The new HFP chat thread – Sunday 5th 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/2020/04/05/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-sunday-5th-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!

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Comments

  1. Graham says:

    We’ve just had our AA flight from LAX to YVR cancelled this morning for a date in May. This is part of an open jaw ticket. The full thing is ticketed directly with BA so we’re thankfully protected.

    What I’d appreciate is some views on whether this allows us to cancel the full booking? I really would rather fly. However, it seems fanciful to think we’ll have returned to normal by the 21st of May. So, would this allow us to cancel the full thing?

    Many thanks!

    • Charlieface says:

      Yes under EC261. Claim cash refund, or go to the credit card if they dig in heels

      • pauldb says:

        EU261 is not going to cover an AA flight outside Europe. BA ticketing is not relevant.

        • Charlieface says:

          Sorry I assumed this would be part of a trip starting from the UK. You are right that EC261 doesn’t cover it (although if the stopovers from the UK are less than 24hrs it would) but S75 from the credit card would because it’s still a breach of contract

        • TGLoyalty says:

          If paid with a credit card forget about EC261 and do a chargeback.

          • Doug M says:

            They haven’t even asked for a refund, give the airline a chance before talking S75.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Ofcourse. You must give the retailer a chance to resolve before starting a chargeback. My point was that EC261 doesn’t replace consumer law.

          • Charlieface says:

            Technically with S75 (as opposed to chargeback) you do not need to contact the retailer first. Credit card don’t like it though

          • Re S.75 claims, who essentially pays the eventual claim? the credit card co or the company in question?

          • Charlieface says:

            The credit card pays in the first instance. They then will try to recoup costs via chargeback or court, not always possible

        • Lady London says:

          If the ticket started from Europe on any airline then ec261 covers it.

          • pauldb says:

            No: even in a simple example AA LON-NYC-LON the second leg would not be covered.

    • Doug M says:

      AA allow refunds in these circumstances as I understand it. Whether they’ll make it possible to actually get the refund maybe a different matter.
      I was on AA 6th May LAX to YVR, like you it seems to have gone today.
      My CDG LHR JFK LAX YVR and the same return seems to now be LHR-JFK and LAX-MIA-LHR-CDG, no use at all, I guess it’s just where they’ve got to with an attempt at rebooking.

    • Graham says:

      Thanks very much for the responses. The full routing is INV-LHR-LAX-YVR-LHR-GLA. There’s been no attempt at rerouting yet and I’m in no hurry to bother BA so will hold off for now.

      Good to know that there’s a route through S75 if it came to that. It was booked through Amex Gold.

      • ChrisC says:

        Either wait until AA come up with a reroute (they do schedule changes on a Saturday and it can take a day or two for things to sort themselves out) or look for one yourself then call BA to do the actual rebooking.

        I do wish people woudn’t just jump in with s75 or EU261 because it’s not always the correct answer.

      • Charlieface says:

        If the LAX-YVR sector is less than 24hr layover from the LHR-LAX leg then it would be considered a single journey and therefore liable under EC261 (and therefore also S75). But they will probably not have fulfilled their contract in any event (check the CoC) and therefore S75 still payable.

  2. Harry T says:

    Are Revolut top ups with IHG cards attracting interest or cash advance fees for people?

  3. Charlieface says:

    Rob, try this newsletter from the FOS, in particular case 86/5 on page 8, it may change your mind about S75:
    https://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/files/2921/86.pdf

    • yorkieflyer says:

      I had tickets with the now defunct Oasis Hong Kong Airlines and on another occasion with Pluna. In both cases replacement tickets were more expensive and in both cases I made a claim under S75 and the credit card paid the extra costs of the new ticket as the service hadn’t been provided. These were cash tickets but provided more than £100 per pax is paid on the ticket arguably does it matter whether the balance was paid with points or cash? The credit card company is required to put the ticket holder in the same position he would have been, i.e. a replacement ticket, a refund of a notional value including points would of course likely be a different matter.

      • Lady London says:

        Under s75 provided the value of the purchase is at least £100 then you only have to pay £1 on credit card to bring in the credit card under s.75.

        • Lady London, this is interesting. I’m currently in a situation where I paid for my QR ticket using a giftcard via lastminute.com, the ticket price is more than £100 of course but the actually amount I paid using my credit card is £0.87 or (€1.00) plus the gift card of course. Does this fall under s75?

          • Richard Relief says:

            isn’t 87p some 13p short of £1?

            please check my math

          • Lady London says:

            You’ve asked this before @Vit. If we knew of a yes answer to your question somebody would have answered your previous ask on this same question.

            I only know down to £1 works because the best source on this is MSE and they are solid on this.

            TBH if you were trying to be so tricksy on ensuring credit card liability ,- or anything else this purchase might have qualified for – by being clever and putting anything less than 1 standard unit of your UK card’s home currency on your UK card for the purchase – then with respect you were trying to be too clever and taking a risk
            Amounts less than £1 are often rejected in consumer financial systems in the UK, for various reasons, and probably Euro amounts are rejected in some Euro systems for payment if they are less than 1 Euro. So it wouldn’t surprise me if you’d been too clever there I not making sure the credit card part was at least 1 standard currency unit i.e. £1.

