Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Saturday 8th 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: https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/08/08/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-saturday-8th-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 (115)

  • Annabel says:

    If you’re up early- Just got through to BA and sorted rebooking x2 2-4-1 cancelled flights in 5 minutes Website says 8am-8pm on 0800 number but they’re open from 6am if you call 0203 250 0145. They said their systems went down yesterday for 5 hours so expect to be very busy today!

    • Andy says:

      Melt down in progress … first call got a strange sounded engaged tone after all the routine inbound call blurb …. now it’s disconnecting you promptly. Well done on getting through earlier, ‘great tip I’ll try on another day (when no doubt the inventory I’m looking for to replace my cancelled flights has gone 😢) 👍

      • Oli W says:

        I’ve been on hold for the last hour

      • Lady London says:

        you dont need avios inventory to rebook cancelled avios flights. you are entitled yo any seat whether revenue or avios, in your same class of travel

      • Andy says:

        UPDATE:

        Tried all day long and finally got in the queue. After a 15-20 min wait I got through to Carla from the Avios Warrington team who did a fabulous job in rebooking me with the final seats.

        Together with Olivia from the same team who emailed after 11pm last night to say the computer was back working again, it would appear that BA’s UK based staff on this occasion are doing a great job.

        Thanks again for the great tip though … I’ve not yet flown and it’s possible I may need to rebook again 😉🤷‍♂️

    • Nadeshka says:

      I got the email yesterday about a cancellation on a redemption next March, but systems were down when I got through in the evening.
      I called at 8.15 this morning, first time I pressed the options to change an avios booking, disconnected.
      Second time I used the tip from comments to not press anything and I was put on hold with that lovely tinny music. An hour and 15 minutes later I got through to an agent who rebooked me onto my desired flight.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Is that on a route they have cancelled or suspended?
        Our Feb flight got cancelled this week, I thought 6 months ahead was safe but now hearing March is how much in advance will BA cancel routes?

        • meta says:

          @ Nadeshka ask for a reroute on Finnair or JAL via Tokyo. I believe Finnair has a direct flight from Helsinki too. Have a look at all available Oneworld options. If nothing suitable, look at other airlines too.

          • Nadeshka says:

            Commented on today’s thread but yes it was pulling the Osaka flight entirely from the winter schedule till end of March. I looked at alternatives but we wanted direct flights and BA was the only one who did those.

    • Chris Heyes says:

      [email protected] OOOooo I always rung at 6.00/6.30am Now you’ve given the game away Gr lol
      added half hour wait time lol

  • Chris says:

    Does anyone have any experience of recent OnBusiness refunds? Had to cancel a booking earlier in the week but have not got the points back yet or even a confirmation email. Just wondered if this was the ‘new normal’?

    • mr_jetlag says:

      Best call them. Since OB points have a hard expiry I took an FTV instead of cancelling, which I can now use till 2022.

      • meta says:

        Does the voucher with OB points work the same as Avios one? What happens if I want to book on OB points to somewhere else and that needs more points? Can I add more points to that new booking?

    • Lady London says:

      used to normally be instant. cash part up to 7days usually 3

  • Wollhouse says:

    General query- there is a WEALTH of knowledge in the comments. But…is there any way to search them??? I read stuff and think, hmm, that’s good to know, must remember that! And then of course, when I want to refresh my memory, I have no idea where to look! I’ve started sending myself emails with info I think I might want to come back to, but just wondering if there’s any way to search comments?? thanks

  • Jonathan says:

    Anyone got any tips for contacting Ryanair about a flight time change, been trying for 2 weeks and their phone it constantly busy. Got through at 2mins to 6pm only to be cut off and 6pm because they close. And their online chat is kept me hanging for 6 hours without getting through to anyone?

    • Paul says:

      Download WeQ4U app on phone then dial Ryanair and you can then do your usual stuff and phone calls you back when agent is on the line.

    • Jonathan says:

      Update – Calling at 8:02 and got through, estimated wait time said 2 minutes. 31 minutes and later I’m still waiting…

      • Jonathan says:

        1hr 3mins to get through and resolved in under 8 minutes. Why don’t they extend their opening hours and increase front line staff during these times rather than threaten redundancy!

        • Lady says:

          Why do you think it’s taking so long to get through to airlines?

          There’s a vaguely justifiable reason, and then there’s the real reason.

          Should you be unable to reach them and you misd a deadline or get fees or miss a flughy, keep hold of your phone logs of your attempts to reach them. If things get really ugly this would be useful to have.

