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British Airways cancels all flights to China (but not Hong Kong) until 29th February due to coronavirus

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British Airways has extended its cancellations of flights to Beijing and Shanghai due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

There will be no services until at least 29th February.

Coronavirus

As of last night, the extension was only until tomorrow.

For anyone already in China, re-routing is being offered on Finnair, Qatar Airways, China Southern or JAL via any Chinese departure point.  Apart from Qatar services, uou will be forced to transfer to a BA service at the hub airport, so you cannot take Finnair or JAL all the way through to London.

Hong Kong services are still operating as normal.  Refunds are still being offered to anyone due to travel to Hong Kong before 23rd February.

The special advisories page of ba.com is here and has the latest information.

More detailed guidance aimed at travel agents can be found on the BA Travel Trade pages here.

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Comments (57)

  • Neil Donoghue says:

    Ugh – Return flight is on the 11th of March so just outside of the scope! Gutted….The joys of doing an RTW from LHR – MAD – SCL – IPC – PPT – AKL – SYD – PVG.

  • marcw says:

    Rebookings allowed for travel up to March 4. Stupid. It looks like BA wants you to either take refund or travel to HKG.

  • maccymac says:

    There was a sky news report last night showing the China/Hong Kong ‘border’ as essentially non-existent. No attempt at containment. No checks or health screenings. Surely airlines need to reconsider flights to Hong Kong under these circumstances?

    Sky News – Can Hong Kong protect itself from the coronavirus? Link: https://youtu.be/HtMXzmzSquo

    • Dr Doo says:

      Well what matters is where the passengers are from that leave HKG

      • Andy says:

        A BA aircraft from Hong Kong was held for 45 mins on its arrival into LHR today as two passengers on board complained of falling ill…

        • maccymac says:

          I wonder how many more of these cases need to happen where people on returning flights complain of illness before BA decides its not worth the resultant costs

  • Aston100 says:

    That photo…

    • david says:

      Of course breathing through a hole at the top of their head stops 99.9% viruses.

      • Mr(s) Entitled says:

        You seen any sick whales?

      • Alex M says:

        I am not a microbiologist, but I think using that “device” is not entirely stupid – at least, it will stop virus riding salvia/mucus reaching you if someone infected sneezes at you? Please discuss.

        • marcw says:

          No, it’s not that stupid. In fact, based on latest observations it is believed that the virus is not transmitted airborne. Contagiousness happens on close/very close contact – these are early observations. So if you have an non-symptomatic infected CoV person coughing in front of you, these 5L bottles actually work as a barrier (unless he she is much taller…).

        • maccymac says:

          They are probably improvising as I imagine getting hold of face masks (ineffective as they are) must be getting quite difficult

  • JonL says:

    What does BA do with the 787-9 and 777 that are no longer going to/from China each day? Do they sit idle? Are other routes up-gauged? Any chance they will be used to . . . fly some extra people to the Canaries during Feb half term?

    • Rob says:

      Is BA chartering any aircraft at the moment or have they all gone back? The 787-10 is late and A350 crew training is apparently two months behind schedule so I reckon they will be grateful for a bit of slack.

  • Fola says:

    O/T. I have about 19k VAT to pay HRMC. I plan to use Capital on Tap to make the payment before 7th Feb, however, I didn’t realise that since I have switched to the Visa corporate card,I won’t be able to make the payment to HRMC. I got it mixed up with the date the COT Mastercard will stop working which is 31st Jan.

    I could have used Curve linked to COT to make the payment before 24th Jan.

    Is there any other way out of this without incurring any charge whilst making the payment to HRMC.

    • Shoestring says:

      which other cards do you hold?

      • Rob says:

        The Lufthansa Mastercard, but they don’t like that being used for VAT as opposed to personal taxes as the card is not meant to be used for business expenses.

        You could upgrade to Curve Metal for £15/month which gets you unlimited HMRC for free.

        Do you not still have your COT Mastercard though? In which case, why not just pay HMRC with the Mastercard before 31st January?

        • Fola says:

          Not sure if that will still work. I will give it a try. As you mentioned in one of the posts, I don’t my VAT bill is that huge to justify paying £15/pm for the Curve metal card.The said VAT bill is for three quarters.

        • memesweeper says:

          I was told MC stops working as soon as the Visa is activated.

      • Fola says:

        Virgin credit card, Tesco both credit and debit and HSBC Premier credit card.

  • idrive says:

    By the way, if you are interested… tracking tool for Coronavirus
    https://systems.jhu.edu/

    • Cat says:

      That was posted yesterday, towards the end of the day. I responded this morning, but I think it was too late for anyone to actually see the response.

      In response to Harry’s points yesterday about the scale of the dots, and the effectiveness of surgical masks:

      Definitely not to scale – they seem to be grouping the data and assigning different sized dots to each group, rather than making area proportional to confirmed cases (which is what they should be doing).
      Anhui’s 200 cases are shown by a dot that appears to be exactly the same size as Shanghai’s 101 cases’ dot, yet Hunan’s 277 cases are represented by a significantly larger dot.

      The masks will help with liquid-borne viruses only, and may help you avoid transferring from your fingers to your nose or mouth if you have an itch to scratch in that vicinity, but only if you’re strict with yourself – those masks (and indeed, enormous non-porous plastic water bottle masks) can actually make you itchy, so if you’re prone to scratching absent-mindedly, they might actually increase the risk. Anything airborne can get through.

      • Alex M says:

        According to our house experts here it’s not airborne…

        • Cat says:

          New Scientist disagrees (paragraph 2)…

          https://www.newscientist.com/article/2231535-can-an-n95-face-mask-protect-you-from-catching-the-new-coronavirus/

          It is early days, I doubt NS and other journals are being as stringent in their peer review process, in order to get the best information available out there, so this article could be out of date, but if so, I’d have expected them to edit the online article.

        • Cat says:

          Either way, airborne or not, any mask only works if you’re very careful not to scratch your nose when that damp mask starts to irritate you. It’s surprising how often people do this.

          • marcw says:

            I agree, masks add an extra barrier but you need to know how to wear them. Regarding whether the virus is ariborne or not. It´s probably a combination of both, BUT based on what we know now, is that asymptomatic patients are contagious. In other similar cases, like SARS and MERS, asymptomatic patients were not contagious, only during the symptomatic phase (since the virus attacks lower airways, the virus becomes only transmissible when it climbs and affects the upper airways, when symptoms such as coughing/sneezing appear – but it has been reported that these symptoms are not that common with this coronavirus thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30183-5/fulltext)). Wth this coronavirus, infected subjects are infectious without showing any symptons (presumably during the incubation period). That´s the CRITICAL point in with this coronavirus, and why everyone is panicking (the other critical point is tha long incubation period), is that you can be contagious wihout knowing you have the virus, because you are not showing any disease symptons. Therefore, there must be other ways, very likely to be through saliva (and, no ofense, but chinese are usually not very hygienic and with civilised manners, just to put an example, spitting everywhere, ……..).

            It is clearly airborne once upper-airways symptoms develop (not always). But before symptoms develop, you are contagious… that´s where the problem is. By the time couging/sneezing symptoms develop, you are likely to be already in hospital.

          • Cat says:

            Yes, the next week should give us an idea of how effective the initial airport screening was, given that asymptomatic contagious people could possibly have boarded flights, before quarantines were put into place and flights were stopped.

  • Unnamed Regular says:

    Travelled from China to Hong Kong overland, are spending weeks in China. Flew back via Europe to London today.

    Only a single health screening occured when I entered HK – nothing at any other time.