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. Hi

    I’ve called BA to request refunds for a few cancelled flights. They said they have directed these to the refunds team and that it will take up to 21 days to process. Is this normal, as previously they could be processed directly by the person answering the phone and I would see it back on my card within a day.

    Thanks

    • I am at 23 days now and still no Avios or money.

      • I got my Avoid and 241 voucher refunded immediately,about a week ago. Refund of cash to my card still awaited.

        • Anyone know if there is a law to states the maximum amount of time the airline can take to refund the cash element? Virgin recently told me refund could take 100days!

          • No law AFAIK.

          • Nick_C says:

            Surely it’s Article 8 of EC261?

            Article 8

            Right to reimbursement or re-routing

            1. Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall be offered the choice between:

            (a) – reimbursement within seven days, by the means provided for in Article 7(3), of the full cost of the ticket at the price at which it was bought, for the part or parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to the passenger’s original travel plan, together with, when relevant, …

          • TGLoyalty says:

            @Nick_C is that in your account or just being offered the refund within 7 days.

            Everyone’s been offered it but it hasn’t hit their account.

          • Nick_C says:

            IANAL, but the Article says:-

            “1. Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall be offered the choice between:

            (a) – reimbursement within seven days, by the means provided for in Article 7(3), of the full cost of the ticket at the price at which it was bought, for the part or parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to the passenger’s original travel plan, together with, when relevant,

            – a return flight to the first point of departure, at the earliest opportunity;

            (b) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at the earliest opportunity; or

            (c) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at a later date at the passenger’s convenience, subject to availability of seats.”

            To me, that reads that they must refund the money in seven days if that is your choice of the three options.

            Article 7(3) says

            “3. The compensation referred to in paragraph 1 shall be paid in cash, by electronic bank transfer, bank orders or bank cheques or, with the signed agreement of the passenger, in travel vouchers and/or other services.”

            Although Article 7 is primarily about compensation, it is also referenced in Article 8, Right to reimbursement (or re-routing)

            https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32004R0261

      • Doug M says:

        Avios and refund (Amex) arrived yesterday/today for one cancelled on the 20th Mar, one cancelled 14th March as yet has neither.

    • Tariq says:

      Seems so. Cash refund received day 14 for me, still waiting for the Avios back…!

  2. TGLoyalty says:

    If his were unpleasant then there are a few others that we are much better off without as well.

    I think the personal attacks are disgusting.

  3. Craig says:

    Can anyone recommend a good breakfast wine? Asking for a friend?

  4. memesweeper says:

    Sorry to distract everyone with a travel-and-points-related question: I know you can book a flight with Virgin Atlantic and get a few pounds off with “Miles plus money” … has anyone booked a Virgin Holiday and had it discounted in the same way?

    • JP_MCO says:

      Yes – we booked a 2 night stay at the Sandpearl resort in Clearwater last summer. You get an £18 discount per 3000 miles on the cost of whatever you book.

    • JP_MCO says:

      PS: It’s obviously not the best use of miles but we have a lot of them and the cash rate on the dates we wanted was really high. I would never use it for a Four Seasons or similar as you get a better deal booking cash with a Four Seasons Preferred Partner.

  5. Has anyone had any luck changing an Avios redemption for a future date (>72 hr)? With the current availability to Sydney I want to bring forward a September booking but BA are seemingly unobliging on the phone (and I can’t do it online – it shows an error message)…?

    • Harry T says:

      You would need to call to change the dates, and pay a change fee of £35 per person.

  6. Please can you re-post an updated version of your post last week detailing which BA long haul flights are still operating?
    It was very useful and helps to book all near-future travel.
    Thanks for all the updates.

  7. Anyone have any idea on when BA might cancel flights in May? e.g. 7th May, currently showing 10x BA flights, Berlin-London available for sale, mostly to LHR but LCY still up.

  8. I have been watching nervously people cashing in their virgin miles but haven’t pulled the trigger. Anyone still sitting on their stash like me?

    • Mac D says:

      I have about 300k left but doesn’t sound promising and don’t see why they should get bailed out

      • Mike P says:

        I’d be inclined to cash out of Virgin miles in any way that is still possible. I don’t see them surviving this.

    • I 100% would be cashing out. Remember cashing out can include buying a business class flight to somewhere and paying the taxes/fees on your credit card. If/when Virgin go belly up, your S75 will pay for the cost of a new business class flight.

      • I have looked for confirmation of this and cannot find it.

