The new HFP chat thread – Thursday 30th April

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We have decided to run this new daily chat thread on Head for Points.

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the defacto repository for random comments and questions.  It is unlikely that the news flow will be so big over the next few weeks that we will need many ‘Bits’ articles, however.

The comments under this article are where you should post questions about travel and, indeed, anything else on your mind.  At this tricky time, and given that many of you are stuck at home self-isolating, we want the HFP community to have a place to chat.

Please only comment under the main articles on the site if your comment is directly related to the topic of the article.  This has long-term benefits as its keeps the commentary relevant for people who read those articles in the future.

By default, HFP shows the last page of comments under the article.  If you want to see the first page of comments and read them all from beginning to end in order, click here: The page will refresh with this article but the comments will now show the first page and not the last page.

We will continue to monitor how this is working.  Let’s see how it goes.  Take care!

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  1. Shoestring says:

    What do people here think about the chances of schools opening up again this side of September?

    It would give me quite a dilemma. As in: a right pain in the nether region. Supporting your kids in their education. Vs getting coronavirus and dying on everybody somewhat prematurely.

    • Freddy says:

      Quite a dilemma

    • Shoestring says:

      In research that will come as a blow to Britain’s hopes of reopening schools any time soon, scientists in China found children are just as at risk of infection.

      How COVID-19 affects youngsters has confused experts since the pandemic began because so few of them seem to get seriously ill or die after catching the virus.

      In England, for example, only 10 people under the age of 20 have died with COVID-19 in hospitals out of a total of 19,740 infected – a rate of 0.05 per cent.

      This had led to speculation children were somehow protected from the disease or less likely to catch or spread it – something the Chinese research has dispelled.

      The study, done in Shenzhen, found the virus’s ‘attack rate’ among children was 7.4 per cent, which was on par with the 6.6 per cent seen in the general population.

      One scientist in England said the research was ‘important’ and showed that children ‘could expose parents, grandparents and teachers… risking a second wave’.

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      I thought you said it was a pussycat virus 😉

      But I can’t imagine lockdown lasting (at least in current form) until September.

      Even if it doesn’t. Should we destroy children’s future (lack of exams etc.) to save the weak? A moral dilemma…

  2. Shoestring says:

    Boarding a plane could take up to four hours when passengers are allowed to fly again once the coronavirus lockdown eases, it was claimed today.

    Flyers could be asked to arrive at airports four hours in advance to allow for health checks and social distancing measures, one expert warns.

    Flights will be more expensive because airlines will only be allowed to have a limited number of people on board to ensure they stay two metres apart.

    This will push up ticket prices and make for an ‘uncomfortable’ flying experience for as long as another five years, another travel expert told The Times.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      2m apart on a plane? Madness

      • Lockdown Larry says:

        “ 2m apart on a plane? Madness”

        Zero chance of that happening. Whoever wrote that is talking out of their bottom

  3. Shoestring says:

    Wizz Air will become the first commercial airline to start operating again in the UK tomorrow, but says all passengers must wear facemasks.

    It will operate 15 routes out of Luton Airport to a range of destinations including Budapest, Lisbon and Tenerife.

    • Eb Scrooge says:

      And if you are not allowed into these countries, so cannot take the flight……

      You lose your ticket money!

      It amazes me that BA and others haven’t thought up that wheeze – surely flying empty aircraft to New York would save them having to refund far more than the what that flight would cost?

      Naughty, and not nice!

      • Shoestring says:

        Cargo may justify the flight plus of course do your homework as regards entry requirements. A lot of these countries depend heavily on tourism so you can see them lifting onerous arrival conditions (up to a point).

    • Lockdown Larry says:

      “ including Budapest, Lisbon and Tenerife.”

      2 of those places won’t let people from the U.K. in unless they have residency status!

      There’ll be at least one idiot though who books a flight without knowing this.

  4. Shoestring says:

    ‘All B&Q stores re-opened. B&Q unveils the future of shopping: Till workers wear protective visors, floor markings keep shoppers six feet apart and you can only pay by contactless card as chain’s 288 UK branches reopen today’

    It is completely ridiculous it took the UK 5 weeks to get to this point. I’ve been shopping in DIY/ garden centres out here in the sun right from the day I arrived. They already had spit guards at cashier points and 2m floor markings for till queues.

    Gardening and DIY are important ways to keep your sanity & happiness/ well-being instead of going lockdown stir crazy, with no particular extra risks doing the buying (and definitlely less risky than going to the grocery store as DIY centres are much bigger with fewer people = easy to keep 2 metres apart from anybody else).

    • How is insisting on contactless payment going to work if the amount owed is greater than £45? I know people could use Apple Pay in that situation (and presumably Android Pay, although I’m not familiar with that platform) but not everyone has a suitable phone for that.

