Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Tuesday 9th 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/2020/06/09/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-tuesday-9th-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!

Comments (194)

  • @mkcol says:

    Seems like some people are getting results with BA Executive Club

    https://www.businesstraveller.com/forums/topic/ba-relax-tier-point-requirements/page/3/#post-1000311

  • Matt says:

    Hi all. I requested a travel voucher from KLM for a cancelled flight over two months ago, but they haven’t given me an update yet. I’m thinking of claiming it back through my credit card. To make things more interesting, I paid on my Virgin Atlantic Reward+ card, which I’ll be looking to cancel in July to avoid paying an annual fee for benefits I won’t receive if the airline goes bust. Has anyone had any joy with AF/KLM vouchers yet? And where do I stand claiming money back on a credit card once it’s cancelled? Is it possible?

    • Jonathan44t says:

      Why wouldn’t you do this after 4 weeks or so automatically?

      Genuine question, not looking to call out or anything like that. I just don’t understand why there is a hesitance to use S75 or chargeback on cards if you get a whiff of companies not playing ball. Is there a repercussion?

      • Matt says:

        I’ve just not had to do it before to be honest so I wasn’t sure of the best way to play it. I wasn’t sure if having requested a voucher, I’m essentially waiving my right to claim the money back through my credit card.

        • Charlieface says:

          If they don’t give you even the voucher obviously they are liable to a cash remedy and therefore s75 is applicable. It/s arguable whether even after you got the voucher you could switch to cash given they don’t make you aware of EC261 rights.

    • Chrisw says:

      Good luck getting a refund from klm Air France. Both governments are allowing them to break EU law and not all credit card providers are backing there customers. Amex is particularly bad.

  • New Card says:

    Virgin seem to be doing something to their routes today. It appears changes might be coming. No direct Upper Class availability on any route at all except Atlanta. All other routes are showing via partner airlines only.

    • Kate says:

      Yes have found similar. SeatSpy reports “09/06/2020: Virgin Atlantic continue to make changes to their routes and availability. We continue to reflect the rapidly changing information shown on the Virgin site.”

  • Rossy says:

    I presume that there is no way around having to pay taxes with an AMEX card when using a 2-4-1 voucher? I’ve accumulated a decent stash of avios and 3 companion vouchers.on mine and my wife’s accounts, and am now directing all spend onto other MC reward cards as I don’t really need additional avios in the short term.
    I cancelled all my AMEX cards about 6 months ago to reset the clock on being able to reapply as a new customer after 2 years, and was hoping to do the same with hers, but guess I’m locked in to keeping her (now downgraded) free BA card open and unable to reset her 24month window as we’ll need to use it to pay when we eventually come to use the 3 vouchers, something that we’re not likely to do for several months at least. Does anyone know of a workarounds?

    • Genghis says:

      Use a friend’s card?

    • Rob says:

      No simple workaround unless you know a friend with an Amex who is happy to put the charge through for you. You can’t get Amex gift cards.

      What you COULD do is get an International Currency Card (well, you can’t, your wife could as you need a 6-month Amex track record). There’s a fee to pay for the card though and, of course, whatever your charge in £ is settled in $ or Euro and so there is the 3% FX fee PLUS the cost of paying it off in $ or Euro. Probably not worth the trouble overall.

      • Rossy says:

        Thanks, sounds like a bit of a faff and I don’t think I know anyone with an AMEX that I could ask to pay on my behalf. Not the end of the world I guess, but good to know.

        • Howard says:

          Why not get the nectar card? IIRC it’s standalone from a sign up point of view and u get £100 worth of nectar points while you’re at it.

          • Genghis says:

            Don’t get sign up (held Amex in last two years) and then holding would prevent an Amex Gold (though not Plat), BA blue card (but not BAPP) or Marriott sign up in future.

          • Alex W says:

            20,000 nectar points are routinely worth £200 during Christmas double ups (£100 per year). Saying they are only worth £100 is like saying Avios are only worth 0.5p because that’s what you get for booking hotel rooms.

      • Roy says:

        3% FX fee, sure. But is paying off the card really that hard?

        For EUR card, I would imagine you can pay with Revolut (or even set up a SEPA direct debit from your Revolut card).

