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The new HFP chat thread – Tuesday 21st 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!

Comments (134)

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  • gareth says:

    Virgin to Hilton- I transferred via telephone on 30 March, got the verification email 14 April and replied same day but still my points haven’t arrived at Hilton. Who is best to raise this with? Hilton or Virgin?
    It’s annoying that others reporting transfer after my date and receiving points already.

    • Ian M says:

      Have your miles left your flying club account? If so, what date did that happen?

      • Gareth says:

        Points left 31 March- hopefully the Wednesday transfer happens for me tomorrow! Will call them otherwise.

        Thanks for your help

    • Paul says:

      Wait until tomorrow – seems they do them in batches each Weds. I did mine 28/3 and they landed last week.

    • Jonty says:

      I applied by text with all the info someone else on hfp suggested (date of birth, address etc) on I think 28th or 29th,got confirmation on 30th, arrived a few days ago. So of you only for confirmation a few days ago it might take a bit longer

    • FFoxSake says:

      – WhatsApp request 31 Mar
      – WhatsApp reply 1 Apr (“we are processing now, points in Hilton within 30 days”)
      – Email from Fcsverify 14 Apr requesting extra Data Protection info – replied and had confirmation back same day (“Thanks for completing DPA, points will be in Hilton account within 7-10 working days”)
      – Hilton online 21 Apr – points all credited and dated 20 Apr

      I would say you are two or three days away from seeing them.

  • jil says:

    IHG promised to extend the free night cert to the end of year, but my IHG free night cert from credit card just expired (disappeared)…

    • Brighton Belle says:

      Had booked a free night at the Intercontinental in London using mine and had to cancel. Free night not returned to my account. Free night expiry not extended. Contacting IHG from my account more difficult than finding PPE . . . but no response. I’ve been Spire for several years but they’ve lost me to Hilton because of their abysmal indifference.

      • jamie says:

        I had the opposite experience, booked for IC O2 on 10th June but cancelled on the phone last week, free night returned to my account while I was on the phone. New free night just credited from credit card so now I have two

      • Mac D says:

        It doesn’t automatically come back you need to contact them to get them to put if back in your account

      • Mac D says:

        Best way to contact them is by email if you are ambassador then use that email if not there is a customer services email

      • LouiseK says:

        I contacted them via DM on Twitter then they emailed me.

        Try ihgservice @ ihg . com

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      IHG also promise bonuses on reaching spire elite, not working for me this year!

  • Philip says:

    I saw a tweet on Secret Flying a while that said if an airline cancels a sector of a multi-sector booking then one can legitimately cancel the whole booking and receive a full refund. Is this true?

    My booking (for flights in 3 weeks time) was HEL-LHR-HKG-AKL / AKL-HKG-BRU-HEL but Cathay Pacific have now cancelled the initial HEL-LHR sector, such that the flight now starts at LHR. Very handy now that I don’t have to take the positioning flight to HEL – which BA actually cancelled weeks ago – but basically irrelevant now that HKG is closed for transit.

    Cathay also keep sending revised flight times, hoping – I guess – to kick the ball down the road in the vain hope that everything returns to normal. But I guess the crunch point for CP will come when we reach 2 weeks before departure, as they will have to cancel or be liable to EC261.

    Anyway any answers to my initial question will be greatly appreciated.

    • Anna says:

      Yes, if one sector is cancelled on a single booking you are entitled to a refund for the whole lot. However, EU261 compensation has been ruled out for several weeks now.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      You can cancel the whole trip for a full refund. You’ve confirmed with CX that the flight will now start from LHR (APD payable so result if no extra cost to you) not just assuming that because the HEL flight has been cancelled?

      As Anna says EC261 is not applicable for the COVID19 related changes going on right now.

      • Lady London says:

        For clarity Ec261 compensation part is currently not applicable.

        Your other ec261 rights still prevail including duty of care where needed. You – not the airline – also have the right to choose refund, next/soon available reroute (ie rebook same travel) or later reroute of same travel on a date that works for you. These rights are all still applicable even with notice of more then two weeks.

