Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Thursday 26th 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 (210)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • James says:

    Does anybody have any idea how long it is taking British Airways to issue the refund vouchers on offer for cancelled flights during the Coronavirus crisis.

    I applied for a voucher on 16 March and had an email from BA on 18 March saying it was being dealt with and I would receive my voucher in the next seven days.

    We are now 26 March, and still no voucher.

    Does anybody have any experience with how long they are actually taking to issue the vouchers by email? Thanks.

    • Anna says:

      A lot of people being told up to 10 days so it might appear soon.

    • Newbie A says:

      I applied on the 14th and received it on the 20th. Th original email said 48hours, but I read on here that the timing got extended so I sat back and waited, taking comfort that I took a screen shot!

  • Sam says:

    Hi Rob, hope you are well! Appreciate this may have been done to death but I’ve been busy with work. I have about 28k virgin miles. Should I be transferring them elsewhere? Obvs I wouldn’t want to lose them but realise it’s not a massive amount and there are more important things in the world. Apart from virgin I have about 128k avios and am about 5k away from my BA 2 for 1 voucher. I’m not planning on doing anything with avios but wonder whether I should do anything with the virgin miles? I have no points in any hotel loyalty scheme. I’ve read your article on this subject. Thanks as ever!

    • J says:

      You can convert Virgin in increments of 10k to Hilton or 5k I think for IHG. But you’ll lose half the value if not more and if you don’t have any hotel points already or won’t add to them, I’m not sure I see the point. But I’m confident Virgin will survive, some people are not so are happy taking a big loss by cashing out.

  • Iain says:

    Hi, is there a way to search the comments thread?

    • Shoestring says:

      if you’re on a specific thread you can use [Ctrl button + F] to search any specific word

      HFP search box for more general search of popular topics such as Tesco, Virgin, Marriott – brings up whole threads

      Google works well eg “” in inverted commas and adding other terms you might want to search, then put search results in date order/ recent etc with Tools

      • Aeronaut says:

        Use the “site:” operator to search a particular website / domain, e.g. put the following in Google, Bing or another search engine: pussycat virus

        • bill says:


        • Doug M says:


        • Dino says:

          Lol. Google search suggests this was the 1st Pussycat reference:

          Shoestring on 23 January 2020 at 18:09
          not looking anything like as dangerous or contagious as SARS/ bird flu

          this one’s a pussycat – which is probably where it came from in that market 🙂

          JRC on 23 January 2020 at 18:58
          Famous last words…

          • Doug M says:

            But to be fair he had to ease the early panic to give him time to stockpile toilet paper and rice.

          • Aston100 says:

            Amazing how despite having zero credibility he continues to post his fake medical opinions & advice.
            A bit like Trump.

          • Lady London says:

            And then make his escape out of the country

            And you forgot the pasta.

  • stron says:

    Does anyone know what happens if a booking with an infant gets rescheduled so that the infants turns 2?

    Theoretical question for now, but was looking at using my 2-4-1 in September for one last trip with my daughter as a lap infant before she turns two. If they cancelled or offered to rebook at a later date would I be anyway accommodated with now having to book a seat for her instead?

    I’d only use a 2-4-1 in business or first so the price of an additional seat if we had to pay would be considerable.

    • Robert says:

      +1. We’re in a similar, but not-hypothetical, situation. I assume that we’ll just have to deal with it/pay for it, though, as I can’t imagine that airlines are going to change their safety regulations (which I think the lap-infant rule is) because of this.

      • Vicky says:

        They will book a free seat for your infant turning 2 no matter what class you are travelling including first but only condition is that there should be a seat availability in that flight in your travel class else you will be offered a new flight which has 3 seats or cancel & refund. This is my own experience and in my case it was the positive outcome.

    • Lady London says:

      I don’t think you should have to pay the higher ticket price for a 2 year old as you didn’t cancel BA did. I’d ask them about that. You may even have scheduled your original date around this.

  • Rosie Bailey says:

    I need some advice please.

