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. Anyone got any idea how to actually get through to BA? Cancelled a booking last Thursday (avios) through the trick posted here, but nothing (voucher/avios/cash) has come back. I know the cash will take ages but I want the voucher to make another booking. BA line just says the are too busy to take the call.

    • They are unlikely to engage with you as they are only dealing with people who are travelling in the next 72 hours. Vouchers are taking 10 days and more to be refunded. Do you have enough Avios to book something and BA might be persuaded to apply the voucher at a later date?

      • Thanks, I do have enough, and had considered it. Risk being I wasn’t sure if they can apply the 241 retrospectively, and if not would have to cancel the booking, and you never quite know what happens to the reward seats in that scenario. Anyone have any experience of this (adding retrospectively).

        • It’s technically possible as they already do it if you book your return leg online then ring up and request the Avios back. It would be down to whether they were prepared to extend the goodwill. But you’d hope they would want to retain customers… but then again, it’s BA 🤦🏻‍♀️

  2. A nice video summarizing the crisis for the Aviation Industry as a result of COVID-19:

  3. Does anyone have any idea how long a refund for taxes will be sent through to my credit card? Cancelled on Monday 16 March, avios and 241 voucher posted back to my account immediately but still waiting on cash refund of over £1300. I’m due to pay my statement balance by saturday and could do without having to shell out £1300 more than I need to when I know the refund is pending

    • Hi Gill
      I’m in the same boat and unlike you had to phone You First (got through immediately) because the 241 voucher and avoid had NOT appeared. Agent sorted that right away and said the tax refund was in a queue – and could take 10-14 days. I’ve read elsewhere though that it is taking longer though.

    • I’m similar, but not even had the 2 for 1 voucher back yet. Guess I might have to phone, is it the executive number I need to call?

  4. Hi. Just a quick question, my Platinum Amex card is due for renewal next month, given that the majority of benefits are travel related what are the chances of being able to negotiate a reduction in the annual fee or statement credit to off-set it?

    • I would imaging that your chances are pretty high. This is the moment where you have maximum leverage

      Maybe explain the difficulties that you are currently experiencing

    • Worth a try I agree.

    • Harry T says:

      Please let me know if you are successful. My Platinum renews in May and I’ll be cancelling or downgrading it if they don’t throw me a bone.

    • the_real_a says:

      Why bother? Downgrade to Gold CHARGE card – same account, history, security whitelists etc etc.

  5. anyone had any luck contacting Avios Travel rewards recently? i’ve got a redemption flight which has been cancelled by BA, but really struggling with getting through… all sorts of weird noises on the hold line including voicemail messages?! are they actually still open?

    • am i able to cancel this direct with BA? was booked with a Lloyds voucher hence the booking direct with Avios but if i can sort directly with BA it may save some time

    • Redhroogar says:

      Hi Luke,
      I’m in similar situation however, having tried 4 times and getting cutoff with the too busy message finally got through with only a few minutes wait to the Exec Club (press 1 for Avios booking). Then was told that they could only do refunds or changes if my flights were within 72 hours. Very frustrating although the agent was quite happy to answer some other questions I had.
      Good luck!

  6. What’s going on with Easyjet, suddenly they have removed the option for a refund when a flight is cancelled? They’ve also disabled the link for EC261. Last week when a flight of mine was cancelled both were there. Just been notified of a further cancellation and no refund option. Seems from their FB page many others in same boat.

    • Charlieface says:

      Call them, if they kick up a fuss make a S.75 claim on credit card

    • For anyone unaware, airlines are trying very hard not to haemorrhage funds (for obvious reasons), so most refunds etc are being intentionally stalled. I am similarly affected, but for me its agreed compensation – long since delayed from their previously agreed payment date.

  7. 1967stuart says:

    Have a quick question on S75 cover is a credit card has been canceled

    I have Amex BA Black card that I have received the 241 so normally would cancel now to get prorate refund of the annual fee. However have a BA booking made on that card for a flight next year

    So more of a therical question : Does S75 cover still apply if I cancel the card now and for what ever reason find BA go bust in-between now and the next year.

    Thanks for any advice

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      Yes. S75 still applies even if the credit agreement is terminated.

  8. I have a booking this Friday night out of LHR to SIN. The flight is not cancelled yet but I can’t reach BA on any number to change or cancel the booking. Looks like they have even diverted the dedicated Gold card number to the general number. Each time I call 02032500145 number (from abroad as I am not currently in the UK) it gives me the automated message then just cuts out. Any suggestions how I speak with a BA customer service agent?

  9. I have a booking tomorrow night from LHR to SIN and just can’t get through to BA to get refund. I call 02032500145 that gives automated response then just cuts out. Any suggestions how I can speak with a customer service agent?

    • Shoestring says:

      if it’s a points booking you can cancel online see the workaround thread

    • Try 0191 246 3933 or 0191 490 7901 Those are the numbers I have for BA’s Newcastle call centre

    • Lady London says:

      Do yourself a favour and when you get through, ask them is the flight definitely running. First. This might just save you a cancellation fee. SIN may be one of the routes still running though.

  10. Researching fir a trip to Taiwan when all this is over! Some good J class fares on Asiana (a350) and Korean Air (747-8) via ICN.

    Assuming both survive the next few months. Wondering if anyone has flown either recently and which would they choose?

    Love the queen of the skies but never flown the a350 so torn at the mo!

  11. Pangolin says:

    Question about travel insurance vs. S75.

    The insurer says try I must try chargeback on my CC first, before making any claim.

    The credit card company says I must go through the insurer first, before making a chargeback.

    Which one is telling porkies?

    • Would think chargeback is last resort, why else would we take out insurance. Think insurance companies are obs hurting, so passing the buck to the credit card companies.

      • Charlieface says:

        Credit card is lying. They are jointly and severally liable together with the AIRLINE, not the insurance.

    • the_real_a says:

      Chargeback is not S75. Chargeback is Visa/Mastercard`s own process for return of monies due to contract not fulfilled.

      I am no stranger to complaints processes, and small claims courts – but every-time i have issued a charge-back its been successful and instantaneous. From a practical perspective you really should issue a charge-back in the first instance. You can always follow up with S75 later for consequential loss.

      My view is that your insurance is correct in this instance to ask for a charge back first. And its practical and quick to do so. Dont muddle chargeback and S75.

      • Pangolin says:

        Thanks. It’s Amex though, not Mastercard or Visa. Does that change anything?

        • the_real_a says:

          Firstly – is your AMEX a credit card or charge card? Only credit card versions are applicable for S75. But Amex also have a chargeback process – usually instantaneously. Key words are “Chargeback for breach of contract please!”

          If they refuse, demand they put that response in writing – either voluntarily or via an official complaint, then use that for insurance purposes. If insurance is declined then ombudsman complaint against both insurance/amex and let them sort out who is liable. Finally if your Amex is a credit card (not charge) then make S75 claim. I always prefer S75 as a last resort as it has the greatest chance to be legally defended. The other routes are generally signed off by junior staff who can fix your problem for under £1k or £5k type of manager.

          But now is the time to start collecting the paperwork and proofs.

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