The new HFP chat thread – Monday 1st June

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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/2020/06/01/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-monday-1st-june/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. VS Flying Club removed as Amex MR transfer partner, as well as Chase in the US. Still apparently will up and running again ‘soon’. Looking like the end to me?

    • solartravels says:

      I’m not surprised at this. I transferred out to IHG a month or so ago, as I simply couldn’t trust them with 100k miles while they are going through such termoil.

      Virgin Holidays owe us a handsome sum for cancelling our Disney holiday last month. The communication has been horrendous, I’d be inclined to believe everyone at VH has been furloughed as the refunds are takings many months. Chargeback done via Amex instead.

      • Look at our bits article today! “on Saturday we noticed that American Express Membership Rewards was no longer offering Virgin Flying Club as a transfer partner.

        This is not altogether surprising. Virgin Atlantic transfers from American Express Membership Rewards are instantaneous – usually – so it is particularly problematic if people initiate a transfer and the points just disappear.”

    • I’m sure there is some logic to that statement but I’m struggling to see it. Especially as, if you have Delta miles, you can still book VS redemptions via the Delta site and of course Virgin will happily sell you a cash ticket.

  2. davvero says:

    Boris Johnson will kill us all!

    Well not really… but today they have lifted the requirement of vulnerable people to shield indoors and are now allowing them to go outside.

    This seems a bit risky to me. Currently the lockdown rules have been so vague since they were relaxed (you can pretty much go anywhere in England by car as long as you can get home at night and sunbathing is permitted which has resulted in crowded beaches).

    I’d say it would make sense to see what happens with the infection rate before risking the vulnerable.

    The government at the moment are acting highly irresponsibly.

    My main worry is we’ll end up getting a big rise in infections and this means more countries add us back to the restricted list and it’ll take longer before we can go on holiday.

    • Yeah, because all we care about are holidays.

      • davvero says:

        The tourism industry is a massive employer and over the summer is one of the main sources of income for the airlines when business travel traditionally is low.
        Protecting lives is the most important thing, but useless PM and his pathetic ‘advisor’ has given us the worst of both worlds. We have had a half hearted lockdown than most people followed but many used the fact it was lightly enforced to skirt the rules meaning we still have a higher rate of infection compared to areas with a proper lockdown who recovered much quicker.
        If Boris incompetence lands us with more deaths then we’ll have another lockdown and countries will ban us from travelling,
        So yes, if we want the economy to recover we need to have done the lockdown properly in the first place. The more people who suffer, the longer it will go on and the more damage to the economy, the more people who suffer mental health issues by being isolated, etc.
        We need a competent government.

        • memesweeper says:

          “If Boris incompetence lands us with more deaths” — it already has, tens of thousands

        • Paul Pogba says:

          The sort of people that breached the lockdown consider every interaction with the police to be an act of oppression. Unfortunately they have the ear of the media.

          • Lady London says:

            Yes. It would be safe and beneficial for the particularly vulnerable if they could go out and go to parks etc. and get sunshine.But idiots who think masks protect them, and don’t understand masks only protect others about 5% (@Callum will be along soon to demand a more precise figure), and who won’t respect distancing and the fact that others, and contacts of their contacts, may be vulnerable, mean it’s really not safe yet for the particularly vulnerable to be out and about in the UK if they can possibly avoid it right now.

            One thing this has rubbed my nose is what I really didn’t want to believe – the selfishness of the human race – at least so many people in the UK.

        • Nick_C says:

          He has more than one adviser. He has dozens, possibly hundreds. Personal, political, expert, scientific. But it’s his responsibility to make the decisions.

    • Tariq says:

      Only irresponsible if you believe that lockdown was necessary, which it was not. Norway have admitted that and apologised for it.

      • davvero says:

        Why did Italy and Spain get their infection rate down much quicker than the UK that has always had a wishy washy lockdown where it meant many followed the rules, but others just ignored them. It really was the worst of both worlds.

        Personally I’d be happy without any lockdown but it does seem irresponsible as the risk is higher for more vulnerable people.

        • Lady London says:

          you are correct davvero.
          Due to the sneakiness of COVID transmission, government should better organise support during isolation for the particularly vulnerable, not throw them under the bus by failing to state they need to stay isolated for now.

          By no measured plan for lockdown release Boris is back to relying on herd immunity. Looks like having had it does give immunity for a period of time now. But by not staging lockdown release and leaving the vulnerable till last we will still lose thousands who would not otherwise die anytime soon.

          If I was another country people travelling from the UK would not be welcome till the UK shows progress as other countries have achieved.

          Plus the UK population members who havent respected lockdown prolonging the economic and health damage to others I hope a new nastier strain arises only they will catch.

      • Sandgrounder says:

        Norway apologised? Have you got a link?
        Sweden of course didn’t lock down, they had a different policy for avoiding overwhelming the health service. There, 66% of the dead are over 80, but only 4.7% of the intensive care patients have been over that age.

      • Total rubbish. You clearly have no understanding of the issue, I’m afraid.

      • Oh! Matron! says:

        Opinions are like anuses. Everyone’s got one and they are stink of ****

        https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-52823510

        How lockdown has ensured that the Shetland Isles have been case free for 6 weeks.

        Got anything to refute that?

        • Heathrow Flyer says:

          Did you even read the article?

          Social distancing is basically the norm for the Shetlands, and contact tracing is easier due to the nature of the communities there. It’s hardly surprising the virus was able to be controlled on the islands.

          You can’t just assume lockdown = no virus.

          • Lady London says:

            I thought the UK was an island too?
            How did we fail to take advantage of that and contain this?

          • How many times must we discuss lockdowns in the comments before you all tire of the subject 😉

          • ChrisBCN says:

            +1 Rhys! I don’t know why people are STILL coming to a points/loyalty site to talk about the non travel aspects of coronavirus, day in day out people write the same (largely) uninformed nonsense about which country is getting it better, whether masks work, wether Boris is doing the right thing…

            I know this is a random chat thread, but to rake over the same issues day in day out is tiresome… Maybe you need an article recommending sites these commenters can to go to so that this thread can focus on the other, fresher things that can get lost.

          • @ChrisBCN

            Because the armchair conspiracy theorists on here are bored…

    • If you are vulnerable nobody is forcing you to leave the house.

      • Sandgrounder says:

        Given the lack of food delivery options and the fact many need ongoing treatment for their conditions, for many without family support leaving the house is unavoidable. The problem is not the lockdown but the fact we didn’t lock down sooner. It emerged yesterday we only had the capacity to track and trace five cases a week. Instead of going on TV and telling everyone he was still shaking hands, Boris should have locked us down and enforced quarantine on all arrivals at the start of March. We would have been out of this by now and pretty much back to normal. But, spilt milk and all that.

      • davvero says:

        When the PM tells you it’s safe to leave the house then some people will believe him. If the infection rate has increased this could mean bigger risks for the most vulnerable.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Adults should make up their own mind on if they want to leave the house or not.

