Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Monday 6th 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: 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 (236)

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  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    Heathrow have announced that T3 and 4 will be temporarily closing over the next few weeks with all flights moving to T2 and 5. More info here:

    At the time of writing it doesn’t state which airlines are moving to which terminal plus if other airlines are moving to T5 does BA have any say in who is moving there?

    BA has stopped flights to Newcastle (and Leeds it seems) with a very limited service to other domestic destinations. Newcastle airport currently only has one flight a day (KLM to AMS). I wonder how long that one will last for?

    • ChrisC says:

      There is an issue with other airlines using T5 as the IT there is BA specific (it took years for IB to be able to use their own system ins of BAs) whereas in the other terminals it’s basically HAL systems so easy to shuffle airlines from T3 and 4 to 2

      • BJ says:

        Many OW flights will be codes hare though with a BA number so that will possibly help? Those that don’t could be allocated one perhaps?

        • Sam G says:

          The Iberia flights when they first moved had BA “prime” numbers, operated by IB, codeshared by IB to get them to work at T5, so not a feasible solution I imagine to expand. It’d be more likely that BA would move to T2 if further consolidation is required

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        I’ve not flown Iberia from T5 since they changed to using their own systems. From a passenger experience perspective it was a shame as it was quite nice when dropping bags off that you could use the BA desks. I assume this means golds can’t bag drop in the first class area next to the first wing when flying IB?

        Does T5 conformance apply when flying IB?

        I guess it depends what work was done to make IB compatibile with BA systems. It might be easier for a new airline to base itself at T5 now compared to what it was when it first opened.

        The wording of the press release did seem to suggest that other airlines were moving to T5 but we’ll see in due course

    • BJ says:

      Following your comment on Newcastle, I had a look at live arrivals boards for Edinburgh and Glasgow. It’s sobering reading. Edinburgh so far only showing flights from Doha, Paris and Dublin. Glasgow has island flights but apart from that only the Icelandair flight, a flight to Amsterdam with JL and to Heathrow with BA.

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        When I looked a few days ago BA were showing flights operating to Manchester and Edinburgh but they’re all cancelled today. Newcastle and Leeds were already all cancelled. Now the few domestic flights operating are to Glasgow, Aberdeen and Belfast

      • Stu N says:

        We are under the departures path from EDI – heard the Qatar A350 go out earlier and Air France to Paris has just gone across, that’s two flights for today.

        BC there would have been 10-15 flights every hour from 0600. The low rumble of jets never really disturbed me – it was only the higher-pitched buzz of FlyBe Dash-8s that woke me and if I wasn’t getting up anyway I’d soon get back to sleep.

  • LewisB says:

    I’ve cancelled a Virgin award booking to get my miles back and then to transfer my whole balance to Hilton. I now realise that I already boosted the miles and CS tells me I can’t get a refund on the boost. Has anyone had any luck with this before? Will a chargeback work? The sum was just over 100GBP.

    • John says:

      You can’t chargeback a voluntary cancellation

    • stevenhp1987 says:


      The booster points should still post around 3 days after the flight was originally scheduled to run.

      Cannot charge that back. Might be possible if VS go bust before the points post though, but you paid for them, not VS.

      • Charlieface says:

        Thought they changed the rules and if you cancelled the ticket they refunded the miles anyway? Otherwise there remains the brilliant loophole to get cheap points…

        • Alex W says:

          I did this recently, canceled a flight to HKG and still received miles booster.

  • Liam says:

    I don’t know how many readers will be directly affected by this but Delta and United both announced status extensions on Sunday.


    I imagine American will follow suit very soon.

    • Stuart Evans says:

      I’m a United flyer and my quick read was that this was pretty good. What do others think?

      I hope BA is tracking this

      • Bobajob says:

        The United extension is good for me too. I did a status-match late last year and got them to match my BA Silver card to a United Gold one (I guess giving equivalent lounge access). My BA silver card is going to expire in July and I only have 280 tier points so even if the reduced tier points requirement is to be extended beyond June, this isn’t going to help me (unless the tier points come down too…?). My main clients’ travel policy is WT+ for long haul so, once “normal service” resumes, I will now be using Star Alliance flights rather than BA – and through 2021 with this very good news. The United Club lounge in LHR T2 is a favourite lounge (in my limited experience!). Maybe BA are listening…..?

  • NJB says:

    I have 45000 virgin miles – want to transfer to IHG or Hilton. Any advice of best place and best number to contact Virgin?

    • Sandgrounder says:

      Send a text message- wastes less of your time. The number is on the website.

      • Walty says:

        Have you had success with this text for moving miles to Hilton / IHG. Apart from the obvious virgin & hotel account details and points amount, do they require any other info to verify the account?….or is it a callback service?

        • Sandgrounder says:

          I sent name address account numbers and points amount, they will come back to you if they need more info. Mine was approved with those details, but it might depend on whether or not they have your mobile number on file.

          • Walty says:

            Thank you……will check the account to make sure it is up to date before sending.

          • Lady London says:

            +1 gave virgin number, Hilton number, address saying it was same for both, number of miles to transfer, name, date of birth (that Virgin did not already have, actually). Got an acknowledgement text back in 24hrs and a further text received after 48 confirming transfer done.

            For Hilton at least you can only transfer.multiples of full 10,000’s.