        For USD card, I would imagine you can pay with the Transferwise card.

        Bith negligible fee. I don’t have an ICC, but am I missing something? It isn’t difficullt to pay EUR/USD bills these days….

        • Rob says:

          Problem is that many transfer options do not allow you to add a reference (as you pay Amex’s main bank account) and without a reference Amex cannot link the payment to you.

          There is no ‘pay with a debit card’ option.

          I pay mine from HSBC where you can add a reference. Shocking FX rate but I rarely use it.

  • Mike says:

    Anyone else got “Get 100% back every time up to £100” at Waitrose/M&S on their Platinum account?

    If so, has anyone tried this on the Waitrose Cellar site?

    • bsuije says:

      Don’t – it’s the first item listed under the exclusions in the T&Cs:
      “Waitrose & Partners exclusions: Cellar, Florist, Garden, Pet, Cookery school, foreign currency, Gift Section.”

      Also, don’t buy Waitrose gift cards (which are actually Joh Lewis gift cards, but that’s by-the-by), as these do not get charged to your account as “Waitrose” and the offer is unlikely to work.

    • Andrew says:

      Yes we’ve all had it for a couple of weeks. But the terms specifically exclude Waitrose Cellar.

    • Stephan says:

      Mike, in my instance it worked. I happened to buy some wine at the end of May. Saved the £100 offer to main Plat card as per usual – and was surprised to see ” 31 MAY 20 MARKS & SPENCER – #### #### -£26.60″ and ” 01 JUN 20 WAITROSE 851 DIRECT SERVICES -£73.40″. That obviously adds up to £100 so there’s only one explanation for the Waitrose credit – and I think I spent about £ 150 with Waitrose.

      • mutley says:

        I was in Waitrose at the weekend, spent £73 and then topped up with £30 gift card, got the £100 credit.

    • Eric the Half a Bee says:

      Yep, bought some wine from Waitrose cellars and wasn’t expecting it to credit, but the £100 credit was there 24 hours later.

  • Stephen says:

    Hey, I’ve got a flight from Frankfurt to New Zealand booked with Lufthansa at end of July. It was booked in Feb 2020. I’ve just gone onto their website and if you have booked prior to 15th May, the terms state:

    ———-

    Your flight is not cancelled:

    You can rebook your flight once free of charge, regardless of the terms and conditions of the originally purchased ticket. Start of travel must be latest by 31 December 2021 and the rebooking has to be done before the original start of travel.

    Your ticket will remain valid and you can use it towards a future flight. Latest start of travel is 31 December 2021. If you would like to choose this option, please get in touch with us, latest by 31 January 2021. You can also change your destination and your travel class. Please note, that in these cases, an additional payment might be necessary, e.g. if you change to a higher travel class or if you rebook from a short-haul to a long-haul flight.

    If you decide on a new flight until 31 August 2020 and your travel starts latest until 31 December 2020 you will receive an additional 50€ discount* on the ticket price. Should the rebooked fare be more expensive due to a change of destination (e.g. rebooking from short-haul to long-haul), change of travel class or similar, additional payment may be necessary despite the discount.

    https://www.lufthansa.com/de/en/flight-information#booking

    ———-

    For bookings after 16th May, it clearly states –

    If the original fare is not available anymore, the fare difference must be paid.

    ———-

    Has anyone had any luck with getting Lufthansa to change their flight (same class/route/different date) without applying a large fare difference?

    Thanks

    • Stephen says:

      Does anyone have an email address/contact within Lufthansa please?

      I’ve just got off the phone from a customer service agent based in South Africa, who was lovely but not aware of the updated policies. I pointed her towards the website and she said that a fare difference would be due.

      The flight status is showing as confirmed with the travel agent, but she said they have no scheduled flights for that route on the date I’m due to travel (so flights are likely to be cancelled at some point) but didn’t seem too confident.

      Is there any reliable source on whether a flight is scheduled to operate (31st July)?

      Thanks

  • Martin Ive says:

    Hi, I have recently earned my AMEX 2-4-1 Companion voucher BUT I am due a large refund from Emirates for a cancelled holiday. When (IF) I get the refund and it is credited to my AMEX card, will AMEX revoke my companion voucher?