The new HFP chat thread – Thursday 9th 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/2020/04/09/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-thursday-9th-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. Has anyone booked award seats at T-355 in the past few days? If so, are they still being released at 1 am (BST)?

    • Yes, I did and they were released at 1am.

      I tried to use two 241 vouchers (both in my name) for a family (Avios household) of four, but could only use one. Did not want to miss out on the seats, so booked online using just one voucher and will call BA to see if they can apply the second one for me. Hopefully they can sort this, and if so I can then call them in due course to add the inbound leg (and be able to use both vouchers again). Has anyone else had any luck in ‘retrospectively’ getting BA to apply the 241 to the outbound in these circumstances? Thanks

      • I think Rob said the other day they don’t usually apply vouchers retrospectively. Why didn’t you just make 2 separate bookings using the 2 vouchers?

        • Anna thanks – I tried to make two bookings (so secured the two business seats using the 241, then moved on to economy), but the system would not let me use a 241 in my name to book for two members of my household. It said I needed to call – so rather than call, I panicked and abandoned the second voucher!

          • pauldb says:

            You can only, in theory, use two of your own 241s as a 442 if all for passengers have the same booking: i.e. they are all in business class.

            You can’t use your own voucher for a booking for two family members in a different cabin.

            Of course in current circumstances it may be worth a try. Or just book a 442 to SIN instead if there’s 4J available.

      • In case anyone was wondering/did not already know, I have spoken to BA who confirmed that they can only ‘add’ the 241 by cancelling the original booking, and making a new one. This then requires new reward seats to be available (and there is no guarantee that the ones that have been cancelled go into the system). So you need to call the to secure the initial use of 2 x 241. Which can be tricky at the moment.

      • Sk123 says:

        Are you doing it online or calling?

    • Yes – I did a few days ago. Same as usual.

  2. Richard says:

    Data point on virgin to Hilton – requested via WhatsApp on 27 March and arrived yesterday (8 April)

    • VS will be flying for a long time yet so I wonder how many people will regret transferring in a panic to Hilton with such a big loss. I’m looking forward to some Upper Class redemptions and going to their brilliant clubhouse again.

      • Jonathan says:

        Agreed

        The Virgin Atlantic brand is very strong and would be sorely missed if it died, although it requires some very deep pockets and Branson has nearly half the company owned elsewhere, he would almost certainly do what he could to keep the great airline alive

        • Someone made a good point on another forum that even if there was a change of ownership (more likely than the brand disappearing) new owners would obviously not want to alienate frequent flyers, making Virgin points relatively safe. I think some of their new routes though will be cut.

          • @mkcol says:

            Aren’t the points owned by Virgin Red? And if VS actually folded wouldn’t the points still be valid through them, or have I misunderstood how it’s all entangled/set-up?

          • Let’s imagine there are 100 billion Flying Club miles in circulation. Probably too high but who knows? I know that the UK credit card alone generated 5 billion miles in the first 18 months and that’s a pretty niche thing.

            For Virgin Red to ‘buy’ redemptions for 0.5p per point it would need £500 million of cash on its balance sheet. To put it mildly, it doesn’t have that sort of money.

            Even if it did (which it doesn’t) all it could give you is revenue-based redemptions because it would be buying the tickets for cash. A £3,000 business class flight would therefore require 600,000 miles.

      • I wish I had your confidence. I feel much happier with 350k now across in Hilton, still have a good 120k or so in VS that steadily keeps building up with the VS Rewards+ card. Might even be a Tesco transfer bonus sometime and could top them up more!

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Appears that up to the 29th March, Hilton points have been received yesterday. Anyone else after 29th received their HH Points yet?

      • Put my request in on Saturday 28th March.

        Miles left Virgin pronto, but still nothing in my Hilton a/c

        • Request made on 29th March afternoon. Email with security questions on 31st. Still no points in hilton.

          Anyone had a reply acknowledging their answer to the security questions? I’ve heard nothing.

          • Peter K says:

            No reply acknowledgement for reply to email but miles went through for Mrs K yesterday.

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            As you got security Q on 31st, probably points will be in by the weekend.

          • Yep had email similar time and points in my account today.

        • I put my request in by SMS on Sunday 29th and it was actioned by customer services on the 30th. Not received my points yet.

    • Jonathan says:

      Have I left it too late to transfer Virgin to Hilton . I moved some over last month and they arrived yesterday .But I’m now thinking I should bite the bullet and move them all over .
      What’s the general consensus ride it out and hope Virgin survive or move my flying club points to Hilton ?

      • In my opinion Virgin disappearing is very unlikely, so why take such a huge loss by transferring out. When things get back to some kind of normal I think there’ll be far more generous deals anyway for hotels than business class plane tickets.

        • Jessiefan says:

          Agree that there might be some very good hotel deals for cash, which is much better option than points, which you’ve already suffered a big loss on any in transferring anyway. I’m sitting tight with VS.

        • Craig says:

          I’d second this. Given the haircut on the value of the points when transferred, I am surprised by the amount of panic on here.

          I suspect Virgin may well survive given government aid (hopefully in the form of equity to hurt owners). That said, i accept this comment may not age well…

          • In my case I had some miles that I was always likely to be transfering to HH as I am unlikely to accrue enough miles to be useful to me in any other way. The only thing the current situation did was remind me to actually transfer them…

      • There’s no consensus – lock in a guaranteed devaluation but get something, or ride it out with some risk of getting nothing. You pays your miles and you take your choice.

  3. Secret Squirrel says:

    Any offers or bonuses for joining Accor and making a hotel booking around, the booking is for next Feb?

