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The new HFP chat thread – Thursday 6th 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/2020/08/06/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-thursday-6th-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 (269)

  • Waribai says:

    I couldn’t help but notice that in today’s email from Virgin Flying Club, Oli Byers refers to GSTP rather than this website for ‘independent analysis’
    It has a slight air of desperation and makes me wonder whether Gilbert’s article was paid for….

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      That it would direct to *any* 3rd party website such as gstp astounded me – but yes my thought was to question the ‘independent ‘ aspect of the article on that basis

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Edit- note that it doesn’t even provide context, just refers to Good save the points as though everyone (wider audience) will obviously be familiar already which I rather doubt is the case

    • David says:

      Deeply strange that if they want to provide authoritative reassurance, they refer people to a blog (and one that looks very commercial in nature, hawking lots of credit card offers).

      No idea if it was paid for or not. I just assume VS found something that is moderately widely read (although TBH I’d never looked at it before) and that was saying everything is fine. Which looks a bit desperate.

      Bottom line for me is that the Ch 15 filing itself isn’t anything immediate to worry about, but there are still big questions about their longer term future.

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      I don’t think HfP’s article which described it as “messy” was ever going to be in the running.

      Linking to any blog does seem a tad desperate. It’s a long way down the food chain and indicates that they couldn’t find anything better higher up. They would have been better leaving well alone.

      • Lady London says:

        +1
        Got a lot of time for Gilbert – he comes up with interesting angles on many things. Wish I had more time to read his site.

        Rob does know Oli, the mention of gstp in particular does seem odd. If you were Virgin though if you wanted to link to something, then the more binary coverage of another website might have appealed more.

        I liked Rob’s coverage a lot yesterday because the very messiness of the deal looked like it was because Virgin was still hoping to pay everyone. Instead of walking away from smaller less core suppliers as is so often done when ‘private equity’ gets involved. So I thought the messiness made Virgin look good.

    • Waribai says:

      They wouldn’t have just happened upon GSTP but what is strange I feel is that until around last year Virgin did not know who GTSP was. In fact, I believe it was HFP that got Gilbert on the inaugural flight to Tel Aviv. Fast forward a year and he is the leading independent authority on their financial viability!

      • Tom H says:

        +1 it seems a very strange source to quote as independent (no offence Gil, I enjoy your blog aswell)

    • AJA says:

      Shai Weiss put out a post on LinkedIn yesterday attempting to correct, as he put it,: “much speculation and confusion over what the U.S. Chapter 15 process means for Virgin Atlantic and our customers ” Unfortunately I can’t post a link to the post.

      There were two similar posts from other people at VS as well. I think Virgin is a bit rattled by what they perceive as negative publicity.

      • Rob says:

        Yes, they messed this up. They failed to see this coming – a press release IN ADVANCE of the hearing would have killed off all the stories before they written.

        • Rhys says:

          The PR team weren’t told that the court filing was happening this week – they were expecting it later in the month!

  • ChrisC says:

    “Your future travel voucher has changed“

    That’s the subject line from the email from BA last night transferring one of my cancelled flights future travel vouchers into an e-voucher (their description) that can be used online which makes it far easier to use.

    Not sure how fast they are working through them but this was for one that was from right at the start of their introduction so around mid March Am still waiting for one that will be the residual balance of a part used original one that was cancelled in May.

    Format of the e-voucher in the email is

    125-0000000000 / GBP (value) / Surname
    Email address

    Email is very clear on how to use it and showing the value should stop Ann the queries abiut how much the FTV was worth.

    • jamie says:

      I got one of these as well for a cash flight – but nothing for an Avios flight at same time. Are they being dealt with separately?
      Can I still phone and try and get a refund for the Avios one?

  • IO says:

    Hi, my Emirates flights for October has changed I presume due to Emirates dropping some flights. They have allocated me a new flight out with rubbish timings. Do I have a right to cancel now as my original flight has been cancelled?

    • Andrew says:

      If it’s more than a couple of hours difference then yes.

