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The new HFP chat thread – Friday 17th 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/2020/07/17/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-friday-17th-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.

Comments (112)

  • Louise says:

    I have an ( already extended ) 241 voucher that will now expire end of April 2021. I don’t think I am going to be able to use it. If I book for August 2020 and then cancel, will my voucher be for a 241 plus value of taxes where I will need to find availability again, or for a £ value? I think I’m being dense but I can’t get my head around how it works.

    • Colin MacKinnon says:

      Yes.

      I did this with a 241 which was extended six months by BA so it would expire in October – but I wanted to use it in December.

      So I booked an Edinburgh to London City for June 1st and when it was cancelled I chose a Future Travel Voucher – so the 241 and the Reward Flight Saver fee went into a voucher valid until 2022, I think.

      When I tried to book the 241 to SAN Diego was told I had to get the FTV issued first online, and when it arrived in my email (took about an hour) then phone back to make the new booking – Edinburgh-London- San Diego In First.

      Now the 747 to SAN has been scrapped!

      • Louise says:

        Thanks. So the FTV is effectively a 241 ( to 2022) plus the taxes and charges paid for whatever flight is cancelled ? So, do you think I still need reward flight availability to use it ?
        I have a FTV issued in the very early days of this with no value attached to it at all. It was a flight I’d booked for myself and my daughter from LHR but she was also flying from Leeds. I got a cash refund for the LHR JFK but an FTV in her name. I still have no clue how much that’s for.

        • Rob says:

          Yes. The vouchers are VERY restricted – good luck trying to change passenger names, add a 241, use it for an Avios booking when it was purely cash before etc.

          • Dave says:

            Can confirm that you need Avios availability if using a FTV which includes a 2-4-1 voucher

  • Harry T says:

    The security team at Edinburgh Airport are doing a great job. I’m very impressed. Lots of hands free hand washing stations too. I do think there needs to be a public health campaign about how to wear masks properly, as people seem to not understand the best way to wear them!

    • Andrew says:

      There has to be a first time for that. I’m sure the normality of the “Saughton Snarl” will return to EDI security in early course.

      I suspect the mis-wearing of masks is more a statement of rebellion than an issue with complexity.

    • John says:

      Agree. The bendy metal bit goes at the top over your nose not under the chin. How hard can it be?

  • Mark says:

    Is there any more indication when Barclays Premier might announce its tie up with Avios? I’m holding off switching banks to see what the offer looks like so any idea of timescale would be useful, thanks!

    • BS says:

      +1 waiting to close my HSBC account for their support of China over HK.

    • Rob says:

      We know but we can’t tell you. Sooner rather than later, although obviously you don’t do big launches in the middle of Summer ….

      • Sam says:

        How does the Barclays Premier compare against the HSBC Premier? Waiting to upgrade to the latter but HSBC aren’t taking any applications at the mo!

        • BS says:

          HSBC premier offers a bit more: travel insurance and access to avois earning cards. In exchange they need you to have an investment product with them rather than just a high income. They are also good at setting up abroad if there is an HSBC in the country you are going to.
          But they are very poor with international transfers outside the HSBC network with opaque high fees (more than double Barclays), and very poor savings/investment offering unless you want HSBC products or 0.1% on your cash.

          • Stuart Evans says:

            I think that’s broadly correct. But I would just add two things: (1) HSBC has a range of well priced ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) worth considering; and (2) having a Wold Elite Mastercard, which has an additional fee, gives access to the Lounge Key network of airport lounges. Stansted is our nearest airport, and that’s very useful for LCC trips to Europe

      • aDifferentSimon says:

        Has premier dropped the english heritage membership? Doesn’t seem to mention it anymore. Disappeared from the app too.

    • Aaron C says:

      I’m a current Barclays Premier customer and I don’t think you get much from it at present. Avios would be a great boon.
      I’m not a high demand customer so I’m not really sure what they offer. The only benefit I’ve used is the free international transfers and that is something I might do once a year or even less.

  • shd says:

    Q: Are there any IHG properties offering 5000 bonus points packages? Which ones? Am struggling to find anywhere with more than 1000 points on offer (two CP stays in the last month, both only offering 1000 points packages)

    Am toying with about trying to hold on to IHG status given the reduced requirements, but it’s a big ask without getting some more elite qualifying points…

    • Andy says:

      Almost all CP, HI, HIX are offering 1000, 2000 and 3000, but they seem to be capped at 3000. Indigo and Voco (and possibly more brands) are offering up to 5000. For example, 5000/night at Indigo Manchester is £19.40.

    • ChrisC says:

      Where are you based?

      When looking it seems to be very much destination, hotel and date dependent.

