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The HfP chat thread – Saturday 3rd October

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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 (87)

  • mark2 says:

    If you use Monese you will probably have received an email advising that the monthly limit for deposits through PayPoint has been reduced from £5,000 to £2,500 but no reduction in the monthly £14.95 charge.
    This seems no longer economic so I am reverting to the previous method of Amex spending.

  • DMW says:

    A general travel/insurance question if you don’t mind.
    How far before travel can you make an insurance claim for not being able to travel owing to a country being on the all-but-essential travel list? Eg if a flight isn’t cancelled but you can’t go?
    Sorry if I’ve misunderstood how this works!

    • Steve says:

      The list changes all the time, so you’d need to wait until the day of departure at minimum

    • Steve says:

      Also, I’m not sure most instances would pay out for this scenario?

      • DMW says:

        Many thanks. I thought being on the all-but-essential travel list was enough to trigger the ability to claim (even if the flight was not cancelled (still run for cargo?)). But I could well be wrong!

        • Wollhouse says:

          Wondering if there’s a way around having to use extra Avios. My original booking for this sept was business return using Avios and a 241 edi-lhr-bkk This was a total of 150000 Avios and cash. Trip was cancelled. The friend that was coming this year lives near LHR and was only coming via EDI as her son was at Edinburgh. Next sep, this won’t be the case. Rebooking w a FTV, she will start lhr-bkk whereas I need to be edi-lhr-bkk. As there’s a 241 voucher we have to have the same itinerary. It was “included” before but if I book the same itinerary for both and she no shows the first leg, she’ll be cancelled so I’m guessing I’ll end either having to pay cash or additional Avios for my extra legs? Is there a clever way to tack on my edi-lhr and the return??

      • High grade says:

        Sorry Steve, but I think both of your comments are wrong

    • High grade says:

      I think it depends on your insurance. I’m HSBC premier and they say 30 days before travel.

      • DMW says:

        Thank you!!

        • GERRY says:

          Has anyone experience of heading to Cyprus, decent price for next thursday, 200 return biz class, any feedback appreciated

      • Steve says:

        Very interesting! I stand corrected on being able to claim for FCO guidance. I would say HSBC’s policy seems very generous on the number of days before, looking at AXA they seem to refer up to the day of departure

    • Sukes says:

      Hi DMW you need to consult the exact wording of your insurance policy to see what events you have purchased cover for. Under Cancellation section you will probably see wording along the lines of cover for ‘FCO or Government issued advice against travel’ but there may be caveats such as said cover is only when the advice is issued due to ‘fire, earthquakes, terrorism’ etc and excludes pandemics (I have seen this in Avanti insurance terms).

      Your policy is unlikely to state a start time at which this cancellation cover can be claimed, so have a look at your insurers website to see if they have published Covid related advice or call them.

      If your trip is a package holiday you have a legal right to refund if FCO non-travel advice is in place and you can prove the performance of your trip would be significantly compromised – in this case there is a refund liability to be met by your holiday provider rather than a claim to be made on your insurer.

      • Doug M says:

        I thought I had decent travel insurance, but was very wrong. I’d always checked the medical stuff closely, but assumed too much about other cover. My policy manages to exclude most cover if you travel against FCO advice, but also excludes cancellation as a result of FCO advice, I will not be renewing with them.

        • Sukes says:

          DougM, I imagine there are multiple people in a similar Catch-22 situation. It has echoes of a case brought to the Financial Ombudsman a few yrs ago during the Zika virus outbreaks. A lady had hol booked to S America, then became pregnant, and FCO advised against travel to the destination during pregnancy. She would have invalidated her insurance if she had travelled. However her insurance also said she was not covered for cancellation. Ombudsman found the insurance terms unfair and made insurers pay up stating ‘ We didn’t think it was fair for the insurer to leave Tally in a position where she’d have no cover if she did go to South America – but also have no cover if she didn’t travel.’ Possible FOS would also consider terms of your insurance to be unfair.

      • Donna says:

        Thank you so much. Yes it is a package, so that’s great information

        • Sukes says:

          Hi Donna, glad that titbit is useful. I would strongly advise you have a read through this short doc (https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/coronavirus_info_ptd_19.3.2020.pdf) which is European Commission issued guidance. It gives examples when a refund for a covid impacted package hol could be due. If you don’t find eligibility under this route you may wish to discuss with your holiday provider rearranging your trip to other dates or check your insurance to see if it gives you cover for cancellation.

