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!

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Comments

  1. Flown my last BA segment for a while (until at least the lockdown is over, or longer if it seems a good idea to continue to limit travel)

    I was flying LHR-NCL going home for lockdown and I’d like to share my experiences.

    BA has cut catering so the staff don’t have to handle or prepare food. You get a small bottle of still water and a biscuit. CE also got a packet of pretzels. No BoB in economy or other catering.

    I was in CE and the flight was a 321neo so no middle seat tables so the benefit over Y was a packet of pretzels. In the grand scheme of things it’s no big deal. I’m not going to be demanding a refund in the current situation but I might suggest that they make short haul all Y until things return to normal as long as the seating algorithms try and space passengers appropriately.

    I had booked this flight just before Boris Johnson announced the lockdown but knew it was coming so I planned my trip home.

    The crew reminded everyone to stay at home and follow official advice and hoped to see us again ‘sometime in the future’.

    Beware in T5 airside only WH Smith and Boots is open. As the restaurants and bars are closed the main general seating area was quite crowded, but if you look around you can find seating areas that have nobody sitting there so will be safer.

    I was in the airport a number of hours before the flight as I needed to work. I walked through the (always quiet) tunnels to T5B where it was very peaceful and found somewhere comfortable to sit with a socket.

    If you still need to get home. Don’t delay! But if you don’t need to travel then delay your plans even if it does mean having to take one of those dreaded vouchers. But remember you can claim your voucher up to an hour before departure so hold off and your flight might get cancelled which gives you more options.

  2. Cavallinorampante says:

    BA cancelled my cash Business Class flights (not Avios) to Malta yesterday and I have only been given a Refund Voucher offer online forcing me to have to call for a cash refund. Anyone else seen this?

    • Yeh it is a real pain, especially as I don’t know what the voucher will be. I’ve found it impossible to get through to BA call centre, the system just cuts me off even before the messages are finished, every time. It is a shitty system

    • Use the workaround pinned to our home page and you can have cash.

  3. There was an advisory to wash loose fruit & veg with soap as the virus can live on them.

  4. FYI – KLM not providing a refund on flights which have now been cancelled. Needing to go down S75/ chargeback route. Only been offered voucher/ rearranging flights.

    • Also – used FB messenger rather than waiting on a call centre. Also has the benefit of having it in writing.

      • We got refunds for KLM agreed last week for a cancelled flight. Had to persist past them trying to push us to a voucher though. Went through to the Platinum Flying Blue line.

  5. Michael says:

    Hi, my Amex Gold is about to clock the annual fee. In all honesty I’m looking at resetting the clock with Amex (2 years) so will probably close it off. I will need to clear the membership reward points – typically i would withdraw them to BA Avios, but a little reluctant to do so in the current climate.

    any suggestions?

    • Sandgrounder says:

      I think the consensus is that the big hotel brands are probably pretty safe. Depends on your existing balances and the number of MRs you wish to convert.

      • Marriott is an interesting option because of their decent conversion rate to airlines:

        1 Amex point = 1 Avios
        1 Amex point = 0.66 Bonvoy points = 0.825 Avios assuming you convert in chunks of 60k Bonvoy

        Not a huge loss of value and extra flexibility because you can use them for hotels too.

        • Genghis says:

          Right argument but with the wrong numbers.
          40k Amex MR = 40k avios.
          40k Amex MR = 60k Bonvoy = 25k avios
          I.e. a 37.5% reduction in value, not the 17.5% you propose.
          The numbers change if you add in say a 35% bonus hotel points to BAEC, assuming BA would still be around, but I don’t think you can include that given the diversification argument in the first place.

  6. Charlie says:

    Just an observation about anyone ordering wine with Avios, it would appear that Laithwaites are broken, they are not taking calls. I suspect that they have been overwhelmed with demand. I ordered on 17th March, but nothing yet.

    • Got my first order from them yesterday, now need to cancel the subscription via email

    • Their website says they are temporarily shut.

      • Yes, they’ve stopped taking orders directly. Not sure if Avios orders are going through. Off-licences are now allowed to be open to the pressure may come off them a bit!

    • I’ve had a text saying my 18 bottles are arriving today! They must have been drunk dry 🍷

      • Just arrived lol. Some very nice bin ends. Weekend starting on Thursday at the moment!

  7. So here’s a question… Have received my refund for BA cash flights I had booked this month. Amex have also unsurprisingly taken back the 3 x Avios awarded on BAPP card. Have also had the 3000 avios removed from the spend incentive earlier in the year. At present this is just on the card, however I’m assuming whatever negative balance I have in place during the monthly sweep will be reflected in my BA Exec Club balance after tsaid sweep? So question is, if I cancel the BAPP (which I’d be ok with at the moment) does anyone have experience of cancelling a BA Amex with a negative Avios balance? I’d obviously clear any £ balance to zero. Many thanks in advance.

    • They don’t sweep negative balances over – they sit on your Amex and reduce as you accrue points then when you get back to a positive position they start transferring again. Never closed a card with a -ve balance. I’ve had refunds through and “spend” points have been clawed back but not Promo points by looks of things.

  8. Hi – I had a trip to the US booked for last week, cancelled as FCO advising against all but essential travel at that point. The main bit was a BA Holiday which we’ve had refunded already and most of the rest has been cancelled without charge.

    We had a couple of AA internal flights that were non-refundable (separate bookings) – I’ve cancelled those online and submitted a claim to Amex Platinum Travel Insurance. Early days but anyone got any experience – I think they should pay out based on guidance on their website but any experience most welcome.

  9. Diydegsy says:

    I have a hotel booking with IHG for April in Manchester which is an advance booking. It says they are waving cancellation fees on their website until 30th April so should I just cancel the booking online and see if I get an automatic refund or do I have to email them first? Also anyone have any dealings with Melia getting a refund on an advance booking ? Thanks

    • AFAIK the hotel would have to process the refund manually even if you cancel online – they also take the payment manually when you book. So you might as well email them if you have the address

  10. Isobel Brown says:

    I am still trying to sort out retention of silver status. On 485 tier points and had Club Europe flight to Catania cancelled early April which would have awarded 160 tier points to get to silver retention. Tier point collection year ends 8th April. Concerned that if it rolls over I won’t be able to prove my situation. Don’t want to ring as they’re dealing with folks stranded etc. Was given exec club email but after 2 weeks no response. Virgin have extended status for 6 months but BA – nothing. Any thoughts/advice?

    • Not a lot you can do other than wait in my opinion. I don’t think they’d offer an extension even if you did call – but would expect there’ll be some kind of universal announcement/policy soon about this…

    • Isobel, you do get 2 weeks grace to fly that sector, but also worth a call. Many people in the same boat as you, right now.

  11. Nick_C says:

    Anyone flown long haul with BA recently?

    My nephew is coming back from Osaka in Economy on Saturday. Wondering if I should tell him to get a couple of bento boxes.

    (He was due to fly with AY via HEL, but AY have already closed that route, and he had no problem getting rerouted on BA)

    • He’ll get virtually nothing. Club World is now just a sandwich.

    • Michael C says:

      As Rob says, I was offered a sndwich for HKG-LHR.
      Is your son’s flight definitely on? I was due to get the “return” LHR-Osaka the next day (Sunday) but it was cancelled a few days ago.

      • Nick_C says:

        BA are still selling tickets for Sat KIX to LHR. Looking at ticket availability, that might be the last flight back.

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