          As time moves on and they see more and more cases and understand the issues those that they thought were vulnerable actually aren’t that vulnerable and with the prevalence of infection being down means you’re less likely to catch it than 2 months ago.

          Also reading your msgs about Italy and Spain above it’s hard to compare countries. Do you know what their all cause mortality rates have been since their lockdown or just the headline COVID19 ones we see?

          • I agree with you and SpursDebs on this. The UK govt has not covered themselves in glory but it is the general population that has either observed the guidance such as it is or they have done their own thing and ignored it.

            The reality is that we cannot just stay in lockdown forever and we can’t say for certainty that another 3 weeks lockdown will get the infection rate close to zero. So for all of those who say the govt is doing it wrong what length of time do they think we should extend the lockdown? Let’s hear their concrete proposals and then we can have a chance to criticise and disagree with them as they do with the govt.

            I think a lot of people are just anti the current govt so whatever it does will be wrong. They also want to be told what to do so that they can criticise it rather than admitting that individually we all have a role to play in reducing infection rates by observing hygiene and social distancing etc.

            Just because the lockdown restrictions have been relaxed does not mean we all have to go outside. It’s like saying just because we can book a flight doesn’t mean we have to book one.

          • There was an interesting question in the daily briefing last week where the scientist was asked by a member of the public: ‘how come there are still 8,000 infections per day [which excludes hospitals and care homes] after two months of lockdown?’ and the scientist had to admit she didn’t know.

            There was an interesting case study from Singapore I saw yesterday where someone had caught it because, at an evening church service, they sat in the same seat as a ‘super spreader’ who had been to the morning service.

          • I read that article, Rob. it concluded that people are spreading COVID-19 by touching seats, handrails etc while asymptomatic and that’s why initially no-one could work out how it was being transmitted. The only way to tell if an asymptomatic person is infected is by testing … which we’ve been so slow with.

    • Spursdebs says:

      How about treating us vulnerable people as adults and let us make up our own minds. We don’t need to be treated like 3 year old children being told what to do and think.

      • Crafty says:

        Because if you catch it, statistically, you will pass it on to 1 other person. And that person will do the same. And so on. And if that keeps happening, we cannot suppress or eradicate the virus.

        • Spursdebs says:

          If I catch it it will probably kill me just like a common cold will. I find your comment extremely patronising as if I don’t understand,I’ve got asthma not a learning disability.

          • Frankie says:

            Spursdebs, did you watch Andrew Marr yesterday? There was a medical expert talking specifically about Covid and asthma. You may want to watch it. It was about some new learnings they’re finding out. Just wanted to mention to you in case you’d not seen it.

          • Spursdebs says:

            Frankie I would rather support Arsenal than watch Marr and the BBC. But thanks anyway!

      • bazza says:

        Did you see Central London yesterday? Clearly people cannot be treated like adults. They must be guided for every action.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          They must be doing something right as infection rates are well down.

          However this can’t go on forever and the virus won’t be eradicated from the earth so the unlock needs to start happening.

          Rules will change until finally there are none except what you should have been doing anyway (washing your hands, wiping surfaces properly, using sanitiser and staying home if you are ill)

        • It’ll be interesting to see if there is a subsequent spike in infections in 2-3 weeks. I hope not, but if there isn’t, it would kind of suggest that all the social distancing has been a waste of time!

          • The question is not whether a second wave will occur – it will, that much is guaranteed as soon as you ease lockdown – but whether it is manageable.

          • The Lord says:

            Hasn’t been any second wave anywhere else. These photos of crowds in parks/on beaches are pure scaremongering. In normal times when you went to the beach did you spend time close to others? I dont think I have ever been within 2 metres of a random person on a beach before. Regardless, the chances of catching it outside are super super low. Other countries dont even have the 2m rule, they have a 1m rule!

          • Stanley says:

            Totally agree The Lord. No evidence of any second wave in any of the countries that have loosened lockdowns….. I read government figures that said the chances of catching it, have gone from 1 in 40 to 1 in 1000 now……

          • I thought there was meant to be a second spike after Easter weekend……… and VE Day……… and every other sunny weekend we’ve had? That hasn’t seemed to have happened.

          • Not going down very quickly either though!

          • The Lord says:

            Number of people in hospital down 15% over the past week, R number in England between 0.72-0.77, new hospital admissions down 20% week on week. All positive indicators

          • Stanley says:

            Every metric is going down. Maybe at a slower rate than we would like due to huge increase in testing….. Why the MSM only report negative news is beyond me though.

          • Callum says:

            I miss the days when people actually researched things before publicly stating it. Seems there’s no shame anymore…

            I know for a fact that South Korea is experiencing a second wave and is re-establishing a lockdown. I find it hard to believe there aren’t others as well.

          • The Lord says:

            South Korea had 2 days in all of May with 50+ confirmed cases. Hardly a second wave

          • Stanley says:

            Well that shut Callum up sharpish.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            One mans wave is just another mans splash … when you’re having 20k infections a day 50+ is but a mere drop in the ocean.

        • Spursdebs says:

          Tell you what I saw yesterday the usual mob of lefty middle class activists being manipulated or paid to cause trouble. What I didn’t see were a bunch of pensioners or vulnerable people acting like thugs.
          It’s not us that need step by step guidance it’s the idiots who are easily brainwashed and can’t think for themselves.

          • ChrisBCN says:

            It’s always somebody else that needs the guidance isn’t it… When did our society become so against each other, calling each other idiots and patronising people not like them – or has it always been that way?

          • Spursdebs says:

            @ ChrisBCN. You must live in a bubble a very small one if you think this is all some kind of new behaviour.

          • ChrisBCN says:

            For someone who rails against being patronised, you are very patronising.

  3. The UK’s approach began with herd immunity, that changed when the infection rate was so high that 250,000 could have died.
    Despite the very clear and obvious warnings we allowed football and horse racing to continue and were about 2-3 weeks late with lockdown. People seemed to generally accept this until the architect of herd immunity was shown to be a charlatan with poor eye sight and poorer ethics combined, with a limited understanding of the internet.
    There is no doubt that lockdown has broken down in the last 2 weeks and around me there is a disregard for social distancing.
    I can’t help thinking that there is a deliberate plan to see infections and death rates rise before the end of June to provide this inept government with no loss of face when requesting an extension to the EU transition period. I could be wrong, perhaps the Cummings government really will jump of the cliff but if there is any sense, then a delay would be sensible economically if not politically. Covid-19 provides cover if required

  4. Patrick C says:

    I moved out of the UK now (permanently) and the current profoundly corrupted and incompetent government certainly made the decision much easier. I know there are many true Brexit an torry believers around here, but already after 2 days it has been very refreshing that policies on the continent are actually designed to control the virus properly more in line with Asian countries.
    Over 95% of people wear masks in public crowded spaces (an public transport) and this way you can have a close to normal life (all shops are open etc.) with minimal new infections.
    It is true that Italy France an Spain got hit hardest, but they had a massive unrecognised outbreak at the start. The UK should thank all the companies that moved to wfh and stopped events way before the lockdown as this saved thousands of lives.
    Given the nonchalance about taking it seriously, the UK should actually be blacklisted from traveling anywhere (same as the US). The only responsible way I can see is if there is specific testing done just before taking a flight as the UK infection number is not (significantly) reducing.

