The early May Bank Holiday in 2020 has been moved … book (or rebook) your flights now

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The Government has announced that the May Day bank holiday in 2020 will be moved.

Instead of taking place on Monday 4th May, it will now take place on Friday 8th May.

This is to allow it to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

This has a few implications if you had booked, or were planning to book, flights over that weekend.

2020 May bank holiday moved

If you have already booked a short break for the May Day bank holiday:

If you paid cash, you’re stuck! 

If you booked with Avios, you should be looking to rebook as soon as possible as long as your hotel plans are flexible.  The change fee is £35 per person, but you may prefer to pay this rather than take an extra day of work.

If you haven’t booked anything yet:

You’re in luck!  As this news was only released on Friday, you may find good Avios availability to Europe for the weekend of 8th to 10th May.  

It is also possible that hotels have not yet adjusted their rates, because you would expect to pay a premium over the May bank holiday.

You can find out more about the change on BBC News here.

PS.  It is worth remembering that Spring bank holiday is on 25th May next year.  This gives the potential for an 18 day holiday between Friday 8th May and Monday 25th May which requires just 10 days of leave.

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  1. Tilly says:

    10 days leave for 18 days holiday will only work for family with grown up Kids not for poor sods like us with school going children

  2. I can’t believe they’ve only just announced this now and not made it an extra bank holiday like other countries do on such occasions. Not everyone will be able to get a day’s annual leave to replace the Monday bank holiday. People will have booked weddings that day also and will now find that all their guests are now either working or at school that day! We had arranged to go and see the Tutankhamun exhibition at the Saatchi gallery – fortunately our tickets are for the Sunday and our hotel booking was flexible as we’ll now have to come home on the Sunday evening as our son will have to be at school the next day.

    • I agree, this is far too late in the day. It would have been better to keep the Monday one too – which would provided a massive boom to the travel industry!

      • A former colleague of mine now works in the Cayman Islands. They get most of our bank holidays, some of the US ones, and regular “extras” such as one when Prince Charles visited in March. British Overseas Territories do a lot better than we do!

    • Or they’ll just be “sick”. In school I had a friend who made up excuses to skive off (actually he was attending travel industry events) and he got caught after his fifth grandparent “died”.

  3. Deenesh says:

    Can’t be many Mon-Fri 9-5’ers left in this modern world of people wanting services 7 days a week. I can only think of 1 person in my circle of friends and family who does so.

    • Andrew says:

      I think most people work Monday to Friday.

      • I’m sure employers will show some lenience given the circumstances

      • HFP readers are disproportionately Monday-Friday (although definitely not 9-5, and probably catching up at home over the weekend) and no kids. Miles and points gets a lot trickier when you need four seats on the plane …. that portion of our readership is the part that buys the £1000 Qatar Airways sale deals instead.

        • Or learned the art of combining award bookings with BA holiday packages. Best of both worlds – 2 of us get fantastic redemption value due to travelling in school holidays and the other gets avios and Tier points and an extended period to pay for the holiday.

        • On that point: some articles on how to use points for families would be great. The avios position is straightforward I think, but stuff about which hotel chain allows points bookings for suites or offers that as an upgrade, or hotel schemes with AI resorts, or basically anything else that is relevant would be great. I know family considerations are often included in the articles but a section on how to do points with kids would be good

    • I only work Mon to Fri – I don’t know anyone else that doesn’t………………………………..

    • Tilly says:

      I’m Monday to Friday but not 9-5. Work way longer hours than that.

      • David says:

        You are lucky! I have to get up in the morning 10 o’clock at night, half an hour before I go to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid etc…

  4. OT but bank holiday related! I’m not really complaining as I have a great 5 for 4 nights points booking at the Westin Grand Cayman for next Easter (we bought some points each but rates are around $800 per night so it’s still a good deal). The room we’ve booked with points sleeps 3 people (king size bed plus sofa bed), but we’ve still been charged $50 per night for adding our son to the booking. If you book that room for cash, there is no 3rd person charge. I did consider only booking it for two and not declaring junior, but it’s not a big hotel and they would probably spot him at some point. Is this extra charge usual for Marriott redemptions?

