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The HfP chat thread – Friday 5th 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.

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 (278)

  • Garry says:

    Qatar’s rule: “You also have the option to refund the unutilised value of your ticket to the original form of payment with no penalties or refund fees.”

    Does that mean bookings are fully refundable if you change your mind/change go? (fully unused ticket)

    • EvilDoctorK says:

      Yes in my experience … should be simple for unused tickets ( took about 10 days for a refund in January to be credited ) .. more complex/partially flowing tickets might be a bit more complicated, but in theory still doable.

      Be aware though Qatar do seem to change the rules from time to time and it seems they sometimes try to apply new rules retrospectively

  • Alex says:

    Depositing into Earnie via Bendy worked OK yesterday using a personal card. Today I get a decline.

    • Anna says:

      See previous page, there might be a technical issue.

      • Garry says:

        Whats up with the constant discussion about Ernie and Bendies, is there a club to MS points?

        • James says:

          Well, people think there is a very special and super secret club.

          • Aston100 says:

            No they don’t.
            There are reasons that have been stated many times if you bothered to read.

          • James says:

            Ha, triggered much Aston? I perfectly understand the reasons and have read them so many times on here. Rob himself has said he has no issue in the actual names being used, but you keep on playing.

          • James says:

            There’s nothing obvious about what you say at all, in fact it makes no sense. Zero backpeddling and if you actually read what I said you’ll see I’m doubling down on my point (which is the opposite of backpeddling).

        • Lady London says:

          Readers are not able to fly and not able to stay in hotels for leisure so frustration has been expressed in various ways for quite a while on here.

          Every time there is a worse announcement about Covid restrictions (not deaths, but restrictions) posts on this daily thread seem to reach peaks.

          It wouldn’t take much time and not very much brainpowet needed to review past daily threads about any questions you may have. Jus’ sayin’

          • Steve says:

            @James you clearly don’t “perfectly understand the reasons” as the reasons are nothing to do with Rob’s wishes.

          • James says:

            Let summarise for you Steve. The reasons are considered to be stop the various card companies etc or others with an interest being easily able to identify the various schemes and means of MS or indeed genuine spend, for fear of them then being discovered (whether through Web searches or reading blogs) and then shut down or limited. Clearly some people think this name-swop works, and that’s a valid point of view, but I simply don’t buy it and I’m entitled to my own opinion. All it takes is 5 minutes on here or other similar websites and anyone with a cursory interest would find out, so if the financial co’s were so inclined they’d easily find out and would know just the websites to start looking.

          • Steve says:

            Nope @James, you’re still not getting it. It’s not to stop the financial co’s from finding out. They know. It’s to stop too many people using it, at which point it becomes an issue for the financials co’s. That is an important distinction that you are choosing to ignore.

          • James says:

            Well, I’d say the two points hand in hand really and are equally valid and relevant to the use of the names. In any event, it makes no difference to my overall point, using these names does little to stop either happening and quite frankly a 5 year old could work out most of the terms used and the purpose behind them… bendy/curve etc.

          • Steve says:

            Nobody is doing a Google search for Bendy or Seagulls, that’s the difference

  • Anna says:

    Gold PR Amex supplementary card – can my friend add me to her account so we can both – she gets her 3k points for referral and I get my 20k if I spend 20k in 3 months – if we don’t live at the same address? Is there a special link for it?

  • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    I’m sitting on a cancelled BA cash flight booking to MLA. When I go online to rebook, some dates have ‘no availability’ even though BA are selling new tickets for those dates. What determines whether a date/flight is ‘available’ for rebooking? Does there need to be inventory in the same fare bucket as the cancelled booking? Very annoying having to check one date at a time…

    • Anna says:

      You’re entitled to re-routing as long as there are ANY available seats on your replacement flight. It looks as though you will have to call BA so sort this but don’t let them fob you off with fare buckets or similar nonsense!

      • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

        Of course, but my beef is primarily that I’m having to check one date at a time – plenty are available, just not all of them for reasons I don’t understand. I don’t have a massive preference when I rebook, so it’s not worth the hassle of complaining/litigating to get a particular date.

    • Mouse says:

      I had this – as far as I could work out there was nothing shown more than two weeks after my original travel date.

      • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

        I can book months out, so it’s not that.

        • kitten says:

          There may be a bug if you are searching within MMB.

          I always do a fresh search as though I am doing a new booking – whether I’m looking to move an existing flight or actually book a new one.

    • MKB says:

      For some of my bookings, there was no option to change online, presumably because of some complication with the way it was booked. Where the change-online option was offered, availability seemed to depend on whether seats were available in the same fare class, but I was still able to make a change over the phone.

      I have a few flights now where I booked I-class but was “upgraded” to D-class after making the change over the phone. I’m interested to see if that triggers more Avios when I fly. I’m also interested to see whether the re-ticketing has reset the booking date, within 365 days of which any outbound flight must occur, should it need to rescheduled again.

