Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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!

Comments (173)

  • N says:

    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.

      • Anna says:

        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!

  • 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

    • Rob says:

      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.

  • 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.

      • AJA says:

        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.

  • blenz101 says:

    Interesting article here on what one of the M3 are doing with the downtime.

    https://www.thenational.ae/lifestyle/travel/watch-etihad-on-why-grounding-a-jet-is-nothing-like-parking-a-car-1.1004830

    “Etihad is using this “downtime” to refresh cabins on its grounded fleet. In the video, staff can be seen checking and repairing seats and in-flight entertainment screens, shampooing cabin carpets and washing and ironing soft furnishings like seat covers.”

    I know cheap labour etc. etc. but from a hygiene aspect and from the passenger experience of feeling like they are getting back onto a new aircraft when they do fly again this has to be a good thing.

    I wonder what BA are doing with their fleet beyond the bare minimum maintenance to allow them to fly again?

  • guesswho2000 says:

    Question re Creation – does anyone know how to find/download the App? Either iPhone or Android, I can’t find either, despite the huge banner ad which has been appearing in my account when I log in for the last few weeks.

    • Gareth says:

      If you search for ‘creation’ In the App Store it comes up first- black app background white C.

    • guesswho2000 says:

      Thanks both! The link work, but for some reason searching doesn’t bring it up at all!

  • James says:

    Still no sign of wine redemptions reappearing on ba.com. maybe Laithwaites’s have pulled the plug?

    • tony says:

      I believe the online wine retailers are running full pelt at the moment, so they can probably get a higher margin by not bothering with BA – and presumably having to take some credit risk on the transfer of miles. They had a freely available £100 off voucher doing the rounds recently – I see the best you seem to get is now £30-£40.

  • Anna says:

    More advice please! I’m thinking of joining IC Ambassador (OH is already a member so we could double our stays). Is $200 or 40k points better value in others’ view? Or is it likely there will be another joining offer in the next few weeks?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      It’s about par. Depends if you have an abundance of points or not.

      Better to wait until you can travel again to sign up? You don’t need to be a member to make amb night booking you just need to be a member/have the cert when you stay.

    • guesswho2000 says:

      $200/40k points is 0.5c/point, which is around what they’re worth as a baseline, but you can potentially achieve more. I would (and do) pay cash for it. Is joining now a great idea though? Unless you’re planning IC stays in the immediate future, you might as well wait, there might be a better offer.

      As for whether that offer will come along, who knows, but it’s possible, if IHG see a need to attract extra customers once the current dramas are over.

      • Anna says:

        I’m anticipating a stampede for award nights when travel re-starts so having the certificate ready and waiting might be helpful. Some hotels are already showing no availability for award nights toward the end of March 2021.

        • meta says:

          Remember hotels don’t always load award inventory a year in advance, especially more popular ones.

          • Rob says:

            Really? Macron is talking this weekend about Europe blocking incoming flights until the end of September. This wipes out a lot of potential tourism at a stroke. I’m sure we will see similar blockages elsewhere.

    • Harry T says:

      I paid cash. I’ve been happy with the value I received – used the free weekend night for a Signature Harbour Suite with Club Lounge access at IC Sydney in March (sneaked that holiday in just before the world shut down).

      As IHG points typically worth 0.4-0.5p, it depends whether you think you could leverage the 40k points for more value than that, and what your cash flow situation is.

      • Genghis says:

        “ it depends whether you think you could leverage the 40k points for more value than that”
        Remember the comparator is replacement value. What does it cost these days to buy IHGs through points and money?

        • Genghis says:

          * replacement cost

        • Harry T says:

          @Genghis
          Good point regarding the ceiling of value. Would you pay cash or points for Ambassador if you were buying for the first time?

          • Genghis says:

            It’s much of a muchness for first time purchase. If you have loads of points, I’d pay points.
            I’ve been renewing at the $200 rate to get the 10% back on redemptions and what is it, 15k IHG points. The 10% back is quite valuable to me. However, I’ve not really been using the BOGOF. I question whether to renew every year.

  • Dan says:

    Question – Due to the many flight cancellations that I have made in the last 3 weeks and the subsequent refunds. I not have a (5000) negative Avois balance on my BAPP card. I am looking to cancel this card as I won’t be able to take advantage of the benefits. What happens to the negatives balance when I cancel, does the avois get taken out of my EXEC club balance or does it just get written off?

    • Peter K says:

      It’s written off. Had this before in the free BA card. Closed it with a -4000 ish avios balance.

      Having said that, I wouldn’t do it often or Amex may become interested.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Everyone will get a pass right now as refunds are coming through thick and fast for all sorts of cancelled plans.

    • Harry T says:

      Just cancelled my BAPP with over -8000 balance due to multiple BA refunds. I wasn’t gaming the system – I have my 241 and I now can’t earn any Avios on the card because of this negative balance which isn’t my fault. Amex agent did note I had quite a significant credit balance but didn’t mind.

      • Grimz says:

        Any idea what happens for a refund on a cancelled BA card? I also used a voucher but I don’t have the BA card now that I booked with.

        • Harry T says:

          You can still log into your old account. You would have to ring Amex when the refund arrives and ask them to send it to your bank account.

        • Polly says:

          And a statement will arrive showing the credit. Handy as l had dorgotten a past credit refund. Then live chat them.

    • Daniel says:

      Thanks! Just off the phone with Amex having cancelled the card. The agent did say that the companion voucher voided – is this true? I am not too bothered by it but just wondered. Also what happens, if down the line – I wanted to apply for the card card again – will the negative balance be still there?