    • Louise says:

      Anna I was looking at booking a couple of places last night on points and some say extra 50 charge for rollaway bed. When I search with kids no points available rooms come up.
      The hotels I was looking at doesn’t charge for cribs so will be ok as will be nearly 3 and 1

      • Hi Louise – if the charge was for putting a rollaway bed in the room I wouldn’t mind so much, but the room already has a king bed plus a sofa bed, so sleeps up to 2 adults and 2 kids. If I booked the room for 2 adults, there would be no extra charge and we could still use both beds if we wanted to, so I don’t see the justification for the charge!

        • Louise says:

          I see, I would be tempted to not say anything then about the third person

          • Novice says:

            It might be a per person rate thing… I travel a lot on my own as in solo travel and always get charged nearly double for everything because the hotels usually want money pp…

            I actually think despite the fact thee are more solo travellers now, still we are penalised so much.

            A small charge for a kid should not be be such a problem.

          • Jonathan says:

            Disagree, you shouldn’t have to pay for kids. I’m sitting at a Jumeirah property and just got a £9 ice cream free for my 2yo daughter.

        • I imagine they wouldn’t make the sofa bed up as a bed if you don’t declare the 3rd person requiring this by default. I guess you could obviously request it specifically though..

          • Novice says:

            It’s probably because the hotel thinks they could have made money if you booked two rooms so since you booked one and decided to use sofa bed, they just want to make some money rather than nothing.

            That’s what they do for solos, they mean they could have charged two pp so charge the one person ss

        • Novice – if the kid was getting an extra bed or breakfast, I would have no issue paying up. The only cost he’ll be incurring is his water usage which to be honest isn’t that much these days 😂

          • There also a $65 “resort fee” 🤦‍♀️ per day, so I consider his use of the sun loungers covered as well!

          • Novice says:

            I understand what you are saying and in a fair world, you would be right.

            But as I tried to explain earlier, I don’t think hotels care about anything other than the fact that they don’t want anyone to benefit without paying something for a benefit…

            Maybe I am not explaining my theory properly… I am just theorising

    • Lottie says:

      HI Anna I have had the same issue with 2 Marriott’s I have booked. In both cases I booked for two people then e mailed the hotel afterwards, as I didn’t want to pay the extra, and told them that my 6 year old would be joining us. They didn’t charge for the child in either case.

    • Crafty says:

      Yes it is, so I always book only for 2 adults. I’m always slightly nervous at check in (I dont tell my partner!) but don’t think we’ve ever had a problem. And on many of these occasions we’ve successfully requested a cot!

  5. flyingbee says:

    For those planning a May bank holiday weekend in France:

    8th May is always a public holiday in France for VE Day so hotels in France might already have adjusted their rates for a 3 day weekend since it falls on a Friday in 2020.

    In May 2020, Friday 1st and Thursday 21st are also public holidays in France.
    Take note of the one Thursday 21st (Ascension). For this holiday weekend many people make the bridge from Thursday and take a day off work on Friday, many schools are shut, and people go away for a 4 day weekend. In 2020 this coincides with the UK’s late May bank holiday on Monday 25th.

  6. Following on behind says:

    Boom – just booked a trip to San Sebastian. £1400 all in for the fake bank holiday weekend, £700 for the flights and hotel for the real one. Yay!

  7. OT: IHG accelerate – my offer incl “Stay at 2 Holiday Inn® hotel(s)—including Holiday Inn Resort® and Holiday Inn Club Vacations®—and earn 8,000 bonus points”. If i book 2 rooms for the same nights at the same Holiday Inn will this trigger? thanks

    • David says:

      No – they will transfer the balance from the second room across to the first room when you’re paying, so IHG will only see it as one stay.

    • No as it means 2 different HIs

  8. Graham says:

    OT – best places to check for car hire?

    10 nights in Orlando Nov 10 – 20. BA’s deal is not too shabby for a medium size but wondered if there’s anywhere else worth checking?

