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The new HFP chat thread – Friday 3rd 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!

Comments (127)

  • eligold says:

    The BAPP 2 bonus points offer made a brief appearance on my timeline in the AMEX app, but with no option to save to card. I took a screenshot just in case.
    tried online chat, after beating round the bush he told me that i have to call up.
    i called after 10pm and waited 40 minutes for an answer, she then put me hold and after 10 minutes cut me off.
    This morning i called and got through immediately. he struggled to find the offer I was talking about. eventually he found it ad applied it to my card.
    He barely agreed to acknowledge that it’s an IT issue, wasn’t interested in adding the bonus offers for a purchase already made at M&S. hardly interested in helping
    and very not up to standard for AMEX. Shame

    • J says:

      They applied the offer to your card. Wouldn’t say it’s a bad outcome.

      • AJA says:

        But appalling customer service OP waiting 40 mins for call to be answered and then cutting them off after putting them on hold for 10 minutes. So many companies using Covid-19 as an excuse for sloppy customer service. I forgive them for the first month but it’s now approaching 4 months since lockdown and over half a year since it became the hot topic. Time to get their act together and sort out looking after their customers.

        • Harry T says:

          Really sorry to hear that. Completely at odds with the CS my gf and I have received during this period. May be worth complaining.

        • Aston100 says:

          For me, Amex have been one of the very few companies who have been excellent throughout this Corona crisis. I have contacted them many times, and with just two exceptions, I have received pretty much the outcome I wanted.

    • Lady London says:

      I think Amex is playing a dangerous game.

      It’s clear from multiple year feedback on here, that the certainty of receiving competent and flexible customer support from Amex UK has deteriorated considerably. Particularly if cardholders land with the Philippines call centre who do not seem to have the same access and knowledge as the local base in Brighton.

      Given the level of its fees, the problems where even pre-Covid :
      – customers found the lounge benefit was not able to be used in the UK
      – the switch to Axa :which seems to have made what is underwritten by the travel insurance on the card less useful to quite a few customers
      – combined with the recent hike in annual fee to £600

      With the benefits of the card not really calculating out as worth that fee as above, if Amex lets its customer service deteriorate further then I can see cardholders walking away in greater numbers from the Plat in particular.

  • flood says:

    @Rob – with the lack of cash coming in the door at the moment, any thoughts on why BA have not tapped the FF program by bonusing transfers from hotels, Amex, Tesco, etc?

    • Andrew says:

      I was wondering the same. Surely even a simple spend £100 get 1000 Avios on Amex like we saw in the autumn might get people booking. And Amex travel – spend £600 get £200 back would be good to see again.

      • J says:

        When the FCO advice changes I think more offers will come for leisure travel… But right now people booking with BA probably have some need to travel and are not price sensitive. I know at least that’s my own personal circumstance having booked a BA flight to London this week.

        • marcw says:

          I don’t think there will be for the summer. Winter is another thing, and I believe we’ll be bombarded with many offers… it’s gonna be a tough winter season for aviation and tourism industry, especially if borders will remain closed.

        • Rhys says:

          FCO advice due to change tomorrow…

          • Andrew says:

            My finger will be hovering over the offers tab on the Amex app!

          • Doug M says:

            Yes, just needs approval from Express and Mail and the the gov can publish.

        • Lady London says:

          They will, but at the right time where it will stimulate demand and when they are comitted to flying more planes they need to fill.

    • Andrew M says:

      I was expecting a bonus at some point on transfers from HSBC to Avios. They usually run for a calendar month and don’t get much official promotion so I made a test transfer on the 1st on July from HSBC to Avios to see if there was a July promotion. The Avios arrived with BAEC today with no bonus 🙁

      There was a bonus on transfers to Avios last August so fingers crossed for next month.

      • Axel says:

        HSBC Hong Kong are currently running a 35% bonus to Avios. So there is potential for a UK bonus. I’m going to wait until August

    • Rob says:

      I honestly don’t know, because historically – you’re right – this was an easy way to get a few quid in the door and kick the can down the line in terms of the value loss when they are redeemed.

  • Zark says:

    Does anybody have an email for somebody at Wizzair who actually replies?
    Web site customer relations simply repeatedly send confirmation that they will respond within 28 days. No responses after 2 months.
    Even tried emails to their CEO and UK GM -no reply.
    Have been trying to get a cash refund for cancelled flights for 3 months now.
    I do already have electronic invoices showing amounts to be refunded.
    Any ideas?

    • Matt says:

      Chargeback through your card – sounds like you’ve made plenty of effort to get the money from the company.

  • Rich says:

    I booked a BA Holiday in November for Jan 2020 travel under the double points offer. The flight Avios doubled up and logged just fine, but not the BA Holidays spend so I wrote to CS – but they apparently have no record of the promo, even though they must surely see the promo code logged against our flights? They now want proof of the promo – does anyone have anything from late last year?

  • Pauline says:

    I don’t get any offers on my BA amex card not even the shoo small! Have phoned 4 times and every time they say they will refer it to back office and I need to wait 7 days. I used to get them but all stopped about a year ago. Settings all checked but no apparent reason for it

    • Ja says:

      I didn’t get the shop small. I did an online chat and it was sorted within a few hours.

    • Relaxo says:

      Im getting no offers on my BA card since the lockdown. Previously used to get nearly every offer available. Did get the Shop small though so maybe there just arent any offers being pushed on that card at present?

