Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Thursday 13th May

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Comments (339)

  • TedL says:

    Have the Platinum card which should reach the SUB in a week or so and then plan to cancel and replace with BAPP, which I signed up for the other day. I understand that the four Hotel Benefits continue after cancellation of the Plat card till they reach their expiry. Is that the same for Hertz and Avis or do they expire when the Plat card is cancelled?

  • Toppcat says:

    Morning all. We finally got a response from CEDR last night regarding our claim for the return flight from SEZ in November, which BA cancelled. CEDR have found that BA do need to reimburse us for the EK flight that we had to book (albeit offsetting the refund that BA had already given us, unbidden, for the cancelled flight and valuing the avios part of the ticket at the price BA sells them at, which we wouldn’t pay).

    They have rejected any claim for additional costs, phone bill cost of calling BA, meals, costs for our time, 8% statutory interest… So in all have rejected more than half of the claim total.

    There’s also no recognition that BA breached its EU261 obligations by giving us incomplete options in their comms, and by refusing to book us on another airline in the first place, meaning we had to do it ourselves and then try to claim the money back.

    All in all quite disappointing (not least the fact that they have accepted BA’s valuation for the avios refunded, when we are actually out of pocket cash for the EK flights). Wondering whether it is worth going to MCOL now, and whether the months we have been waiting for CEDR has been a bit of a waste of time…

    • James says:

      MCOL, of course.

      CEDR is staffed by non-professionals. You got response from somebody who does not understand the regulation.

      • Sam G says:

        I would however ensure that you only put in a claim for what you are due – EU 261 duty of care does not apply for costs for time, the phone bill to BA etc .

        Your travel insurance should have some coverage for travel delay, phone calls etc & if you had meals (no alcohol) due to the delay in your departure you could just try submitting those to BA again in a simple clean EU 261 duty of care claim

        I think the situation was pretty ridiculous & BA did not handle this well for edge cases where their rerouting rules didn’t get people back (namely those on Avios tickets who they didn’t have an agreement with QR to carry home). So re: the Avios you could try writing to CR with a short bullet point summary of what has happened – you may get some Avios compo to offset your valuation loss

        • Toppcat says:

          I think you are being somewhat generous to BA there… BA actively misled customers about their rights under EU261, and refused to rebook customer on other airlines. We were outright told by CS that a refund was the only option available, and we would have to make our own way back to the UK at our cost.

          You are right about MCOL though – we will have to reign in the claim to exactly what is covered by the legislation. The CEDR claim included additional amounts as guidance on here was that CEDR could award additional amounts if the airline had acted unreasonably. They have chosen not to in this case.

    • Mouse says:

      Is that CEDR’s initial or final response? If initial then you should have one opportunity to challenge the outcome.

      • Toppcat says:

        @Mouse I only seem to have the option to Accept or Reject the decision – no scope to provide additional comments or challenge the decision?

        • Mouse says:

          Sorry, my mistake, I was thinking of your right to comment on BA’s defence once they have submitted it. As you say, no right to challenge the adjudicator decision.

          • Toppcat says:

            No problem. Easy mistake to make. Thanks for trying to help.

          • Magarathea says:

            I had a CEDR decision on a BA downgrading dispute that was just wrong and I challenged it and they reconsidered and amended the decision in my favour.

    • kitten says:

      how much later was the EK flight ie what meals, any nights

      I would reject and mcol

      the preemptive unrequested refund they gave you is something BA seems to do when they cancel a route or suspend it. They just abandoned passengers. For all they know you could have just been made redundant and decided to go on the holiday anyway as prepaid and the last opportunity you might get but be very short of cash to get home after British Airways abandoned you.

      it’s sticky as if you were to claim a refund they’ve refunded you at the public rate per avios which is what you would have claimed.anyway had you wanted a refund. I think you’re right in stressing you didn’t ever want a refund, you did not choose this and would not have, as it was clear being cancelled at the time you were and abandoned by BA, all alternative transport that was available has cost you considerably more. I think BA gives these unwanted refunds without customers exercising their right to decide if they want to be rerouted or refunded, precisely to try to head off their much greater costs they are still responsible for if passenger needs to be rerouted. I think you’re also right BA did not make you aware of all your rights at the time and the fact that you could choose rerouting and did not have to take a refund they denied you rerouting.

