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The new HFP chat thread – Friday 3rd April

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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/2020/04/03/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-friday-3rd-april/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.  Take care!

Comments (167)

  • Raphael Waller says:

    Am currently mid itinerary and BA have cancelled my return flight LAX->LHR
    OTA is offering a BA flight 6 hours earlier instead on the same date. I’ve already flown back using Avios because the fare difference to change was too high, so am not interested.
    Am I entitled to a refund and compensation under EU261 as BA are clearly able to and still are operating flights on this route?

    • Lady London says:

      Take a look at EU261 (text is readable). There are limits on how many hours earlier an alternate flight can depart and arrive, those vary according to distance of flight. IIRC ,6 hours earlier is either just in or just out on long haul. You want out so you can reject.

      Regardless, since you’ve already flown home? I would reject with OTA saying you want a refund not a voucher. Then go check eu261 to assure yourself you can refuse.

      • Lady London says:

        Ps you are not entitled to compensation part of eu261 because canceling pretty much any flight can be attributed to current overall exceptional circumstances even if we know it’s quite likely the reason your flight was picked for cancellation could well have been commercial

  • xcalx says:

    If a telephone booking fee was charged should this be refunded if the booking is cancelled by BA. Thanks

    • Lady London says:

      I would ask and personally think you should have it back alongside other costs if you take a refund but am guessing BA will fight you.you should win though.

      • xcalx says:

        Thanks. Will send email and see what happens. No rush

        • Lady London says:

          I suspect if you take a voucher they can refuse to refund but not if you take a refund

  • rams1981 says:

    Revolut with HSBC WE. Just had my annual HSBC WE statement through until end of March. £4k of transactions went through as cash advance (i think in Feb time). Since then I have been pre-loading my credit card and then topping up so don’t know if that’s why not classified as cash advance or if Revolut have changed the code. Anyone else have data points?

    • Genghis says:

      How do you preload your HSBC credit card?

      If there isn’t a cleared balance when I send a faster payment from a Santander current account to the HSBC credit card, the payment is rejected and monies returned.

      • rams1981 says:

        I’ve been sending the cash (aslso from Santander) and topping up revolut later same day. Therefore there’s a pending charge and so perhaps cash is not sent back because of this?

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      How much did you get charged?

    • The Urbanite says:

      @Ghengis I don’t generally have any issues preloading the Prem WE card. But sometimes there is some lag where it takes several days for the account balance to update and sometimes payments in are instantly rejected. I haven’t quite figured out what the breaking point is.

      • The Urbanite says:

        @Genghis apols for the name typo that h seems to have gone adrift.

      • Genghis says:

        I’ve tried preloading and it just doesn’t work. Transactions seem to need to clear (takes 2 WDs) and then sometimes I can pay the balance off at day 2 but sometimes need to wait until day 3 (otherwise faster payment rejected). Strange.

  • stevenhp1987 says:

    Anyone cancelled bookings with hotels.com and got refunds lately?

    I cancelled 3 bookings (were fully cancelable, so not a special covid cancel deal) 2 weeks ago, and received no refund yet. They usually appear on my Amex a couple of days later!

    • Jody says:

      We’ve got the same problem, wasn’t sure at what point to contact them.

    • Nick says:

      Same here as well, cancelled 22/03 with no sign of refund coming back onto CC yet

    • Carl says:

      Same boat, got over £2k of refunds I’m waiting for, cancelled on 22/3. Having looked on twitter it seems hotels.com have basically buried their heads in the sand and are uncontactable and haven’t refunded anyone in some time.

      I’m weighing up whether or not it’d be quicker to raise a dispute with Amex.

      • Cat says:

        I cancelled a booking around then too – they said refunds may take up to 30 day to process.

  • Jody says:

    Perhaps a silly question, but I’ve never done a dispute with Amex before so don’t know the ropes. I disputed some charges with NCL for shore excursions on a cancelled cruise, as NCL were telling me they couldn’t refund until they’d heard from my travel agent, even though the excursions were nothing to do with the TA and booked and paid for directly with NCL (having a nightmare with my TA too and have done a S75 claim via Barclaycard).

    Anyway, the day after doing the dispute it says it is now closed, and I’ve been credited the amount back. As it says closed, is that it? When I spoke to Amex on the phone whilst I was doing it they lady said it could take 6-8 weeks, the money would be held in suspense until it was sorted, and I would be emailed if any updates. I’ve had no email, so just wondered if closed means finished and sorted, or does it mean something else?