    • It seems a very Brexiter thing to call all the MS of the EU “the continent”. They have all dealt with this matter in different ways including whether masks are needed in public spaces.

      • Callum says:

        I see what you mean, but I’ve always called it “the continent” and I’d wager I’m one of the most pro-EU people you’d ever meet!

        It’s like calling the US “America”.

        • I think it’s funny that the continent doing better is used like there was some kind of coordinated plan, some solidarity. In fact it was each to their own. The drawbridges were raised and weaker MS were left to fend for themselves.

          • Callum says:

            Is it? Who said that?

            I’ve genuinely never heard that said before.

          • Callum says:

            Though there is indeed solidarity – countries not affected as much did help other countries. Germany, Austria and Switzerland treating French and Italian victims stands out as an obvious one. France and the Czech Republic donated PPE to Italy. Polish, Romanian and German doctors were sent to Italy. The EU has a €540bn support package, as well as all the other initiatives through development banks etc. It’s coordinating procurement, transferring equipment around the union to areas of most need, coordinating vaccine research etc.

            I take it the Daily Mail didn’t mention any of that stuff!

    • Agree with poor handling here, but masks are in no way a panacea – the evidence is fairy borderline for them, esp if not covering the nose or if you touch it with your hand and then another surface, etc.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Masks are a fallacy. The facts tell you they stop a very small % of aerosols and facts tell you lots of people misuse them (touching them etc)

        But some countries have a “low” infection rate and that must be because they wear masks. Or it’s because of their habits, their culture, their climate etc.

        The fact illness due to norovirus and ecoli is down shows that better personal hygiene is better for every COVID19 or not.

    • London is virtually free of it. You need to look at regional patterns. On some days there are zero new identified infections across the 15 million people covered by the London and Eastern region.

  5. Craig says:

    Data Point: Qatar status match sent on the 19th, email today to say they are looking at it. Matching Krisflyer Silver obtained through the Amex Platinum Shangri-La route, one flight on Singapore since obtaining the status.

    • Sandgrounder says:

      Qmiles have asked me for more info, my existing SIA account had been closed due to no recent activity, I needed to open a new one, I added the Shangri-la status and applied for the match I have obviously not received a card or a statement, and I told them this. They have emailed and asked for a statment and the membership card. I have written back with more screen shots and reiterated that I do not have exactly what they want, hopefully somebody will actually read the message and I will eventually get a yes or a no.

      • Craig says:

        Thanks SG, I actually have the card so that might make life a bit easier.

        • I also emailed on 19th with Krisflyer. Not received a reply yet. Had no flights in the last 12 months, just some Amex transfers and a redemption.

  6. Stu N says:

    Amex Platinum £100 offer has worked on my partner’s supplementary card. I saved the offer when it first appeared, spent with Apple on Friday, credit landed today. Didn’t get a redemption email but they are inconsistent at best.

  7. JohnT says:

    What travel insurance companies are offering covid related cover? I know there were comments on this recently but couldn’t find them. Nationwide flex no longer covers this and hoping ski trip is possible in Jan. BA “guarantee” only runs to Dec and Easyjet just says no change fees for now!

    • Darren says:

      LV was mentioned yesterday in positive terms, but I don’t know if that was for existing travel or new bookings. I’d be very surprised if COVID-19 was covered in the T&C’s at present.

      • JohnT says:

        No new policies available for LV (or on MSE). Also StaySure will cover JUST medical emergency and repatriation relating to Covid.

    • Sukes says:

      Highly unlikely any new insurance policy would cover ‘Covid-19 related events’ now the virus is a known risk. As a data point, even for existing policies Nationwide will not provide such cover for any bookings made since 18 March 2020. Furthermore if relevant to your situation European Health Insurance Cards issued to UK residents are due to lose validity on 31 Dec 2020. Clearly it is NOT the same as insurance but NHS states ‘You can continue to use your EHIC in the country you were visiting on 31 December 2020 for the duration of your visit to that country.‘ Maybe worth starting your vacation on 31 Dec if at all possible…. Pre-Covid, the Irish Gov announced they would de facto cover the cost to continue EHIC protection for N Ireland residents. I’m hoping that still gets enacted….

    • Sandra says:

      Had an email this morning from Staysure, they say they will cover emergency medical expenses if you are diagnosed with COVID whilst away (provided there were no FCO advisory notices restricting unnecessary travel at departure). Doesn’t cover cancellation though as far as I can see. 15% off with code MAY3A and it says 3 months extra free with annual policies. I’m not an expert though so fine print will need checking before buying!

  8. TonyG says:

    I will not be staying with my Virgin CC for the 2nd year. I need advice on what non amex card to carry for non amex spend to max points. Any ideas? ty

    • Andrew says:

      IHG?

      • TonyG says:

        TY. What would be your strategy to max the points on this program?

        • ashish says:

          As much MS as you can, use revoult,, Curve and pay Amex and INSI

        • I use my IHG card to pay OVO energy, who don’t accept Amex. If you end up substantially in credit, you can request a refund back to your bank account, which avoids the problem of the refund going back to the card and points being deducted.

    • Lady London says:

      isn’t something coming from Barclays in the next few months?

  9. Martha says:

    Are the virgin points from Morrisson instore spend still coming through? I have a large amount still pending back from then

    • Connor says:

      Most people said there’s have been credited now, but with Virgin’s latest IT issues it may have stopped them being approved for now.

  10. Good Morning,

    Looking for a hotel on points in Ibiza Town. Obvious choice is Curio as I am Hilton Diamond with 400k+ honors points but it is currently showing 203K per night… keeping an eye on it.

    Any other options on the island people would recommend? (ideally Ibiza town but flexible if required) Couple in early 30’s no kids.
    Avios flights already secured from Manchester end of August/early September

    Thanks

    • Spain seems to keep changing its mind about whether they are going to let us in or not this summer. Unless our infection rate keeps dropping at least at the same rate as it is now (and all bets are off after this weekend, IMO), it’s far from certain we’ll be allowed back.
      I’ve been to Ibiza once and struck lucky as we were booked into an apartment complex at the far end of Sant Josep (I think, it was 10 years ago!) and they put us in a private cottage in the grounds which was utterly idyllic. We will definitely go back but not while we’re paying school holiday prices!

      • Thanks Anna. I agree with you and everything is very flexible at the moment (including the avios booking) so will keep an eye on the ever evolving situation!

        Appreciate the advice on the accommodation as well.

    • Peter K says:

      Sounds like all the basic rooms gone at the curio.

      • Yep. 95,000 a few days ago but looks like they have been snapped up.

    • marcw says:

      I think you are a little bit too late for the party. June through September is VERY HIGH season in Ibiza. Expect to pay A LOT.