    I had flights to Faro on 8th May with my reward points returning 25th May. BA have cancelled my outbound only flight from LHR but left the return in place. They are still offering flights from Gatwick on that day. They are saying dont call if your flight isn’t departing within 72 hours.

    I’m still hopeful (optimistic I know) that we may be able to travel by then. Should I keep trying to get through and aim to transfer to Garwick now or wait? I’m worried that if restrictions ease all flights will fill really quickly.

    • Shoestring says:

      As they are reward flights, you might as well get them re-ticketed – the downside is very limited, in that in the worst case scenario you can cancel yourself later on for a refund minus a small fee (£17.50/ £35) even if the flights go ahead but you decide not to fly

  • jack says:

    Some of the hysteria here is getting boring. Most governments are not going to let that happen. Air France, Lufthansa, KLM and even Alitalia (now nationalised) aren’t going anywhere. I’m confident BA and Virgin will survive although I know some might disagree or hope otherwise. Further afield Australia/NZ will not let Qantas/Air New Zealand collapse, ditto Singapore, Japan etc.

    • Paul W says:

      Whilst I dont agree with flag carriers being propped up by governments, I do agree with everything you say. Governments won’t let this happen. However, the question does exist around whether or not the sacrificial lamb – will they let one airline go to send a signal to other airlines? The Lehman Brothers of the airline world perhaps..

      • jack says:

        Maybe. Lufthansa, Air France, KLM etc are always going to be safe because their govts aren’t going to want to be left without an airline while Virgin disappearing would just be a loss of competition… Germany let Air Berlin go bust which was a shame as Lufthansa suck and are useless anyway for anyone living in Berlin. Virgin going bust would very obviously be bad for consumers so I’m optimistic it won’t happen.

      • Spaghetti Town says:

        There were quite a few Lehman Brothers (plenty of banks in the US) so to speak, but only one Lufthansa in Germany, one Air France in France, one Iberia in Spain and so on.

        • Rob says:

          What was interesting about Lehman is that the bulk of the share were owned by employees. More than anyone, Lehman paid in stock and encouraged you to keep it. There was always a theory that, when investment banks stopped being partnerships and become quoted, they started taking more risks because it wasn’t ‘their’ money any longer. With Lehman, it was – in the main – still ‘their’ money and they still blew it!

  • Daniel Evans says:

    I was due to fly to South Africa today. I cancelled the booking and got a full tax/Avios refund.

    However i also had an internal BA flight from Jo’burg to Cape Town booked on Avios. This flight is still running as far as i know but for obvious reasons i cannot get it. I cancelled but got charged a £35 fee for cancellation. Is there any way of getting this back given that BA have cancelled the flight to get me to this flight also operated by BA.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Unless they were on a single ticket, which I suspect not otherwise it would’ve all been cancelled at once.

      No you can’t and that’s the risk with all separate tickets.

    • ChrisA says:

      I had a cash flight on Comair (operated by BA) booked for next month in SA. Because the flight was still operating, I was only allowed to apply for a flight voucher valid for 12 months. This suited me – it is fairly likely that I will go to SA in that time.

      • Daniel Evans says:

        How do they deal with Avios in a voucher? Do you get the cash back as cash + Avios or just cash? Presumably the voucher can be used on any BA flight?

        • AJA says:

          No I have had it confirmed that in exchange for the eVoucher BA hold the Avios and taxes you paid back for you to use against a future Avios booking of equivalent value. There has to be award availability to apply the voucher against. I would advise against taking an eVoucher and just do the workaround as listed in the article pinned to the top of HfP to get Avios and cash refunded when BA cancels your flight. DO NOT CANCEL BEFORE. WAIT FOR BA TO CANCEL.

  • Waribai says:


    Flying OSL-DOH-BKK rtn in early April. On the final leg coming back, Qatar have cancelled the flight and rebooked me on a flight arriving 6 hours later.
    Wrote and asked for a refund and was told I could only receive a voucher. Shall I call and ask again or go straight to section 75?

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