      Earlier this year I booked one IHG hotel in the US and 5k was offered but for a possible booking later in the year they only option offered was 1k and that was it.

    • Mark Peterborough says:

      The Holiday Inn Heathrow ( Ariel) does 4,000 point bonus point packages.

  • koroleon says:

    We are looking to book a trip during the current BA sale. We will be traveling with an infant but given the low prices we are thinking of booking a regular seat for her. How do we go about doing this? Is it fair to declare her as a child 2-11 (even though she’s under 2)? Or shall I call them to book the trip?

    • Anna says:

      I would call them – you will need to submit her passport details before you fly and you might have problems if it doesn’t match the original booking. Some airlines will let you book a separate seat for an infant, I don’t know about BA.

      • Chris Heyes says:

        [email protected] yes you can book a seat for a child even under two as long as the safety implications are sorted. you can also book a seat to remain empty (we did it years ago on BA)
        When seats only cost £10

    • Graeme2 says:

      Maybe it would be possible to book an extra (empty) seat (as can be done for a musical instrument e.g.) and then there would be some savings on the taxes?

      • ChrisC says:

        No don’t do that. It would disrupt the passenger counts for starters plus you’d have the cost of that seat plus the cost of the lap child to pay so you may even end up paying more than necessary.

        Always best to do these things properly rather than trust things will be all right on the day.

    • memesweeper says:

      Provided you don’t want a bassinet you can just
      book it with a age +1 year online. But why not call up? There’s no fee for booking it on the phone as what you want cannot be done online.

      • koroleon says:

        Thanks everyone for the replies. Us there any number besides the 0844 one to contact reservations?

        • koroleon says:

          Ok called the covid line and they connected me to sales. It’s definitely possible to book a seat for an infant – I think the option is called “in-seat infant”.

  • Vit says:

    Rob et all, sorry I asked this before regarding paying a private seller through PayPal using amex. Understood I will get charge by PayPal some amount as I try to set it up last night. It was around £14 for £2k which is fine.. What I’m not sure about is, will amex take this as cash advance and then impose another 3 – 4% fees? As if that’s the case I won’t be doing it.

    Thanks for any advice.

    • Michael says:

      Vit,

      Someone will correct me if I’m wrong but I’m almost certain Amex won’t charge you a cash advance fee. The most I’ve paid someone through PayPal with Amex is £1200, admittedly I paid it using ‘friends and family’ but I wasn’t charged a cash advance fee by Brighton.

      • Harry T says:

        I’ve only paid tiny amounts through PayPal but not been charged by amex.

    • Vit says:

      Thanks Gents. I will give it a try! 🙂

    • Mark says:

      You shouldn’t get charged anything if you are the buyer.
      Only sellers get charged a fee and that’s from PayPal.
      I’ve bought something for 3.5k ( a lawnmower) on PayPal and charged it to my Amex.

      • Vit says:

        Hi Mark, I will be paying the seller by transferring the money to his account. So don’t think he will get charge anything… I think.

  • Suzanne says:

    Is there a BA contact number that actually works? Need to cancel an Avios booking but the number doesn’t actually work when you follow the options through for an Avios cancellation (“we have a reduced call service at the moment… we are sorry but we are unable to take your call right now…”)

    • Andrew says:

      When you call, don’t press any options, just remain silent and you will be put straight through.

      • Anna says:

        However, you may then have a wait while they put you back through to the avios team!

      • Suzanne says:

        That was perfect! Thanks – was on hold for 30 minutes and they were able to deal with it straight away (no transferring to a different Avios team etc.)

    • Rob says:

      Don’t follow the options. Sit and wait. It gets answered.

  • LewisB says:

    Has anyone found out yet if a BA voucher can be used towards the taxes and fees of a companion voucher award booking?

    • LewisB says:

      I should clarify, the voucher is from a cancelled BA Holiday

      • Scallder says:

        Yes you can do this – I had a cancelled car booking with a voucher and managed to get this applied to the taxes on a redemption booking. However you’ll need someone from the holidays team to assist with this.

        One thing you can do (and may be easier), is book the reward flight and then ask for a refund of the fees and have the amount credited onto the new booking. I was originally told (by on-holidays staff) that you couldn’t apply voucher to reward bookings, so made the booking myself. Subsequently was told you could, so they did a refund to my credit card and transferred the amount over.

        • LewisB says:

          That sounds much easier. Using the voucher to cover my fees and taxes is the only way I can see me using my 241 before its expiry. Thank you!

        • Anna says:

          I did exactly the same – I had to make the new booking then email BA to ask them to apply the credit, which they did within a few days.

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