The new HFP chat thread – Monday 30th 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: https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/03/30/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-monday-30th-march/comment-page-1 The page will refresh with this article but the comments will now show the first page and not the last page.

We will continue to monitor how this is working:

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. Ianmac says:

    Two rants this morning. (Apologies if these have come up before)

    Rant 1
    I booked daughter on Heathrow Express on Friday 3 April Paddington-LHR back in early February (£10 sgl).
    BA cancelled her flight home that day.
    Filled out a ‘date change’ online form on Heathrow Express website
    Received a reply that it would take 10 working days and then 20 working days to respond.
    HE e-mail to myself suggested “The quickest and easiest way for immediate assistance is to give one of our friendly team a call on +44 (0) 345 600 1515.”
    I’ve tried calling four times and it forwards to an O2 voicemail. I’ve left a message but no call back (yet).
    Wondered if anybody else had the same problem / solution ??

    • I got through by selecting option 1 on the line instead of going through to the refunds option. HEx is offering free date changes on all advance tickets, up to 12 months from the original date of travel. You have to call them to rebook though when you have the new date of travel, with the original booking reference number. No refunds are given unless its a refundable or a day ticket. Hope that helps.

      • Ianmac says:

        Done Thanks
        HE can (would) only issue tickets for the next 6 months
        (I requested a date change to 23 December 2020)
        Agent told me to call back in late June and I will have a FOC ticket issued for the December date

  2. BA cancelled my outbound flight and keep my return flight as it is. I understand I can get full refund from this but been struggling to get in touch with them as they never picked up the call and the trick proposed by HFP page (i.e. disable JS) does not work for me. My flight is within 2 weeks. I don’t want to approach credit card as per chargeback policy based on this as I think there is better way… but I am running out of idea. Anyone else has any advise? Maybe just sit tight at the moment as I’ve still got time.

    Cheers,
    Vit

    • Ianmac says:

      Vit
      See my note above rer Rant 1
      BA cancelled my daughter’s flight which was booked for 3 April (with return 12 April).
      I called the BAEC GGL helpline and the agent gave full Avios and cash cc refund for out and in sectors.
      (I’m no longer GGL – expired end 2019 but still use that number anyway)

      • Thanks. Can you advise the number to be used? I tried the number above. It is actually HE number and not CGL?

    • Charlieface says:

      Why is there a better way? Chargeback should sort things out

      • I’m reluctant to to a chargeback as worried that I’ll then forfeit the Avios used to UUA the flights

        • Yes, Dave if the booking is made up of all or part of avios — I would not try tot he s75 chargeback. Mine is full cash though so might have to do that if BA keeps ignoring.

        • Charlieface says:

          So do a S75 claim, not a chargeback, the credit card then needs to cover the value of the whole ticket, including the notional value of the points. You could claim either a refund or a reroute using this, as well as duty of care. In other circumstances you could even get 600 EUR compo.

  3. Ianmac says:

    Rant 2

    Had family flights booked with KLM Sunday 5 April through Amsterdam to Innsbruck.
    Tyrol regional government closed all ski resorts some time ago.
    Lech, Austria hotel then sent reservation cancellation e-mail and have confirmed full deposit refund to my credit card.
    I called KLM – they refused a cash refund – use the website to obtain a credit voucher – they won’t even show forward booking availability past September / October as I would have rebooked for late December New Year skiing.
    I tried to argue about EU law … etc to no avail.
    KLM then sent an email on 26 March cancelling our flight to AMS – brilliant I thought – cash refund !
    I was just about to call KLM again this morning when I receive an e-mail from KLM saying that I have been re-booked on the later flight to AMS (4-1/2hrs later) – I deliberately did not book that flight schedule as it only leaves 1hr to get off plane, traverse CD gates, through Schengen passport control, security and onto AB gates – even if all the planets lined up it would be a sprint …
    I sense that KLM are going to avoid cash refunds at all costs.
    I even tried a dummy rebooking for September but the KLM website would not allow it as the AMS-INN sector is a Transavia aircraft (despite being marketed and booked through KLM with a KLM flight number).
    Is credit card S75 my best option under these circumstances ??

    • Charlieface says:

      Probably

    • Lady London says:

      Yes. KL are so deeply in breach of your right to receive the refund you’ve asked for and are fully entitled to so I wouldn’t hesitate.

      Certainly shows how much we need the limited consumer protection we have when even in peacetime the airlines are trying to do all they can not to pay out on problems they cause passengers. Things now are not their fault however due to their regular behaviour i am not that sympathetic.

