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!

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  1. xcalx says:

    Anyone have any experience re checked luggage with a cancelled BA Club Europe flight and choosing Easyjet for the reroute. Thanks

    • It would be really great to have a definitive answer to this but I would be surprised if this has ever happened yet! EU261 does state that the replacement transport has to be “under comparable conditions”, so you could argue that this means including checked baggage but I suspect it might have to be decided via arbitration or legal action. Same with F & B on board, lounge access etc.
      Is a re-route with Easyjet worth more than getting a refund for your CE flights and re-booking yourself? Obviously there’s a lot that you just can’t get on Easyjet compared with CE, but on the other hand, if cash flights are really expensive on your travel dates, you may think it’s a worthwhile trade.

  2. Jonathan says:

    Has anyone been successful topping up Revolut via the VA Premium card lately? It worked earlier on in the month but now for the past week or so all i get is a decline and Virgin calling me about suspicious activity despite being told these transactions are fine they still keep calling every time i try and use it?

    • Don’t they hit you with a cash advance fee and interest?

      • stevenhp1987 says:

        Yes, MCC 4829 for Mastercard topups and 6012 for Visa.

        Virgin will cash advance the 4829 (Wire Transfer).

        • Jonathan says:

          I haven’t been hit with any charges or interest thus far even with the MCC at 4829. I can see the recent (failed) attempts have the MCC 8999 which is why i think they are being treated as suspicious by Virgin Money.

          Net result is it doesn’t work and Virgin Money blame Revolut and Revolut blame Virgin Money so wondered if anyone else was having better luck?

          • The Urbanite says:

            Interesting – I just did a nil value transaction with Revolut to check the MCC and it showed as 4829 – that was with a Mastercard which is the same as the Virgin card.

            When it showed MCC 8999, was that topping up directly with the Virgin card or via Curve?

    • The Urbanite says:

      Are you accruing any points for doing that?

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      I just had my IHG declined, error message on rev actually says ‘oops something went wrong card is not supported ‘ though that could be generic

      • Andrew M says:

        I had something similar when trying to top up Revolut with IHG recently. You’ll probably find your IHG card has been blocked due to this “suspicious” transaction. I had to talk to Creation’s security department to get my card working again. No problems with Revolut top ups since then .

  3. Nick M says:

    Marriott redemption changes…

    I’ve had the email telling me that my points booking at the Langley at the end of this month needs to be postponed… I booked in September last year before the category/rules changed… am I right in thinking that they should still be able to honour the rate of 35k points?

    From initially querying it, they have suggested that it should be 50k points/night… From memory, I booked early enough to retain the advantages of the older rules – have I messed up somewhere or is it worth going back and arguing the case that it should be the lower rate?

    • Harry T says:

      I think Marriott terms and conditions would not be in your favour. But you could ask the hotel nicely.

    • Stanley says:

      I just replied asking to move to a date in december. think i paid 35k originally too. its been updated in my account to reflect the new date. no extra points have been taken from my stash…..

      • Might want to be a bit careful here as I’ve had a Marriott hotel deduct extra points from my account on the date I checked out from a stay when the points rate changed after I’d booked. I’d had the original points deduction done on booking and, in that incident, explicitly asked if the points value would remain the same and been told it would. As I’d been told that (and had it in writing) I did get the extra deduction returned but it took a lot of ‘discussion’ to get the points back.

        • Stanley says:

          Thanks for heads up.. Email reply from them doesnt mention additional points. I’ll save that to use if I have to. Dont want to poke the bear and ask the question now….

    • They would not honour the 35k rate for me and insisted I pay the extra, so I ended up cancelling.

      It is stupid because Marriott pays them the same amount irrespective!

      • Jonathan says:

        They’ve been pestering me daily to rebook or cancel for a stay next weekend. The lady did say a move would be more points but I didn’t push it as was waiting to see if anyone here had any luck. Has anyone raised with Bonvoy? Will probably just cancel if it’s 50k.

        • I had a 2 night stay moved from May to August (just waiting for that to be cancelled now!). There was no mention of extra points being required and none were deducted from my account when the new booking appeared. I am inclined not to mention it in the event of another re-booking, then if they try and deduct extra points after a new stay, I can argue that I was not made aware of the requirement to use extra points.

    • Email from Langley yesterday:
      We are continuing to offer our guests postponements or full refunds for pre-paid reservations . Kindly respond to this email to advise if you wish to postpone your reservation until further date or if you would like to cancel your booking altogether. Please note that the hotel may only re-open in November 2020 and should you wish to postpone your reservation, we would recommend selecting a date after November 2, 2020. Additionally, the number of Marriott Bonvoy points required for the new dates may vary from the number of points required at the time of booking.

      Suggests to me if rebooked, the points delta will be deducted/reimbursed.

      • Stanley says:

        Yep. I got this email, and replied with my new chosen date. They have confirmed the new date and havent mentioned any extra point cost.

      • I assume I’ll be getting this soon then. What would happen if you emptied your Bonvoy account of points prior to Marriott trying to take them?

        • Stanley says:

          I have a feeling i booked pre price hike, so maybe my 35k booking shows as a 50k value in there system now. so no further points taken

  4. Aston100 says:

    points & cash bookings.
    I was casually looking through some countries at random, looking at reward night bookings, specifically at the points + cash rates. The cheapest price for the points I could find was an Intercontinental where paying cash for 20k’s worth of the reward night points would cost £94 (0.47p per point).
    I’ve seen a couple elsewhere for £73 for 15k points (0.486p per point).

    Has anyone seen anything better in recent times, and where please?


