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.

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/2020/07/12/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-sunday-12th-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.

Old chat threads are hidden from the HFP home page.  If you want to look for something in an old thread, click here.  This brings up all the articles in our ‘General’ category which includes the chat threads.

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Comments

  1. 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.

    • 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%

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

  2. 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?
    Thanks,

    • 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

    • 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 ?

    • 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…

  5. 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?

    • 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.

      • 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 🙂

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

  9. I cancelled the wife’s Gold Card in January, applied for a new one in June and got the “spend £3000 in 6 months and get 20,000 MR points”. This has just triggered, being aware that Rob suggests that MR points are more valuable than Avios and recent comments here that this bonus might be removed should I place these points out of harms way by transferring to BAEC or as they are now showing on my account am I safe to let them remain until I have a use for them or am about to close the Gold card?

    • Harry T says:

      Sounds like Amex IT didn’t pick up that your wife wasn’t eligible for a sign up bonus. Probably just keep it to yourself and see if it works with other card bonuses you’re not eligible for!

    • They are safe, never heard of a bonus being removed.

    • Lady London says:

      better to take out the lowest level of Amex card, say Green /ARCC, then transfer your MR’s to it before you cancel the Gold. That way they remain flexible. Piling them into avios if you havent a specific immediate use for them is a far worse choice. You never.know what might come along that would be a better use of those MR’s.

    • TedL, that’s the news I am looking for. I and my partner got the gold credit card in March. The “bonus” you mentioned above does not show up on my tracking bar but does show on my partner. I have just met the £3k over this weekend. Can you advise if you receive any email when triggering the “10k MR bonus”? and how long it took before post into your account?

      I hope AMEX IT still has not picked this up. 🙂 Plan to transfer straight to avios. 🙂

      • @Vit, the spend that put me over the £3k was last Thursday, was pending till yesterday and the points were there this morning.

        • Thanks TedL. I guess as soon as the spending is clear, the point should be in rather quickly then.

  10. This may have been covered before but looks like seat spy is having a number of problems. They’re calendar seems to only show availability until 8 June 2021. They’ve just sent me an alert about phantom availability in F for London – NYC. I.e. availability for everyday. Anyone else experiencing problems with them?

    • Slight edit to my previous post (aside from the typo) the calendar issue appears to be limited to certain routes for instance NYC, Washington, Rio but not Beijing or Edinburgh.

      • Louise says:

        Its showing loads of F seats to LAX, but they don’t exist when i try and book them on BA.

    • I’ve just had an alert for F availability in April next year that looks to be false – there was availability showing on Seatspy on a lot of dates

      • Also rang ba for phantom F availability following notification from seat spy!

        • I’ve had a response from seatspy. Appears linked to a beta test for offering one world availability alongside the BA flights. Hopefully they’ll address because no use for using a 241. May explain the limited calendar on some routes.

          • That would be brilliant if they can get it accurately (and be able to view only BA for 241 use)

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          Why waste your time & BA’s? Always check online

    • SeatSpy showing availability to the end of June 2021 for me.

    • John W says:

      I have received Seatspy alerts today for Business and First for the dates I was waiting for – upon investigation , it was not there in reality – Not sure what has gone wrong
      Reward flight saver has sent the same alerts so not only limited to seatspy !

  11. Berneslai says:

    What’s happened to the Lifetime status on the Marriott app? Are they no longer tracking years? It lists points and nights.

    Apologies if I’ve missed an obvious news item or message?

    • Tom H says:

      It’s there for me (just checked) when I swipe right on points activity screen. But what I would like to know is how long do I now have to achieve my next status? Ie to get the 21 nights to hit plat? End of calendar year?

      • Harry T says:

        @TomH
        Marriott status is based on calendar year, so you should have until the end of the year.

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