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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: https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/07/02/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-thursday-2nd-july/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 (218)

  • Jeff 99 says:

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/check-never-leave-taiwan-offers-064424452.html

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

    Good God. How pathetic.

  • J says:

    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.

  • Heathrow Flyer says:

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

    • Rhys says:

      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.

      • Anna says:

        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.

        Great.

        • Anna says:

          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.

  • 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

  • Tom says:

    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.

  • 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?

    Tanks

    • Sean says:

      Do you want cream with that as well

    • AJA says:

      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.

  • Leo says:

    Sorry I have been living under a rock for the last 3 months – I’ve just had avios flights to Greece in September cancelled (after the June ones went as well). Bit early I thought. What is the score about reimbursement now. Do I get vouchers? I’d rather get my avios back to be honest…

    • Rhys says:

      You can get a full refund but you’ll have to call up.

      • Leo says:

        Oh Christ can’t bear the thought of that. Presumably I can phone up within 12 months of the cancellation? Currently it’s just the return flight cancelled – can I cancel the outgoing myself or should I wait a bit? Thank you Rhys for your help – this was from City airport btw. A friend just told me his July flight JMK to LCY also cancelled.

        • ChrisC says:

          You do need to call if you want a full refund.

          No need to call immediatly unless you desperatly need the avios back to book somwehere else.

          I got through in 18 minutes just after 7pm on Monday.

          • Leo says:

            Thanks for that – I’ll wait till I’m feeling a bit more robust!

          • Stu N says:

            Just call when you’re doing something else but can sit on hold for a bit but are ready to pick it up when answered.

            Once you get through, the refund proceed is quick and painless. No hard sell on vouchers or rebooking in my experience. Recently money has been coming back in 48-72 hours.

  • James says:

    Posting this on behalf of a friend who booked a BA flight through a 3rd party who are being rather difficult and saying they can’t get the voucher from BA. But does anyone know how BA handle people who are booked to the US? Obviously the FCO recommends against the travel and the US border isn’t open but what happens if BA run the flight? Will BA refund it, give a voucher or will it be lost?

    Thanks

    • Anna says:

      Even if the flight is running, your friend should be able to get a voucher from BA. Third party bookers are coming out of this looking like a very bad option compared with booking direct. Friend should possibly look at legal options, though if the flight is cancelled chargeback or S75 might be an option.

      • James says:

        Thanks Anna. I hate the fact he booked with a 3rd party, ignored my advice!