Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Friday 29th 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 (334)

  • Baji Nahid says:

    This is a warning to anyone who uses the British Airways E store Portal. I had submitted a missing claim for a purchase that I had made and I got hit with a block on my account because I apparently used voucher/discount codes on my purchases. I am not sure if the e store team are talking about my account with them, or if they are talking about my actual executive club being blocked! The best thing was them using the terminology of ‘misuse and violation” which is just absolutely ludicrous. I have reached out to the team for more clarification.

    “Dear Baji,

    Thank you for your email.

    We’re sorry to inform you that your BA account has been blocked due to the continuous misuse of the e Store and violation of our Terms & Conditions by using voucher/coupon codes. Therefore we’re then also unable to entertain your new queries in this instance unfortunately.

    We apologise for any disappointment may cause regarding this.

    Kind regards,
    Bonie Ng
    British Airways Avios e Store Customer Support”

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      They’d not have the authority to close your BAEC account as the store is run by a separate company. Did you bend the rules in any way?

      • Baji Nahid says:

        Morning SECR! Hope you’re well? Not at all, if anything, i have used discounts on a purchase through work for example, however they have neither given me an explanation nor any warning in regards to what the issue may be. Looking at the terms and conditions of the BAEC, it says that you wont earn avios if using a voucher/discount code however I have recently chased up a lot of transactions that were not being recorded and i feel for that reason they’ve just decided to threaten me and ban me from using the service. Im gonna be chasing this up with someone in AGL and get to the bottom of this.

        • Baji Nahid says:

          t & c’s of the BA E store not BAEC

          • Baji Nahid says:

            also the misuse part got me, what exactly did i misuse, never knew shopping was such a crime lol

        • Jonathan says:

          It sounds like you tried to double dip though by using a discount through work? It’s pretty clear that this is against T&C’s as it mentions it on each retailer page before you click through. I guess if they have seen you’ve done this multiple times then that could leave them with the assumption you were gaming the system.

          They can’t touch your BAEC account apart from to withdraw previous earnings but they’re quite within their rights to prevent you using their service again.

        • Mark says:

          Does using an E gift voucher combined with cash fall under this?

        • Stu N says:

          How many transactions are you putting through the store and how often are you filing follow-up enquiries?

    • Sunil says:

      Baji, this is ridiculous. If you used a code then they should decline or claw back the points awarded, like Voldemort does. Banning you is OTT!

      • Ali M says:

        agreed @ OTT..
        they can just not give avios & thats it
        they probably just don’t want a savvy collector

    • AJA says:

      Have you tried logging into your BAEC account ? If you can still access that then the block applies to the shopping portal only. Thing is the T&Cs of the shopping portal specifically mention they will not award Avios if you use discounts from work schemes. This seems fair enough. The consequence is that you now can’t use the shopping portal at all.

    • Benilyn says:

      “entertain your new queries” – savage.
      Just create a family account and use their portal access.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Stay away is all i can say. Will stick to voldemart even if its less lucrative.

      • Rob says:

        The rules are very clear – you can’t use it if you add a voucher or promo code later on (unless the portal gave you the code). If you use such a code and then start clogging up the contact centre with complaints then you can see their point of view.

  • ChrisC says:

    So how many people have repriced bookings for after 1st September to see if taking a BWC voucher and rebooking would save them some money or allow them to switch dates or destinations?

    I checked an existing BA hols and a December flight but no dice for me at the moment but I’ll keep checking in the future,

  • BJ says:

    The whole thing is [email protected] Baji, I suggest you make a formal complaint to BAEC about the shopping portal. There is nothing to stop you using codes. Indeed, many of their own terms explicitly state that if you use a code then payment may be declined or paid at a lower rate.

    • BJ says:

      That reply was @Baji

    • Harry T says:

      I agree!

      • BJ says:

        OT @Harry, I did see your later comments on my JAL flights. Called this morning and I either pay the £140 fees or take a FTV. Decided to wait for a (likely) cancellation. They only offer the ‘buy avios with fees’ option if flight has been cancelled, not as an alternative to a FTV on a non cancelled flight as I had hoped for. So, if the flights are cancelled I’ll just take the money, if not then FTV is my only option.

        • Harry T says:

          That’s what I thought might happen. I hope they cancel or move one of the flights for you – I do fancy your chances.

  • Maciek says:

    Quiet avios devaluation data point. WAW-LHR-DXB offpeak premium economy used to be 32.5k avios (6.5k for short haul and 26k for long haul (per as BA no longer publishes the charts). Now I am being quoted 11k for the short haul, which is consistent with the new pricing where one pays £1 for taxes, but they don’t seem to allow old pricing. This is the call centre provided figure – I know the website allows different price points, but surprisingly not the 32.5k one.

    • Maciek says:

      And no, I can’t use the website – there is no award inventory on my days, so I’m using space release.

    • marcw says:

      That’s nothing new though. You can continue booking with the old values if you do so via Iberia Plus

    • Rob says:

      Yes, this is a problem. We haven’t covered it because obviously most of our readers start in the UK. You are still paying the same amount of taxes overall but you’re getting whacked with the 11k + £1 pricing for the short haul.

  • John says:

    Morning all. I booked a flight to Venice with BA through BA Holidays and they have emailed to say my original flights from Gatwick have been cancelled and rebooked through Heathrow.