    • Lady London says:

      If BA cancelled your flight you have a right under EU261 to any seat that’s selling for cash in same cabin. As a statute this overrides anything in BA’s rulebook etc.

      If you are rebooking to a new date online, BA’s system will incorrectly only show avios seats. However for some bookings it may be possible to find avios seats further into the future than you can get without a tussle with BA.

      So look far ahead online in case you can find avios seat on a date that works for you and move it yourself.

      If that doesn’t work for you then call BA with your preferred date (having checked first ideally that there is a seat in your cabin being sold for cash) and ask to reroute to the date/flight convenient to you.

      • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

        It only shows redemption availability when I’m trying to rebook a revenue ticket?

        • Lady London says:

          do a fresh search as though it were a new booking. then phone to book the result.

  • YC says:

    If i have a one way ticket cancelled by BA, is there a way of rebooking it and adding a return to that ticket?

    • AJA says:

      Why don’t you just get a full refund and then buy a return ticket?

      • YC says:

        Good price on the current ticket!

        • AJA says:

          But there’s no guarantee that the one way fare you add as a return will be cheap. If it was you would just buy it. Return fares are not simply double a one way fare.

        • Lady London says:

          It would reprice the whole ticket so you may not profit from doing this. Call and ask how the figures work out.

  • Scallder says:

    Just had this through:

    Dear [XXX],
    At Cathay Pacific, we are committed to protecting your personal data and your privacy, and we take this commitment very seriously.

    As a consequence we wanted to let you know as soon as possible that we learnt of an incident experienced by a third-party service provider: SITA (SITA Passenger Service System) used by some of our oneworld partner airlines.

    To be clear, this incident did not involve any Cathay Pacific systems or systems related to the services we use. Instead, the incident relates to SITA services used by certain airlines we have partnered with.

    As part of the oneworld service, these airlines do have limited and basic information – specifically your name, membership number and tier, seating preferences and a code corresponding to your meal preferences.

    As far as Cathay Pacific is concerned, we can reassure you that your account remains secure thanks to numerous established security measures keeping your account protected. You therefore do not need to take any steps as regards to your account with us.

    We have asked SITA to keep us informed about any development relating to this incident and we will continue to monitor the situation as it develops. We will update you again in the event any further important information becomes available.

    Yours sincerely,
    Marco Polo Club

    • Matty says:

      Had something similar through from Miles & More.

    • Craig says:

      Same from Krisflyer.

    • Mouse says:

      Will probably get the same from BA in about 3 months

      • BuildBackBetter says:

        Ironic too given BA is based in Europe and should know GDPR better than Asian airlines!

      • Mouse says:

        Only about 6 hours in the end to be fair to BA

        • AJA says:

          @Mouse Yes except that BA’s IT system seems to have gone on holiday as so many people are now changing passwords and now can’t log in! There is a dedicated thread over on FT with some pi$$ed off customers venting their ire! (I was going to say hacked off but that would have been inappropriate)

          I changed my password when I saw the reports (have yet to receive the email while my other half received the email twice) and I was able to change quite easily. Have not tried to log in again though.

  • Talay says:

    Etihad changing dates to gain $300 (LHR-BKK in business) plus 5000 miles

    Etihad allows you to cancel and get Etihad Travelbank credit of up to $400 for crediting your Travelbank with them instead of getting a refund.

    It is a bit gaming the system but you could book a flight, cancel, get the credit, then rebook 🙂

    However, I have already booked with Travelbank credit, that is bought credit with a 50% bonus from last year so thoughts on whether I could also benefit ?

    As I already have credit in Travelbank, I won’t need to wait for the refund before booking the second tickets and could actually make two bookings on the same flight, though I suspect their systems might (and should) flag that up.

  • M says:

    Virgin Money switch – I got an email regarding wines bundle voucher instead of points.

    I registered through the website, not the app. Just spent 30 minutes on the phone to Virgin Money. I pointed out that the terms and conditions here ( clearly state:

    To qualify: apply online from Virgin Red app or website and complete a full current account switch using the Current Account Switch Service.

    They insisted that I needed to apply through the app, and that is not part of Virgin Money and that was the end of the conversation.

    Anyone had a different outcome?
    Anyone has a link to the terms and conditions on the Virgin Money website?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Scallder says:

      If you go onto Virgin Red it’s still on there showing as through the App or website. I’ve done it for my wife and I and I’m definitely wanting 30k points rather than 2 lots of wine!

      • James. says:

        I have been waiting over a week for them to validate my documents .. might follow up

    • Scallder says:

      Sorry M didn’t realise that link was to the virgin red page.

      Here’s link on Virgin Money website:

      • M says:

        Thanks! I sent a further email to the person I talked to, quoting these terms and took a screenshot of that, let’s see how that goes 😉

    • Bee says:

      I also got the email regarding wines bundle voucher instead of points. After seeing your message, I called virgin and they also said the application needs to be via the app but I told the agent that the terms and conditions says app or website. She escalated to the relevant team, and a manual adjustment is expected to be made in relation to the points. I will give it a weekend if no change, I will chase.

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