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The new HFP chat thread – Sunday 12th 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.

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Comments (122)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Simon says:

    This has probably been mentioned before so apologies but noticed BA are flying a 787 to Zurich on Thursday mornings, no first class though from what I can tell.

    Had my first post lockdown BA flight coming back from Zurich a couple of days ago. Thought they’d left little bottles of hand sanitisers on everyone’s seats, turned out to be gin! Vegetarian meals (sandwiches) were loaded for CE passengers but given out on a first come first served basis all special meal requests supplied in advance were ignored.

    • John says:

      Gin probably sanitises your hands too

      • Andrew says:

        A myth that was busted at the beginning of the crisis – it needs to be 70% alcohol for it to kill the virus (gin is around 40%). Antibacterial gel or wipes also have no effect as this is a virus not a bacteria. Buy a 70% alcohol sanitiser or don’t bother.

        • mr_jetlag says:

          wipes still useful as they agitate and destroy the viral envelope. Need a good scrub of the surface same as with hand washing.

        • Lady London says:

          so switch to vodka then?
          Vodka seems to run up to much higher proof levels including over 70%.

          • Alex M says:

            No! Vodka must be 40%, as Mendeleev has discovered, else it’s not proper vodka.

          • Chris says:

            No need to switch to vodka. Strane Gin weighs in at a red hot 76%

    • Anna says:

      A sad sign of our times that people would rather have hand sanitiser than gin 😥🤣

  • Owain says:

    Does anybody know how POUs work with the ‘Book with Confidence’ scheme on BA?
    I’m being offered a good price for an upgrade, but there is a real chance I will have to cancel (either my destination won’t have fully reopened by then, or the event I’m travelling for will be cancelled), in which case I would plan to take advantage of the Book with Confidence guarantee to get a voucher for the cost of the underlying booking, but would I lose the cost of the upgrade in that situation, or is that included in the voucher?

    • Nick says:

      The voucher is the sum of the total paid in the booking, easy as that.
      The one thing to watch out for though is that a true POU is only the upgrade fee, but any other kind of upgrade is a ‘change’ to your booking which will incur a reservation/change fee. This is never refundable and won’t be included in any voucher. Read the ‘tax/charge breakdown’ clearly before paying to know whether this applies here or not.

      • Owain says:

        Thank you very much indeed – and yes, this a POU being offered in MMB, but you are quite correct about checking the tax/charge breakdown, I’ll make sure I do that.

  • Jonathan says:

    Sunday Times Business reporting Virgin Atlantic has nearly finalised a £1bn bailout. £200m each from from Branson and a US hedge fund secured against Heathrow landing slots. This then allows it to release cash from credit card companies.

    Also a pledge to return to profitability by 2022.

  • Tom1 says:

    For the first time for a long time, I have a tax bill to pay HMRC this year.

    I know I have a long time yet, but as it stands, the only way to do this to maximise points is Curve metal?

    Bill hop still working but with a fee?

    • Jon says:

      Billhop fine but expensive.
      Curve will do it for 1.5% unless you are a subscriber (your bill would have to be a lot to make this worthwhile)
      Revolut can be used to send a bank transfer, and if it is a Visa card many do not charge a fee and get points.
      I believe the Lufthansa M&M Carr can be used without fee as officially it is not a credit card. Maybe others would be able to comment?

    • Sundar says:

      Loaded Revolut ?

    • Jon says:

      Forgot to add billhop accepts Amex. This ,at make it worthwhile if you’ve got a spend £4000 get 20,000 points offer you otherwise wouldn’t be able to get…

  • YC says:

    Marriott dropping elite nights into accounts. Still confused if it should be based on current status or your 2019 status. I got nights based on current elite status.

    Anyone got similar experiences or otherwise?

    • ao40 says:

      Neither – its based on the status you earned by the end of 2019. That might be same as your current status, assuming you have not gone up a level since then.

      • BLT says:

        With Marriott I’ve ended up with 10 nights from the creation card, 15 nights from Amex and 13 nights from being gold. Rarely stay in Marriotts but 11 more nights gets me platinum and 5 suite nights!

    • Doreen says:

      I posted a comment when first announced wondering would I get 25 nights (had stayed 50 in 2019), or 38 as I got soft landing from Ambassador to Titanium… answer … 38 nights deposited 🙂

      • Harry T says:

        @Doreen – result! Congrats.

