Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 17th 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 (394)

  • Magic Mike says:

    HSBC Jade qualification criteria to rise from £500k to £1m in November.

    I phoned up to upgrade (to get the free WE card at some point, I know it’s free at the moment but I like free forever more) and got told I “have to go into a branch” to upgrade. How quaint.

    • Babyg says:

      ive seen lots of conversation around the prem we card being free, is hsbc offering the prem card for free for new sign ups too?

      • Reney says:

        So I applied on Saturday, my card has arrived today annual fee says £0. Some people said they have been changed even with a letter that says £0 and others said they have not. I called to ask (pls don’t tell me off), the lady referenced the terms of agreement that I would be charged. She seems to think the reason it said £0 is because I prepaid the fee (no I did not) and I won’t be changed until next year again. I mentioned others had fees waived. She went off to check twice.

        I have 14 days to cancel, and the question is how many days do I need to wait to find out if I will be charged? I don’t want to start using the card until I know for sure.

    • Harry T says:

      HSBC are fairly prehistoric, it’s true!

    • BJ says:

      Quaint and prehistoric are too generous, even Clydesdale beats HSBC, only FD are worse IME.

      • AJA says:

        I think FD is a telephone / online only division of HSBC? That would be why it is worse than HSBC.

      • Pete M says:

        Except at least FD doesn’t have any branches, so everything can be done remotely. And the call centre staff care.

        • Magic Mike says:

          Being both a customer of HSBC and FD, they seem to be at opposite ends of the customer service spectrum. If it were not for the Premier/Jade perks, I would avoid HSBC like the plague.

    • blenz101 says:

      The information you were given is wrong. Tell them you can’t get to a branch at this time and disagree with them encouraging unnecessary 1-2-1 contact during a pandemic for something which should be able to be completed online / over the phone. They will again tell you that you need to visit branch. Ask to raise a complaint that as someone who physically can’t visit a branch at this time you are being discriminated against and unable to access products that those who are able to physically attend a branch are able to. They will log the complaint, next day you will get a minimum of £50 compensation credited, an apology and the direct number to call to facilitate account upgrades by phone.

  • Chris says:

    WSJ has a lovely story on no frills pricing in us hotel rooms… the resort fee was only the beginning

    https://apple.news/A8BCdwCJXTmad2E_vEn_MNQ

    • meta says:

      This is nothing new. Some resorts have been charging use of spa/pool for years and every single hotel in the world can refuse early check-in or charge you for it. This is why some booking confirmation emails usually have in small print that you might be charged for early check in.

    • MKB says:

      I’m reminded of Blackpool b&bs where you used to have a coin slot to operate the telly. They were ahead of their time.

  • JP-MCO says:

    Is it possible to request a FTV from a BA Holidays booking and apply it to an Avios flight only booking?

    • AJA says:

      I don’t think so unless you are phoning BA to book the Avios flight as I don’t think the BAH FTV is an online voucher.

    • Aston100 says:

      Apparently not. At least that was what I was told by BA.

  • Ant says:

    Hi I have a free IHG night from the credit card, “book between 23/01/2020 – 31/12/2021”. I am thinking of using it for the Hotel Indigo Milan which is currently showing 51,000 points or €170.
    If i booked a night in November and then cancel it will I get the free night back?

  • Tom says:

    Wondering if anyone has passed through GVA on BA recently?

    BA.com suggests there are 4 lounges in terminal 1 (“main terminal”). 3 that BA passengers aren’t eligible to use (they are for other One World airlines) – and the BA lounge, which is “temporarily closed”.

    Does anyone have any experience of being able to use one of the other lounges whilst the BA lounge is closed?

    If it matters, 2 x BA Silvers, travelling in economy.

    Thanks!

    • mr_jetlag says:

      Generally speaking, BA Silver allows you access to all oneworld Ruby and Sapphire benefits incl lounges – when Silver I’ve never been turned away from an OWS lounge even if it wasn’t specifically BA. This may have changed post pandemic but I would be surprised.

      • Tom says:

        Thank you! Keeping my fingers crossed because I have time to pass at the airport!

    • Sam G says:

      You won’t be able to use a lounge unless BA has made any arrangement with any of these contract lounges (which likely they haven’t based on reports from elsewhere in Europe!)
      You either need a Oneworld carrier lounge or a contract lounge that BA has an arrangement with for lounge access

  • Al says:

    I posted this yesterday afternoon but it took until late into the night to pass moderation (presumably based on the name change), so I wouldn’t mind a couple of other opinions from experienced posters.

    Just to be clear, the Letter Before Action was clear that unless BA provided suitable re-routing, then the MCOL case would be raised for the £ value and not re-routing.

    I strongly feel that I shouldn’t have to take BA to court just to respect my rights under legislation for re-routing and that they’ve had ample opportunity for that to be the remedy prior to the £ claim being launched.;

    I have an MCOL claim in against BA for cancelled Avios flights that they unsurprisingly refused to rebook under EU 261.