    • Rhys says:

      Yes, you are entitled to a refund under EU261

      • ChrisC says:

        Depends on the route! If it does not involve an EU airport then EU 261 simply does not apply.

        For Emirates it would only apply to flights leaving the EU.

        I really do wish people would provide basic info such as the route involved (not asking for names, dates, booking ref or the name and colour of your mothers first pets favourite food
        ) so the most accurate answer is given)

    • Sukes says:

      If the flight has definitely been cancelled (ie the flight number is different on the new flight) then yes entitled to refund under EC261. If the flight number is the same then I suspect you’ll find in your T&c that this will be categorised as a ‘schedule change’ and is not covered by EC261. If the latter, you can argue that the flight change is significant to you and request a refund but there is no legal obligation for the airline to provide one, unless the airline specifically has a clause in their T&C stating refunds are available in event of ‘schedule change greater than x hours etc’.

      • Lady London says:

        Be aware anyone receiving a sweet little ‘your flight time has changed’ from Easyjet. You will note that Easyjet has not included your flight number.

        I called Easyjet because it was clear, knowing the schedule, even without them showing the flight numbers, that they had in fact moved me to a different flight. Which would have a different flight number. So would give me all EU261 rights including the various rerouting options. As well as other things I’m not mentioning here in the hope I will be able to persuade easyjet to provide the rerouting at a later date that I will need, as on their previous cancellations.

        So if you receive an emaik from Easyjet with a change that does not have any flight numbers, check your original flight
        number and whether it’s changed. I think Easyjet has omitted the flight numbers on purpose.

  • Anna says:

    Any recommendations for a CP with lounge access in London? Thinking of using the current 2 4 1 offer for next March.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      CP Kensington has a small lounge and is an excellent property for location

      • Anna says:

        Thanks – I think I’ll go with that one, £108 pn for a club room in London sounds like a bit of a steal!

        • Chrisasaurus says:

          And it has a private garden!

          It’s our go to hotel – right opposite tube and almost on top of museums and Hyde park. Nothing not to like and the duplex suites if you get an upgrade are a fun novelty

          • Anna says:

            I’ve booked 2 nights – at that price I might be able to afford a London show as well 🤣

      • jamie says:

        CP Ealing has a lounge and available for about £45 on this offer

        • AJA says:

          That CP is actually on Hanger Lane gyratory overlooking the A40 so very convenient for car access and the Central Line but not much else. Picturesque it is not. I also hope it has very good soundproofing because it will have the gentle hum of the motorway.

    • ChrisC says:

      The CP London – The City (at Blackfriars) ?

      Very good transport links as well.

      • Anna says:

        Looked at that but I think it was £170 pn so the Kensington one if much better value.

    • memesweeper says:

      Stayed shortly after lockdown eased — the lounge was shut, and didn’t look great to be honest, but the garden was nice. Got a great room upgrade as spire elite. Note there’s a lovely raddisson a few doors down the same road if you can live without the garden.

      • memesweeper says:

        (this was about the CP Kensington)

        • Rob says:

          There are about a 100 hotels on the same road 🙂

          The dump that is the HI Kensington Forum almost across the road is very cheap on points at the moment. I do like the CP Kensington though. I knew Edward Bracken, the GM, quite well but he is now at CP City.

  • Boi says:

    Where are people selling gift cards? Due to the lockdown I was not able to use all the gift cards I bought during the Morrison’s/Amex promo and we are emigrating

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Cardyard

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Sure someone here would take them off your hands for the 10% off

      Depending on what you have ofcourse

      • Rui N. says:

        I have one for Ticketmaster (£170) if anyone is interested 🙂 Selling cheaply!

      • Boi says:

        Anyone willing to get the restaurant card or Odeon?
        I actually managed to use most while running around buying last minute things.

    • ChrisC says:

      Offer to do some of your friends shopping for them.

      You pay with the gift card and they pay you with cash or bank transfers.

      I would be suspicious of getting a second hand gift card from some site I’d never heard of before.