      • Pangolin says:

        It seems to be based on status awarded (ie w/ soft landing) rather than status earned.

        I had 35 nights in 2019 (enough for Gold) but was given a soft landing from Titanium to Platinum.
        I was wondering whether I’d get 13 nights (status earned) or 25 (status awarded via soft landing).

        Turns out I got 25 nights 🙂

  • Chris Heyes says:

    Bit of advice appreciated please ?
    Was Platinum did some referrals, got points, also got 15k retention bonus
    Then i downgraded to BA Premium, Partner to Gold Card did supplementary cards trick
    (i now have 5/6 supplementary cards family)
    Some of the Referrals are BA Premium, some are Gold (all Family)
    My Question is could now (or sometime later) Referrer a Gold Card member for BA Premium
    at the same time ie holding BA & Gold at same time or would t be better to just cancel Gold then do it
    Also how would Amex view my activities ?
    Thank you

    • Travel Strong says:

      If you are asking if you can refer people for multiple cards, and if they can hold multiple cards off the back of a referral – Yes, and Yes you would get the referral bonus points, up to the max yearly allowance.

      They may want to leave a gap between applications, but there is no fixed rule on this.

      • Chris Heyes says:

        Travel Strong @ Yes that was what i wanted to know
        Thanks, that answers my questions perfectly thanks

  • FM says:

    Has anyone had any luck obtaining a further extension on their IHG credit card night? We were booked to use ours this month and they’ve been extended to the end of the year but I don’t see is using them before then.

    • Peter K says:

      It’s a book by date, not a stay by date. So if it expires 31st December you can book into 2021 with it. If you cancel after the expiry date however it is lost.

  • Harry T says:

    I think Creation are blocking me from using my free IHG rewards card through Curve, after spending the lavish sum of about £220. Does anyone know the best number to call so that I can speak to someone at Creation who isn’t an idiot? Maybe the fraud team?

    • Doug M says:

      I had a call from them (Creation) yesterday that went to voicemail, from the Security department, sure it’s legit as confirm by an email to the correct address. The security team are on 0371 376 1489, but only work weekdays. The voicemail did say to call the number on the card, so maybe do that.
      I’m not sure if they’re unhappy with my spending pattern, or a transaction they declined for $79 to a company in Florida where I was buying some barcode software. I think it’s the spending pattern, and the decline on the $79 transaction (on Friday) was because they’d already blocked the card and not communicated it to me.
      Lloyds blocked my old Avios earning card without telling me, I found out at Hertz in Orlando, it’s annoying they do that. They pester you have all sorts of contact details, and then can’t even send a warning text or email.

      • Harry T says:

        Sorry to hear about your difficulties, Doug. I hope it gets sorted soon. Thanks for the number – I’ll give them a call tomorrow when they are back at work.

    • Kevin says:

      I got a phone call from creation 2 weeks ago indicated that my card was being compromised (without provided much detailed) and got to stop the card with a replacement one. It arrived 3/4 days after.

      from your report, it may seems that creation cards are being targeted due to .??

      • Harry T says:

        They haven’t actually contacted me to tell me the card is blocked but it certainly is. No-one appears to be working the weekend either at Creation. I haven’t bothered talking to the emergency team because it’s not vital that I use my Creation card today. I have literally topped up my Revolut card with a couple of hundred quid via Curve.

        • Anna says:

          Harry T, why are you using Curve as an extra layer in these transactions? Just top up straight from IHG to Revolut and pay it off as soon as it clears. No limits at the moment, other than what Revolut sees as reasonable before it starts asking questions.

          • Harry T says:

            @Anna – it seems to avoid getting charged any fees or interest at the moment due to the MCC Curve is using for all transactions. When you say pay it off when it clears, do you mean when the charge actually appears in recent transactions? Seems to take while to do that.

          • Anna says:

            Yes, although if you I’ve noticed that if you have a credit balance you can effectively pay it more than once so you end up in credit (and paying less or no interest). What I’m finding is that you can’t pay more than the balance these days, but if your balance is still showing the day after you paid it off, you can pay it again!

          • Pangolin says:

            Anna, IHG top-ups direct from Revolut no longer work for me. The reason is that my address for Revolut (based in Poland) is different from IHG (UK address). This didn’t used to be a problem but it is now.

            I even tried changing the address of my IHG card to match Revolut. Result? Creation blocked my card and I had to jump through a few hoops to get it re-enabled.

            If I top up via Curve Metal I don’t have this issue.

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