Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Monday 22nd 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/2020/06/22/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-monday-22nd-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 (132)

  • Oliver says:

    Morning all. I have a couple of Avios flights in August, which I booked back in December/January. Plans have changed, so I now want to cancel one booking, and change the date of another. Normally I would just pay the £35pp and do it all through MMB.

    However, now that I am unable to request a refund online, I was wondering if I have any better options given BA’s new flexibility policies (and whether these apply to me given that I booked long before COVID was an issue)…

    e.g. will BA allow me to change the date of my flights without paying the £35 if I call? And can I cancel for a voucher worth the full value, rather than a cash/Avios refund minus £35?

    Thanks in advance!

    • pauldb says:

      Yes, for an August booking you can opt for the voucher which allows you to effecting spend the avios and cash element on a new booking, travelling before April 2022 subject to normal avios availability. (You can supplement for a more expensive booing, or book a cheaper flight and apparently get another voucher for the remainder.) If you are confident you have a flight to spend it on, it’s a fair option especially for avios bookings.
      However if you don’t need to rebook immediately or you plans are a bit unpredictable, the other option is to wait: BA may cancel a flight in which case you can get a full refund, with no charge and unrestricted.

      • Andrew says:

        And under “booking with confidence” all future Avios bookings for travel until the end of April can be refunded fully (not for a voucher) without the £35 fee. You need to call though.

        • pauldb says:

          I don’t think it’s quite as good as that. You can change dates/destination without a fee but not cancel. Or take a voucher.

          • Andrew says:

            They have told me I can get a full refund for an Avios booking under book with confidence – luckily in writing, so if it’s not policy I will hold them to it anyway.

      • Kipto says:

        I also have an Avios flight for August. In addition, I paid for the exit seats for four of us to travel. Under BA’s flexible policy, if I do rebook the flights for sometime in the future, would my paid for seats transfer over to the new flight or not. ?

        • pauldb says:

          The voucher included a £-value seating credit which you can apply to the new flights, though of course the seating charges could cost a little extra by then.
          If BA cancel your flight and you rebook new dates in those circumstances, I believe they’ll just move your seat selection across.

      • Oliver says:

        Thanks – sounds like it’s worth braving the phone lines then!

        • Roberto says:

          I phoned and moved a Malaga to LHR avios booking by a week for free. Its a July booking made in 2019. They did it under the “voucher” but I never saw it , they held the flight I wanted cancelled the one I had and bobs your uncle. Should take about 5 days to reticket.

    • Rob says:

      You can either take the voucher (so no £35 fees), cancel (pay the £35) OR wait until BA hopefully cancels one leg of your flight, in which case you can cancel without paying the £35.

      Cancellation would give you a 4th option – move to a new date IRRESPECTIVE of Avios availability. Lots of readers have been able to snag nice Christmas breaks using this method ….

      • eligold says:

        My booking for August is an Avios booking with the Lloyds upgrade voucher.
        What are my options not to lose the upgrade?

        • Peggers says:

          Hi @eligold.
          My understanding is that if you cancel the flights, you lose the voucher.
          If the airline cancels you retain the voucher for a short time, I got 6 months extension on ‘expired’ voucher for recent cancellation, though understand some on here say they were offered 3 months.
          If your voucher still has time to use on it, then I believe it remains that same expiry date. (That May not be the case tho!).

  • Rob says:

    PayPal disappeared from Award Wallet this week, any idea why? Glitch or policy?

  • gtellez says:

    I was checking the different possibilities to transfer my Amex points and I saw Qantas as a transfer option. Is that new? I don’t remember see that before. Does anyone know if there are any good options redeeming points with Qantas?

    • Harry T says:

      First time I’ve seen it too!

    • Rhys says:

      Could be useful for flights in/around Australia – Qantas might price its own redemptions differently to Avios redemptions on the same routes.

      • guesswho2000 says:

        They do and they’re more expensive, Avios are generally the best option for domestic QF.

        • Andrew says:

          Yes I have checked this and Avios pricing is far lower than Qantas miles. A one way back from Singapore to LHR in the QF1 is only 36,000 Avios and £33 in economy.