    As they refused to rebook, my claim is for £x to allow me to rebook with another carrier at my convenience. I’ve been generous to BA in how I’ve calculated the claim in order to be fair and minimise their potential losses – valuing the flights at the cost of the Avios required rather than the cash ticket price (circa 30% less).

    Predictably BA’s legal department have now been in touch offering to rebook the flights to dates of my choosing.

    This outcome would have been acceptable and the preferred one on the 2/3 occasions that I gave them that option, but they chose not to play ball and now I’d prefer to travel with the other carrier later in 2022.

    Is it reasonable for me to reject the offer and continue to pursue the £ value for the flights?

    I’m not sure how BA have played this in the past. Understanding that past performance is no guarantee of the future action…

    • JDB says:

      You received two good answers to this post yesterday! Both agreed you were being unreasonable and the second very wisely queried, what would you actually be claiming at MCOL if you rejected BA’s offer?

    • AJA says:

      NO it’s not reasonable for you to reject the offer. BA have finally acknowledged their responsibilities and have offered to rebook the flights to dates of your choosing. If the flights now work (and I’m not sure how they don’t since they are allowing you to choose the date) then I’d take their offer.

      If you really would prefer to travel on another airline then take a refund of your Avios flights. You cannot expect BA to pay for you to fly on another airline.

    • VerdantBacon says:

      You can’t demand something and then suddenly decide getting what you asked for is not what you wanted. This will be looked at very unfavourably by the judge if you decide to pursue this.

    • Harry T says:

      Lol stop taking the mick and accept the offer from BA. No sane person or judge would consider this reasonable behaviour.

    • Alan S says:

      What would someone do in this situation though if they’d already booked alternative flights? Surely the original carrier (in this case BA) are required to pay the cost of travel on a new carrier rather than now offer to rebook as they should have done pre MCOL?

      • John says:

        Then your LBA would just be requesting the reimbursement of the new flight rather than requesting a rebooking.

        If BA then refused to reimburse and only offered rebooking, and you took them to court, you would need to show that it was reasonable for you to book the new flights rather than giving BA a final chance to rebook

        • meta says:

          Yes, you need to request a reimbursment in your LBA if you already purchased the ticket. If you request rebooking and BA then offers you rebooking, you don’t have a claim any more. However, because BA has messed you around and you started a MCOL claim with associated costs, you can now request from BA to cover these costs as part of a settlement.

          In the case where I had to rebook myself and you have given BA ample chance to rebook you and they refused, I wouldn’t be sending my LBA before the actual flight. I wouldn’t ask for refund or anything. I would stop communicating with BA on that matter. I would take my new flights then after send a request for reimbursment to BA which they will most likely refuse then issue a letter before action followed by MCOL claim. You are then in stronger position as BA refused before the flight and post-flight.

          • Babyg says:

            it all depends on what outcome you want, personally getting to the destination of choice in the cabin you booked (or better 🙂 safely is usually what i am after, agreed BA haven’t covered themselves in glory here, but I would personally be happy that BA have finally (after being forced) come around. At the end of day YOU need to make the call, but it just sounds like you want to punish BA for d1cking you around coupled with the fact you’ve managed to find a better product to get you to your destination, if you have the time to spend on this and you accept the risk it may not work out of you then go for it… otherwise take the new BA flight and save yourself some agro, that said, i didn’t jump in on the BA data breach stuff, so maybe im not the right type of person to give advice on these matters..

    • Lady London says:

      stop pi$$ing around and accept BA’s offer. You’ve incurred no MCOL costs so far. You haven’t booked a nonreimbursable flight elsewhere because BA was refusing. If you had, you’d have asked for that money cost anyway.

      You now have no other choice than to take BA’s offer. See everyone else’s comments.

  • PinPerl says:

    Hi,
    Does anyone know how I can book delta tickets with Virgin points for a flight from JFK to anywhere in Europe, AND benefit from $6 tax???
    on Virgin’s site it’s coming up as over $180 tax?

    Thanks

    • Rob says:

      This is on Delta, direct?

      • PinPerl says:

        Well, with Virgin points, don’t mind which airline it is.
        Please advise, thanks

        • PinPerl says:

          On Delta and Virgin’s sites both are around $180 taxes.

          • Christophe says:

            Sounds like a big leap in fees. I was planning to use this at some point soon as a great cash saver to burn some of my Virgin Points.

          • Rob says:

            Thanks, will investigate.

      • Andrew M says:

        There are still plenty of flights on Delta with $6 tax on the NYC-FCO route in January using VS miles.

  • Nigel says:

    If I get a positive pre-return test before returning to UK on inbound leg of a 241 avios booking and need to delay return, is it easy to change the return leg? I read that cash bookings are supposed to be flexible at present, paying difference in fare, but can’t find the rules for inbound leg of avios booking?

    • Pete M says:

      Yup, won’t be a problem – even though you would be bound by Avios availability as it would be a voluntary change, I think? But I would hope BA would be understanding in the circumstances. Bigger issue could be getting hold of them!

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