The new HFP chat thread – Thursday 21st 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:  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!

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  1. So, OH and I might be able to squeeze in 3-4 nights somewhere between Xmas and New Year (earliest outbound day would be Dec 26th, latest inbound Jan 3rd), using a 2 4 1. LAS and other US cities are coming up but I’m not sure whether the USA will be a viable option by then. Availability to DXB and AUH is extremely limited, presumably because everyone else thinks they might be safer options as well! I have loads of HH, IHG and Bonvoy points plus Ambassador free night cert. Needs to be a LHR departure due to MAN connection. Anyone got any ideas? I’d like to do the outbound in F if possible, so would prefer a long haul destination.

    • There is availability flying into AUH and out of DXB for 3 nights which might be just about feasible?

      • Michael says:

        Easily doable flying into once city and out the other if that’s what you mean. 3 nights in either is plenty.

    • Harry T says:

      Abu Dhabi, Dubai or evening Doha (I hear there’s a decent IC in Doha). I assume you’re looking for sun and relaxation instead of a thrilling cultural experience.

      • Either/both, Harry. If there’s no culture to be had we’d like a nice hotel, some sunshine, good food and spa treatments! If there’s culture, we’re not that bothered about the weather or the spa treatments.

        • Harry T says:

          Good point from Rob. Four Seasons usually a better choice than most, unless you’re in Sydney.

          @Anna could you book cash flights instead? Might be some good deals out there. I appreciate if you don’t want to commit to cash, given the uncertainty. There were some solid J fares to Dubai from Amsterdam, but I booked BA F to Abu Dhabi for the race partly due to the inherent flexibility.

          • I’ve got 2 4 1s building up in my account and I feel that burning avios might be advisable in the medium term.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Rob doesn’t like the StR on the beach in Doha but from my visits that plus the IC next door are a couple of nice beachside properties.

        • I’ve just checked, no availability to Doha either on our dates. Obviously everyone’s decided the ME is the safest bet for Xmas and New Year!

          • Four Seasons has just reopened.

            The Kempinski is very niche and on a new man-made private island – I did a review.

            Assuming seats reopen ….

          • TGLoyalty says:

            I know you can’t get it on points but I’ve heard MO Doha is a very nice hotel aswell

          • No beach though AFAIK.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Nope no beach but Anna didn’t mention that was a requirement 🙂 It’s near the MIA, souk etc

            There’s a nice Nobu at the FS. Kempinski is over near the pearl and katara cultural village.

            Taxis / Careem / ubers are cheap so it’s easy to get around where ever you stay.

      • Lady London says:

        There is a nice hotel or two in Oman with spas. I would want to fly Oman Air Business but BA does Muscat as well. Completely different style to Dubai.

  2. That is contrary to other statements Greek ministers have made recently. Notably, it was suggested that the British would be welcome as long as we didn’t have the 14 day quarantine at our end. Contrast also with Spain, where hoteliers have told the government they simply can’t afford to re-open unless the British are allowed back!

    • Chrish says:

      [email protected] that doesn’t make sense “Greece would welcome Uk visitors as long as we don’t have 14 days Quarantine when we get back”
      Why ?

      • It was just what was reported, though I’m guessing:

        1. So that Greeks could visit the UK without having to quarantine.
        2. Brits would be more likely to book holidays if they didn’t have to quarantine on their return.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Because the don’t want Greek travellers to be quarantined.

    • Agreed, though Spanish tourism bosses and employees now seem to have decided that the oiks are the lesser evil and are begging the government for them to be allowed to return!

