The new HFP chat thread – Tuesday 24th 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!

How I survived a 24 hour flight to Australia in Economy! (Part 2)
All British Airways American Express 2-4-1 companion vouchers have been extended by six months

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  1. Genghis says:

    IHG now note you need 55k instead of 75k points for Spire. I’ve got 71k. No sign of any 25k bonus option appearing. Never mind, I’ll hit it next month.

    • Lev441 says:

      Genghis – option has appeared in my account so you should be seeing it too?

      • Genghis says:

        Nope. Nothing under “Benefits”. I’m in no rush. I’m not booking a hotel anytime soon.

        • Lev441 says:

          Fair play… Hope all is good with you & the fam

          • Genghis says:

            As this is the chat forum, I presume I can go off topic. Yep, my son celebrated his first birthday yesterday. He enjoyed the balloons, scoffed the birthday cake and loved his presents. I put up a swing for him in the garden this morning so hopefully he likes it. Need to stay positive!

            I would ask how business is but I know it must be tough. Hang in there!

          • Hard to believe he’s a year old already. All the best, enjoy.

          • I remember when Genghis was just talking about starting a family.. time flies!

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        I’ve just had this months points credit my account & over 55k but no spire elite, no bonus and still a target of another 20k?

  2. Afternoon,
    Looking for some advise, I was meant to fly to Turks and Caicos last Thursday. Decided against it, now they have closed their borders. I took the BA voucher, I paid in cash originally.
    What recourse would I have on getting a refund since the country has closed borders, also I hired a ca though BA as well and was offered a voucher as well.

    • Lady London says:

      too late since you took the voucher.

      • Lady London says:

        If you booked car+flight or hotel+flight as a BA Holiday then you had the right to full cash refund. BA is actually giving those voluntarily as punishment hits them if they don’t. So if you bought as a Holiday go back and say incorrectly administered and you want your right to immediate (well, 7 days iirc) full refund.

        Otherwise BA have successfully trapped you into accepting a voucher. Suggest never take a voucher. Demand refund. In some circumstances (see other comments) choosing reroute to later date is probably going to work out smarter.

  3. Harry T says:

    Anyone know if the Qatar Airways offer on Amex (spend 800 get 80 back) can be triggered by expenditure in AUD or another foreign currency? It says you have to be charged in GBP but wondering if practical experience varies from this.

    • Lady London says:

      people reported foreign spend did not count on previous similar offers

      • Harry T says:

        Thank you – I’m trying to extract my younger brother from Australia. QR seem like the only option that’s feasible.

        • DOH is pretty much the only viable option. Everything else is closed down or extremely restricted (you could also try Japan, but check immigration restrictions).

          • Harry T says:

            Thanks, Mark. My brother thought Doha was closed but I have confirmed it is open for transit. Japan potentially could work but I think the itinerary would be a little tricky because of where he is – thanks anyway.

          • Yes, DOH is open to transits. If you want to enter Qatar, it’s a different story.

        • Is Qantas a possibility? They are apparently flying their last few London A380 March flights via Darwin instead of Singapore because of the Singapore travel restrictions. Although I would imagine they are pretty fully booked and might not be able to operate to full capacity.

          Does your brother already have a ticket booked for a later date and if so which airline ticketed/operated?

          • Harry T says:

            Thanks for the advice. I did look at Qantas but couldn’t find any good options, or any tickets that weren’t horribly expensive.

            He’s currently in Cairns – he needs to get to Perth for his flight with Qr, so that is a bit of a trek by itself (connection in Brisbane). He’s on a working holiday visa and wasn’t planning to return anytime soon, so he doesn’t have a return fare!

          • Shoestring says:

            tell him to stay where he is & save the money

            is he panicking?

          • Harry T says:

            He doesn’t have much cash and can’t get a job.

          • Shoestring says:

            get the family to sub him for 6 months, he’s better off staying there

          • Good luck getting your brother back. Hopefully he won’t get stuck in Australia, but just in that very unlikely case … has he thought of WWOOF (world wide workers on organic farms?) opportunities? A friend of my sisters with an organic vegetable garden in country Victoria used to have WWOOFers stay all the time. Doesn’t pay well, so obviously by no means an ideal choice, but in an emergency it provides somewhere to stay and full board in exchange for a few hours work each day out in the fresh air. And in normal times it is a good way to see more of Australia if you are young enough. Unlike hotels, farms will have to stay open for business.