      • I’ve been tentatively looking at villas in Andalucia where prices are usually lower than the Balearics (very unlikely that we’ll be going but I need the distraction!). Prices seem to start around 4000 euros for 2 weeks!

  11. Peter K says:

    Another bad sign for Virgin Atlantic. The penultimate vault on the Virgin Red app has been 40k Flying Miles for years. This month it is not. Admittedly it is all sponsored by Virgin Sport this month but still suspicious.

  12. Has anyone tried to get a voucher refund with the £10 over the phone for easyJet? I’ve got a flight back from Spain on the 17th of June that I no longer need and was wonder what wait times are like at the minute?

  13. Thomas says:

    Hi,

    one question regarding BA at Gatwick. A colleague of mine is flying to Spain with BA early July. His flight was moved from Heathrow to Gatwick S Terminal. Has BA changed their position re Gatwick? I thought they were closing it down for now.

    • BA never announced their plans for Gatwick – we are still waiting for an official word. However, I suspect they will stay at Gatwick in some form or another. It makes more sense to close the Heathrow T3 operation.

  14. 1nfrequent says:

    Is anyone else having problems accessing the Aer Lingus app? It hasn’t worked for me for about a month and every time I try to access on-line, I get caught in a password reset loop.

    I’m wondering if this is tied to the fact that they unilaterally transferred a load of Avios to my BA account around the same time.

    1F

  15. BA AMEX 2 for 1 credit card voucher – is this awarded when £10k is hit, or at the end of the calendar year? Thinking about strategy – would it be wise to drag out my spending (which I can do) so that it is awarded as late as possible, giving myself max time to redeem?

    • When you cross the £10k spend. Whether you drag it out or not depends on your strategy. If you are planning on keeping the card long term then it may be worth it, if you have a specific date in mind for redemption (remember the vouchers are valid 2 years on the premium card). If you are planning on cancelling and getting a pro-rata refund of the annual fee, you may be less keen to drag it out!

      • fivebobbill says:

        Worth noting that currently you get an extra 6 months on your voucher (2.5 instead of 2 years) if you trigger it before the end of June. Worth doing the calculations as it woks for me.
        My year end is August 2020, if I leave my voucher trigger until the last minute it will expire August 2022. However if I trigger it early at the end of June 2020, it’ll give me an extra 4 months, expiring date of December 2022!

  16. Question regarding use of BA travel voucher. Can it be used for paying taxes on reward flights?

    • Hi meta, is a cash-only voucher (i.e. not cash and avios rolled up)? I got a voucher for a cancelled car hire booking; I had to make a new booking (which was an avios booking for next year to NYC), then email BA holidays, who then refunded the voucher amount to my BAPP. So yes, if you’ve got the same kind of voucher that I had!

      • It’s a cash-only voucher for a flight. It was my partner’s work-related trip (employer is not interested in having this money back or used on a future trip 😂) and we also used Amex offer for 3k Avios, so didn’t want a cash refund. We still don’t, so I’d like to use the voucher on one of our Avios reward bookings if possible as we are not booking anything non-refundable at the moment.

  17. KeithS says:

    ok, it’s time for the Amex ‘rinse & repeat’ (although doing this every 2 years is not quite as good as every 6-7 months!)

    I was about to do the Amex Plat for me, then refer Mrs K. However, seeing as they have ramped up the fee (although I would try to spend asap to get a bigger pro rata rebate) together with the spending requirements I am tempted by the Amex Gold – 20k MR points / no fee / lower spend. Also, having retired, my spend isn’t as much – not sure I want to be sitting on about £5k’s worth of Sainsburys vouchers as I have done in the past! Amex Plat has the 6 month spend, but that means nearly £300 in fees.

    Seems by going for the Ameg Gold I wouldn’t be too far short of the Amex Plat points, but with zero cost even allowing for the pro rata refund on the Plat (also, if I could put an additiononal £12k spend I understand there will be an additional 10k bonus MR points).

    This is a long post to ask if the self referrals still work (and if anyone sees any failings in my logic above).

    Many thanks in advance

    • It’s best not to self-refer, as Amex have been clamping down (and closing accounts) that do so in the US. No reports of that happening here yet, but best not to have it on your file.

      You’re always welcome to use our links and pay your HFP subscription!

      • KeithS says:

        Done that many times, before your time 😉

        Funny you mention credit file. Since retiring (early, I may add!) and becoming a (very) mature student, I didn’t realise how difficult it would be to maintain a perfect credit score.

        • Lady London says:

          If you are now retired and a mature student, I would suggest following @Travelstrong’s advice and not self-referring even if in the far distant past you might have done so.

          The reason is that being technically retired and/or a student may give you less choice of credit providers in future. So I would not want to “blow” my relationship with Amex.

          Additionally providers of consumer credit seem to be leaving the UK market, possibly due to the cap on interchange charges,possibly Brexit etc. So fewer to choose from.And anecdotally providers that remain seem to be withdrawing some products and may be tightening acceptance criteria. Some cardholders have even receiving letters closing down good accounts from their providers-presumably because the provider has had advice to reduce their exposure to some types of risk.

          So personally I would not cancel any card right now unless you get a serious mistreatment from them- and I definitely wouldn’t self-refer in case Amex started closing accounts for anyone that’s self-referred in, say, the past1-3 years. With the immediate outlook for the UK consumer credit market it’s just not worth losing one of the reducing number of providers available.

    • Travel Strong says:

      Self-Referrals still work. As I have a significant amount of them already, I’ve carried on doing them. It would be easy to block self referrals, but they appear to have chosen not to.

      • Ameex in the US has recently retrospectively punished people who did this. Probably coming here soon.

        • Travel Strong says:

          I would gracefully accept the punishment when the time comes.
          But Amex would simultaneously lose about £850 of card fee’s per annum.
          I do actually keep the cards for a year and use them normally, no pro-rata refunds.

          Seeing as I’d already be on the ‘naughty list’, there’s really no incentive to stop!

    • Lady London says:

      do referring each other within a couple or a family if you must – don’t self-refer.Self-referral can be more profitable if planned, with increasing “gap”period required for Amex signup bonuses.

      Amex Gold also looks the sweet spot right now with decent bonus for not too long a gap.

      • Lady London says:

        oops*Self-referral above should be replaced with *Referrals

  18. Whatever happened those QATAR status matches that were offered last month? Did anyone actually get one?

    The rules changed three(?) times so I was curious of the eventual outcome and wondered if Amex Krisflyer statuses got matched.

    • Craig says:

      I posted earlier that I received and email today saying it was under consideration. I’ll update when I hear anything else.

  19. An Easyjet question for those in the know please! Just had our flight to Krakow cancelled, as I knew it would be. Flight back hasn’t been yet, but it will be. I would like to apply for a refund, however, I’ve got lots of flights on the same booking ref. Two of them we’ve already flown as they were in Feb, but 2 of them are for next year (I took advantage of the change your flights to any route for any time at no extra cost for a couple of flights that were originally booked for the end of this month).

