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Chat thread – Thursday 23rd December

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  • Rob
    HfP Staff

    This is today’s chat thread. We have moved the daily discussion from the main HfP news feed into the new forum. We hope you get used to it.

    If you have specific questions about Avios, hotels or credit cards, please ask them in the appropriate forum and not here. This thread is a good place to post interesting deals you have spotted or your general thoughts on travel and all things miles and points. Thank you for contributing.

    Youllnever

    @Rhys I think the below sentence might have been accidentally left behind in the “What is the best Visa or Mastercard to get?” article:
    The points from the free IHG Rewards Club Mastercard, see below, convert to Avios. The rate is poor. You receive 1 IHG Rewards Club point (0.2 Avios) for every £1 spent.

    Leesorrell

    Anyone know why BA has cancelled all its Bangkok flights u til October 22

    Leesorrell

    In my Christmas excitement, forgot to check the forum before asking!
    No need for responses, found the answer now
    Happy Christmas everyone😁

    Gary

    We have legacy MBNA Horizon card (from when VA reward CC moved to Virgin money). Haven’t used for years but kept as a back up 0% Fx card in case others didn’t work abroad. Got letter to say if we still want to keep it to call or will close the account due to no usage. Are there any other benefits for MBNA Horizon card besides 0% Fx as might just let it lapse unless missing anything?

    youneedtobeyourself

    We have legacy MBNA Horizon card (from when VA reward CC moved to Virgin money). Haven’t used for years but kept as a back up 0% Fx card in case others didn’t work abroad. Got letter to say if we still want to keep it to call or will close the account due to no usage. Are there any other benefits for MBNA Horizon card besides 0% Fx as might just let it lapse unless missing anything?

    I have an old BMI and AA horizon and they both give 0.5% cashback so worth asking if that is the case.

    memesweeper

    Greetings from the No1 Lounge at Gatwick — note to future premium/status travellers, this is what BA are using while ‘down south’. Going to be here a while due to a delay…

    I’d like to tell you about the amazing redemption i think I’ve just pulled off, but I’ll wait till we’ve landed in case @JDB and/or Mr X call up the BA Executive Club abuse team and have me thrown out of the programme. But I’ll get my thanks in to @Rob, HfP staff, and the team of regular commenters (and now forum posters) for all your help over the past years, I really could not have done it without you.

    NorthernLass

    FTV refunds for RFS – got an email about a cancelled booking a few days ago, 126k avios back in my account today and an email confirming £200 taxes to be refunded within 24 hours. I think this is a pretty good gesture from BA as if we’d cancelled outright, of course, we’d have lost £35 x 4.

    NorthernLass

    For pity’s sake, where has my reply to @memesweeper gone? I didn’t even get the Captcha!

    NorthernLass

    @memesweeper – have a fabulous time and do tell all! I doubt it would even be possible to get through to BA before you land 🤣

    ChrisC

    Greetings from the No1 Lounge at Gatwick — note to future premium/status travellers, this is what BA are using while ‘down south’. Going to be here a while due to a delay…
    .

    Surely it’s what BA are using whilst they are up North?

    memesweeper

    Surely it’s what BA are using whilst they are up North?

    Gah! yes that came out wrong… sorry not a regular at Gatwick (or any other airport these days!)

    Ryanfozzie

    Morning all!

    The Mrs and I recently tested positive for COVID (on Saturday), ruined our NYC trip and Christmas (We’ll survive)! Want to get away before the Mrs goes back to work on the 5th Jan and are thinking Iceland. Why? It’s beautiful and we can enter with our vaccine certificates and proof of a recent positive PCR.

    Pre Departure (returning to UK) LTF not a problem as we are already testing negative on them. As for the day 2 PCR when back in the UK, this will test positive and through us into isolation again. Does anyone know the exemption rules on this for having recently testing positive? Is it similar to the previous day 2 tests where the legal obligation is to purchase the test for the PLF but not actually have to take it?

    Judge away – that’s fine 🙂

    PeteM

    Your Day 2 could just get lost in the post, Ryanfozzie…

    aviosnewbie33

    Trying to pay beardy with bendy for the last few days but not going through. Is this a permanent change or something I have missed out?

    Ryanfozzie

    Your Day 2 could just get lost in the post, Ryanfozzie…

    So I thought about that, but what is the legal requirement here? Of course they would not inform NHS Track & Trace of negative results. Is it the honor system? Not trying to game it, but there must be protocol in place for recent recovery.

    Lady London

    FTV refunds for RFS – got an email about a cancelled booking a few days ago, 126k avios back in my account today and an email confirming £200 taxes to be refunded within 24 hours. I think this is a pretty good gesture from BA as if we’d cancelled outright, of course, we’d have lost £35 x 4.