          • Vit says:

            Andrew, that’s good little piece of info. Thanks. As I have quite a limited avios only enough for one-way out on First to Asia. I am looking for an “affordable” way to get back to the UK.

          • Andrew says:

            I was in the same situation – I’ve booked CX in First to Singapore and then back on Qantas in economy. And having never flown Qantas in any class it will be nice to try them – the BA flight was £200 more taxes and regardless of what I might think of BA, it’s boring to fly an airline you do all the time. If you’re really short of Avios then the Qantas option also has the usual fewer Avios and higher charges – 12,500 and £203.

    • guesswho2000 says:

      Interesting, yes I’ve got QF as an option on my UK MR points too, never noticed it until now. I 100% won’t be using it, but if someone UK based has a QF balance they need to keep alive this is good, as they’re hard to earn over there.

      Not much benefit in starting one for non Aussie based readers I wouldn’t have thought, as QF generally require quite a lot of points and have high surcharges (particularly on long haul), but there is a sweet spot in that QF can be used to book EK.

      QFF is a decent scheme for those who are Aussie based because of the ease of earning lots of them, with heaps of partners, which in a way offsets higher pricing. I’ll be keeping my UK MR for Avios or Krisflyer, as they’re much harder to accumulate over here (particularly Avios).

    • Benj says:

      This is a great share, thanks – I had a relatively small balance expiring at the end of this month, which I’ve hopefully now kept alive with a 500 MR transfer!

  • Lee says:

    Hi all. Anyone know if it is possible to use a Marriott 7 night travel package – category 5 certificate, on a category 1-4 hotel? I have been told not by a CS rep at Marriott and just wondering whether this is actually correct.

  • Darren says:

    I’m thinking of taking the Etihad 50% travel voucher which ends in a couple of days, any downsides?

    • Rhys says:

      It’s clearly less flexible than cash so if you’re not sure when you might use it it’s more of a gamble. But if you have a booking in mind it makes more sense.

      • Darren says:

        Thanks Rhys, I normally head east twice a year and have used them from Manchester before. I suppose if you can catch a sale at the time of booking it would work out very well.

        • Venturelog says:

          I’m tempted by this as well. But at the moment I can’t see any Etihad sale prices. The points bonus may have been more useful. Long-term unlikely Abu Dhabi will let them go bust. More likely, if it gets to that stage, an agreement with Emirates?

          • marcw says:

            It’s more likely that Etihad will downsize to a much much smaller carrier (they have been doing it already in the last couple of years).

  • Stanley says:

    I moved an Avios flight departure from LHR to LCY a week ago, for a Palma flight in August. The new flight is showing in MMB, but it has not got a eticket number attached. Is that normal ??

    • Pete C says:

      I moved the dates of an Avios booking on the phone last week; the new flights appeared in MMB right away but I was told it would take around 3 days for the e-ticket to be issued. It’s been over a week now and I got in touch to check the status of this, I was just told ‘Our ticketing team is extremely busy at the moment. Please be assured this will be issued as soon as possible.’

      • Stanley says:

        Thanks Pete. Saves me a phone call. Flights arent for 7 weeks anyway…..so will keep an eye on it

      • Jonathan says:

        The ticketing queue is dynamic in that if someone calls up today to get a flight reticketed for next week they will jump ahead of you & everyone else with a new departure after theirs. Perceived wisdom is to not worry or contact until 7 days before your flight.

  • Michael says:

    I know it was discussed a few days ago but are people still having issues with payments to Creation? I made a payment last Monday of just over £1000. I can see the money has left my HSBC account but not yet been credited by Creation. I knew they were running a couple of days behind but a full week! Has anyone contacted Solihull?

    • New Card says:

      Several payments last week haven’t been credited…

    • mark2 says:

      Payments made online to my and my wife’s account on 18th June show as expected, but not 19th (Friday).

  • mark2 says:

    Today is the first day of Shop Small: runs until 13th September; max £50 per card.
    Can be used on supplementaries if registered.

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