Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Tuesday 30th 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:  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 (206)

  • Ben says:

    Morning all

    Just after a bit of advice. I made a large purchase for my house on an Amex at the beginning of June. The charge was shown as pending for a few days, but has never since been taken. I really want to cancel the card now. Any ideas what might happen if I cancel the card before I get the charge.

    The items have already been delivered.


    • KBuffett says:

      There is a set time after which preauthorisations drop off the card. Perhaps another reader can help with that the timescale is.
      I suspect Amex won’t let you cancel which the preauth is still hanging.

      • Stu N says:

        Ben – why not phone the merchant and ask them to process the charge?

      • guesswho2000 says:

        I think it’s six months. It’s defo longer than 3x months, I just got an overseas transaction through from early March the other day.

    • DJ says:

      The merchant can still request to have the money taken from your Amex account even if you closed your account.

      So even if you close your card now, Amex can still send you a bill after.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      If it was that large are the points not worth waiting for?

    • Nikkei says:

      I’m sure a pre-authorisation is good for 6 months, so merchant can claim funds during that time. Probably the case with a closed card too. I’d just cancel the card and keep the card on my online account to monitor.

      • Charlieface says:

        Indeed, but it’s not unknown for merchants to forget to claim.
        Pre-authorisations drop off at the bank’s discretion, unless the merchant cancelled, I believe.

  • YH says:

    Data point on QR refunds, finally received last night, timeline was as follows:

    Jan – Booked Tokyo HND flights during January sale.
    7 May – Received email saying flights had changed to Tokyo NRT.
    12 May – Requested full refund for cancellation of original flights.
    21 Jun – Email from QR saying the refund has been processed and could take up to 28 days.
    29 Jun – Full amount credited back to my card.

  • Robert says:

    Have BA now reduced reward availability to Sydney in 2021? Perhaps a computer error in the first place.

    • Jody says:

      I think they probably just got booked up. Lots of people on here (including me) booked, and I’m sure it was probably on other forums too like Flyertalk.

    • Rhys says:

      They were snapped up within 24-48 hours! It’s a very popular route.

  • Ant says:

    Morning, Looks like my flight to Malta on 15 August is cancelled. This is a RFS booking out in business and inbound economy.
    Am I entitled to rerouting? As there are no other BA flights can I ask them to put me on an Airmalta flight? I am upset now as the other airlines are so expensive.
    BA keep cancelling flights, had flights to Nice and 3 times the flight I was booked on on the 28 August was cancelled!

    • Matt2 says:

      Al Gatwick flights appear to be cancelled until 9th September, but has BA actually said the flight is cancelled. There was rumour these may all be moving to LHR, but it is only rumour. We are in same position, can ask for rerouting but they may push you onto easyJet as they still have LGW flight.

      • Stu N says:

        I had an Edinburgh/Gatwick return in early September. I noticed that it’s completely disappeared from “My Bookings” – is anyone else seeing this for their Gatwick flights? Haven’t had an email as yet.

        Normally the booking would be there but marked as cancelled if you went into it.

        I can get rebooked to Heathrow easily enough I guess…

        • meta says:

          My flights from Porto to Gatwick on 31 August are still showing in My bookings, although flights are no longer available for sale and all other flights have been moved Heathrow.

    • Genghis says:

      Don’t get upset. Two potential routes:
      – EC261: BA need to reroute you with another airline
      – S75: credit card co liable for consequential loss.

      • Ant says:

        Thanks. So can I insist on rerouting even if it was an Avios booking?
        If they put me on EasyJet what happens with luggage allowance as we were due to go out in Club?
        Not sure I can use s75 as it is an Avios booking that originally was for Santorini in July that we moved to Malta last month.

        • memesweeper says:

          > So can I insist on rerouting even if it was an Avios booking?


          > If they put me on EasyJet what happens with luggage allowance as we were due to go out in Club?

          When they rebook you make sure they make arrangements to carry over your hold and cabin luggage allowances.

          I’d also price up the seats and luggage allowance you need on EasyJet and consider cancelling and taking the Avios and money back.

          • Rob says:

            You have zero chance of BA doing this for you. At best you need to pay it yourself and sue BA afterwards.

          • Tical says:

            Yes, BA is formally refusing to rebook citing lack of ticketing agreements… dealing with a flight cancellation on July 4th, I have had to rebook myself and just put in the S75 claim with Amex

    • Eugene says:

      I spoke with BA yesterday about the LGW issue. Just booked Bilbao for late July and was concerned like you re LGW departure. Was told on Gold line ( who tend to be more knowledgeable IMHO) that they were still running a few from LGW and yes it would go unless another lockdown. So maybe that will give you some comfort…or not !