            As you say, he still has to get from Cairna to his departure airport. I think I’ve read that some of the Australian states are starting to impose quarantines or restrictions on travel into their state, but I have no idea if this affects transit flights

          • Novice says:

            I know most people might say it’s selfishness but tbh looking at data, I wish I was in a country where there’s less cases and more health care facilities.

            No disrespect meant to nhs as they are heroes working in this environment to save lives.

  4. IHG credit card – I think I saw comments that this can be paid off using another CC without using curve (possibly Hilton/Barclaycard). If that is right, any idea if this will work with Virgin without being treated as a cash advance and associated charges.

  5. Revealed: The chancellor has written to UK airlines and airports to say that while government remains determined to help viable companies through the COVID-19 crisis, direct taxpayer investment will only be considered once existing investors and other commercial options explored.

  6. mednec says:

    Just phoned Virgin to cancel our Hong Kong flight in 2 days – I asked for the refund as opposed to the credit and was told it is taking 90 days for refunds to be processed.

  7. Simon Robinson says:

    I am trapped in the lockdown in Peru and am waiting for a repatriation flight which the UK government has promised to happen soon (hopefully this week).

    I had an original Booking with Iberia on 14 March which was they cancelled and have subsequently had two reroutes for this booking as follows:

    Original Booking: 14 March LIM-MAD-LON
    Reroute 1: 14 March :LIM-SJO-MAD-LON
    Roroute 2: 1 April: LIM-MAD-LON

My booking and original payment (part avois, part cash) is with Iberia. The booking code is the same for all each of the above. All individual flights were Iberia, with the exception of LIM-SJO in reroute 1 which was LATAM.

    I understand from Rob’s article a few days ago that the duty of care to provide accommodation under EC261 still applies in the current environment as recently clarified by the European commission. Please note, I am not looking for any compensation only the duty of care for accommodation.


Iberia have told me that they are not liable for the duty of care as the LIM-SJO leg of the first reroute was with LATAM. 

I am keen to understand where I stand here and would be grateful if anyone could help me understand the following:

- Are Iberia correct when they say that they are not liable for the duty of care as the first reroute that they gave me included a flight with LATAM?


- Do LATAM operate under European Law in this instance. Do I have any rights to claim from them?

    – Provided I get home with a repatriation flight from the UK government should I then cancel the Iberia booking and if I do, will they still have a duty of care up until the point at which I cancelled?

    The comments on here have been hugely helpful for me over the last week or so. It would be great if you guys could again help me with some more facts…

    • Since you are not taking the return flight (whether a no show or cancellation), your contract is essentially cancelled and you lose any protection/rights. Need to talk with your insurance.

      • First of all, wishing you safe trip back home. Hopefully soon!

        Is you re-route on 1 Apr still running? I can’t imagine that since Lima Airport is closed for commercial flights.

        The duty of care still applies as your original booking was with Iberia. The fact that they rebooked you twice is the proof. I would put that in writing to Iberia giving them a reasonable time (8 days I think is a good enough) to respond. While waiting, I would prepare all the details and start a small claims procedure on return if they refuse.

        • But he is not taking that flight – either no show or cancellation. So IB has no obligations if the customer cancels the contract.

          • But he can’t take the flight if Lima airport is closed and no flight are running! I can’t imagine Iberia is running the flight on 1 April (next week) unless it’s some kind of repatriation flight in which case, marcw, you are right.

          • It doesn´t matter when the new-flight is. He is not taking the return segment of his itinerary, he is not fulfilling the contract he signed with IB (when buying the flight). So he doesn´t have any duty of care.

          • Shoestring says:

            maybe true but more to the point: Iberia effectively bought him a new flight with LATAM, they therefore moved duty of care responsibility for that leg to LATAM (the operating airline)


        • Simon Robinson says:

          The flight on 1st April will almost certainly be cancelled, but based on previous experience they will only do this only a day or so before. There is a chance a repatriated flight will land before then.

