BA cancellations with no insurance

Old May 12, 20, 6:55 am
  #1  
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BA cancellations with no insurance

This might also (or better?) fit the Amex forum here, but they seem to be more US-focused over there, so I'll try my luck here first.

On BA, I've got BOS in late June, HEL (now rebooked to AY) in August, and PUJ in September, all booked last year. I've a feeling BOS will be cancelled (our travel companion with slightly different dates had theirs cancelled already, so I think it's a matter of time), and the others are looking increasingly unlikely to happen as well. Or in any case, even if the flights do fly, I don't think we'll elect to be on board.

Thus far, I've relied on my Amex Platinum travel insurance to bail us out, should we need to blink first before BA does in terms of cancelling these trips. But now it's becoming increasingly difficult to justify the £575 annual fee for loads of travel benefits in a new world where there is no travel, priority tickets for events that aren't happening, useless offers for mattresses and pilates over video conference, and a £10 credit on a minicab company that doesn't even operate in the city I live in. And while US-based Platinum cards seem to be getting credits for food delivery, supermarkets and streaming services, here in the boring old UK, the best they can offer is "being here for you in these unprecedented times".

So cancelling Amex Platinum (and its travel insurance) seems to be in the cards. I'm still hoping BA and AY will cancel the flights I'm on so I can apply for a full cash refund or rebook for next year (both equally good options to me), but should it come to pass that we have to decide to cancel, what exactly are my recourse options for these three if I don't have Platinum insurance to help me? Obviously taking up any new separate travel insurance policy does not cover coronavirus cancellations, so that's out.
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Old May 12, 20, 7:12 am
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Originally Posted by groenroos View Post
This might also (or better?) fit the Amex forum here, but they seem to be more US-focused over there, so I'll try my luck here first.

On BA, I've got BOS in late June, HEL (now rebooked to AY) in August, and PUJ in September, all booked last year. I've a feeling BOS will be cancelled (our travel companion with slightly different dates had theirs cancelled already, so I think it's a matter of time), and the others are looking increasingly unlikely to happen as well. Or in any case, even if the flights do fly, I don't think we'll elect to be on board.

Thus far, I've relied on my Amex Platinum travel insurance to bail us out, should we need to blink first before BA does in terms of cancelling these trips. But now it's becoming increasingly difficult to justify the £575 annual fee for loads of travel benefits in a new world where there is no travel, priority tickets for events that aren't happening, useless offers for mattresses and pilates over video conference, and a £10 credit on a minicab company that doesn't even operate in the city I live in. And while US-based Platinum cards seem to be getting credits for food delivery, supermarkets and streaming services, here in the boring old UK, the best they can offer is "being here for you in these unprecedented times".

So cancelling Amex Platinum (and its travel insurance) seems to be in the cards. I'm still hoping BA and AY will cancel the flights I'm on so I can apply for a full cash refund or rebook for next year (both equally good options to me), but should it come to pass that we have to decide to cancel, what exactly are my recourse options for these three if I don't have Platinum insurance to help me? Obviously taking up any new separate travel insurance policy does not cover coronavirus cancellations, so that's out.
Well the health minister has just said that he thinks that overseas summer holidays won't take place this year so I think the odds are that they'll be cancelled too. Personally I'm planning on skipping the final payment for a Greek villa in September and will risk losing half of the deposit (so £50). If there is a sudden change for the good I'll just book another villa (or probably the same one). The other risk is to my non-refundable BA flights (about £600 I think), which I'll take a risk on if BA haven't cancelled them before the end of June when my Plat renewal is due.
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Old May 12, 20, 7:20 am
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Well, I can get Travel Insurance for <£200 at age 75. Not that I need it right now, as mine is bundled with my premium (free, legacy) bank account in UK. My Amex PP just is an Avios earning vehicle!

On the basis that BA aspects should generate full refunds, once the flights are cancelled, I might suggest a comprehensive review is in order. Because you’re absolutely right ... we’re all heading for a different World.

I have no expectation of any of our booked holidays taking place (IAD, ANU and CPT) and we should be in MLA today!
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Old May 12, 20, 7:23 am
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I think you stand a good chance of the flights being cancelled or changed substantially enough to allow you to request a refund. Having said that, keeping your Amex for another 4 months until your PUJ trip and cancelling then would not cost the world, give you peace of mind, and if more people cancel their card until Sep, might even motivate Amex to come up with a decent offer to retain you as a customer.
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Old May 12, 20, 8:35 am
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I would do nothing now. There is no benefit to you to cancel until BA cancels or reschedules or the day of the flight (cancellations & delays occur for all of the same reasons as in the past as well). Should that happen, you are due a refund. You only confront the credit issue if the flights go. In that case, it is down to whether you plan on traveling with BA in the future. If so, the credit is not a bad thing (although sub-optimal when compared to a refund).

While new travel insurance will not likely cover existing tickets, perhaps start looking around. Stand alone policies which cover a great deal more than Amex, are likely available for a great deal less than the Amex fee and if the other benefits of the card are no longer of value, you could achieve savings that way.
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Old May 12, 20, 8:40 am
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AMEX (DE) has given Platinum customers the MR equivalent of 3 months of fees and doubled the MR earned until July, so, for the time being, I'm happy enough to keep the card. Give them a call and ask for a similar offer if you haven't already.
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Old May 12, 20, 8:52 am
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Originally Posted by Deckter View Post
AMEX (DE) has given Platinum customers the MR equivalent of 3 months of fees.
That's been done on the UK Business Platinum, but not the Personal Platinum.

Head for Points mentioned that some people are being offered 20k points when they ring to cancel. Not everybody though.
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Old May 12, 20, 5:59 pm
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Originally Posted by T8191 View Post
Well, I can get Travel Insurance for <£200 at age 75.
Well yes, any travel insurance policy would be significantly less than the Platinum annual fee; just rather pointless since we shan't be travelling for the foreseeable future, and new policies wouldn't cover future coronavirus cancellations...

Originally Posted by T8191 View Post
I have no expectation of any of our booked holidays taking place (IAD, ANU and CPT) and we should be in MLA today!
My sympathies! We were meant to be in HND right about now - my first-ever time, too.
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Old May 12, 20, 6:01 pm
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA View Post
Head for Points mentioned that some people are being offered 20k points when they ring to cancel. Not everybody though.
I am half-tempted to ring and see if I could get some retention offer - just concerned they might call my bluff and cancel it straight away; which seems to be the experience of many commenters on HfP.

x0K points might make it worthwhile to keep around for now - and in any case, as others have said, perhaps I should at least keep it until the last cancellation is done and dusted, and then review.
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