            I had hardly any Virgin miles and had been struggling to use them anyway so I transferred. If I had 200,000 or more I would stick with Vurgin and not transfer. As Rob says the value loss is huge on transfer and the upside is still much better if a solution is found for Virgin.

          • Lady London says:

            PS I sent my request with all that information, from a mobile that Viegin and Hilton definitely don’t have on file. It made no difference I got no queries back it was just done.

  • Ian M says:

    Has anyone who’s done a Virgin to Hilton transfer in the few 2-3 weeks actually had the points arrive in their Hilton account yet?

    • Chelseafi says:

      I did my transfer via text message on 24/3 and the arrived in my Hilton account on 2/4, 50,000.

    • Jonathan says:

      Transferred on march 28 but nothing appeared yet . Disappointed as plenty others who transferred around that time appear to have them in their Hilton account now .

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Requested transfer 28/03, no Hilton Points arrived as yet!

    • Heathrow Flyer says:

      19/03 first text was ignored. 2nd text on 25/03 – points have left VS Account but not yet appeared in Hilton.

      • Jill (Kinkell) says:

        I was told to allow 30 days for points to reach HH acct.

    • AJDT says:

      Text transfer done on 20/3. Arrived in Hilton account on 2/4.

      • Ian M says:

        I did my transfer over the phone on 26th March. The miles left Virgin the day after, but nothing has landed in Hilton. I got a weird email from Virgin last week asking me to answer some data protection questions, all of which they asked me while I was on the phone to them. I replied to their email, but still nothing.

        Why email me data protection questions when I’d already spoken on the phone and passed data protection, and my miles had already left my account?

        • Alan W says:

          Ditto. Have heard the transfers happen once a month so we may now have to wait for May assuming VS is still able to make transfers then.

    • Rob says:

      Was looking recently at points requirements for Hilton hotels yesterday and the rate are extortionate. Checked several major cities plus some cheaper holiday destinations for dates this year and next. The cheapest nightly rates for HGI was about 50/60k points.

      Struggling to justify turning £1200 of VS miles into £2/300 of Hilton points. Anybody else found the same thing?

      • Grant says:

        It depends on your appetite for risk and whether or not you think Virgin will survive. Your £1,200 of VS points could be worth nothing if things go badly.

      • J says:

        Hilton redemptions vary wildly – is possible to get good value, e.g. Sometimes at the high end 95k and 5 nights for 4 it’s good value vs the cash price, and some 10k bargain (but usually obscure and out the way) HGI or Hamptons

        • Lady London says:

          Hilton points are dynamic do keep watching. They are loosely related to cash rates and can go well down if cash rates on your date go down.

      • Harry T says:

        I don’t think HGIs are likely to be redemption sweet spots because they are usually pretty cheap for cash.

        Most people find the value in 5 nights for 4 at somewhere expensive aka a Waldorf or Conrad.

      • Doug M says:

        Yes this is why generally hotel points, particularly Hilton don’t have much appeal for me. As Harry T says the value is usually at the top end. As someone happy in HIE, HGI, Hampton etc. there’s seldom value in hotel points for me.

        • James says:

          IHG offer very good redemptions in US for Holiday Inn and HIEX properties, which can be very good for the odd night – 15k points and no taxes. Normally cheaper than Hilton.

          Also lots of HIEX in UK for 15k points

    • AG says:

      Yes, requested by text and received ~2 weeks later into Hilton.

  • Billy Nicholson says:

    There is a small silver lining to the current climate = Reward Availability. I managed to get 2 seats in club world to Sydney last night using my companion voucher, flying on the day I wanted. Stayed up till 1am mind z z z. I would recommend anyone looking to do the same to save your card into your BAEC account as well as the passenger details of everyone going so you can select it all as quick as possible.

  • N says:

    I know I can’t do anything about it but I’m getting really frustrated by BA holding onto my refund money. BA using my refund money as a free bridging loan was not part of the agreement when I bought the tickets.

    Time between cancellation and refund has been directly linked to how much the refund is for in my experience. The bigger the refund, the longer it takes to get to me. Waiting on £950 now and my statement date is in 3 days. Irritating.

    • Jon says:

      I would initiate a charge back at 28 days if you haven’t got it.

    • Doug M says:

      I waited nearly 3 weeks for £70, so you may be in for the long haul. Then again it’s well over 3 weeks for £62, so I think random is playing a big part here.

    • Diane says:

      I’ve been waiting 3 weeks for £1500.
      Will leave it another week and chase up.

    • Ruth4325 says:

      Ditto. I asked for a refund on 12 March for a cancelled flight. Didn’t get avios or money back so eventually phoned BA to be told it had got ‘stuck’ in the system. Agent redeposited the avios and sent the cash refund for processing “within 72 hours”. That was 10 days ago…

  • Shaun says:

    Slightly different topic. Had flights from EDI-PRG for March 19th which were cancelled by EJ before we were going (16th) due to Czech being ‘shut’. Rec auto email saying EJ will refund cost of flights and should rec in 7 days but still nothing. Any thoughts/tips on how to get in touch as EJ phone lines are nightmare? Thanks

    • Vit says:

      I think maybe try reaching EZ via email / online written correspondence. And that means when it comes to chargeback s75 (if you used credit card to book), then you should have all the evidences to back up your claim/dispute. Though I would not initiate the dispute now though. Maybe try giving them 28 days but I would try to create a written correspondence now if you have not.

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