      • Anuj says:

        Cardyard is totally legitimate. I sold over £2k worth of Amazon gift cards that I bought from the Amex/Morrison’s offer and had no problems.

  • Anna says:

    If you achieve Spire Elite from IHG MC spend, how long does it last for (is it the year you achieved it plus the following year)? I can’t work it out from my account.

    • guesswho2000 says:

      Yes, exactly that.

    • Andrew says:

      Yes. Although that might be a further year this year due to the extension.

    • Anna says:

      Great stuff. OH got Spire last month due to the reduced number of points required and spending has now been moved to my IHG card so I can get it as well!

      • Brighton Belle says:

        Now that you have Spire you can discover how it’s the key that unlocks a free bag of crisps and a mini bottle of low quality wine. Enjoy the excitement.

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          Love it BB, spot on!😄

          • Andrew says:

            Indeed – I have been Spire for many years and have to say it’s the laughable the lack of recognition you get, I would never chase it apart from getting the 25,000 points and double points on all stays. Like everything to do with IHG Rewards – it’s great for earning points and that’s it, literally that’s it.

        • Andrew says:

          Could be worse.

          I once had a daily fruit basket in my room it varied from day to day but it included a pineapple, melon, kiwi fruit, pomelo, walnuts, brazil nuts along with the usual apple and banana.

          As you might have guessed, the only cutlery in the room was the metal teaspoons.

          I managed to get into the walnuts and brazil nuts by putting them in a laundry bag on top of the safe and smacking them with a hardback copy of “The Spirit To Serve”

        • Lady London says:

          You got crisps and wine? I only got a Kit Kat.

        • Martyn Ford says:

          Exactly!

      • Anna says:

        I want it for points earning and 2 x 25k IHG points will come in useful. I do find that in the north status members for all the hotel schemes I’m in (HH, Bonvoy & IHG) seem few & far between and we’re always given a great welcome and an upgrade.

        • Harry T says:

          That’s heartening about the North. I did once get upgraded to a nice room at Holiday Inn Jesmond whilst getting in an extra stay during the 4x promotion, before my IC stay (IHG Plat Ambassador). I’d actually recommend that hotel for anyone visiting Newcastle. The HIX in the centre is also alright and well located for downtown but I’m not a fan of that part of town as much.

          • Genghis says:

            We stayed at Staybridge Suites in Feb. Decent room and v good breakfast for all. No upgrade of course but some free Newkie Brew and ket from the “tuck shop” was well received.

          • RussellH says:

            I much prefer the Hampton in Newcastle to the HIX, apart from the fact that it is just across the street from Central Station, while the HIX is rather further away.
            Only points where the HIX scores better are in staff friendliness and that you will get a free drink at the HIX with IHG Gold. You need to be Hilton Gold, not silver, to get any fizzy water out of the Hampton, where the breakfast is much better and the rooms nicer.

          • Peter K says:

            I also really enjoyed the HI Jesmond. It was maybe 3yrs ago but had a decent restaurant as well.

        • Harry T says:

          @Anna is the Durham Marriott any good? I remember you went recently. Have you stayed at the Marriott in York?

          • Anna says:

            Durham Marriott was fine (I booked s standard room for 22k points and got upgraded to a suite!), but didn’t touch the Indigo IMO, though cash prices are very similar. Never stayed in York as we tend to go there on the way to or from Durham when visiting friends.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Exactly plus the welcome drink is usually better, asking for two works the majority of the time and you’ll probably still get the welcome points.

          Stay in a hotel with a decent bar for £80-150 on a single night and you’ll get 2 x £8-12 cocktails, £2 worth of welcome points plus probably £10-20 back in points and using a portal another £5-10

          It might not throw free breakfasts at you but its not a bad scheme especially when all you are doing is spending money on a credit card to earn it.

          • Paul74 says:

            Yes, plus occasionally you do get a big ‘win’. In 2018 I stayed seven nights at the CP near the Zoo station in Berlin. A suite upgrade, an excellent complimentary buffet breakfast and a compo minibar, restocked daily. Whilst I’ve never quite repeated that, CPs generally provide slightly above the tokenistic offering described here.

