Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Thursday 22nd July

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 (338)

  • TimM says:


    I posted a couple of weeks ago asking for advice re. a cancelled inbound BA flight Kalamata to Heathrow, being offered the day before and necessitating an overnight stay to catch the next available connecting flight to Manchester.

    At the time I had an online chat with BA via BA. I was told I could go to the connections desk on arrival at Heathrow and they would find us a hotel for the night but it would be better for us to make our own arrangements and claim it back from ‘Customer Relations’.

    One on the daily chat thread suggested that BA would pay up to £200 for the night. We stayed modest and booked the Premier Inn Terminal 5 at £90 for the two of us including breakfast on a flexible booking, just in case things changed again.

    Yesterday, BA sent a very flowery and apologetic email rejecting our claim as we were told about the change more than two weeks in advance and therefore “no compensation was due”.


    • N says:

      Someone more versed in this than me will come along v soon, but they are wrong.
      Duty if Care doesn’t have a time limit.

      • J says:

        Was about to post the same. This seems to be BA’s standard first response to everything – assume anything being claimed is compensation and automatically deny it.

        Email back and emphasise that you’re not claiming compensation but rather reimbursement per their duty of care obligtion under EU261. Hopefully that will do the trick, although in my experience, mere mention of EU261 tends to ellicit a fingers-in-ears “la la la la we can’t hear you” response. Worst case, you’ll have to go through a few rounds of emails then get a ‘final response’ from them, after which you could make a CEDR or MCOL claim (shame the hotel wasn’t £100 as you’d then have Section 75 as an option if paid on a UK credit card etc). Be aware CEDR is taking up to six months at the moment so MCOL may be a better route.

        • J says:

          Actually I think I’m wrong about Section 75 – it would be your original booking that would need to be over £100 – you’d then claim against that for the consequential loss of the £90 hotel bill. I think – I’m sure others on here will correct me or confirm 😉

    • Chris Heyes says:

      TimM Keep it very very polite But tell them that you are not after any compensation Only reimbursement for duty of care after BA changed the flights in question to a day earlier.
      leaving you no option but to book an overnight stay, which was agreed on BA Chat
      Keep it polite but to the point “Duty of Care” modest payment required
      You will have no trouble getting it.
      To be honest we have had well over BAs £200 a night on occasions, but as registered disabled I’ve never been refused duty of care, usually send a cheque

    • Lady London says:

      Presumably you’d enclosed a copy of the online chat with your claim where BA had promised you this? Many stories where BA agreed then denied on claim so always keep records.

      i hope you remembered to claim dinner as well at going rate say £25 per head no alcohol.

      • Lady London says:

        Oh, and brekkie should be claimable as well.

        • Lady London says:

          If BA is going to mess you around after having promised then whack every penny you can onto your claim. For me the issue here is BA promised then denied. Tacky.

    • TimM says:

      Many thanks all. I am currently waiting for the reply to my first response which pointed out the facts as I set out above. If BA still refuse, I now have more meat to throw at them. Tim.

  • Tom1 says:

    Anyone have experience with the Swiss Amex cards? Looks like the gold card gives SUB with no spend target. Any ideas if you get prorata refunds (thinking plat) or if any rules about applying too soon after a previous one?

  • Nick says:

    Seeing as Vueling seems like only direct choice for return from Bilbao on required date, is there any advantage in terms of miles earning to booking direct, via IB code share or BA code share?

    • Richie says:

      Rob has written in detail on this, put Vueling in the search function.

    • ChrisBCN says:

      You will usually find that booking the exact same flights via Iberia or BA will result in you paying far more, so any miles advantage is not worth it.

      If you book via Vueling, you can give them either a Vueling, Aer Lingus or Iberia FF number (but not BA). You get 3 or 4 miles per Euro, depending on ticket type. If you use Iberia FF you also get tier points in Iberia (not sure about Aer Lingus).

      • Gtellez says:

        I usually prefer getting IB codes because in case of cancellation it is way easier to be rerouted with BA/IB. As an example I had a BCN-MAN flight with VY but IB code cancelled last month. Thanks to been booked with IB, I got a BA flight to LHR and then NCL (it wasn’t MAN flights from LHR that day, so they offered me an alternate airport less than 150 miles). I don’t think the outcome would have been the same with VY code. However I’m Iberia Platinum so that probably helps me a lot.

    • Gtellez says:

      Different earning rate. If BA/IB code, based on miles flown. VY code based on price paid (3 or 4 miles per Euro, depending on the class flown). However I think that you can’t credit VY codes directly to BA (it is possible only through VY/ Lingus/Iberia).
      BA/IB codes already include 1 piece of luggage and standard seat assignment. However status related benefits not applicable in most routes.
      Hope that helps, it is everything unnecessary confusing with VY, mainly taking into account that all these airlines belong to the same parent company.

  • Keely says:

    Can someone confirm please…son had gold mr card , would he now be entitled to the bonus on free BA card, even tho less than 2 years ?

    • Anna says:

      I think he’d only be eligible for the BAPP sign up, as long as he hadn’t had an avios earning card for 2 years.

    • Peter K says:

      No. He could on the BA premium card though.

    • Keely says:

      Thanks all , think I messed up the strategy on this one! Never mind, you live and learn …

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Yes should be any personal card except MR or BA earning (probably Marriott right now)

        Then either BAPP or Platinum then the other.

  • Paul says:

    I have just received an upgrade offer via the BA app for my return flight from Glasgow to Heathrow on Sunday. The one way fare on in club is £279 so I expected an offer of £59-£79 which is typical for the route.
    The offer however was £799 one way and one passenger.

