Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 10th March

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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 (432)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Phil says:


  • DK says:

    My BA reward flight to Innsbruck in August cancelled. Don’t want a refund as only available direct route is EasyJet now at £1000 for 3 of us.
    What’s the best approach here?

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Ring them and ask what they’ll do. I think Eu261 etc. Means they have to reroute you, even on an airline they’d prefer not too

      The CAA wrote to all the airlines in late 2018 to remind them they have to reroute even onto competitors. So given there is a flight, you should be allowed too switch to it

      • kitten says:

        …and ironically theoretically easyjet could end up being who you end up flying at BA expense on the reroute. Though hopefully BA will see sense and interline you on LH Group as that should work out cheaper for them.

    • Rob says:

      Tell BA to give you new flights. Keep records of everything, give them a clear last chance to agree or not, pay £1k to easyJet, take BA to Small Claims Court for the £1000.

      • James K says:

        My avios flights CTA-LGW 4 Jun also been cancelled. EZY still flying that day. Should BA cover EZY flights + baggage + seat reservations?

        • pauldb says:

          They might offer you IB via MAD … unhelpfully.

        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          Flights and baggage yes becuaee they have to transport you under the same conditions.

          Seat reservations you might struggle with because easyjet provides a seat, just not the one you want. Someone more experienced can give you better details.

      • DK says:

        Thank you. That’s what I thought just don’t look forward to the hassle.
        Checking EU261 it’s not quite clear. As reward flight I can cancel up to 24h before for £105. If I manage to persuade BA to rebook us on EasyJet will it be the cancellation options of new tickets after? Can I insist on flexible fair with EasyJet?

        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          Do not cancel at all. Insist on rerouting. The moment they refund you, they have no obligations for rerouting. Its not a case of persuading them, its the law.

          The fare will be paid directly by BA so it should be the same retailer and conditions for you. Not sure why you would want a flexible fare on Easyjet as the purchase is nothing to do with you

  • Alan H says:

    Mixed experiences today; firstly received the extension of BAEC Sliver only to be followed shortly after by cancellation of my CW booking to GCM in May. Clearly BA are not buying into the Premiers’ statement concerning opening up the Cayman borders. Its all a bit like a game of roulette trying to work out when flights may travel, when foreign borders might open up, how much of their population (and ours) will be vaccinated and whether its worth kicking the can down the road or just take the money and Avios and book when their’s more certainty.

    • Lady London says:

      Oh dear. Haven’t seen @Anna on today but this does not sound good.

  • 747_Brat says:

    I just applied for a Virgin Money current account and at the end of the application process, I received a message saying they are going to send a code in the post. How do this work and how quick are they in sending the code? It looks like I am going to miss the 15th March deadline! 🙁

    • AndyGWP says:

      It’s because you didn’t pass verification checks against your credit record (or was in my case).

      Mine arrived on Monday and think I spoke to them the Thursday before

      • 747_Brat says:

        Thanks Andy.
        Do I have to call them to get the code?

        • Jay says:

          You can call or go online to enter the code. I tried on line which threw up an error (again!!!) so had to call. When you call ask them to triple check that the source code against the app is for the 15k miles and if not get them to ensure it is fixed and shows correctly.

        • AndyGWP says:

          No. The code is sent to you by post to prove you live at the address you say you do 🙂

          As mentioned by Jay, it’s more advisable to ring them when you receive it than try to use it online (that’s what the advisor told me when he said they had to send one out – my whole application had to be done by phone… they’ve told me I have been added to an exception list to ensure I get the points tho 🤞🏻)

          • Jay says:

            Same as they said to me as I had a Clydesdale account 6+ years and wouldn’t allow an online app, here’s hoping it turns out OK !!

