Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Monday 6th 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 (145)

  • TomD says:

    A weekend trip to Marseille provided a tale of two very different experiences.
    BA; really trying to adapt to the new circumstances. Lots of procedural changes, all of which appeared to be aimed at providing a safe travelling environment. All credit to that amorphous blob so often referred to as the “management” and currently suffering a deluge of criticism. The crew and ground staff, despite their uncertain future, were an absolute pleasure. Each and every one appeared to be delighted to be back. 4.5 stars out of 5
    Heathrow Airport; metaphorically struggling “to get out of bed”. Despite a terminal which was near empty, the queues for security stretched right to the boarding pass scanning machines, causing a blockage just past the barrier. Snaking queues thereafter with questionable social distancing, which appeared not to be because of delays in baggage and people scanning, but just insufficient resources, with many scanners closed. All Fast Track closed. I saw no sign of a cleaner the whole time I was there, despite there being multiple unavoidable touch points such as lift buttons, escalator handrails, baggage trollies etc, (to be fair there was a bottle of sanitiser near the trollies at baggage collection in a sort of half hearted serve yourself attempt, but heaven knows how you would use the spray without contacting the trigger, thus nullifying the efficacy) all in an environment (with a melting pot of travelling people) which must be considered high risk. 1 star out of 5
    It’s almost as if BA were fighting for survival and Heathrow know their future is certain so can provide the absolute minimum of resources – but then that would be cynical, wouldn’t it?

    • Darren says:

      Interesting comparison.

      Why pay for a cleaner when you can plonk a bottle of hand sanitiser on a shelf.

      • Lady London says:

        Weird. There were generally cleaners around before.

    • Ralph says:

      You mention fast track being closed – that is a BA issue, not Heathrow Airport who just manage/operate it for BA (or any other airline) upon airline request/payment. BA is saving money by not providing fast track. This will probably change as AA, AY etc move to T5 and can presumably share the cost.

    • eligold says:

      If you’re about to sanitize your hand with Bacteria killer, who cares if you need to touch the pump to do so?
      though in Ikea they had a pretty cool auto spray sanitizer all over the store

  • AJA says:

    I had my Avios RFS using 2-4-1 Amex voucher outbound flight to Tenerife from LGW cancelled and immediately replaced by an identical flight number flying from LHR. I want to go but my OH doesn’t so now looking at getting a refund.

    The email says I have to log in to MMB to accept the change. I have not done so.

    Can I get full refund because BA cancelled or does the fact that the flight number remains the same mean I will have to pay £35 per passenger?

    • Anna says:

      Is there a significant time difference between the new and old departure times? (I think it’s 2 hours for BA). Otherwise you might struggle to get BA to cancel for free as they class both airports as London. However, you could get a future travel voucher which will preserve your avios and cash and also extend your 2 4 1 until April 2022.

      • AJA says:

        Hi Anna, flight departure time difference is 30 mins. So that doesn’t help me.

        Strangely return flight is still showing as arriving back at LGW. Waiting a couple of weeks to see if that also changes to LHR and hoping my OH changes attitude and decides to go.

        Also trying to figure out if hotel is open. Nothing received from them to indicate it is, received an email when they reopened properties on mainland which specifically said only they were opening at that point. Hotel booking is fortunately fully flexible pay at hotel and can cancel for free 14 days before check in.

        If I have to pay £35 per passenger it won’t be the end of the world. Would rather have refund rather than FTV as expiry of 2-4-1 is early 2022 anyway.

    • Luckyjim says:

      A flight from a different airport is clearly not the same flight. Phone them up and ask for a refund.

      • EJH says:

        Yes, I’ve been refunded twice on this basis (LGW/LCY to LHR switch)

      • AJA says:

        Thanks both. That’s good to know. I will let you know how I get on.

      • Lady London says:

        Yes. Who knows your circumstances and how much longer it would take you compared with currently to get to a different airport. Everyone has reasons why it only fits for them to reach their existing airport om the day.

    • Genghis says:

      I cancelled a RFS flight originally departing from LGW that had moved to LHR today. Avios and 241 (needed to burn it) returned within minutes and all cash due supposedly within 3 weeks but others report it posting sooner.

  • Nikkei says:

    Data point for AMEX platinum –

    Called in to cancel got offered 20k (called Friday 11pm spoke to Manila) points added this morning. I upgraded the card from gold charge just before the £100 cash back offered appeared.

    Anyone cancelled (relatively soon after) receiving points?

    • Andreas says:

      Out of interest – how long have you held the platinum card for?