    • David says:

      Kayak is the easy one, Autoslash is slightly more complex (and very American)

      • Graham says:

        Never heard of Autoslash, I will go investigate. Thanks, David.

        • Simon says:

          Auto slash is only any good if you have car rental cover like that which comes with the platinum amex covering total loss. Third party car rental excess cover won’t be enough.

          • I found autoslash decent, especially for the US. Although I had to set up a VPN to get the American Rate they offered. Simon, do American car rental companies not offer the price inclusive of insurance and so, wouldn’t third party car rental excess insurance be fine?

  9. OT:

    A few weeks ago there were some posts relating to a link or app that gave you a discount (£5 or £10 I think) off train bookings.

    Can anyone remember what they were?

    • Shoestring says:

      sure – go to HUKD, search ‘megathread’ and the rail offers come out first/ on top

    • Andrew says:

      LOCO2 is the site that was doing the £5 offer.

      They are doing a link with some major employers, so if you are PAYE, take a look at your internal site for special offers. Mine is still giving a fifth back in points, brother’s is getting a tenth.

      Absolute bargain given that I got a full refund on a delayed first class KGX-EDI journey by the TOC and still got the points!

  10. Harry T says:

    I’ve been looking at Avios flights to mainland Europe from Newcastle for the new Bank Holiday weekend… I’m not honestly sure how Avios can be useful for anything other than long haul redemptions on partner airlines. The price of taxes and Avios for flying to say, Budapest, means that my partner and I will get nowhere near 1p per Avios flying from Newcastle or Edinburgh, as we have to go via London. Even the Aer Lingus route from Newcastle to Dublin isn’t good value compared to Ryanair cash flights.

    Do any of my fellow Northern residents have advice for finding good value Avios redemptions, or have better suggestions for where Membership Rewards points might be invested?

    • Dave Barron says:

      Like you I use Newcastle airport with limited options in terms of short haul. Personally tend to do long haul to USA or Canada (with BA via LHR) because in such cases the connection from NCL to LHR is free.

      The Avios fare for a city break etc with BA via LHR is a poor use of points unless you have a 241 voucher and use Club Europe. A shame the short call connection to LHR isn’t free (or even reduced) in the same way as it is for long haul.

      Personally I’m intrigued to see what options may open up with a Virgin Flying Club / KLM&AF Flying Club merger so for now am keeping my Amex points where they are.

      In the meantime stick with Jet2 or EasyJet etc as a cash fare for Europe.

    • David says:

      Any advice? Move to London, of course!

      • Freddy says:

        Might be easier to dump avios points unless your London based, the options are limited. Not everyone wants to live in London

        • Shoestring says:

          4 hr drive for us and I’ve no problem with LHR, still far cheaper/ much better frequency than some LCC alternatives – LCC from Bristol means losing day/s of holiday & is not exactly cheap either

          LCCs around London airports might be better frequency/ sometimes cheaper in cash terms – to our regular destination – but obvs you can’t pay with cheaply acquired Avios!

          travelling time by car Newcastle to LHR is 4.5 hrs so not that much worse – though sure you might live closer to Edinburgh which really would start to be a longish car journey

          • Harry T says:

            @Shoestring: I do live in Newcastle. Not too keen to drive 4.5 hours down south for a city break in Europe, but I see your point. For long haul it probably doesn’t matter as much, if I can get enough leave to factor in travelling to and from London. My OH is from Edinburgh so we can stay with her parents if we fly out of Edinburgh. I’m more bemoaning my lack of redemption options for a quick weekend getaway without sacrificing any of my leave. Would be much nicer if I could spend 9000 Avios for a cheeky return to the Continent.

            Concerning long haul Avios redemptions – I’m not sure I can earn enough Avios to redeem now AMEX has changed the rules. I’ve come to similar conclusions to Dave Barron regarding long term opportunities – thankfully I’ve just been approved for the Virgin Reward+.

            I’m doing my specialty training in the North East (my preferred choice, could’ve gone to London), so moving down south isn’t an option for another five or so years (in reply to people who suggested moving).

