Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 15th June

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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 (414)

  • Jamil says:

    Hi, I have a short haul flight to Chania, Crete on Saturday. I was going to take my 4 year old daughter. I am not planning on going, in part because of the additional testing and quarantine required. They have actually cancelled my original flight and have moved me to a new flight that day. Is there any benefit to keeping a FTV ( I booked when there was an Avios sale last year.) Does an FTV keep the discounted rate or would it be repriced with the correct avios when eventually booked? I know I can just a refund of my taxes and Avios if needed. I tried to call BA customer services a few times but they always say they are busy and it hangs up! Thanks for your help

    • TGLoyalty says:

      An FTV is just the Avios and cash paid suspended in a voucher. Any new booking would be the Avios and cash applicable on that day so no advantage at all vs a full refund unless you used a 2-4-1 voucher which will expire before April 2023.

    • Harry T says:

      TG is right. You should also be able to request a proper refund online now for cancelled Avios flights.

    • Sam G says:

      Did you accept the new flight details?

      • Sam G says:

        Oops hit send too soon.

        If you didn’t accept it then you could actually just leave it, you aren’t yet “confirmed” on the flight. You could then see if you could go later this summer – you can rebook onto any flight regardless of avios availability as long as you travel outbound 1 year before the date you booked. You can request a refund after this date, so no harm if you think you might go.

        Belts and braces would be to Twitter DM them and ask them to delete the unconfirmed sectors as you don’t know when you want to travel. I’ve read that call centre agents resist doing this but I’ve got two tickets I’ve done this with via Twitter that I’m hoping to use later this summer

        • Jamil says:

          Thanks for the replies. I managed to get through to the call centre using New Bookings rather than clicking the button for Change of Booking. The agent said that if I rebooked for August that I would have to reprice at the new Avios rate. I did not use a 241. I bought the flights in the Avios sale in October last year. I didn’t accept the flight change either. They just changed my flight as they completely cancelled the flight for a new flight much earlier that day and anytime I went online to look at it, it gave me an error when I tried to look at other flight options. I didn’t confirm it myself but I got emails to say I was leaving this Saturday so BA confirmed it for me! I just cancelled the flight and processed the refund. I thought the world might be a easier place to travel in June when I booked in October last year but at the moment it is not…

          • Harry T says:

            You were not obliged to be charged the new Avios flights, that’s the usual nonsense that the poorer BA agents spout. You were entitled to be rerouted for no additional cost. BA will allow this up to the end of ticket validity – one year from booking. Some would argue they should let you move beyond ticket validity but BA will fight on this point, so it’s always a choice for the customer whether they want to escalate.

          • Sam G says:

            So annoying to hear of these situations where BA agents pretty much make up the rules as they go along.

            For anyone else reading, even if BA are sending you pre-departure emails, you aren’t confirmed unless you accepted it and under their COVID customer guidelines you are entitled to a free rebooking to depart outbound within 1 year of booking. I can highly recommend Twitter DM for removing unconfirmed sectors and then rebooking in these situations.

            As Harry T says, booking post 1 year after booking is a whole different story and requires a fight/ threat of MCOL etc.

          • Jamil says:

            I called up BA again and spoke to someone, who said they could not rebook me for later in the year under the Avios sale fare due to the different T&C’s on the sale fares. She said, if it were a normal Avios fare, she could have just had it rebooked for another date 1 year from booking as you said.

  • MattB says:

    With foreign travel looking unlikely then it looks like our backup week in Cornwall was a wise move. We are staying just out of St Ives on our anniversary, thinking it may be wise to try and book somewhere nice to eat that evening, any recommendations?

    • SteveD says:

      I don’t have personal experience but I believe the place at far end of Porthminster beach is well-regarded. What I really came to say is that booking ahead in peak season in St Ives is highly recommended. This year I’d expect it to be essential, and as soon as possible.

    • H says:

      Best meal we had in Cornwall last year was at One Fish Street in St Ives. Had to book about a month in advance.

    • Lady London says:

      @Jamil BA were still not correct on that 2nd call. once you have a ticket you could have paid for it on an offer cost of 3 jelly beans and a razoo. Even if that’s what you paid for your ticket, as soon as BA cancels *any* flight on your booking you get the right to change *all* the flights on that booking to whenever you want for free.

      Any seat available for cash in your same cabin class you have a right to. Izt does not have to be an avios seat and its cash price can be much more or may be less. The original terms of the promotion are irrelevant you get to choose new dates convenient to *you* not the airline if BA cancels a flight.

      If it was you cancelling or modifying then the original terms apply and you may have to add razoos for the cost of the new flight or, indeed, not be able to move it and lose all your jellybeans and the razoo.

