Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Tuesday 31st 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/2020/03/31/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-tuesday-31st-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!

Comments (243)

  • MattB says:

    I just had that strange email from Virgin re data security and having to email, name/DoB and source of points? Is it even safe to send over email? And am I expected to list every source of virgin miles, there are loads!!?

    • Peter K says:

      Is this in response to trying to transfer them to IHG/Hilton.

      If so look at the chat yesterday or day before. It was covered there.

    • mark2 says:

      Have you hovered your cursor over the email address to see if it is in Russia etc.?

  • Waddle says:

    EY asked by UK Government to advise on bailout requests from airlines and airports.

    Source: Sky city editor

  • Alan says:

    Anyone else had an email from [email protected] re their HHonors transfer?

    “Thank you for contacting us regarding your HH transfer.
    With the current pandemic Covid19 and the extreme amount of calls that we have on hold for customers with flights in the next few days.
    We have decided that we are going to cover Data Protection over email instead to help our members.
    Can you please forward the following information please.
    Name
    Date of birth
    Current address
    How else do you earn miles”

    The English is a bit dodgy but the email address does seem genuine.

    • Genghis says:

      Yes – it’s genuine. You only seem to get one if you’re transferring a lot of points.

    • BA-Flyer says:

      Did you originally provide your details when texting them? I put my name, DOB and post code in the same text as asking for the transfer.
      I’ve not had an email (yet…) and was told the transfer had gone through.

      • Alan says:

        Yep provided all the details in original message and received confirmation it had gone through and a/c debited. Seems to be extra security check as Genghis suggests, just ironic it’s phrased in a slightly phishing manner!

        • Ian M says:

          I received a similar email yesterday, they did not ask for my address however.

          What I found odd was that I had called Virgin last week on Tuesday, and gone through all the data protection questions over the phone and that the miles left my Virgin account last week. So seems very odd to now be emailing me asking these questions!

          • Genghis says:

            Not necessarily. Using another form of authentication (from an email address known to be you) ticking back the particulars mentioned seems sensible to me.

  • U old git says:

    Similar to the Hilton comment above I have just received an email supposedly from Marriott Bonvoy saying that some of my information (along with others) has been accessed by an unauthorised source, Anyone else had this and does anyone know if this is genuine? I have emailed Marriott and am awaiting a response. I have not clicked on the link in the email which does look ok.

    • PlaneConcorde says:

      I have also received an email supposedly from Marriott International saying that some of my information may have been accessed.. Suspected between mid-January 2020 and end of February 2020.

      • U old git says:

        It looks like there may be something to this. I tried to log in to my MB account and they made me change my password and sent a security code to enable me to access my account..

      • BJ says:

        No email and no problem with my account when I last signed in about an hour ago.

      • Pangolin says:

        Loyalty Lobby and posters on FlyerTalk are also reporting a massive breach.

        If this is true then I think it’s lights out at Marriott. I’m certainly done with them.

    • philco says:

      Gary at the Viewfromthewing blog (US blog) is reporting another Marriott breach so very possibly legit.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      The register reporting a other breach, two compromised logins used at a Marriott property to infiltrate data over two months. No statement on scope yet

  • Nevil Burn says:

    My ba year ends on May 8 and I was due to hit gold next month during a flight to Europe but now with the reduced threshold for tier points (I am on 1380) should still make it but does anyone know when this is likely to take effect and be reflected in my account

  • Medine says:

    Please can anyone help me with how best to progress the below? I’m worried I will lose my money ☹

    In early Feb I booked return flights to Mumbai through TravelUp, we were set to take off this Fri 3rd April and return on the 13th

    Per my booking confirmation the route is:
    • London – Mumbai (Via Frankfurt with Lufthansa) [London to Frankfurt is noted as Agean Air, and Franfurt to Mumbai as Air Canada]
    • Mumbai – London (Via Zurich with Swiss Air)

    I can’t access the status of either of these flights through Lufthansa’s or Swiss’ websites to view their statuses. Although from a Lufthansa notification I am aware an element or all has been cancelled but it didn’t say which.

    I’ve had no luck getting through to TravelUp, Lufthansa or Swiss and unfortunately my travel insurance excludes FCO events such as this.

    Has anyone had experience with TravelUp or these airlines over the past few weeks? What is the best method for a refund?

    Any help much appreciated!

    • BJ says:

      Create a paper/e trail of efforts attempting to contact them for a refund. If you don’t get one then try insurance or s.75 charge back if you paid by credit card.

      • Medine says:

        Thanks BJ – I will start collating them togther.
        Unfortunately my Admiral travel insurance doesn’t appear to cover this and I’m worried that by booking through TravelUp an s75 may not work? (Paid with Amex Gold)

      • J says:

        Every sympathy with anyone who has booked through a travel agent and is now chasing a refund, but why do people still use these dodgy 3rd party travel agents? Realise Skyscanner promotes these outfits but if you’re a regular flyer it doesn’t take much research to see so many horror stories…

        • Liam says:

          Well, the answer is price, isn’t it? Sometimes you’ll find an excellent deal—I once flew LHR–JFK return in Virgin economy classic for £270—or maybe you’re trying to fly a family and even a small saving per person makes a significant difference over that size group, which either means more money to spend once abroad or is the difference between going and not. On at least one occasion I found a flight cheap enough via an OTA to convince my company (pretty small at the time) to send me overseas on a business trip. I’m lucky enough now to be in a position where I can book directly with the airline and not think twice (and the Amex Platinum in the US pays 5x points for airline spend) but I can see the appeal of OTA in certain circumstances.

          • J says:

            True and in fairness it is not as if people who booked direct with airlines are being rewarded with great customer service right now. I can be a penny pincher but I still wouldn’t risk the unnecessary complication.