        • Rob what have you done with yours? I dont really want to cash in but I am nervous. I make 50K hilton points per month doing very little. And my kids really like flying virgin so I am hoping they survive. My love of virgin is really clouding my judgement!!

          I find hilton points the easiest to accumulate, if I cash in my virgin points I will end up with almost 2million HH.

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      I decided on Friday I wanted to cash out.

      Sent a text asking for 480k miles to be transferred to IHG. 2 days later, still no reply…

    • Doug M says:

      Around 300K for me. Not a huge fan of VS, but grew the miles from a couple of flights, credit card and shopping portal. I don’t know if I want over 500K Hilton points (already have 100K ish) as they don’t do much other than give you the .33p/point, particularly in the sort of mid-range hotels I like. I suppose it’s better to have half of something than all of nothing, but I was rather hoping to use the miles flying.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        I have around 350k and about 50k pending. I think I’m going to leave them

        Perhaps with all the cashing out I’ll have more chance of using them for a new destination.

        • Lady London says:

          If I had a lot, like say a few hundred thousand, I would leave them in Viegin where they’re far more valuable.

          Who know you might get lucky and in the fullness of time, get them swopped into another program such as …I dunno…Miles&More. In some other programs that number would be really useful.

          I had a very tiny stash that I had struggled to use so I moved it. Very very poor value on any move of Virgin to IHG or Hilton and I only moved them – losing about 80% of their value really – because I was struggling to use them anyway.

    • Wally1976 says:

      I’ve transferred my wife’s 80k to Hilton (yet to reach their destination though) and kept my own 110k or so. Hedging my bets!

    • philco says:

      I am sitting on mine six figures worth. Not really interested in Hilton or IHG points so I’ll ride this one out. That said I have millions of points across multiple programs so I have already come to terms with some losses. Will it be VS or not, I don’t know.

  9. Anyone heard of Asmallworld? I have received an invite for 3 months free trial (not sure why/how). Reading about it says it’s an exclusive club?

    • Michael C says:

      Saw it with our 4-yr old in Orlando!

    • Yes, it’s a travel related club. Pretty much useless for next 3 months and even then unless you want a quarter million Miles&More or Etihad miles and are willing to pay thousands for it.

      • Yeah I saw the huge membership fees. I wondered if it really gives rewards worth that much?

  10. Aston100 says:

    Does anyone know if Amex Travel charge an admin fee for handling a flight refund?
    Thanks.

  11. CapeCam says:

    Just about to hit buy on a VS redemption flight in order to burn miles. Does anyone have a definitive answer on what happens to flights + taxes on VS mileage flights if Virgin go belly up ? Looking for definitive answer based on current legislation ? Thanks

    • Doug M says:

      If you want a definitive legal opinion the comments on a travel site are hardly the place to be. Pay a lawyer, and then it’ll be just an opinion, because until it’s tested in court that’s all it is.

      • You need to dig out S75 of the Consumer Credit Act and decide if it actually says that the card company is responsible for a cash refund OR if it says the card company must fulfil your purchase. If the latter, you’re laughing. If the former, you just get taxes back.

      • Mac D says:

        Doug seems like you just said waste money on a lawyer for their opinion vs the collective hive mind of HFP, I know what I have listened to and had success with and it didn’t involve paying

        • Doug M says:

          Not suggesting for one moment that info here is not very often useful. But if you request a definitive answer that’s a stretch. I think this is a good example of how these things often work now. It’s back and forth over a few days of what to do in quite a niche situation. Eventually a certain view becomes dominant, and then it’s repeated as if fact. The redeem miles and pay taxes and fees on a credit card will guarantee you S75 protection for the entire flight has become an accepted truth in quite a few comments. See Rob’s post just above. But, we really don’t know it is the case. Look at the BA Amex, everyone expected that to be exempt from the cap on interchange fees, but the final court decision was otherwise.
          Personally I don’t think it will be the case. Expecting the credit card S75 guarantee to in effect underwrite the points value (of a now defunct airline) seems quite a stretch to me. Money back yes, equivalent business class flight, well good luck.

          • Doug M says:

            Clarification, I’m not suggesting Rob says it is, just that he’s saying read it yourself and decide. So what is clear is that nothing is certain.

          • Mac D says:

            yes good points there

          • TGLoyalty says:

            S75 does mean credit cards are on the hook for consequential losses. There are many stories of people not just getting refunds but claiming for alternatives when companies have gone bust. Why does it matter what happens for flights they are the same as a TV or a tumble dryer etc etc when it comes to S75.

            Have to stress it needs to be via an actual credit card.

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