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The HfP chat thread – Sunday 18th 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 (148)

  • Nick says:

    Anyone have any recent experience of Amex offers where the merchant pushes transactions through Stripe? Hoping they’ve sorted it out after the Bremont fiasco last year, but if so, how long does it tend to take to get the credit? (Hoping it’s not the full 90 days.) Or will I have to chase it?

    • Harry T says:

      I imagine you’ll have to chase it if it’s not showing as the retailer.

      • Nick says:

        With respect, ‘imagine’ isn’t ‘know’ – hence I asked for recent experiences. There was such a fuss over Bremont that I wondered/hoped Amex might have sorted it for those specific circumstances.

      • Harry T says:

        Yeah, I get you. I seem to recall that people had issues during Shop Small but I do not have any personal experience. Hopefully some more people can weigh in!

        • BS says:

          I had an issue with the shop small last Xmas. Lodged formal complaint, rejected, went to FOS and got awarded the £5 plus £50 for my time.

          • Connor says:

            Mental if you think how that ended up costing Amex £705 rather than just crediting £5 originally.

          • Lady London says:

            did you ask for a preparation time order or was the £50 awarded anyway ?

          • BS says:

            I requested £100 but agreed £50 when Amex queried with the initial FOS investigation. The Amex complaints person was horrible, rude, and refused to even listen to me. I just said if you disagree and are not going to listen to me give me a deadlock letter and I will escalate, expecting them to cave in to the £5 immediately. They didn’t…

          • BS says:

            And agreed mental given the bad will and costs to Amex. I can understand them making a point to stand up to claims that are without basis/vexatious, but to go through all that for £5. I made a point in escalating, as the complaints guy was so horrible to me. Needless to say I closed my Amex account soon after.

    • Pid says:

      During Small Shop mine did not automatically credit. Used Chat and they sent it to the backroom staff to do a manual credit.

      • Pid says:

        I did not wait 90 days, just until my statement hit which was 2-3 weeks.

        • Nick says:

          Thanks all. This one is Brew Republic… I’ll keep an eye on my account and report back if it does trigger.

          I actually understand Amex not wanting to pay for shop small, the whole point of that is to support small merchants who choose to have a contract specifically with them – but paying for izettle accounts which require no effort from the merchant isn’t in the spirit of that promotion. But this is where a specific company has chosen to set up a marketing deal with Amex that doesn’t then trigger because their marketing dept doesn’t speak to their payments dept. Let’s see if I’m too cynical 😄

          • Pid says:

            But if the merchant shows on the small shop map then they do need to pay. If they do not want to payout in these circumstances, which I can understand they may not want to, then they should not put them on the map.

          • Richard says:

            I’ve used brew republic offers 3 times and they’ve always worked. Most recently 17th Sept

          • Richard says:

            So it was actually 16th Sept. I got an email immediately from Amex saying I redeemed it.
            Don’t remember it being Stripe though. No mention of Stripe on statement. Oddly enough there was a problem when I tried to place the order At the payment par, it said error with “Braintree client”

  • John W says:

    I’m looking where to go for 10 days over new year – Cape Verde seems to be a option ? – take a pre departure covid test and I think all ok – anyone have experience on best island / weather / things to do ?

    • meta says:

      This is the coldest time of the year there although still pleasant 22-24. 7-8 hours of sunshine. The sea is less warm. If you’re thinking of island hopping, you will need a covid test done locally for each hop. Best accommodation is on Sal and Boa Vista. On Sal there are Melia properties and Hilton resort on points. There’s not much to do one these islands apart from lying on the beach and a trip to the salt mine on Sal. On Boa Vista even less.

      I haven’t been, but Santo Antao, Santiago, Fogo are apparently great for hiking, especially in the colder months.

      • Chris K says:

        Meliá Tortuga Beach in Sal was very good. Have fond memories of the food, especially steaks in one of the sea view grill restaurants. The hotel complex was quite spread out I remember, so good to walk off a large dinner. Staff very pleasant.

        Mary Berry was there when I stayed and she seemed quite happy!

        There was a big building site nearby by, which apparently had been going on for a while. Hotel development on the island was very slow in 2013, because the port was only really big enough to bring in essential supplies and not loads of building materials. That might have changed now and so worth researching the options meta has mentioned, which might be newer or better – that building site might well have become one of them.

