The new HFP chat thread – Monday 13th 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/2020/04/13/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-monday-13th-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. Patrycja says:

    Good morning,

    Has anyone had any luck getting refund from LATAM?
    I had a Business class flight booked in South America which was cancelled by the airline.
    They first only offered voucher, than agreed to refund but now they are asking me for details of my passport and bank account to do the transfer refusing to return funds into Virgin credit card I paid with. I don’t feel comfortable sending that via email.

    Anyone has had any luck with them or has any advice?
    I do have a good travel insurance but wanted to deal with airline first.

    Many thanks in advance.

    • Patrycja, is there are “contact us” section on the Latam website that you could use rather than email? I am not sure that’s any more secure than simply replying to the email.

      Also, Is the email address you’re being asked to reply to a generic one? Perhaps you could consider attaching a password protected excel file with your details and sending a second email with the password. That assumes both emails are opened by the same CS Agent.

      • Patrycja says:

        Thanks AJA. I’ve called them and they only can accept response by email. Sending password protected email is a very good idea…I guess I would rather not share my bank details with the airline.

        Also their email address looks a bit dodgy but when I called them they confirmed it came from them

        • ChrisBCN says:

          This sounds very dodgy! Presumably they already know your passport details?

          I’d be more comfortable sending only my bank account details, asking them to call me when received, and then confirming your passport details over the phone.

          I’m never too concerned sending my bank details alone over email (like I would be with card details), but I would never send identification details of any kind with them, or even at a separate time, to that same email domain (if someone is hacked into their domain, sending things separately won’t help, although it will reduce the risk from interception).

          • Patrycja says:

            That’s a good idea…I’ll see if I can get them to move on the request and just provide account details

    • I’m in the same boat – had LATAM on the phone a while back and refunds were agreed. At no point was the idea of vouchers raised. Then out of the blue a couple of days ago vouchers appeared in my email account for the cost of the flights. I now need to see if I can get that reversed.

      One suggestion is to use the Resolver website. I had a dispute with LATAM 3 years ago that I managed via Resolver, and while it took a loooooong time I did in the end get the issue sorted.

      • Patrycja says:

        They are absolutely useless. My next step is to raise retail dispute for the amount if I can and\or call travel insurance. I’ll let you know how I get on

  2. Asked if the UK Government might take a stake in British Airways, the Chancellor said, “All options are on under consideration”. IAG would rather there be no Government bail-out of the airlines so that they can sit it out and let their competition, Virgin among others, go bust. However if there is a bail-out they will take a piece of the cake if it comes on favourable terms.

  3. Hi all – Hoping the community can help me please with a ‘tough times’ scenario.
    I am about to cancel Amex Platinum Card as I cannot justify the annual fee (zero income household at present, not travellling so no need for the card’s benefits etc).
    Two questions which I do not want to ask Amex directly, of course:-
    1. I am lucky to have the BA Amex PP card for free alongside the Amex Platinum Card as it was ‘grandfathered in’ c10 years ago. Is there any way therefore I can retain the BA Amex PP for free upon cancelling the Amex Platinum Card?
    2. If I were to re-apply for the Amex Platinum Card in say 6-12 months’ time AND I still had no salary, would the absence of any “stated” income on my application form make my chances of being approved/qualifying negligible? In short, does Amex verify “stated” income when one applies for the Amex Platinum Card?
    Thank you for all your expert thoughts, in advance.

    • Freddy says:

      Can’t see you would qualify for much at all without some form of income. Don’t think amex take steps to verify income (except credit report) but lying on a credit application isn’t recommended! Suspect my answer in the BAPP card will be equally uplifting, sorry!

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Amex wouldn’t give you any card without income declared, I keep reading credit is going to become harder to get very soon also. If you can afford it, I would keep your Plat going.

    • Sorry to read about your circumstances Peter. You will end up paying the BAPP fee. Unfortunately there is no way to avoid it. My other half used to get the BAPP card free as a consequence of holding another Amex (can’t remember which card). The BAPP fee was automatically applied after the other Amex card was cancelled, no dispensation at all. You may wish to downgrade to blue BA card as well.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I thought the free BAPP deal was ending soon

      It was announced with the Plat fee increase wasn’t it? Rob will know more as he was on the same deal.

      • No, it is still running. They was some gossip but it never happened.

        • Paul Pogba says:

          Are you likely to be able to give us any notice if there were plans to pull the BAPP? My 24 months is now up but I haven’t hit my Amex Gold spend target and given the current circumstances it might not happen so I’m reluctant to apply for a card I don’t need (but also don’t want to miss out on sign up bonuses and the chance to earn a 241). First world problems.

    • Charlieface says:

      Amex almost never ask for income verification, neither do any other credit cards. But often you can put down a small income, say benefits, with the job title Househusband/wife, and include spuse’s income, that’s usually enough.