    • Harry T says:

      Jody, I recently initiated a chargeback on some Virgin Australia bookings as I had no luck contacting the airline. The credits were sent to my account very quickly. I also received some letters from Amex, where they confirmed the chargeback was successful; however they did say the chargeback could be reversed in the future if the retailer provided evidence against my case. They also informed me they had contacted the retailer for further information.

      • Jody says:

        Thanks Harry and to Lady London too. Sounds like it is a positive result for me then!

        I can only hope my claim against the travel agent via Barclaycard goes as smoothly, but I doubt it. We’re talking £4000 rather than £200 worth of shore excursions.

    • Lady London says:

      Closed means sorted. If you have it credited back as well as closed the all good.
      Sounds like card co called them and they said no we aren’t in a position to pay so card just credited you and closed the matter.

  • BH says:

    Are tier points being quietly enhanced during Covid?
    I have a booking to Berlin in Club Europe in May. I went to manage my booking today as the flight has changed. While exploring change/cancel options I happened to notice that the booking would earn 120 tier points return, more than the usual 80.
    Anyone else noticed this?

    • Stu N says:

      This can happen if you have a cancelled flight in the booking – the TP count sometimes includes both the cancelled and replacement flights. Sorry!

    • Rob says:

      I think this is dodgy BA IT! Unless you’re connecting from Manchester etc?

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    IHG Spire Elite annual target has now reduced down to 55k in my account but no sign of 25k annual bonus. Think lead time might be another 2-3 weeks going on timeframe from spire announcement recently.

    • Michael says:

      I’m still seeing 75,000 target. Hopefully reduced soon as I should hit 55,000 this month. Not that I’ve got any upcoming bookings.

  • Peter says:

    WARNING – PROPELLER TRAVEL

    Propeller Travel has just refused to refund me the GBP50 service fees it charged for a booking I made a while ago, even though most of the flights in the itinerary were cancelled by the airline and I received a full refund. Insurance won’t be of use because there is a GBP50 excess…

    So be warned before you use Propeller Travel!

    • Polly says:

      Think it’s only fair for TAs to charge some small fee for the work they do on our behalf. Might be the general consensus on here…

      • Peter says:

        They are the only TA i have ever used which has not refunded an admin fee in a situation where the flights have been cancelled. I was surprised! Admittedly, there are probably others.

      • Rob says:

        To be fair, they have done all the work. In fact, they have done twice as much work as they had to process the refund.

        If I charged you £5 to pick up a parcel of clothing from the Post Office for you and drop it off at your house, and you later decided you were returning the clothes, would you demand the £5 back?

        A reader yesterday was being forced to pay a £70 per person ‘admin fee’ to get a refund from an online travel agent. I heard of one case where the agent wanted over £200 per person.

        • Peter says:

          No I certainly wouldn’t, Rob, because in that situation it is solely my decision to return the clothes. However, the present situation is that I can’t travel due to no fault or choice of my own as the flights have been cancelled. In this scenario, I would expect a full refund from the travel agent. What struck me as particularly odd was that there was no indication that the service fee wouldn’t be refunded throughout my dealings with PT – it was only when I received the refund from the airline that I discovered the service fee hadn’t been refunded! As a minimum, they should be more transparent about that I think.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            It’s the risk of using agents and to be fair to PT they are a small outfit and can’t just absorb the cost of all the manpower/overhead that goes into processing a booking and then cancellation.

            Genuine costs are allowable by law and I don’t think they’d find £50 is extortionate for the work and overhead that goes into make a booking/cancellation.

          • @mkcol says:

            Peter, your expectations are unrealistic.

            You chose to employ a professional travel agent & agreed to pay their fee for their services which was to book what you needed.

            Mission accomplished, let it go & don’t be so petty over such a small amount.

    • Sunguy says:

      Last year, I didn’t do enough homework on dates(worked really well for me personally), and booked the MAD-TLV RJ fare for a holiday to TLV – realised within 24hrs that I would be there during PRIDE….Ive been there for work during it previously, its one of the largest festivals anywhere in/around Europe – decided that I really should go a little later….

      The RJ change fee was zero – but because RJ are closed over a weekend and I wanted it booked; I booked via STA Travel….. however, STA have a £75/per person change fee – I was rather miffed at paying £150 for zilch – Id gone into a branch to purchase the tickets, so, distance selling didnt come into it either ….. but then again, I signed up to that…..but it was worth it for not being there during pretty much the most significantly busy time TLV has!

      A bit annoying and lesson learnt!

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