  • Harry T says:

    @Anna
    I know you were looking for UK based hotels for a staycation. I’m currently at the University Arms, Autograph Collection in Cambridge. I would recommend this hotel for a stay. They are being very sensible about covid whilst still providing a good customer experience. The hotel has an excellent location and the rates are probably about 60% of what they would normally be in the summer. The hard product is high quality with lots of tiny touches that demonstrate thought and care. Very much a boutique hotel vibe but with the high standards you would expect from a five star hotel.

    Probably best to get the train though. They have about ten parking spaces at the actual hotel, which are first come, first served. The valets can’t park your cars due to covid so you get to have lots of fun in the tiny car park. I managed to nab the last space but did not enjoy the parking experience, as another visitor had kindly parked their SUV partly across my space (they had about an extra metre available on the other side of them…). Parking is also £30 a night at the hotel.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      There’s a large car park about 5 mins walk across the car park. I think rates are similar.

      • Harry T says:

        Thanks, will probably try that next time or catch a train (trains were ludicrously expensive for some reason). Park and ride was mentioned as an option by the hotel but seemed like a faff.

    • Anna says:

      Thanks Harry – I did look at that one but we’ve now had to change our plans yet again due to our local lockdown and booked the Indigo Newcastle where the 2 4 1 IHG offer meant that I could cheaply book a 2nd room for our teenager who now can’t stay at his grandparents’ house! Looking forward to visiting Bamburgh (masked up, of course).

      • Harry T says:

        Sorry to hear that’s put a spanner in the works. I hope you enjoy Newcastle and Bamburgh. Let me know if the Indigo is any good, as it’s about 10 mins drive from my house!

  • Peter North says:

    Hands on the buzzers no conferring. SUV drivers usually banking types who never drive off road, the nearest they come to that is the speed bumps in Waitrose car park.

    • Lady says:

      misogynistic comment of the day.”usually female that parks like that’

    • Yorkieflyer says:

      Indeed 99% of SUV drivers are selfish b******s in most situations behind the wheel

    • Lady London says:

      ‘Chelsea Tractors’

      With green wellies in winter that never get dirty

      • Jill (Kinkell) says:

        I’m off road every day…it’s the only way to get to my house…and my wellies are pretty dirty!

    • AJA says:

      Peter I am not a banker but do drive a Land Rover Discovery Sport. It’s easier to park than my previous BMW as it has parking sensors everywhere and a rear view camera and park assist meaning it will measure parallel parking spaces and park itself if the space is large enough as well as park itself in perpendicular spaces – very useful in central London car parks. Also it’s actually shorter in length while just a bit wider. The biggest difference is it’s quite a bit taller so is far easier for me to get into and far more comfortable soaking up pot holes and speed bumps with ease (not that I break speed limits). I admit I have only driven it off road once in the 2 and a bit years I’ve owned it but as it’s 4 wheel drive it is far safer in winter and in wet weather than the rear wheel drive BMW.. I am considering changing it next year for the new hybrid version which will drive on battery power for 36 miles which is 20 miles further than I commute in one direction. Don’t knock SUV’s and don’t preach to me about what is my choice, particularly on a website that promotes longhaul travel in premium cabins. I don’t care what you drive or how you commute YMMV

    • Harry T says:

      Not quite sure if I triggered this discussion! I have encountered some rather obnoxious SUV drivers in my time (and drivers in cars of all shapes and sizes) but the main issue with my parking situation was the size of the SUV meant that their encroachment into the adjacent parking space was more physically problematic. They could have parked haphazardly in a C1 and caused far less problems!

  • Ian says:

    My curve card has stopped working paying Virgin with any linked card and also other online payments a couple of days ago. On my wife’s curve card payments work fine attached to the supplementary cards of my credit card accounts – so looks to be a problem at curve. I get through the autorisation etc then bank declined message appears. Support no help.

    Anyone had similar experience and know how to fix it?

  • Yorkieflyer says:

    Is it just me, but I don’t see the point in re booking a reward flight immediately on hearing it’s been retimed or cancelled? I’m expecting an email cancelling our Christmas flights to Durban but will leave any action till October at the earliest as I’ve no idea where it might be possible to go or where right now. Locking into a new flight now seems just daft?

    • AJA says:

      I agree and not just with reward flights. You should actually wait to see if BA cancels the flight rather than doing anything now. Also you should even then wait and consider all your options before just having a knee-jerk reaction.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I’m with you.

      I actually took this stance with the strikes last year and my cancelled flight was out back on a few days later and I had a great trip to NYC for £1k each in club on the 747 upper deck.

      Your rights don’t disappear but you could be left with less options.

    • Harry T says:

      I agree. Sometimes just getting a refund is more useful as you can do something else with the cash. Rebooking just gives BA a nice 0% interest loan for a bit, especially if they also cancel your new flight (quite likely during these turbulent times).