Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 26th August

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We have decided to run this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the de facto repository for random comments and questions.  With the news flow being lighter, we are running fewer ‘Bits’ articles.

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 at home, we want the HfP community to have a place to chat.

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Comments (183)

  • Ben says:

    Anyone got any advice – called BAEC Gold Line Monday to change a flight. Agent confirmed it was done. Didn’t show in the app so I called to check, they’re now saying the agent didn’t save the booking correctly and so the flights are gone… Apparently this is my problem not theirs!
    Any idea how to escalate?

    • Anna says:

      You can submit a formal complaint via ba.com but I don’t think you’ll get much joy as I imagine incompetence is an internal matter for BA and not covered by consumer legislation. However – when you say the flights are gone, do you mean award seats? Are there any policies currently which would cover you to make changes even though award seats aren’t available (I can’t keep up with all the different policies BA has adopted recently!)

    • Lady London says:

      Kick up a stink. Do you have your own recording or notes including date and time of the call and number you dialled. They are supposed to have a record

      • Lady London says:

        *ask them to listen to the tape. They wont like it but push. After its logged keep pushing. Exec Club will be impotent but log it with them anyway.

        • Anna says:

          I’m not averse to kicking up a stink but I could see this taking ages to resolve and as no new booking was actually made I can’t see that there can be a breach of contract as there is no contract without a confirmed booking. Also BA will charge you if you ask them to retrieve a phone recording!

          • Charlieface says:

            They can’t charge, it’s a SAR. Whether it will help is a different story, they’ve admitted the booking was supposed to be made, but if there is no seats (even for cash) there’s not much they will do.

          • Lady London says:

            they will have a recording, when it is proved its not the passenger’s fault then BA must provide what they said was confirmed in that conversation. Demand the recording be listened to and not the passengers problem if avios seats gone – BA will have to provide what they said. Try to get a copy of the recording too.

          • Ben says:

            Thanks! Still pushing. Not helped by their call centre dropping calls so frequently and having to explain the problem at least 15 times!
            They’ve comitted to listen to the call. As there are still cash tickets, I am expecting them to book me one.
            Lesson learnt – make sure you have the booking reference and don’t just trust it’ll be done.

          • Mzungu says:

            Definitely keep pushing – I was one flight short of silver a couple of years ago because one of my flights (booked on the phone) had an AA code – I only had the BA flight number written down, and couldn’t have known the AA flight number. I insisted that they listened to the recording of the call to confirm – eventually they said that they would go and listen, but it would take a couple of days… they called me back a couple of days later and said that it was too hard to go back through the recordings, so they granted me silver anyway 🙂
            Don’t give in!

          • Evan says:

            I’m with Anna on this. Where’s the contract? It’s a staff error.

          • Genghis says:

            Contracts can be verbal?

  • Dominic says:

    Any tips for loading onto HL and collecting some form of miles/points?

    • Danny says:

      I use Tesco Bank Debit Card for Clubcard points (1 point for every £8) and IHG Creation Credit Card via Curve for IHG Reward points.

    • Crafty says:

      We do Curve – Hilton.

  • David says:

    Any data points on the following Shop Small scenarios?

    1) Getting Amex to credit the £5 when you have been to a restaurant that appears on the map but they then say they don’t take Amex
    2) The £5 crediting when the transaction has been processed through ‘iZettle’ (the retailer name still appears in the transaction line)

    I have already queried the first and been turned down however am tempted to keep trying as IMO it is false advertising on Amex’s part if the map isn’t up to date.

    • Ron says:

      I’ve called and told Amex shopsmall map is wrong before and they have offered points or £5 for the error.

      • Andrew says:

        Only scenario Amex is honouring this year is if it’s on the map and takes Amex but the credit doesn’t auto apply. They aren’t giving away the £5 if a place doesn’t accept Amex or if they are closed etc.

        • Sam says:

          Same experience, I have rang twice for 3 places that were on the map and when I went there (and eaten!) They dont take Amex. When speaking to Amex they wouldn’t honour the £5 because this isn’t the ‘usual’ shop small in Dec – this is the case even speaking to Brighton!

        • Aston100 says:

          This happened to me last week.

        • Lady London says:

          Why are people paying £600 per year for the American Express Platinum card when the Amex level of customer service has dropped to free Tesco card levels?

