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The HfP chat thread – Saturday 23rd January

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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.

Old chat threads are hidden from the HfP home page.  If you want to look for something in an old thread, click here.  This brings up all the articles in our ‘General’ category which includes the chat threads.

Comments (247)

  • John W says:

    A bit off topic ! – I don’t have a will , is the coop will writing , l which was one of the Amex offers recently ok ~ Around £100 and do online or is it best to do with solicitor ?
    I am 40 and not really thought about it , but realise I do have some money in the bank and no dependants and not married
    Any avios for this ?. ha ha – Thanks

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Which? also offers will writing. Would be good if we can get some feedback

      • John W says:

        Yes , which also has an offer on at the moment .it would be good if someone we knowledge could confirm if these are any good

        • mark2 says:

          I would always use a solicitor, although of course they vary.

        • ao40 says:

          We used the Which will service last year and found it a really useful service. We used the option for an unmarried couple with a legal review, which did turn out to be valuable. Although our affairs are very straightforward – we just wanted something saying we would leave everything to each other – the legal review still gave some good advice about other sections. The online tool is user friendly and explains everything clearly. Found it was worth the ~£75 to get something properly drafted.

    • Neil says:

      I can highly recommend farewill provided the assets you are leaving aren’t too complicated! The service is very efficient and took 48 hours from start to finish.
      https://farewill.com

    • Genghis says:

      If your affairs are relatively straight forward, you can get solicitor approved templates (costs a few quid) and DIY. I use Lawpack. I’ve been doing it for about 6 years. See MSE

    • ChrisC says:

      You don’t need to use a solicitor to draw up a will. It’s good practice but not legally mandated.

      If your estate is pretty simple – house / savings / personal posessions etc and you know what you want to happen – ‘I leave all my assessts to the Rob Burgess home for wayward travellers ‘ then you can do that yourself as long as it’s very clear what you want to happen and how they can be used/

      If you have complicated tax affairs such as trusts or perhaps a Monet worth £5m then yes definintly use a solicitor.

      Citizens advide have a good guide.

      https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/family/death-and-wills/wills/

    • Number9 says:

      Pay the person doing the will with a points earning card, failing that bill hop. I’ve had a will since I was 21 had no money then but did have a baby to provide for. Now I’ve put all my assets into a family trust, I’ve not got much but it’s still above the IHT limit. Various reasons not only tax liability but as a family trust when I’m dead IF my Son got divorced his ex wife would have no claim on the money from the trust it stays in my blood line for 125 years.
      Yes paid that bill with Amex card!

      • Jamie says:

        How odd

      • kitten says:

        standard practice. life interest to children, for example but they don’t own what’s in the trust so it can’t be grabbed in a divorce, taken in a bankruptcy etc. Some trusts would collect, say, a nominal-ish rent from the person using a house in the trust for life, with them being obliged to fully maintain and repair etc, protecting the assets of the trust.

        Money that traditionally might have been inherited and used for unspecified things could also, say, be borrowed from a family trust if that trust is set up so it can provide for, say, grandchildren’s education or purchase of a house, by way of a loan from the trust that may not need to be repaid until the beneficiary’s death out of their estate back to the trust.

        Can help avoid some tiresome problems and protect family members including from each other.

  • Ian says:

    What bonus will my wife get for referring me for the nectar amex? She has gold and BSPP. I can only see the rates for gold or ba.

  • Sunil says:

    Hi hfpers, any collective advice greatly received. In 2019 purchased flights on Air India via last-minute, using JLP credit card (HSBC run). Lockdown 1 happened and return flight was cancelled so had to purchase a repatriation flight to get back (no travel insurance so paid out of pocket).

    Last-minute are chasing a refund from Air India, but no joy so far. Chargeback rejected by HSBC as 120 days passed. Section 75 rejected as they say my breach of contract is by the Airline, and as there is an agent (last-minute) in the middle the “debtor, creditor, supplier” link has been broken.

    Are they having me on? End of the road?

    • ChrisC says:

      I think it’s the end of the road as far as your CC is involved.

      I know from here people have had problems with chargebacks and s75 claims when they’ve booked or bought things via pay pal and the CC has said – like yours has – there is no direct relationship between you and the airline / hotel so nothing we can do.

    • Charlieface says:

      MCOL? It’s a lot simpler than you might think. Make sure not to settle for less than the full repatriation cost + care of duty + court costs + interest 8% on all of that

    • kitten says:

      Lastminute has been one of the worst for refunds according to reports. I would have tried Air India directly and asked LastMinute for dates and times of their attempts to secure your refund.

      The trouble is, wasn’t Air India going bust?

      Also curious as to why you ended up chasing it out of time for chargeback.

      If HSBC is refusing s75 liability as they say your contract is with Lastminute and the airline wasnt in your contract and the airline failed then actually I think that’s a point where one day a case result might turn the law in your favour.

      However meanwhile I’d take HSBC at their word and sue LastMinute for your refund under moneyclaim dot gov dot uk. There is a 6 year statute of limitations so you can still do this. You didnt receive what you paid for so I’d just use those words.

      You might as well add in any other costs like phone calls, extra hotel nights, extra transport if there were any.

      And to make sure, add in HSBC’s credit card co.and Air India (get company name off LastMinute if you can – ideally you want the UK or Europe/EMEA entity for Air India that LastMinute would pay) additionally as co-defendants (so 3 defendants).

      You’ve lost money and not received what you paid for so someone’s got to be liable and for me a small court fee would be worth asking the court via mcol to sort out who is.

      • kitten says:

        To clarify why I’ve suggested you only sue for the above.

