Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Monday 23rd March

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We have decided to run this new daily chat thread on Head for Points.

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the defacto repository for random comments and questions.  It is unlikely that the news flow will be so big over the next few weeks that we will need many ‘Bits’ articles, however.

The comments under this article are where you should post questions about travel and, indeed, anything else on your mind.  At this tricky time, and given that many of you are stuck at home self-isolating, we want the HFP community to have a place to chat.

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 its keeps the commentary relevant for people who read those articles in the future.

We will review how this works after a few days:

we could potentially split it into a daily travel and non-travel chat thread

we may install some basic forum software

we may start suggesting potential topics for daily discussion

Let’s see how it goes.

We will do a separate article in a day or so about how we plan to run the site over the next few weeks.  Take care!

Comments (183)

  • Beardysuhz says:

    First post..woohoo!

    Hope everyone has a wonderful day 🙂

  • Dave says:

    Welcome all..am “stuck “ in the US (Miami ) I know it isn’t that bad here . Wondering if anyone has knowledge wether the US would be offering extensions for the 90 day stay limit on my ESTA visa, considering the crisis .& difficulties getting flights out (there are flights but indirect & genuinely worried to travel thru airports and delays with the virus so ripe.
    I have read up that upon an appt at NYC boarder control , one may be able to extend by 30 days , with valid reason for not being able to leave the country …could this ? will this possible to do at other ports ?

    • Anna says:

      Why are you stuck, is no-one being allowed to leave now?

    • Anna says:

      Additionally, US authorities are pretty ruthless and if they know you’ve had chances to leave and not taken them, I think they are unlikely to be sympathetic to any ESTA extension request.

    • Andy says:

      You should leave. You still have opportunities to do so. Airport transfers are the least of your worries…

  • Si says:

    I know this would have been asked 100 times before, but how long at moment does it take for avios tickets to be refunded once cancelled via website?

    Cancelled over a week ago but money, avios and 241 voucher are yet to appear back in account

    • Antony D'Emanuele says:

      I cancelled two regular cash tickets in the past week and refund appeared within 48 hours…

    • Andreas says:

      I cancelled an Avios ticket last week using the Java workaround, and the taxes were paid within 24 hours. Avios back in my account almost instantly. It was a standard RFS booking, no 241…

    • Kian says:

      I cancelled an avios ticket over the phone a week ago. Avios came back on the same day, and I still haven’t received the tax back. Does anyone know how long it will take?

    • Anna says:

      I cancelled by phone and the You First CSA said it would be up to 10 days for the Avios and fees to be refunded as it would have to be sent through to a separate department to be done manually?

      • Kian says:

        I vaguely remember the “up to 10 days”, but the assistant did also mention I would receive a cancellation email later that day and I didn’t. How long did it take you to receive the tax refund? Or how long have you been waiting? Thanks

        • meta says:

          It depends. I also cancelled via You First. Avios& voucher immediately back into the account. For surcharges it took less than 48 hours. I suspect this was because my flight was departing within a week, so they do it in some sort of order.

          • Anna says:

            Mine was one which was greyed out, the CSA said it was not possible to cancel it other than manually. It was the day the workaround was posted, last Wednesday I think. Nothing yet.

    • Geoff says:

      We had an avios 241 cancelled by BA – had to call to get it refunded, which for some reason had to go to a manual cancellation. Got the avios and 241 back immediately but still waiting for the cash 5 days later.

  • Yvo says:

    Good Morning,

    Are Hilton extending Gold status for another year in line with emails I’ve had from other chains? Online I can’t find an expiry date.

    We had Amex Plat last year and had the various statuses but glad we didn’t renew given everything as far as summer is off the table.

    • Andreas says:

      Also interested….!

    • Craig says:

      Expiry date is the end of March, they probably haven’t decided yet?

    • Pangolin says:

      Marriott just downgraded people with no soft landings. That’s the first time they’ve ever failed to implement soft landings, and their representatives on FlyerTalk repeatedly promised that soft landing would apply in 2020 – that was even before COVID-19 struck.

      So they’ve chosen this time to implement a much stricter policy than ever before, when it comes to status.

  • Stu R says:

    Morning all, Qatar Airways have just changed my schedule in May for a second time. We now arrive in Singapore 8 hours later than previously. The return however leaves 18 hours later than originally booked, loses our night in a hotel in Doha, but then our onward flight leaves 24 hours later, meaning we lose another hotel night in Oslo, and miss our onward flight to LHR. Can I reasonably now ask them for a refund given that the current FCO advice will probably be extended to say ‘don’t travel’? Any advice gratefully received!