    • Would downgrading the Platinum card be an option? It might be easier to upgrade again at a later date rather than reapplying.

  4. Annabelle says:

    Morning! Can anyone tell me if ns&i top ups with blue curve are now treated as cash advances or purchases please? Thank you

    • Dave Barron says:

      I used my Blue Curve to buy more Premium Bonds last month (charging to my MasterCard credit card) and there were no fees and was treated as a regular purchase. Hope this helps?

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Done this morning, no fees!😛

    • Depends on how it’s treated by the underlying card, not by Curve. Some issuers might treat it as cash, some don’t.

    • Had no problem or extra charges when using Curve + IHG card with NS&I.

    • Annabelle says:

      Ah thank you all!
      I’ll be using Hsbc world elite credit card 🤞

  5. Morning all. I’m now planning my Easter 2021 holiday (if we can travel by then!) and been looking online at 1 am for award seats. I see there is plenty of availability to the US and Caribbean for April 1st & 2nd, but nothing to NAS/GCM, which is a bit odd. It’s not that all the seats have been snapped up straight away, none have been released at all. Is there any way of finding out if BA are planning to drop this route as it just seems to come to an end on March 29th? I’ve flown this route for years and there have never been 4 days between flights before. Having said that, it’s a very popular route so it would be really odd if it disappeared altogether.

    • Spursdebs says:

      Good luck Anna, I’m going for 3rd time lucky for my 60th but not till 2022 a South American and Antarctica cruise. I am staying 59 for 18 months more.
      The worse thing about this virus is I’m turning from blonde to brunette, well more like mousy oh the horror!

      • I’m staying 49 for another year! I’ve provisionally booked NYC for the outbound as there are plenty of connecting flights and always plenty to do for a couple of days. I’ll loads of IHG/Ambassador free nights so hoping to be able to stay at an Intercontinental or Kimpton in NYC.

        • Spursdebs says:

          I’m now saving for Buenos Aires flights I’ve got one voucher to use but need To trigger another I have a plan for that 😁 If my two Dubai flights in September and November end up being cancelled I’ll have enough points already. Just hoping next January isn’t cancelled as taking my Grandson and his Mum away, and they are so excited.

          • Buenos Aires definitely on my bucket list! Love reading about your plans.

          • Spursdebs says:

            Thanks Anna, should of been going to Tokyo in first on the 19th, but best laid plans and all that!
            Then Norway on brand new ship in a suite got cancelled!
            I enjoy the plotting and planning, I know I’ve not got much longer I can do a big trip physically so want to go out on a high so to speak!
            I’m looking on the positive side at least I have gained more knowledge in two countries that I didn’t know much about doing my research.
            Need to go and research about Melia rewards I know nothing about them and internal reward flights in Argentina.

          • Came back from Antarctica/South America trip in Feb. Aerolineas Argentinas flights were not expensive and redemption opportunities with other airlines very limited/not good value (2022 means no LATAM in One World too). Probably best to just pay cash for those. If you aren’t already, read the Antarctic Adventures forum regularly on Trip Advisor – saved a lot of money by not packing certain things and had an easier trip by packing other things!

        • memesweeper says:

          Kimpton Eventi was loved by my family last year.

    • 29th March is timetable switch day so could be dropped.

      • That would be really odd, especially as BA are currently being used to fly supplies and repatriate people to and from Bahamas/Cayman Islands. The Cayman government would be livid, they put huge value on having a direct route to Europe and of course it’s a well-used business route.

        • Michael C says:

          BA also repatriating from Cuba!

          Talking of which…Virgin won’t give me a price for Dec. for London-Havana, but a screen just comes up saying “ring us”: any special reason?

          • memesweeper says:

            Flight only to Havana appears to be impossible to book at the moment … but not a holiday. I have no idea why.

          • Yorkieflyer says:

            Always been this way I think, the flight is geared toward Virgin Holidays

  6. Looking to cancel my 241 in F for July….I’ve lost track of the different cancellation methods online and workarounds etc. Are people doing these to avoid using the phone and a lengthy queue?

    If I call you first to cancel is the charge still £35 pp so £70 in total?

    • THey will deduct the cancellation fee unless BA cancels the flight first. You First were really helpful with me though I’ve still not got the cash element back 4 weeks later!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Yes still £35 each to cancel.

      poor IT coding leads to cheaper cancellation fees for ET/CE but long hauls are unaffected as long as there was more than £35 of TFCs paid.

  7. Gavin Watson says:

    Does anyone know what the standard behavior is from airlines if an inbound BA flight from Edinburgh is delayed and we miss our connecting AA flight to JFK which is in the Premium Economy cabin? if they move us onto a later flight but there are no seats available in WTP, what do they do? Would we get bumped to Economy and if so, would we be entitled to a refund of some of the fare? Or if they had availability in Business, would they upgrade us instead?

