The new HFP chat thread – Friday 10th 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!

When is it a great deal to use 'Avios and Money' for flight tickets? (Avios Redemption University, Lesson 4)
British Airways has its debt rating cut to 'junk' status by Fitch

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  1. Looking at booking a flight for next year -SFO-JFK- MIA-LHR, arriving in JFK T8 and leaving JFK T8- connection time is 38 mins- is it just as straightforward as walking off the plane and going straight to the new gate, or is there security to clear? I’ imagine the former given that there are only 38 mins, and even that seems a bit ridiculous. Can someone au fait with JFK T8 help me please? Thanks!

    • Forgot to mention that all flights are with AA

    • Alan Wan says:

      Yep AA T8 domestic transfer is gate to gate with no additional security

    • ChrisC says:

      Keep an eye on your booking. AA makes regular schedule changes (on Saturdays) so those 38 minutes could become shorter or longer or the flights get cancelled altogether.

      I assume you are using the AA app and have notifications turned on.

  2. BA suspending LHR-BHD (George Best) from next week, leaving route to EI.

    Prefer the BOB on Aer Lingus, everything else including crews, pretty much same standard.

    But suspect fares will rocket on EI until normal BA service resumes (whenever that is). Presumably therefore makes financial sense for IAG, but crucial link for NI now has very limited capacity.

    • Temporarily

    • Cuchlainn says:

      Make full use of.your Avios availability for domestic transfers then, John. Only pity is that EI are all peak rate redemptions BHD to LHR.

      Long gone are the 6 BM and 6 BA shuttles of the 80s and 90s ☹️

    • Lady London says:

      Go on, try Ryanair! You know you want to…!!

    • Lady London says:

      Go on, try Ryanair! You know you really want to…!!

  3. Cuchlainn says:

    Amex Platinum Insurance :
    Summer Portugal holiday accommodation balance due on 21st April – £400 deposit paid / £1400 balance outstanding – not ABTA / ATOL. With current FCO advice being essential travel only, I would appreciate thoughts in paying balance / chances of partial / full recoup of payment(s) going forward.

    • If you don’t pay the balance you are likely to lose the holiday, however if the holiday is later cancelled you should get all the money back.

    • Phil G says:

      Pay on a credit card (not charge or debit card) for added protection. As it’s not a package and I assume direct with the hotel I would contact the hotel by email and get a reply on what their policy is if you can’t travel. If it’s with or similar then get their policy but they are refunding stays at present.
      If you don’t pay you lose it, if you pay then it’s up to them. But let’s hope we can all travel by then

  4. Michael C says:

    So I’m looking at GRU-LHR-GRU on avios for December.

    The initial page says “total charges” (ha!) GBP145 and “click for final price”.

    Next pages adds “+Carrier imposed charge GBP 275” !!

    Is all of this refunded if I cancel? Minus the 2 x GBP35 for each leg?


    • Yes you should get back all of your Avios and the cash paid out minus £35 per passenger.

    • Andrew M says:

      I thought carrier surcharges were illegal on flights departing from Brazil? I booked GRU-LHR-SYD in F on BA using Cathay Pacific Asia Miles for travel next year and there were no surcharges. Might be worth calling to book if you can get through. It might be a mistake. The tax and charge calculations can be a bit erratic online.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        isn’t the LHR-GRU part of the return is still subject to any fees and surcharges?

        • No, all tickets issued from Brazil may not charge any YQ.

          • pauldb says:

            This is not quite right. Brazil’s law bans YQ on tickets issued in Brazil. A BAEC redemption will by default be ticketed in the UK so even if it departs from GRU they can put YQ on it.

    • There is a deliberate bug when redeeming online, there should be no carrier-imposed charges. You can book online and then threaten to sue BA in Brazil, whereupon they will refund you, but most reports say that if you book on the phone they will remove the charges if you mention it.

      • Lady London says:

        another “bug” on BA’s website?

        Just like the recently discovered other “bug” that has completely blocked all refunds off BA’s website?

        The “bug” BA apparently even went back again and un-fixed so it was still a bug, after the workround to beat BA’s sneaky bug was found by this website, and others?

        So is BA now above the law in both Europe and Brazil then?

        Someone really, really needs to punish them. Hopefully our regulators will grow some teeth, when the CV thing settles down and there’s an active business with some cashflow to grab off BA for these calculated flouts of the law. Such behaviour has to be made unprofitable for BA.

  5. I had a car hire booking for tomorrow and had been unable to get through to BA on the phone. Last night I got a text saying the booking had been cancelled and I would be sent an email with a voucher. The email then arrived and there’s not actually a voucher; you have to make your booking then reply to the email with the booking ref and BA will (allegedly) then refund the “voucher” amount to your payment card. This sounds rather convoluted – I’m sure people were saying recently they had vouchers they themselves could redeem at the payment stage?
    I suppose it also means that BA can hang onto people’s money for even longer as you have to wait for them to trigger the refund 😡

    • Lady London says:

      You’re just going to call them and make them pay up, aren’t you @Anna?

      I’m glad it got cancelled though as I know you were waiting for that.

  6. David S says:

    AMEX Gold Question.
    I have the Amex gold charge card which I have had for years. Is there any point to change to the Gold credit card apart from the free fees for the first year?

    • johnny_c-l says:

      There’s not a difference but you might as well upgrade to Platinum to get the points before going to Gold Credit (or downgrade back to Gold charge if they let you).

    • Qualifying purchases on the credit card come with Section 75 protection, which isn’t the case for the charge card.

    • No. But you save £140 from the free year which is better than a punch in the face. You’d also get another 2 airport lounge passes.

  7. Daniel says:

    Payments from IHG Creation Credit Card to Brighton via Curve, does this trigger cash advance fees/interest?

    • memesweeper says:

      Not in my experience, but you cannot make any significant payments — nothing over a couple of hundred a day nor more than I think seven hundred a week. This isn’t a stated policy so might change without notice.

      • Creation told me that it is their policy to allow up to £700 pw in cash-like transactions (so £300 + £200 + £200 is the most efficient) shortly after I opened my IHG card. If another person in the family gets the card you can obviously double this allowance. They are very strict about this, e.g. my monthly car finance payment seems to count as “cash-like”, as well as anything via Curve or Revolut.

    • Ashish says:

      Try curve and revolut or monese for extra point

  8. Augustiner says:

    Virgin now allowing tickets to be changed through 31st May 2022 without a change fee.

  9. Sandgrounder says:

    My Virgin 1000 from Tesco auto-tip landed yesterday, have switched back. Let’s see if they still have value by the time the next Clubcard statement is issued! I have sent a few points to Hilton as a hedge, but my hunch is they will still be around.

  10. Inspector Vince (from a force that shall not be named) says:

    same here, x2

    good spot

  11. memesweeper says:

    I know there’s an upgrade path for (consumer) Amex green or gold charge cards to Platinum. Is there is similar one for Business cards?

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