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The new HFP chat thread – Sunday 19th 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/2020/07/19/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-sunday-19th-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 (130)

  • Vic says:

    Hi all – just booked a BA Holiday to Cyprus in August, assuming Cypriot entry requirements change between now and then. I am trying to find out what the catering offer will be in Euro Traveller. On a 4.5hour flight is there something more substantial than a pack of crisps??

    • Vit says:

      Vic, not sure what has been changed since summer 2018 but both of my flights into LCA and out are regarded as “short haul” and therefore no complimentary drink or snack provided to Economy. I was informed by the crew that anything less than 5 hrs or 5.5hrs is regarded as short-haul. Quite horrible, honestly.

    • ChrisC says:

      there was a thread on here a few weeks ago on the current catering offer in all cabins

      IIRC in euro traveller you get a free bottle of water and a packet of crisps or similar (which is more than you got anyway under BoB)

      BoB is currently suspended

    • TGLoyalty says:

      My advice is stock up at Pret if you need something for the flight

  • eligold says:

    My Avios Lloyds upgrade BA booking was cancelled
    I pushed off calling Avios for the refund so that I have more time to use my voucher, assuming i’d get 3/6 months from re-issue.

    Just got this email from Avios:
    We need to let you know of a change that has been made to your booking as your flight has been cancelled.
    If you require a full refund all you have to do is reply to this e-mail confirming that is what you would like and we can process the refund.
    If a voucher has been used against this booking then these will be extended, to make another booking by 30th September 2020. This will be a book by date, not a travel by date.

    This doesn’t leave me much time to plan something new

    • meta says:

      Yes this changed sometime at the beginning of June. So unfortunately 30 Sep cut off.

    • Linda says:

      We also have an Avios Lloyds upgrade booking for early October, just cannot see this going ahead as it is to Vegas, were you given the option of having the 100% avois refund as we would like this option. During an online chat with them they said we could only travel not book by the end of October this year as the booking date of original was in October last year, which seems strange as you cannot fly to anywhere North America at the moment and that is where we would like to use it.

      So we are going to lose the advantage of the saving on upgrading from Premium to Club, we will get back money and original Avios through no fault of ours, all that spending on the Lloyds to achieve this was no mean feat as we are pensioners.

      • Anna says:

        Linda – cancel your husband’s basic BA card and you can refer him for another one when you start spending again.

      • meta says:

        Linda, I’d actually wait until closer to time. Flight might be cancelled and I am sure that by then the rules might change again. BA cancelled my June flights booked with Lloyds voucher only 10 days before and I called in 3 days before the flight. Otherwise if booked before corona, you might be able to claim the cost through insurance if BA/Avios refuses.

        • meta says:

          @ Linda, I’d actually call rather than do online chat. Some agents don’t know what they are talking. I booked my flights beginning of June 2019 and called in mid-June. So definitely outside original ticket validity.

    • Charlieface says:

      If you want the same route, EC261 says you can choose a date at your convenience. You will probably get pushback on this, but insist…

  • John Dodd says:

    Not sure where to post this but return from Malaga Club class as a silver card holder had no dedicated priority check in. 2 desks only. Told the VIP lounge open subject to numbers but on arrival told BA no longer accepted Only priority card or €35 cash each. Seen nothing from BA.
    Flight there on a new Neo good experience and crew only the way back great.

    • memesweeper says:

      Malaga lounge is a problem: some reports say no admission to passengers in club, but yes to silver/gold (and oneworld equivalent) status holders, others say no admission to any BA passenger without paying. BA in London say it’s open to their passengers. I’m passing through next week and hoping this is resolved by then. Although I can get in gratis anyway, I have companions I wanted to guest in.

      • Anna says:

        That surprises me, I would have thought there would be enough CE traffic to and from Marbella and Puerto Banus that there would be significant pressure on BA to sort this out.

      • Rhys says:

        I was in the Malaga lounge with Silver in February. Had my mum in with me, no problem.

        • Reeferman says:

          Same here – no problem in February (and for many years previous to that) – typically flying economy (to LCY) but with Gold status. Have always checked-in a guest too.
          Will be there next Sunday, so will see what happens.

