The new HFP chat thread – Monday 25th 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/2020/05/25/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-monday-25th-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!

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Comments

  1. davvero says:

    Air Italy (the Avios partner airline part owned by QR – not Alitalia) went into administration earlier this year, initially the website was replaced with a holding page (like Flybe) but they did charter some flights to keep their operation going for a few weeks. Then the website came back as they were selling tickets once again on their PSO routes from Milan/Rome to Olbia. That only lasted until early April (presumably they had a contract with the government to fulfill.
    So what’s odd is now there’s no PSO flights the Air Italy website is still up and it’s still selling tickets, but only for BA flights LCY/LHR-LIN and Iberia MAD-LIN all sold under an IG code.

    Does anyone know why they’re still doing this?

    • memesweeper says:

      Wild guess: administrators are trying to maintain an air operators licence and/or keep their IATA code?

  2. Sonic says:

    So. Crystal ball time. Will BA repeat the recent 75% amex bonus. I had other things on and missed it!
    Will they improve the offer?
    Have I missed the boat? Well plane actually?

    • Lady London says:

      Would be quite surprised if there are not some good offers around in the first 6-9 months of things getting moving again.

    • It did very well BUT you do risk undermining value if you do it a lot. Which is one way of saying … no idea.

    • ChrisA says:

      You could try the ‘buy avios at a good rate via a flight cancellation’ route, as detailed a few days ago. Not a guaranteed way of securing the avios, but worst case scenario is waiting for many weeks for a cash refund.

  3. Revolut weirdness. I’ve had a text message overnight saying my Revolut account is locked and I need to verify my identity. The text was from the same number Revolut has sent messages from previously. When I clicked on the accompanying link it sent me to a page where I was asked to input personal details, including credit card details. I didn’t fill this is as it seemed a bit odd, but instead went to my Revolut account and tried a couple of transactions which went in and out of the account with no issues. So it looks like it could be a phishing scam, but how are they using the Revolut mobile number? I don’t seem to have a email or any other contact from Revolut confirming the request for information.

    • More weirdness. I changed my passcode in case the account had been hacked, then couldn’t get into the app at all. I deleted it and then installed it again and it seems to have been updated since yesterday, so maybe that’s made the site go a bit funny. But the website I was sent to –
      revolut dot support – uk dot co
      (which sounds wrong) is a real website which immediately asks you for personal details. So who knows what’s going on?

      • I’ve done a bit of digging and apparently this is a scam which has been carried out previously, so now I’m wondering if the people who’ve posted on here recently that their accounts have been locked have also been targeted. What’s really worrying is that the text came from the number Revolut previously used to contact me when I set up the account, so you could be forgiven for thinking it was genuine.

          • Thanks but this is about reporting spoof callers to Action Fraud? This wasn’t a call and it came from Revolut’s own number! Also Revolut chat facility seems to have disappeared from the app.

        • Anna,

          Fraudsters have been able to mimic the caller ID of a bank for at least 18 months. So if your bank number is in your contact address book the call or text iwill appear on your smartphone as “NatWest” (or whoever).
          This is part of ‘Spoofing’ fraud.

          Banks should never, ever text you a link to a website.

          • Actually doesn’t even need to be in your address book. They can make the text appear as if from REVOLUT

          • I’m aware of this, but the fraudulent text was in the same thread as all the other texts I’ve had from Revolut. I’ve previously had a phishing text from “Lloyds”, for example, but it was a new message, not attached to previous, genuine messages.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Isn’t that your phone doing that? It doesn’t mean that Revolut has sent the msg the phone is just recognising the number is the same and sticking it In the existing thread?

            In cases like these i would always err on the side of caution and go directly to your bank login / chat / phone them. Better safe than sorry with personal information.

          • It’s been possible to spoof the caller ID for many years. First time I discovered how to do it was in 2003. Caller ID should never be used as a security measure. There are legit reasons to do it e.g. businesses that want to show the same number wherever they call from so you can call them back easier. Unfortunately many people believed they provided some security. They do not and should never be trusted.

        • RussellH says:

          Anna, it is a trivial matter for those who know to both make voice calls and send SMS from any phone number they choose, in any country they choose.

          It is also done perfectly legitimately – quite a lot at present. With people working from home and using their own phone and claiming back the cost it is much more useful and professional to be able to present the business’ own phone number rather than have to withhold their own (which is what I have to do on a Wednesday when phoning people who have approached the charity I volunteer for).

