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. I am sitting on 500,000 Virgin points.

    Should I be worried?

    What is the best way to use them?

    Would rather not buy 100’s of bottles of wine…

    • 750k Hilton points or 500k IHG points. Neither of which are worth anywhere near as much as 500k Virgin miles.

      • Ian M says:

        But they’re worth a lot more than nothing if Virgin goes under.

        Transfers out of Virgin to Hilton seem to be taking a long time. My miles left Virgin 2 weeks ago, but no sign of them arriving with Hilton yet.

      • Doug M says:

        But they have some value, 500K FC miles potentially have a value of 0, and as you’ve said yourself Hilton and IHG have a much better outlook than Virgin. This is now entirely a personal judgment call on Virgin’s likelihood to survive. I’m doing nothing because I’m indecisive. In a few days/weeks/months some of us will seem cleverer than others.

        • Yes exactly that. Lots seem to think VS is about to disappear – I think that’s very unlikely. But, perhaps in the longer term it won’t be the same size.

      • Roger says:

        Could QR or other ME carrier take over VS in these situations and govt may allow more than 50% foreign ownership under current circumstances.
        With Brexit, I wouldn’t think UK Government is too much worried about not following EU laws as it stands.

        • Government has to follow EU law. You can be 99% sure there will be at least 1-year extension to the withdrawal agreement too, taking us to December 2021.

          Open skies regulations would probably mean most routes couldn’t operate anyway. A Virgin flight from London to NY would be seen as an Emirates flight (if Emirates bought Virgin) and so subject to the UAE-US aviation treaty.

          You COULD have Air France KLM taking it over. Air France is about to get a €6bn bailout so some of that could be diverted. Lufthansa is about to get a similar deal – buying Virgin, folding it into Star Alliance and stuffing Delta all in one transaction – using German Government money – would be quite attractive.

          • Lady London says:

            Hey Rob are you able to share why you are 99% sure we will get an extension of withdrawal agreement to Dec 2021? I know you move in exalted circles not a million miles from Westminster… Does your view come from information or your considered judgment?

          • The deal has to be fully agreed by 1st July to allow for ratification etc. Not looking likely is it?

          • Lady London says:

            Hmmm Virgin and Lufthansa…. Lufthansa could finally be sexy. Scary.

  2. Michael C says:

    Any idea of Plaza Premium T4 cancellation policy? Sis paid ahead for 2 entries for 2 May they will now of course not use.
    Cheers.

    • ChrisA says:

      Having just looked at their website, it would seem that refunds are currently only being offered for bookings up to 30th April, with a ‘watch this space’ for bookings after that.

      • Michael C says:

        Cheers, Chris – they did in fact answer v quickly: just normal cancellation of USD10 per person for now.

  3. Keith says:

    Curve

    UK ATM withdrawals

    HFP wrote previously re UK ATM withdrawals “£200 per 30-day period”

    How does one know what the precise 30 day period is at any given time?

    Thanks

    • I think as long as you don’t go crazy, they rarely charge the extra 2% if at all

    • Nick_C says:

      Look in the Curve app! The Fair Use Policy say £200 per calendar month. The limits show a rolling 30 day period.

      I’ve very occasionally breached both those, and not been charged, but I don’t take the mickey.

  4. Dezzabezza says:

    Hi- re protecting VS miles, is there any merit in booking somewhere (anywhere?) now with them potentially say for 11 months out then if they do go under you’ve then got S75 cover for the full value of the flight rather than just the taxes & duties? I saw someone reference ‘notional cost’ of the flight in a previous thread – what does this mean?
    Thanks

    • Stephen says:

      I have done this, but have booked somewhere that I would go to incase I’m unable to change the booking date. If S75 covers consequential loss, might need to book a replacement flight with the same route / date

    • Doug M says:

      I think they’re saying if you book a flight to x, using points and cash for the fees, say 100K points and £600 fees, that has a notional value of £2K, the cost of the normal business class flight. There’s a view that the S75 protection from the credit card is then on the hook for the £2K replacement flight, not the £600 you paid on the credit card. I’m not suggesting this is true, just that it’s being suggested, personally I don’t think it will be the case.