  5. Question for a friend booking reward flights:

    Looking at Taxes and Fees, two one ways are much cheaper (Asia destinations, open jaw).
    If she books the outbound online can she call up to book the return without it repricing to the higher return?
    If not, can she book two one ways and call up to link them after to get protection in case one leg is cancelled? Or is it a case that to get the benefit of the lower taxes of two one ways she has to accept the “risk” of bookings not being linked?

    I always book a proper return as I am using a 2-4-1 voucher and I know they allow “joining two one ways” for that but in this instance they don’t have one.

    • If you try linking two separate tickets into one PNR I think BA will reprice as a return and you may find you have to pay more in taxes. You can certainly book two one ways but I don’t think you can link them afterwards. I think you can even book the inbound one-way online as well, no need to phone to do it. The only risk you have is having the outbound cancelled but then you can still cancel the return at a cost of £35 per passenger. That would be cheaper than paying the higher taxes on a return starting in the UK.

    • The last time I asked BA to join separate bookings they refused outright. However, as long as I’m not paying over the odds for the taxes I’m usually quite happy to leave it as 2 one-way flights as I may want to change my departure point on one of the legs and it saves the trouble of cancelling and re-booking the whole thing with no guarantee of all the required seats becoming available again.

  6. Jamie says:

    Saw some whispers that BA are back to £1 cancellation fees for reward (RFS) flights? Is this true or will I be whacked with £35?

  7. Steve R says:

    Just tried to “book” our RFS flights LGW to Dalaman in August. Still showing in manage my booking, but if you actually try & book the flights nothing showing at all for August, just LHR

    • Jonny says:

      My flights to Crete at end July / beginning of August have just been shifted to Heathrow.

    • Graeme2 says:

      I just got a “Seat changes for British Airways booking xxxxxx” email for my flight from Faro to Gatwick in late August, and on logging in to MMB in fact what has changed is that original flight shows as cancelled and I am booked on a new flight at the same time and with the same flight number as the original but from to Heathrow instead.

    • ankomonkey says:

      BA fly LHR-DLM and LGW-DLM, so it’s an easier swap for them than routes that are ex-LGW only. So they may be planning to move you to ex-LHR.

    • Stanley says:

      Had same issue with Palma flights in August…. Just got the cancellation email today though. Called BA, and changed to Heathrow at a time that suited better… Also let me change outbound from Heathrow…. took 10 minutes on phone. Very good service.

  8. walle says:

    Morning all. We were meant to go to Greece leaving from Heathrow on July 9th. Now that Greece presumably has banned any travelers from the UK till July 15th what do you guys think would be the best options going forward. At this time BA has yet to cancel the flight. I guess an option besides canceling entire trip would be to fly to intermediate country (Germany) and then take a flight to Greece?

    • I would hope for the sake of the Greek nation that Greece isn’t run by people stupid enough not to have considered this get-around!

  9. Hi – my BA flight to Crete in August has now been moved from Gatwick to Heathrow (and have received an email from BA with the new departure details). I am not planning on travelling anyway but does this give me grounds to cancel and receive a full refund? It was an avios booking. Thanks

  10. My latest dilemma for my trip to Japan next summer concerns our flight from KIX-BKK. Normally I would pay cash on Air Asia X premium, however, the flight is just over 5h so I’m now contemplating just trying JAL Y as it is only 13,000 avios/person. It is a 787 with only 8 across in 2-4-2 configuration as opposed to the usual 9. Reviews seem to suggest JAL has the best economy class around, but I was just wondering if any HFP readers have flown it? On a flight of this duration I am not convinced the regional J is worth three times as much and PY isn’t available on the route from KIX. The spanner in the works is the schedule, the flight leaves at 1am. I would definitely try it if it was a daytime flight but at this hour I’m not so sure. On the other hand, the short duration does not lend itself to a decent sleep in J either. Grateful for any thoughts from our community.

    • ankomonkey says:

      My wife and kids have flown it during the day in Y and it was perfectly acceptable. With J redemptions costing 3x the price of Y, they felt the Y flight was fine for that length of time compared with 3x for a bit of extra comfort.

      • Thanks, I’ve gave it some further thought during the day and economy feels like the right fit in the circumstances.

    • Nick_C says:

      I did a short domestic flight in Y on JAL in December (HND to ITM) and was very impressed. Free soft drink, free WiFi, and free IFE. This was on a new domestic 787 with a 3-3-3 configuration. 2-4-2 on a long haul JAL 787 should be good.

      But I also did HKG to NRT in J on JAL. It was amazing. If you have enough Avios, I recommend using them on JAL J class.

      • Cheers, Nick. My thinking is that by 1am I might be too grumpy to appreciate any sort of service but we’ll see. Obviously I would prefer J but the extra 50k between us could go far on another flight too.

  11. Anyone had any luck using Curve Blue for a mortgage overpayment?

    • It will depend on your mortgage provider. Mine only takes payments from UK bank accounts, so no points-earning for us 😤

    • Genghis says:

      Halifax take payments by debit card. Don’t know if Curve accepted. Give it a try.

    • Dezbez says:

      Ok. I realise Ed I’ve jumped on your mortgage post for which I don’t have an answer, sorry! But it is related…. has anyone got experience of using Curve for gambling websites eg Paddy Power? Credit cards treat them as cash advances, debit cards no consequence. How about Curve?

      • The Urbanite says:

        Gambling is banned with Curve – you have to ask them to unblock that category of transaction.

        Pretty much every credit card will charge a cash advance and immediate interest on gambling transactions. Or at least they used to, before the government slapped a ban on using credit cards to gamble back in April 2020.

        If you want to do that, best off doing it direct with a debit card!

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