Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Sunday 20th June

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We are running this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Comments (296)

  • TimM says:

    Good morning from Stoupa, Greece. My BA flight back from Kalamata has been cancelled since departing. They have offered mw the flight the day before but it is later in the day and there is no onward connection to Manchester. I have a through ticket, what rights or expectations are there for BA to put us in a hotel, feed us and lay on transfers to/from the hotel? I tried contacting BA via twitter but other than automated, there was no response. All thoughts appreciated.

    • TripRep says:

      I’ve had similar happen with a delay that mean we were too late for an onward connection

      If it’s all one ticket, then they should rebook the London – MAN link for the next day and pay for overnight accommodation and reasonable food costs. Keep all receipts, booze not included

    • BJ says:

      Should be as reported by TripRep,. If it isn’t sorted before departure then mention it to FA on board and hopefully it will be sorted and your hoppa and hotel waiting for you on arrival. If not then you will need to go to flight connections. Been there, done that quite a few times. Never been a problem except they usually put you on first flight next morning thinking that’s best for you but results in only a few hours sleep and no breakfast. They will provide dinner at hotel too but you will likely arrive too late for that by sounds of it.

      • TimM says:

        Thanks TripRep & BJ. I have just had a response from BA, “We wouldn’t be able to help with hotel and transfer arrangements, but our Customer Relations team would be able to take a look at your incurred expenses.” This is not exactly the duty of care I would have expected nor the certainty of recovering expenses! Still, we will have to go with it and hope.

        • Anna says:

          You are most definitely entitled to re-claim your expenses but it is woeful (but not surprising) that BA has left you to try and arrange accommodation at LHR from another country! Thankfully online booking should mean this is relatively straightforward these days.

          Your luggage will also have to stay in the airport overnight unless you make special arrangements for it to be retrieved and re-checked the next morning. I have had this happen before with no issues but it does make me slightly uneasy that it’s just sitting in some hangar for a long period.

        • BJ says:

          It’s nonsense, get on the phone and tell them they can do it the easy way or the hard way. Having said that, if Sofitel is open I’d be tempted just to book in there whatever the cost then bill BA. It would be better than the option they would provide.

          • Anna says:

            I think Sofitel is currently a quarantine hotel or I would suggest that as well!

          • BJ says:

            Thanks Anna, I thought that might be the case.

          • TimM says:

            Thanks BJ, I did check the Sofitel at least out of rate-curiosity. It appears to be closed 🙁

        • Blenz101 says:

          Can you just take the train back? BA will cover the cost of the ticket which hopefully would save you getting a bus to and from an airport hotel and unnecessary overnight.

          As I recall they give you a prepaid tube (not HEX) and train ticket.

          • TimM says:

            Blenz, thanks for the suggestion but unfortunately not. I checked that option first and, with the current reduced timetable, there is no same day train connection from Heathrow even to Huddersfield, and even then we are 30 mins taxi ride from Huddersfield. In my lifetime, there were mail trains running through the night 🙁

          • meta says:

            @TimM Sorry to hear that, but no surprise from BA here.

            Most hotels are closed at Heathrow T5 as they are being used as quarantine hotels. Check what’s available around and somewhere where you can also maximise points. You could even do Langley or go to somewhere around Hammersmith if these are only reasonable options. Keep all food receipts, but BA won’t cover alcohol.

        • Aliks says:

          When our return flight from Cairo was cancelled at 10 days notice, I got exactly the same positive words from the BA helpline, however Customer Relations were **completely** unhelpful.

          BA wanted to put me on the same flight one day later, but I opted for an Egyptair flight that departed only 1 hour later than the cancelled BA flight.

          Customer Services tried to refuse all expenses citing a COVID excuse, so I went to CEDR and sure enough 1 day before judgement was due, BA paid up all expenses.

          I made one mistake – not claiming the EC261 compensation in addition to the expenses I incurred. CEDR only allow one claim per PNR so I think I have to go to MCOL to get the statutory compensation.

          Moral of the story, keep copies of everything you send to BA (their online form does not allow you to see previous submissions) and ignore all BA excuses. Make sure you are very specific and accurate on the reasons for your expense claim.

