Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Friday 17th 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/2020/04/17/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-friday-17th-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 (208)

  • Rufusrea says:

    I have had both Avios and taxes returned for a transatlantic flight which was cancelled . I phoned up and spoke to a rep when asked the question by auto why you were phoning answer Avios booking and then put through to rep. The taxes arrived about a week later and the points arrived this morning after sending a reminder e mail 2 days ago about not having any points. I tried a couplieif times by phone and when I did get through it only took about 10 mins whereas trying to get refund for another flight with BA is proving impossible

    • xcalx says:

      Good morning D Yes the key here is say Avios booking this will get you to the right department.

  • The Lord says:

    Emirates claiming to have a test ready to deploy at DXB that will allow passengers to know if they have Covid within 10mins. Anyone who is more of an expert in this area know if this is for real? How can Emirates do this when it seems like no government in the world has the same testing capability. Great news if it works.

    • Marcw says:

      I think they tested it for one flight. Probably some PR job… Because what are you going to do if someone tests positive? Quarantine the whole arriving flight?

    • Rob says:

      It’s really not great. Imagine you fly Emirates. On your return flight, they test you and you are positive having picked it up whilst away. What are you going to do?

      Even worse. One of my kids test positive but the rest of us don’t. Then what? We check into a hotel for 2 weeks wherever we are … except that I am 90% certain to get it off my kid whilst the kid is in isolation as we will be sharing a small hotel room. In reality, then, it could be 4 weeks until we can fly home. Insurance won’t cover the hotel etc. Sounds like fun?

      • The Lord says:

        True but after being locked down for a month now I am only thinking of the outbound and not the inbound!

      • The Lord says:

        Also should add – great news in terms of a test that provides results in minutes. Great for getting people back to work etc.

        • Doug M says:

          Unless something new the test is very unreliable. Lots of false negatives I understand.

          • Tested says:

            +1

          • Lady London says:

            Airport have security theatre and coming soon – health theatre.

            Tests apparently poor and unreliable – 4 days delay on positives – and negatives apparently.

    • Tested says:

      Are these tests to show current infection or Antibody tests?

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Current infection but not very reliably.

        I don’t believe there is any reliable anti-body test either. Also what does anti body test prove? That if you come into contact with it again your body has the correct means to fight the infection? Does that mean you never get sick, does it mean you don’t pass it on during the time your body is fighting it again or that you have a very mild version of it rather than severe?

        It’s all still unknown right now.

        • Tested says:

          I suppose a reliable antibody test will give some confidence that you won’t get the current strain of Covid-19 again.

          I know of a stick test which is giving false negative antibody results in the early stages of recovery, which seems to be very common with these type of tests atm.

          • Rob says:

            Note the stock market jump today after Gilead’s Ebola drug (which is obviously already approved) appears – in a small uncontrolled trial, admittedly – to produce amazing results in hospitalised patients.

  • Sapiens says:

    Apologies for the dumb question – is there anything that can be done with non cancelled cash bookings with BA ?

    My cash long haul flight in June is not cancelled and I think it may fly, but I don’t want to take it.
    (I tried the javascript workaround to no avail.)

    • Andrew says:

      At the moment nothing, as the ‘book with confidence’ period ends 31 May. But BA are likely to extend that, so sit tight for now and then they will allow you to get a voucher. Also there is a good chance the flight will still be cancelled, no evidence to say that things will be up and running again by June, unless you mean June 2021, in which case just about! 😉

    • Rob says:

      No.

  • Sapiens says:

    Called Amex to potentially cancel my UK Platinum charge card.

    They offered me 5k points if I spent £2500 in next 3 months on the card.

    They also offered a downgrade to the Gold CHARGE card or the Green card.

    Note that they offered the Gold CHARGE card, not the Gold CREDIT card.

    • Rob says:

      This is probably a legal thing, because you can’t technically downgrade to a credit product.

    • Andrew M says:

      A German friend of mine was offered 42000 MR points to keep his Platinum card open with no strings attached. Reports from the German forums are mixed with some people not being offered anything and others 40000+ with no apparent pattern. It seems to depend what agent you speak to. My German friend was denied anything on his first call but called again and was offered 42000 immediately with no spend requirement.

      • Lady London says:

        Hum. Wonder why we are hearing reports of decent incentives being given to Germans and Americans to keep their Amex cards. And yet, bar about 3 reports of HfP, no real reports of anything significant being offered by Amex – nothing over what they would offer anyway.