          • 747_Brat says:

            Thanks Andy for your reply. I will pray for you & Jay to get points! 🙂

  • Gothbe says:

    Curve sent me two replies within 20 minutes today re my query on failed hmrc transactions. I had replied to the first one before I got the second. Told them that lack of timeframes is not good enough

    Reply 1
    Thanks for getting in touch and I’m sorry you’ve experienced a decline.I can see that we approved the transaction however, HMRC then declined it. We charged your card when the transaction was approved and then refunded it immediately once it was declined. You should see the refund reflected back in your bank account in the next 1-2 working days, but depending on your bank it might take up to 5 days.It’s not currently clear why it declined, as this can be because the internet connection dropped, there were details discrepancies or there was an issue on the side of HMRC. Rest assured that we are looking into this and will be in touch as soon as possible. We really appreciate your patience regarding this.

    Reply 2
    Thanks for your patience, and I’m really sorry to hear that you’re experiencing a problem while trying to pay with your Curve Card.It seems that the 3DS version used by the merchant might be incompatible with the version implemented by Curve. Let me assure you that we’re currently investigating this issue with the relevant team and we’ll get back to you as soon as we have any updates.Just to manage your expectations, we don’t have a set timeframe to resolve this for you at the moment and I’d suggest using an alternative payment method for this transaction. We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused and appreciate your patience – please let us know if there’s anything else we can help with in the meantime.

    • AndyGWP says:

      Reply 1 is a copy paste job. They sent me that exact wording when I complained about my failure to pay off my final Scottish Power bill with Curve the other day.

      I haven’t had reply 2 yet – still waiting

      • Harrier25 says:

        A complete mickey mouse outfit and is destined to fail in the end.

      • aviosnewbie says:

        You guys got quite a detailed reply as compared to what I received for the HMRC decline. :-)) I only received the following generic response:

        “Thanks for getting in touch. Our Payments team is looking into this and will be in touch as soon as possible.
        Best wishes,”

        • Lady London says:

          There’s something much bigger going on with Curve, clearly.

          Have any global finance system master tables, eg for type of paying entity, transaction type codes etc., been restructured/revised/reissued in the past 2 or so weeks ?

          Whatever it is, Curve know but aren’t saying. They know they can’t fix it either temporarily or permanently.

          • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

            It’s probably firms getting ready for the Strong Customer Authentication deadline on 31st May. Expect more stuff to break.

  • Paul says:

    I’d be interested to know who likes all the codenames used on this site? Eg bendy, seagulls, beardy etc etc

    I think it is childish, inefficient and very offputting for new readers.

    If you like it reply like, if you dislike it reply dislike.

    • PK says:

      I just made a payment to Amex for 50Gbp using business metal bendy and got a notification from Amex and an email from Amex as well and the payment did reflect in the balance. Am i safe to assume it’s gone through for me and there would be no reversal by Amex ?
      Yesterday i made a car purchase of 15k using Amex Platinum and need to pay off using metal bendy.I would like to start paying from tomorrow.

    • BJ says:

      Discriminating against the ‘Don’t knows’ ?

    • David Butcher says:

      I agree Paul. Dislike. What’s the point? The companies involved obviously know who they are. It totally puts me off.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        You know what I really dislikeV

        People who complain about the code words and claim every company already knows.

        • James says:

          They do. Do seriously think curve (sorry, bendy) don’t know how the card is used for MS? Do you really think Amex (sorry, Brighton) are not aware what type of cards are used to pay balances? Etc, etc ad infinitum.

          • Steve says:

            Yawn, everyone had told you its about volume but you choose to ignore.

      • James says:

        Dislike too and agree with David. Some on here think they’ve devised the equivalent of an enigma machine, and nothing will get them to see otherwise.

        • Lady London says:

          With respect, if you consider the light and easily workoutable codes to be an enigma machine then ..well… perhaps you should not get involved. Best for anyone finding the codes hard to protect yourself as some of these things are best thought through first before the person uses them. You really, really don’t want to end up flagged on things like CIFAS if you haven’t been able to work out what some things you might blindly copy could look like if you don’t think it through and work out how much and how often makes sense on some things, for example.

