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The HfP chat thread – Thursday 4th March

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We are running 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 (293)

  • Anna says:

    BA refund issues. I called them in January to request a refund for cancelled inbound flights and at the same time to cancel our outbound as obviously no use to us now. All the avios came back plus cash for the cancelled leg within 2 weeks. Still no sign of the missing cash so I called BA earlier and the CSA said that their records show all refunds have been sent back to the original card. I just called Amex to double check and they agree that only one lot of cash has been refunded. I’ve ended up opening a dispute as I can’t face going backwards and forwards with BA over this!

    • Colin MacKinnon says:

      The annoying thing is that – other than a 241 – I have no idea which card was used a year ago to book flights which have been cancelled, re-routed and rebooked multiple times, with fee differences and FTVs.
      BA won’t tell me even the last two numbers on the card used for the bookings and – I know – I should have kept a spreadsheet!

      • Anna says:

        Hi Colin, do you still have the booking emails – I always keep all my holiday bookings in separate folders or I lose track. That has the PNR, the ticket numbers and the last 4 digits of the payment card so gives you an idea at least of what paid for what and when! I must say they have proved invaluable in keeping track of cancellations and refunds in recent times.

        • Michael C says:

          I remember one occasion at BCN airport in the very early days of online tickets: the Iberia desk asked me to show the credit card I’d bought the ticket with…which had expired three months earlier and had been cut up!
          -You MUST show the card.
          -It doesn’t exist.
          -You MUST.
          -Every other card and my passport and my ID all have my full name on.
          -You MUST show the card…
          Supervisor came about 25 mins before take-off…

          • Yuff says:

            I had the same thing at Abu Dhabi, except it was the old Lloyds duo cancelled card which had been replaced by the current card.
            I had the statement showing the payment but I couldn’t produce the card because it had been cancelled.
            They did let us on eventually. If it’s to prevent fraud you’d have to be pretty brave to book tickets with a stolen card

          • The real John says:

            This is why I preferred travel agency bookings until covid came along…

          • Anna says:

            Bonkers because what if someone else bought your ticket for you?!

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Still owed £35 since last May. Everytine I contact them they state I’m in a queue and will be paid (eventually).
      Surely there is a cut off point that a company can keep fibbing you off?

      • Anna says:

        You’re more patient than me! I used Amex dispute to successfully chase a missing refund last year so I had no qualms about doing it again. BA has only itself to blame for deliberately making it difficult for people to be refunded their own money.

        • kitten says:

          plus you get the added little frisson that too many s75’s and chargebacks can affect a company’s standing with the card networks

          • Anna says:

            Well, Kitten, I was sorely in need of a frisson after the first CSA I spoke to refused to discuss my bookings with me because I didn’t have my passport number then refused to give me his name because I had “failed security”. BA’s finest! Fortunately I then got passed to someone at BAEC who did check all the PNRs I was chasing up without needing to know my passport number.

          • Doug M says:

            BA’s phone security checks are rubbish. They ask for far more detail than I’m happy to give to a random in the phone. You should only ever have to give digits from dates and numbers, never the whole thing.

        • Jane says:

          That’s a good idea, I think I might try that – I have been trying for weeks to get a refund which BA claim to have sent. they say they sent £188 but I received £4 !

          • Anna says:

            I’ve done it via chat previously and this time by phone. The man I spoke to wanted me to obtain an email from BA with the refund details but I managed to convince him that that was about as likely to be forthcoming as the money at this stage!

  • david says:

    Does anyone know what’s going on with Alaskan Avios redemptions – I phoned up and was told there is currently a hold on all Alaskan Avios redemptions.

    • Rob says:

      They join oneworld on 31st March IIRC so very possible there is a hiatus whilst the oneworld integration happens. On the upside, you should be able to redeem online soon.

      • david says:

        Thats good news in a way – not sure I want everyone booking them tho !

  • Sandra says:
    My friend who is resident in Cyprus sent me the link above yesterday about their reopening although she also said that vaccination is not going great at the moment due, mainly, to a lack of vaccine. The UK is grey category when checking the Cyprus flight pass list (as it’s not included in any of the other categories) meaning you have to fit certain criteria to fly there and quarantine on arrival, hopefully that will change as cases here fall and vaccinations continue to increase.

    • Anna says:

      Though why it can’t also be supplied before UK departure isn’t explained …

      • Andrew says:

        I think that is the plan – you order it before you leave the UK and take it with you so that when you prepare to return home, this is your return to UK test to save you going to a testing centre on holiday.