        I am sure @TGLoyalty meant that but just clarifying no compensation currently being payable does not take away your other rights under ec261 and these supersede any contract conditions where ec261 applies.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Yes sorry I just meant the compensation parts the rest are all still applicable.

          I also just wanted to clarify I’d be very carefully with the HEL cancellation. Unless they’ve specifically re-routed you to start the trip in London I wouldn’t assume you can just get on in LHR.

          • Philip says:

            I can confirm that Cathay Pacific have cancelled the flight for the HEL-LHR sector on Monday 18th May. And they have re-scheduled the flight from LHR-HKG from Monday 18th May until Thursday 21st May. Though bizarrely the sector from HKG-AKL is still scheduled for Wed 20th May – 2 days before we will now arrive in HKG!!!

  • Berneslai says:

    IHG points: any way of earning them while I’m stuck at home? I’m 9,000 points short of a stay and don’t want to purchase them at an exorbitant rate. I’ve already utilised the free IHG credit card bonuses.

    • Sam says:

      Got/get a curve card?

    • Rob says:

      Have you checked ‘cash and points’ pricing? You may have enough.

      Transfers from Virgin or Amex to Virgin to IHG work.

      • Anna says:

        Indeed, most properties seem to allow you to use points plus cash at very reasonable rates.
        Could you get a few more points by paying up front for utilities or council tax?

    • Ash says:

      Transfer from virgin. You have the shopping option with virgin.

      • RussellH says:

        It takes almost two months for the miles to post assuming that an online purchase tracks – which in my experience they never do.
        You then have to wait before you can ask them to ‘investigate’. The investigation can take two months. Once they approve it your two months ‘pending’ status starts.
        I am still waiting for miles on purchases made in January.

    • Ash says:

      Use revolut and pay interest quickly

  • Princess says:

    Hi! Sorry to bother again with a silly question, but yesterday I didn’t get any answer. Am I correct thinking that I can’t book reward seat on Ana airlines using virgin miles in premium economy?

    • Rhys says:

      Yes, I believe so

    • Lumma says:

      Hi princess, saw your post yesterday. If you’re looking for 4 business class seats to Japan on ANA, have you thought about flying from mainland Europe? Frankfurt to Tokyo has far more availability than London and taxes are around £150 less than ex UK. There’s two flights a day but only the early flight has the new seats, so you’d probably need to overnight in Frankfurt on the way out if you want that

  • Dave says:

    Yesterday I made the transfer from Virgin flying club to Hilton. When I made the transfer I was told that this would be the last time I could make a transfer to Hilton as they’re removing all hotel partners in the next few days.

    So reading between the lines it seems that VA are removing the partners that you can transfer out with.

    So if you want to convert to Hilton or IHG then do it now.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Rob, can you research this claim as if so, big news!

      • Rob says:

        Seems vaguely odd – why not just stop it? What’s the point of telling people you are planning to stop it?

        • Dave says:

          Presumably the call centre staff have been told this is coming to an end. It wasn’t exactly an official announcement by Virgin. Presumably they have to give notice to Hilton.

          • LewisB says:

            I wonder how many points have been transferred to Hilton over the last month?

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            If this is true, I’m glad I held out and not upgraded my Virgin card to plus yet!

          • Chabuddy geezy says:

            I just transferred some miles to Hilton. The agent was not aware of an imminent stop to Hilton transfers.

          • Dave says:

            @Chabuddythabks for sharing your experience. I wonder whether or not the person I talked to had some inside info or perhaps they heard rumours going round. If anyone else is transferring points over can you share what the person you talked to says

          • Rob says:

            If Virgin wants to stop cash bleeding, they would stop it now. Why wait?

          • Charlieface says:

            Usually I think the management will have decided this, and the call centre staff have had it leaked to them, a memo is sent round or they are undergoing training regarding it. Big businesses don’t move very fast even the current environment. Presumably that CS shouldn’t have passed on the info, but that’s what’s happened

          • No lockdown for moi says:

            Has the smell of truth

  • Simon says:

    Sorry for this old chestnut: Curve and their new(ish) SMS payment verification messages.