    Might sound silly, but I’m a bit worried if I apply for a refund for my Krakow flights, they’ll end up doing something with these rebooked flights as well with them all being on the same booking ref. Looked at the refund form, and there only seems to be space for the booking ref and not the fight numbers.

    Am I worrying unnecessarily do you think?

    • Lady London says:

      I think you’re worrying unnecessarily.You can amend just one flight on a booking online. So I don’t see how that wouldn’t work for refunds if you’re clear which flight you want refunding and state your reason is their cancellation.

      In fact if you have several flights on the same booking they actually *won’t*refund anything they can possibly justify is not the actual flight cancelled(only). Or its return, on the same booking.Note that I’ve even had Easyjet refuse to cancel a flight on the same booking, that was the next flight coming back on the same route.They refused to refund the return flight because in between, there were flights back to the starting point of the cancelled flight….from *other* airports though, not from the destination of the outward cancelled flight. Easyjet weaselled and refused to refund the return flight on the same booking with this being their excuse.

      So based on Easyjet’s weaselling I don’t think you have any reason to worry they might refund any other flight on the booking you don’t want them to. Your problem will be the opposite :getting them to refund anything that’s become useless as a result of their cancellation.

      I would be very interested to hear from anybody that has actually had a refund from Easyjet though! And whether it was calculated correctly. Particularly if there were other flights on the booking that were not refunded.

      • Thanks Lady London. I did wonder about the refund itself and if people have actually received them or not without having to resort to doing a dispute with their bank.

        • Michael says:

          Getting through to EasyJet was the difficult part. I was on hold for two hours forty minutes but once through the refund request was dealt with quickly. The money was back on my BAPP a few days later as promised. Full, correct amount.

          • Thanks. Will wait until the return flight is cancelled before making a final decision on what to do. Might consider moving the flights for a long weekend somewhere next May day.

  20. Arnold says:

    EA refusal to refund upgrade fees.
    I have spoken to a contact at BA who tells me that a policy decision has been taken not to refund an upgrade fee (that has previously been paid) of £150 when a flight is cancelled. My contact said that there have been quite a number of complaints. In their opinion, if sufficient people complain, especially Executive Club members, then it may force a change of policy.

    • Charlieface says:

      Legally they must as it’s part of the cost of the flight. Tell them you’ll take it to court if they push back

  21. Arnold says:

    BA refusal to refund upgrade fees.
    I have spoken to contact at BA who tells me that a policy decision has been taken not to refund an upgrade fee (that has previously been paid) of £150 when a flight is cancelled. My contact said that there have been quite a number of complaints. In their opinion, if sufficient people complain, especially Executive Club members, then it may force a change of policy.

    • Lady London says:

      I don’t think BA has a legal leg to stand on if BA cancelled the flight and you’ve requested a refund.Anything that was paid towards that flight should be refunded including seat requests, extra luggage, change requests, upgrade costs in avios and/or cash,etc. As it’s all been made useless due to BA’s cancellation.

      What a reprehensible company British Airways are. Putting every barrier in front of refunding customers for losses caused by BA’s own cancellations.Yes the reason for the flight cancellation is force majeure but that risk belongs with BA not their customer.

      • Doug M says:

        What you say may at face value be true, but in comparison with their rivals they’re behaving very reasonable. Now best of a bad bunch may not mean much, But I’d sooner being chasing BA for a refund right now rather than just about any other UK or European airline.

      • I’ve had exactly the same from Lufthansa – refusal to refund upgrade fees simply stating that ‘these are non-refundable’ despite the flights not going ahead. Having said that, Lufthansa are not paying out refunds at all it seems, so I’ve done chargebacks for the original ticket and upgrade fee transactions. BA in comparison have been easy and reasonable to deal with.

  22. Is BA going to extend status for all members this year ?

  23. Soloflyer1977 says:

    I may need to transfer a decent amount of euros (circa EUR50/60k) in the coming months. I have only ever used Revolut for up to EUR2k. Is Revolut the way to go or should I be looking at Transferwise or other alternatives?

    • Harry T says:

      I wouldn’t be keen to trust Revolut with a large amount. There’s no FSCS protection and they have been known to freeze accounts. Customer service has been reported as fairly suboptimal at times, too.

      Transferwise are a legit company and offer very competitive rates for transfers. I’ve transferred thousands with them and never had an issue.

    • Not used Revolut for anything large. Have used Transferwise for smaller amounts and WorldFirst for larger. Not had any issues with either and spoken to the WorldFirst people on a few occasions and seem very good.
      The main thing with all these is the total cost – so fees + anything in the rate differences.

      • Steer well clear of Revolut. Not sure the angst and frustration of potentially having your funds blocked is worth the marginal saving vs Transferwise.

    • Michael C says:

      I’ve done Transferwise for 6 figures, no probs

    • Matthew says:

      I always use Hargreaves Landsown for my current transfers, goos service and a human you can call in Bristol. Rates good too.

      • RussellH says:

        That is not at all my experience of H-L FX.

        I finally switched to them when the various firms I had used for business FX told me that they were no longer able to deal with me as a non-business customer. I had been comparing H-L’s rates with the various currency brokers I had been using, and H-L’s rates were always noticeably worse. It was simply a matter of convenience since I already had an H-L account and I did not expect to be using the service much, so the poorer rates were not that significant, I thought.
        I needed to send €6000 at the beginning of the year and discovered that H-L’s procedures had changed; I had to guess the GBP amount and transfer it to them, only then would they convert to EUR. Any left over GBP would be paid into my investment a/c. Not good.
        I looked into Transferwise for the first time after seeing it talked about here. Very simple, and I saved between £40 and £50 on the purchase price of the €6000.

        • Soloflyer1977 says:

          Thanks everyone. Looks like Transferwise will get my business when/if I need to make a transfer. Thanks again

          • I regularly do large euro transfers to Revolut without any issues.
            Revolut only cause problems when using loopholes, their fx rates are hard to beat.

          • The Savage Squirrel says:

            CurrencyFair and you can get the true spot price – or even a little better.

    • I looked into Transferwise for my sister after seeing it recommended in the HfP comments a few years ago. She was happy with their customer service and the set-up and actual transfer went very smoothly. You can check their current rate and fees easily to compare with other options..

  24. I’m (optimistically) sorting out our accommodation for our postponed trip to Japan next year.
    Any recommendations for places which are good to stay/go with a 2 year old? Since she’ll be more aware and walking I’m rethinking our itinerary that was originally for this April.
    We’re flying into Osaka and out of Tokyo. A bunch of Hilton and Marriott points to use – thinking Conrad in Tokyo just for reminiscing of our honeymoon trip, no idea how a toddler would go down there though.
    Also prioritising those with good cancellation policies!
    Giving up on Virgin holidays refund anytime soon…

    • FlyingChris says:

      We’re doing the same flights as well next year (likewise being optimistic). 🙂 If have any IHG points/free nights the Intercontinental Osaka we’ve found in the past was excellent and has amazing views over the city. Haven’t tried the Conrad in Tokyo, but at a slightly cheaper price point the Hilton Tokyo we enjoyed, had a great breakfast and is quite well located (though involved a lot of walking through tunnels to get to the subway if I remember). Hakone would be a good stop on the way back to Tokyo and a change of pace if you haven’t already been – lots of fun unusual transport to explore (boats/cable cars etc), hot springs, and a great open air sculpture museum (that’s far more interesting than it sounds, lots of colourful exhibits, things to climb, a hot spring foot bath etc).