    • Much better 🙂

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Is there no way to set the site so that links always open on a new tab? I can’t see any reason you wouldnt want to do that

        • Just right click open in new tab!

          • Yes, we can do this and most of the time we do. I admit that sometimes some slip through the gap, because it requires an extra stage during the editing process as the ‘open in a new tab’ box is in a different place.

            I also find it annoying when reading our own stuff! Will try harder.

            (PS. This is re articles. Not sure I can do it for comments.)

        • Doug M says:

          Just right click and open in new tab, or click. HTML not my thing but I think it’s

          <a href="the link"

  4. I’ve got a car hire booking which was £700 due to collect on Saturday. MMB says I have to contact BA to cancel this, however I’ve just tried to call the 0800 at 8 am when the lines open and been told they are too busy to take my call. Will I be penalised for not picking up the vehicle when the booking still appears to be live?

    • I’ve now applied for a voucher with the booking reference number and it seems to have been accepted. As long as it is issued I’m happier about accepting this for a cash booking rather than one which relies on award availability. Still waiting for Avios flight refunds 22 days on!

      • The Lord says:

        Is that waiting for the cash refund or the avios to return to your account? Requested a refund for an AA booking made with Avios earlier in the week and Avios yet to show in my account. Wondering how long I should expect to be waiting.

        • Still waiting for cash to the tune of about £2k. Avios either appeared straight away or after chasing via You First.

  5. WillPS says:

    Cheap redemption favourite Hampton Newport East has closed permanently, apparently.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      No, I remember that location as being one of the cheapest for a mattress run! 😲

      • It was 5,000 Hilton points per night at one point, so very handy if doing a mattress or status run.

    • MattB says:

      News to me, the Celtic Manor bought it and rebranded only a few months ago.

    • Travel Strong says:

      Yes, it left the Hilton group last summer (Celtic Manor purchased).
      Now you are looking more like 15000 point minimum for Hamptons in Bristol area.

  6. jason says:

    Any one got a new Morrison offer?

    • Nick_C says:

      No.

      Why would any supermarket be running promotions right now? Ask they have to do is open the doors and let people in. One at a time.

      • jason says:

        Nick they ran one over xmas and the last one only finished yesterday

        • MattB says:

          Yes but clearly the last offer started before the situation was as serious as it is now, so its irrelevant.

      • Micky says:

        I’ve never seen the inside of the supermarkets be so quiet!

  7. HackinJack says:

    Has anyone had experience of cancelling Hilton pre-paid bookings under their new CV-19 rules?

    I had a reservation for this weekend at London Bankside, which I obviously had to cancel. Some 2 weeks ago I filled in the special form Hilton provide for the purpose of cancelling formerly non-refundable bookings, since you cannot do it via the website. About 3 days later the reservation simply disappeared from my account, as if it had never been made. I received no email, no cancellation reference number. The only thing I got was a request for feedback on my ‘recent experience’ – to which I responded in detail. My credit card has still not been refunded and so far, despite sending several messages. I resorted to raising a dispute on the transaction with Amex to try to force an escalation, but Amex came back and asked for the cancellation reference, which I don’t have.

    I’m more than aware these are unprecedented times but would have expected at least an acknowledgement email or cancellation reference.

    Any suggestions welcome. I am HH diamond, is diamondline still operating does anyone know?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Nick_C says:

      Suggestion: sit tight and wait. Amex and Hilton are both short staffed and inundated with enquiries.

      If you’ve heard nothing after 28 days, follow up with Hilton with a Web Form or email.

    • Peter K says:

      I cancelled one by phone less than 3 weeks ago. They said it would take 3-4 weeks to get a refund as so many to process. I also received no cancellation confirmation by email etc (I did get another confirmation of the stay being booked email wierdly).
      I’d wait a bit longer to see what happens based upon that.

    • I contacted them via Twitter. All done within minutes. Money back in my account in 3 days.

    • I cancelled using the online form on the 18th March, it was a non refundable sale fare.
      Refund hit my curve card yesterday so they are working through them.

    • jamesj says:

      Hilton are very good through the online webchat in my experience, cancelled a non refundable in March by that method.

      • I cancelled a non-refundable booking via web form yesterday and got a message saying the refund would arrive within 4 weeks.

        • Though further to this, I got an email response saying that as it was a non-refundable booking it couldn’t be cancelled! Just done a web chat and they said they could indeed cancel it but still up to 4 weeks for the refund.

    • Brian W says:

      I had this with about ten bookings over four hotels. Three refunded the money within a few days and one didn’t. I called the hotel that didn’t directly and the chap that answered did it as I was on the phone and they are now pending refunds on my Amex.

      I got the direct number in the Hilton iOS App.

      Hope this helps.

    • Crafty says:

      Similar experience, chased and was told to wait up to 30 days for a refund.

  8. stevenhp1987 says:

    Made a redemption + car booking via the callcentre with BA.

    Came through on my wife’s statement as “Avios Group” rather than BA – so she only got 1.5 points per £1 rather than 3 points per £1 on the BAPP.

    Anyone seen this before? She went onto Amex live chat who asked her to submit a receipt to show it’s a BA booking. So hopefully will receive the correct Avios in a few days time.

  9. HackinJack says:

    Update: Amex have applied a credit to my account, note says I will see it on next statement. Also the cancellation now shows in my HH account – albeit without a reference number.

  10. I see my Priority Pass Prestige membership has just been extended by three months (from Nov 2020 to Feb 2021). It shows the new expiry date in the app, but I’ve had no notification otherwise.

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