Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Wednesday 5th August

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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:  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 (166)

  • W says:

    No article about Virgin Atlantic filing for bankruptcy?

  • Anon says:

    Is this really a ‘new’ thing anymore…!?

  • Rob H says:

    Hi All, My wife updated her standard BA AMEX to the Premium version and triggered the 2-4-1 voucher. However when it has been credited to the BA account it only has 1.5 years rather than the 2.5 years I would expect. I recall someone posting a while ago that this happened to them as well, any idea what happened about that and it there a suggested route to get the voucher duration corrected? Thanks

    • BJ says:

      Looks like she had already spent over £10k so when upgrading the voucher was immediately triggered. Toget 2(.5) years she needed to hit the £10k spend target only after upgrading. She should have spent under £10k on blue, upgraded to black, then spent some more to take spend over £10k.

      • meta says:

        If you call Amex and BA, they will sort it out. You need to call both though. It will take about a month and probably two or three phone calls. I’ve done it before. However, in current climate it will probably take even longer as this will low priority for them.

        This is why it’s always best as BJ suggests to spend less than 10k, then upgrade.

        • Rob H says:

          Thanks, When you say “You need to call both though.” – what do you mean by “both”? Thanks, Rob

          • Rob H says:

            As is, can BA actually do anything – it’s it AMEX that handle it?

          • meta says:

            You need to make them talk to each other. So call Amex, then BA. But when I called pre-covid, I called BA Executive Club line and the number now doesn’t work. Maybe Amex can sort it out now on its own.

          • aDifferentSimon says:

            I had this issue. Took three chat sessions to amex to sort it out. I never contacted ba.
            Fist chat said tough, that’s the way it is. Second said I just needed to wait. Third knew what to do and which team to contact.

        • BJ says:

          Thanks, I didn’t know that it could be fixed. One to file away but hopefully never required.

      • Kipto says:

        Yesterday, I tried to upgrade online from my free ba Amex to the premium plus card. The application differed from the previous ones and when I got to the end of the application I received a notice saying it couldn’t be done online and for me to ring. I phoned up and spoke to the Philippines office and an agent went through the application online. She then read out the t&c’s in which she mentioned that it “ may” not be possible to revert back to the free card. When questioned about this the agent said “ they were looking at doing this in the future but nothing had been confirmed. “.

        • Anna says:

          I’ve got a screenshot from a recent chat conversation in which they agent confirmed that if I downgraded a BAPP, there would be no problem upgrading again in future, so I think they change their stance depending on what you’re asking!

        • Lady London says:

          more frighteners that if implemented, would only harm Amex.

          just like the years-long agents telling people their earned 241 voucher will be invalid if they dare to cancel the card they earned it on. When in years of people reporting Amex said this, it’s never been reported as happening to anyone.

          If you do have a 241 you have to pay the tax on the flights you book with it, using any Amex – can be another Amex or someone else’s.

          And if you do close a card move the MR’s to another card – eg a free or lower cost one. Safest to ensure the move was completed before you close the card as you have very little time after card closed for your points to die with the card – so move them first.

    • Chris Heyes says:

      Rob H When wife calls Amex make sure she’s talking to Brighton if not ask to be transferred

    • Rob H says:

      Thank you everyone for your comments. Called AMEX (Brighton) and they seem to be sorting it out.

  • Alan Wan says:

    Any idea how Premier Inn Advanced bookings are working?

    Normally advanced bookings are non-flexible. However currently -I assume because of Covid – advance rates allow you to change your arrival date at the same hotel.

    Logically I’d assume if you changed your arrival date you would need to pay any difference in increased room rate, however there is nothing to indicate this on the website. Can anyone help answering this ?

    • Lady London says:

      I think I saw in the small print you do have to pay any increase in the rate and you do t get back any rate drop.

      My Premier Inn plans kerp getting shelved though as others like IHG are offering hotels I would normally use with better price or points deals .

      Just waiting for Hilton to come up with something now. Should be soon as lots are reopening since about two weeks ago ongoing.

  • KBuffett says:

    Switzerland – is entry into the country OK from England? Currently there is no quarantine requirement arriving into England from Switzerland. What are people’s thoughts on risky a trip there at the end of the month?

  • ConfusedofGlos says:

    Does there need to be Avios availability in a cabin for an in infant booking where they are travelling on an adult’s lap? i.e. If two adults and an an infant are travelling, do there need to be three Avios seats available or just two?

    Related to the above, can you add an infant to an existing booking even if there isn’t another “seat” available in the cabin?

    • Genghis says:

      Just two.

      • Genghis says:

        … and yes

        • ConfusedofGlos says:

          Thank you. It seems the reward flight availability search on the BA App can’t deal with that nuance!

    • Rob says:

      2 seats is fine as long as kid is under 2 years. Baby can be added to a booking later – often happens when name is not known.

  • Qwertyknowsbest says:

    Anyone know if Gibraltar/Spain border fully open both ways for non residents? Cannot find anything online other than opened for residents a month or so ago.


  • meta says:

    Has anyone flown on JAL business on 787 from Heathrow to Haneda? I am thinking about switching from BA 777 as surcharges are more than £300 lower.

    • Rhys says:

      JAL has a very good reputation – I imagine it’s an upgrade in every possible way!

      • meta says:

        Thanks Rhys. I already half made up my mind to switch, especially as savings are more than £300 even with cancellation fees. It will be an interesting change to not fly BA at all on a trip. Hope Japan opens up and I don’t have to cancel.

        • DB2020 says:

          All aisle access seating despite the 2-2-2 seat arrangement. Excellent service and quality of food. IFE might be a let down in terms of the selection of movies and TV shows on offer (important for someone like me who is never able to sleep on flights).

          That is the summary. Enjoy your flight.

    • Yan says:

      It is an average product by ME/Asian carriers’ standard but certainly better than BA, for which the £300+ extra can only be justified by upgrading to First

      • meta says:

        There is no F on BA on Heathrow to Haneda route any longer and unfortunately no availability in F on JAL. If they have couple of Japanese films, that will do in terms of IFE.

    • Harry T says:

      I don’t have personal experience but I am reliably informed by multiple sources that JAL J decks BA J. No brainer for me if it’s cheaper too!

      • Jonathan says:

        JAL J is nice, the seat is excellent & a very clever way of ensuring everyone has direct aisle access plus decent space around your feet rather than a coffin.

        Food is very good if you like Japanese cuisine. The western dishes are ok but more limited choice.

        Service very good though a bit too deferential at times for me. Cabin crew often speak very little English.

        IFE much more limited sélection.

        Main downside is JAL keep their cabins at borderline sauna temperatures. I avoid them for overnight legs as I can only sleep in a cool environment.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.