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The new HFP chat thread – Saturday 1st August

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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 de facto 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/2020/08/01/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-saturday-1st-august/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 (107)

  • Anna says:

    Just cancelled our long weekend in the Cotswolds for mid-August (which replaced our cancelled and re-booked and cancelled again Langley stay!) as the new lockdown rules mean my teenager now can’t go and stay with his grandmother that weekend. I’ve looked at doing the qualifying stay for the IC Ambassador sign up/renewal offer later in the summer instead, but the Kimpton Clocktower and the George are closed and I don’t fancy a train ride to London or a flight to Dublin! (Also there is the distinct possibility of English people being banned from entering Scotland or Ireland again if we don’t get our act together with the infection rate).

    • Andrew says:

      What is this IC AMB offer – it’s like an urban legend, still not seen anything official or any detail on what I need to do.

      • memesweeper says:

        I got it on an email this very morning 🙂

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          Do you already have AMB & coming up to renewal as I’m spire elite and no email received.

      • Anna says:

        It’s in the Ts & Cs.

        • Andrew says:

          It seems that if you’re not due to renew before November 2020, which I’m not as they have given a 6 month extension, then you aren’t able to take advantage of this offer?

      • ChrisC says:

        Rob and others mentioned it a couple of days ago and said he would likely post something this weekend once it was actually live.

        Other blogs have already written about it.

        But basically if your renewal date is next year the offer isn’t for you. Ironically I would have qualified with my 1st Sept renewal date but those awful people at IHG gave me a 6 months extension!

    • GeorgeJ says:

      Anna,
      Ireland still remains effectively closed to visitors from the UK, only those from the 15 countries on the “green list” can arrive without quarantine, it has never opened up. As ever there is some form of exception fro NI but not the rest of us.

      • Harry T says:

        Yes, but you can fly to Northern Ireland and enter Ireland from there, which seems like an odd system.

        I doubt Scotland will prohibit English visitors. I’m not even sure if they can legally do so, and it would be essentially impossible to enforce.

      • Anna says:

        This really confuses me, I thought the CTA was open? Or is that just for people from Ireland coming to the UK?!

        • GeorgeJ says:

          Anna,

          Correct, the CTA is currently a one way ticket, Irish only to UK. Anyone going the other way should quarantine, though NI citizens who haven’t been to the mainland in the last 14 days have an exemption.

    • Harry T says:

      @Anna
      Amsterdam is open for visitors. I’m currently staying at the Amstel on an excellent Staycation offer. If you don’t fancy the IC, I think the Kimpton may be opening in September?

      • Anna says:

        Don’t fancy flying anywhere just yet though and risking a quarantine situation!

        • Harry T says:

          Fair enough! I think it’s safe enough with countries with low levels of covid, although it all depends on your risk assessment and tolerance etc. If it makes you nervous travelling abroad at the moment, then that’s not conducive to a happy holiday!

          Flyertalk has a good thread where they monitor countries that are likely to be put on the UK naughty list. Spain and Luxembourg weren’t really a surprise if you were following their numbers. Belgium likely to be next!

      • ChrisC says:

        Kimpton is due to open 25th August but it was supposed to be sooner and they seem to be pushing it back and back.

        Someone posted recently that their booking for a couple of weeks time had been cancelled and were asking about alternatives.

        I have a booking for the 31st. Originally for 30k points but I saw it was reduced to 25k so changed it.

        Fingers crossed they don’t cancel but I have a reserve already booked,

  • Jane says:

    with cancelled Gatwick BA flights, how long do you have to confirm the proposed alternative at Heathrow ? flights are for October half term to Tenerife and We’re not sure if we do / don’t want to go yet so I’d like to leave it a few weeks and see – does this risk the seats having gone by the time we do accept ?

  • Keith says:

    If your flight gets moved what is the refund policy for an Avios booking as not travelling anymore so would be good to save the £35. Thanks.

    • AJA says:

      It is treated as a cancellation by BA so no fees payable by you whenyou phone up for a refund (which is only way to do it. This is true even if BA use the same flight number. I did this yesterday. Avios and 2-4-1 if part of the booking refunded instantly, waiting a few days for cash back to Amex,

  • BJ says:

    Readers might want to check their BA status. My partner just received an email that he was now blue, he checked his account and it has indeed been reduced to blue for no reason.

    • AJA says:

      What was he before receiving the email? Presumably Bronze?

      • BJ says:

        Yes, but he had already requalified bronze and status was extended if he understood it correctly.

        • AJA says:

          When is his TP year end? Sounds like it was 8 June with a card expiry of 31 July. If so he was part of the TP reduction given to those in April, May and June. Unless he had enough TP to re-qualify as Bronze with the 30% TP reduction then he would revert to Blue today.

          The 1 year extension of status only applies if your TP year end date is between 8 July 2020, through to 8 June 2021. If your tier year was 8 May or 8 June 2020 and you are due to drop a level, the 1 year extension announcement doesn’t save you from the drop, unless you qualify under the lower thresholds

          • BJ says:

            Thanks AJA, that is very helpful and I’m sure that’s it. I will get a look at the account details this evening. I never bother with status myself but my partner will miss the 7 day seat selection.

      • Rob says:

        1st of the month is the usual downgrade day. This would be for someone who was not renewed on 8th June, which is correct because the status extensions only apply to years ends from 8th July.

        Sounds perfectly reasonable, assuming the person did not achieve (300 – 20%) 240 TP to retain Bronze.

        • BJ says:

          Yes, think this is it. However, where I’m confused is that I thought status lasted two years and I think he qualified June 19. Will check later tonight but based on explanations here I’m sure he’s missing something on qualification and the downgrade is correct.