      You are entitled to comms under duty of care so I’d call that your calls to BA. (though historically I think 2 phone calls to let people know you were going to be late was the intention).

      This is a particularly nasty action by BA given how far from home you were abandoned and as they persistently refused to action their legal obligations incurring high costs. Time is rare to get at MCOL level but relevant if it displaced paid work. 8% in light of their egregious behaviou h*ll yes. Also I’d tell the court you want full out of pocket for the EK cash costs and the avios used to pay for the original flight are not wanted back nor did any market selling price of those avios relate in any way to the much higher costs of the EK ticket you were forced to buy with cash to get back.

      Defo reject. you could look ultra-reasonable by working out how much you really must have and approaching BA saying you are now about to proceed to MCOL and asking them do they wish to make a settlement offer before you do this. Keep any discussion of numbers ‘without prejudice’. Give it 21 days in your LBA then MCOL all again. You may well not get it all but gotta get better

      • Toppcat says:

        Thanks @Kitten.

        Annoyingly we actually flew back a day early as a result of the cancellation, as we needed to be back, and the indirect EK flight took longer than the direct BA one. So the CEDR claim included the hotel night and food for the afternoon/evening we spent trying and failing to reach BA on the phone, plus the final hotel night we didn’t use. Always optimistic, and wouldn’t fly at MCOL.

        I do want the cash for the EK ticket back though, as well as the phone bill! Effectively forcing us to buy Avios at 1.625p is not my idea of a fair resolution.

        Travel insurance will cover some/most of the rest, but I was really hoping to land BA with the bill, given their behaviour in just leaving us in the Seychelles and refusing to honour their legal obligations.

        • kitten says:

          I’ve got a nasty feeling EU261 does not actually cover you for an earlier flight. IIRC I looked this up once when Iberia legged me over and no right to earlier. Did you try s 75?

    • AJA says:

      @ Toppcat I am sorry to read this and it must be extremely frustrating. That said I think valuing the Avios at the price BA sells them at is reasonable and in your favour as that is more than you would pay and potentially you got most of the Avios via credit card spend or from cash flights. The way I read it is that cash still to be paid = Cost of EK tickets + £ equivalent of Avios – £ cash auto refunded by BA.

      Or are you saying that the £ equivalent of the Avios was included in the amount deducted from what BA is now obliged to pay you ie Cost of EK tickets – BA cash auto refunded – £ for Avios = cash balance to be paid?

      You say CEDR rejected more than half of the claim total. Did you actually incur all those additional costs? Billing for your time and 8% interest is just figures you added on top. Are you really out of pocket for those figures? I think the most you will really be out of pocket for is the cost of calling BA and meals. How much was that?

      I think you have to be careful rejecting this because there is a risk BA will say in defence at MCOL that you have received £x (for the automatic refund) plus were offered £y via CEDR but rejected it.

      • Toppcat says:

        @AJA – it’s the latter on the Avios front. Amount due from BA to refund the EK flight = EK cash cost – cash refund from BA – Avios refund from BA @1.625p/Avios. So we are quite out of pocket, as we wouldn’t have parted with 1.625p to buy Avios…

        As stated above, we included some items in the CEDR claim (hotel for the day we spent trying to call BA and resolve, F&B the same day etc) as I was guided that CEDR can award additional amounts. They wouldn’t form part of an MCOL claim.

        • kitten says:

          purchase cost of avios is completely irrelevant since you dont want and didnt want a refund of the original ticket. Your right which you chose was much more valuable and it’s what the law gives you – the right to be reimbursed the full cash cost of your replacenent ticket

          You had a right to choose refund or reroute. You chose reroute ie keep what I paid you whether it was a 50%avios pronotional fare,a 241, shekels, bitcoun, avios or some mix. Keep that as I dont want the original means of payment refunded I want you to fulful your obligation of paying me the cash I had to pay, in cash, because you wouldn’t reroute me and that is what I had to shell out in cash for my EK ticket because you wouldn’t reroute me. So I want it in cash, and you get to keep whatever I paid you for the original ticket as it’s irrelevant.

          Would EK have taken avios at *any* rate? No.

          Stick it to BA. ‘to’ is the polite word here

          .