    • Vit says:

      I was in a similar situation. Long story short, travelup is hopeless at the moment in term of communication with the customers. In my case:

      Case A – Air China flight cancelled by passenger
      1. Air China allowed free cancellation. Cancelled via travelup for full refund.
      2. Was told the refund should be back in account within 6-8 weeks.
      3. Waited for almost 7 weeks to get refund. Email them many times but no response.
      4. Ran out of patience, filed dispute/chargeback via AMEX.
      5. Got money back in a couple day.

      Case B: Cathay Pacific flight cancelled by Airline
      1. Flight was cancelled by Cathay Pacific. I was notified by airline.
      2. Asked travelup to cancel it but again no response whatsoever.
      3. Filed in dispute via Amex again.
      4. Got money back in a couple day.
      5. Email cathay pacific to see if travelup has cancelled my booking yet, they confirmed yes. So yes travelup got your email, but I think they just don’t have capacity to reply to everyone at the meantime.

      I would say you have to try to contact the airline to see if your booking has been cancelled and go from there. As suggested above, try to collate all the email correspondence as you will need it later to back up your dispute. I hope you find this helpful. If you book through amex, you will be okay with chargeback. Don’t worry.

  • Beth says:

    My plan for months has been to emigrate to Australia mid May. I have a first class Avios flight to Sydney booked with BA for then. I’m a permanent resident so believe they’d let me in (I know I’d need to do 2 weeks isolation). For financial reasons I really want to have left the UK by the end of June latest.

    Since I need to rent my house out and give notice on various things soon, am trying to work out what to do – move my flight now (BA have emailed me giving me a choice of moving dates or getting a voucher), and they do have avios availability for June, wait and see, try other airlines… Obviously I’d rather use my avios for a flight, but ultimately any flight with any airline to Sydney in May/June would do – just hope there is going to be a flight I can get on.

    • TripRep says:

      Hi Beth, we are expecting to be approaching peak infection rates around June, Australia won’t be far behind.

      Best wishes with any decisions you take.

      • Beth says:

        Thanks! This move was planned a long time ago and it’s definitely been a case of ‘The best laid plans of mice and men…’

        Luckily I am fortunate to be well placed to adapt to all of this so I am trying to just smile and look on the bright side! It’s a fluid fast changing puzzle and I just need to rework my plans as events unfold.

    • Lady London says:

      Ask them to put you on QR but you would need to be ready to travel at once as things may change even with QR… You don’t want to then have to deal with QR.

      Where will you live if you’ve dealt with your house and then get stuck? Good chance airline flights completely stop for your preferred timing. Also good chance restrictions get tougher at both ends and any transit point if you stick to your preferred timing. Dealing with property may become more difficult if you leave it to later too.

      I am sure you’ve planned it well have a lot of good reasons for hanging around but a lot of things people expected to be there have suddenly disappeared. If it was me I’d be going now.

      • Beth says:

        Thanks for the advice.
        Long story but there are things that need to be sorted here which are going to take at least another few weeks, (I’m in the middle of closing my limited company which has taken a significant amount of time and the liquidator can’t accelerate things although he knows the situation, and there is work that needs to be done on my house and things organised and I am the only person who can do them). Since my decorator is self-isolating, removal companies aren’t doing removals, my solicitor has closed, letting agents aren’t currently doing viewings, and I can’t leave the house – it would be practically impossible for me to get everything sorted to leave now. Since I don’t know when I could come back to the UK – I’d rather just get these things sorted before leaving.
        However, you’re right in that maybe I should switch my thinking and plan around sooner rather than delaying!
        As for my house – my letting agent says I can postpone letting out my house at the last minute if necessary (although I wouldn’t want to do that and mess somebody about). I also have the option of staying with relatives or in hotels/airbnb if really necessary. I have no ties or obligations and can adapt to whatever happens so I’ll be fine. Financially, I have built in significant contingency into my plan – so that’s fine too. There are just a lot of reasons why the original plan had a window of May/June for leaving!

    • Harry T says:

      Hi Beth, I imagine that BA won’t be flying to Sydney in June. If you do book an Avios ticket, and they cancel your flight then I believe you can ask to be rerouted. If BA isn’t offering flights at all then they should book you onto Qatar, if they are still flying. Qatar much more likely to be flying than BA, IMO. It could all be quite messy though, as we’ve seen recently that BA aren’t going out of their way in an organisational level to help travellers. I wish you the best of luck with your plans at this horribly uncertain time.

      • Beth says:

        Hi Harry, thanks that’s really helpful as I wasn’t sure what the chances were that BA would be flying to Sydney then. At this point I’d be happy with anything BA could do – my Avios flight with them was booked quite a long time ago – flying with Qatar would be great. If I have to cancel with BA, then rebook myself with Qatar that would be fine. I literally just want to get to Australia, on any flight and any class.

        From the responses I’ve received, it sounds like I should get everything done asap in order to leave, then talk to BA and see what my options are with Qatar.

      • Lyn says:

        It also seems within the realms of possibility that Qantas could operate an infrequent London flight by late June. They have cancelled all international flights until “at least the end of May” and will obviously re-asses this later. The thing is that London is normally an important route for them and at that point there will probably still be a lot of Australians stuck overseas that want to get home.

        Good luck with all the work you have to get done and making your plans, Beth.

  • Tobi says:

    Hello,

    Just information sharing:

    I booked a trip with BA Holidays to LA and SF (Flights and Hotels) to leave on the 15th April and got an e-mail from BA saying the entire trip would be refunded within 10 days… Took longer but got the payment back on my Card today. So it’s taking longer but getting through.

    Tobi