          • Shoestring says:

            South West of LHR is quite useless for airports & routes, Bristol is great but you have to hope it covers your destination, which in our case it doesn’t do a good job. Exeter / Bournemouth/ Cardiff etc are just pot luck as to whether they have your destination. Newquay is 15 mins away but completely useless for Europe. Plymouth closed down.

            I think London, the Midlands and the North have enough population for the LCCs to be able to offer decent choice.

          • Shoestring says:

            Let’s hope Exeter stays strong after flybe problems

    • Going via LHR on SH is a pain now the novelty of CE has worn off and connecting flights are now charged for the avios. I’m trying a new strategy in December- taking my sister to the Xmas markets in Vienna. She’s never flown in Club so I’ve used my Lloyds upgrade voucher to upgrade us both outbound so we can enjoy the lounges at MAN and T3, then flying back direct to MAN on EasyJet for £50 each which includes seat selection and checked bag for our Xmas purchases!

  11. MR > hotels to go with LCC flights booked with cash?
    Or go to EDI or MAN and use the seasonal BACF direct flights?
    Campaign to stop your local countrymen being so cheapskate that BA decides there’s yield to be made in more direct regional flights themselves?

    • Harry T says:

      Thanks for the suggestions. I think hotel redemptions are a good idea.

      Am I right in saying you can’t get Reward Flight Saver for the seasonal flights out of Manchester or Edinburgh? Apologies, still quite new to all of this.

      • All the regional flights can be booked as RFS if there is availability. We went to Nice last year on Monaco GP weekend for half term, cash price for 4 of us would have been £1700!

        • Harry T says:

          Thanks, that’s very helpful. Do you know when they release regional Avios availability for Manchester and Edinburgh?

          • T-355 the same as all redemption seats with the possibility of more being added at a later date. You just have to bear in mind that they are weekly and seasonal so you don’t get loads showing up all the time. One option is to do BA on avios one way and LCC the other if you don’t want to go somewhere for a whole week.

        • Harry T says:

          Thanks for the heads up on the RFS flights out of Edinburgh and Manchester. Just booked a return for my OH and I from Edinburgh to Florence next May. Only got about 1p per Avios when compared with the BA cash price (the best for that route) but I’m happy with the flexibility and value I’m getting. I can leave my car at my OH’s family’s house and stay there overnight. Much better than driving to Manchester or London and paying more for fuel, parking and maybe a hotel.

    • Harry T says:

      Not sure if the locals round here are really cheap skates when it comes to holidays; I’m from the South originally. I do wonder why BA doesn’t have a bigger presence in Manchester.

      • I know, it’s crazy. Most people I know do between 2 and 5 foreign trips per year, we are always desperate to get away from our (generally) abysmal weather!

        • BA would finds tons of demand for direct flights to New York, Orlando and Miami (at present there are none at all to MIA). Bonkers that you can fly direct to DBX and the Far East but not to MIA, IAD, BOS, ORD and so many other US cities!

          • Harry T says:

            Exactly, Anna! I’ve flown to Australia from Newcastle with Emirates (via Dubai), but there’s very little on offer to go mainland Europe or North America. I think the market would be there if BA wanted to expand.

          • Andrew says:

            There is clearly demand in “The North”. I’m flying from EDI to BOS direct on Delta’s new route in a few weeks time.

            On the midweek day I’m outbound – the plane is full. The days around it are showing as a handful of seats available. One full plane doesn’t make a business case, but that’s one full plane of passengers that aren’t on Oneworld or Star Alliance connecting services.

        • Harry T says:

          I feel you on the weather. I lived in Australia last year and I have found it hard to readjust to the perpetual dark and rain.

          • Oof! My GP told me that most people in the North West are vitamin D deficient through lack of sunlight 😱

          • Harry T says:

            Your GP is right! As a doctor in the North East, I’ve come across many patients with vitamin D deficiency or borderline levels. Good excuse for a few holidays in the sun a year 😉

          • I recommend Boots childrens chewable Vitamin D gummies instead, very tasty 🙂

        • David says:

          Is 2-5 international trips a year meant to be a lot or not very many? I’ve done 5 since January, excluding work travel, number 6 coming next weekend…

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