        • meta says:

          Melia Dunas is better and newer. However, I would stay in Hilton now. Much more to do around as you are closer to the town.

  • Reney says:

    Data point, just in case anyone is also waiting. My cash booking in March that I decided not to travel and take the Future Travel Voucher (I applied for it the first day the policy came in) has finally been converted to an e voucher!

  • Bill says:

    I am Easyjet flight club member, does anyone know if they’re going to validate all memberships with a 12 month extension due to the current circumstances ? Mine is due to expire in May 2021 and it’s likely I will have done almost no travel with them I the 12 months.

    • Brian W says:

      I was emailed 1st May and notified my Flight Club membership was being extended by 12 months. Can’t comment on more recent occurrences though but can confirm it’s happened since the start of the pandemic.

  • rams1981 says:

    Any Monese free premium codes still around?

  • Tical says:

    Anyone been to St Lucia lately? Flights booked way back in Feb-20 and looks like they are still operating for mid November. Other than proving a negative COVID test certificate 72 hours before arrival seems a shame to cancel and try going somewhere else given reasonably low thresholds to go

    • meta says:

      Not sure if things changed since I looked about a month ago, but you are not allowed to leave hotel premises. I believe they also have an approved list of hotels/accommodation, so you can’t just stay anywhere.

      • Doc says:

        Quite a few of the hotels I had in my mind are COVID certified (these are the only hotels you can stay in) but BAs asking price of over £2K per person for CW makes it a non starter at the moment.

    • Matt says:

      I’m currently in Saint Lucia. You need a covid swab within 7 days of departure, not 3 days, which makes it a bit easier. The flight was full in club, fairly empty at the back apparently. They had cancelled a couple of flights earlier in the week though a few weeks back.

      The weather has been good so far. We’re confined to the resort except for excursions organised through the resort. We’re here for diving and relaxation, so that’s fine for us, plus we explored a bit last time we were here.

      • Tical says:

        Thanks – flying in F, which looms empty now but let’s see. Any thoughts on hotel? Most of the ones that come to mind are on the COVID approved list but my thought is that if we will be staying mainly on the property, I want a large property

  • Harry T says:

    Did we ever figure out if the Harvey Nichols Amex offer worked for cumulative spend? The spend £150 get £30 back one.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Always best to just get a £150 gift card. But they only work instore 🤦🏽‍♂️

      • Andrew says:

        You can use them online but it’s a bit manual – you shop as normal and then email them afterwards with details of the gift card and they will refund the amount of the gift card to the card you used to pay for the thing you ordered (so use a different card to that which you bought the gift card with or it will cancel the credit!)

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Ah ok did not know that was going to add you can over the phone but didn’t know you could check out normally and then they’ll swap credit card for gift card.

          Great know as I’ll be taking up the offer across a few cards. Selfridges is far less hassle.

          • Andrew says:

            Yeah I did it in the summer with the £100 back on platinum on multiple supps. And then you can still order on line and get the 14 (I think it is at the moment) Avios back by ordering via BA portal (as it was a manual refund it wasn’t linked to the original purchase so Avios weren’t clawed back when the refund went through). And also with HN Rewards, you oddly earn rewards when you buy gift cards but not when you redeem, which is the opposite of Harrods, and this way you end up earning them twice!

        • Harry T says:

          Thanks, Andrew, good to know. I’ve got a gift card left at home that I could do with using up. Don’t live in London, so not always easy to get to HN.

      • Harry T says:

        I know, I’m an amateur. I did this last time but impressively only remembered one of the £75 gift cards on this trip!

  • S says:

    Has anyone managed to get a refund from Virgin Atlantic for the ANA carrier-imposed surcharge for existing reward bookings? It looks like these were scrapped in June this year.

    • yorkieflyer says:

      ah that would be why I was able to change our ANA flights from BRU to FRA without a change fee or extra taxes when I know Germany has their own APD? I opted for a change rather than cancellation.
      But to answer your question it would be the surcharge that was applicable at time ticketing, so highly unlikely, taxes are a different matter of course

      • S says:

        They are happy to cancel and re-book the ticket with a £30 charge (taken from the carrier-imposed surcharge refund)

        Has anyone had any experience of how risky this is? Do the reward seats go straight back onto their system?

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