            Since you’ve asked it now twice and we don’t know, then how about checking with your credit card @Vit and letting us know?

          • Thanks. No I was not trying to be clever at all. somehow it ended up like that as lastminute.com is based in amsterdam at least that where they charge the customer as such based it on 1 euro instead of GBP. I shall check with amex tomorrow.

          • Charlieface says:

            £1 is a red herring, it can be 1p

        • Andrew M says:

          Your maths is fine but your spelling is way off 🙂

    • Thank you.

  4. marcw says:

    Not looking good for Virgin Atlantic telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/04/05/covid-19-exposed-fragility-virgin-atlantics-finances/

    Last week, accountancy firm EY – hired by the Government to assist its principal adviser Rothschild – ran a slide rule across Virgin’s submission. It ticked all the boxes required by Sunak; it had explored all other options and a state bailout was the only one left.

    Virgin’s case was passed on to Rothschild who opened talks with the airline’s management team, led by Shai Weiss, the chief executive, to thrash out a deal. But agreeing a bailout that did not leave the British taxpayer at risk proved problematic.

    “Financially, its starting point is relatively weak,” says James Goodall, an analyst at broker Redburn. Goodall estimates its net debt to earnings ratio is 5.8x. This contrasts with IAG, for example, whose ratio is 1.4x.

    In addition, Branson’s decision to lease rather than own aircraft has come back to haunt him. There was little security to put up against a state loan. The policy of owning few assets meant there was little to mortgage off, sources say.

    Finally, ringing in the ears of a slew of Rothschild bankers – “like the cast of Ben Hur,” according to one insider – was the Government mantra that the taxpayer would not prop up failing businesses,

    • Richard Relief says:

      Finally, ringing in the ears of a slew of Rothschild bankers – “like the cast of according to one insider – was the Government mantra that the taxpayer would not prop up failing businesses,
      Virgin’s pre-tax losses in 2018 and 2017, its most recently filed figures, were £60m and £80m respectively. In 2016 it posted a £232m profit, in 2015, £88m. But in 2014, losses topped £175m. “The airline has struggled with profitability for some time

    • Genghis says:

      * Rothschild & Co.

  5. What’s everyone’s credit card strategy at the moment?

    I’m about to hit the 241 on my BAPP, will then probably cancel to get a free product instead. Don’t see the value at the moment, especially not when you’re sitting on a decent stash of avios already. Not sure about spending on my free VA card either given the speculation that VA might go belly up.

    Has anyone got similar concerns? Has anyone got the John Lewis/Waitrose card?

    • Freddy says:

      Think I’m in a very similar situation. Just got my 241 voucher on the BAPP so will cancel and will move to the free amex rewards card for the timebeing to give me options. I’ve also stopped spending on the virgin free card aswell, even through curve, little point if they are gonna go bust

    • Mike P says:

      Triggered the 241 5 months into my membership year so for the first time in 14 years of holding the BAPP I’ve downgraded to the free card. I’m using my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard for the time being.

  6. Kev 85 says:

    This thread has been very good over the last 7 days or so. Some very useful info shared by many people 👍

  7. Rich B says:

    Last week HfP published an article which showed BA long haul flight schedule for April.

    Quite a few people commented to say that it wasn’t accurate and already out of date.

    Please can HfP or someone with the correct knowledge advise on what the April schedule looks like, or where it can be found?

    Seems strange that you wouldn’t correct erroneous data.

    • It wasn’t out of date. Someone criticised my description of the source as ‘the best source in the industry’, which was fair enough, but the data was totally accurate. It is no longer accurate.

      Routes Online did a more recent article a couple of dates ago but by the time I got around to looking at it BA had already made more changes so I left it.

      • Rich B says:

        Hi Rob,
        Thanks for your reply, and the reminder that Routes Online provide this type of information.
        I’ll check there, but expect it’s not too much different if that’s all the commenters were getting at the first time around.
        Peter K, if I find anything else extra I’ll post it here as a response.
        I’m mainly keeping an eye on India and Japan routes.
        Thanks again, have a good week and stay safe all.

    • Peter K says:

      Please could you find out for us and post it here Rick B. I’m sure many would be grateful 🙂

  8. I might have missed it, but any word from IHG on Free Credit Card night certificates? Mine expires early July, and I can’t see me using it before then for obvious reasons. Any chance they will extend validity?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      You only have to book before expiry not use it.

      Answers are mixed some saying they’ve been refused others saying it’s been extended after the cancelled a booking they’d made.

      • I have emailed twice, mine expires in May, but I haven’t received a response

    • The Urbanite says:

      I called them as mine was to expire on the 3rd of April. They reissued it with an expiry date in October.

  9. If I upgrade to Curve Black (which looks like the best option for upcoming foreign transaction needs) will I keep the same card number or will I be sent a new card with new details? And is there a minimum commitment or can I just downgrade again in a month or two (and, again, what happens with the actual card?)?

    • Harry T says:

      You get a new card.
      You can downgrade any time you want but Curve aren’t always prompt at responding to messages, so may end up paying for a longer period than you desire.
      After you downgrade the account, you keep the same card.
      I upgraded for about a month but still have a physical black Curve card, albeit with a free account.

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