Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Friday 13th August

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

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Comments (370)

  • Michael says:

    Hi, I am thinking of redeeming my Flying Blue miles on Air France for next year and it was mentioned that award flight with flight date before 31 Dec 2021 is refundable (in form of voucher and valid for 1 year) but if the flight date is after 1 Jan 2022 it’s not refundable. Does it mean that I will have to pay a cancellation fee (similar to BA £35) and I will get both my miles and the surcharge back? If so, how much is the cancellation fee for Air France award flight?

    • Blair says:

      Yes, €50 cancellation fee IIRC. I’ve got a trip ending 31/12 just to ensure it falls within the current grace period.

      • Blair says:

        Miles come back near-instantly. Fee can take up to 3 weeks.

        • Michael says:

          Thanks, try to find this in the website but can’t find it. So if it is a normal award ticket (not a promo award), the cancellation fee for flight booked after 1 Jan 2022 is €50? If I book a return award flight, does it cost €50 to cancel the whole thing or is it €50 for each way?

          • Blair says:

            If you do a speculative award booking, the cancellation/change fee is shown prominently. I think it’s €50 per ticket rather than flight but that might be wishful thinking.

          • Blair says:

            Confusingly the cancel fee will show for bookings prior to 31/12 also but you have to rely on knowing the global T&Cs waive that.

  • His Holyness says:

    Bets for how much longer the Covid Passes go on for?

    The vaccines were supposed to stop transmission. They seemingly don’t work on Delta. They perhaps help people not get as sick if they catch Covid but the hospitals were not rammed with 30 and 40 year olds.

    An OAP Texan who died of Covid would have had an even worse death from Covid if he hadn’t been vaccinated.

    The Covid Certificate is not a declaration of “Maybe I won’t need a hospital bed” when you travel, the implicit purpose is to be ‘safe’ by being vaccinated.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/comment/fooled-two-jabs-wont-buy-holiday-freedom

    Covid Certs seem like a total waste of time

    • Phil W says:

      Sorry but Vaccines were never purported to stop transmission by any credible individual. They were intended to reduce the impact of the virus on those that contract it and reduce transmission. This is what they do, but less effectively with Delta (versus Alpha) because of its increased transmissibility.

      • Blair says:

        Agreed; I think we are well served separating vaccine efficacy from the concept of covid passes though.

    • Blair says:

      They’ll go on forever IMO sadly. Science doesn’t come into it. Covid certs for travel are a useful part of the pandemic pantomime. I feel at least in the US/Canada and Europe we are nearing the point where any adult that wants a vaccine could have had one. We can’t put life on hold beyond that. And yes, travel is life for many of us. Being locked inside UK borders when one isn’t even a UK national is not normal and shouldn’t be repeated. However, the tactic is out of the genie’s lamp now so yes I expect the drawbridges to start pulling up in October.

      • Dubious says:

        Seems that if you want to travel to Singapore from a non-‘low risk country’ you will need proof of vaccination. So whilst a common certificate might not be forthcoming the requirement for equivalent proof will be.

    • Pete says:

      Vaccination is primarily about reducing likelihood of serious illness and death, which it does big-time. The above is muddled junk.

    • Harry T says:

      This telegraph article wasn’t very well written IMO. It fails to take into account the fact that, if you are vaccinated, you are much less likely to actually get covid, so it still impacts on viral transmission. And the vaccines were never primarily designed to prevent transmission. They have done an astonishing job of reducing hospital admissions and deaths. Any country welcoming vaccinated travellers knows that they are less likely to catch the virus and, if they do, they are very unlikely to have an expensive ICU admission.

      • Richie says:

        A telegraph article not well written? What a surprise.

      • Dave1985 says:

        The person who wrote it also seems to be a whiny snowflake. It’s time to stop tolerating this pathetic nonsense and tell people to get a grip. “When will things go back to normal. Wah wah wah”.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      “The vaccines were supposed to stop transmission.”

      I stopped reading there. Anyone who thinks that preventive measures (or any medical intervention of any sort) works in terms of 100% success rates; and that less than a 100% success rate implies failure; needs to examine the child-like way they view the world.
      Vaccines have been demonstrated by a large body of clinical evidence to REDUCE your risk of infection, REDUCE your risk of serious disease and REDUCE your risk of onward transmission to others. Which they do. The only sensible discussion is the exact level of effectiveness in doing each of these things for each of the available vaccines – we’re getting better but we’re still talking in % ranges as there are a lot of confounding variables in the real world. Nobody has ever claimed them to eliminate any of these (other than vaccine sceptics seeking to set up a straw man argument.).

      With all other things equal, a plane-load of vaccinated passengers presents a significantly lower risk of spreading disease than a plane-load of unvaccinated passengers, and less likely to import a healthcare burden to the country of arrival. Therefore you cannot argue that vaccine requirements and vaccine passports are baseless or will have no effect. Whether this protective effect is enough to justify the administrative burden and other negative consequences of running such a system is – in the end – a political/economic rather than a medical question.