          Some may say it’s heartless to take the money from BA in their hour of need, but BA knew the legal situation before they cancelled, and they put themselves in the wrong by setting a policy that will not stand up in court. Presumably they are hoping to save money by deterring passengers from going through a 10 week process to get the money the law specifies.

        • kitten says:

          So they want you to lay out your own cash then will take their own sweet time to repay it. Some people have even had BA refuse after the cash was laid out.

    • Yuff says:

      What has happened to customer service🤷🏻‍♂️
      It is the sort of thing you expect from Ryanair but not BA.
      Hopefully with all the coverage of people getting jabs yesterday the way out of this debacle isn’t too far in the future and businesses will not have the ready made covid excuse for poor service.
      It will only be Brexit then as an excuse……
      Speaking of Ryanair, who cancelled some flights and I claimed a refund 5 weeks ago, I was told I have a voucher, which I can redeem for cash, on Thursday. I have the voucher number via tweet and told to follow the link to redeem for cash, no sign of any link……….

    • TimM says:

      The BA CS assistant seemed to imply that it would be better for us to book our own hotel and claim it back. I have booked the Premier Inn T5, but a room each and added their unlimited breakfast (total £93 between us). I am sure BA cannot object to that.

      Annoyingly I could not change the time of the LHR-MAN connection without paying a fee. BA would still have us laid over at Heathrow for 19hrs when there is an earlier flight. I have made my request.

      • Sam G says:

        I replied to you down the line. I’d book the Hilton personally – BA will pay up to 200 for hotels and not question it.

        Did you “accept” the change already? The new time is just what the system found, you can tell them what flight you’d like and they’ll do it FOC but probably needs a call

        • TimM says:

          Sam G, Thanks. The Hilton T5 is also not available for our dates.

        • TimM says:

          Oh, I did not accept the change but managed to get the Twitter CS person to change to a better connection to MAN.Thanks again.

  • Mouse says:

    I have a load of miles & more points. With the credit card discontinued, they will start to expire when my frequent traveller status is downgraded in feb next year. Assuming no replacement credit card product, looking at ways to extend points life. There seems to be a service called loylogic that claims to extend the life of miles by 36 months, but details are scant. Does anyone have any knowledge or experience of it? Pricing, legitimacy, etc.

    • BJ says:

      My experience – I cannot redeem mine for anything at all. Every effort I have made to contact M&M in the last year has gone unanswered.

    • meta says:

      Yes, you can extend them, but I believe it’s quite expensive.

    • Rob says:

      It’s a paid service, supported by Lufty. Give Lufty a pile of cash – basically almost what the miles are worth – and they will extend them for you. Very generous of them ….

    • Mouse says:

      Thanks BJ, meta & Rob. I guess I just need to spend them before they start to expire in that case. I’ll try to work out whether I can do a book & cancel-for-voucher sort of arrangement.

      • Blair says:

        Could u book hotels via their portal to get to a threshold for a short haul redemption?

    • Lady London says:

      Heathrow Rewards and Amazon vouchers. Much better value used on domestic flights elsewhere where taxes are not high such as US.

  • BJ says:

    Some news coming on a Sunday? We seem to be missing an article today.

    • Yuff says:

      Rob is probably enjoying himself too much on the super yacht
      🤣🤣🤣

    • Peter K says:

      It’s now arrived, just a piece about IHG points, nothing interesting sadly.

      I was hoping for a premium kettle review for Amazon prime day 😉

    • Rob says:

      IT cock-up, sorry. When I slotted the Gatwick article in, very late last night, I made a mistake when I reordered the other pieces.

  • Aliks says:

    WOW – Catching COVID-19 at Heathrow immigration.

    Last week my brother-in-law flew back to the UK to visit an elderly relative. He tested PCR – negative before boarding the plane, negative on his day 2 test, but positive on his day 5 release test.

    It seems likely he caught it in the crowded immigration queue at Heathrow – several hours with no social distancing.

    Hopefully we won’t get the same problem when we fly back in a few weeks, but does anyone know the quietest time at T5?

    We are scheduled to land at 9am but could sit and wait a few hours if mid morning is likely to be less busy.

    • SteveJ says:

      Just as likely to have caught it on the plane? A high ceilinged arrivals hall seems less likely than a tight airplane cabin.