  • Wally1976 says:

    Ok, it looks like I’m going to have to phone BA to accept the move of our flights from LGW to LHR (it throws an error if I try and do it online). Suggestions on the best number to call and the best time of day please!

  • Steve R says:

    I have 1000 AA miles that are about to expire, Does anyone know if i can transfer them to Avios? If so how, not bothered about the exchange rate

    • marcw says:

      I don’t think there’s an indirect way of transferring them into Avios.

    • AJA says:

      I wish you could transfer between BA and AA but you can’t. You can buy miles in their current promotion and get up to 45% off. Not sure minimum spend required. Or donate some.

    • Rhys says:

      Hotel transfers might be an option?

    • Blindman says:

      To keep them alive- so you can have more time to work out what to do-

      Just post a comment on one of the threads on the Blog at Award Wallet.

      Point post in a few dats.

    • Louie says:

      If you use Awardwallet, a comment on their blog will get you 5 AA miles.

  • marcw says:

    Secretary of State for Transport: “I’ll be publishing a list of ‘Air Bridge’ countries today in time for summer holidays – removing the need to quarantine for 14 days from specific destinations where the virus is under control and arrangements are in place.”

    Spain, Italy, France and Germany. Full list published later today.

    • Anna says:

      Only for England though!

      • AJA says:

        Not sure how Scotland or Wales governments would know about your travel if you arrive back at LHR and then have a separate booking between LHR and a Scottish airport. Or drive or catch a train from London to Wales. And bigger issue is travel insurance, apparently only Trailfinders is offering insurance that covers for Covid-19.

        • Reeferman says:

          Staysure is also offering COVID19 cover – albeit only if you catch it while away.
          Not as good as Trailfinders, but have just booked it for my in-laws who are 75+ as Trailfinders doesn’t automatically cover this age range

          • AJA says:

            If you don’t mind saying how much did you pay?

          • Reeferman says:

            It was an annual policy for “Europe including Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Malta, Morocco, Spain, Turkey and Tunisia” (odd range, but from their drop-down list). The premium was initially £157 but reduced to £133.50 as I kept it in my basket overnight at unexpectedly got a 15% off code.
            The person being insured has no medical conditions and was 78 years old

          • Andrew says:

            It would be really useful if Rob did an article about Amex Plat travel insurance, as lots of us have that and would be good to know where we stand, what’s covered, what’s not etc.

          • Rob says:

            We don’t do insurance articles because – as MSE explains in its insurance coverage far better than me – the documents are worthless. In general (and I have found this out numerous times), Amex will pay up IRRESPECTIVE of the policy rules. We have also seen this with corona where Amex has promised to pay up even though the document doesn’t cover you.

            Other insurers will try to avoid paying if you have made the slightest deviation from the rules – eg you didn’t disclose you have high blood pressure, so when your hotel room is robbed they don’t pay.

            Only trial and error gets around this. It’s why MSE’s recommended policy is Liverpool Victoria even though it costs over £200 and you could buy a cheap one for 20% of that, because LV always pays without quibble and generally gives you the benefit of the doubt.

          • Alex M says:

            If you booked your trip since pandemic was declared then you are not covered on covid related issues by Amex Plat, the rest of the cover is still there.

          • Reeferman says:

            Forgot to add (on the Staysure policy) that is was for 15 months – a “free” extra 3 months was part of their current promotion.

          • Louise K says:

            I was quoted £155 for the Trailfinders annual policy which covers £5k of cancellation. I am 46.

            Price rose to £255 when I added my hubby aged 55.

        • Yorkieflyer says:

          If I recall the Amex guidance correctly then Medical cover was included irrespective of booking date whereas cancellation cover was only existing bookings?

          • Andrew says:

            That should probably be the case as there is no requirement to pay for the trip with Amex for the medical insurance element, only the cancellation/curtailment/inconvenience element requires payment by Amex.

      • marcw says:

        Scotland and Wales will catch-up, don’t you worry Anna!

        • Anna says:

          I’ve booked my staycation in Northumberland so waiting to hear if we can have a day trip over the border! I am an avid fan of 16th century history and haven’t managed to visit Hermitage Castle yet, which is about 40 minutes from where we’re staying.

    • memesweeper says:

      New arrangements will be in place from the 10 July according to the minister on Today this morning.

      So, arrivals from the ‘green’ and ‘amber’ list countries on 9th July will be subject to (a) 1 days quarantine (b) 14 days quarantine ? The consistent/risk based approach would suggest (a) but what’s the betting the law says (b)? — I have an arrival scheduled for the 8th hence my keen interest!

      • memesweeper says:

        sod it — I’ve moved my flights back two days — not worth the risk

        • Rob says:

          UK quarantine ends on the 10th so anyone who arrives on the 8th has to quarantine for 2 days but that’s it.

      • Lady London says:

        what a farce.

        why doesnt the government just admit they missed the time when quarantine should have been required by at least two months and that doing it for the past month has been useless and prolonged economic damage.

        Completely incompetent and two-faced when for over 2 months they had multiple planes full of passengers arriving each day unfettered in the UK from pandemuc hotspots in other countries. Muppets.

        • Vit says:

          That’s what I keep saying to my partner as well as she has a political degree and probably appreciates these sorts of behaviour more than me but it seems to me that politicians may seem to think that admitting to the mistakes made them look bad or incompetent? In contrast, I think that admitting to the mistake (yours or not as a leader) and human being (regardless who you are) made you more attractive, being responsible and sympathised by the public. Most (if not all) politicians in Japan do that and also quit– to a degree that — they are encouraged to admit their mistakes but not resign from their posts!

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