        1. EU261 does not apply as flight was from India ie not Europe and not on an EU airline

        2. I havent suggested claiming anything extra like your time as MCOL level of court does not usually aim to award this except in exceptional very aggravated circ’s – so dont push it.

        3. I haven’t suggested the 8% for similar reason. You are keeping this one simple so you are only putting one simple question before the court : which of the 3 defendants is liable because someone must be. Dont distract the court with anything extra. To win this will clarify where agency unfairly is being said to exclude claims so don’t make the case any more complicated than “I paid for something I didn’t receive and here is the set of 3 possible defendanta and someone must be luable to give me my money back so which is it”.

        4.mcol is theoretically for ordinary people who arent supported by lawyers so don’t use words like breach of contract. Just say you didnt get what you paid for and leave it to the court how to sort it out.

        5. your court fee will be refunded if you win. It’s moderate to low but guve yourself the best chance of gettung it back by narrowing your case (but not your defendants).

        6. For above reasons do *not* claim cost if repatruation flight even if higher. The simpler legal bases support the narrower case of I paid for something I did not receive so please identify which of these defendants should refund me what I paid for but did not receive.

  • Richardyorkshire says:

    So, do we reckon it will be similar to last year(but even less overseas travel). Looking at staycaction ideas.
    We went to Scotland last year and stayed at the Waldorf Astoria in Edinburgh. Never been to the south east before, so thinking of venturing down there.

    • Anna says:

      I personally think we may see some sort of compromise (e.g. limited travel corridors) as I just can’t see how the travel industry of any country can survive another summer of financial inactivity. I’m also guessing staycations will be very popular again so it’s worth making a few refundable bookings. If you want chain hotels like Hilton you probably need to look at city breaks for the best properties, though there are obviously some high end options like the Langley. I’m also hoping to get to try out the Indigos Bath and Stratford Upon Avon and spend a few days in London at some point. I’d love to go to Scotland but feel we may be kept out for some time yet!

    • Rob says:

      Problem is that is no overseas travel is allowed, you can expect the W-A to be £1000+ per night over the Summer and even your crappy B&B to be £300.

      • Genghis says:

        We’ve booked a cancellable 4* hotel in Skye for over this summer and it was £300+/n. Finally used my high value hotels.com vouchers I got in NYC a few years ago but not exactly the best use. Let’s see how things pan out.

      • Anna says:

        I’ve got enough points and free nights for at least a week in an IC or Kimpton! I’m not paying £1200 again for a week in a caravan in the middle of nowhere with all the food shopping and cooking to do as well!

      • Harry T says:

        Happily, I already moved a bunch of stays at the Glasshouse in Edinburgh to multiple summer weekends without a change in the rate, after they closed in 2020 – £90 a night on the healthcare rate combined with Titanium status should give me a few domestic trips to look forward to!

  • Gareth says:

    Hi there, had an interesting chat when trying to move 2x return flights which were booked in the mileage sale last year. They are 2 x upper class that I got for 50.000 miles with 2x upgrade vouchers. I rang up to enquire about moving them to Nov given the unlikely chance of travel in March and I was told that I would need to have an additional 180.000 miles taken from my account to move the flights. Obviously I got an amazing deal at the time but I (probably incorrectly) thought that I could just move them given the circumstances. Does anyone know where I stand on this … is it just a case of it was a good deal if it happened but just let them cancel and move on?

    • Anna says:

      If Virgin cancel you would be entitled to re-routing at no extra cost so it might be worth hanging on a few weeks, though as I don’t use Virgin I don’t know how late you can leave it before cancelling yourself.

      • ChrisC says:

        You can cancel a reward flight up to 24 hours before departure with Virgin.

        But no there isn’t a free for all in changing dates for the same price if you chose to change, so VS were right to want to charge you the additional miles.

        If they cancel you are entitled to then change the dates for no extra cost to yourself.

        • Jonathan says:

          My Virgin Cape Town flights were cancelled yesterday. They’d been unavailable to buy for the last 10 days so not unexpected. The e-mail mentioned free rebooking within 21 days or up to 31st March (whichever is later) or no change fee for up to the end of the year so clearly they’re not intending to fully respect EU261 without a fight.

          They were booked in 50% Flying Club sale but without a voucher applied as was Red at the time & 241’s in Upper were restricted to Golds. Considering I am now matched to Gold i’ll probably just take the refund and rebook with a voucher for the same net cost when I have more idea about travel plans.

  • Roger says:

    What’s latest news on BA 241 voucher expiry?

    • Tracey says:

      Often they have been extended by 6 months. Alternatively, book anything using the 241 and cancel for a FTV. Will extend it to April 2022.

  • VickyTM says:

    If I book a Qatar business class flight that doesn’t include lounge access, but have BA silver status, can I still use the lounge?

    • AJA says:

      According to the Qatar Airways thread on FT yes to lounge entry everywhere except Qatar’s own lounges at LHR T4, CDG,BEY,BKK & SIN.

      • Andrew says:

        When all the lounges reopen in Doha – which will be in the next few weeks – you will be directed to the “One World” in Doha – this is where economy passengers with status are also directed. You will not have access to the huge Al Mourjan Business lounge as this is only for ticketed business class passengers with lounge access included. However as the other lounges remain closed, you can access that lounge in this scenario.

        • AJA says:

          Although you will be able to pay to access the Al Mourjan lounge at that point. No idea how much it costs to do that though.

          • Andrew says:

            And it’s subject to capacity restrictions and your attire – if you’re wearing shorts you won’t be able to pay to enter.

    • VickyTM says:

      Thanks – That helps

  • Christopher says:

    Question on Tesco to Virgin 2,000 bonus on setting up auto convert – do I need enough points for a voucher to have the option to set up the auto convert? I only have 38 clubcard points.

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