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The HfP chat thread – Saturday 23rd October

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

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Comments (327)

  • Josu says:

    Is there a way to tell if there is J availability on a route for the BA 241 voucher?

    There’s no award availability when doing a normal avios search and I can fast track spend for the Companion voucher to book sooner rather than later but would want to check if my dates would be available.

    Thanks!

    • Reney says:

      No, but you can post the route and dates on here and ask someone who has triggered the voucher to take a look for you.

    • Anna says:

      No – I think the only way to be to get someone with a new voucher to check for you and of course it wouldn’t guarantee that the seats would still be there by the time you triggered yours.

      • Josu says:

        Thanks!

        Follow up Q – just made a purchase that would trigger my voucher. Guessing it won’t process till Monday now? (Or could it process by EOD on a Saturday??

        • Anna says:

          There’s usually a bit of a delay at weekends with Amex transactions, you might also need to wait a couple of days for the 241 to show up in your BA account.

    • Rob says:

      Sort of. Go to ba.com and try to book 9 cash tickets in CW. Click on flight details and look at selling class. If it says ‘I’ then there are at least 9 I-class seats for sale on that flight in Club and this appears to be the trigger for opening extra availability. Not guaranteed but this is as good a guide as any.

      • Jos says:

        Thanks Rob. Just tried this. There are 9 CW tickets available across 4 potential outbound days but all are either J, R or D tickets. No I’s in sight. Does this reduce chances?

        • Jonathan says:

          Zero chance if it’s 9 J or D as they’re the expensive flexible fares. Drop to 8 then 7 etc & see at what point I becomes available. 6, 7 or 8 I would be increasingly likely to have extra availability, anything less almost no chance.

          The extra tickets are from a separate pot that BA’s revenue management team allocate. Lots of I class availability is the closest the public can get to predicting.

          • Josu says:

            Sadly expertflyer shows 0 I tickets across the entire month of the dates I’m looking at.

            Wondering if the destination being closed to non residents might be a potential reason?

            It will be open by the time we visit so hopefully they start releasing I class by then.

          • Anna says:

            @Josu, where are you actually looking to go? Is it a route BA is even running?!

          • Jos says:

            @Anna it is sadly only a route that BA covers. Sorry I’m being super shady about revealing the place, it’s just that I dont want to risk any increased eyes as I’m hoping to secure 4 seats to be able to see my son that I havent seen since 2019 due to covid.

            It is currently running however borders are closed so it’s for repatriation flights only but I believe they will be opening for early next year which is when I’m trying to bag these.

            Cash fairs are absolutely insane atm though so it has to be via points.

  • CF Frost says:

    To those of you (JDB, LL, A) who assisted with my Croatian Sheraton problem – thank you.

    Turns out that the Sheraton were hosting an annual tourism conference with TV there and lots of security and whilst I had paid to stay there, was flushed out a few days back when the error came to light. Seemingly someone forgot. We had two rooms for half term week.

    Gave me three hotel options. Wanted none of them. Had rejected them all when made original booking. Been forced to take. Huge staring match. Leave tomorrow. BAH were more nervous than I was about me getting nothing.

    Marriott support bumped it up to their ‘specialist’ team. No response.

    Sheraton couldn’t have cared any less. Not budged an inch. Kids miss out on beach. Base rooms (despite a request; had mid range rooms at Sheraton). No airport pick up (BAH asked for this). Didn’t even fess up to the tourism conference – learned that from Croatian Tourist Board.

    Sheraton claimed my alternative hotel was too expensive. It was similarly priced at time of booking, even a little less. They then invented a story about it having one room only. Perhaps one in the price bucket they matched to. Had lots of rooms, I checked. And on hotel aggregator sites was showing as less than the hotel I’ve been forced to take if were to make a booking that way.

    All so tedious, avoidable, and just rude. Marriott may yet reply, but doubt it. Cue letter on return. Paid with Amex plat. Irony of being ejected for a tourism conference may have been lost on Sheraton people.

    • Memesweeper says:

      A sad experience but thanks for sharing…

    • Lady London says:

      Your contract is with BAH.
      Clear hotel has messed BAH round when BAH had used allocation for your room earlier than hotel was entitled to withdraw the allocation.

      This is not your problem.

      Did you look at the t’s and c’s you had with your BAH purchase? Can they force you to take an alternative hotel if they claim it’s equivalent? I would hope not.

      What is BAH now offering?
      Is there anything at all you’re not telling us because there’s only ever been 1 other bad similar case reported on here, for BAH. So I can’t understand why BAH has abandoned you.

      • CF Frost says:

        From BAH:

        Your reservation was made from live availability and this availability comes directly from our supplier. At the time your booking was made we were unaware at the time your booking was made on 19th September that the hotel was hosting the Tourism Days event.

