Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Saturday 28th 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.

By default, HFP shows the last page of comments under the article.  If you want to see the first page of comments and read them all from beginning to end in order, click here:  The page will refresh with this article but the comments will now show the first page and not the last page.

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 (304)

  • MattB says:

    Probably a bit niche for this site but was able to ring up and cancel a non-refundable Amtrak booking for our doomed Easter holiday for a full refund. So that’s everything fully refunded now, bit of a relief.

    Will have a think about our summer trip, as I doubt the US will be in a good way for a fair while yet.

    • Doug M says:

      Thanks. Useful to me. I had a train booked from Seattle to Vancouver in May which has been cancelled. They emailed to say call but as yet I’d not bothered.

  • Vicky says:

    Just out of a call with EK, reward ticket flight cancelled and their policy for refund is passenger pay $75 to get their the EK Skyward Miles. The agent rather agents ( I validated the statement with 3 different agents ) said it wasn’t EK mistake rather govt. order so EK cannot issue refund of miles without cancellation fees $75. The most ridiculous policy ever heard!! COVID-19 is exposing the airlines true colours. Sad !!!

  • Henry says:

    So if everyone has emptied their Flying club balances in the last 14 days and it takes 30 days for Virgin to send them over to Hilton what are the odds of Virgin not sending them over to Hilton and ring-fencing/stopping future withdrawals?
    It happens with investment funds all the time when lots of folk run for the exit door at the same time so it wouldn’t surprise me if they put a stop to it themselves.

    • Alan says:

      I requested transfer last night and not heard anything so worried they’re already blocking them…

      • Henry says:

        If they operate on a fractional reserve type of system and depend on those who have large balances to not use or ask for them back all at once then it could be tricky.
        Going to be an interesting couple of weeks going forward thats for sure.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        My transfer request was auctioned today via SMS so don’t worry, they are still transferring out.

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          Points already zeroed from my VA account. 😎

          • Henry says:

            I would say don’t count your chickens until they have hatched…
            or until they are in your Hilton account.

          • philco says:

            Personally until they show up in your Hilton account I would make no assumptions. Even then I suppose there is a claw-back risk if VS doesn’t pay Hilton (no idea when the payment is made vs the transfer to Hilton).

            I am curious has anybody who has transferred in the last two weeks actually seen the points make it to Hilton?

      • Mac D says:

        @Alan If you requested it yesterday and they confirmed it then you won’t hear anything else until its been done, you can probably check your online account that should show the points having left

      • Matthew says:

        I sent a text this morning that was actioned this afternoon 👍

    • Mac D says:

      Well I just cashed in 250k points and considering more

      • Henry says:

        Bank run on flying club miles.
        I imagine a large % of people with big balances will be head for pointers.

        • Shoestring says:

          but HFP people = meaningless in the grand scheme of points

          we had 600K, assume another 1000 HFP people had similar = 600,000,000 = £6m or more like £3m

          it’s peanuts for Virgin

          • Henry says:

            I don’t think so i think most people with big balances will actively know the points game and more than likely read hfp.
            Id say its more like 5000 people each having 500k balances most people don’t comment but will read articles etc
            Another 10k people with 100k points or less will also read hfp and withdraw

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            With those type of balance transfers, my small 60k should get through the finish line! 🤓

          • Henry says:

            If its peanuts everyone will get their points converted and i will be wrong.
            I hope they do I’m just pointing out its not 100% likely when u look at Virgin.

          • Henry says:

            So you have moved 600k?

          • Shoestring says:


          • jack says:

            Agreed… I know people with far bigger Avios/VFC balances (earned through travel not messing around with credit cards like most of us) who pay little to no attention to their points balances. I’ve tired to tell them about Hfp but they’re not really interested! This can be quite a niche pursuit.

        • Mac D says:

          Well thats only a small portion, I am considering the other limited options such as IHG, Virgin gift card and Kaligo also but obviously come with their own risks too

    • Lady London says:

      Can investment funds do that legally? I heard there is one property fund that has blocked all trading…and yet, it’s still charging fees to investors stuck in it.

      • Clive says:

        Oh yes. Just search Woodford to see what can happen

        • Novice says:

          I was about to give this example.

          On HL platform, charges were stopped as soon as trading was suspended.

          I’m not sure about other platforms.

  • Ali says:

    Hi Peeps.
    My return flight in 2 months is cancelled by Emirates.
    It tells me to contact my travel agent for the rest of the process.
    Am I due the full fare refund or would I get a mere half? As I would still need to pay up a full fare really to book a one way flight. Any ideas as to what I should be asking for?
    My port of call – contact travel agent, then try charge-back and the last thing is insurance. But am I entitled to the entire refund?

  • Mac D says:

    @Shoestring Can’t use the virgin points for wine anymore, Virgin Wines is closed for new customers, how many van loads did you order?

    • Novice says:


      • Shoestring says:

        transferred the lot to Hilton now, just the nervous 30 day wait to get through

        alternative strategy was to book a far-away refundable points flight but since the wife is handy on SMS/ texting, I got her to go for the ‘devaluation to hotel points’ route

        got a few spare thousand kicking around & might order some wine for my 80YO self isolating pa

  • Mac D says:

    Can’t use Avios for wine either, but the VS miles are weighing on my head more…

    Kaligo will hopefully be a safer option…

  • Lashious says:

    good evening, I’ve searched thru tis thread so apologies if I’ve missed it. Am due to fly American airlines on april 18th, to Cancun, and then back a week later on interjet. Both have offered a free rebook within a year. Travel insurance decline to reimburse as have been offered the rebook. Has anyone heard any whispers about the american airlines. Obviously I can’t get to MIA international USA as my esta has been rescinded. Any advice appreciated Thanks.

  • Bruce says:

    Sorry to bother everyone but can you please advise.

    booked return tickets in Jan with 3rd party agent to fly with Icelandair in mid April. ticket type as non refundable.

    given current situation, should I wait till flight is cancelled and claim cash refund? as I prefer not to receive voucher to travel with icelandair.

    or dispute with CC company that I booked with if cash refund is not possible post cancellation. but believe 3rd party agent ticket only is not covered?

    many thanks

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Have to decide if it’s worth holding your nerve for a cancellation. If the flight flies a voucher is really your only option.

      I think you’ll struggle with a chargeback as the agent has provided a valid ticket and insurance could say you’ve been offered a voucher.

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