      • Ah we went to Hakone on a previous trip when we climbed Fuji and yes it was lovely.
        We were looking at some more “countryside/nature” areas to go with her as cities could be a bit much so that’s one I will look into.
        She’s toddling around already but not at great speed so definitely want to be close to things! Previous trips we have been happy to walk for hours a day but realising kids mean we have to change our usual travel style (within reason 😉

        • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

          For (relative) countryside, I’d recommend Takayama, Nikko and the Magome-Tsumago trail (if you like gentle hiking with your daughter in a carrier). Nara or Arashiyama if you don’t want to go far off the beaten track but still want a bit of rural aesthetic.

          Renting a car and driving around Japan is pretty painless if you really want to get into the boonies.

          • bsuije says:

            Just bear in mind that you will need to get an international driving license to rent a car in Japan.

      • bsuije says:

        The Marriott Osaka is pretty good. Bus from the aiport stops nearby, and it’s right on top of a metro station and a department store. The breakfast was not great, but the department store had 2 floors of food hall and a little supermarket, so finding something to eat was not a problem.

        • Is that the Osaka Marriot Miyako? Unfortunately it won’t show any rooms for 3 people (even if one doesn’t need a bed!)
          On your other comment we did get international drivers permits last time – to drive around Tokyo in go-karts dressed up as Mariokart characters. Sadly that won’t be on the agenda this time!

          • I would email the hotel to tell them you are bringing a small child with a travel cot. They are usually fine with you booking a double room and mentioning it in the comments section of the booking. We have done it on the past and even blagged an upgrade to a suite!
            LST

    • We’ve done a similar trip with our son couple of years back when he was four, we didn’t stay in Osaka, we stayed in Kyoto which is about 20mins away on the train. I would highly recommend Compton hotel if you do consider staying in Kyoto, they have different properties in Kyoto and some of them are renovated tradition Japanese houses and they are beautiful. I’m not sure if they provide travel cot though, it does say on their website they can provide baby chair, but no mention of cot. In Tokyo, I would recommend Hotel Gajoen, it’s a SLH hotel, it’s location is great and the hotel itself it’s amazing, it has its own waterfall inside the hotel! We stayed in a Japanese king room, which can be sectioned into two rooms and a small lounge area which is ideal with a little one. Our room has a jacuzzi Japanese bath and a sauna! I can’t wait to go back again with our second child!

    • We had an amazing 2 night / 3 day layover in Tokyo with our son when he was 18 months old on the way to Australia. Highly recommend the Tokyo Toy Museum and Borderless Labs for kids and let’s just say that he had a HUGE amount of attention and kindness everywhere – Japan was fantastic with a little one.

      • Just out of interest, did you book your trip as one ticket. I’ve tried to booked with JAL to Oz few years back, but they said they don’t sell tickets in the U.K. all the way to Oz anymore, I can’t book two tickets, but obviously that’s a lot more expensive.

  25. Just paid my HFP subscription fees as my virgin credit just arrived and stated in the letter that I did apply through Rob B. 😉 Hopefully that’s enough for a pint or two.

    Question on the use of the credit card within EEA as it stated that any transactions made in krone, euro and romanian leu and within EEA will not incur any foreign exchange fees (5%). Is this correct?

    Cheers,
    Vit

    • Thanks!

    • Lady London says:

      It’s the law that there are no transaction fees on those.
      However look carefully at the exchange rate on any fx and you cough! cough! might miraculously see that the rate is 3% above bank rate i.e. they’ve taken it another way.

      • Ah I did not know that. I thought it just depends on CC providers. Then how come AMEX does not have to comply with this? because they are are not based in EU?

        • Most card companies have ignored this law. What it says is that you can’t charge for a cross border transaction if you would not charge for a domestic one. This applies to ALL banking, eg as I can send money to a UK bank for free, HSBC can no longer charge me for sending money to a French bank.

          Now …. you cannot charge a FEE. However, nothing stops you adding a 3% foreign exchange weighting. This is not a fee, and as long as transactions made in France but charged in £ were fee-free then the card companies are OK.

          It seems Virgin called their charge a fee so scrapped it. Everyone else has either decided not to scrap them or has changed their wording to call them an ‘FX weighting’ or whatever.

    • RussellH says:

      SEK only. You will still pay fees for NOK and DKK. The Swedish and Romanian governments banned their banks from levying charges on FX within the SEPA when first set up.
      Surprise, surprise, the UK (nor any of the other non Eurozone govts.) chose not to do so, even though SEPA regulations suggested that it happen.

    • Thanks guys for clearing this up. Not that I will be in Europe anytime soon anyway. 🙂 Last FX transactions made in Iceland back in March were all done via MBNA (Horizon) which does not have FX fees as well.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Probably one pint in London. 😉

  26. Anyone had any success making a new booking by phone with BA recently? Trying to book open jaw with 2-4-1 and after numerous ‘too busy’ cut offs eventually got in queue and spoke to someone after 45 mins wait. Only to be told they are not the Avios team and put me back to main menu where then cut off again. No options to make a booking with Avios on their menu, just one make a booking option, which was the one that told me they can’t do it as not Avios team. Can’t book online as open jaw. Any hints? I was using 0800727800

    • Have you got enough Avios to try booking them as two one ways online and then phoning up to get the itinerary joined together? Not sure if the Newcastle line 0191 246 3933 is still functioning or you could try the BA US number +1 877 767 7970?

      • Just be aware that you will get stung for taxes if the destination is the USA. But otherwise it’s straightforward to use the 2 4 1 for the outbound leg then book return leg separately if you have enough avios. If one of your legs is in F you can call YouFirst to ask them to refund the avios.

      • Thanks very much, I called the Newcastle number and got through in about 15 mins and they were able to make the booking for me! Really helpful, thank you!

    • memesweeper says:

      Partner called up a few weeks ago to make an Avios booking — got through in a few mins and was booked within ten.

  27. Duncan says:

    Does anyone know if Amex will take up a refund claim against Qatar if the card I booked on has been cancelled. This was for two tickets purchased in March 2019. Qatar offered a flight voucher but over two months later still no voucher despite many calls!
    The Amex card was cancelled in November 2019.
    Thanks

    • Lady London says:

      Previous posters have answered Yes to this question.
      I would not let it rest and would defo pursue

    • mr_jetlag says:

      I’ve challenged and successfully got refunds from QR. Expect to go back and forth with them and Amex as QR will keep disputing but not providing evidence.

    • Expect to be a bit of back and forth. I managed to ask the TA to get me refund. Now the hard part is getting the refund from the TA now. haha! Been more than 4 weeks now since QR proceed the full refund back to TA.