      • Doug M says:

        The more reliable format for something real would be support . revolut . co all that really matters is to immediate left of the suffix, the .co part. All you had there was a subdomain owned by support . co.
        The .co was Colombia’s national domain suffix, but because it anglicised nicely for ‘company’ it was a very valuable tld. I think the Colombian gov sold on the admin rights, and eventually they wound up with a big USA player.
        Never click on links sent to you, always use a favourite or type the name in.

    • Jonathan says:

      I had a similar text, but had a genuine freeze just 2 weeks before instigated through the app so I knew this was a phishing attempt. When I double checked the text, it spelt RevoIut with a cap i instead of l

    • Julia R says:

      Same happened to me the other day. I didn’t even click the link.

      • Was it a completely new message, though, or did it appear at the end of other texts from Revolut?

        • Tariq says:

          As TGLoyalty said, your phone is adding it to the same group of texts because the spammers have forged the sender number to match where the genuine texts came from.

        • Julia R says:

          I think a new number. Came up as 55555

        • rams1981 says:

          Mine came from 111 11 and directed me to Revolut.help.

          I saw there were no issues in the app so assumed was a scam.

    • Michael says:

      It’s a phishing scam Anna. I had the same one a few days ago. I was almost caught out as it looked genuine but contacted Revolut support through the app and they confirmed my account was in good standing and it was a scam.

    • Peter Kemp says:

      Thank for the heads up!

    • Charlieface says:

      Interesting that people think a caller display number must come from the person who owns the number. Phone companies have no way of verifying the number at present, so if you have your own PBX (which you can do on home computer) you can type in literally whatever you want.

      • Again, it was a text at the end of a whole thread of texts from Revolut! Therefore no caller display and not even any number visible. Revolut is not saved in my contacts, therefore this appears quite sophisticated to me, it wasn’t just identical to Revolut, it appeared under the messages that were already there, genuinely from Revolut. I have never seen this before, phishing texts normally appear on their own and separately from ones sent from the real bank or card company.

        • Baji Nahid says:

          Anna you would think they would appear separately but they actually don’t. Scammers are very clever in being able to con you out of info and make things legitimate. Always go to the website and never click on any links at all.

  4. Diydegsy says:

    Does anyone know if Amex platinum insurance cover accommodation for time share weeks that were booked and then couldn’t be used through covid 19. Any help appreciated!

  5. Secret Squirrel says:

    Seen in my BAPP account that overnight I’ve hit the 10k spend needed for the 241.
    How long do you have to wait for an email from BA confirming voucher?
    Got a few refunds processing so keen to see it credited. 😄

    • I’ve never had a confirmation email (possibly because I don’t sign up to receiving them), but if you keep checking your BAEC account it will show as soon as it’s applied. My last one appeared within 24 hours of hitting the target spend so you may be in luck re the refunds!

      • Polly says:

        Strange, we have had those congrats emails from baec informing us about the voucher. And they do post within a day or so in the baec.

  6. Michael C says:

    So Spanish govt. has announced no quarantine for July tourists..wonder what the journey back will be like?!

    • Via Dublin, trouble free. Book Aer Lingus.

      • Still need FCO to change travel advice though? IF we still have quarantine requirements by then, I am eagerly awaiting all the MPs who are exempt going off on their summer holidays.
        But at present it’s all so up in the air, I’m sticking with my Spain booking for the end of July (mostly paid for via BA holidays now, anyway) and waiting to see how this pans out. At the moment I honestly feel a socially distanced holiday in Spain would be preferable to running a gauntlet of pitchforks in Cornwall or the Lakes. The only deal breaker for me would be having to wear a mask while outdoors, if this is still a requirement in Spain by then I’m just going to give up and stay at home!

        • ChrisBCN says:

          Anna you don’t have to wear a mask outdoors, only in enclosed spaces. So you can sit outside at a bar without one, but if you want to go into a supermarket you need one. Even this may be reduced by the time you are away, depending on where you are and which phase the area is in.

          • That’s good to know, the press is reporting it as being for anyone over the age of 3, in all public spaces. I’ll happily wear one in a supermarket but I was wondering how on earth it would work if you were eating out!

          • ChrisBCN says:

            Well I don’t know what press you are reading Anna, maybe switch to something more accurate as I have not seen this in the press and it’s simply inaccurate!

          • From the English edition of El Pais:

            “According to the ministerial order, published Wednesday in the Official State Gazette (BOE), face masks must be worn in the “public street, in open-air spaces and any closed space that is for public use or that is open to the public, where it is not possible to maintain [an interpersonal] distance” of two meters.
            The new rules apply to everyone over the age of six. The use of face masks is also recommended for children between three and five years of age.”