      • His Holyness says:

        Vaccinating children with an experimental vaccine, it’s completely insane, if it’s not to save them for near certain survival without the need for hospitalisation it’s to save Granny and treat them like Plague Rats

        • Harry T says:

          I love it when people put the word experimental in front of things, like it’s some kind of insult. Experiments form the basis of the scientific method, without which we would have to be guided by the half baked intuitions of poorly educated people.

        • Tracey says:

          We vaccinate children against flu, to prevent transmission to elderly family.

    • Dave1985 says:

      “ Bets for how much longer the Covid Passes go on for?”

      A couple of years at least. No point crying about it, people are going to have to man up and get on with it

  • AnotherUser says:

    Have people found any travel insurance policies that will cover a country moving to the red list? I’d normally use my free Nationwide flexaccount insurance – which covers most things fine, but not that.

    • Tracey says:

      The other option is to book with a company that will refund if a country moves to red.

      • AnotherUser says:

        Thanks. My booking is cancellable, it’s more if it turns red while I’m there

    • Jonathan says:

      I don’t know of any, but we can all well imagine that finding a policy that’ll cover something like this is like looking for a needle in a haystack !

      I’ve heard that many travel insurance providers won’t cover if you pinged by the NHS alert app, one reason I’m glad I’ve never downloaded it !

      • AnotherUser says:

        Thanks. Good to know I’m not missing an obvious option, I guess!

    • MJ says:

      Amex Platinum confirmed they’d cover curtailment and moving to a flight to prevent quarantine.

  • Nick says:

    A bit of advice if possible. Looking for a reasonable week in early September before the eldest starts school. Thinking Canaries or Greek islands. All Inclusive. Any suggestions for 4/5* Also…. Anything I’m
    Missing- testing wise. Both adults double jabbed. One child 5 and other 2. Therefore 1x pre departure lateral flow in ‘resort’ then 1x day 2 PCR when home for each adult. None for kids.

    • DK says:

      “day 2 and day 8 tests after arrival in England – children aged 4 and under do not need to take a test”
      So your 5 yo will need Day 2 test

    • Tracey says:

      Stayed in various hotels part of the Louis hotel group in Greece. Was a few years ago, but plenty to keep the kids (& you) occupied. Would say 4* not 5, no luxury but busy, sports activities, buffet style restaurants etc.

  • George B says:

    My BA flight from London to Zurich on 12th September has been moved from 7.10am to 19.15.
    What are my rights?
    There’s a lunchtime flight that I’d rather be on, can I ask to change to that for free?

    • ChrisC says:

      Yes

      You should be able to do it in MMB.

      • George B says:

        MMB only gives me the option to change if I pay the difference in fare. I’m trying to phone but been on hold for 30mins. I’m dialling 0800 597 7580.

    • Jonathan says:

      I tried getting BA to put me on another oneworld airlines flight after they cancelled mine, and I was told no as it’s not BA codeshare, I’m not entirely sure on the legal stance on this, but I think they’re obligated to find a suitable substitute flight for you, but getting them to cooperate is different matter entirely, they’ll just offer a refund if they can’t do another BA flight (or one with a BA flight number on), but that leaves you vulnerable to price gouging

      While we’re on this topic has anyone had any experience on successfully forcing BA to cough up for a replacement flight against their will, and if BA will then try and raid your Avios balance in revenge ?

      • meta says:

        You mean before the flight?
        Post-fact, I have 100% success via MCOL. Paid every time before it went to hearing and almost always coughed up significantly more than the original flight. I’m now gearing up for my fourth claim in the last five years (2 of which in last year alone!).

        • meta says:

          And regarding revenge, no. They actually increased my Avios balance as on one occasion, they’ve thrown extra Avios for messing me around.

    • Lady London says:

      if flight number now different and I bet it is this is a cancellation you have full rights to choose another flight at any time even much llatrt or if you had reason yo kerp same timing ot closr then they are also supposed legally to give you a ticket on another airline eg LX

  • Reney says:

    Advice pls. I am renovating my kitchen and will be buying quite a few appliances. I could put it on my BAPP and which will help towards meeting the 2 for 1. I do plan to close card shortly after achieving the voucher, which means no more section 75 protection. Or I could put it on my nectar card which I will keep for the first year. Given most companies provide warranties, does it matter if I put it on my BAPP and lose section 75 protection? I can keep the card until after the appliances have been delivered and fitted and used for a couple of weeks.

    • Harry T says:

      Section 75 protection is not lost once you’ve cancelled a card, from what I recall. Well worth checking Martin Lewis’s site for more info.

    • SteveJ says:

      You do not lose sect 75 when you close the card. Who told you that?

  • Dave says:

    Saving 1% back on £7.99 a month?

    So erm, 7p a month?

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