        • memesweeper says:

          which is what the T&Cs on the map say

    • Jill (Kinkell) says:

      Long tussle last Christmas. Upshot being Amex did credit. However. Amex stated they are not responsible if the retailer doesn’t/won’t take Amex. Also not their problem if the retailer displays the logo ,takes Amex, but isn’t listed on the map.

    • mark2 says:

      re scenario 2) you will not get credit as it shows up as iZettle not the merchant. I think this is covered in T&C of offer but Amex site seems broken at present.

      • Grant says:

        I’ve just had an email to say the shop small offer was triggered from a retailer who used iZettle. Not received the £5 credit yet, but the transaction shows up in my list as IZ *retailer name*, a bit like Curve transactions appear with the CRV prefix.

        • mark2 says:

          I am surprised but pleased to hear that. The General Conditions linked to the conditions of the Shop Small offer include as exclusions ‘transactions processed through a third party payment processor’ which I believe includes iZettle and its ilk.
          I hope you get the credit and, if not, you have good grounds for complaint.
          I tried to claim where the merchant was on the list/map, showed the banner etc. but came up on the statement under a different name. Amex spent more than the £5 to refuse to give it to me. But I managed to spend at 10 merchants on each card without.

    • mark2 says:

      I know that the map is very inaccurate so always check first.

    • David says:

      Thanks all, sounds like it’s futile pushing for scenario 1 but reckon I will try for scenario 2 as the merchant name does appear in the transaction line, but prefixed with IZ. Didn’t receive the Shop Small email however but I know they are hit and miss.

  • Harry T says:

    Has anyone used the airport lounges at Edinburgh with. Priority Pass recently? Are they accepting admissions?

    • Harry T says:

      Update. New aspire lounge is open and we both got in with my priority pass. The food is good and there’s plenty of it. Drinks as well, if you fancy.

  • Nigel says:

    Has any other Centurion Cardholders received the £400 Harrods credit in the post today?

  • James says:

    Has anyone been interested in the Virgin Reward Voucher extensions? My understanding was that all “active” vouchers as of 13 March 2020 were to be extended by 12 months as a result of COVID (initially 6 and then a further 6).

    I was interested in this, given I am planning on a family vacation to Florida in the coming year or so, therefore reached out for confirmation of expiry so I can make sure to use them in time.

    To my surprise, only 1 of my vouchers has been extended by 12 months when the rest have been extended by 6. I am not sure if this is a delay due to the system applying the extension or an issue to report to Virgin.

    What is everyone else’s experience? if any?

  • Matt says:

    Curve question- anyone know if I should be expecting double IHG points on a stay if I pay with curve (metal)+black IHG? I know, I know, a waste, but I need some more ‘normal’ spend just now.

    • James says:

      You only get double points using your IHG card direct with the hotel not through a proxy like Curve.

      • Matt says:

        Thanks James.

      • Genghis says:

        You sure? I’ve had IHG hotels (and even non-IHG hotels) through Curve post as “hotel spend” in the past

        • James says:

          I don’t think this is driven by MCC but more Creation card numbers being used in IHG properties. I maybe wrong but my understanding was using Curve would not then deem using your IHG card.

          • Genghis says:

            But doesn’t explain me getting “hotel points” for spend at other hotel groups, e.g. Marriott.

          • Harry T says:

            @Genghis
            You’ve received double IHG points when using IHG linked to Curve at Marriott properties? Damn.

            I’m always nervous about using a debit card to settle hotel bills, as I like having section 75 protection.

          • Tom H says:

            You sure James, like Genghis, I ve had no problems using Curve with IHG for the extra points

        • Sina says:

          Yep, me too.

          • Matt says:

            Thanks to everyone else who has chipped in. I decided to test it out anyway as it’s a cheap one nighter. I’ll report back what ends up posting to my IHG a/c.

  • mark2 says:

    I just upgraded by BA Blue to PP on phone since it is no longer possible online (big downgrade). It was with someone in Philippines and was painful.
    The person was adamant that Companion voucher only lasts 24 months when Rob has said 30 if achieved before 30 Sept.
    Also they are sending me a form to sign and return to confirm that I want to upgrade.
    This seems a major reduction in the service.

    • Anna says:

      That IS a pain, and quite surprising backward step. I’ll definitely be cancelling my BAPP when my next lot of avios have cleared!

    • Rob says:

      There was never an online upgrade form. You simply applied for BAPP and Amex closed down your old card automatically.

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