  • Stanley says:

    Anyone used their MR points to pay amex bill…. Just used a few thousand for a statement credit. My MR total has gone down, but account still shows as the payment being due. Any ideas how/when they apply the credit? thanks

  • Steve R says:

    RFS flight on 4th Aug was cancelled last week & we have received the Avios back. We will re-book for end of July 2021, next month

    Will this work?

    Rob can we get to the source document in case the staff at BA are not aware?

    • Steve says:

      You’ve called them and got your refund back, so no that option won’t work. That was only if you didn’t take your points back

    • Rob says:

      There is no source document – it is not a publicly stated policy. However if Manage My Booking behaves you should be able to make the change online. For First Class bookings (I know this isn’t you) google the You First number and call them – no queue and it is done immediately.

      • First Class Fiona says:

        YouFirst: 0161 448 3013

        I spoke with the team today and shifted a F booking from MIA to KUL. Very professional and very quick. Back to the champers now, darlings x

  • Jody says:

    Booked return flights to Sydney for next year back on 24th June. It was changing an existing booking, and was told the extra taxes would be debited in 2-3 days. However, they still haven’t appeared on our amex card. The booking is all correct in manage my booking (albeit it shows as having no luggage allowance at all which is a bit weird). Haven’t had an e-ticket through though. Do I need to contact BA about this?

    • memesweeper says:

      if it hasn’t shown up within two weeks of departure, yes. otherwise, hang tight, it’ll likely appear eventually 🙂 If I had a reason to call up BA anyway I might mention it, but I wouldn’t suggest putting yourself through the calls queues now if you don’t need to.

    • AndyW says:

      I have something very similar with the return leg on a 241 that I booked over the phone. Funds haven’t been taken though the avios have, and manage my booking, though showing the flight is a bit odd, with regards luggage as you I’ve above, and also seat selection not being available (even as a pay option).

      • Jody says:

        I’ve got the same with seat selection too. Glad it isn’t just me, seems like BA IT needs to do a bit of catching up.

        Flights not til Jan (if it even goes ahead at all) so will leave it for now.

      • u old git says:

        Andy I had this issue earlier in the year. They had not actioned the security number for my card. When I spoke to BA they confirmed that the booking was safe but that someone would ring from the payments team. I cannot remember how this was resolved, i.e whether I rang payments or they contacted me but giving them the security number is all that it took. to sort. They did take the number at the time of booking but somehow “lost” it.

        • Jonathan says:

          When you change a ticket BA will do an authorisation on your card to check it’s valid & details match (similar to car hire companies with a deposit) but won’t process the transaction as it’s the ticketing team who work out how much you owe for taxes & change fees etc.

          The problem occurs when they don’t do the calculation & bill your card within 2 weeks as the card companies will only hold an open authorisation for 2 weeks. When the ticketing team do the calculations & attempt to bill your card in this scenario it will fail. They will then call you to get details & reprocess payment.

          The risk is if you don’t answer when they call or contact them the e-ticket will never get issued. There are stories of people who think they’ve got away without paying Taxes/Surcharges as flight still visible in MMB etc. only to find they arrive at airport for flight home (most common scenario where this occurs is after adding return leg using 241) & they aren’t allowed to board flight. No e-ticket number, no boarding. If this is a long haul flight & the BA ticketing team aren’t in the office you’re stranded until you can call & pay the balance.

          Accepted wisdom if the payment isn’t taken within 2 weeks is to a) answer the phone when they call or b) call them to chase when it gets to 2 weeks before departure. There’s no point chasing until ticketing team have done the calculations though and their queue is dynamic, with priority based on departure date, so in times like these it may not be till shortly before departure date that your ticket is issued.

  • memesweeper says:

    Extraordinary result with a last-minute cancellation on Avios, which I assume is a policy that carries over to cash bookings too. I needed to cancel three flights, one was an Avios booking early the following morning and check-in was already open. I expected to loose my Avios and money on the one with less than 24 hours notice, but was told I could still apply online for a future travel voucher. So I did, and it worked (thankfully I had not checked in). Hope this helps someone from now until whenever BA close that loophole…

  • pin perl says:

    Anyone know what the rules are for cancelling a ticket with sapphire status on world world?
    Any fees?
    Also, does everyone that’s booked together with me i.e. on 1 booking get the extra luggage benefits?
    Can someone maybe provide a link with info please?

    • Alex M says:

      I vaguely remember that BA changed their policy few years ago and only status holder now gets extra suitcase. I would double-check that with ba.

      • ChrisC says:

        No need to check with BA.

        It clearly states in the link that everyone on the booking gets the extra bagagge allowance.

        The exception is with HBO / basic fares.

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