The new HFP chat thread – Saturday 30th 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/2020/05/30/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-saturday-30th-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. Date point – Reward Flight Finder. I emailed them recently about availability not showing correctly across multiple destination/classes, and I’ve had a reply now saying that this was a data issue related to them re-launching the site and it should be resolved now.

    • Polly says:

      Tnx for update, their site has been a bit weird of late.
      How does it feel 1st day of retirement then?

  2. Tanya Wade says:

    I am trying to get a no show email from air Asia. Having no joy for several weeks and getting really frustrated. When I raise a case I get an email with reference number but that is where it ends. Have tried to connect to a live agent but keep getting disconnected. Has anyone had any joy with them?

    • Clive says:

      Hi Tanya, I have been run in circles with them and have basically given up trying to be polite and correct. I gave them a final 7 days to give me an answer regarding a refund which of course did not materialise so initiates a charge back.

  3. Andrew says:

    It seems no one is getting the “used the offer” email regardless of if it’s gift card purchase or supp card purchase or a main card products purchase. So I wouldn’t worry that is an indicator that it won’t credit.

  4. Heather says:

    Just trying to cancel a BA miles flight online but am only getting offered vouchers as my refund.
    Will I have to call to get refund to my credit card?

    • AndyW says:

      Yep

      • Should clarify, that’s if it’s impacted by all the cancellations etc. A future flight not impacted should still be normal rules apply.

      • If you cancel an Avios redemption and get given a voucher, what does the voucher give you? Would the new booking need Avios availability?

    • Lady London says:

      yes

  5. memesweeper says:

    @Rob I know you think there’s nothing to worry about with the login problems for Virgin Flying Club, but they appear to have vanished as a transfer partner from American Express Membership Rewards too. 🙁

    • Peter K says:

      Just had a look and I can confirm that they are no longer there for me either.

      • Sandgrounder says:

        I sent 100k to Hilton on the 16th, fingers crossed……

        • memesweeper says:

          I’ve 200k in Virgin and wasn’t going to cash out to Hilton. Might live to regret that decision…

      • philco says:

        My guess is that Amex probably pulled the transfer option because either it wasn’t working (because the FC side was down) or folks were transferring points and then realizing they couldn’t book anything and complaining to Amex. Having customer facing functionality down for more than a week like this points to some combination of a rather serious issue and/or incompetence.

        • philco says:

          Also it looks like they have been pulled from US Chase portal. It is now showing “temporarily unavailable” for FC.

          • I will drop Mr Woodman an email ….

          • philco says:

            Just to round out the US transfer partners:

            Citi: Looks normal for transfers to VS FC but didn’t try to transfer.
            US Amex: Notes transfers are temporarily disabled.

      • Hmm, glad I transferred 200k out, although still have 100k there and just earned another 22.5k on the card – wouldn’t like that all to vanish.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        I couldn’t send points to my FC account through Marriott or Amex last year. Just continued to fail.

    • Dezbez says:

      The plot thickens, although Virgin FC is still showing as a partner with Tesco Clubcard

  6. memesweeper says:

    Amex Gold Business charge card:-

    – no double points for airline spend
    – no free airport lounge vouchers
    – no anniversaries bonus

    … I really can’t think of why Amex think this is worth £ 125/year when they have a ‘basic’ card for business that’s free with the same ongoing earning rate. Am I missing something?

    • After the first year (no fee, 20k bonus which only requires a 6 month gap) I am tempted to agree.

      • memesweeper says:

        Hit my bonus target in under a month… lots of airline spend so disappointed with the lack of doubling… now looking at the benefits package and its very weak, guess I’m not missing anything. Transfer to Asia Miles or Marriott and get the scissors out I think.

  7. Sandra says:

    Amex £100 offer – still nothing showing on my BAPP account yet, is it all cards including BA or just Amex Platinum? Need a new iPhone!

