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The new HFP chat thread – Sunday 26th 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/2020/04/26/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-sunday-26th-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 (175)

  • Baji Nahid says:

    Anyone elses amex offers not appearing on the amex website, keeps saying to try back later.

    • Nick_C says:

      Sporadically with Chrome on Windows. Usually OK with Chrome on Android or using the app

  • David S says:

    If I get a BA cash refund for the taxes and my 241 recredited, how long will my reinstated voucher be valid for ? Original date plus 6 months or 2022 ? Just need to know which voucher to use in which order

  • Jody says:

    I’ve made a few posts in the chat threads before about my ongoing saga trying to get a refund for a package holiday (flights, cruise, accommodation before and after cruise) that we’d already flown out to that was then cancelled. Travel Agent are saying that they have applied for a refund for the cruise part, but basically tough luck for the rest of it and we have to go through travel insurance. Travel insurance are saying that legally, it is down to the TA to refund because it is a package holiday.

    Anyway, I put in a Section 75 claim in with Barclaycard. Filled out details online on 1st April, sent off paperwork as requested on 2nd April. Phoned them some time last week (spent over two and a half hours on hold just waiting to get through to someone to be told there was nothing updated on the system, they were short staffed in every department, and the person I was speaking to couldn’t help me). On the 23rd April I got a secure message online in response to one I had sent on the 12th basically saying they didn’t understand my message (I had essentially typed up what I had here, asking if they had received the paperwork and what was happening with the claim). I replied to that giving all the details from start to end again, so there could be no room for confusion, and haven’t heard anything back.

    In summary, started the Section 75 on 1st April and not heard anything about it. Have done similar claims with both Amex and Halifax, who have been great. Am I being unreasonable to think that Barclaycard should have at least got the ball rolling by now? Any suggestions of how I can speed things up?

    • sunguy says:

      I helped a friend raise a travel related S75 claim with the Halifax the other day – the lady was helpful on the phone, explained that if we had called during the working day, she would have had to put me through to a specialist team – and it was taking about 2hrs to get through to that team during the day. However, because the team was closed, she could do exactly the same form that the team would do for us right there and then!

      She then explained that they are not giving any time estimates as to how long that it would take to process at least an initial investigation – however, normal timescales were about 15days (which is what I have experienced previously) – but, about a week ago, they were suggesting about 45 days….that could be 9 weeks!!!

      The thing is that a huge number of barclaycard CS staff are based in India which as you may know suddenly and immediately went into lockdown – so, honestly, as much as Id love to say you will hear back this week – I think you might find it takes quite some time more…..

      • Jody says:

        Thanks Sunguy. It took me about half an hour on hold to Halifax earlier this week before before I got through to someone. Lady was lovely and really helpful. Took all my details about the claim, then said she’d see if she could get me through to the dispute team. She got through straight away and I was put through. The process was then explained to be, think the merchant has 45 days to respond, but in the meantime it has been shown as an adjusted credit amount in my account.

        I don’t mind if things take a while, I totally get that. But it doesn’t seem right that both Amex and Halifax have been able to do that, whereas Barclaycard haven’t even responded at all, other than what I said above. If they could just confirm they’d got the paperwork that would be a start!

        It’s now over 6 weeks since our cancelled holiday and I’m still no further forward!

  • Harry T says:

    Has anyone stayed at the Conrad Tokyo? It’s currently 95,000 points per night when I’m due to visit, for a City King. The Hilton Tokyo is 70,000 a night by comparison. I’d have to buy some points to top up. Cash rate for best flexible rate at Conrad on the same room is £2300 for five nights (380,000 points alternatively).

    • meta says:

      Both very good. Depends on where you want to be location wise.

      Hilton Tokyo can be as low as 54k points, so you might want to wait. I am not fond of their standard rooms, so I usually wait for a sale and get a junior suite for cash (about £150-180). In that case don’t bother with buying points. On the other hand, Conrad has better standard rooms.

      • Harry T says:

        It’s our first time in Tokyo so not really sure where the best place to stay is! Conrad is expensive for cash.

        • Genghis says:

          Location wise I’d stay at the Conrad out of the two. But look at non-chains for cash, they’re much cheaper than chains! Have you got your plans sorted for Japan? I lived in Fukuoka for a couple of years so happy to advise. Tokyo has to be done but the more time spent in the rest of Japan the better.

          • Harry T says:

            @Genghis our rough plan for our Asia trip in November is fly into HKG, few nights in HKG, fly to Beijing on Cathay F (Avios), few nights in Beijing, JAL business to Tokyo (Avios), five nights in Tokyo, fly back to HKG with JAL in J (Avios), fly home.

            So five days in Tokyo/Japan. Not much for a first visit but I’m sure we will be back! I would appreciate any recommendations you have for well-priced hotels for cash, as the Western/large chains look outrageously toppy.

            FYI I think I managed to follow you on Twitter, so you can always message me on there if you’re bored of the comments!