    Do I have grounds to cancel with this change? Also my parents live near Gatwick so I don’t have to pay for parking as they can give me a lift to/from the airport. However, flying from Heathrow would involve me paying for parking or a hotel/parking deal. What do BA do in these circumstances?

    Equally, with the flights booked for Easter, should I just hold on should the rebooked flights also be cancelled? (Particularly as travel before mid/late Summer seems increasingly unlikely!)

    • Conrad says:

      Have similar. Email says flight is cancelled and therefore should follow full refund option. Look at your booking. I see:
      “ You can change your booking for free or cancel and refund the booking, please contact us.”
      Not sure what this line in the email actually means “ We will be in touch with you if this has a significant impact on your ground arrangements.”

      • John says:

        The e-mail has the following wording:

        “Next Steps

        We hope you’re happy to travel at the new flight time. We will be in touch with you if this has a significant impact on your ground arrangements.”

        However the website elaborates and explains the following:

        “Can I change or cancel my booking?
        You can change your booking for free or cancel and refund the booking, please contact us.”

        The challenge is that I applied a previously issued travel voucher to part pay for this holiday. Would they refund the whole amount as cash, re-issue a voucher for all or part of the balance or ‘part-and-part’ it with a re-issued travel voucher and cash refund for the rest?

    • Stu p says:

      Yes you can get a refund if they change the airport.

    • Genghis says:

      Yes you can cancel for full refund.
      I got a cancellation re LGW flight last night and booked onto a previously unavailable flight back to LCY which is more convenient. I plan on bundling into FTV anyway if whole trip cancelled as contains expiring 241.

    • kitten says:

      if BA try to say all London airports the same they’re wrong. it is indeed a change of airport so you have same rights as cancellation.

  • Alex says:

    Are there any ISA/SIPP providers that allow topping up via Bendies with no cash fees?

  • Conrad says:

    Just received new BA CV (premium plus) expiry is 30 months away (Jul 2023) which is still giving the additional 6 months to validity

    • Rob says:

      Correct. All 241’s issued to 31/3 will come with an extra 6 months.

    • Joe says:

      Thanks for the tip – just checked mine and the same, which I’d totally forgotten!

  • Nicky says:

    Can anyone give some advice? I booked a river cruise last year, departing on 31st May this year. When I booked it was a non refundable fare. I received word yesterday the cruise has been cancelled. I have only been offered the option to rebook for next year. When I asked about a refund I was told that because it is non refundable they do not have to offer a refund: in effect even though they have cancelled the trip they won’t refund me. I have looked at the terms and conditions and there is nothing to say they reserve the right not to refund even if they cancel. With my initial paperwork there is a 1 page fact letter which says “advance passenger tickets will not be refunded” that’s it, nothing else. I am really pi**ed off at this. I agree that if I cancel then I forfeit the right to a refund…but not if they cancel. Can anyone help me here?

    • Harry T says:

      I think you’re entitled to a refund as they cancelled. Did you pay on a credit card?

      • Nicky says:

        Hi, yes I did so I know I can do a s75 but I’m just gobsmacked at their temerity. To me non refundable means no refund if I cancel – not if they cancel

        • Michael C says:

          Quite right, Nicky. If that were the case, we could set up our own cruise for next summer, collect all the cash, then tell everyone we’ve cancelled but are keeping the money!!

        • ChrisBCN says:

          They’re just trying to manage their own cashflow. Call them again, ask them to change their mind and threaten S75. If they don’t budge, speak to your credit card co.

        • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

          Melia did this to us on a hotel booking last year where Spain was still locked down to visitors. They could provide the service yet did not want to return the funds. Had to claim (successfully) via Amex. Very shoddy approach and will not be using Melia again…

    • dezbez says:

      Nicky – might be worth seeing if there’s anything on MSE for this kind of thing? It’s exactly the type of thing Mr Lewis gets involved in.

    • Stuart says:

      I had a similar issue with a Melia hotel last year – the credit card obtained a refund for me through S75 as I had paid for a service they could no longer provide. The fact is it would be non refundable if you cancelled, which is not the case.

      • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

        Stuart – I only saw your comment after I’d posted my later reply above linked to Nicky’s earlier post. No surprise to see more people experienced this poor customer service (not to mention a legal breach of contract) from Melia, given how many people I remember seeing complaining about their approach last year. We should all remember such treatment when we come to travel again – there are plenty of other hotel groups to choose from that did not try to steal money from us punters!

    • Phil says:

      Had a similar experience with Secret Escapes for a hotel in Mauritius in May-20. The hotel closed and Secret Escapes offered me a voucher or rebook. I called up to ask for a refund and they said it wasn’t their fault I couldn’t travel to the hotel. When I pointed out that even if I could, when I got there it would be closed, the CS agent suggested I didn’t understand consumer law!!! Ended up doing a S75 with IHG/Creation, who were excellent.
      Obviously Secret Escapes were managing cashflow but to deny your legal obligations is a shocking business practice.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      If they’ve really annoyed you then just send a foirmal letter that the service was not supplied, breack of contract, and failure to provide a full refund will lead to a legal claim for the amount owed AND YOUR COSTS.
      Small claims court is a very easy process; no solicitor necessary. Don’t forget to claim your own time. At at least £100/hr….

      • kitten says:

        all costs incl 8% statutory interest pa on top also request

        will let them know you mean business

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