  28. Sukes says:

    Anyone have any data points on success or otherwise of chargeback to Amex Plat for a hotel stay prepaid on a non-refundable basis now Covid impacted? Booked direct with Melia in Jan 2020 for stay in Spain for later this week. Hotel is closed. Melia will not refund and offers a switch of date. Welcome any feedback on chargeback successes & timeframes….thks

    • If the hotel is closed, and therefore not supplying what you paid for, my understanding is that you pursue a chargeback (or whatever the Amex equivalent is, as it’s a charge card).

    • Carol says:

      I have the same issue with Melia hotels so Curve have now taken up the issue with them as they say I am entitled to a refund. The hotel point out that I had a non refundable rate!

    • Craig says:

      Did exactly that with a Hilton booking, Amex was very straightforward and all done on line. I wasn’t waiting 5 months for a refund, supposedly because there was nobody who could action it whilst the hotel was closed and that it might take 90 days after the hotel reopened.

    • Sarah says:

      I’m having the same issues with Melia, they are awful. I’m perfectly happy to move my dates to next year, but they’re trying to charge me an additional fee as they say the rate is higher, but what they are quoting is above the price of a new booking. A friend who booked with booking.com has been able to change their booking without having to pay any extra, which makes a mockery of booking directly. I understand that the hotel was closed when I was due to travel so next step is a chargeback, but i’m trying to get in writing that the hotel was closed and getting nowhere.

      • Sukes says:

        Thks Anna, Carol, Craig and Sarah. Helpful to get your feedback. Melia definitely seem to be shady in confirming in writing that the hotel is indeed closed. I’m trying to get that in writing also. Interesting but not surprising to hear pricing acceleration for next yr – another reason I want the cash back in my account rather than relying on Melia to price fairly. Thks all, it’s appreciated.

  29. memesweeper says:

    Datapoint:

    I have two BA bookings in July:

    – one to Athens from Heathrow, cancelled mid-morning today
    – on to the Caribbean from Gatwick, NOT cancelled yet

    this is pretty much the opposite of what I was expecting. I’m going to take a voucher for the Athens flight as the voucher should be valid for much longer than the onbusiness points that booked it.

    • lottie says:

      I have just had two lots of BA flights in July cancelled,both in Italy, Bari & Brindisi. Looks like they are doing a mass cancellation this morning. Call centre is now back to cutting people off after being fairly quiet for a while.

      • memesweeper says:

        Exactly my experience — I can’t now get through on the phone.

        Disappointingly , when you use the online rebooking ( britishairways.com/travel/disruption-recovery/execclub/_gf/en_gb/rebook/changeFlight ) it refuses to allow me to change dates to the dates I want, stating ‘There is no availability for selected date’. A quick check in another tab confirms there is availability on those dates, so now I need to call 🙁

        I was going to get a voucher, but wanted to recheck the rebooking process works as advertised — and legally required — for a cancelled flight. Quel surprise, it doesn’t.

        • Try using Online Chat. Once you get to a real person it seems to work quite well. Reader just tried it, literally an hour ago, at my suggestion and was all done within 10 minutes.

          • New Card says:

            What Online Chat is this?

          • memesweeper says:

            I didn’t know BA offered this! Where is the link?

          • I think it only shows during call centre opening hours. Not sure if there are pop-up rules etc too. I am just going on reader feedback.

    • Which Caribbean destination? There are reports of some islands opening up, but with very onerous restrictions such as having a COVID-negative certificate 72 hours before travel, wearing a mask in public and having to stay on the hotel premises for the entire stay. I can imagine BA saying that this is not their problem and still running the flight!

      • memesweeper says:

        My destination is completely closed to foreigners until further notice. I *will* want to rebook this, not take a voucher, hence my anxiety about the failure of the online tool to rebook my Athens flight.

        • Not sure what all the secrecy is about! People reporting getting through to BA quite quickly on the Newcastle number, though.

  30. Matty says:

    I’ve just checked my flights for a trip to Bogotá at the end of August. The itinerary was LIN-MAD-LIM-BOG returning BOG-MAD-LIN.

    The LIN-MAD flight has gone. There’s one earlier in the day. MAD-LIM was IB flight no. operated by LATAM. That appears to be operating. LIM-BOG was LATAM again and that’s gone – LA flight no. BOG-MAD has gone. IB flight. The final leg, MAD-LIN has gone. IB again. There’s a flight the next day. When I say gone, I mean can’t do a dummy booking and Expertflyer shows availability as zero.

    All on one ticket: 075 stock. IB haven’t notified me yet but booked through Expedia. MMB on IB says one of my flights is cancelled but doesn’t really suggest anything.

    What are my options? Re-route at a later date?

    • Charlieface says:

      Is there another airline you can fly with? Or demand a rebooking at a later date or full refund in cash

    • Lady London says:

      Your flight departs EU so full EU261/2004 rights apply.
      Your choice of full refund or replacement flights as close as possible to your booked timing,or you reschedule the whole thing to a later date. All at YOUR choosing not the airline’s.

      If you booked with Iberia they will refuse you your rights to reroute claiming IB not allowing agents to provide what you are entitled to, supersedes the EC261/2004 statute (that overrides any airline contract conditions)which is rubbish. However I’m pretty sure they will readily refund you though – that’s based on my one single very bad experience with IB.

      As it’s IB who are horrible to deal with ask them once, give then the 7 days to refund you EC261/2004 says you should get your refund back in,and go straight to credit card for a chargeback or, if a UK credit card, section 75 also an option. If you want a refund, that is.

    • marcw says:

      have fun dealing with exdpedia.

    • Matty says:

      I’d rather reroute. This was one of those ‘flash’ sales that you see from time-to-time. Now that I’ve gone on to the Iberia website (and not the app) I can see a telephone number to call.

      I’m expecting the runaround. Thank you everyone for your help.

  31. BuyEMExternalBonds says:

    Data point

    Amex platinum £200 spend at Waitrose on Friday – £100 credit on main card this morning, very fast.

  32. Andrew says:

    Just passed the BA Crew who will be running the First Class lounge here at work from tomorrow!

    (Search for Project Wingman).

    • Tom H says:

      They are so nice, had them at ours for a few weeks now. It does seem tough as there is so much uncertainty around their jobs, yet they are doing so much in local hospitals.

  33. Does anyone know whem Amex Platinum fee will hit my account? It’s been a couple of weeks since upgrading?!

    • BuyEMExternalBonds says:

      On your next statement post upgrading

    • Waddle says:

      When you upgrade, your statement date doesn’t change so when your next statement (the first statement since upgrading) drops is the earliest you will see a fee as part of the balance.

      So if your normal statement date is the 8th and you upgrade on the 9th, you won’t see the fee until the 8th the next month.

    • There was a time when they only charged you on the anniversary of your original card …. thought they’d fixed that bug but perhaps you got lucky?!

