The new HFP chat thread – Wednesday 25th 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!

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  1. LCY to close from tonight until the end of April
    Following the Government’s latest instructions in response to the Coronavirus outbreak, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to temporarily suspend all commercial and private flights from the airport.

    This will begin in the evening on Wednesday 25 March and is expected to last until the end of April. We will keep this under review.

    At this point in this fast-moving and unprecedented situation, we think this is the responsible thing to do for the safety and wellbeing of our staff, passengers and everyone associated with the airport.

    During this period, we will continue to follow official guidance and work with the authorities to understand the situation and how best to respond.

    We will keep you up to date with relevant information and news, as and when we have it.

  2. Email just through from Hilton about status extensions.

  3. Doogie says:

    Anyone able to show some insight into BA’s maths and suggest any route, ideally without calling again, to get some resolution, and also a full statement for insurance to pick up the remainder (amongst the couple of things that ended up inflexible even in current climate) ?

    We were due to currently be in Japan on a First booking, which was done in three parts.
    Outbound F booking on release – £390.73 per person (online)
    Inbound CW (due to availability) on released – £105.12 per person (online double avios and claimed back by phone)
    Inbound upgrade from CW to F £66.10 per person (on phone, not available online)
    Total paid £561.95 per person

    Refund via You First the other day (before the work around published), all avios but only £355.73 per person – i.e. inital booking -£35 fee, meaning an overall £412.44 shortfall.
    No fee for return cancellation as it was rescheduled. Refund posted last Thursday, so been holding out for another chunk, but suspect it isn’t coming.

    • Was it all on one PNR? If so, then you’re entitled to refund of everything, but if separate and the return has not been cancelled you won’t be refunded for that.

    • Lady London says:

      If your inbound was rescheduled by them you defnitely can claim a full refund.

      Departure time and/or arrival time can’t shift by very much at all on a reschule and you would have the right to accept a near rebooking, or take a late rebooking of your choice, or choose a refund. Whatever you choose applies to the whole booking even if only part was changed. So that means the booking ref (PNR) you were given for the booking.

      • Lady London says:

        If you paid upgrade fees, luggage fees ahead, seat reservation fees etc., those must all be refunded to you if it was BA’s reschedule or cancellation that caused you to decide not to take the flight and request a refund.

        if it was your choice to cancel or amend, then those fees are generally lost. I believe they might be able to be transferred to a replacement flight but not refunded.

        I don’t understand BA’s maths unless the return flight was changaed/cancelled by you and not them. Also even then the numbers stilldon’t add up. Did any of the charges go through a foreign currency and get converted to UK Pounds at any stage? such as was the return originally priced in Japanese Yen?

    • Doogie says:

      Thanks guys! Was two PNRs as they wouldn’t combine them (and would have been more expensive I think if they had flying that way)
      PNR 1 was unchanged for 19th March and has been refunded minus the fee as I cancelled due to FCO advice.
      PNR 2 was the book, modify to half avios, modify to F. Due to fly 4th April. It was changed by BA both because they moved from NRT to HND, and they changed the LHR to GLA flight too, I think due to cancellation/ consolidation for operational reasons. They said that this would not incur the cancellation fee due to these changes.

      The confusing thing is that the avios and 2-for-1 were returned in full, but (as yet, and it was a week ago) only the cash for PNR 1 was returned.

  4. Dave Barron says:

    My Hilton Gold was due to expire 31st March this year and now I’ve received email from Hilton confirming they are extending it a further 12 month – every cloud!

  5. Do we have any clarification or updates regarding British Airways On Business points? Thousands of points that were due to expire at end of 2019, were used to buy flights in 2020 which are now cancelled due to Covid-19. Those points have now obviously expired – Is there any talk of extending the hard expiry date for On Business points due to current situation?

    • Shoestring says:

      worth checking before you take action but it might work out well, ie give you a renewed expiry date down the line

      be careful to check though – somebody was in the same position with Iberia, the flight got cancelled, points were returned and then – past their 3 yr expiry limit – promptly expired

      • Just checked with the OB team, they will refund the points for flights cancelled and add them to the points expiring end-2020. Seems reasonable and fair instead of just losing the points outright due to their original end-2019 expiry date.

  6. mutley says:

    Interesting take from HH, extending my Diamond until 2021, in stark contrast to my Marriott downgrade to Gold from Titanium. What chance of a reversal from Marriott??

    • Or did Hilton respond to look very good against Marriott ?

