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!

Virgin Atlantic offers incentives to rebook flights, Aer Lingus gives a 10% bonus and Lufthansa offers €50 - will BA follow suit?
Big hotel news from Hilton - all Hilton Honors status downgrades reversed, and your existing status extended

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  1. Hi

    I had a hotel booking for Spain for April using a free night voucher from the SPG Amex card. The booking was cancelled and the voucher returned to me. It now expires mid April so is basically useless, any ideas for how I can convince Marriott or Amex to extend it a bit?


    • I think I’ve read that Marriott are extending the validity of free night vouchers for their US credit cards. Perhaps this will be the case for the SPG in the UK as well?

  2. There’s a thread over on FT regarding Air France cutting a deal with Amex France. Air France are refusing refunds for cancelled flights and offering vouchers. When poster sought a chargeback Amex France refused, saying they had been instructed by AF not to open any chargeback claims.

    • Andrew says:

      Don’t know whether the French have the equivalent of S75 protection but a quick complaint to the financial ombudsman should the same happen in the UK would be in order. It’s just wrong on so many levels. “We’re allowing chargebacks against airline X but not airline Y because we have a deal with them”

    • Lady London says:

      ‘Instructed by AF ? ‘
      Is that even possible?

      Customer did not get what they paid for

      Does anyone think this is Amex France protecting itself somehow?

  3. Michelle Bryant says:

    Hello, We are due to pay our balance on our flight and car booking.
    Should I just forgo the £300 deposit or pay the balance, when it sounds like we can only get a voucher that will only be valid for 1 year?
    Any advice gratefully received. Thank you

  4. Slightly OT – is there a significant benefit to having IHG Ambassador AND Spire at the same time? Only just getting into IHG but with the reduced target for Spire just now we could probably achieve it for at least one of us this year.

    • If you are going to have children in your room it makes a difference.
      We got a fantastic suite at the park lane IC because our 12 year old daughter was staying and no additional charge(€50) at the Paris indigo when she was included in the room

      • We have a teenager so wherever we can we book accommodation with a separate sleeping area for him.

    • Ambassador has zero effect except at ICs.

      In theory, Spire Ambassador should be treated better than just Ambassador.

      At some ICs Spire Amb got nothing for me, at others better upgrade than just Amb.

      Don’t spend unnecessarily on trying to get Spire, especially if you could just spend that money to get the upgrades you want.

    • Marginal – I stay at the two ICs in HKG semi-regularly, and Spire AMB gets me two lots of food and beverage discount vouchers (HK$110 each IIRC), but that’s it. All the benefit I get other than that is from AMB, rather than Spire.

    • Marginal – I stay at the two ICs in HKG semi-regularly, and Spire AMB gets me two lots of food and beverage discount vouchers (HK$110 each IIRC), but that’s it.

      All the benefit I get other than that is from AMB, rather than Spire.

    • I think it probably depends on the individual hotel. Also whether the Ambassador weekend night is useful to you, of course with the caveat that the first night is charged at the higher flexible rate. Once you renew Ambassador after the first year, the 10% off award bookings can be very useful if you have enough IHG points for this to make a difference.

  5. Jackie says:

    BA are not even giving the option to change my cancelled avios flight online now. They say I have to call to discuss my options . Why are they making things so hard

    • Cancel and rebook?

    • Henry Larsen says:

      Have you tried the Javascript trick? Not sure if/when this changed but I was in your situation three ago and it worked for me. I got the confirmation e-mail — but no Avios/fees have been returned yet.


    Any update from BA on retaining status, i havent seen anything on website

  7. fivebobbill says:

    Someone (can’t remember who) was asking about the payout timing of the Tesco Pet Ins bonus the other day. Just to say mine has appeared overnight, some 41 days after purchase.
    That’s a very welcome 8,000 avios for anyone on the old rate.
    At the risk of incurring the wrath of the “unsullied” in here, many thanks to Shoestring once again for the tip, keep them coming mate 👍

  8. Qwertyknowsbest says:

    Appreciate any guidance with downgrading Amex Plat and BAPP cards to no fee cards. No longer need Amex Plat benefits until this crisis is over when will upgrade cards again. Best cards to opt for and confirmation that Amex rewards remains with new card? I guess Straight forward to do but the wisdom of H4P contributors would be appreciated.

    Thank you.

    • Shoestring says:

      I’m a fan of Green (£60) as it has had some great Amex offers and preserves your MR points

      but you could also go for Gold (£140) or the free charge card, maybe others

      • Qwertyknowsbest says:

        Thanks, I wonder if the Gold would honour free for first year given I am an existing Plat card holder?

        • the_real_a says:

          Yes i have it free on the downgrade. Same account / offers / history / merchant whitelist etc

    • fivebobbill says:

      +1, work in progress, as soon as my new Green card arrives the Amex Plat is going…

    • raikje says:

      Don’t forget the “American Express Rewards Credit Card” – no annual fee and earns Membership Rewards, so your balance is maintained. That’s what I did when I cancelled the Plat.

  9. Funny how many people think its off topic to post a question here ;-0)

    Has anyone had any issue with combine my Avios on BA? It appears to be broken. Tells me my login has expired (even though I only just logged in,) Any work around?

  10. Loops83 says:

    Hi all. I have a domestic CE ABZ-LHR booking; first leg flown 18 Mar and return was booked for 1 April-they cancelled this very soon after booking and rebooked on earlier flight same day. Since then the lockdown means I don’t want to go and put my family at risk. Problem is the e-ticket no was changed for the rebooking of the cancelled flight which has put some weird rules on there (assume it was treated as a change)-to change the ticket costs more than a new ticket!! I know this can happen with rebooking but BA won’t help over twitter and I wouldn’t try to get through til the 72 hours. That said I won’t hold my breath, had a nightmare with various other BA flights I had booked for travel over the past couple weeks.

    All a bit long winded-apologies-is there a way to get the original e-ticket rules reinstated? First world problem I know but work uncertain and I can do without losing £100+ for no reason.

    I cannot get a clear answer from them (or anywhere) whether I am entitled to a voucher for the flight as it is not specified whether ‘journey’ means a leg in the booking or if the fact I have flown the ABZ-LHR leg means I’m ineligible? Any help gratefully received to stop a few extra grey hairs!

    • Lady London says:

      @Loops83 if BA canceled your flight, or if they changed your flight number, or if they moved it signifcantly even if it does still have the same flight number, in all these cases you are entitled to get a refund in cash of that flight and anything else left on the booking. Your choice. Not theirs. And you are not obliged to accept a voucher. Just tell them EC261

      If they refuse ask your credit card for s.75 refund or, especially if you still need it and it’s expensive,ask under s75 for cardco to fund replacement transport. Could be worth looking at any travel insurance you have too.


  11. Hi, got an email from BA with voucher codes from a refunded flight, will they appear online on the Exec Club somewhere too, like the Amex vouchers?

    • I don’t think so. I too have a voucher and I searched all over but no trace. Can’t even find out how much the voucher is worth

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