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)

  • Essjay says:

    Looking for some advice. We had a hotel booking in Tokyo for the Olympics. Booking was through Agoda and was non-cancellable. The hotel have been in touch saying they’re offering cancellations and full refunds, so we took advantage. Hotel confirmed the money has been refunded to Agoda as of yesterday. Agoda are now saying they will only refund in “Agoda Cash” which expires in 6 months. The booking value was about £4K, so it’s going to be difficult to use in the next 6 months. Do we have any recourse here?

    Worth noting that the Agoda Ts&Cs say that the “agreement with the hotel” is that the booking is not refundable, but surely the hotel has now changed that agreement?

    • N says:

      Chargeback?

    • Johnny C says:

      claim on travel insurance

      • TGLoyalty says:

        The insurance is last recourse and the agent is offering a voucher right now so they may see this as acceptable.

        I would push the agent for a refund in cash other chargeback or s75 via card

        • Jonathan says:

          Not sure how a chargeback comes into play here? You’ve book a non-cancellable hotel room and you want to cancel it rather than hotel. It’s sharp practice from Agoda if they get the money back from hotel yet don’t pass it on but perfectly legal as your contract is with them not hotel.

          If Agoda won’t play fair than it’s an insurance claim. S75 or chargeback is for supplier’s failure to deliver their side of a contract & Agoda have done that.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            I would say if the hotel has rejected your stay (which they now have) Agoda can’t deliver on what was promised.

            And on what basis will the insurance pay out on? Inclination not to travel isn’t covered and as yet there’s no advice to not travel in that time period.

          • Essjay says:

            Fortunately, after a lot of back and forth (this has been going on for a few days), Agoda have agreed to a refund because of the “exceptional circumstances”.

            I’m glad they’re cooperating, but I still think it’s out of line that they were even considering keeping the funds after the hotel had refunded them on our behalf, bearing in mind we had negotiated with the hotel directly to achieve this outcome. We’ve been quite good customers of Agoda in the last few years, having spent a fair amount of time in Asia – not sure if that factored in to their decision or not.

  • Boi says:

    What are the chances of getting improved sign up bonus on virgin + cc? Hubby’s card fee is due next week. I am thinking of cancelling his then applying myself to atleast get points for £160

  • Josh says:

    I had a Lloyds voucher avios flight cancelled and refunded a couple of weeks ago, I got the cash back the next day but not seen the avios, I understand that these are refunded to my avios account but I’m unable to log in to this online, is there anyway to get these back to my BA account or does this require a phonecall to avios?

    Thanks

  • Dave Barron says:

    Pleased to report that this morning I have received a full refund back to my Amex following the cancellation of my Avios booking on 19th March and my call to request refund same day. Not sure whether BA just got around to processing after 4 weeks and 2 days or whether my message via Flyertalk to BA Refund Helper a couple of days ago sped up matters – either way i’m grateful.

    My original booking had been NCL>LHR>ORD using 2 companion vouchers which had cost me 92k Avios and £1152.44 in fees (Economy Out and Premium return). I’m now beginning to consider rebooking options for Easter 2021 but would be interested to know peoples views. I currently have 2 BA/Amex Companion Vouchers which since being returned to my BA account have been extended by 6 months (one expires November 2020 and the other September 2021). At the moment if I rebook for next Easter only one voucher can be used so the Avios cost would be higher at the moment – 117k Avios plus the fees are now higher than when I booked last year totalling £1372.48. Firstly do you think it likely that BA will extend vouchers beyond the current 6 month timescale?- in my circumstances a 12 month extension would make them more useful as both would be valid for Easter 2021 travel. Secondly to encourage airline travel do people believe APD is likely to be reduced making fees cheaper and Avios redemptions more beneficial? My backup plan in terms of Companion Vouchers may be to reopen the BAPP card (haven’t held in around a year but would need to check precise date) but had been holding out for eligibility for a sign up bonus – am I right in thinking it’s 24 months irrespective of other Amex Cards held?