          • Simon says:

            Same as Paul74 inasmuch as, at a HIX just outside the centre of Munich in 2018 during the Christmas market season, as Spire I got upgraded to a suite. Had no idea there were even suites at HIXs, so that education came as a nice surprise! Also treated very well at the Golden Egg in Davos in 2016 as Spire. Even got the Royal Suite at IC Park Lane as Spire (though it was proposal night 😁). I think, however, I’ve been extremely lucky given years of HFP comments lamenting Spire, and it would seem justifiably so.

  • ian_h says:

    Curve App – slightly odd question for the tech’s among us. Since I broke my phone I have been sharing a handset with my OH (its dual sim and we work together so really no biggie for now), HOWEVER as curve / revolut etc use a “magic link” to activate their app whenever one of us logs in it kicks the other out. We’ve tried a number of “multiple app” apps to install a second copy and this works fine until the magic link as it just fires up the “main” version. Has anyone successfully managed to achieve 2 working version on the same phone and if so can you point me in the direction of the app that you used 😉 Thanks

    • Anna says:

      I’m not remotely techie but always assumed it was a security thing not to have 2 people logged in on the same device. I install all our finance and hotel apps so tend to have one account on my phone and the other on an ipad.

    • K says:

      I haven’t tried it myself but if it is an android you could try creating different profiles for both of you. That should give different workspaces for app between the two users.

    • Lady London says:

      xiaomi pocophone has dual apps

  • Ben says:

    Hi , I have 144K BA Avios will never use them any idea where I can sell them (if permitted)

    • Rhys says:

      Hi Ben, it’s not possible to transfer Avios for free unless you join someone’s household account, which doesn’t really make it worth it. This article goes into a little more detail: https://www.headforpoints.com/2019/01/02/can-you-transfer-avios-points-to-someone-else/

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Cash them out for wine or other experiences?

    • Chris Heyes says:

      [email protected] Not recommended, “But” if your “Never” Going to use them as Rhys says create a household account ? If not transfer to a Hotel scheme that you might want to go to.
      or keep them, adding a couple of Avios to keeps them alive remember just in case you eventually use them ?

      • Genghis says:

        Can’t transfer avios to a hotel programme. You can use them directly for hotels at about 0.5p / avios, bookings non-refundable IIRC.

    • Chris Heyes says:

      [email protected] the not quite “Legal” way would be to use them to pay for a flight for “someone else”
      To “Legalize” it a BIT create a Friends & Family list (That’s allowed) with the persons name on it that you are going to book a flight for
      Warning do a long haul flight to get rid most Avios at same time
      ALSO ONLY do it once because if you constantly change your F & F list every 6 months it will flag up
      This would be legal if you knew the person on your F & F list
      so no problem there

      • Rhys says:

        Using Avios to pay for flights for other people is the most legal way of doing it! Friends & Family list is only necessary with a household account. Without one, you can book tickets for anyone you want.

        • memesweeper says:

          Rhys is correct — don’t try and sell or transfer the points, make bookings for friends and family until you’ve used them up. A household account is unnecessary unless you have children and want to collect their points from flying too.

        • Chris Heyes says:

          Rhys @ of course i know that, but if he sold the booked flight to a stranger it wouldn’t be “legal”
          well not against the law just against the BA rules
          My hint was if he was going to “SELL” to “anybody” add them to his F & F account to get round the “legality”
          Didn’t think i would have needed to spell it out to posters on here lol
          Although looks like most are as honest as day or naive as night lol

        • Chris Heyes says:

          Rhys @ so according to your reply he could book a flight for anybody (in anybody’s name)
          using his Avios then charge “anybody” maybe £1000+ plus taxes for a first ticket without being foul of BA (IMO I think not)
          but a F & F would stop BA suspecting anything

    • ChrisC says:

      selling is against the rules.

      If you don’t want to book a flight then options like transferring them to another scheme such as a hotel or buying wine might help but they aren’t as good value.