  34. Richard says:

    Hi all, I want to make a t -355 booking tomorrow morning but using a book with confidence voucher. Looks like I need to wait until 8am and call the general number. Are there any ways around this?

  35. Waddle says:

    To readers who have downgraded to Gold charge – does the 10k for £15k annual bonus still apply to this card? Or is it exclusive to the Gold credit?

    • paulm says:

      Yes you get it. Note if you downgrade before your year end, it gives you a short deadline to complete the spend. For example my account anniversary was October but I downgraded in July so it only gave me 3 months to spend before it re-set. Not sure if thats how it is supposed to work, but I was not going to spend £15K anyway so did not take it up with Amex

  36. Jonathan says:

    My reward flights to/from Dubai next week with BA has been cancelled. In MMB i can select new dates but just not Friday\Saturday\Sunday next April or May. Would there be any reason for this? As far as i know this is the re-book any flight as long as there are cash seats available option so avios availability shouldn’t be required.

    • That’s also what I thought. I also didn’t think peak / off-peak came into it either. Odd.

      • babyg says:

        I found with AVIOS cancellations it would often take he MMB system days to update correctly, this can be overridden by any of the (good) call centre people (i moved a LHR-SYD reward from OFF-PEAK to PEAK without issues after cancelling by calling – but failed when i tried to use MMB)

    • memesweeper says:

      See my earlier comment Jonathan — I have a booking that is cancelled and I cannot rebook online despite availability of tickets for sale. My issue isn’t caused by Avios availability , as it’s not an Avios booking. No idea what’s up, but I think it would be fair to guess this system was rushed into service and may have the odd bug.

      I’m going to call tomorrow again and see if there’s a *reason* I can’t rebook, as opposed to a purely online difficulty.

  37. Shopper Thoughts – the survey website where you used to get clubcard points after each survey changed to needing to save up 1,000 to redeem for either clubcard points or other vouchers.

    Has anyone else had trouble redeeming for clubcard points since the change? It always says “waiting approval” when I add my clubcard number even though I used to get a handful of points this way.

    • Craig says:

      Redeemed a few times over the last year or so without problem. Surveys seem to have dried up though?

  38. Hi mine and my wife’s GC expires 8th June and not hit the renewal target, missed by a wide margin unsurprisingly. Just curious as to whether anyone has managed to get BA to grant a status extension or is it simply not worth the hassle

    • The 30% cut-off seems to be sticking, so you’d need 1050 points.

      I get a sneaky feeling that BA wants to get the number of status holders well down, because it is the only way to empty out the lounges. The alternative is even worse – daily fights with status card holders who can’t access a lounge because they are full. I assume that ticketed business and First passengers will be guaranteed access and it becomes pot luck for shiny cards.

  39. Billy Nicholson says:

    HI guys, does anyone know how far out Cathay reward seats appear on BA.com?
    Thanks

    • Andrew says:

      I was looking at March last week and lots of availability in all cabins. BUT it varies on where you’re flying to FROM HKG ie LHR-HKG no availability showing, LHR-HKG-SIN showing lots of availability on the same date which means there are Avios seats on LHR-HKG but not showing. Not sure if calling BA can book them but on line you can’t.

      • Billy Nicholson says:

        Interesting…I am looking at Apr21.
        I am booked HKG-LHR with BA but need to get to HKG from Australia.
        Nothing showing with Cathay yet.

        • Billy Nicholson says:

          I thought it was just a date thing as up to mid March the route I want is showing on BA.com

      • marcw says:

        CX has married segment logic.

    • Two issues here. 1. CX availability has always come and gone so it has always been wise to check regularly. 2. There has often been issues with displaying and booking CX flights in BA so monitor availability elsewhere and call BA if need be.

      • Yorkieflyer says:

        I have booked avios CX flights more than 355 days in advance via the BA call centre a couple of years ago

        • Billy Nicholson says:

          Will I have to create a CX account to check reward availability elsewhere – ie on their website?

  40. Brian S says:

    Has anyone received their IHG status extension yet?

    I achieved Spire a few weeks ago through CC spend but wondered if there were any data points for a further extension and Spire benefits (extra 25k points)

    Or am I just being greedy 🙂

    • Some people have been extended already while others are waiting for IHG to get to their accounts, IHG stated this would take time. AFAIK, nobody has yet received a 25K Spire choice benefit that they dId nit qualify for via stays.

  41. Aston100 says:

    If I want to go to Sri Lanka next summer, and try to get use out of a companion voucher, what would be the recommended route?
    I presume use the companion voucher for a return flight to somewhere in India, and then a Shorthaul return to CMB?
    Thanks

    • You may be better of flying to somewhere like Kuala Lumpur and then taking Malaysia Airlines to Sri Lanka. Oneworld. Hong Kong (Cathay) is a little further. In both cases you’re backtracking. Up to you really

      • KUL is more avios than HKG. BKK has the best connection choices to CMB (Sri Lankan, Thai, Air Asia, Bangkok Airways) but in normal times award seats are harder to find.

      • Dominic Barrington says:

        MH’s way of dealing with the pandemic has – to my mind – been particularly poor. I’d not trust them booking this far out at all.

    • Easy from Maldives, India, ME or seAsia. An excellent opportunity to do a two-centre vacation if you the time.

  42. Question on the Amex £100 – do you need to spend the whole 100 before it credits??

    Spent £40 on Friday and no sign of a credit yet

    • Yes.

      • Andrew says:

        You don’t need to. As per the email from Amex they will credit you each time up to a total of £100 over all. If you spend £10 now you will get £10 back now, if you spend £50 next week, you will get £50 back then and so on. And each refund shows as that retailer rather than a lump sum. Of course for once it’s in Amex’s interest if you don’t actually spend the full £100 so they won’t be pushing you to.

  43. Marcel says:

    Hi all,
    Just been downgraded today to Bronze, anyone know how many tier points I would need to get back to Silver?does it have to be the full 600 TP? Thanks

  44. If I make a chargeback on an amex card for a cancelled flight not refunded by airline and then cancel that card, what will happen?

    • Crafty says:

      Should carry on as before. Both my chargebacks for Ryanair have been on a card long ago cancelled. However I would explicitly speak about this with customer service when cancelling.

  45. Paul Ashmore says:

    Seat spy is showing no seats available for Orlando now till the 27th July. Also if you try to book a flight to Orlando before the 27th July, no BA flights.

    But my flight to Orlando via Gatwick is still on time Olin my timeline.

  46. Aston100 says:

    Just seen some really good prices to HKG for Easter 21 (Virgin, but also Swiss/Lufty).
    Does anyone think it would be unwise to travel there next year?
    I was thinking more about the demonstrations rather than the virus, but had assumed both would have been defeated by then.

    Thanks.

    • Defeat the demonstrations for democracy. Sure thing. 🙄

    • If the demonstrations have been “defeated”, you would be better off going to Beijing, as there will no longer be anything special about Hong Kong (which will be renamed Xianggang).

      • mr_jetlag says:

        This fight for self determination is really screwing up my travel plans. Really inconsiderate.

        /s

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