    Well NorthernLass. If BA anticipates cancelling lots of flights, or moving them between Gatwick and LHR, dropping days of the week they fly, consolidating flights on the same day to just one flight or moving them significantly…

    All of the above would pretty much give you full EU261 rights to make a choice to choose any date you want to do the same travel at a later date, to still travel on same date(s) as they cancelled a flight meaning BA is responsible for the costs for you to travel on another airline, or (at your choice not BA’s), to take a full refund. All at no cost to you, no fare difference, no change fees, no admin fees.

    If BA *ever* refunds you unrequested, look at the other rights above you have instead and formally refuse the refund as you wish to keep your options open to choose other things you have the right to do with your flight. Record how you rejected the refund (date and time of telecon and ideally who you spoke to
    email or signed-for snail mail) , tell them to take it back onto your means of payment or ask them to arrange another method of repayment.

    You don’t have to decide by the date of your flight.
    Although if they didn’t cancel the outward part of your booking, the admin will be easier later when you contact them with your decision if you inform them that due to their cancellation you are considering your options and meanwhile you will not be on your outward flight(s).

    IMO when BA voluntarily offers refunds, there is a greater right you have that they are trying to avoid you taking.

    memesweeper

    @memesweeper – have a fabulous time and do tell all! I doubt it would even be possible to get through to BA before you land 🤣

    OK, you’re right, I think offloading our luggage would be a stretch even if someone in Waterside gets seriously irate.

    As the pandemic kicked off and we all sat in maximum lockdown I was sitting on a large pile of Avios, two Amex companion vouchers, player 2 with an ageing Lloyds upgrade voucher, and three grumpy teenagers. A lot of flights got cancelled, and I, along with I suspect a few others here, booked a few flights I never expected would actually fly, in order to gain EU261 rebooking rights. The flights we will be taking today where originally out in July back in October 2020 to San Jose Costa Rica. These dates are unpopular with travellers to that part of the world, and thus there was decent award space availability. I secured five seats, in business, at off-peak BA pricing. This used up pretty much all my Avios and all the vouchers. I then waited for BA to cancel the flights…

    At this point in case anyone wants to accuse me of gaming the system, yes, I’m absolutely guilty as charged. I took a £35 per head punt on the flights getting the bullet, plus some small downside risk on BA going bust with my money still in their bank, in the hope of securing something we could rebook at more popular dates. A few nervous weeks later BA duly cancelled.

    Some things I hadn’t anticipated were how hard BA would make it to exercise EU261 rights, or indeed just how hard it is to get through on the phone at all, and how long the pandemic would last. We initially rebooked to Xmas 2020, then summer 2021, then Xmas 2021. Even for this last booking both the individual outbound and return flights have been cancelled and had their days changed. So that’s ten rebookings, each involving at least one call (and some of them multiple calls) to BA or Avios.com. Actually, I think initially we rebooked online, the first time, after that each cancellation involved at least one phone call. The Avios.com team are particularly unwilling or unable to help, but a combination of charm, perseverance and threats of legal action has always eventually paid off. So today we’re looking forward to five peak time, peak Avios flights, for which we paid off-peak Avios, reduced further with vouchers.

    Our plan is a few days in the Caribbean (which looks very rainy this year unfortunately), some time in the forests and about nine days on the Pacific coast in two different centres. Later in the holiday I might sign back in to talk about the hotel redemption which we’ll be doing for the last five days. Another HfP winner if that goes to plan.

    As mentioned upthread, thanks are due to all who write on the blog and post hints and tips. We absolutely couldn’t have done it without you.

    memesweeper

    So today we’re looking forward to five peak time, peak Avios flights, for which we paid off-peak Avios, reduced further with vouchers.

    I haven’t done a pennies-per-point valuation but it’s over 4 or 5p each… maybe 10p? More importantly it’s saved us a huge pile of cash we just don’t actually have, so any points valuation is not a real valuation. This is a holiday we simply couldn’t have afforded to buy.

    mr_jetlag

    Hello all from the Flounge. My 50% HND flights from 2020 have been converted into last minute JFK Christmas reunion tickets. Bonus – Club suite both ways. Happy Christmas HFP!

    FFoxSake

    I haven’t done a pennies-per-point valuation but it’s over 4 or 5p each… maybe 10p? More importantly it’s saved us a huge pile of cash we just don’t actually have, so any points valuation is not a real valuation. This is a holiday we simply couldn’t have afforded to buy.

    Major respect for your perseverance. But now it’s time for you to kick back and enjoy the fruits of your efforts and not worry about pennies-per-point.
    It’s time to create plenty of memories-per-day.

    PeteM

    I cannot see anything even remotely dodgy about what you’ve done, memesweeper – well done and enjoy!

    NorthernLass

    LL – no. I meant an FTV I got months ago has now been refunded, there was a HFP article on it the other day.

    NorthernLass

    @memesweeper – you are my travel hero today 🤣. HFP should give this a separate article.

    Lady London

    Well done @memesweeper.

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