    • Lockdown Larry says:

      “ keep your sanity & happiness/ well-being instead of going lockdown stir crazy”

      I’m on 80% salary for two months (topped up by my employer) and I’m having the time of my life, with plenty do without doing DIY etc. Not sure how some people are managing to be bored. Maybe they’re not trying hard enough.

      • Claire says:

        How conifdent are you that the employer will not just fire you all on furlough? after the 2/3 months end.

    • Claire says:

      Thats funny becuase B&Q never accepted contactless before covid-19

      • EwanG says:

        That’s because their old till system couldn’t offer it – but they have been rolling a new one out which does. Fortunate timing.

  5. Baji Nahid says:

    I just seen that Virgin Atlantic also do student discount now, interesting!

  6. Ian Wallace says:

    Haven’t seen this mentioned previously….
    Easyjet now have an online form for claiming a refund.

    The usual “we’re very busy…may take some time” stuff applies.

    • Shoestring says:

      2 more BA cancellations for me today – all the May stuff.

      • Shoestring says:

        Flyertalk guy on refunds not too helpful, probably got told to stop by his bosses (& worried about losing his job for being the refund guy).

        • Did something for my wife today.

          • Shoestring says:

            I’m not blaming him, glad he sorted you out, he helped me enough previously so grateful. Maybe he recognised the name?

            But I reckon that easy route might be over. Looks like phones have opened up in the meantime.

  7. Shoestring says:

    Firms failing to offer refunds for trips cancelled during pandemic face legal action amid claims banks and airlines are blocking up to £7billion owed to tourists
    The Competition and Markets Authority said it will take companies to court
    British Airways, TUI, Ryanair and more have been accused of acting illegally
    Four out of five complaints the authority has got are from those denied refunds
    Airlines including British Airways, easyJet, Jet2, Virgin Atlantic, Ryanair and TUI were accused of flouting the law and pushing customers to accept credit-note vouchers which have little consumer protection and could prove worthless if a carrier went bust.

  8. Shoestring says:

    Millions of Britons could lose the right to a cash refund for cancelled flights with the EU set to change consumer rights and force fliers to accept vouchers instead.

    A dozen EU member states have asked the European Commission to suspend passengers’ rights to a full refund as part of moves to help the hard-hit industry through the coronavirus crisis.

    The group, which includes France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Portugal, issued a joint statement calling for a temporary amendment to consumer law because carriers ‘continue to incur high running costs’ despite most planes being grounded due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      And why is that problem one for the customer who had their flight cancelled to help with.

      These governments need a good shake.

      • Shoestring says:

        They need a good kicking but they are much better at protecting national interests than the UK has been these last 25 years.

  9. Shoestring says:

    All this talk about Kindle vs Hardback/ paperback – currently reading Sweet Caress by William Boyd, I thoroughly recommend Boyd, the best book I read this century was his: Any Human Heart – so I suggest you buy that for £2.80 on Ebay or Amazon and give it a read, very amusing.

    • Doug M says:

      Agreed about Boyd. If you like his stuff I think you’ll most likely also enjoy Sebastian Faulks. Both have written excellent modern James Bond novels in the style of Fleming.

      • Doug M says:

        Birdsong is a fabulous read, perhaps my fav book. A Fool’s Alphabet is another great read.

  10. Shoestring says:

    It’s official: I have to stay out here at my place in the sun for the next 3 years

    Over-50s should be kept in coronavirus lockdown for longer and FINED if they cannot prove their age when out and about in public, study suggests
    Experts say younger people should be the first groups released from lockdown
    It is based on evidence that younger people are less likely to die from COVID-19
    The over-50s are 20 times more likely to die from coronavirus than 20-year-olds

    • Shoestring says:

      ‘Andrew Oswald, Professor of Economics and Behavioural Science at Warwick, said people older than 50 ‘do not realise the danger they are about to be in’.
      ‘Our age-risk graphs need to be understood by everyone. They show very clearly that younger people are at far less risk of dying from COVID-19 than older citizens.
      ‘Any lockdown release policy that does not design itself around this “age gradient” in human coronavirus risk will have dangerous consequences,’ Oswald said. ‘

      I completely agree, Mr esteemed almighty guy Andrew Oswald.

      I will heed your advice, good sir.

    • Lady London says:

      +1 keep kids at home till at least 2 generations of workers are back working without hospitals being overwhelmed or uptick

      Insane to think of having kids from different families mix with each other again and bring the infections home from school to all the generations in the family. Kids appalling vector of respiratory or gut/stomach infections. Not the ones to start with.

  11. Waddle says:

    I read on Reddit that UK sign-up bonus minimum spend requirements are finally being extended.

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