      • John says:

        Depends how long he was there. Air on the plane is renewed constantly but the arrivals hall may not be aired. Departure airport may be more likely

      • Aliks says:

        Yes he could have caught it on the plane, but he tested negative 48 hours after arrival, so its unlikely.

        Also possible that his test to release was false positive, but also this is less likely than catching it from other passengers in a crowded, snaking queue.

        • SteveJ says:

          I don’t understand why testing negative 48 hours after getting off the plane rules out catching it on the plane, but doesn’t Duke out catching it an hour / a few hours after getting off the plane?

          Facts are no idea when / where he caught it, travelling carries a risk right now, glad his symptoms aren’t serious. But to “blame” the queues (which are ridiculous, agreed) is clutching. You travel, you take risks. Those risks may have been worth it, no point laying blame now.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            It doesn’t. A negative day 2 doesn’t even rule out catching it well before the flight as it can take 10-14 days.

          • Rob says:

            It’s not a Day 2, it is a Day 0-2 test. Took mine 10 mins after getting off the plane on Friday.

      • kitten says:

        Heathrow (especially) and Gatwick have very low-ceilinged queuing areas.

    • Tracey says:

      Hope your BiL is ok.

      It seems that TTR will save him 3 days of isolation, but only in 10 days time. Without TTR he would not have known his positive status until day 8 test results were back, so would have been in a further 10 days isolation from that point. Now that he has a positive result on day 5, his isolation will end on day 15.
      Presumably he has to do the day 8 test in order for the result to be genome sequenced. Will have to be a test from home, as I doubt any testing centre wants a visit from a known positive, PPE or no PPE!

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Does a negative Day 8 release you from isolation? … could’ve been a false positive via TTR.

        • Aliks says:

          Interesting possibility – I’m not sure what the rules say in such a situation, but having seen the lack of planning in Dido Harding’s Test’n’Trace operation, I doubt they have a sensible response.

      • Aliks says:

        Brother-in-Law says he has minimal symptoms, and can do some work from his isolation B&B but its definitely an unwelcome disruption to his trip.

  • Oz_Traveller says:

    Not travel related, but I would like to understand which Premier Banking accounts provide the best rewards? I’m currently with Barclays.

    • Sam G says:

      Barclays Avios / voucher is now best IMO. HSBC premier provides free travel insurance and access to their points earning card. They are the two I have.

    • Harry T says:

      Probably HSBC, as the account is free and the associated credit card allows you to earn more flexible points than you pay for with the Barclays account.

      • Reney says:

        Only the lower earning rate card is free. The higher earning rate one has a relative large fee.

        I guess you need to think about do you need a spend based away to earn rewards via your current account.

  • SteveJ says:

    Just as likely to have caught it on the plane? A high ceilinged arrivals hall seems less likely than a tight airplane cabin.

  • Anna says:

    I have Ryanair flights to Malaga booked for the end of July, wondering about moving them to Tenerife in the event of the government lifting the quarantine requirement for amber countries but FCDO advice not changing which would affect our insurance (we’d be insured for the Canary Islands but not for mainland Spain). Media now reporting that any changes won’t come into effect until the beginning of August. Would I be better moving the dates into August now or wait and hope prices don’t shoot up after any announcement?

    • Sam G says:

      I’ve a feeling by August the govt will have relented and we’ll be travelling more freely, especially if you are double vaccinated. I’d be tempted to move my trip into August but Spain or Canaries should be OK.

      • Anna says:

        But if the restrictions are only lifted from August 1st it will cause issues for anyone travelling during the last week in July!

  • Anna says:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2021/06/14/uk-unlikely-reopen-foreign-travel-major-european-resorts-august/

    Behind a paywall but someone posted a tip last night for getting round it. This is would be very frustrating for anyone whose holidays are booked for the second half of July!

    • Freddy says:

      Yep I’m in this position. easyJet cancelled our flights, could have rebooked this year but fed up with the constant moving of the goal posts so not bothering to go abroad this year

      • Nick says:

        My crystal ball says it’ll be Sep (after the schools go back) before mass travel is allowed. I’m probably wrong of course, but that’s been my hunch for several months now and I won’t be planning anything earlier either.

        • meta says:

          Even if they did open up for 20 July, it will be too late for most people and prices will go up as Europeans and Americans will have booked up.

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