          • ChrisC says:

            fepends when in June 2019 he qualified

            when you reach a status level you get it for the rest of that status year and the next year.

            So if he got bronze on say 1st June 2019 (with a earning year ending on the 8th June) he would have got it until July 2019 and then end July 2020

            If he got bronze on say the 25th June 2019 he would have it until July 2020 and then July 2022

          • ChrisC says:

            that should be 2021 not 22

  • Anna says:

    Sorry if this is old news – I have just noticed a direct message facility on the Amex app and it seems even more straightforward than the Chat!

    • Michael says:

      I always thought that’s what people were referring to when they said ‘chat’ What’s the difference?

      • Anna says:

        I normally use chat on a desktop and it’s more like a live conversation. It might just be the same thing though! Having said all that, though, I got nearly to the end of my enquiry and it ground to a halt with the message that the system wasn’t responding 🤦🏻‍♀️

        • BJ says:

          I think I’ve used both and thought they were same thing. A while ago though as I nearly always call as I find it quicker.

  • Terry Semmence says:

    Anyone cancelled a QR flight recently? I have OSL-CPT via DOH in December and think I might cancel it. Know doubt it won’t be easy to rebook these and they’ll need to be business promo – is that an online fare only? Should I take a voucher or just cancel and hold the booking? Cheers

  • James says:

    Has anyone had any issues trying to withdraw from an ATM using Curve cash when it’s topped up by a refund

    • The Urbanite says:

      I didn’t think it was possible to do ATM withdrawals when Curve Cash is selected – https://support.imaginecurve.com/hc/en-gb/articles/360001794657-What-is-Curve-Cash-

    • Connor says:

      Cant withdraw from an ATM using Curve Cash. Got 2k sitting there that I can’t use as I’ve hit my purchase limits

      • James says:

        Thanks for the confirmation. That’s a little cheeky given you then have to use your spending limit to spend refunded funds. Could be why they increased all the limits.

        Additionally no Curve 1% Cash back on transactions using Curve Cash.

    • The Urbanite says:

      If anyone is considering generating Curve Cash refunds deliberately as is being discussed elsewhere on the internet, I think it’s a pointless exercise.

      I might be missing something really obvious so please left me know if I have!

      1. Make a purchase with Curve. Get underlying card points.

      2. Make a purchase with Curve with the intention of getting a refund. Get underlying card points. Refund to Curve Cash card. Spend Curve Cash (eating up your Curve spending limit a second time apparently).

      It seems to me that in both scenarios, you only get one lot of points on the underlying card. So what is the benefit of adding the refund step? If anything, you forego points because of the spending limit wasted?

      Furthermore Curve Cash can’t be used for ATM withdrawals or GBIT which is what I guess people were intending to do.

      I’m not an advocate of using refunds to earn rewards – generally speaking they’re a very effective way to get accounts flagged for review if done repeatedly and/or for large amounts and would say it’s not worth it.

  • bermeslai says:

    Quick question on 2-4-1 vouchers. I have a 2-4-1 voucher and my wife has a 2-4-1 voucher, we also have 300k Avios in a household account (200k me, 100k family).

    Am I right in thinking that I can book any return for the four of us (2 x adults, 2 x children) to a maximum value of 600k Avios by combining the avios and the vouchers. I’m guessing there are some catches that I have not thought of. I assume the booking has to be done by phone also?

    • Rob says:

      It will be 2 separate bookings, one for you and kid A and one for your wife and kid B. Can be done online in 2 separate transactions.

      Only ‘catch’ is that if only one of you has status, only 1 booking will qualify for free seat selection.

      • Berneslai says:

        Thanks for your help Rob. Just to make sure I’ve understood correctly, I will book with my son with one 2-4-1 voucher and my wife and daughter with the other. Does the disproportionate amount of Avios in my account (200k) vs the household account (100k) cause any issues when my wife is booking? Or does it come out of the same 300k pot?

        I vaguely remember some issue of how Avios is split between the household but not sure if it applies here.

        • Anna says:

          Avios will be taken pro rate from each family member, so you will have enough. Where are you planning to go?

      • Anna says:

        I am going to try to do this at T-355 in a couple of weeks. Unless I can get my OH to stay up and do one of the bookings simultaneously, I am going to be very anxious about the rest of the seats disappearing while I’m making the first booking! (And that’s if they even release more than 2 on that date).

        • Anna says:

          Unless I have 2 devices logged into our accounts and do each stage on each device as I go along – has anyone done this?!

          • Jan H says:

            Anna, just ring them and they will book one of your 2-4-1 journeys, put it on hold until they sort the second booking and then put them both through together………..did it last year for me and my partner and daughter and her partner.

          • Rob says:

            The call centre can steal seats in your basket for a phone client until you the second you pay. There is no real security.

          • Peter says:

            In the days when there were two BA CPT-LHR flights daily, at 00.00½ on T-355 I was able to book the two CW Avios seats on one of the flights and a friend accompanying us booked one of the other two (from her home, using her own Avios account, synchronised by phone). I practised at that time every day for a week beforehand, and input as much information in advance to reduce the number of keystrokes needed (eg the credit card details and even the search details for the flight, which are stored unless you say not to). And I logged into the site at 23.59½ so as to be ready. From memory, I think I got it down to about 14 seconds – which might well be quicker than a BA call centre operator can manage, given they would probably want to verify your identity before starting to make the booking. If you do this, I think it would be advisable to rope in a second person to assist so each of you can concentrate 100% on one of the two bookings.