  3. Brian C says:

    Just tried to see if there were any plans to provide any incentives to Amex Platinum cardholders to stay as suggested by Rob a little while ago when he mentioned that one reader got 20k points loaded (but he was refused). I similarly got the brush off and was offered a downgrade to gold, and reminded that there were double points at the moment and how much my poimnts were worth if i used them to pay down my bill – which was a useless comment as the balance is practically in credit with all of the flight refunds coming in! I tried to exert a little pressure and mentioned the business platinum fee incentive, but still got nowhere. BUT the advisor mentioned that there were plans to further incentivise??? but no detail of course or timescales. Unlike Rob (as he indicated) I use the card a lot, so I was a little disappointed. Anyone else tried and get anywhere with this topic?

    • Genghis says:

      Loads of people have been given points (not me, I don’t have plat).

      But giving people 20k points is not really an incentive to stay. You can just bag the points and then leave.

      • Polly says:

        Yes, that 20k is to make up for being unable to use their travel benefits, main reason most of us hold the card maybe? But l did have to work hard to get the extra 5 k from the agent l spoke to, good will gesture she told me, in the end.

    • Andrew says:

      I was hoping for some non-travel related benefits to be made part of the card for this period as they have done in USA eg £10 per month netflix – but so far nothing other than the double points/double value and the 20K points for some.

    • I’m a very low user of the Plat and got 40k. Just asked if there was anything they could do as my renewal was due in a weeks time.

      • Brian C says:

        Wow! 40k. think I might give it a week or so and have another go.

        • Polly says:

          Yes, some people were given 20k straight up, then found 40k in their accounts! Lucky for some.

    • Graeme says:

      I called up this afternoon and got the 20k points, offered immediately when I said I was considering cancelling the card. Thanks to Rob for highlighting this offer! In case the data points are useful, I’ve used the card very infrequently in the 7 years I’ve had it, other than very recently since the earning rate was doubled. The priority pass plus a couple of travel insurance claims that I think most insurers would have turned down have made it great value even without using it.

  4. Data point AA – cancellation requested 11/5, refund appeared 21/5. Best so far out of QF, AA, BA, SQ.

    • My experience with AA has been very good too. I received full refunds for three return flights with minimal hassle.

    • BrightonReader says:

      took a month for mine to coe through!

      Positivly speedy compared to Finnair where I cancelled on 12 March and got the card credit yesterday!

  5. Martin says:

    BA just cancelled my Club World open jaw Amex 2-4-1 return leg flight from Calgary in Sept, leaving me outbound to Vancouver only. They’ve pulled the whole Calgary route it seems (I was expecting this). Called and managed to get thru, rebooked my return leg from Vancouver in Club World a couple of days later than planned, result as reward seats were available. I think it’s still likely the whole trip will be off but happy to have derisked at least this part of it.

    However, I then noticed that my Exec Club Silver status has been extended by a full 12 months even though I only had enough Tier Points to quality for Bronze when my year ended. A nice touch by BA I thought.

    • bsuije says:

      Status extension would be quite exciting if it is indeed true. Any chance that you perhaps qualified under the reduced threshold (420 TPs instead of 600)?

      • Martin says:

        Just checked my BA account, I only had enough Tier Points to put me in Bronze even with the reduced Silver threshold of 420 v 600. My Tier Point year has just ended and I was on 380 points with no chance of getting to 420 so maybe they are doing it at year end? No clue if it is universal or a factory of my proximity to the 420 threshold….either way it was a pleasant surprise.

    • Yes, if anyone can confirm this that would be great…

      • Hannah says:

        On the BA it now says my card expiry for silver is 31st March 2022

        • Hannah says:

          *BA app
          Apologies! Managed to miss a word!

          • Perhaps Martin had a Jun (or prior) expiry… like him I’m on 380TP with Jul expiry and status quo remains for me.

      • Capecam says:

        The year long renewals are happening on request for sure – But the timing of the request is critical according to my mate at BA. Wait till tier point collection date passes ( eg May 8th) But before card expires.( June 30th) Asking for renewal whilst you are still in your current earning year will actually work against you. My renewal for 12 months happened when I followed this procedure. Within 5 days of my request

        • But Martin hadn’t requested the extension!

