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The new HFP chat thread – Thursday 23rd 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/2020/04/23/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-thursday-23rd-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.  Let’s see how it goes.  Take care!

Comments (153)

  • Chuck says:

    Advice please …
    AA domestic flight in May JFK/LAS
    Won’t be going to USA and have cancelled my other flights.
    AA website says non refundable but can get a voucher … I really don’t want that as they are difficult to use and not sure when I’m likely to be over there again.
    However, AA have changed my inbound by 10 hours ! does this give me any scope for a cash refund and what’s the best way to try and get that ?

    • Anna says:

      Yesterday another reader referred me to the US Department of Transport regulations for changes to US flights, it might be worth having a look on their website to see what your rights are.

    • DMW says:

      AA changed my flights (May) by two hours. Phoned and was offered full refund. No quibble. Once agreed on the phone, you have to then fill in a form online to trigger the payment (www.prefunds.aa.com). Refund arrived within two weeks

    • B P says:

      You qualify for a refund. The AA rule is that the schedule change has to be 4+ hours for a refund. They’ll also offer you a voucher for the original fare + 20% if you ring them and agree not to take the refund.

      • Chuck says:

        Update
        Called and got repeatedly cut off but one agent made the effort to call me back and agreed that I should get a refund due to schedule change.
        7 days wait now to see if they credit my Amex.
        Great service so far …

        • Doug M says:

          Do you have your ticket number, 001 something. AA refunds are separate to the cancellation, so to be sure that the agent did cancellation and refund, go to prefunds.aa.com and check by using your ticket number. Mine was pending for 5 days and then cash was back in my Amex.

          • Chuck says:

            Thanks Doug, yes the agent told me to do that too so should be good, it seems like it goes to be approved before the final payment … fingers crossed.

        • ChrisC says:

          You’ll be waiting longer than 7 days.

          Am waiting a refund from 5th April

    • Harry T says:

      “ I predict that a compromise will be found, and that Virgin Atlantic will continue to provide British passengers with something no other European nation has: two excellent airlines locked in ferocious competition.”

      Has he flown BA? Perhaps he has flown BA but not an Eastern or Middle Eastern carrier…

      • J says:

        In a European context he has a point, BA/Virgin are pretty good. I’m not a fan of BA but I’d still choose them over most other European airlines (Finnair the only exception I can think of, excellent airline).

        • Harry T says:

          What about KLM? I’ve not used them long haul but their short haul economy product is more enjoyable than BA’s.

          I agree with your general point about the state of European aviation.

      • Nick_C says:

        Virgin was a great airline when it started. I flew on them in economy in 1991, unintentionally, as my flight on Continental was cancelled. Despite flying out eight hours later than I had planned, I remember it as a really enjoyable flight. The cabin crew were friendly and professional. The seats were comfortable with plenty of leg room (I could get out of my window seat while the strangers next to me remained seated). I remember the ice cream with the movie as innovative and appreciated, and the amenity kits. All in all, I was very impressed.

        My second VS flights were probably around 93/94 from Gatwick to Orlando. Knees touching the seat in front, it had become like any other charter flight. The experience no longer matched the hype. I flew with them twice more, in the late 90s to NYC and in 2013 out to MIA and back from LAX. On those last flights, I found the seats were so uncomfortable I vowed never to fly with them again.

        For me, the true innovator to the US for Economy passengers was AA. Comfortable seats, lots of leg room, and good food made up for the legendary rude service (although I always found being polite and respectful to the cabin crew was reciprocated).

        I think Virgin companies, like Apple, have generated an undeserved reputation for high quality when providing second rate products and services.

        But then the public generally are easily fooled. Or else I have different standards to most people. I could never understand the adulation of Emirates who were one of the first carriers to cram in 10 abreast on the 777, pacifying people with an excellent IFE system. Give me a comfortable seat and a good book anytime.

        I know UC has its fans, but most people – the ones who are being asked to pay for a bailout – fly at the back of the plane.

    • Simon Calder’s version very close to Alex Brummer in the Daily Mail (or vice versa).

      The simple fact is: in the next six months, 18,000 plus jobs are going to go in the UK aviation sector. It can’t be otherwise as air travel collapses by 50% with UK predicting social distancing into 2021.

      Do those 18,000 jobs go from Virgin – or do they get spread over all the other airlines flying in and out of the UK?

      And will any of the jobs be saved by a bail-out of Virgin.

      Bail-outs will help those that work for that company – but at a cost to the taxpayer and a cost to those working in healthier companies. Slightly ironic, isn’t it?

