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The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 19th October

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Comments (627)

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  • Paul says:

    Anyone else flying vs165 to Jamaica today?

  • Mick S says:

    Lloyds have slugged with me a cash fee for a transaction (revolut top-up) pre the change on 15th October – maybe the lag between pending and posting. Is this worth challenging or am i wasting my time?

    • Blenz101 says:

      How have you behaved with the card generally? Is the fee significant?

      My guess is that this wasn’t a one off top up and keeping you head down would be best.

      Others here would be marching straight to the small claims court for breach of terms.

      How comfortable are you with customer services going through your transactions? I doubt the first person you speak with will know about Revolut etc. so could well get escalated. Is Lloyds your main current account?

      • TGLoyalty says:

        It wasn’t against the card terms to top up Revolut so I don’t know why you’d worry

        Make a complaint and get a free £50 on top.

        • Mick S says:

          It has to be the revolut top though, all the other transactions are non curve. £75 fee for a £1500 top-up.

        • Blenz101 says:

          It wasn’t explicitly against the terms but it was clearly ‘cash like’.

          If the pattern of transactions going through the account historically is such that a complaints handler may refer the account for review then it may give pause for thought. Especially if the outcome would be for LBG to end all relations and this impacts the OPs main current account.

          I’d be saying the same if the account was full of gambling transactions or payday loan repayments. Is it worth drawing attention to the way the account is being used is my basic point.

      • Mick S says:

        The fee is £75.00 . Quite a bit of curve on the card, and Lloyds is my main account. Been with them for a long time and pay a fee each month for my current account.

    • Andrew says:

      I’d keep my head down.

      But curious about the timeline all the same.

      • Char Char says:

        Hardly be scared as the guy said he made a Revolut transaction lol

        • Blenz101 says:

          Which is loading a current account with cash with a credit card.

          Those here know it to have been a great way to generate points at the expense of the bank.

          Someone in risk/compliance at LBG may have concerns over the pattern of spend. Source of funds if the MS was exceeding salary? Financial difficulties? Undertake a KYC check to be safe?

          Nobody is saying definitely don’t complain but just suggesting if attention on the account will be unwelcome then be aware that the outcome could be LBG decide the OP is an unwelcome risk to the bank.

  • Dave B says:

    This weekend my flight on Singapore on Swiss was cancelled (initially booked in 2019 in the 241 offer) and I 2as offered the option to claim a refund. Without thinking I accepted, and only realised that I booked on an Amex Gold that I now longer hold. It states that the refund will go back to the original card. Any idea what will happen to the refund. I now have BA Premium Amex.



    • Simon says:

      It will refund back to the original account then Amex can either credit it to one of your other card accounts or offer a bank transfer.

    • Genghis says:

      If you still have the cancelled card on your / an online account, you will see a negative balance once the refund comes through. If not, Amex will eventually sometime in the month send you a statement through the post showing the negative balance. Then as Simon says…

    • N says:

      if you don’t have online access to the card, amex will send out a statement at the next statement date with the credit on it. you can then do as Simon says. all straightforward – don’t stress on it.

    • Phil W says:

      I had this recently with a refund to a closed BAPP, which I no longer had access to online. After 14 days I spoke to Amex on the website chat, giving them the last 4-5 digits of the card (usually on the email confirmation). Amex were able to locate the account, identify the negative balance and offered to transfer the amount to another Amex card I continue to hold or transfer it to my bank. I chose the latter, they asked me to upload a copy of a statement as proof it was my account. The sum arrived back in my bank account about 3-4 days later. Did oddly get a letter from Amex asking why I had uploaded the document, so I’m not sure they ever did the KYC/AML check.

      • Dave B says:

        Thanks, I am guessing Swiss willninform me when the refund is processed.

  • Paul Pogba says:

    Heathrow passengers could see airport charge rise by 50% next year

  • AJA says:

    Heathrow is not going to be able to raise its passenger fees by as much as it wanted (as much as £43) The CAA has said LHR can raise its price per passenger to between £24.50 and £34.40 over the next five years.

    The range is planned to come in effect from summer 2022, with an interim cap of £30 being introduced at the beginning of 2022 so expect it to be closer to, if not, £34.40 rather than £24.50. (I can’t see LHR reducing the amount back down again).

    • Paul Pogba says:

      Makes me wonder how long RFS will last at its current rate if Heathrow charges alone make up the majority of the current fee (or nearly double if the Heathrow fee is each way).

    • Thywillbedone says:

      This is a case of ‘aim high’ by Heathrow management and hope for the best …would be slow to give the CAA much credit here

      • Lady London says:

        +1 getting tired of the CAA pandering to profit-making enterprises.