      If BA cancels all those promotion terms and other terms are outranked by statute law which is superior to anything BA ever said. Law EU261 or UK261.

      BA cheated you in my view. One could have sympathy for untrained agents but there seems to be too many of them.

  • Zoe P says:

    Does anyone know if you can still get Avios via Travelex? I tried the link on HfP page but it doesn’t work. Am looking for a way of getting avios for currency exchange. I dont use credit cards abroad if it can be helped.

    • John says:

      Withdraw GBP cash from curve and exchange it when you get to your destination

      • Jonathan says:

        You need an Avios earning MasterCard or Visa card, and they’re few and far between these days in order to withdraw cash. Plus bendy blue (the free card) only allows £200 pcm withdrawals (without a fee), so that isn’t going to get you very far for cash for a holiday.

        • Sandgrounder says:

          If you like to use cash abroad, try Curve linked to Revolut, as long as you make sure the currencies match you will get 10 free withdrawals a month. No Avios, but other points can be obtained from topping up Revolut.

        • John says:

          I have blue bendy and occasionally withdraw £500 a month and have not been charged.

  • @mkcol says:

    Amateur email of the day goes to Virgin Atlantic.

    A lovely gesture but abysmal spelling: “…extending your Flying Club vouchers, giving you a full 18 months extention in total.”

    • Number9 says:

      No poor spelling goes to Daily Express before they changed it “ don’t they have manors” 🙄

    • TripRep says:

      @rob – you running an article on this, might help BA follow suit ? 😉

      • Rob says:

        This isn’t a new announcement, it is the one we covered a couple of weeks ago.

        And BA has already given most people an 18 month extension on their vouchers.

    • Genghis says:

      I noticed the lack of apostrophe after 18 months before the spelling mistake! lol.

  • Andy says:

    Long hold times for BA this morning. Was on hold for an avios related issue for an hour…got through, got put on hold while they sorted it….then got disconnected!

    Back on hold again, half an hour and counting…

    • Rhys says:

      They cancelled a raft of CityFlyer flights yesterday.

      • Richie says:

        Some re-routings, such as JSI Skiathos, may be time consuming to organise.

  • Chrism20 says:

    The Pompadour at the WA Edinburgh has reopened and they are current running a competition for a free stay and tasting menu with wine.

    The hotel has sent out a marketing email this morning with a link to the competition which can be reached at http://www.deanbanks.co.uk/win

    • Colin MacKinnon says:

      Well, that’s you got two fewer chances of winning it!

      Thanks. (Although T&Cs don’t say you can only make one entry!)

      • Chrism20 says:

        Haha. I’ve got my niece sitting creating gmail accounts right now

        Would be nice to see someone here win it though

        • @mkcol says:

          You don’t need to create new Gmail accounts, just put a “.” anywhere in an existing Gmail account before the @ sign and they will all go to the same account
          eg: Monday123; M.onday123; Mo.nday123 etc etc will all work

    • mike says:

      Thanks – that’s 15 fewer chances of winning it ! as I entered with all my different email addresses used for different TESCO clubcard accounts.

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        Wow that is a lot, I have put an entry in too! Lol

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      A nice HfP exclusive competition coming up soon @Rob? 😉

  • Craig says:

    Vaccination opened to over 23s this morning at 9am, my lad had his first jab 20 minutes later in Newark!

    • Jody says:

      Nice! Luckily my daughter (22) and her boyfriend (23) got texts from their Drs surgery last week and so had their jab on Saturday. She was very relieved to finally be starting the vaccination process.

    • Alan says:

      Great news – I wish Scotland would get a move on, still only >30s. Was great to see where they did do surge vaccination for youngers (eg. in Moray) the levels have remained much lower whilst rising elsewhere. The sooner they can offer it to all >16s like the USA the better!

      • Gtellez says:

        Depending where in Scotland. My wife (27) and me (29) have an appointment for next Saturday in Dumfriesshire. We sent our data through the website a couple of weeks ago and in few days we received the appointment

  • RH says:

    Does anyone think rules regarding travelling to Gibraltar are likely to change?

    I’m due to go in 3 weeks for 5 nights.

    • Rob says:

      They changed them last week, so anything is possible.

      Risk is that UK is moved to their Amber list. Would they do this, politically? Not sure. However, as the unvaxed now require a PCR test to enter, I would imagine they are happy with that.

      • Mike says:

        gov.uk says:

        “If you have only been in green list countries in the 10 days before arrival and are unvaccinated, you must have a pre-flight COVID-19 lateral flow test taken no more than 48 hours before your flight to Gibraltar.”

        So not a PCR test right?

        • Rob says:

          Any test is fine but some lateral flow tests do not meet their technical specs apparently.

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