  8. Tom C says:

    If I book a cash flight and hotel deal on BA, and there’s still avios availability in business can I still upgrade right? Only did this once years ago so trying to remember! found some decent flights in PE and there’s RFS avaiability in business so wondering about booking and using avios to bump us up…

    • MattB says:

      Absolutely, Ido this every year. I always ring up and get it all done in one go. Twice I’ve even been given avios and tier points for the upgraded cabin although that is obviously an IT error. Last time they never even took the avios, although it was cancelled due to Covid so never got to benefit

    • Lady London says:

      I’ve got an idea you cant to that if you book it as a BA Holiday. If that’s your plan I would call them before you book. Remember the 24hrs cancellation does not apply to holiday bookings.

      • Genghis says:

        “ Remember the 24hrs cancellation does not apply to holiday bookings.”

        Correct for online bookings but there’s still 24h cancellation for tel bookings:

        “ 3.3. If you are resident of the United Kingdom or Ireland and have booked with us over the telephone and your departure date is more than 14 days after the date of your booking, your contract with us will come into force after 24 hours, during which time you are allowed to cancel your arrangements with us and receive a full refund, and will not be subject to any cancellation charges.”

        https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/legal/package-booking-terms-and-conditions

  9. Sukes says:

    Hi all,
    Amidst all the pandemic travel related articles one thing I’ve not seen addressed anywhere, somewhat surprisingly, is how travel insurers view a travel booking changed due to Covid travel restrictions when the initial booking Was made pre Covid. Hotels in particular (Meliá) wish me to change travel dates. Obviously my intention is through one means or another to get a refund. But say I took the date change (which could be until end 2021 although I’d intend to travel by end 2020), the booking reference didn’t change and the booking was originally made in Jan 2020. Technically it would not be a new booking. Would my travel insurer be required to continue to cover Covid-related events? Or would they have clear grounds to consider this a new booking and Covid-related events now won’t be covered? Clearly I’d actually ask my own insurer about this (axa via Amex plat) before doing a date change. But I wondered whether others have seen anything concrete about this written anywhere? Cheers all

    • AndyGWP says:

      I suspect there’s no simple answer and it will vary from insurance to insurance.

      You’re probably better speaking to your own insurer if possible or checking their FAQ’s. 🙂

    • Blindman says:

      My Insurance-Nationwide Flex- Does allow this

      • AndyGWP says:

        I have this too. My understanding was that it covers for covid related Subsequent cancellation, but not necessarily illness – would you agree (I only checked the FAQ which seemed to imply this)

        • Sukes says:

          Thks all for responses. Agreed obviously will be dependent on exact terms of policies. Will be interesting to see what the fallout will be for travel insurers in future once people do start travelling again and try to rebook ‘postponed’ trips.

  10. Secret Squirrel says:

    Anybody bought Hilton points in the last few days on here?
    Just wondering how long they took to show up in your accounts!

    • Harry T says:

      A couple of weeks back – landed immediately. I also bought a small amount of IHG points from Points.com last night and they also were in my account after I refreshed the page.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        A while ago my points landed in the evening of the day after purchasing my points.
        Thanks HarryT.

  11. Hitesh Jivani says:

    Hi all, just after some advice. Was supposed to be flying London-Montreal with Air Canada on 11th June to watch the Canadian F1 GP. Obviously those plans have been demolished by coronavirus! Booked tickets via an OTA.

    Now this is where it gets interesting. The flight number of my London-Montreal flight when I booked originally last year was AC865 (non stop). When I logged into Air Canada’s manage flight booking today I noticed my flight number on the outward London-Montreal leg had changed to AC857 and now the flight was routing to Montreal via a 4hr layover in Toronto. Obviously this is not what I originally booked or paid for.

    Can Air Canada do this? Change the flight number and the routing without my agreement? As that is not what I originally booked or paid for. Is this a tactic by Air Canada to somehow get away with giving me a refund by changing the flight number?

    In any case I won’t be travelling anyway due to the government border closures and restrictions. Can I take the fact that the flight number has been changed by Air Canada on my outward flight from my original booking as effectively saying the airline has already cancelled my flight which to me they have as the current flight showing on my itinerary is not the original flight I booked.

