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The HfP chat thread – Saturday 26th September

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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 (88)

  • Annabel says:

    If you’ve made an Avios booking using an BA FTV can you still make changes to destination / dates or cancel free of charge as long as it’s within their ‘book with confidence’ dates?
    And have people been given ‘change’ in Avios / cash if new redemption is cheaper?
    Thank you

    • Clive says:

      I have done this. The FTV is just Avios abs Cash so it can be used in the normal way although needs a call to book. For us the residue was left on the FYV, after booking, to be used in the future

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    Has anyone else received fees on virgin card for paying creation recently?
    I seem to have a new balance unaccounted for.

    • Vit says:

      Just about to pay mine for the first time — thought they incur no fees whatsoever?

      • The Original Nick says:

        I’ve just activated my new IHG rewards mastercard. Are you saying that I can pay my balance on my IHG card with my Virgin CC?

        • Peter K says:

          Have a look at the payment page on the creation card account. It’s all very self explanatory 🌝

    • James. says:

      Usually cash Adv fees post up to 5 days after the said transaction don’t they? so you should see this in the app or online. I made a payment on 22 Sept and yet to see any fees posted

      • BP says:

        If treated as a cash advance this will mean no points under the T&C’s. Please let us know the outcome. I was slow to get on the bandwagon and just been approved for this card with a decent £20k limit. Was looking forward to collecting 30k points a month.

  • Doug M says:

    BBC running the Easyjet hanging on story Rob mentioned a few days ago. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54303379

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Hanging a 10 month long thread

    • ChrisBCN says:

      Hold on. If you are the finance director and meeting a union official, under what circumstance WOULDN’T you have said what he said?

      You want the union to understand that times are tough so that they ask for less, and use whatever language that takes.

      So I would take the ‘hanging by a thread’ comment as a way of prepping the union for meagre times, rather than a statement on the financial situation of the company.

      It may be that the company is on its last legs of course, but you cannot deduce that from what has been said here.

    • Lady London says:

      Also, the airline becoming insolvent does not necessarily mean it closing. In the case of a good airline like Easyjet it’s more likely its assets would be redistributed and operations continue in some form. This would of course be to the displeasure of current owners and the inconvenience of senior management.

      Stelios was right about those extra aircraft though.

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    My balances were all paid up then 2 days later a £25 charge from somewhere. It doesn’t show on my statement so im going to have to call up and see if its fees levied.
    I had another smaller charge a week ago but i sucked it up.

    • Travel Strong says:

      My last payments were 3wks ago, and balance is still the same with no fee’s so far.

    • Travel Strong says:

      Are you exclusively using it for creation or are there other transactions that may be causing fees – such as crve payments and revolut?

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Exclusively to Creation. Strange thing i had a charge earlier this month, i paid it.
        Then another unidentified balance arrived today but now dropped off?
        No description of any type in both accounts so i thought it may be fees which are levied but do not show until statement is generated.

  • Niall says:

    Posted this yesterday but no reply (seemed to get lost in the comments):

    My mother-in-law (who is just Blue BAEC) has just changed the date of her 787-8 LHR-CAI flight (business class cash ticket), resulting in a timing change (new flight number: BA0400 instead of BA155) and aircraft downgrade (to narrow-body ex-BMI A321neo).

    Two questions:
    1. Shouldn’t she be due a partial refund of taxes due to the aircraft change? My wife and I have had the exact same change (albeit Avios tickets on a different booking) and received ~£50 back each
    2. Her checked baggage allowance now states zero! It was 2 checked bags before. Is this a glitch? Again, my wife and I still have 3 checked bags each (we’re Gold BAEC) following the change

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Is she still in club? If so no refund due.

      Probably a glitch but would check with BA just in case

    • ChrisBCN says:

      I started to reply but then stopped because what you wrote didn’t make sense to me. You talk about aircraft downgrade, what do you mean by this? Do you mean she has been dropped from business class to economy or premium?
      Why would you expect a tax refund if the airline changes a model of plane?

      You should probably have spelt out where CAI is too…

      • Niall says:

        Sorry…”aircraft downgrade” means from wide-body Boeing 787-8 to narrow-body Airbus A321 neo.

        She’s still business class.

        Refund presumably because of the change from Club World to Club Europe. As mentioned, when myself and my wife had that exact same change on our reward tickets (U), we received ~£50 back each.