          • Martin says:

            Rhys, if you want I can send you a couple of redacted screen grabs from my BAEC account showing the status and transactions (tier point balance removed) if you want. Email me if so.

    • AndyGWP says:

      Interesting re: de-risking

      My thoughts (on the previous page) were that as cancelled avios flights can (currently – admittedly) be moved regardless of avios availability, that you’ve possibly increased risk as you will be on the hook for flight cancellation costs now, and any associated (accommodation) cancellation costs should you wish to cancel the trip due to Canada entry requirements (ie. 14 day quarantine)

      If you’d have left it, wouldn’t insurance have covered the cancellation costs of your accommodation, and you’d have had the option to cancel flights for free with full refund

  6. My Heathrow Rewards transfer has hit my Avios account today but the bonus points haven’t arrived, just the base 3,500 I transferred

  7. Simon says:

    Random one, admittedly • “Comments tally” per article. On some devices and in some browsers, the comments tally/counter per article is there to see; on a different device or via a different browser, it disappears! Would anyone know why? Knowing how many comments I have in front of me helps to stiffen my resolve; without it, I get the sense of what looking for that golden ticket for the Wonka chocolate factory would have been like. 🙂

  8. JohnT says:

    Following on from Tuesdays posts (sorry to come back to it) – BA have now cancelled our US flight in September (Avios 241). So I presume option is phone for a full refund or take a “refund voucher”. However agent said this is not the “Book with confidence voucher” (as flight is after 31/7) that would allow me to rebook for any availability in CW (not just avios seats). So presume best option is full refund (cash/avios and 241) so I can rebook myself, as no special booking benefits for a “refund voucher”?

  9. illuminatus says:

    Curve / HSBC Premier World Elite

    Has anyone had issues with HSBC points recently? The combo used to work perfectly for me, however for April – with total spend of about £20K – I received 10K points only vs the expected 40K. After 2+ weeks of investigation, the wonderful Premier support replied to me that my ‘total purchases’ in April were £5K, thus the amount of points received. Looking at the statement, I cannot understand where that amount comes from, ie how they arrived at at…

    Anyone with similar experience?

    • The Urbanite says:

      You’re not the only one, but the only way to resolve is to persevere with them!

    • Polly says:

      Ask for a manager… had multiple probs with them first couple of years, when staff didn’t know about the card! But they seem better now. Or a supervisor. The call centre staff really can only handle the simplest of issues.

    • Jimbob says:

      My points that posted on 10th April were correct, and that included some Ernie spending

    • Joseph Heenan says:

      What’s your credit limit?

      Their IT has a nasty habit of not crediting points for transactions that take you over your credit limit, but also takes a very days to apply payments to your account. So long story short make sure any payments are fully credited before spending more.

      Also you all really should get an IHG card.

  10. I have a one way flight booked in Dec Malta- LGW with avios. We paid a total of £17.50+23,500 for 2. I now need to move it but the charge is £70.
    Is there a cheaper way of doing this? I don’t mind losing the £17.50 but i would like to get back the avios but don’t really want to pay £70.
    Any thoughts?

    • I believe you need to call to cancel and you’ll only be charged the £17.50pp and get the Avios back, then you can rebook.

      You used to be able to do it online but they’ve stopped it (and also closed the workaround that was on here a few weeks back)

      • sadly when I called they also wanted to charge me £70

      • JohnT says:

        Could wait and see? Unless you need avios for new booking.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        It is a £35 charge per person per booking

        It was just the website that didn’t work as per the T&C’s correctly and only charged you the max of £35 of the cash paid. Or since the £1 euro redemptions came in £1/50p

  11. TonyG says:

    Can you transfer VA points between accounts?

    • Dezbez says:

      Not without paying handsomely I’m afraid. £75 per 10k I think is the going rate! They don’t have quite the flexibility of Avios with household accounts and friends and family

    • Charlieface says:

      They will let you make one booking using points from two accounts

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