            There are lots of instances where you’re not going to be able to maintain a 2 metre distance, e.g. someone bringing food to your table, even if you are seated outside.

          • ChrisBCN says:

            I see what you mean Anna, and I think it’s due to differing interpretations of ‘where it is not possible to maintain [an interpersonal] distance” of two meters’

            Outdoor tables are set 2 metres apart by the rules so you don’t need to wear masks, but the servers will.

            You’ll be fine, enjoy your trip if it happens!

      • Not certain it’ll be trouble free. The current Passenger Location forms handed out at Dublin airport arrivals, are being made mandatory from this Thursday.

        https://www.rte.ie/news/coronavirus/2020/0524/1140318-quarantine-regulations/

        According to latest stats, more than a third of passengers are failing to complete them at all, and the info on the other two thirds often hasn’t been accurate when checked.

        There’s a section on the form for passengers in transit, including within Common Travel Area.

        I imagine these details will be passed to UK Border Force, so at – for example – Heathrow or Glasgow, they’ll theoretically be able to make an interception and try and impose UK quarantine.

        Obviously, leaving Dublin airport and taking train or aircoach to Belfast, and then domestic flight or ferry to GB should work (but adds hassle to end of holiday).

        Not sure if you could take ferry/train from Dublin via Holyhead and avoid attention.

      • Optimus Prime says:

        They don’t check your travel history at all upon arrival at UK? I mean, when Trump banned all travel from Europe except UK people were warned not try and travel (for example) AMS-LHR-JFK because they would find out.

        • When you land in the UK from Ireland (or other CTA locations such as Jersey) you do not pass through UK immigration. At Heathrow T5 you arrive through a special route which avoids immigration but takes you into the international arrivals hall so you still walk through customs. In smaller UK airports you usually just follow the domestic arrivals path (and if you need customs there’s a phone on the wall).

    • Peggers says:

      Greece imposing 14 day quarantine. From FCO:

      Still current at:
      25 May 2020
      Updated:
      24 May 2020
      Latest update:
      Update to local coronavirus-related measures. British nationals arriving in Greece will be tested for coronavirus on arrival, and required to go into 14 days’ self-isolation. (‘Summary’, ‘Return to the UK’, ‘Staying during coronavirus’ and ‘Entry requirements’ pages).

  7. Wondering if I can tap the hive mind for a chargeback questions….

    Malaysian have cancelled a flight I was booked on. MH refuse to reroute and refuse to offer a refund, which is against their own conditions of carriage. I initiated a chargeback with Virgin (credit card provider), who are saying they will only consider the chargeback once the booked date has passed and then it could then take 120 days to resolve.

    Is that true? Surely the claim can go in as soon as MH cancelled the flight?

    • Ian M says:

      S.75 probably a better option than a chargeback?

      • To clarify, all I did was dispute the charge with the credit card company. I’m not sure if it’s a CB or S.75.

    • Curve refused to do a chargeback as Malaysia sadly has a get out clause in their terms and conditions allowing them to do this. I then complained to the Malaysian aviation commission who said it was up to the airline if they want to refund or not. There does seem to be a real lack of consumer protection in Malaysia. Curve refunded me out of goodwill because it was a small amount.

      • What clause was that? I’ve gone through the CoC and it seems cut & dry that if they cancel and you request it, a refund will be forthcoming. It’s for £1.5k so not an immaterial sum.

        Am wondering if I’m better off going via the small claims court, as at this rate MH will be bankrupt by the time Virgin get anywhere.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Curve doesn’t have the same s75 protection like you do having used an actual credit card.

          Even if they go bankrupt the credit card company is jointly liable for refunding your money.

      • Lady London says:

        section 75 should be the stronger way to do this.

        have you checked the actual terms your booking was made under? it would be much more helpful if the terms dont cover them to this. In which case, surely no one would ever book with MH?

        if they do have a term that says they can keep your money without providing the contracted service then its more complicated and tedious, though i dont think impossible, to get your money back.

        Wouldnt it be nice if the UK government would mandate that all monies paid for air tickets goes into escrow and is only released to the airlines 7 days after the flight?

        For now, go section 75 not received the the flight that you paid for, via your credit card. If they refuse consider taking them to the FOS. Or claim on your insurance. Insurance will only pick it up if credit card doesnt have to. Do it quickly in case there’s no airline failure clause in your policy as IIRC currently MH technically hasnt failed yet.

        • Thanks all. But what about the fact virgin won’t initiate the process until the departure date? Is that against best practice?