        • memesweeper says:

          It’s a post-corona reopening issue. I suspect someone in BA HQ (who might be furloughed) hasn’t paid something.

        • marcw says:

          We are in july, and since COVID-19 and BA has cancelled all access to lounges operated by third parties, including the ones operated by AENA (like Malaga).

          • roberto says:

            Malaga lounge back open to BA passengers from the 20th of July.

          • marcw says:

            That´s what Twitter says. But previously, CS already said the lounge was accessible to BA clients. Wait and see what happens tomorrow.

  • Antony D'Emanuele says:

    Like a lot of people I suspect, I have now built up quite a negative Avios balance on my British Airways AMEX card due to refunds. I am not using this card at the moment, will this negative balance just stay there? No news on AMEX extending their double points Platinum offer, closes tomorrow. Are we likely to see a new offer or is this card now pretty redundant (and may as well cancel) given that travel restrictions are likely for the foreseeable future?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Yes will just stay there. Time to consider cancelling the card and starting again in a few months.

    • Linda says:

      We have had a negative balance on my husbands basic BA Amex card since March, we are only using mine as we get the extra slightly points on it BAPP, if our flights in October get cancelled we will have a lot more to use as with seat requests and maybe money back it will be £2500 in credit.

      So will not make this years 2-4-1 . We have been making do watching the Smithsonian channel and all the places we have been and would eventually like to go.

      • Anna says:

        Cancel your husband’s BA basic and refer him for a new one when you start spending again. As I understand, it doesn’t matter if you have a negative avios balance.

    • Benj says:

      I cancelled mine with a negative balance of around £2k. Just transferred the negative balance to Platinum card.

  • WoodyOpa says:

    Easyjet flights canceled at the end of August. Want a refund so have to call as only online options are voucher or flight change. I have been waiting for 50 minutes to be told they are very busy. I know they want to keep my money for as long as possible but an online refund option would be great and would massively reduce the call wait and allow them to support customers with flight issues better.
    My desire for a refund is being sorely tested by the torture of having to listen to the lousy music they are playing. Anyone advise, in their experience how long are call wait times for Easyjet and best times to call?

    • Rhys says:

      Try writing to [email protected] following these instructions:

      Subject Line : Booking Reference/Departure Date/EN

      • WoodyOpa says:

        Thanks Rhys,
        I’ll try that.

        Music appears to be on a 55 minute loop so gave up after 2nd helping of Rag’n’Bone Man…but at least I managed to prepare today’s roast dinner 🙂

        • WoodyOpa says:

          FYI
          I got this response after sending an email to [email protected]

          “THIS IS AN AUTOMATED RESPONSE – WE’RE SORRY, THIS MAILBOX IS NOT MONITORED
          We sorry, this email address is no longer in use and we have not received your email. The quickest and easiest way to request a refund is through our new dedicated Webform. Please visit our Help Hub to request a refund”

          The hub link https://www.easyjet.com/en/policy/coronavirus/online-support/q0 worked and after lots of prompts to take a voucher/ rebook I got to a refund request page – result.
          Thanks Rhys and Travel Strong

    • Travel Strong says:

      A refund request form was buried in the online option (for me), just a matter of asking to see the ‘other’ options and keeping clicking through pages saying you are really sure.

      They will still take months to send the money though, whether you requst by phone or online.

    • Martha says:

      I had to wait 1 hour and 50 minutes on Friday to get through to Easyjet. They cancelled on the phone and I received the money on my card within 2 days.

    • Michael says:

      I was on hold for two hours forty minutes. Finally got through and refund back on Amex a few days later.

      • Freddy says:

        If paid via amex I’d just raise a chargeback online if it’s that difficult to get hold of them. Amex credited by Ryanair flight refund instantly

        • OP says:

          Ryanair have now tried to contest both of my refunds this way by responding to Amex’ chargeback procedure with confirmations of voucher issuance… for vouchers I didn’t ever ask for or accept!

          Amex have so far been on side and money is once again back in my account, but it’s been a lot of faff.

          • Crafty says:

            Same for both of mine, except Amex have been initially obtuse and required phone calls.