        We were first made aware of the event on 12th October to which we attempted to re-confirm your reservation prior to contacting you on 14th October.

        From their T&C, BAH are excused liability:

        We are only liable to you for cancellations or significant changes to your booking by us. A significant change is one that we make to your booking before your departure that affects an essential term of your contract. Examples of a significant change includes changes by us to:

        your destination area;
        your booked accommodation to that of an alternative property of a lower rating;
        your departure times or accommodation occupancy periods by more than 12 hours

      • CF Frost says:

        BAH are not liable. T&Cs make that clear.

        They’re clear: reservations was made from live availability and this availability comes directly from their supplier. At the time my booking was made BAH were unaware that the hotel was hosting the Tourism Days event.

        Bonvoy Marriott are still ‘reaching out’.

  • Blair says:

    Been away a few days so may be old news but the lights are back on in PremiAir Manchester and staff were moving around inside when I swung past upon landing.

    • Red Flyer says:

      Fingers crossed back open in Nov as planned then as I’m keen to try this.

  • Richard M says:

    Sorry for any eye-rolling here….Can anyone tell me if Rob has updated his advice from 4 Aug on Extending BA 2-4-1 Companion Voucher by booking a cheap flight then cancelling >24hrs later? Or are we still gambling on/awaiting more BA news? If I read their FTV explanation, it feels as if I book a cheapie now, it doesn’t qualify for an FTV……any advice appreciated. Thanks.

    • Rob says:

      There will be no more extensions.

      241 vouchers started expiring from 1st October.

    • Anna says:

      Where are you seeing that you can’t claim a FTV? The info at ba.com is still that you can apply for a voucher for travel booked from March 2020 to be completed by August 2022.

      • Richard M says:

        Thanks Anna, got it; the interpretation of their line: “You booked from 3 March 2020 onwards for travel due to be completed by 31 August 2022”.
        If folks are still doing this and it works, I shall give it a go…
        Thanks for the help.

        • AJA says:

          It’s only 23 October 2021 today. You have still got 10 months to book travel covered by the BWC guarantee. In reality if your 2-4-1 expires soon you have got a short window to utilise the voucher. Just book something that departs before the voucher expiry date and then cancel for an FTV as that will be covered. Remember it locks in the passengers and will require you to phone up to redeem it before 30 September 2023 (Use by not book by then)

          • JDB says:

            Is there actually a date specified for book by on the ‘book with confidence’ policy? Travel has to be completed by 31 August 2022, but it doesn’t say any more than that. In theory, they could introduce an earlier booking cut off date.

          • Rob says:

            BA has already tried to drop it once but pulled back at the last minute. Once the US is open I wouldn’t bet on it lasting long. For a start, I am guessing it causes accounting problems for BA since a semi-refundable ticket would have a different accounting treatment to a non-refundable one.

  • Reader says:

    What do fellow hfp readers use the new chase card for? The 1% [email protected]@ck is more generous than the 0.75 points on the free virgin card but less generous than BAPP. So I guess it makes sense to use it at places that don’t take Amex and on purchases for which I don’t require s75?

    • Reney says:

      I haven’t applied for the account yet. Working on my HSBC WE first year spend target at the moment.

      About to replace my bathroom, my plumber previously takes debit cards. So if someone tells me that qualify for 1% back (Chase has a lot of exclusion). Otherwise don’t have a use for it yet.

    • Rob says:

      You’re failing to factor in stuff like the Virgin 241 / upgrade voucher.

      Recommend you have a look at this – https://www.headforpoints.com/2021/06/14/what-are-the-best-credit-cards-for-long-term-spending/

      You’ll be dumping the card after Christmas anyway 🙂

      • Mark says:

        You mean what card will pay HFP rather than what card will pay me?

        The 241 vouchers are, IMO, a fools errand. Since dumping BAEC years ago, I have not once regretted the decision. Chasing availability and paying through the hoof for ‘carrier imposed surcharges’? No thanks.

        • Rob says:

          We’re ‘whole of market’ – we cover all travel cards irrespective of whether they pay us.

          Didn’t get a penny off Sainsbury’s for selling a few thousand Nectar cards for them earlier on the year. We have even given the premium IHG card a ‘best card’ award and Creation has never paid us.

  • Richard M says:

    Thanks Rob. On that basis, if I book a cheapie now, then can on Monday, do you believe that I will not qualify for an FTV….? My 241 expires in Jan 22. Awkward.

  • Phil g says:

    Rumours 16 & 17 year olds to be cleared for 2nd jab. Might be useful for those planning on going to countries such as Canada
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/22/uk-vaccines-watchdog-approves-second-jabs-for-16-and-17-year-olds

  • ChrisC says:

    Data point – I cancelled a BA Holiday on Wednesday over the phone and silver line.

    Refund hit my credit card today

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