    • Ian W says:

      Dave,

      I don’t have any answers , but I have just cancelled a 30th Wedding anniversary trip in May that was made with a companion voucher. It was a 2 year voucher but was due to expire in August 2020. Once I get it back it will only be extended until Feb 2021. I have tweeted BA to try to get a further extension, but had only negative responses. It would seem that some sort of flexibility on this would be good for customer relations.
      It is unfair that anyone who earns a voucher today would get 30 months on it, but due to an unfortunate timing issue, I have to use mine by Feb 21. This makes it next to useless for me as I would like to rebook the same dates for next year. I don’t want to go away in the winter.
      I am not a big points earner and spent a long time getting enough points and spend together to give us a once in a lifetime 1st class trip.
      I am hoping that they do apply a further extension, but I not confident that will happen.
      I also have considered the option to try to earn another 2-4-1, but opportunity to spend is limited as most of my spend was on petrol and I am currently not going anywhere.

      • Dave Barron says:

        Cheers for reply Ian – in terms of spend and earn sounds like we are in a very similar position. We do a family long haul to the USA on average every 18 months. Like you I had a strategy to earn and redeem which was perfect for our needs – until the cancellations caused by an unforeseen pandemic! Very frustrating all round but trying to maintain perspective as there’s so many unfortunate people with worse problems right now. Good luck and stay safe.

  • Pierre says:

    This is the direct ‘Avios’ nr I was given by an iberia CS agent (take note that it’s a local Spanish one): +34 91 774 2607
    They sorted my booking without any issues, although having said that, I’ve only had part of the avios and part of the cash refunded, almost 4 weeks later.

  • Dave Barron says:

    Apologies if already posted/discussed but I thought also worth reminding people that the last day to earn Tesco points for next quarter is 7th May. I’d previously switched on Auto Convert for the bonus 1000 virgin points which in my case credited on 9th April. I have today remembered to switch back to vouchers as I don’t currently want to earn more Virgin miles! Other HFP readers may wish to also review.

    I’m sitting on 116k Virgin miles and am torn between cashing out for Hilton points, making a speculative Delta booking for next year or just holding tight and doing nothing.

    Rob – What plans if any do you have for your Virgin airmiles?

    • Rob says:

      Sit and wait, because 3m Hilton points (which is what I’d get) is virtually worthless to me too.

      My wife’s 1.5m is worth £9,000 of Virgin Holiday. This is interesting because of the ATOL protection – if VA/VH (same legal entity) went down, I would still get a holiday. This would be a very last resort though as we don’t really need a £9k package holiday either.

      • Dave Barron says:

        Thanks for reply Rob. I was more curious than anything but tend to agree not to panic and ride the storm! Stay safe and thanks again for a great site!

      • Dezbez says:

        Rob – as far as I can tell, it looks like the Virgin holiday points redemption rate has been reduced to 0.55p / mile, not 0.6….

  • Craig says:

    An AMEX 241 voucher question – We’ve called up to book the outbound leg and paid £1600 in taxes.

    When the return leg becomes available we’ll call back to add it to our booking. The return leg taxes will be £1000.

    However, if the same flights were booked as a return the total taxes would be £1200!

    Firstly, this makes no sense to me, as I don’t see how 2 flights can be cheaper than the price of 1, but when we book our return leg will the taxes be adjusted to reflect the return price? i.e. will we be refunded £400? or expected to pay another £1000?

    I’ve seen comments saying no adjustment will be made if the return leg is booked online. Is it the same for return legs being booked via the telephone?

    • Anna says:

      Where are you going that was £1600 in taxes one way?! (Assume you mean only for 2 people.)
      This is a complicated feature of 2 4 1 bookings. Rob wrote a very good article on it a couple of months ago,someone will probably be able to post a link but you could try searching “Booking return leg of 2 4 1/companion flight on HFP” or similar.

      • Genghis says:

        If you call up they will make the booking a proper return on one PNR.

        If you book online as a single and then call up in the morning, they will now keep the booking as two PNRs, refund the avios but not the taxes (this is great for HKG, not so much for say JFK). They used to give you a choice.

  • Remainder2 says:

    BA LCY flight on 13 May to AMS cancelled this morning. Had been one of the three flight still running on the heavily reduced flying schedule for May so had been resisting the various emails inviting me to take a voucher before the cancellation was announced. Assume the further rationalisation is linked to the extending of the lockdown.

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