        First BA whose systematic violations of consumer right to refund have gone completely unchallenged by the CAA. It’s not just behavioural, BA actually wrote a block into their systems to remove previously functioning ability to request a refund from BA online. At the same time as the known impossibility of alternatively reaching BA on tbeir published phone lines to ger a refund. Then when a way was publiahed to get around BA’s blocking of refunds online, BA did it again, and this time they made sure.

        Heathrow paid money out to shareholders, did not make provision for bad years, went to the government for support from the British taxpayer and now demanding swingeing airport fee increases from airlines and customers.

        In a very few years Heathrow’s profits will be rolling in again (at least those they haven’t hidden by interest payments on excess debt or engineered ro pay out to shareholders) and do you think these charges will reduce? The government should make it clear they will grab the assets back and not give support and CAA should not permit any more than inflation-based fee increasess.

        If Heathrow’s demands for fee increases to rip customers off forever are refused, Heathrow will soon have recourse to their own shareholders. Rather than lose their guaranteed licence to profit longterm, that the government awarded them a long time ago. Since these longterm practically-no-risk profits are always going to be paid out to shareholders and won’t be returned to the British taxpayer, so it’s the shareholders who should be propping up Heathrow Airport now. And the CAA should not allow outrageous increases which will stick longterm and turn into outrageous profits longterm.

        Haa the CAA got any b*lls, or any finance knowledge for that matter? Or is the CAA one of those incestuous regulators whose staff come from the industry, live in the induatry and whose staff may worry about their future career opportunities if they would dare remove the nose of a major actor in the industry from the trough?

        • JDB says:

          @Lady London – it wouldn’t appear that you have read the two publicly available documents (original HAL consultation doc and today’s CAA provisional response). What do you think the right charges should be? This issue of airports vs regulator is currently happening all over the world. HAL has massively cut costs with thousands of jobs being lost but there are certain fixed costs the airport can recover and that sum is now unfortunately now spread over far fewer passengers. You forget all the UK bond holders who also finance the airport; risks have gone up, so they demand a higher yield and the more you irrationally seek to damage the finances of the airport that would create even higher financing costs. Whatever you think of the CAA, the airlines are fighting on their side and they have very smart people on the case. If you really want to complain about foreign shareholders and regulators your efforts are better directed at your local water or electricity whose charges have been and will continue to affect you on a totally different scale to LHR. P.S. don’t forget the Universities Superannuation Scheme 10% and there are plenty of UK shareholders of Ferrovial. And of course that Qatar is the largest IAG shareholder and the second largest of HAL (at 20%).

          • Briand says:

            One day, we will/may see a really positive comment from @LL

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            I’m sorry but I have to agree with LL here, to assume that HAL has an appropriate debt pile (not overblown so they can siphon money off to owners) and that the CAA are acting appropriately is well, a massive assumption.

            Also, the interests of shareholders of the various companies is 100% in favour of raising the fees, as they apply to the whole market and the ability to siphon off money via interest payments from all parties is probably extremely appealing. Particularly if you have control over some of that market…

          • Paul Pogba says:

            It looks to a lot of us like Heathrows owners have saddled HAL with debt to fund the purchase of their shares in the airport paying out dividends of at least £3.8bn, and reduce the corporation tax. A combination of corona linked collapse in business and rising yields mean the model is now beginning to buckle. Many of us resent having to fund what could be perceived as greed.

            The CAA/HMG could have let HAL go into administration and nationalised the airport for buttons to ensure its operation. The government could have allowed a second runway (and broader expansion of LGW) to increase competition. Instead we have a privatised near-monopoly and gutless regulator that won’t stand up to them and their hairbrained scheme to build runways over motorways (that will no doubt require even higher development fees as costs spiral out of control).

          • JDB says:

            @Paul Pogba you will find that virtually all airports (public or private), motorway franchises, ports, utilities and other infrastructure cos run with very high debt levels as they (usually) have predictable revenues to pay interest and unless geared the returns aren’t high enough to attract investors. The reality is also that the private sector has improved airports all over the world out of all recognition. Even France privatised ADP! I think with all this stuff about public ownership, people are either too young or forget what Heathrow or indeed BEA were like before privatisation. Also, governments want the private sector to put up the huge investment capital as they have neither the funds, capitsl allocation skills (also hampered by politics) nor technical skills to do it well.

          • JDB says:

            @Super Secret Stuff if you think it is a big assumption that the CAA is appropriately, isn’t it a bigger assumption to say this without reading the documents? This is a fairly standard dance of regulator vs regulated and the regulator + airlines on the case have the technical/financial competence and powers to deal with this. It’s a pretty classic contract negotiation save that is a statutory referee (the CAA). Airlines/passengers want to pay less, airports want more and the regulator has to balance all the interests within his remit to act in the interests of consumers and the aviation sector. Airports need a lot of ongoing investment in addition to paying running costs and the regulator (and ultimately airlines + pax) really wants this investment. In this case, it looks like nobody will be happy, so maybe they will get to roughly the right place.