        • PM says:

          Amex refused my chargeback with BA, saying I had been offered a voucher. I really wasn’t impressed, and when I questioned Amex CS he started going on about TnCs and non refundable rates! In the end I got through to BA and get a refund, did take an extra 8 weeks after Amex took 4 weeks.

    • Harry T says:

      Unsure if this is helpful. But don’t discount the change flight option off hand, as it allows you to change to basically any flight in their network at any time, without any change fee or fare difference. I’ve used this to my advantage to obtain flights on expensive routes at peak times, like Prague next Easter.

      If you need the cash or don’t want to fly EZY again, then I believe there is a refund form you can fill out on the COVID-19 hub. Here it is: https://www.easyjet.com/en/refund-form

  • Martha says:

    I have a few One4all cards. Anyone know how best to use them ideally to transfer to cash?

    • AJ says:

      buy M&S gift cards online? Can only do a max of £40 in one txn

    • mark2 says:

      I doubt that you can convert to cash, but would be glad to be wrong!
      They can be used in a very wide range of retailers, although unfortunately not at Waitrose.
      I have still got about £500 that I bought at Morrison’s with 10 and 5% off.

  • Dominic says:

    I recently got a BAPP (just over three weeks ago). I’ve yet to see a single offer appear under offers; having had numerous Amex cards previously, this seems strange to me.

    I contacted Amex and they’ve just come back with the standard “Offers are targeted at users based on their spending habits, over a period of time” etc etc. The card has had around £2k spent on it thus far.

    Does this sound normal? I’ve had many Amex cards before and feel fairly certain offers normally appear quite quickly (given a huge number are pretty non-targeted…). Thanks!

    • Rhys says:

      It can take a while, but also bear in mind there are currently far fewer offers than normal.

    • Brighton Belle says:

      Ditto here. Got the Bonvoy again after cancelling in April. Amex took their fee, gave me small shops and went to sleep. More than half of the small shops didn’t generate the £5 back either. This promotion is Amex’s worst promotion because it just doesn’t work with any certainty.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Seeing this with a new supp I have put considerable spend through. 0 offers. I’m going to try the old delete then re add trick to see if that does anything

      • JPa says:

        Most of my crads also have no offers, shop small offer needs to be manually added to any new cards.

        I have also found shop small is often not working correctly. So far done 4:

        1) Got email, appearing in the my savings section, no credit after nearly a month. Raised with them twice now and say you have to wait unto 90 days. Still no credit.
        2) Same place once on mine and one on my supp. No emails, not in my savings. Had to raised it twice with amex. It has shown up as a credits now after about 3 weeks. Not sure if was automatic or fixed manually in the end. This is the same place that didn’t work in Dec 2019.
        3) Email and credit the next day.

        I am hoping the latest one will be how it works for all now, and it was teething issues with doing an unplanned shop small (although this is probably at least the 10th time that have run it….)

        • TGLoyalty says:

          3 other cards we’ve received since all automatically received the small shop after about a week

        • Gtellez says:

          So far I have used it 3 times (card opened more than a year ago), last one more than a week ago; only received an email for one, no credit for any of them. It is a joke… I just pass on this promotion, not worth the effort for 15 pounds…

      • Sukes says:

        Similar experience – shop small appeared fine on new Amex gold pref rewards but has not surfaced on the supp, nor have any other offers. Used shop small at local butchers and credit posted fine in 2-3days and received the ‘you’ve shopped small’ email confirmation.

        • Liz says:

          I’ve done 25 transactions now – received emails for all of them. 20 credits received so far within 2-3 days. 5 o/s from Friday.

  • MadeUpName says:

    Morning, anyone know how official Gatwick parking have been for refunds recently? As about to book short stay (good price) but flights might still be moved to Heathrow

    • Ming the Merciless says:

      Depends. I’ve had some refunds written as an IOU on the back of a Tesco’s receipt, while other operators sent a cheque, with a covering letter, signed off by the CEO as “I have the honour to be, sir, your obedient servant” via recorded delivery.

      Who did you book with? It may give you an indication as to how official the refund will be.

      • MadeUpName says:

        I got lazy with my capital letters. The company is Official Gatwick Parking. I think there was comment about them being poor at refunding people a few months ago. A letter from the CEO would be lovely but I’d prefer a credit card refund.

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