currently £1.20. Seems that Southampton is short of cars! Hopefully this might prove useful for some others heading to the south coast from Heathrow.

    in reply to: Perth Australia – Car Hire
    JenT 155 posts

    Amex Platinum used in December for car hire insurance – no claims made in Perth/Western Australia but previous claims have been no issue.

    For us, picking up a car in Perth city centre and then returning to the airport to fly home (we did Margaret River etc too) was very expensive compared to picking up and returning to the airport with all companies. We just got the train to the airport and collected the car from there.

    Hertz was originally the cheapest but getting closer to the travel date, Avis dropped their prices by a huge amount so we cancelled Hertz and booked with Avis.

    in reply to: Virgin Atlantic household account
    JenT 155 posts

    If you phone up to book, the agent will manage how many points come from each account. However, it’s not as simple as complete pooling – each account will need to have enough to pay a fixed portion (i.e. sector) of a flight booking. For example, your account might pay for all the outbound tickets and then each individual account will be debited for its own inbound flight. The agent will make sure it works.

    in reply to: Heathrow EV parking – is there any?
    JenT 155 posts

    We have successfully left our Tesla Model S for 35 days in a Heathrow car park – left it fully charged and we still had lots of miles left. You do need to know how your car uses when idle, so do some experimenting.

    in reply to: Singapore airport hotels
    JenT 155 posts

    We normally find they are expensive and it is nicer to stay at a normal hotel, get a proper dinner, and then get a taxi/MRT back to the airport in the morning. It was recently discussed in this thread https://www.headforpoints.com/forums/topic/where-to-stay-in-sin-1-night-layover-accommodation-recommendations/

    in reply to: Bangkok & Phuket restaurants
    JenT 155 posts

    Aksorn rates highly for me in Bangkok – it’s one of David Thompson’s restaurants and has a really wonderful atmosphere and style, serving authentic and traditional Thai food which he’s researched thoroughly. If you haven’t heard of David Thompson, he’s probably the most well-respected non-Thai chef of Thai cooking. Set menu (without paired wines) comes in at about £75pp. Exceptional quality and definitely taking advantage of the favourable pricing for non-Asians in Thailand.

    in reply to: Publicly available list of Air Traffic restrictions?
    JenT 155 posts

    Eurocontrol makes this information available via their Network Operations Portal. In the middle box (Network Headline News), the Tactical Updates show regulations which are in force. The historical updates are available too but I don’t know how far back in time you can view them.

    The only problem is knowing which sectors/volumes of airspace your flight was flight-planned to go through, so this information may not actually help!

    in reply to: Avis – Presidents Club – UK phone number?
    JenT 155 posts

    Not that I know of. I do have a few different email addresses where things get dealt with quite quickly, but it depends what you need. What’s the issue?

    in reply to: Amex Platinum insurance – fly home in Business?
    JenT 155 posts

    Don’t forget that coverage is also dependent on you proving that you did not know that there was a chance your relative could become ill enough for you to need to come home at the point you booked every element of your trip. I had to provide letters from my dad’s doctors confirming the date symptoms were reported, diagnosis made, etc, before they were willing to settle the claim.

    in reply to: Amex Platinum insurance – fly home in Business?
    JenT 155 posts

    Also, not all insurers will actually cover you to resume your trip. Cover is normally a ‘curtailment’ section with the expectation that they cover the costs for you to get home ASAP and the costs for the remainder of the trip that you miss out on, and that’s it. There is also a requirement for you to cancel and recover as much money yourself as soon as you are aware there is a problem – we spent the hour before getting on our flight home going through every hotel, car and activity booking and cancelling, even if we got nothing back. You have to do this.

    As others have said, it’s likely to be a big claim and no guarantee of payout. When we did it, I had a choice of a £5000pp flight with BA or a £2000pp indirect flight with only 2 hours longer journey time. We went with the £2000 flight just in case there wasn’t a successful claim as I didn’t want to be on the hook for £10k. It works better if you can speak to the insurer before spending, but it was urgent we headed home immediately and the offices were closed for 6 more hours, so we took our chance.

    in reply to: Amex Platinum insurance – fly home in Business?
    JenT 155 posts

    When I had to claim under these circumstances, my original booked flight was in business class and we booked a new ticket home in business class, paying ourselves as our original ticket was not changeable and the insurance company Amex uses was closed for claims calls at the time we found out we needed to go home. No issue with the claim at all, but they said there was a requirement to buy an equivalent ticket to what our original travel ticket was, and that we had to cancel our original ticket ASAP and reclaim taxes etc. I think you would struggle to get a payout if there were economy tickets available and you booked business.

    in reply to: The car hire tips thread
    JenT 155 posts

    The Amazon offer is a good deal – just make sure that it appears, as I have had to chase several. The voucher amount seems to be based on the rental charge before VAT.

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