        • Rhys says:

          Article tomorrow!

        • Optimus Prime says:

          It’s good news that you don’t have to waste time on your holidays looking for a test, but you still have to fork out £150 per head if going to a country that asks for a PCR test…

    • Andrew says:

      Yes, this does sound a good idea. For those on Instagram, there’s a video about it which BA have just posted showing how it works.

  • Chris says:

    I just tried a £25 spend via Curve to NS&I and got an invalid card error.

    I suspect the underlying card is not the cause.
    It’s either a block on the 9100 ID or a block on individual debit cards. Although I’ve only sent a total of £1k to NS&I ever.

    • Anna says:

      There seems to be a mixture of success and failure today (see page 1). I’m hoping this means something is awry at NS&I and it’s not a Curve issue.

      • Pete M says:

        I tried £100 earlier on a personal Bendy with underlying Solihull, it seemingly went through, Bendy thinks it’s gone through, but Ernie declined it. I’m sure the money will come back on Bendy, but does not look promising longer term!

        • Leigh says:

          Just tried the same with underlying beardy and the same issue. Hopefully the pending beardy transaction will disappear automatically.

    • Andy says:

      There were people having peoblems last night with the corporate version of the card. i’ve sent some over on my personal this morning and it was fine.

    • KP says:

      I did try Metal Bendy to Ernie for first time and came as Invalid card details. So tried topping Monese bank and H&L. Both did work with Bendy but beardy got declined for H&L(so used Hilton Barclaycard).Are there any limits with Monese per week /month with bendy .Anything to know or worry with this method.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Monese is part of the same rolling £700 pw as AMEX etc

      • mark2 says:

        There is a limit to how much you can add to Monese using ‘instant top-up’ best look at T&C for your plan

        • memesweeper says:

          … and be prepared for an investigation, and possible account closure with Monese.

    • Tyler Durden says:

      if you look at the amount of ernie/bendy comments I’m surprised it lasted this long.. people have forgotten the first rule of fight club…

      • AndyGWP says:

        I recall over the past few months there has been reference to NS&I accounts frozen and individuals being subject to KYC, so I highly suspect a combination of increased ‘unusual’ activity associated with payments from certain payment cards has raised suspicion.

        Not much use pointing fingers now, but it does show that excessive overuse of certain advantageous situations doesn’t go un-noticed.

        Regardless of what code words are used, the more people that participate, the more chance of something being ‘seen’… especially to the extents that some people were going to.

        At least there’s still opportunities out there though 🙂

        • BP says:

          I got a NS&I KYC check and had to send them underlying statements from creative, beardy, HK and my bank accounts. Didn’t hear anything back from them and my account remained unrestricted.

          • AndyGWP says:

            The cash trail is legitimate, so need to ban someone – especially if you can just look to block the underlying behaviour instead (and deal with anyone else who may cause work for them in the future)

            There’ll be, and are, other opportunities so we move on 👍🏻🙂 it’ll be fine

          • Martyn Ford says:

            How long ago was that BP? Have you been frozen for ages?

          • BP says:

            3-4 weeks ago. I’m not frozen. Full functionality to pay and withdraw funds. Just not from Bendy commercial 🙁

      • Ash says:

        He we can discuss freely our manaffacture spend. Its were i learnt to do hilton, curve and recent hsbc

    • Nigel W says:

      Move £900 earlier via Bendy and HSBC and it processed fine.

  • Chelseafi says:

    Do you earn 1 or 2 points on BA Holidays with the personal gold card, I know it says something about double points on flights? Thanks

    • Alex D says:

      2 points for any airline purchase, i think BA holiday still goes through as BA on your statement so should trigger it

    • Rob says:

      Depends if it hits your card as or not.

    • Harry T says:

      It’ll go through as BA and trigger the extra pound per MR for airline spend.

  • Garry says:

    So what happens if you dont purchase a testing kit or order one after arriving back and do it on say day 3 or 9?

    • The real John says:

      You can’t / shouldn’t be able to get on the plane / through immigration without showing the proof of purchase

  • Sam says:

    Just an update from a post a few days ago re: a ba flight man to miami where the final lhr to man leg got cancelled/ new flight number but new flight time was only 50 minutes later. Cancelled on phone no issues. Was companion voucher. FYI 0800727800 answered in about a minute. 03444930787 cut off after 5 mins on hold saying line too busy to connect

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