    • I’m in exactly the same position as you. I think a LOT of people have been hit by the Marriott changes and this may force them to backtrack. Even a soft landing would be OK, I can live with Platinum Elite.

      • mutley says:

        Agree, a soft landing to Platinum, is more like it, same 4pm late check out and room upgrade as you get in Titanium. Slightly annoying as I did 40 nights in Marriott up until end of February, and only 25 with Hilton, 20 IHG and 10 nights with Melia.

        I wonder if a Titanium challenge will be offered? If so I will likely to become very well acquainted again with the Moxy at Heathrow!

        • Lady London says:

          @mutley just counting up those nights you mentioned.
          Do you ever sleep at home? 🙂

          • Mutley says:

            Fortunately yes! I work for US based Corp they have a Marriott deal so five trips to US HQ sees the forty nights, Meliá was Spanish hols, the rest odds and sods taking a lot HfP recommendations, best last year were Kimpton in Russel Square, Conrad midtown NYC.

  7. Just popped up on my booking page at BA:

    Receive a £50 statement credit1 and 6,000 bonus Avios2
    When you take out a British Airways American Express® Premium Plus Credit Card today

  8. Hilton Honors – Here’s the relevant bit from the email I just received –
    Your Hilton Honors Status and Points

    We consider it our privilege to have you as a Hilton Honors member and we want to show our appreciation by extending your benefits:
    2019 Status Extension. All members whose 2019 status was scheduled to be downgraded on March 31, 2020—whether it’s Diamond, Gold or Silver—will automatically receive an extension through March 31, 2021.
    2020 Status Extension. We are extending your 2020 member status through March 31, 2022. This means you will continue to enjoy all the Diamond, Gold or Silver benefits you have access to today for the next 24 months.
    Points Extension. We will pause the expiration of all Points scheduled to expire between now and December 31, 2020.
    Weekend Night Rewards Earned on Eligible Hilton Credit Cards. We have extended the expiration date of all unexpired Weekend Night Rewards as of March 11, 2020, and all new ones issued until August 30, 2020, through the end of next summer (August 31, 2021).

  9. Shoestring says:

    and some you criticised me for sel-isolating out at our place in the sun, because it entailed just 1 flight

    check out Simon Calder’s latest:

  10. Claire l says:

    We booked return club tickets LHR to India for March using Avios and companion voucher. We flew out ok but 10 days into trip FCO advice was essential travel only and as India starting to pack up for tourists we decided to come back early. Some people in our hotel were spooked by their travel agents telling them to get out in 24 hours or risk quarantine. BA had not been in touch but other Airlines eg Qatar were calling their passengers and booking them on earlier flights. We tried calling BA in UK and India with no luck after few hours. In desperation and do we wouldn’t miss out on availability, we grabbed some Avios flights in club back 10 days early on basis if we’d been able to talk to BA we’d have been able to switch to those. We didn’t use another voucher so additional 125k Avios and strangely tax at £980 one way when original return was only £1050. We contacted BA on return and asked for refund of 125k Avios plus The tax but happy to pay any an amendment fee. They’ve said no and only thing they will do is refund half of original return flight so we are still out of pocket by c60k Avios and c£500. They have said we can try claim on travel insurance which seems ludicrous! They’ve since cancelled the return flight and are asking passengers to call them to seitch to a new date. No way to do any amends online and all requires getting in touch with them. Does this offer seem right or am I missing something?

  11. Simon Miller says:

    Had a look through the comments here and couldn’t see anything similar and just looking for some advice please!

    Booked DUB-LHR-DFW and return in Club ages ago and due to fly next week. One of the flights at least has been cancelled. Am I better to call up and re-book for a date in July (can always rebook again if that gets cancelled) or get cash refund do you think?

    Just thought flight prices could go up when this is hopefully over and original price of fare was v. good… any thoughts appreciated thanks!

    • Lady London says:

      If you want to roll the dice again on whether the flight you book in July will run then go for it.
      If you dont go and the plane flies, you’re on the hook for whatever cancellation charges your ticket carries.

      Personally I am very unsure if the US will “open” again by then and you might not necessarily be comfortable if you feel they’ve not got things under control. Your insurance for sure is going to exclude what you most want covered right now:-) as well, unless you purchased an annual insurance before it actually looked like a possible loss so all the insurnace companies excluded it!

      So yes I would takea punt if I still wantedthe itinerary but perhap a bit further out… Christmas maybe?

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