    • Reeferman says:

      I went through this yesterday with Qatar.
      It took me 1 hour 45 mins on hold (after 35 mins of trying to get connected) only to be told that Qatar is now only issuing credit vouchers. I told them this was illegal (against EU261 etc) but the guy wouldn’t budge. He told me to email:
      [email protected]
      As others have explained, you are indeed entitled to a cash refund and Qatar is acting illegally by refusing to do so under the circumstances you outline – assuming your flight is from the EU/EEA areas covered by EU261
      (Apologies if I’m not supposed to include the Qatar email link – leave Rob to delete if appropriate)

  • Ann says:

    What is the correct refund criteria for Emirates?

    Due to fly First from Glasgow to Singapore on 29th.

    Singapore have said entry will be denied for short term visitors.

    Emirates cancelled all flights (but no notification). Don’t know if ours was reinstated.

    They are refusing a full refund even if flight cancelled and only offering credit vouchers (which would be useless if they went bust) or £300 per ticket cancellation fee.

    They are stating because it’s out with their control they don’t have to refund.

    What are they legally obliged to do and what are my options?

    • Nick_C says:

      If Emirates cancel the flight, you are entitled to a full refund. If the flight runs but you cannot board, you lose out.

      If Emirates won’t give you a cash refund, and you booked direct with Emirates, and you paid by credit card, then claim the money back from the CC issuer under S75

    • Craig says:

      I saw this on a different forum yesterday, a few people have spoken to their credit card companies and suggested S75 for the £300? I don’t know the legal position but it’s an avenue?

    • Genghis says:

      Emirates won’t (be allowed to) go bust.

  • Craig says:

    I can’t remember who suggested to use the text service on the what happens to points if the airline goes bust thread but thanks. I transferred my meagre balance of 15k Virgin points to Hilton yesterday, took about 2 days to get an initial answer and then about an hour to complete the request. I was told the points would arrive within 30 days.

    • Gritts says:

      What text number did you use Craig please?

      • Craig says:

        ‭+44 7481 339184‬

        • Gritts says:

          Thanks, I thought so and I tried last week but you get this automatic reply:

          ….If you aren’t travelling within the next 72hrs, our sincere apologies that we are unable to assist you right now….

          • Craig says:

            Not a lie, I replied that I needed to use the points to make a booking. Trying to use points for any future holiday plans for obvious reasons. The agent was more than happy to help.

          • meta says:

            @Gritts l got the same message, but two days later they sent me another text to confirm that I still want to go ahead and then another one within 24 hours to say it will be processed within 30 days.

    • Nick_C says:

      I thought you could only transfer out in blocks of 10k? Do you mean you transferred 10k Virgin to 15k Hilton?

      I’m hoping my 2000 from Morrisons will come through while transfers out are still possible. I’ve currently got 48k and was thinking of getting wine. Not the best use of them, but better than nothing. Most of mine were free anyway.

    • Simon says:

      I managed to get a refund on a miles booster purchase by also texting, I was within the 14 day cooling off period.

    • Cat says:

      Hey, is the general consensus that I should be doing something lower risk with my Virgin miles then (probably Hilton – it’s a shame, because I had my eye on ANA First…)?

      Sorry, I know I’m hopelessly behind, I just haven’t been able to keep up with all the comment threads on all of the articles in the last 2 weeks – work has just been chaos, and utterly draining, and I’ve had cancelling my Easter holiday in the Seychelles, log graphs, mortality rates and other such delightful things occupying my free time too!

      • Genghis says:

        I transferred out. Yes they’ve lost value (as aat today). Only time will tell if I made the right decision.

  • Tom says:

    Anything from BA yet on extending Tier Point collections years and/or statuses? With Virgin already doing this figured BA would follow suit quite quickly, however, I haven’t seen anything so far. Thoughts?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      No nothing yet so either they are waiting to see where this all ends up or they have no plans to do anything about it.

    • Sk60 says:

      I spoke to BAEC last night on a different issue and asked about this at the same time, agent said nothing announced but he expects them to either offer an extension or freeze people so they don’t drop a level, TBC soon

    • Geoff says:

      Asked when I called about a cancelation and they said it would be looked at on a case by case basis. One solution probably won’t fit all – in my case, I am within spitting distance of the next tier so would be more interested in some sort of extension to my collection year or credit for cancelled flights rather than an extension at my current tier.

      • Tom says:

        That is what I want, currently 100TPs from Gold and had +600 worth of flights booked which are all clearly shelved now!

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