The new HFP chat thread – Thursday 2nd July

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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!

'My Favourite Hotel' review - The Peninsula, Tokyo
What are the best credit card sign-up deals for July? - plus your news round-up

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  1. Michel29 says:

    Any help would be appreciated here. I had a return flight booked for my family LHR – LAX at the beginning of August with Virgin Atlantic booked with Flying Club points. My first leg was moved from a morning to afternoon flight sometime last week. Now my account is not showing this flight anymore, rather it is showing OPE – NKT on December 31st at 12.00 with the same booking reference.

    I would obviously like to cancel this flight and would like to know what the most convenient way of doing this is. Texted them a couple of days ago that I wanted to cancel but have not yet heard anything back and apparently some people have been waiting for hours to speak to them over the phone. Anyone has a better way?

    In addition, I assume that because they moved my flight from a morning to afternoon one that I would be within my right to receive all my points and taxes back without incurring a cancellation fee. Can someone confirm?

    • You should get a reply to the text in the next 48 days (it took 3 days, I think, when I cancelled by text). Once they reply you are done and dusted within 10 minutes.

      • Michel29 says:

        Thanks Rob!

        Am I right in assuming that no £35 cancellation fee is payable considering they moved my flight?

        • Luckyjim says:

          I had a similar situation with Virgin. My flight was cancelled and we were all moved to a later flight. They initially tried to pass this off a ‘schedule change’. If the flight number has changes it is a good indicator that the original flight was, in fact, cancelled.

          I phoned up to request a refund. This was spproved with no fee but its now in a queue to be processed. It might take up to 8 weeks to receive the refund (of taxes and fees) and for my miles to be credited back to my account.

          • I was also told by Virgin it may take up to 90 days. I put in an S75 after 30 days, and promptly received the credit whilst Amex investigated. Dispute status eventually changed to ‘closed’

      • @mkcol says:

        48 days?!

    • Lady London says:

      yes you should get everything you paid back if they cancel and defo no change fee

  2. Andrew says:

    See above thread – the staff have been recalled for training and the South lounges will be opening ‘soon’. But Concorde Room won’t be reopening for now, but a Concorde Bar (like in Dubai etc) has been created on the balcony of the First lounge – so presumably you can still get a glass of LPGS but won’t get fine dining and have to make do with the burger.

    • I hope it’s open by next April! It was bad enough having to move our F flights from MIA to JFK so can’t now try the Cathay First lounge. 😪

  3. Graeme2 says:

    A question for any curve users who have a moment – I just tried to make a payment to NS&I for the first time. It came up immediately on the NS&I website as declined, but is still showing up on my Curve app as a transaction – is there normally a delay before the curve app reflects declined transactions? Sorry if this has been answered before – I’ve been reading these pages for a while but don’t recall this specific question.

    • Andrew M says:

      Was IHG the underlying card? If so, you might have to call Creation and have a chat with their Security Department to get it unblocked. You could try a small transaction with IHG on it’s own to confirm whether or not that is the issue.

      • Graeme2 says:

        I was trying to use the Miles & More card – hoping that all transactions being passed through as MCC 6999 at the moment would allow it to work. I’m still quite a novice, so I guess I got the wrong end of the stick on that.

    • Genghis says:

      NS&I website relies on cookies and very occasionally occasionally it shows as declined on website and email confirm even though payment was actually taken. A rec is performed at t+1 so if not showing at t+2 but monies taken from card, you need to call up. It’s happened to me twice.

      • Nick_C says:


        NS&I website is very buggy. Failed deposits are normally credited credit next day, but sometimes refunded to the debit card.

        I generally use Chrome as my browser, but for NS&I I always use MS Edge and have the browser set to clear cookies on exit. Not had a problem since adopting this approach.

    • memesweeper says:

      I had a similar issue with NS&I and it got sorted out, by itself, in the end. The transactions just disappeared from curve and the underlying card.

