Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Wednesday 20th May

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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/2020/05/20/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-wednesday-20th-may/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 (143)

  • Isolde says:

    The Martin Lewis website has an interesting travel survey listing the 50 best and worst travel firms for refunds (google mse travel survey results).
    Amongst airlines Jet2 is a clear winner with BA and AA being the only other airlines with a net positive result. Amongst the larger travel agents Hays and Trailfinders fare very well.
    At the other end, Ryanair, KLM and Air France are the worst.

    • J says:

      I’ve heard only good things about Trailfinders – the only travel agent I wouldn’t hesitate to use.

      • Rob says:

        Trailfinders operates differently to everyone else. Because they are so powerful, they don’t need to pay suppliers in advance. All your money goes into a ring-fenced account which can’t be used for anything else. It is therefore very easy for them to refund you when there are problems.

        • Craig W says:

          Indeed. They make other travel agents look like Ponzi schemes in comparison

        • Spursdebs says:

          Which is why I left my 6k with them Instead of asking for a refund and booked a cruise for 2022 with it.

    • Rhys says:

      Not surprising since KLM and AF only started giving refunds last week!

    • Doug M says:

      I thought Lufthansa has effectively refused refunds, they have a closed ‘refund department’. Hard to see how you can do worse than that.

    • Neil says:

      We have direct experience with Jet2 who refunded flights to Faro without any prompting from us and friends whose USA trip was all refunded by Trailfinders without any problems too.
      Our bigger problem could be our trip to Dubrovnik with Jet2 who are due to re-start flying the day we are due to fly – they even emailed all the information for you flight this morning which isn’t a good sign as we’re not going.

    • Andrew says:

      No airport parking companies on the list…

      I’ve given up with APH and just asked my Credit Card company to recall it. They shut their doors on 1st April, the car park I was going to used has been closed since early April anyway.

    • Doug M says:

      My experience of AA is they’ve been excellent. But then it’s easy to give away US taxpayer money.

  • The Lord says:

    Does anyone have any experience in train season ticket refunds? Can this be done in person at the station or only online? Reading on BBC this morning of very long processing times

    • The Streets says:

      Go to your TOC website and check what their process is. I did it for Great Northern and involved me sending them a photo with my ticket cut in half. Processing times from what I know have taken a few weeks

    • Spk says:

      Depends on how you purchased the ticket. I bought it online therefore had to submit a form to request refund. Got the money in 25 days credited to my card.

    • MattyS says:

      I got my refund last week from GWR after applying on 24th March. I applied on line (original ticket bought at station) but sent the physical ticket back in the post. I think now they want the photo of it cut in half. Just be aware it may not be a pro rata refund as they base it on something less than 52 weeks to account for the discount against a standard fare.

      • John says:

        It is a full refund less the cost of the monthly tickets you would have had to buy for the period you used it.

        A monthly ticket is 9.6% of the price of the annual. The price will be prorated to the exact number of days in the final month that the ticket was used

  • Anna says:

    I’ve forgotten again – BA vouchers. I booked a city break at Xmas with Avios and expiring 2 4 1 but OH’s work has now decided he can’t have the time off. If I cancel the flights, I think I will get 3 separate future travel vouchers as there were 3 of us travelling, valid till April 2022 (silver lining). Do these then have to be used for the 3 original travellers? And will my voucher consist of the 2 4 1, plus Avios & RFS fee for my journey?

    • Michael C says:

      I was wondering this the other day, Anna, but couldn’t find a clear answer anywhere.

      I just wondered if the amount of the voucher went into the “family” Avios account and anyone could use it or, as you ask, whether they have to be the exact same passengers.

      Rob did say the voucher could be used in parts, on separate journeys, but again, I don’t know if by the invidividual original passengers or by all 3 together.

    • Rich says:

      my understanding from conversation with BA CS was that the future travel vouchers can only be used for the original travellers although you can add to them (for example we want to add an infant to our booking) I don’t think you can swap one adult for another

      • Polly says:

        Rob mentioned that the main original traveller must be travelling on the new tickets, but others can be booked to travel…

  • Jon says:

    Qatar status match has ended, a day sooner than I expected. I suppose midnight is the start rather than the end of the day officially…

  • Frankie says:

    Does anyone know if BA give you any avios for completing one of their online ‘Help Shape Our Future’ surveys? Perhaps at the end of the survey they ask for your BAEC number in order to give you some avios as a thank you? I’ve received a few surveys and I never bother filling them in as they email says it should take 20 to 25 minutes to complete but it seems they want you to do it for free.

    • Rob says:

      Clearly people do fill them in for free or they would bribe you. Problem is that the sort of person who has 25 minutes to waste filling in a questionnaire for free is not representative ….

  • Toppcat says:

    Has anyone used Curve Fronted to pay Brighton yet? I have a relatively big bill to pay (and elevated expenses over the next few months) so it might be worth upgrading to Metal to do so, but I am concerned about the underlying card (Virgin in this case) not treating the transaction as a purchase now that Curve has changed the way they approach the transaction. It would be a shame if this route were shut down for good!

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Curve fronted unless on metal now charge 1,5%. I would try a different card other than virgin as people getting charged fees.

    • Connor says:

      Virgin still works fine. The transactions aren’t handled any differently, it’s just Curve added the 1.5% charge on their side.

    • Bazza says:

      Yea, paying Amex with curve using virgin credit card of the hilton honours barclays card might get closed down for good if it keeps getting talked about on here. The same as funding ISA and buying premium bonds with national savings and investments!

  • Oliver says:

    Has anyone done a Heathrow Rewards to Avios transfer (with the 50% bonus) and actually had the points post to their BAEC account yet?

    It says it takes 48 hours, but I did a transfer 6 days ago that still hasn’t appeared (yes, my BAEC number is correct in Heathrow Rewards).

    • Andrew says:

      +1 my Avios not arrived yet either.

      • Dr Lee says:

        I transferred 6000 last week and I’m still waiting for the Avios to appear.

        • pablo says:

          I did a transfer to Aegean in September last year and it took 18 days

    • Annabelle says:

      I contacted Heathrow rewards and got this;
      I have checked and I can see that the conversion appears to be processing without issue however, it it taking a little longer than expected. I will raise the issue to my senior team to request that they look into the delay but I believe that it is due to the high volume of transfers taking place due to the promotion. On occasion transfers can take up to 30 days however, it is usually much quicker than this.

  • Sapiens says:

    Will be 40 tier points short of retaining BA status on July year-end. Would have sailed over the threshold if BA hadn’t cancelled my bookings. Any wisdom on whether/how to claim?

    • BrightonReader says:

      No one knows.

      BA is being very tight lipped about it other that the 30% reduction in the targets for people’s whose tier point collection year ends are in April, May and June.

    • AJA says:

      I’d wait until you go over the TP year end (take a screen shot of your current TP balance). See if they renew status. If not write to them using the ‘contact us’ section of the BAEC and enclose screen shot and details of your cancelled flight. I think you will get a positive result.