        Why are UK cardholders receiving less from Amex? Enquiring minds want to know.

        • Ken says:

          Maybe less ‘gaming’ goes on in Germany. Maybe more people here have 3 or 4 Amex products.

          • J says:

            There aren’t the generous sign up bonuses in Germany but annual fee and benefits are similar. Amex is also pretty niche, not widely accepted. It’s still common for a lot of places to only accept German debit cards but no credit cards at all, and cash only is still normal for a lot of bars and restaurants.

    • Harry T says:

      How much do you spend on your Platinum card/AMEX cards in general? I wasn’t offered anything.

      • Tom C says:

        Same – cancelled this week, wasn’t offered anything, but I probably only spend £2k a year on it if that.

    • Sundar says:

      Presumably the Gold Charge was fee-payable for the first year ? or was it offered free for first year ?

  • Peter K says:

    Re-posted from late last night.

    I made a curve payment on my laptop and it needed a verification code but I could not make it work, despite curve being open on my mobile. I then made the same payment on my (android) mobile, again with the curve app being open and the verification was NOT in the app, but rather via a PUSH notification. I pressed it, got asked to put my curve app pin in, then it all went through.
    Not sure if that will help some.

    • @mkcol says:

      If only they’d done this when the person used my Curve card in Bahrain 8 times last night.

    • Genghis says:

      Still not working for me this morning. I’m a Beta tester.

    • Callum says:

      That notification only actually opens a confirmation screen about 1 in 5 times for me. Yesterday it just stopped appearing altogether.

  • Barry says:

    Apologies as I know this has been posted before but I find it difficult to search these chat threads.

    Our BA flight in May has been cancelled and I called up this morning to request a refund but was told that as the booking includes car hire, I would need to contact BA Holidays and that department’s phone lines are currently closed. I will need to email them in order to have my refund processed.

    What is the best course of action here? Thanks!

    • Andrew says:

      Email them.

    • Anna says:

      In the event you can’t get through to BA, they contacted me by text a few days before we were due to start a BA holiday and offered a voucher which we accepted as it didn’t involve Avios or a 2 4 1.

    • Tommy says:

      I spoke with BA Holidays on Tuesday on 020 8707 4460. I had to wait a little while but they were very helpful when I got through.

    • MadMiler says:

      I was due to fly out 2nd May as part of BA Holiday (flight and car) package which I had paid in full. Without any instigation from myself concerning the booking whatsoever, I received a detailed holiday cancellation email last Thursday advising that a refund will be processed in 7-10 days. Low and behold payment was back on my card when I checked my Amex account this morning. Seems if your patient then BA Holidays just do it all for you 😊

  • Andrew says:

    With Amex Platinum insurance, given ‘new’ bookings are technically not covered due to the FCO guidance not to travel, what constitutes ‘new’?

    I have an existing booking with one leg cancelled. I believe rescheduling this itinerary to later in the year would count as ‘existing’ for Amex Plat Insurance. Is it the PNR or booking reference that counts, or is there discretion?

    The reason I ask, is a slightly different routing/itinerary (different ex-EU start point) would be preferable due to beginning in Milan, and I’d like to move to a less locked-down departure point, but having this trip uninsured for cancellation is not ideal.

    • Lady London says:

      I believe changing the starting point on a ticket technically means it has to be a new ticket.

      So not sure technically how that one would play our, even though I know some insurance policies will cover a rebooked trip, or same trip later, even if new dates fall outside of the original policy.

      I think you have to talk first to the airline to find out what’s possible, at an appropriate point , which may be after a flight is cancelled by the airline, and when you’ve got what you would like as a solution that seems feasible, talk to your insurance before you make a switch.

      • Andrew says:

        Thanks Lady London, your thoughts are quite similar to mine, I was hoping someone had been further down the line with this as whilst both BA and Amex have phone numbers, getting someone to answer them is always a challenge 🙂

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    We have a 2 x week old BAPP account but no offers have been loaded.
    Is this normal or no new offers being loaded due to the crisis?
    My Amex accounts usually load offers in under a week!

    • Andrew says:

      The offers are a bit limited at the moment. I’m down to just 7 on LBG.

      However, spotted a nice bit of layering this morning for Harvey Nichols.

      10% – Loyalty Weekend.
      10% – Amex & LBG Offers
      20% – Perks at Work money return (scheme amongst various employers).

      So that’s equivalent to 37% off.

    • Harry T says:

      Less offers in general at the moment. They also tend to start popping up in 2-4 weeks once you start spending.

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