    • Graeme2 says:

      Thank-you all for the feedback, much appreciated

  4. Reeferman says:

    Incorrectly posted this elsewhere – apologies for he duplicate
    Have an issue with a package holiday
    Am trying to help friends of mine who have a package holiday booked with Loveholidays for departure 14th July to Lanzarote. The flight is with Ryanair (I know!) and is operating.
    Loveholidays are unreachable (only responding to online chat which is impossible to connect with). I rang the hotel and they told me it is shut and they will be put in a sister property which, they say, is of a superior standard. This is not reflected when you search for the hotel online, however.
    The package holiday rules suggest you can cancel if there is a change of “resort” but it is unclear what is meant by “resort” – the “town” or the “hotel resort complex” for example?
    They have been forced to pay the final balance for fear of nullifying the contract (and as per Loveholiday instructions), but are not keen to go. Their original hotel was connected to a water park. The replacement one requires a (free) courtesy bus – more hassle with 2 young children.
    Anyone any thoughts on their chances of getting a refund (cash or credit)?

    • Lady London says:

      this sounds like really bad news. I would want out of this contract. Have you got the name and location of the hotel they are planning to substitute? I think you will find it is miles away and not near the amenities you chose your hotel to be near.

      Work out the differences and why the new proposed hotel is not suitable for *you*. Call the ATOL Helpline (i think there is one). Check your t’s and c’s in case there is anything there to bite you.

      I think I would pre-emptively send an email to hotel, package provider (if loveholidays was only a broker/agent) and loveholidays saying you have been informed the hotel you specifically chose as suitable is closed (dont give the reasons why suitable in this) and you therefore request a full refund within 14 days as per the package holiday regulations/ATOL and if this is not received in that time you will report them to the regulator and take whatever other action is necessary. State that in particular, you will not accept a change of hotel. Also refer to the fact that they have been impossible to contact despite several attempts.

      I’d probably also send a registered letter to loveholidays and the holiday provider (if different) with a signed and dated print of this as IIRC a registered letter counts as received in many circumstances even if not signed for. Check there’s nothing in their ts and cs about how to communicate with them that you’ve not done.

      Do the work above and then contact cardco for a chargeback or if that would fail a Section75

      • Reeferman says:

        Many thanks LL – very helpful, as always!

        Will follow-up on this as you suggest – albeit can’t send a registered letter to them as they are now stating the offices are closed and all such letters will be declined. What a Company!!

  5. Anyone used Santander consumer as car finance provider? Just noticed they accept debit/credit card for payment. I may switch DD to online payment if there is no additional charge for credit card or curve fronted.

    • Lee – yes, we have a biggish car finance agreement with Santander. After the first couple of DD payments I cancelled it and now make a monthly payment on my IHG card which obviously earns points. You just have to remember to do it each month! You need to find the “manage my account” page on the Santander website and follow the instructions, you need to enter your agreement number, date of birth and postcode and then it will ask for card payment details. Request an email confirmation so you have a payment trail in case there are any queries, but I’ve not had an issue in 12 months.

      • Great, thanks Anna.

      • Just tried to make a payment, I don’t have Agreement Number which is a 14 digit number beginning with 100. Seems Volvo car has different Agreement system.

        • It’s worth speaking with Volvo or Santander then and asking how you get round this. Santander accept credit and debit card payments (not Amex, sadly), this is completely separate from your agreement with Volvo. At a push you could get Santander’s bank
          details and transfer funds from Revolut if you use it.

      • Are you aware of any other car finance provider that accepts credit card as payment instead of DD?

        • Paid another car with curve today, it’s PSA finance. Hopefully no extra charge.

        • AndyGWP says:

          Audi (so probably all of VAG) do…

          … but annoyingly it’s not working for me on the website at the moment and they want me to phone to do it (just a hassle really so haven’t bothered)

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Bmw accepted Amex.

  6. Jeff 99 says:

    “Check in but never leave: Taiwan offers fake flights for travel-starved tourists“

    Good God. How pathetic.

  7. I’m not sure how many readers would still have the good old Post Office (no fx fees) credit card in their wallet/back of drawer, but they just emailed to say the card will soon be replaced by the Jaja Visa Credit Card. My instinct is to get it cancelled before the chance as I’ve never heard of Jaja. Does anyone know if it makes any sense to keep?

    • Reeferman says:

      Have also just received the email advice.
      The key benefit of using the card overseas without any forex fees seems to be retained BUT, instead of using the Mastercard x rate, the new card uses the “Payment Scheme Exchange Rate”.
      I have no idea what this is and whether it is therefore a “subtle” way of hiding fees.
      Hopefully someone will know – even if it means using the card for a trial purchase

      • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

        Visa is the payment scheme. I.e. it will use the Visa rate instead of the Mastercard rate.