    Good old BA IT

  • Keely says:

    Sorry second question …I have BA premium plus . Not likely to make spend target for remaining card year and not too fussed as have 2 241 vouchers already. I’m thinking best option is to refer husband and then cancel mine . Am I right in thinking it’s better to wait til September to do this or are the new award availability changes only relevant on voucher issue not card approval? Thanks

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Do it now to lock in the lower fee, any 2 4 1s issued after the change date immediately get the new T and Cs

    • Anna says:

      September is for when the 241 is triggered so it doesn’t matter when the referral and application are made.

    • Peter K says:

      If he gets the card before 1st September but earns the voucher after 1st September then you pay the lower fee but get the new type voucher.

    • Keely says:

      Thanks all for replies . I’d forgotten about the increased fee !
      I usually get free card and then upgrade when near spend target …is this still the right thing to do or not allowed under new rules? (I’m never quite sure whether the increased bonus and extra earning justifies keeping the fee paying card all the time..?)

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        No problem, it might still be an option but does come with an element of risk because they could well have fixed the loophole.

        As too weather it is worth keeping the voucher, depends on things like volume of spend and how useful the offers are too you. Personally I would give it a go as 2 4 1s are hugely valuable for me and you can get a nice welcome bonus. Not sure if there is a targeted higher welcome offer like there is for Gold and Plat, if there is I am sure someone will mention soon…

        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          At start of second paragraph it is meant to say “keeping the card”

        • Keely says:

          Thanks . I’ve got a bit lazy recently so need to get my strategy back on ..!

  • Annabel says:

    Good morning. Cancelled online a straight forward 241 companion ticket booking on 26/6 but not received any Avios or refund yet. Any idea how long it’s currently taking? Thanks very much

    • Anna says:

      Annabel – as far as I know online cancellations aren’t possible at the moment (it’s very annoying and has been the case for over a year now), unless BA has cancelled your flight. Are you sure you didn’t apply for a Future Travel Voucher? This is currently the only online cancellation option.

      • Pete M says:

        You can definitely apply for refunds online again now, Anna – either an offline form, but I have also seen an online form now with Avios coming back straight away! On the offline form I’d estimate about 2-4 weeks, Annabel, so you’d probably be OK to call and chase now.

        • Anna says:

          Just tried with 2 of my current bookings – one went to the voucher page and the other threw up a message saying “Sorry, we can’t cancel this booking online”. If anyone can post a link to the relevant form, that would be great!

          • Anna says:

            Even the chatbot is saying I have to call to get a refund 😥

          • Pete M says:

            So I think it depends on whether there was a cancellation or not – if I try to cancel anything that’s still running it only offers an FTV, but if there’s a cancellation it’s either an FTV or refund ( Unless the booking is already messed up, of course…

      • Annabel says:

        Oh sorry yes the one of the flights had been cancelled and it was an option to cancel for full refund.
        I’ve applied for FTV before on another booking and I got the codes almost immediately. Thanks

    • Anna says:

      You could try Twitter before calling which might be a less painful option!

    • Anna says:

      Which is what I said in my original rely!
      So for Annabel – you’ve either cancelled voluntarily and got a FTV, or if BA cancelled the flight and you requested a refund you need to chase BA up, either by Twitter or on the phone. Cash refunds were taking up to 30 days last time I cancelled anything, but the avios and 241 should be back by now.

    • Chas says:

      BA cancelled my summer flights months ago, and I finally decided that I’d take a straight refund (booked using Avios & 241 x2). I used the on-line form to request the refund on 14 July, and yesterday I received half the avios. No sign of the 241s or cash refunds yet though.

      Separately, I’m still periodically chasing BA for 50k avios which have yet to be refunded from cancelled flights last summer – for some reason the back office are struggling to action this (I was told at the time I asked for the refund that this 50k would take some time to be refunded for some reason). It’s now at the point where I’m considering MCOL’ing them for these.

      • Lady London says:

        Send them an email headed Letter Before Action re the refund outstanding since last summer. It will have landed in an offshore processing queue at a time they were overloaded and got “lost” I suspect.

        Advise you will sue them for a minimum of the monetary value of the avios at their standard selling rate of 1.6p per avios owed totalling £….if the avios are not refunded visible in your account within 21 days.

        Refer to the various contacts you’ve made trying to get this. Personally I’d add every other avios and cash I was owed fir any other booking I was owed that I’d claimed more than 30 days ago too. With a bit of luck they might get 1 person to process the lot.

        MCOL on that basis after, in fact, 30 days. They’re legally supposed to provide all refunds for cancelled flights within 7 days if they cancelled but given Covid most of us think 30 days reasonable.

        • Chas says:

          Thanks Lady London – the LBA is exactly what I had planned to do. It’s a really good point though about combining claims together for last year and this year. I’ll need to wait another 3 weeks or so to hit the 30 days since I cancelled this year’s flights, which probably gives me time to ask them about last year’s 50k avios just one more time…

          One quick question though – the bookings were made across both mine and my wife’s accounts (using a 241 from each), and the missing avios etc are due to both – can we do this as a joint claim, or would she need to do a separate one?

          • AJA says:

            I would do separate claims. Might be more longwinded but it is cleaner as to what each of you is expecting back. Combining claims just muddies the waters.

  • trader363 says:

    Looking to book a hotel in Barbados – one of the Elegant Hotels by Marriott.

    Does anyone have any tips or have stayed in these? I hear they are dated but hoping someone can advise if any of them have been refurbished yet


    • Rob says:

      Here’s a rule of thumb – if they have switched to a Marriott brand, the refurbishment is done. If they are under the original names, it hasn’t been done. I don’t think any have switched yet?

      • trader363 says:

        Interesting – true that none of them have switched name. Just booked The House – looks the best out of all of them and they are all priced the same (points-wise)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment

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.