      • Lady London says:

        @Dawn did it coming back from Australia after their flights were cancelled and their original airline did not provide replacement flight. Cardci sponsored replacement flights £5K. They had paid a lot less.

    • There is no proof that I’ve seen that your card company will book you a £5,000 fully flexible business class replacement flight on your chosen dates.

      • Stephen says:

        What about an EU261 claim? Can that still happen if airline enters into administration?

      • Hi Rob,

        Page 9 here from the financial ombudsman:
        https://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/files/2921/86.pdf

        “”The card provider’s liability to Mrs K under section 75 was not limited to passing on any refund it was able to obtain from the airline. The card provider was also liable to her for the additional costs she had reasonably incurred as a result of the airline’s breach of contract.”

        So whilst full fare J might not be reasonable (unless it is the ONLY flight available), the credit card company will be liable for the cost of a replacement flight. Might be worth running an article on this?

        • TGLoyalty says:

          I actually don’t understand why people seem to think flights are different from a TV or white goods.

          The Credit Card is 100% on the hook. You might not get fully flex flights but you should get an alternative flight in that class on those days to that destination. I would be sure you have booked a flight you actually want to take if you’re planning to use this route.

        • Doug M says:

          86/5? That situation seems different to me. Whilst I accept the consequential loss part, someone had travelled, and then had to buy different flights at additional cost to get home after an airline failed. What we’re talking about here is the notional value of points contributing to a fare purchase. I think this is further complicated by the issue that Virgin FC miles are not owned by Virgin Atlantic.

          Certainly agree this maybe a better punt than Hilton or IHG for anyone that wants to go this route.

          86/6 is worth a read, the word chancer comes to mind 🙂

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Yes 85/6 are absolute chancers and should have booked reasonable costing flights as to near their original return flight.

      • Charlieface says:

        Can’t begin to imagine why they wouldn’t be on the hook. Have heard of more than one case of people buying a kitchen or a car, it going wrong and costing far more to fix than it did to buy in the first place. CC is liable jointly and severally under the retailer’s contract, so if the retailer is liable for something, so is the CC

        • Yes I agree, the important point is the breach of contract for which the credit card company is jointly liable.

          • Lady London says:

            Also liable for any statutes covering the purchase.

            For a vacuum cleaner this would be Sale of Goods Act or its new replacement. For air tickets that includes EC261.

  5. WillPS says:

    Anybody had any luck triggering Amex sign up bonuses (particularly Nectar) without waiting 2 years?

  6. Darbyrw says:

    Is there any news on extending the 3 month bonus miles period if you recently took out a Virgin Atlantic Credit Card? I took one out about a month ago but spend has plummeted so does not look like I will hit the £3000 spend level for the bonus Miles. Thanks

    • Sandgrounder says:

      A bit of research will reveal that it is very easy to hit the target spend in this product from the comfort of your own home at no cost to yourself above your time. But I am not going to break fight club rules by spelling all the options out on here 🙂

  7. CapeCam says:

    There are a lot of well versed and travelled people here – it’s a great site for sharing and. Exchanging knowledge. In hindsight The word definitive may have been a little too “definitive” but I am sure it is still the right forum to ask the question. it follows Rob’s Credo for the site and in particular this Forum .
    I guess Section 17 covers the taxes, but what about the notional value of the miles spent on the flight.

    Thanks to all who embrace the spirit and shared value of this forum.

    I am not a lawyer, I am a film director and media consultant, If a question appeared on this site that I could offer my professional advice to free of charge , I would do it without hesitation.

    • Lady London says:

      Any replacement ticket would in principle be as like for like as possible. What’s being replaced is the ticket not its value.

      Thats why if you’ve just bought some miles for cash some people have urged to book a ticket with those miles asap as then if the flight you bought does get cancelled then your request under s75 is for a replacement flight not miles – because you have crystallised the miles into a flight.