  • MD says:

    I know it’s a bit niche for here, but as I’ve seen at least one other person on here lamenting the suspension of the MCO Visa card, rather surprisingly I just got an email saying it’s been reactivated already. Thought they’d be gone for a long time. However, as it seems that Wirecard has simply been allowed to resume activities, I’m not sure I’ll be using it much until they migrate to a less fraud-riddled company!
    On 29 June 2020, the FCA provided written consent to allow Wirecard to resume payment services. The restriction on activities lifted at 00:01 UTC on 30 June 2020.

    We have resumed the operation of all Europe / UK MCO Visa Cards. Kindly note that since card balances were refunded to users’ crypto wallets last week, please top up your card before using it.

    Thanks for your support and patience. We will continue to closely monitor the developments and minimize the impact on our card service.

    • memesweeper says:

      I’m also a user of the ‘niche’ MCO Visa card and was similarly surprised to see them back in business so fast. Unfortunately I’ve not found a way to top it up, with or without Curve as an intermediary, that the underlying card doesn’t treat as a cash advance. Any tips from anyone here who’s managed to make this work would be appreciated. Cards in the wallet are: Curve, Barclaycard (Hilton), Creation (IHG), HSBC (Prem. and John Lewis).

      • FloriGuy says:

        I got the MCO – at the tip of someone else. My main concern though is the difficulty in using it due to he volatiilty of the Crypto that you keep in your wallet?

        • The Urbanite says:

          It’s a complicated product in my opinion – lots of technical elements to get one’s head around.

          • memesweeper says:

            Absolutely correct. It’s a complicated product with significant risk. I’ve not mentioned it here before ,in part because it’s not something I’d recommend jumping into.

            I might try the HSBC card followed by prompt repayment. If there’s no actual cash advance fee that ought to be manageable.

      • MD says:

        I see they’ve just introduced support for faster payments so I guess bank transfer is an option, but that’s boring of course. 🙂

        No expert, but so far for me HSBC PWE and IHG premium both result in interest, which I simply get around by paying it off instantly, as with Revolut top ups. I’m avoiding Virgin reward+ as I assume they’ll hit me with a cash advance fee as well as interest.

        Only one I haven’t tried yet is Miles and More. Interestingly Miles and More do not appear to charge interest on Revolut top ups, so I thought I’d found the holy Grail. Sadly Revolut seem to bounce any payments to MCO.

  • Steve R says:

    @matt2 Where did you hear that all LGW flights have been cancelled – we are due to fly to Dalaman at the beginning of August

  • Lottie says:

    Just checked my bookings and lgw to Tirana has disappeared and is not available to book anymore. No notification from BA

    • meta says:

      I’ve not received any notification about two of flight cancellations in June. I only saw that it’s cancelled via Manage my booking. Perhaps BA has gone a step further hoping customers won’t notice about their flights disappearing!

    • Ruude says:

      Was showing yesterday morning and then all of August disappeared

      • Stu N says:

        I only noticed my booking had vanished as it was my next flight so showed on the App home screen.Just remembered it was an Amex Travel booking, I’ll give it a few days to see if it sorts itself out and if not, I’ll chase up.

        • Stu N says:

          For info, got an email from Amex Travel this afternoon informing me of cancellation. I gave them a phone on number provided and got straight through. I’ve cancelled for a refund and rebooked ourselves on LHR flights direct with BA as it was significantly cheaper.

          Now to wait for the refund…

      • Lady London says:

        Do you think the airlines know something to be announced tomorrow that we don’t?

    • Peggers says:

      Hi @Lottie,
      What dates were your Tirana flights? I am booked LGW-TIA in October and they still appear to be ok.

      • Lottie says:

        21st -26th August . My Gatwick flights for late September still showing.

        • Peggers says:

          Thanks Lottie.
          I’ll keep an eye on my booking. Let me know what they do with your flight.
          Where have you booked to stay?

    • memesweeper says:

      Ditto. The auto-move suggester wants to put me on very similarly timed flights from Heathrow. Very much looks like everything staying at Heathrow for a while longer.

  • EJH says:

    Greek flights until 15 Jul are still showing as available for booking (even for departure tomorrow) – my booking for <48hrs time still hasn’t been cancelled yet!

    • Ruude says:

      Apparently if they stop off at Athens they are allowed to run, whether this is possible I don’t know!

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