          • Lady London says:

            complete rubbish. the airline has told you they wont be fulfulling their part of the contract.by cancelling the flight and declining to refund. credit card is equally liable under s75 to fulfil the contract. They are just trying to delay to keep it off their own books as long as possible.

            if airline has said its cancelled and youve made a readonable attempt to get a refund youre entitled to (and you are entitled even on a nonrefundable ticker if its them cancelling) then no reason not to seek your rights now from the other party jointly liable ie credit card.

            as youve now been told its cancelled you need to be in a position to make other plans now ie you need your money back. even if by some miracle they reinstated the flight later you have had to cancel other arrangements and make new plans meanwhile.

  8. TonyG says:

    How do I move my Avios from iberia to ba account?

  9. Sk123 says:

    My Curve card is linked to the HSBC Premier MasterCard. I have spent over £2,000 via Curve. How much Avios should I have earned when I log-in to the HSBC premier account as they don’t seem to be earning any.

    • Rahaney says:

      They post per month, not per transaction like Amex. World elite card £1 = 2 HSBC points = 1 Avios. Free card half as much

    • Annabelle says:

      You should earn 4000 points which converts to 2000 Avions. However you only get these points after you get a statement. Then you can transfer them to avios

  10. happeemonkee says:

    Attraction Tickets Direct

    Bought 2 tickets for Universal Hollywood through them. Had to put in the intended date of travel to the park which was 28th March 2020 (due to fly to LHR – LAX 25/3). Obviously, flights were cancelled from the UK and the parks were closed so I asked for a refund of the £158.

    They came back and said the tickets were now open until the end of the year but I don’t think we will be going. They are only offering an 80% refund instead as a goodwill gesture as the tickets were non refundable. Surely they are in breach of contract if Universal was closed on the date we were ticketed to visit? I paid by credit card.

    • Charlieface says:

      Depends what the contract actually says, often it’s actually an open ticket you can use for 6 months. If not do a S75 claim from your credit card.

      • happeemonkee says:

        HI, when booking we had to choose the actual date on when to visit the park, there was no flexibility. They’ve now changed it to an “open ticket” for travel up to the end of December this year. The thing is I don’t think we’ll be going

        • Lady London says:

          Nope. Not valid. Theyre trying to make a unilateral change to the contract. They cant do this witbout your agreement. If you were required to specify a date and at the time you bought your ticket, that contract was binding for a date or set of dates they were not open for then you do not have to accept them unilaterally widening the dates the contract (your ticket) covered on the day you bought the ticket. Tell them to take a funny run and you want your money back promptly.

          see my earlier answers. if they say anything that does not indicate you are getting the money within 7 days threaten them with a chargeback on your card. Merchants really dont like this.

          if you do have to proceed then of course you will use section 75 which is more powerful but chargeback seems to have more scare power with a merchant.

          Let them know enough:s enough, look into terms to see if you still owe them a booking fee, if not decide if you want to be kind and leave them the 20% anyway, request payment within 7 days. if no sign of cooperation do section 75 after 14

    • Lady London says:

      Sounds like they are proposing to keep their commission. If it wasnt separated in the contract I think they cant. TBH though in these times, if you can afford the relatively small amount involved, I would consider helping the agent out by leaving them the 20%. If i didnt have to, I would say the above to them and tell them you will consider leaving them the 20% but only if they receive the money within 7 days otherwise you will do as below.

      Looks to be clear breach of contract so ask your credit card to refund you under section 75. dont bother with chargeback it’s weaker.

      If cardco refuses tell them you will take them to the Ombudsman. Likely they will cough up then as it’s a clear case and if you do that it costs them a few hundred.££ regardless of the outcome.

      • Lady London says:

        *seen charlieface’s post above now and (s)he has got a point. If ticket was that flexible and if you think the park might open again during its validity (possible if the US caves in to domestic economic and holiday pressure) then take it less the 20% but try to make it a condution they refund within 7 days to end the matter on both sides.

        • Lady London says:

          Hum. just seen they said the tickets ‘now open till the end of the year’. sounds like they werent originally. kinda like a voucher attempt by them! my first suggestion applies.

  11. My friend has stupidly (by her own admission) accepted a BA voucher for 2-4-1 reward flights. Anyone managed to talk BA round, and get the Avios and 2-4-1 voucher back instead? or is it just too late? (ps it really was a friend, it really wasn’t me! :-))

    • What’s the problem with this, does your friend need the avios for a different booking, without the 2 4 1? I don’t know if it would technically be possible but I suppose it’s worth a try calling BA as it doesn’t involve then giving your friend any actual cash refund, so they may be more amenable.

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