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.

Please only comment under the main articles on the site if your comment is directly related to the topic of the article.  This has long-term benefits as it keeps the commentary relevant for people who read those articles in the future.

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Comments (336)

  • Dilbert says:

    Just had my flights to Sydney next October cancelled. Looks like all direct flights to Sydney have been pulled up to 1st Nov. Might just hang fire before rebooking as might be chasing my tail. Any credible rumours out there on what BA have planned?

  • Liz says:

    Just got through to BA and was told their system is down to call back tomorrow!!! Oh joy! Return flight from Calgary has been pulled. We will just have to double back and drive back to Vancouver.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Are the flights much later in 2021? I’d wait it out who knows how things will evolve and which flights will be put back on or not.

      • Liz says:

        Our flight back is 18th Sept. I had a Plan B just in case Calgary got pulled. We will just change our last 2 days and drive back to Vancouver via a different route.

    • Nick_C says:

      Air Canada are still selling direct flights from YYC to LHR. You could insist on BA getting you home on AC.

  • marcw says:

    London Air Travel (Twitter):
    Permanently suspended:
    North America: Calgary, Charleston, Pittsburgh
    Central & South America: Lima (from Gatwick)
    Africa: Durban
    Indian Ocean: The Seychelles (from 24 April 2021)
    Middle East: Abu Dhabi, Damman, Jeddah (occasional flights may still operate), Muscat
    Asia: Kuala Lumpur, Osaka, Seoul

    In addition, flights to Bangkok, San Jose (Costa Rica – from Gatwick) and Sydney are suspended until 30 October 2021.The last service to San Jose will operate on 17 April 2021.

    • Rhys says:

      Yes, we already had the internal memo. Article tomorrow!

      • Aston100 says:

        Are BA presuming that those destinations will remain closed for travellers until at least October 2021?

        • Rhys says:

          Easier to re-add destinations later than remove them. These were all second tier routes really – flown on 787-8/9, old clapped out 777s (Bangkok). They were already marginal before Covid.

        • Rob says:

          BA is presuming that it can’t make any money on those routes until October 2021.

          These were, in general, ‘thin’ routes which used smaller Boeing 787 aircraft. They were never designed to carry a lot of passengers but muddled through with the right low-cost aircraft in place. This is no longer the case.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Just makes it that much better for those of that can be bothered.

    • Ali M says:

      ?for Etihad too?

  • Wollhouse says:

    ha ha – after being on hold for ages with BA, i’ve spoken to an agent and been advised that their systems are down!

    • Anna says:

      Maybe someone pulled the plug in desperation after being inundated with calls from HFP readers demanding their re-routing rights!

      • Wollhouse says:

        Maybe! The agent told me everything was down but was then able to find a completely different booking and give me some info I needed…hmmm. In re my cancelled booking, she was very quick to offer me a full refund. I declined and said I’d like them to reroute me and she said that could only be done when their systems came back up and she would have to call me back. She was helpful and said yes she could sort in this manner, but not until her system was back.

      • Nigel W says:

        On the phone to Avios.com/lloyds voucher phoneline and they said BA wait times are an hour at the moment.

    • Craig says:

      I think I’ll take the refund, everything else on the trip was fully flexible. Looks like 2 weeks in Thailand might turn into a week in Cornwall.

  • Michael C says:

    So TheGeneralLondonPractice has finally put Test to Release appointment dates on its website.
    Despite doing other tests in an hour, it can only guarantee results in “24 to 48 hours” (i.e. 48 hours), for the princely sum of…GBP 295 per person…

  • BuildTheWall says:

    Rob, for tomorrow, can you request all comments on BA flight changes to be posted onto your BA article to be published tomorrow? And leave this thread for important questions like ‘what is beardy?’

    • Mouse says:

      Comment of the day!

    • Andrew says:

      And who spent what on what at the Langley with their Amex credit.

    • babyg says:

      Well done BTW… that made me smile..

    • Harry T says:

      But what is Rob doing with his VS miles? And will Amex extend the spending period for the Marriott Bonvoy platinum offer? And can I have Bonvoy platinum for 49 nights because I’m an important business customer? And does Berner’s Tavern spend go through as London EDITION?!?

    • Ian W says:

      Funny. But for newbies to the site , using (not) funny code in chat is not helpful. Using Bendy for curve or beardy for virgin does not save on typing so why bother?

  • r* says:

    If an avios booking is cancelled and then rerouted on a different carrier, does it affect your cancellation rights or are you still able to cancel prior to 24h before flying as it was an avios booking?

    • Charlieface says:

      Yes same rules, but you may find you can’t do it online and need to call up

  • FlightDoctor says:

    Looking for advice. We’ve had our family flights to and from Calgary cancelled for next summer. We had planned a circular road trip through the Rockies to Vancouver and back to Calgary, and all the hotels were carefully researched and booked, so really annoying.
    We were booked in J using Avios together with a mix of companion vouchers and a GUF for our family of five.
    I rang BAEC and they could not move us to Vancouver as there is no Avios availability in J and it is outside the 300 mile limit for a free transfer.
    So, my question is whether people think Seattle is a viable option being close to Vancouver? There IS Avios availability to Seattle in J currently for our dates. Is it possible to hire a car there and take it over the border, or should I try and connect to Calgary? Other options?

    • Harry T says:

      You don’t need Avios availability but the 300 miles rule will be harder to circumnavigate. Can they reroute you on another carrier?

      • e14 says:

        It’s covered in the rebooking guidelines
        Origin/Destination/Stopover Changes

        Please see below the alternative stations that can be used outside the standard conditions of carriage (BA Flights > Change of Gateway)

        Calgary (YYC) – can use alternative station Vancouver (YVR)
        Jeddah (JED) – can use alternative station Riyadh (RUH)

        Rebook onto British Airways operated service LHR-YVR/RUH or YVR/RUH-LHR without charge into the same class as original or lowest available in the same cabin

        Any additional expenses incurred are the responsibility of the customer.

      • Liz says:

        Where does it say that you don’t have to have avios availability to move the flight?

    • dezbez says:

      That’s exactly what we’re doing – flying in and out of Seattle, doing a big loop which takes in Banff, Whistler & Vancouver over 15 days. Covid allowing of course.
      We’re doing Seattle as we had loads of points and vouchers with Virgin (which doesn’t do Vancouver) but there really didn’t seem too much difference between starting in Seattle v Vancouver. The longest drive we have per google maps is approx 5 hrs.
      And we’ve taken a car over the border a few times before, never been an issue (always worth double-checking of course).

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