      .

      • Ianmac says:

        Agreed

        Just been on hold to HH Barclaycard for 1hr 15 minutes
        Given up for today – will try again tomorrow.

        • In the past when I’ve contacted HH Barclay card agent directed me to complete online dispute form. Hope this helps frustration getting live agent.

      • Thank goodness for this site and how we can all advise and help. You are a godsend LL etc with this refund v voucher issue. Most pax in the UK are totally clueless, and seemingly so grateful for a voucher. But have absolutely no idea they might be fleeced when they come to use it, or even if they get a chance to do so.
        I was much maligned in the Sunday Times comments when l was explaining this…as people were gushing about how great BA were dealing with their cancellations. These people are so in for a shock in the next few months. Presuming BA survives to tell the tale that is, or not…cash is def king in this scenario, or chargeback.

  4. I hoping the HFP can offer me some guidance…

    There is little point in me keeping my AMEX Plat this year as all the benefits I want the card for are not being used. However one thing is keeping me from canning the card and that is the travel insurance. We have a family holiday planned in July with Virgin Holidays which I dont think will be happening however with all the VA issues, I worried that if I cancel card and lose the insurance, I won’t be able to claim on it for the holiday.

    Given that it is a package holiday, should either Virgin holidays or VA go bust, is there a scenario where I will need the insurance given the ATOL certificate?

    Many thanks and stay healthy & safe!

  5. My wife has had an email re Virgin to Hilton transfers saying the account names don’t match. Claiming the name on her Hilton account is her married name whilst the Virgin Atlantic account is in her maiden name. Just logged in to check and both are definitely her maiden name, She hasn’t legally changed it so passports/cards etc are still her ‘maiden’ name so cant see how they have her married name anywhere on record!!

  6. Has BA fixed the work around to get a cash refund? Can’t seem to make it work anymore as refund page is now on “the new format” BA webpage. Not a techie so any help appreciated.

  7. Stephen says:

    UPDATE –

    Virgin Atlantic to Hilton Honors transfers are being sent through this Friday

    Has anyone booked one of the Virgin Limited Edition hotels (e.g. Ulusaba Safari / Kasbah Tamadot)?

    I wonder if you’d get more value booking one of these with Flying Club miles? Apparently the cancellation policy is a refund of miles if canceled 30 days prior. They receive payment from Virgin Atlantic (7-9 days after booking is made).

    • If you have enough miles… Mahali Mzuri looks far more memorable than any Hilton! Or if you have enough miles you could even hang out with Branson himself on Necker Island.

      • Stephen says:

        I’d have to top up my Virgin account from AMEX MR – is this risking throwing away more good miles?

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      I did read somewhere today that VS transfer points to partners once a month at specific dates

      • Stephen says:

        Friday 3rd April for Hilton is the next one.
        Unsure about the Virgin Limited Edition hotels.

        • Genghis says:

          What’s your source?

        • Likely to be the last one then…

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            Hopefully not! 😛

          • James H says:

            Still peddling this? Bore off.

          • Brian W says:

            @James H,

            Marcw pedals his opinions on this forum as ‘fact’, usually on a daily basis. He has been doing so for a long time. I’ve learned to simply ignore what he says or expect the opposite to happen, which is usually the case. He based one of his nonsensical ‘statements yesterday’ on Virgin Atlantic’s business plan contents and direction! As usual, that’s his uninformed opinion passed off as fact. He isn’t privy to that info clearly. Nearly fell off my seat laughing as normal when I read that last night.

  8. Ot- how long from claiming ba online refund, not voucher for cancelled flights are they seeing them processed with a refund to your credit card? Also did anyone get a confirmation email post request for cash refund as I didn’t get one so was wondering if application actually went through?

    • Bill B says:

      I filed an on-line refund request last week for an award flight with a BA 241 voucher after BA cancelled my April 2nd outbound flight. So far I have received no response at all – no confirmation email, no refund to my credit card, no Avios back in my account, 241 voucher still shows as used. Calling Executive Club in New York (where I’m based) just gets the “too busy to talk to you” automated response.

      On BA’s website is this statement, so I’ll keep trying to reach them, I guess:

      https://www.britishairways.com/en-us/information/incident/coronavirus/latest-information
      How long do I have to claim a refund?
      If your flight was cancelled and you did not check in, you can request a refund at any point up to 12 months after the start date of your journey. You do not need to claim your refund before you were due to fly.

