Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 16th December

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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 (336)

  • Harry T says:

    The NCL-LHR leg of my BA holidays booking to Cape Town in January was cancelled a few weeks back. Due to the current situation in SA and the UK FCDO advice, I wanted to weigh up my options. Spoke to a delightful gentleman a few weeks back and decided to leave my options open and ring them back. Some plonker then rebooked our NCL-LHR flights without our permission, which concerned me.

    Rang up last night before the payment deadline of 17th December and got through to the delightful Newcastle BAH team at 19.53. They acknowledged that the notes indicated I didn’t accept a rebooking and then proceeded to offer me the full gamut of options. I asked to move our booking almost to the end of ticket validity which is one year from booking (current BA guidelines differ from the usual 14 day leeway to offer you a year from the booking date). Agent more than happy to do this. They even waived any increase in car hire costs, as our new October itinerary included an extra four days of car hire (flights and car hire booking). So we are booked for October for a 13 day trip, with no cost to change the booking. £2242 all in, NCL-LHR-CPT-LHR-NCL in business plus car hire for the whole trip.

    Thought it might be helpful to share a positive rebooking experience during the pandemic and demonstrate some of the flexibility BA are currently offering. I cannot fault the BAH team, who are always fantastic.

    • Darren says:

      Excellent, I’m hoping for a similar switch to the end of the year for a Miami trip in March, it was never gonna happen but the half Avios offer was too good to resist.

      • Harry T says:

        Have they cancelled any of the flights? NCL flights seem to be changed dramatically all the time.

    • gerry says:

      what number did you manage to contact them on ?

  • Phil says:

    Final day was the 14th and the £10 was due to post on or before the 17th.

  • DodgyDCF says:

    Just had a flight in April cancelled (LHR – ICN on half avios sale + 241 voucher) there is no availability according to rewardflightfinder for 2021 to rebook, the 241 voucher was due to expire June 2021, what is going on here? what are my options?

    Taking the voucher would mean I lose from the 50% avios sale?

    • Darren says:

      There have been comments of rebooking via the call centre to flights without availability.

    • Pete C says:

      I’ve also had a LHR -> ICN flight cancelled, and when I do a search for cash flights on the same day they all involve changing airports in Tokyo. If I look on Cathay/Finnair websites there are more convenient connections available – can I get BA to book me on to one of these even if they’re not showing up on the BA search?

    • Rhys says:

      Under EU261 you can 1) get a full refund 2) get BA to reroute you on a different airline for your dates (or as close to as possible) or 3) Change your dates with agreement of BA.

      • DodgyDCF says:

        Thanks for that Rhys, a nice concise summary. Is option 2 easy/headache free to do? I’d imagine it requires a call to customer service.

      • H says:

        Is there a time limit during which these requests need to be made? For example, if my flights for May next year got cancelled, can I call up BA in April to request a reroute / change of dates or do I have to call them now?

      • Jon says:

        Re (2) rerouting with a different airline – can that include sticking with BA for the long-haul segment but going to/from a nearby airport, with a short-hop connection with a different carrier? I take it BA would much rather pay another airline for a short-haul leg and keep the long-haul one for themselves, than put me on a different carrier for the long-haul leg?

        E.g. I could switch my now-cancelled LHR-KUL flight to SIN, if they’d cover the SIN-KUL connection on MH. Or presumably the other option is to ask them to switch me to MH direct? (I assume booking with a 241, and hence BA-metal-only rule, is irrelevant here?)

        • Rhys says:

          Yes, that should be possible.

        • Lady London says:

          flight number of the first flight on the ticket determines which airline gets the lion’s share of the ticket (even if that first flight is a connection flight to someone else’s longhaul flight). So BA will want to keep the first flight BA coded flight if they can.

    • ChrisC says:

      If BA cancel the flight there does not need to be avios availability on your chosen replacement.

      if you cancel / want to change then there does.

  • stevenhp1987 says:

    Our flights to Japan in May just cancelled. Cannot see any flights from Osaka to LHR either…

    A bit early to be making such decisions?!?

    • Rhys says:

      The route has been pulled for summer 2021 schedules.

    • Lady London says:

      Poor, poor you. You might have to ask to be rebooked on JAL instead

      • Aston100 says:

        Just got an email that my summer holidays flights to KUL have been cancelled. Are BA dropping several eastwards long haul destinations?

      • Aston100 says:

        Would I be allowed to request being put on to Malaysia Airlines? I note their flights are within 30 minutes of the cancelled BA flights to/from KUL.
        Presumably I can request the same kind of cabins: F outbound; J inbound. Though I don’t think MAS do a first class cabin anymore, or maybe they’ve just renamed it to something.
        Just checking before I ring youfirst.


        • TGLoyalty says:

          You should but I’d wait until you contact them as the advise usually rolls out and gets updated slowly.

  • Maria says:

    I’m thinking about dropping the Amex Platinum for now and maybe signing up later on when things pick up and I can actually make use of the travel benefits. Is there anything that I should consider before going ahead with this? TIA

    • Harry T says:

      They may offer you a retention offer to keep it. Also could offer you a downgrade to a green or gold charge card. The main consideration of actually cancelling is whether you have another MR card linked to the same MR account… otherwise you will lose all your MR points.

      • Small Shop says:

        I have 2 other cards that earn MR points, but the points seem separate. How do you get them linked? Is it just a phone call or was there something I should have done differently when opening the new card?

        • Nick_C says:

          A phone call should sort it, although it took me a chat message, two phone calls, and a complaint before mine were merged.

    • Rob says:

      Sign up for all the hotel status cards before you cancel, because they will keep on working for a good while.

      • Maria says:

        Thank you all. They are not making a retention offer at the moment.
        I. have a gold car too and I have linked the MR so that’s not a problem. I think I’m signed for all the hotel cards status but I’ll review it beforehand. One question springs to mind, will the insurance cover will be exactly the same as before Covid?

  • r* says:

    Ive just had an email from BA saying my flight for Q3 2021 has been cancelled, which is an avios 2 for 1 booking, it looks like there is no longer any BA flights scheduled to Seoul.

    What are my options here? I do want the flight (or at least a flight to somewhere in the area) and can see there are avios options to seoul on cathay via HKG while BA are selling cash fares for asiana.

    Alternatively, would I be better waiting and see what happens with the schedules?

    If I wait a few months, would BA be required to offer a re-booking on a flight where theres no open avios availability should Seoul get added back to the schedule or if it doesnt, to a different airport that had no avois availability?

  • DT says:

    KUL to LHR in F booked on points has been cancelled. Considering BA will no longer fly this route for the foreseeable, is it possible to change this to SIN -> LHR instead without added points cost? Just want to know my options before I get on the phone to YouFirst

    • DT says:

      Sorry forgot to mention this was booked as part of the 50% points sale, just wanting to know if I can change to SIN without having to pay the 50% difference in points

    • DT says:

      Called YouFirst, easy change to SIN on any date I wanted on revenue seats, no extra costs

  • Stagger Lee says:

    Interesting that BA have added a morning MAN – LGW flight. I assume that will allow link ups to their normal LGW routes but, being only one flight a day makes it tricky if there are any delays

    • Anna says:

      This is a very exciting development if it continues! I would be tempted to start the day before the long haul leg and get an overnight hotel if time permitted.

    • Sandgrounder says:

      I really do mourn the passing of MAN-LGW so hopefully it is here to stay. Hopefully it will be extended to a minimum of 2 flights a day though!

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