      Whereas some people are saying if you leave them as miles then you can’t say your contract hadn’t been fulfilled because you did receive the miles. Albeit if the airline is not anymore offering you a way to convert them into flights, you may have paid £500 but the miles could now be worthless so you would lose out if you don’t buy something with the miles.

      The only case I recall where you would use the purchase price to buy miles as a value is if you are on an avoid ticket in First Class and BA bumps you down to Business. Compensation for that is due to you under EC261. Something like 75% of your fare is due as compensation.
      This is hard to value if you paid miles. So in some court cases apparently 75% of the cost it would take to buy the number of miles for your First Class ticket, has been accepted by the court as a way of calculating cash due to you for the downgrade (and it was not a small £ :-). But normally if you need a replacement flight s.75 gets you that flight – whether the new cost is more or less.

      • CapeCam says:

        Thanks for this – Makes sense – I am going to hit buy on the ticket, as I don’t want to be left holding 250k Virgin Miles.

  8. Easyjet just put up tickets on sale all the way to October 2021! Is that the first time in history that tickets are sold more than 12 months in advance?

    • AndyGWP says:

      Have you an example please? 🙂

      Tried a few destinations from Manchester, and they’re only running through to March ’21. Thanks

    • I think Summer 21 is package holidays only at present. I’ve tried flight only in the app, website and mobile website and it only goes to end of March 21.

      • You’re right actually. I only skimmed through the email, so didn’t look properly.

    • FlyBe used to do this. I believe it’s a consequence of using their own GDS. Also acknowledges the fact that many people, when rebooking flights, will have no option but to move them forward by a full year.

  9. Brian C says:

    (Put this into yesterdays chat in error! Doh).Booked return Emirates first class tickets from FRA to HKG via DUB travelling in early May (after positioning flights from UK), heading into China returning from HKG in late May. The tickets ended up on two ‘connected’ bookings as we bought one with hard earned miles with Amex Platinum and the 2nd with cash. Needless to say, the flights are now cancelled. Their generous 760 day voucher offer is OK but only if you want to travel back to the same region. TBH, I really don’t know whether thats something we will want to do, So asked for refund options – the response was a €46 fee and recredited miles but €700 fee for the cash flight as cancel was ‘outside their control’. I’m reasonably certain that EU261 says full refund? Am I right?

    • Harry T says:

      EC261 doesn’t apply to a non-EU airline that isn’t flying you to or from an EU country.

    • Nick_C says:

      Forget about EC261. They have cancelled the flight. They are in breach of contract. Make a S75 claim.

    • The Original David says:

      FRA-DUB-HKG is an interesting routing for Emirates to sell. I thought most of their tickets went through DXB…

  10. Hello all, does anyone have experience of cancelling the BAPP card before having used the voucher? Do / can AMEX / BA cancel a voucher before its been booked?
    I have got two vouchers (btw for anyone wondering, the new voucher has been given a 30 month expiry) and have not booked any flights. Will BA cancel them if I cancel my card before using?

    Thanks
    Fred

    • TGLoyalty says:

      About 5 times over the years and no never removed a voucher.

      Any amex can be used to book it, in anyone’s name too.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Just to clarify it will say in your name only but it can be anyone’s name because Amex don’t check names.

        You could always use a supp if they decided to start checking names.

        • Ok thank you. Will prob get the free card then for time being (also will cancel my Gold card once the 10k annual points have been added).

          Does the free card re-set the 24 months period before you can get the sign up bonus or is it considered part of that card family?

  11. I have two 241 companion vouchers which I would like to use for my family of 4. Is there a way of using both on a single reservation online without having to use the call centre, being mindful of how busy they are these days?

    • If both vouchers are in your account (i.e. in your name), you can make a booking online for 4 of you using both of them. If they belong to 2 individuals you have to make separate bookings.

      • Thanks, Anna. Do you or anyone else know how I can do that? I’ve been trying to click both vouchers when booking online under Book Using Avios, but it does not seem to work and only allows me to click one, what am I missing?

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