          • Brighton Belle says:

            +1.
            2 years in Tokyo. Japan outside Tokyo is much more interesting

        • Michael C says:

          Harry not sure when you’re thinking of, but Hilton had 40% off suites for…Black Friday, I think?

          • Spursdebs says:

            I got 50% of Conrad Tokyo in sale for a suite … shame my trip got cancelled due to virus. Conrad refunded my non refundable rate back within 48 hours of me emailing them.

          • Harry T says:

            Thanks, Michael – we are going in November. Will keep an eye out for sales!

            Debs, that is rotten – I hope you get another chance to visit for such a good rate.

        • meta says:

          Hilton is in Shinjuku, close to Shibuya (famous crossing), easy access to Yoyogi Park (famous shirne), good nightlife, food. Conrad Tokyo is close to Imperial Palace, Ginza (shopping), fish market (sushi restaurants), etc.

          My preference is Hilton Shinjuku if I can get junior suite or deluxe/executive room, otherwise it’s Conrad.

          But Tokyo is huge so you’ll spend a lot of time travelling around. Are you only going to Tokyo?

          • Harry T says:

            Thanks, Meta. The plan is for five days/nights in Tokyo alone, as part of a larger trip in Asia.

        • EJH says:

          JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku is at a slightly lower price point than some of the international chains and a decent option if you’re planning on spending most of your time exploring Tokyo rather than using the hotel facilities.

      • meta says:

        Also there is Rob’s review of Conrad Tokyo somewhere on the site, so have a look.

        • Harry T says:

          Thanks, found it – he didn’t seem impressed!

          • Novice says:

            Sometimes it gets hard to be impressed if you have travelled a lot of places. I suffer from this myself. My family and friends swear that they have never heard me impressed at anything travel related for years now.

            I just don’t get the hype of places I guess.

          • Lady London says:

            I’m hard to impress too. But if I have someone else with me then I want them to enjoy it so I care a lot more.

  • Travel Strong says:

    Just had a mail from Delta saying my direct flight booking to SLC in September has changed to indirect flights with far from ideal new times.

    Is there any need to respond in any time frame? (e.g. if I would rather book a different routing etc)

    I would rather leave any decision for a couple of months and evaluate options closer to the time!

    P.S. these were booked using virgin flying club miles

    • Charlieface says:

      Don’t think so. Don’t forget to insist on your rights to a reasonable re-routing: direct and/or at times that suit you

  • Alan says:

    Does anyone have any knowledge of how IHG premium and HSBC World Elite operate with regard to paying off your balance mid month – i.e. are points awarded on all spend, or just up to the credit limit?

  • Peter North says:

    Breaking news, Hooray the Government get Brexit done!

    In other news….
    The Environment secretary at the latest government presser indicated that there was a shortage of labour ( mostly East Europeans) to harvest fruit in June, But don’t worry, they have come up with a brilliant solution. Get all the furloughed workers to go out and become fruit pickers.

    You couldn’t make it up.

    • Don says:

      It’s quite interesting to see what happens if you apply as a Brit to pick fruit. Expect next to zero callbacks even if you’re experienced in physical work. It’s not just anecdotal.

      You’d probably have more chance of being employed to pick fruit even with the name Mr Ceaușescu than Mr Smith. I’m not prepared to speculate why that is.

      • Charlieface says:

        Because they’re hard workers and don’t stop for tea every 2 seconds?? Racism, prejudice and stereotyping don’t just go in one direction…

      • Kev 85 says:

        Because some farmers are scumbags who don’t want to pay people a proper wage?

        (Some)

    • Weary says:

      Keir Starmer, is that you?
      Or am I barking up the wrong tree and should say comrade?

    • Anna says:

      Who picked the fruit before we had mass movement of workers? It’s disgraceful that we have large numbers of unemployed people yet are still reliant on migrant workers. Before I started full time work I took any job I could do to support myself, bar work, packing in a factory, cleaning, I was even a madrigal singer in a medieval themed restaurant at one point! Now I have a PhD and am shortly to retire on my 50th birthday but I would happily accept any work I could logistically undertake if the alternative was drawing state benefits.

      • Polly says:

        Agree, have argued this point on multiple occasions in the Times forum re this exact point. Get these lazy gits off their backsides and make them work for their benefits . We as kids and all our friends picked fruit and vegs throughout our teenage years for pocket money, healthy and great fun. It makes my blood boil when l read about the need for immigrant labour for these jobs. The USA makes people earn their benefit money with community projects, why not here?

        • Capt Hammond says:

          So unemployed people are “lazy gits” now? The Daily Mail Reader is strong in you, Polly.

  • Ammar says:

    any data point on the amex offer for M&S – thinking of buying a giftcard fpr £30 online, wasnt sure if that would trigger it? As i know some websites have different webstes which they sell giftcards from?
    Regrads

    • Don says:

      No issues for me last week. Also worked in store despite the sentiments saying it wouldn’t anymore.

    • AndyGWP says:

      Yeah. Online gift card worked fine (once on main card, once on supp)