      • J says:

        “Bail-outs will help those that work for that company – but at a cost to the taxpayer and a cost to those working in healthier companies. Slightly ironic, isn’t it?”

        If there was not any government assistance at all right now those in healthier companies would face far greater costs in the long run. There would be millions of people unemployed and rebuilding the economy would be even harder.

        • Rob says:

          ALL businesses benefit from a stable economy and from temporarily supporting people who cannot work, in the same way that ALL companies benefit from good regulation and an efficient legal system. Always good to remember that.

    • Yorkieflyer says:

      Mostly true but sadly reads like an obituary, he also conceded that the competition argument only holds water on a very few routes. If as we hear the Treasury is opposed to further measures to assist the university sector then I really can’t see a rethink for VS. There will surely be very weak demand for flights to US for a couple of years and as we know they are heavily dependent on that market having changed their focus in that direction since the investment by Delta. They have no free assets to put up as collateral for a loan and their two shareholders can’t or won’t support the business further. Sad to say I can’t see them surviving, I have points at stake and I hope I’m wrong

    • Brian W says:

      “The government shouldn’t step in to bail them (British Airways) out. They should let them go bust. And the likes of Virgin Atlantic and others should be able to step into their shoes, take over their slots and offer a much more cost effective, in our opinion, better airline” – Sir Richard Branson – Monday 22nd June 2009.

      Seems his opinion on bailouts has changed in the last 10 year.

  • Dips says:

    FYI Virgin Miles requested processed on April 11th and received in Hilton account April 21st.

  • Steve says:

    Interesting option for another month or more of free credit from Curve:
    We’re extending our “Go Back in Time” feature from 14 to 90 days for all customers for a limited time.

  • Matty says:

    I hold an Amex Platinum card. I’m a supplementary holder on the Amex BAPP card and I’m a supplementary holder of the Amex Gold credit card.

    I signed up for my own Amex Gold credit card a couple of months ago. I’ve never held an Amex credit card as the main card holder before. I hit the £3000 spend on 11 April, well within the 3 month period for the sign up bonus. I thought the points for the sign up would post within a day or two of hitting the threshold? How long do they take to post or could it be that I’m not entitled to the bonus because of the other Amex cards that I hold?

    • Bentoni says:

      You have a Platinum Card… So you won’t be getting any spending bonus on the Gold Credit Card.

      • Harry T says:

        Bentoni is correct.

        • Matty says:

          Thank you both. That’s saved me a phone call!

          • Doug M says:

            You were referred to Gold by the person you’re a sup card holder of? Because they’d have got the referral points. No the welcome bonuses are effectively shut down with the 2 year rule, his n hers (other combinations available) referrals are the way to go.

          • Harry T says:

            I do wonder if they will crack down on couples referring each other? Two or three cards a year may go under the radar but properly churning referrals with the same person could be risky.

          • Matty says:

            Partner referred me from her BAPP. Partner received the referral. I don’t have a BAPP in my own name – that’s a possibility for a further referral from my partner in the future. Likewise, she doesn’t hold her own Platinum card, so potential there but agree, churning referrals risky, so not bothering.

  • Gareth says:

    Curve related- I am wanting to buy premium bonds, full 50k. I ensure says I can do via debit card only. Can I push this through curve maybe in smaller transactions and avoid paying any fees on curve or underlying card? Have Virgin Atlantic CC, hsbc prem and IHG creation as options
    Thank you

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      Yup, MCC 9399, perfectly fine (I’ve use IHG and VS+ for this).

      Most bang for your buck is probably to use IHG as underlaying card then use one of the others to pay off your IHG directly.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Yep you can, subject of course to Curve limits – wsthc out for the daily (mine is 5k) as well as 30 and 365 day rolling limits.

      Especy since emailing to ask for higher limits is probably not best done when your most recent transactions are 50k to premium bonds!

      • stevenhp1987 says:

        Didn’t seem to mind when both me and my wife maxed out ours…Upped to £100k per year each 😀

    • KD says:

      I tried this several times for lots of different amount for premium connected to my IHG and it declined every time.

      • Sam says:

        I had the same “issue” initially. I used Curve/IHG normally for a few months to get some history on the card and then started increasing the amount PBs. I’m now limited by Curve

    • Alan says:

      I thought Curve were applying a fee to these transactions? Or am I mistaken?

  • KD says:

    I currently have Amex Gold, I got my renewal bonus in January and haven’t used it since as I got BA premium, I should downgrade and get pro rata fee back? However what is the best free option for keeping my MR points? Do I also lose my unused 2 lounge passes?

  • LST says:

    You can downgrade to the free amex MR card, but the lounge passes are cancelled as soon as you cancel gold.