    • ao40 says:

      I claimed on Amex Platinum insurance for a flight to Portugal about 3 weeks before travel. They approved the claim even after Portugal was taken off the quarantine list (briefly) for the date I was due to fly after I had submitted the claim.

      I actually could have got on the flight, as did not even need to show proof of cancellation, just confirmation it was completely non-refundable from Ryanair.

      Was coincidentally in the airport at the time of the original flight as had rebooked for Greece, felt like we had a backup plan!

    • fivebobbill says:

      Just checked my Leisure Guard policy (member of the Rock Insurance Group – Insurefor etc…).
      Listed under what you are NOT covered for in SECTION 1 – CANCELLATION, CURTAILMENT AND TRIP INTERRUPTION:
      7. claims arising from prohibitive regulations by the government of any
      country;

      • fivebobbill says:

        10. any claims arising from government or Foreign and Commonwealth
        Office advice warning against all travel, or all but essential travel, due
        to any epidemic or pandemic, including but not limited to Coronavirus
        disease (COVID-19); severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus
        (SARS-COV-2) or any mutation of these;

  • Dave B says:

    Not able to transfer money out of any Ernie accounts or move money between them , yesterday and today?Don’t need to. Anyone resolved same problem.?

    • New Card says:

      Try using Microsoft Edge browser

    • Grant says:

      The browser issue reported a day or so back helped me out. If you are using Chrome try something else.

  • Dave B says:

    Thanks , Just shut down my laptop and re started it , with same browser and worked.

  • MattB says:

    I’m looking to move an avois booking to August next year, partly on the slim hope travel circumstances are improved but also because of better flight options are available for both legs. I don’t think there should be any additional fees/taxes other than the change charge. Will BA effectively charge my amex for the new booking then refund the old one as this will trigger our next voucher earlier than we wanted.

    • Harry T says:

      You should just be charged £35 per person to change the dates. Unless you are cancelling and rebooking, you shouldn’t receive a refund.

      • Lady London says:

        if you have enough avios U would rebook then cancel the origunal. this gives a new today’s issue date for your ticket which may ssve you sone arguments with BA in the event you want or need to make future chsnges. stay within the current book with confidence period when you make the new booking.

        • Lady London says:

          Normally you can cancel online and IME the avios comes back practically immediately (you neef to log out and in again). Cash should theoretically be returned to you within 7 days but check and chase that.

  • Linda says:

    I rang the Avios.com to rebook using our Lloyds voucher for our cancelled flights next week. As we wanted to go to the USA the agent said their system was not accepting bookings due to it being on the no go list.

    She has held the seats we wanted on the flight on another system and says they will not go. and refunded all the money and left the Avios in our avois. com account plus the extra we need for the upgraded class we wanted.
    I have just rang and they still cannot book to the US and will ring me back when they can, no idea of time frame they have passed this glitch or whatever to their IT department.

    It seems rather weird to me that BA will let you book to the US. but not Avios.com its all rather frustrating.

    • Lady London says:

      Perhaps avios.com does not need cash to run an airline 🙂

  • Harry T says:

    My Platinum card randomly stopped working, so amex have sent out a replacement. Unfortunately it seems that the offers saved to it have evaporated. Has anyone found that the previously saved offers reappear eventually, or should I ring Amex in a day or two to readd the offers? I was planning to use the “more value from Platinum offer” and a couple of others that have now gone.

    • Lady London says:

      I would phone them without delay to avoid the usual lame excuses and non-action

      • Harry T says:

        @LL
        Their customer service has actually been excellent for me recently. I phoned this morning about the card not working and was very pleased with their response. New card is already in the post. They gave me 2000 MR for the inconvenience – I didn’t ask for anything.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I’ve found they come back after a day or two

      • Harry T says:

        Thanks – do you reckon if I spend at a store I had an offer saved for, it will still trigger the offer, even though it hasn’t returned to the card yet?

  • GERRY says:

    Has anyone experience of heading to Cyprus, decent price for next thursday, 200 return biz class, any feedback appreciated

    • Rob says:

      It’s about the best option left. Long haul flat beds on some days. Need to turn up with a negative test result.

    • Lashious says:

      return business to corfu is 170, and no test/quarantine

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