          • kitten says:

            @AJA I’m pretty sure you are a lawyer but think about the above and I’m sure you will end up agreeing

            @Toppcatt needs to make this point very clear in his MCOL submission.

          • Lady London says:

            – no avios offset against the cash you had to pay for EK ticket. this is flawed as I said above. You dont want more avios back after this rzperience, you refused a refund ib favour of rerouting which is your right, and BA has literally tried to force a refund on you despite this – and is still trying. I find it offensive. They’re trying to do the same as if somebody got a ticket in the 50% sale, then cancelled their ticket home leaving them in the middle of the Indian Ocean and they were forced to pay 100% plus lastminute high pricing to get back.

            – BA lost you at least a day of your holiday plus whatsoundd like 2 nights loss between losing part of your holiday which had to be spent solving this so value loss ( ditto the meals) and stress and loss of enjoyment of your holiday. Surely there is some law that says in the egregious process of trying to get BA to provide what they were legally obliged to do (reroute you ie get you home under EU261), you effectively lost this part of your holiday? You are looking for some kind of general law here. Do you have any legal helpline cover on any of your motor or house insurance policies? If not then you’re not expected to know everything at MCOL but I would just describe your loss as losing part of your holiday ‘x’ days lost due to this and how difficult and stressful it was and see what the judge says.

            AJA could be right but it gives an unwanted taste in the mouth that BA could force an unwanted refund EU261 says you are entitled to choose rerouting and EU261 also specifically states on another airline if needed to get you home as reasonably near.. check the wording either Google, or Flyertalk somewhere

        • AJA says:

          @Toppcat that is rough although thinking this through you will ultimately receive the cost of the EK fare.

          You say you wouldn’t be able to claim the hotel and F&B cost etc via MCOL so what exactly do you achieve from MCOL that you haven’t got through CEDR?

          Also did you receive a separate payment from BA for the Avios? In which case you did well as they paid you more than you would for the Avios.

          @Kitten I am not a lawyer, I am an accountant. I just think Toppcat may lose out if rejecting the CEDR award especially as going MCOL would really only be for the EK fare. The reality is that CEDR has ruled that although BA refunded cash they are still on the hook for the EK fare. The rest of the claim under CEDR would fall away under MCOL.

          • Toppcat says:

            @AJA – no, they refunded me the Avios. Which they then valued at 1.625p when calculating how much of the EK fare they accounted for.

            I’m still tempted my MCOL to get 1) the full cash refund, not least as I wouldn’t have paid the cash price for the flight – I got good value for those Avios booking a return J flight to SEZ vs cash ticket prices; 2) the phone bill, 3) MCOL might also pay the statutory interest at 8%, and this has been dragging on for a while now!

          • Toppcat says:

            Re-credited me with the Avios may be a clearer way of expressing it, as refund might imply a cash payment, which wasn’t the case.

          • AJA says:

            @Toppcat. I understand now. You still have ultimately got the value of the EK ticket as you have the Avios plus cash already paid by BA and will get more cash from them l think it’s a risk going to MCOL. Just my thoughts. Ultimately its up to you what you do. I hope it works out for you.

  • David says:

    Unexpected surprise – just moved an Avios booking made in July 2020 to USA West Coast out by a few weeks, expecting to need to pay a fare difference due to increases in BA charges / taxes as mentioned here recently, but upon reprice the agent actually informed I was due a £22 refund.

    I’ve been putting off making the call for weeks but it was quite seamless at c09:30 this morning, got through to a UK based agent in a matter of minutes.

    • Jody says:

      Just out of interest, in moving it have you moved it past a year since it was ticketed? Or was it still within the year?

      • David says:

        Original booking made in July 2020 but wasn’t fully ticketed until Oct 20. Moved to August 21 so I guess still within original ticket validity.

        Wasn’t a cancelled booking though so I imagine whilst there are no change fees there would be no issues with moving past original ticket validity.

    • kitten says:

      fx rates moved, is why

  • IanM says:

    ANy heads up on the IHG Flash Sale announced for MOnday?

    Usual damp squib?