      • I had a similar situation where a flight I booked using avios and a 2-4-1 was cancelled by BA. I used the workaround about 10 working days ago to ensure I got a refund and not a voucher, and then heard nothing from BA, even though my account had a notice saying that it was processing a cancellation.

        On the advice of this forum I called you first today, got straight through, and after checking, the customer service agent said that the refund application hadn’t gone through properly and she needed to do it manually.
        My avios and voucher were back in my account within 5 minutes and she said the full cash refund would be back on my card within 14 days.

        It might be worth making the call for those who used the workaround and have not had any response from BA.

        • Ruth4325 says:

          Same thing happened to me. Agent said both the avios and the money refund had got stuck in the system. She refunded my avios straight away and then submitted the cash refund for processing. She said this had happened to a few customers.

  9. Darren Weake says:

    Hi all,
    I have a Lloyds Avios voucher expiring soon and thought I’d use it for some flights in December (assuming we can fly then). I understood the RFS pricing was £35 in economy, and around £50 in CW. Expecting to use 7500 Avios pp for this 1 way flight. When I called up Avios they told me the RFS was now £1 and I’d have to fork out 24,000 avios pp! There was no option to reduce this back to the pre-£1 days. Has anyone had any experience with this, and is there any way to redeem these Lloyds vouchers using the old pricing of RFS?

    • I’ve heard of similar issues with Gold Priority Rewards. The agent can override the £1 / 24k figure if they know how to do it (or at least could) but involves more work on their part – ringing back might get a different result.

      • Darren Weake says:

        I’m having to deal with Avios themselves not BA, and they’re unwilling to entertain the option. Called a couple of times and they advised me the pricing structure has changed from £35 to £1 but Avios required has increased. I’m writing a complaint to them but in this climate I’m not expecting a reply. It’s a pain because I had saved the number of avios required under the old scheme so my vouchers are effectively useless. Ironically if I booked on BA or Avios online (without using the voucher) I can reduce the price with cash, but the voucher appears to be super rigid.

        • Neil Donoghue says:

          Keep us posted on this! I still have one Lloyds upgrade voucher after my flight for June just got cancelled. If this is the case, I better find a long haul route otherwise the voucher is worthless.

  10. Stephen says:

    Do not top-up Revolut with Virgin CC (even via Curve).

    It has gone back to being a cash advance. I reversed the transaction using Curve, and despite the refund going back into Virgin on the same day as it came out, they have charged a 5% cash advance fee and will not refund it.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      What’s the average time recently for receiving Amex referral points into accounts?

      • Howard Jones: 80s synth-pop legend (self-isolating) says:

        I have a trio, all at the seven to eight week mark, with nothing yet to show.

    • Pangolin says:

      I topped up Revolut with IHG Creation last month and it hasn’t been treated as a cash advance or incurred interest.

      I did a small amount and did not pay off the balance immediately – I left it until the statement date to see if any interest would appear later (as has happened before) but it didn’t.

      So for now it looks okay but I think I’ll keep the amount small until I’m more sure.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        It’s fine, been doing £500 – £700 @ week for 3x weeks now. Statement in and zero fees.

      • Oddly I did a couple last month. One was fine the other was treated as cash

      • TGLoyalty says:

        I had £0.21 of interest so for sure it’s timing between charge hitting and payment hitting rather than no interest charges being charged.

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          Strange as I don’t usually pay down for atleast a week.

        • Pangolin says:

          I didn’t pay down at all – I waited several weeks until the statement was issued to see what (if any) interest charge would be issued. The amount was small enough to run that experiment.

  11. Does anyone have any experience with making Santander mortgage overpayments with curve. My fiance is having issues with her curve card continually declining when she tries to make the payment over the phone. Linked to a credit card underlying. Any help would be welcome!

    • Which credit card is it linked to? IHG won’t do more than £300 in one go. Also your bank might only accept debit cards linked to a UK bank account- have you checked?

      • is a virgin card, to be fair haven’t tried any others. will investigate whether it needs to be a debit card linked to the mortgage account

        might have to go down the revolut route but then that won’t work with virgin, so will have to have a think!

        Thanks both!

    • fivebobbill says:

      Curve > Revolut > Transfer

    • Nick_C says:

      Bear in mind that if she has a 123 current account she would be getting 1% back on total payments up to £1k a month, so the cost per FC mile is 1p (free card) or 0.66p (fee bearing card).

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