        And CAI is Cairo, sorry!

        • ChrisBCN says:

          Ok. When you booked, did your booking specifically say Club World, and that’s whats on your confirmation email?

          If so, you, in my view, are entitled to compensation. There are two routes to getting this.
          1- goods and services act. Contact BA, be very clear that you booked as you did for the purpose of the flat bed. See what they offer you by way of compensation. Personally, I would want half the cost of my flight refunded, but if they make you a reasonable offer you may wish to accept it and move on (they may offer you £150 or 10,000 avíos).

          2- If you didn’t get anywhere under point 1, you could proceed making an EU261 claim. This kind of downgrade remains a grey area, I haven’t heard of any cases that have clarified the situation. I would argue that this is a class downgrade (there are a lot of differences between CW/CE) and that you are entitled to 75% of your fare back. I would expect BA to settle this as they wouldn’t want a definitive court ruling to be made.

          Forget about tax refunds (there aren’t any due) and don’t mention aircraft downgrade, as this is irrelevant – it’s the product downgrade that’s important.

          • Niall says:

            Thanks, and yes, all our bookings (myself and my wife on Avios reward U tickets, and my mother-in-law on cash I ticket) stated Club World in our confirmation emails.

  • Niall says:

    Still in Club, yes. Although now it’s called “Club Europe”.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      But that’s business weather it’s CW or CE it costs business Avios and business fees

      • Niall says:

        Yes, so my two questions above still apply, right? CW changed to CE due to aircraft downgrade.

        • mark2 says:

          Sounds likely: CW is very different from CE.

        • Matt says:

          Just to manage your MIL’s expectations – Cairo is switching to a standard (shorthaul) A321, not the ex-BMI midhaul aircraft with flatbeds and IFE… hence Club Europe instead of Club World. However, it is still considered business class in terms of EU compensation etc.

          • Matt says:

            As for your specific questions – should be the same taxes/fees/charges and the same baggage allowance as before.

          • Niall says:

            Thanks Matt – we got a ~£50 refund each on our reward U-class bookings, which I assume comes off the APD (£176) for the smaller aircraft.

            My MIL is I-class…might explain why no similar refund is due for her.

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          CW is only on a long haul aircraft on long haul routes. If your flying in Europe on one of a few routes using wide body aircraft on short haul routes for cargo purposes then you still are technically in CE. if the plane is swopped to narrow body craft like 320 then same CE class.

  • tony says:

    Datapoint if anyone needs to renew a passport. I’d suggest you get onto it now – applied for a renewal for my son last Friday, posted it off Saturday and I’ve just heard the new one is already on its way back. Ignore the plea from HMPO not to apply as the reality is when we do get back to normality, they’re going to have one hell of a backlog.

  • Phil says:

    Hello to all HfP readers.
    Any advice re the below?
    Currently holding a ticket to travel to Hong Kong for a short trip at the end of October which I may not be able to cancel or transform into a voucher.
    Looking at destinations ‘not too far’ from HKG so that my ticket doesn’t go to waste, given Hong Kong authorities allow transiting. For the avoidance of doubt am a UK resident so trying to find destinations accepting Uk residents without an obligation to quarantine.
    Thanks all!

    • Phil says:

      Ok just realised that the connecting flights would have to be under the same ticket anyway. I doubt this would be possible then as I can’t see this happening…

      • ChrisBCN says:

        Why wouldn’t you be able to cancel? You have an option of waiting until nearer the time to see if the airline cancels the flight so you can get a refund.

        • Phil says:

          Thanks ChrisBCN. My booking was made before March and the itinerary is for late October, and non flex…
          Because the FCO doesn’t advise against travelling to HKG (exception list) then my insurance seems void 🙁

          • Phil says:

            Sorry I haven’t said that this is a BA booking, the booking date doesn’t fall in their COVID policies (yet?).
            It’s an odd one because I am not even sure Hong Kong would allow me to travel in the first instance, given the 14 day quarantine cannot be cut short to leave the country anyway, and my return is only a few days after my arrival…
            not sure what would happen then if I am denied boarding/checking in

    • The Streets says:

      I’ve been checking too as I will be in Hong Kong but was hoping for a side trip somewhere. But as far as I can tell the whole of Asia is closed!

    • The Streets says:

      Also for travel to Hong Kong you will soon need to provide a negative COVID test before leaving the UK (although maybe not for transit only)