    • Tom says:

      Flexible booking prices for all the hotels you were looking at will go up by 15-20% on Saturday, then on Monday IHG will announce a flash sale with 30% off the Best Available Rate, but with totally non-refundable terms. I would be very surprised if it departs from the usual IHG formula 😛

      • DJ says:

        London Park Lane IC rate has already gone up by 10% at least .. had to book it last night :/

      • Andrew says:

        This is exactly how it will be Tom – won’t be anything to see that’s for sure. What’s more hopeful is an Amex offer to match Hilton’s.

    • Rob says:

      Not been sent anything.

      IHG Flash Sales used to mean £29 rooms in Central London. If you search back on HfP you’ll see we did quite a few reviews of hotels at this level.

      In 2017 I got Holiday Inn Mayfair, opposite The Ritz, for £35. Used it as an office for a couple of days.

      Having spent quite a bit of time looking at old HfP articles post-relaunch, as we had to reformat some of them, it is clear that offers today are far worse than the best deals we saw 5-7 years ago. Go back 10 years, pre-HfP, and they are substantially worse.

      • Sam G says:

        I think the difficult staffing situation in housekeeping/hospitality & the lack of capacity in F&B outlets to want to fill up via these “loss leader” rooms makes the economics of these types of rates difficult currently. The London rates I’m seeing are decent enough but no one is going crazy, seemingly preferring to tick along at a manageable occupancy of reasonably profitable guests.

        The true luxury hotels (Mandarin Oriental etc) never really discount anyway as it damages their brand – they take a long term view and are happy to run at minimal occupancy instead (saw the same in HK during the troubles pre-COVID)

      • the_real_a says:

        Oh how i miss Happy Mondays!

        • Rob says:

          Actually I checked back and IHG did £20.12 sales in 2011 and 2012 as an Olympics-themed offer. Even with 9 years of inflation that wouldn’t get you much beyond £25 and I bet you there is nothing in Central London at £25 next week.

  • Stephen says:

    Points reversal due to technical issues – 10,000 pts

    Anyone noticed this on their AMEX MR statement?

    Looks like they applied a 10,000 bonus, but reversed it a week later

    • pigeon says:

      Yes, had this issue, but in my case the 10k reversal hit my MR statement first, and the accidentally 10k hit a day or two later, so I thought I had been robbed!

  • Stephen says:

    Red by Dufry
    DragonPass

    Any positive updates?

    I’ve got written proof that they would be extending the accounts for 12 months to 2022, but they appear to be backtracking on this

  • Kyle says:

    Need to rebook cancelled BA and easyJet flights to Greece scheduled for May. Does anyone know whether I can still do this after the initial flight dates? Ideally would like to wait till June-July and then depending on the situation move BA to either later this year (or 2022 with easyJet) or get a refund.

    • Jody says:

      I’m hoping so, as I also have cancelled Easyjet flights (think I was actually supposed to depart today!) to Greece, and I just want to sit on them until things are a bit more stable and then make a decision as to when to book them for.

      • Sam G says:

        Easyjet definitely fine, I have flights past due on my account

        BA if they rebooked you onto something else or your outbound flight didn’t get cancelled then you can contact them and ask them to “delete the segments” as you haven’t decided when to fly yet – Twitter DM is best for this. But you’ve only got a year from the date of booking to fly the first flight on the booking

  • David says:

    The healthcare worker discounts on Marriott /Hyatt make any sales seem a bit mean – W London £149 or Andaz £100

    • Rhys says:

      W for £149 is fantastic

      • Harry T says:

        I’ve stayed at the W, EDITION, Sheraton Grand and Marriott Park Lane on the £149 a night healthcare rate. I will be making a few more trips this summer too. Absolutely fantastic deal.

        • David says:

          Just booked the Park Hyatt in St Kitts for £160 – mega bargain – and BVI soon to be green

          • Anna says:

            Surely no direct flights to St Kitts or BVIs – you’d have to go via another country which wouldn’t necessarily be green?

        • James says:

          Then don’t expect 3%? You got enough already.

          • David says:

            Anna it’s as a side trip to USA which I’m pretty certain will be green by end of August. Direct flights from Miami 44k for 2 in first. Oh it’s a fully refundable rate.

          • Anna says:

            Fingers x’d as I also have flights to MIA in August! Visited the BVIs and USVIs years ago (there was a direct flight from London to St Thomas in those days!), it was great.

            Are you going AA first? We did this MIA to BOS a few years ago, very pleasant indeed.

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