        • Reeferman says:

          Thanks Andrew
          From what I remember reading on HfP previously, the Mastercard rate is generally a little better – but it’s only marginal, so not a deal-breaker

    • Travel Strong says:

      Personally, I would drop it and get Halifax clarity instead. It’s a direct swap for the post office card. MasterCard rates and no FX fee’s.

      The IT, app, and number of available customer services agents are all better with Halifax too.

  8. Heathrow Flyer says:

    UK Govt likely to allow travel to up 75 countries from Monday with no quarantine (Martin Lewis).

    • It would be nice if the government actually announced something rather than leaking it to the press and testing the waters to see how the public respond… ‘likely’ and ‘may’ aren’t very useful for booking actual trips!

      • Nick_C says:

        Wee Jimmy Crankie has been stamping her feet, and this has delayed things – according to (the impressive new) Times Radio.

      • I’m convinced they are deliberately kicking this further and further down the road in the hope that people will give up and book expensive UK breaks (because it’s the school holidays soon and prices are still astronomical), thereby keeping their money in the domestic market.

    • Travel Strong says:

      Hungary seems to be a bit of an anomaly at the moment – banning only UK visitors … open to all EU and EEA…. except UK! I wonder if they will be on the list of 75, and whether they will then allow UK also.

      • Jeff 99 says:

        Apparently (!) Australia will be on the list of countries which will no longer have FCO advice regarding non essential travel. So you won’t be allowed in but because the travel “ban” (it’s not a ban just advice) has been lifted you won’t be able to claim on your travel insurance.


        • Are there going to be many Brits with flights still booked to Australia for this year?

          • Jeff 99 says:

            No idea. It’ll certainly be relevant later in the year

            There’s other countries too to which this applies. Australia was just one example.

    • Lady London says:

      75 countries? Are there any others left?

      if they put the US on that list they’re nuts.

  9. tracy says:

    Anyone else having problems with using IHG card? Tried to use it through curve and on its own and declined both times last night and again this morning…..

    • Andrew M says:

      Have you topped up Revolut recently with IHG? That may have raised a flag with Creation and may require a phone call to get your account unblocked. That’s what I had to do.
      Others on here have also been reporting problems with declined IHG card transactions recently.

    • Luckyjim says:

      You might need to verify the card again with Curve following the move away from Wirecard. I didn’t have to do this with my IHG cards but I did with Virgin and HSBC.

    • @mkcol says:

      I had done for a week or so ending last week. Give them a call they should be able to sort it out over the phone.

    • Tracy says:

      Called IHG, looks like using new metal card for first time flagged a security issue, sorted quickly over phone

  10. I have the Virgin Rewards+ MasterCard and I’m just about to qualify for my 2nd voucher. Does anyone know if I am able to use both vouchers to upgrade 2x economy return flights to premium even if I (the card holder) am not travelling? I was hoping my wife and son could fly virgin and use the vouchers for for a return upgrade each. I am booking a trip for a family of 4 and need to travel with BA to use my 241 voucher with them.

  11. Stuart Evans says:

    I’m wondering if I can get BA to give me an even longer/upgraded extension to my BAEC status.
    I’m currently Silver, and my tier year ends Jan 21 and already have Silver status extended to Feb 22.

    In the current year, I already have 600TP (Qatar to Australia) but no BA segments. I had a round trip to Sweden (Bus/cash) booked for May and cancelled by BA. So I have flight details, Booking Ref and ticket No.

    We were also booked to go on a Med cruse at end July so had BA flights for this booked via the cruise company. I have the flight numbers, Booking Ref but no ticket number. I guess the flights are still going and the tickets would have been cancelled by the Cruise company rather than BA

    So these two trips would have given me the 4 BA segments to renew Silver given I already had 600TP. Do folks think its worth asking BA (and if so, what the best way of doing so) for a further extension of status to Feb 23?


    • Do you want cream with that as well

    • Personally I think you’d be pushing your luck. If you had done the 4 qualifying flights you’d be Silver anyway and might not have had any extension at all. But if you do want to try your luck I’d use the Contact Us webform and supply flight number details of the flights that were cancelled. I doubt you will get a positive answer. I think a better strategy would be to try get to Gold before your current TP year expires.

      • Lady London says:

        I think a better strategy would be to try to get Gold just after your current year expires.

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