    • Same through ticket?

      • Gavin Watson says:

        Yes…..all done under the same booking.

      • Then you will either get an upgrade to business, a downgrade to economy (with a 75% refund for that one-way sector), or be able to wait for the next flight with PE and get meals and hotel provided by the airline.

        • Charlieface says:

          And get 600 EUR in that last case. CoVid19 excuses are not applicable here

    • Andrew says:

      In normal times, with the frequency of flights between EDI and LHR and LHR to New York, there’s no cause for anxiety and you’ll be given options.

      Real question is (in normal circumstances), with the option for flying direct from EDI to NYC on United or Delta – why are you bothering with BA via London?

      You’re adding about 3 hours to the journey time in each direction. At London on the inbound you’ll have to put up with Heathrow immigration, whereas at EDI I’ve been outside the airport with (hand) luggage 15 minutes after the door has opened on an inbound Delta from Boston.

  8. Marie m says:

    I am trying to ring BA as I’ve been waiting for 6 weeks for a cancellation of a 2 4 1 trip to Berlin to process . What phone number are people having success with ?
    It doesn’t seem urgent but it is important

    Many thanks

  9. Cancelled BA 2-4-1 flight 21/3.

    Called to chase on 31/3. 2-4-1 and Avios refunded while on the call, but no sign of cash refund.

    Still no cash refund as of today.

    I’m worried about chargeback as I’m worried about retaliation from BA against my BAEC account (I’ve got mid-6-figure Avios balance) – it’s this reasonable?

    (and yes, BA’s scumminess over the past few weeks has directly led me to completely mistrust them over this. Their actions have been only a touch short of fraudulent and I won’t be spending any cash with them for the foreseeable)

    • Michael C says:

      Your “15 working days” (which is what they’re working on) is not up until tomorrow – start chasing with another call after that?

    • Spursdebs says:

      Think BA have got bigger things to worry about than taking your points in retaliation.

      • I’m hoping so, as I opened a dispute via Amex a couple of days ago for the £1326 I’ve been waiting 4 weeks for!

  10. blenz101 says:

    Hello – asked this a few days ago but fear question got lost. Does anyone have experience of using the Tesco rates at Hilton (i.e. these seem to be full flex rate but allow you to use converted Clubcard vouchers towards the cost on checkout).

    Do they count for the earning of status, I’m going to do a challenge when things return to normal but want to make sure this route will count

    • My understanding was that they are treated as cash rates, eg they earn points based on room rate. Should, I guess, count.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Anyone else having issues topping up Revolut this morning?

      • Blenz101 says:

        Great, thanks Rob and WillPS.

        Appreciate that, gives me some confidence to take the plunge and book!

    • WillPS says:

      Tesco Clubcard nights count towards status – at least the website indicates so.

      I got a lot less points than I’d expect normally when I stayed on that rate though; I think maybe the Gold multiplier did not apply?

    • the_real_a says:

      Also you might want to double check that its not better to redeem via Hotels.com for the same hotel/dates etc. Many of the hiltons i stay in have pretty cheap consolidation rates.

  11. Paul Molyneux says:

    I got a notification from App in the Air that my flights to Sicily in June (10 – 17) had been cancelled. Not showing as cancelled on BA account and you can still buy the tickets on BA but just rang BA (Gold – took me 3 mins to get through) and flights have been cancelled and got a full refund

    • mark taylor says:

      Just off the phone to BA – cancelled a flight / car booking (as one of the flights had been cancelled by BA) and two other avios redemption flights that needed the cancelled one.
      Through quickly on the phone, very efficient – great service.

      Now need to find something later in the year – cash and avios will burn a hole in my pocket.

      • Andrew Thompson says:

        BA have changed since last week I spent 3 days continually being cut off after going through the Choice process What number did you use?

        • mark taylor says:

          I used the 0800-727-800 number – just dont press any of the keys when they ask – wait till the end.

    • david heron says:

      our flights to Seychelles on may 30th are not yet cancelled, although BA suggest we cancel.
      my query not covered in BA’s FAQ’s is what happens if i cancel as we used a companion voucher when booking.

      does anyone have experience of this please?

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        BA are emailing customers suggesting they can take a voucher if cancelling. If you do not want to pay cancellation fees then wait until BA cancel your flights.
        Your companion voucher will be returned to your account with 6 x months extention added.

      • I second SecretSquirrel’s advice. Wait for BA to formally cancel to get everything back. Dont accept an e-voucher. If you cancel, which you can still do, you will have to pay £35 per passenger in cancellation fees.

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