          • Paul Pogba says:

            I’m not convinced the situation at Heathrow is the same as other similar airports:
            Sydney has a net debt/EBITDA of 11.9x, Auckland 5x, Heathrows 55x. I picked these as they’re equivalent dominant airports and in English speaking countries that make it easier for me to read the annual reports. Pearson and Vancouver are both still owned by Transport Canada, EWR and JFK the Port Authority of NY. Can you point me at airports where the financial situation is in the same ball park?

          • Doug M says:

            Are HAL or it’s owners not amongst companies that have taken on debt to fund dividends and now seek to address that through passenger charges?

            @Briand – I’m sure all the many people that @LL has advised regarding refunds and rights on airline timetables changes find her comments very positive.

          • Lady London says:

            Who cares, JDB.

            The owners of Heathrow took on a pretty much monopolistic business which has allowed them to guarantee monopolistic levels of profit cumulatively over an extremely long period. This has not changed with Covid. Covid is a blip. Increased charges will be permanent

            Talking about “spreading fixed costs over fewer customers” there is so much wrong with that.

            (1) the situatiion is temporary and, as previously said, the government gave them rights to make monopolistic levels and security of profit (ie rip off everyone); over a very long period. This will still happen even without any price increases beyond inflation, despite Covid.

            (2) Heathrow should have made provisions against bad times like other businesses have to, and tapped their own shareholders if necessary.

            (3) look at the silly economics of how viable coal mines were shut or other businesses’ viable operations because of ‘dividing costs’ a la old activity based costing. Heathrow has no entitlement to “spread its costs” when it has been given so many monpolistic advantages. It should suck it up and temporarily reduce its payments to shareholders, or even raise money from them.

          • Lady London says:

            Paul Pogba you said it so much better than me.

            Doug M thanks for the support.

            I apologise for my self-indulgence and thank Rob for allowing me the leeway.

            But I really really wish the CAA would extend their world leading abilities in things like aviation safety to sanctioning not just Ryanair but other airlines where consumer protection is needed. Plus hire some ex-private equity people with infrastructure experience so they can understand and limit the self-seeking behaviour of the large businesses they now also regulate (eg BA and Heathrow) many of whom have monopolistic power.

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            @JDB I have read up on Airport Operators, Heathrow has an enormous debt pile with no effort to drive down. If the CAA questioned them on why they aren’t trying to pay it down, or heck, why it was even there in the first place, they would quickly disallow the interest payments from the allowable charges permitted in the regs.

            Your whole argument seems to have an intrinsic assumption that profit never comes with risk. Reality is profit always comes with risks, regardless of if you realize it at the time. Profit funds the bad times as much as profit rewards investors

            @Paul Pogba I agree with your points, HALs financials stick out like a sore thumb when you compare with other airports. @Doug M you make a similar point but lets not forget the tax advantage and ability to show a growing cost base when profits go via interest payments to shareholders.

            @LL the fix costs debate is something I am personally split on, i is a valid argument that is needs to spread over fewer passnegers but as you allude to it is counteracted by much bigger points around HALs monopoly, lack of contingency and the fact they will never lower the costs after the temporary event. Similar to some large food companies that push on negative currency fluctuation but happily absorb the positive fluctuation that benefit there profits

  • FlightDoctor says:

    Quick question around Heathrow Rewards. I’ve always had Premium Membership but for obvious reasons I’m way off hitting the £500 spend threshold this year. However, I am flying (probably for the last time this year) to Spain next week. Would spend on pre-booked Foreign Currency with Travelex let me hit the threshold? I ask because the conversion rate to points is only 10:1 and I’m not sure if the same ratio applies to the £ spent?

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      The spend threshold has been £750 for a few years now. As for your question I don’t know about foreign currency. I think it would count the same way as points do (i.e. £10 forex would be classed as £1 transaction in a normal shop), but it may also count for nothing.

      Dixons Travel is closing soon (it was open when I was there on Sunday but they did confirm they won’t be round much longer). If there’s something electrical you want, see if you can buy it there. If there’s nothing you want then buy a laptop around the £750 mark, leave it untouched in its packaging and return to a Currys store when you get back for a full refund.

      Don’t forget the luxury goods stores too if you want something from there.

  • Idontflymuch says:

    Morning, I upgraded to BA black just before the changeover deadline and now dropped back to blue. I was charged the £250 membership but only refunded £158.69 – how does that work, surely it should only be 2 months of black charges? Anyone else had the same experience, thanks

    • Anna says:

      That sounds like they may have refunded you based on the old £195 fee. People have been saying they have had £55 refunds for being charged the new fee wrongly so you might need to chase that up with Amex.

  • Dave B says:

    Thanks both, I tried to log in to the old account AMEX account yesterday and it didn’t work. Hopefully I can expect AMEX to resolve ‘somehow’ when SWISS process the refund.

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