          So is what you are saying that the duty of care only applies if I eventually take a re-routed flight but it is invalidated if I take an alternative arranged by other means?

          btw – Insurance company (AXA through Curve) are saying that I am not covered saying contact the airline.

      • And you should probably talk with your insurance about the cost of the repatriation flight as well.

    • Sorry questions rather than answers. Was your original Iberia ticket from LON to LIM via MAD all booked via Iberia as a single round-trip booking or two separate one-ways? Did the flights between MAD and LIM have IB flight numbers? Did Iberia suggest the reroute on LATAM themselves or did you request that particular route?

      I think you will have to pursue this via Iberia rather than LATAM. I don’t see how LATAM could subject to EU rules for their flight since is totally outside the European Union.

      • Simon Robinson says:

        Very much appreciate you taking an interest and providing advice… here are answers to your questions:

        – Flight LIM-LON was booked as a single before travel restrictions announced. I flew out to South America from UK via MAD in Dec last year with a single ticket. My issue is only to do with the home journey back to London also booked as a single ticket (avios+cash)

        – LIM-SJO-MAD-LHR for reroute 1 had LATAM flight no. for the first leg, IB flight no.s for the rest. All flight numbers were under one IB booking reference.

        – Iberia suggested and arranged the reroute using LATAM. I was given no other options.

        Is this all irrelevant however, if I get a repatriated flight home? Does the duty of care end at the point that I choose not to return and cancel the booking?

        • Simon Robinson says:

          Update: Flight on 1st April has just been cancelled. I have not been given a re-route yet. Not surprising as there are none. Not sure if/how this changes things…

        • I’m not an expert but I agree with that Iberia owe you EC duty of care for the period from their original cancelled flight from Lima. The fact that their first attempt to rebook you happened to be on LATAM should be irrelevant. And the thing is that you should be getting this help from them now, when you need it, not later in retrospect once you get home.

          In terms of the flight itself, Iberia is obviously still trying to get you home and they must have a lot of other stranded passengers as well, from your flight as well as flights on other days. So presumably they will be operating their own repatriation flights. At the moment it must be hard for you to guess if Iberia or the UK government will be able to get you home first.

          Again, re insurance. it sounds as if some repatriation flights to other countries have been quite expensive. Hopefully your insurance would cover the cost if this is the case and this turns out to be your earliest, or only, way to get home.

          • Sorry, agree with Meta about duty of care.

          • If he sticks to IB plan, then yes, IB has a duty of care. But what happens if Peru doesn’t open their borders until July?

            I bet the EC would come out with another clarification sometime soon.

  8. I’m trying to get through to BA to speak about a flight that they have cancelled half of in the the next 72 hrs, but every time I call, I can’t even wait on hold. Any suggestions about what time of day might be the best time to call to try to get through?

  9. Voltron says:

    My Monese account also got blocked yesterday,just got an email sent, no notice etc, was expecting it tbh as was doing several “topups” at Co-OP.
    Does anyone know if it will leave any negative marks on credit report? The monese account didnt even appear on my credit report as far ass i could see.

    • Andy Williams says:

      Did they ask for occupation and pay slips?

      Also interested in this regarding credit report…

      • Voltron says:

        Nope didnt even message me to ask anything, just closed account with no prior warning

    • Andy Williams says:

      I’ve seen quite a few comments about Monese and closed accounts, I think they are clamping down on the people who top up at coop or doing a mass culling..

      Hopefully no longer term impacts on credit report?

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Yep, they will freeze your funds for 3-4 weeks even if you supply all relevant documentation.

        • Andy Williams says:

          Any repercussions from Monese closing your account?

          • Nick_C says:

            Shouldn’t be. Monese isn’t a credit account and doesn’t show up on my Experian Credit Report.

  10. Brasov says:

    Massive advert at the top of the screen for Weezchat costing £4.50 per week. Virus or approved advertising here?

    • I think that is Google Ads space so probably related to your search history

      • Brasov says:

        Thanks. Well I shall turn off ads then if they are not going to be related to hotels / flights / points.

  11. BlueHorizonuk says:

    Etihad and Emirates suspending flights IMMEDIATELY after UAE changed the suspension date.

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