        • kitten says:

          No, it seems *you think it’s an enigna machine – which in today’s computer terms is barely above a light bulb in technology – and that’s why it’s dangerous for you.

    • Steve says:

      Dislike the constant questioning of why code words are used by people who refuse to listen when it is explained to them why it is so.

    • Aston100 says:

      Feel free not to read the comments Paul.

    • GaryC says:

      Dislike as well, but it’s balanced by amusement at the childishness of people thinking they are part of some daft secret club 🙂

    • Lady London says:

      like. things stopping do seem to be related to en clair

      it’s not about obfuscating for anyone that might want to consider getting involved – and not about keeping from product owners as they all know and read here. It’s about making it just a bit harder for machine searches to trawl and hand to sites that wil explode everywhere and force owners that were tolerating, to kill it as it gets caned.

      The codes are not at all intended to be unbreakable by a human prepared to go back a day or few and apply light brainpower and relatively small effort to work it out, as others have. If someone won’t even make that effort then IMV it’s not for them.

      • GaryC says:

        Might you consider, perhaps, the reason that manufactured spend using curve has not “exploded everywhere” might be more to do with the fact that it’s genuinely niche interest, and not the result of using silly code words on this site? MS is not a newly discovered phenomena, it has been covered many times on other sites and forums. The world is full of bloggers, journalists and wannabees hungry for dramatic content – if this was the big deal secret that’s implied, it would have “exploded” already.

        Tier point runs, and ex-EU trips are niche interest to a minority of die-hard flyers, but the majority simply can’t be bothered. I suggest the same is true here. The majority of the population probably wouldn’t countenance spending £150 on Curve Metal, £195 on BA Amex, £90 on IHG Premium, £160 on Virgin etc and juggle balances between them for points. And those that do (and for reference I do have Curve Metal) simply cannot be bothered.

        • Dubious says:

          It’s not the niche diehards people are concerned about – it’s the viral effect you see all over the web these days that is if concern.

          A healthy diet is about doing everything in moderation – not a bun fight by a few who will spoil the market.

          • GaryC says:

            Which is partially my point – MS is not a new thing. There has been plenty of opportunity for it to go viral. The fact it hasn’t simply demonstrates its niche interest. In fact the most likely people to “spoil it” are people on sites like this, pushing MS to the limits they are – witness the number of posts about accounts being frozen and requests to evidence source of funds. It’s this type of behaviour which typically draws most attention, and which talk of “bendy”, “beardy” and “seagulls” won’t hide.

          • Lady London says:

            Gamestop, anyone?

            Think I even saw a couple of people pop in while that was sviralling and ask how to open a share buying account beause they’d never bought any shares before.

            Tulips and South Sea bubble bells rang and last people in who hadn’t thought about it…. well.

          • GaryC says:

            There’s a marked difference between crazed FOMO type behaviour on a stock or cyptocurrency bubble, and the month on month grinding involved in manufacturing spend to collect hotel points or airmiles.

  • JH says:

    Don’t know if it’s a sign of a fix, or just good fortune on my part, but I’ve just successfully bought some Ernie Bonds via Curve Blue – the same transactions were being declined for me on Friday

    • Steve says:

      I’ve just managed to get a transaction through HMRC, too, so fingers crossed the issue is sorted.

    • Jonathan says:

      Rocket man successfully refracted to Pimlico just now for me too

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Pimlico? This and James Bond have me stumped!

        • Sloth says:

          Haha me too. I just assumed they were taking the cash recycling a step too far by paying Pimlico plumbers… 🙂

        • Aston100 says:

          It’s where Ernie lives.

          • kitten says:


            Pimlico has got me temporarily stumped, but unlike some others I’ll work it out 🙂

    • r* says:

      Whats curve? Im only familiar with bendy 😀

  • Alex says:

    I have updated the Curve app and all is working again including our favourite bonds!

    • BJ says:

      I wonder how long now before the site will crash provoking the next round of hysteria.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.