    I can see this getting messy with trying to get a refund for this “cancelled” flight from the OTA I booked with so I was just after some advice and help on what my rights are in this situation and the best way to go about getting a refund. Luckily I took out insurance which covers me for flight disruptions and cancellations before it was officially declared that COVID-19 was a pandemic so that may have to be the last resort to getting a refund.

    • AndyGWP says:

      Someone will have better advice for you.

      I’m not sure of the rules off the top of my head to be honest (or how much non-EU airline Is insignificant in this instance), but have your departure / arrival times changed significantly too? By how much?

      • AndyGWP says:

        Sorry for bad wording / grammar. Sunshine getting to me again!

        Tl;dr – how much have your departure / arrival times changed

        • Hitesh Jivani says:

          Hi AndyGWP – so my original departure time was 14:05 under AC865 and arrival into Montreal at 16:25. Now with this changed flight number AC857, departure time is 12:05 from LHR, 4hr15mins layover in Toronto and arrival into Montreal at 20:19 – nearly 4 hours later than my original arrival time.

          I just don’t see how Air Canada can just cancel my original flight AC865 which was direct from LHR to Montreal and move me onto a totally different flight which is much longer in duration and more hassle due to the layover in Toronto.

          • Soon as they changed the flight you have the right to cancel, providing you dont (actively) accept the change

          • AndyGWP says:

            As Blindlemon says. Do you have insurance that covers you re:FCO advice?

            Have you tried to contact Air Canada to say the new flight times are not convenient and you want a refund (sorry – no ideas on legal rights but on that)

            Even if you could negotiate a date change , would that help? – presumably you would want to know the new f1 schedule tho? (so over a year away for the next Canadian GP?)

          • Doug M says:

            Air Canada site.
            In the event of a flight cancellation or a delay of more than three hours, for situations other than those outside our control, Air Canada offers you the option of requesting a refund for the unused portion of your ticket, or using the unused portion toward future travel with us. Cancellations resulting from the COVID-19 crisis are considered outside our control.
            If you booked through a travel agent you have to deal with them, not Air Canada.

    • Blindman says:

      FCO advise is still not to travel
      https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

      So if your travel insurance covers this you should be able to claim IMHO.

    • Lady London says:

      departs London so covered by EU261/2004 even though AC is not a European airline.

      open and shut case you are entitled to refund of whole ticket.

      1. the AC terms say so which is nice.
      2.;even if AC terms did not give you this, statute Ec261/2004 gives you full refund if airline cancels any flight on your ticket, or significantly changes timing. AC has done both. A new flight number proves it’s a new flight. and rerouted as well. and leaving earlier arriving 4 hours later.

      so legally no question you are entitled to full cash refund of whole ticket. Ec261 requires you to be paid this within 7 days.

      using OTA makes it messy but you’re still entitled. if ota had booking fee in their terms you should expect to lose this but pay no cancellation fees. ota cant add deductions if it wasnt in the terms when you bought.

      practically i would request the money back within 7 days as cash from both airline and ota in a recorded form (by email, screenshot live chat, note date and time of call and who you spoke to etc. ) highly likely airline will send you to ota bur do both.

      expect to be given a runaround. AC are expert at this. just make sure you demand from both on grounds of AC terms and conditions and remind them under Ec261 which also covers this you are owed the money in 7 days.

      When they dont pay or if you cant get through to anyone then on day 8 (i would normally say give 28 days to be reasonable but as you are going to get messed around why wait) call the uk credit card you presumably paid by and request a section 75 or chargeback. you could do either ask them which way they want you to raise it first. basically you want the charges refunded frpm ota ac whichever in they were booked through in 1 or more transactions depending who charged you what.

      if you paid on non-uk credit card, or other type of card, then you only have chargeback option.

      if credit card refuses chargeback and refuses section 75 (which makes them jointly liable with airline/ota) then tell them you will take them to the ombudsman (FOS). they would easily lose if you did that by the sound of things and it would cost them £00’s if you go to FOS in case handling fees so that should make them review your case.

      Good luck and dont hang around on this. if you want to see if theres any info on how much you will get messed around by ota and ac you could look at flyertalk.

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