    Is anyone else finding the arrival of these SMS messages flaky in terms of actually receiving them?

    I’ve tried to pay in money using Curve today and I’m just not getting any verification messages at all. (I had this issue on the day this new verification procedure went live, but reinstalling the app sorted the issue then.) Today, though, I have turned my iPhone off and on again, deleted and reinstalled the Curve app, and logged out and back into Curve, and also turned my wifi on, then off… still no SMS.

    Any ideas?

    I *have* received verification messages before (in the last 2 weeks) for this particular transaction (NSI) and for others, but it’s becoming very hit-and-miss with all transactions in terms of actually receiving these SMSs. Anyone else experiencing similar issues? Thanks in advance. 🙂

    • Andrew says:

      Have you tried sending yourself a text message (with wifi turned off) to see if there’s potentially an issue in your local area?

      • Simon says:

        Andrew, that was a great suggestion. I have tried this (with wifi disabled(, but the text was still received, so I guess that isn’t the issue. But a much appreciated suggestion nonetheless. Thank you.

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      Curve use app notifications, not SMS messages.

      I’ve found their 3DS notifications to be very flaky.

      The only way I can get it to work is as follows (on Android):

      – Not make a payment for a few hours
      – Open Curve app, login
      – Go back to home screen (Curve open in background)
      – Make payment
      – Hope notification comes through (which it doesn’t always!)

      It seems that if a notification comes through (e.g. a non-3ds payment) then another notification won’t come through for a while.

      • Simon says:

        Steven, you’re indeed correct – I should have said app message rather than SMS.

        Thank you for the very comprehensive potential workaround – I do appreciate it. I shall give it a whirl later on in the day and see if this bears some fruit (I shall report back either way).

        Many thanks again. 😉

      • Lady London says:

        I think my newish phone has a setting that’s different for app notifications (general and also by app). My older phone doesn’t. The new one also has a setting to accept MMS messages even when data switched off – no idea if relevant but I leave it switched on.

        • Anna says:

          I use Curve most days and haven’t been getting any kind of notifications.

          • Simon says:

            Thanks, Anna. Interesting.

            If you’re making large payments without Curve requiring verification, then that’s really handy. If, though, you’re attempting to make large-ish payments, but you’re not receiving verification alerts and the payments are subsequently failing, then see my note above: along with Steven’s suggestion, I might also have stumbled upon a workaround for this.

          • Simon says:

            My note is actually, BELOW! 🙂

          • Tony says:

            Hi Anna,

            Sorry if this has been answered already elsewhere or maybe I am missing something, but what is the reason for you using curve most days?

            Or in other words, what are the benefits of using curve?


      • Simon says:


        I just tried to use your workaround, but, sadly, on this occasion it failed. I will, however, have this as a possible workaround for the future.

        *** Interesting datapoint ***

        In frustration, I went to pay off a small-sized debt (£28.14, British Gas) with Curve, knowing that for such a small amount I’d not be required to verify this payment. Then, immediately and in quick succession, I tried the NSI payment (£1,000+) and, hey presto, up pops a Curve verification notification on my iPhone’s home page… and, hey presto, the payment went through. So, I’m not sure whether making a small payment first — which doesn’t require verification — might be the way to get a larger payment through: the first (small) payment seemed to be enough to then elicit a successful app verification notification for the larger, follow-up one.

        Just my two-penneth… 🙂

        • stevenhp1987 says:

          Glad that works for you.

          I’ve had to change my routine because if I do a smaller payment first, that notification seems to stop the 3ds one.

          Could be Android/iOS differences? Either way, took me a while to get it working for me and plenty of “your card has declined too many times” messages with NS&I…

  • Spk says:

    Amex Singapore offering double points for all spend upto July for Plat charge cardholders. Would be good if Amex UK offered something similar for Plat and BAPP.

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