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The new HFP chat thread – Friday 8th May

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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: https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/05/08/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-friday-8th-may/comment-page-1 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!

Comments (183)

  • Spk says:

    Rob, have you thought of setting up a paywall just for the comments and email alerts? That way trolls can be avoided. Am sure people wont mind spending £1 a month to read / post comments and receive emails.

    • J says:

      I like the Guardian – speaks the truth about how bad the UK government are doing vs other European countries. Enjoy your lockdown and travel restrictions.

      • davvero says:

        So you have to admit if The Guardian don’t have a paywall up then nobody is going to pay to access the Head for Points comments section

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Trolls get so much enjoyment out of it I doubt £1/pcm will stop them.

      • davvero says:

        I’d be happy to pay a small amount to keep the site running during this difficult time to reduce the dependency on a few big sponsors that can affect the bias in reporting.

        • Rhys says:

          This is blatantly false. Look at our review of the new Upper Class seat, which ends with us mentioning that the BA Club Suite is a superior product, or my piece on the new amenity kits where I say that they are a little uninspired. The idea that there is bias in our reporting is ludicrous.

        • Rob says:

          We’re giving BA a far easier time than you think. I have a story from a cabin crew member who will see his base salary drop from £33,000 to £13,000 under BA’s restructuring, since he has 36 years service and will drop to the level of a Mixed Fleet new entrant. Think of the headline I could get out of that. We’re letting it go because it moves us into more political territory which I try to avoid.

          • davvero says:

            If that’s true (and not a rumour) then it should be reported. In reality I can’t see things being as bad as that. I don’t know how anyone could live on £13k. My first job 23 years ago was £14k and even though things were cheaper then it was a struggle. Fortunately I climbed the ladder quickly.

          • Rob says:

            Mixed Fleet are actually taking a pay cut too under the new proposals. It is actually worse than we thought – my initial thought was that there would be some meeting in the middle, since £13500 for Mixed Fleet is too low. I was wrong. Everyone gets a cut. (Well, everyone is made redundant and a percentage are invited to sign a new contract.)

            You get allowances on top so the actual take-home averages about £17k (or £20k, if you believe BA and not the union).

          • davvero says:

            Presumably though this is just the start of negotiations and the union will negotiate up. Otherwise they’ll lose all their experienced crew

          • Chris Heyes says:

            “ROB” Disappointed in you What you are saying is you have got Actual Reports that you are withholding from printing ( going easy on BA your words)
            If that is happening on a regular basis (actually picking and choosing this devalues this site)
            hope it’s not true regardless of BA or Virgin or any other ect

          • Rob says:

            There’s loads of stuff we don’t print due to the ‘three articles per day’ format. We pick and choose. Plenty of cabin crew and general aviation website to run this sort of stuff where it is their bread and butter. Simple Flying runs 190 article per week and that is just pure aviation, without even touching on loyalty. This story has nothing to do with loyalty or, more tangentially, whether BA goes bust and your points are wiped out.

            There are also plenty of people who believe that people should be paid the market rate for their job and not existing under a safety blanket of historic terms and conditions.

          • davvero says:

            If you don’t get paid enough in your current career it’s time to change. I can’t see how anyone could live on £13k particularly in London

          • davvero says:

            Three articles per day? There was six yesterday!

          • Rob says:

            And less than three today.

          • Olly says:

            that is a serious difference and a lot more than the 20% pay cut Willie Walsh has taken. Any news if he will take a bigger pay cut, and what is the news from Alex Cruz extending his 2 months zero salary?

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            I know a certain site who would use that headline for their next clickbait article! 😉

          • Colin MacK says:

            BA Airbus engineers in Glasgow given P45s and new contracts – pay drop, longer working hours, worse T&Cs.

            No-one else employing engineers, and all the contractors already gone.

          • Lady London says:

            If that cabin crew in is reading : make sure you check the pension implications for you personally of any change. Depending on what type and how benefits are worded, there’s a lot of danger for you potentially. It may be better to go with a pension protective deal (or have your service end on a date with the old benefits alplying,) than to accept any change.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Just have a system where you can’t replicate an already used username, I did think this was standard with usernames as they are stored in a database with the email address in WordPress etc.

        • davvero says:

          That would get rid of some of the 90’s charm of this site. It’s part of the fun guessing who is actually Shoestring

          • Rob says:

            The 90’s charm will be gone within 8 weeks, which may cause other things to change too ….

          • davvero says:

            Be careful about changing things too much, the 90’s charm does boast content over flashiness. Although this site has its faults and I’m happy to mention them it’s still better content wise than most that look flashier.
            Although I do suspect those who sponsor you do influence your articles to an extent, it’s noway near as bad as most of the other sites

          • Rob says:

            It is interesting that Inside Flyer UK has (using the stats in their own media pack) 90% fewer page views per month than us, yet looks 10x better. Style doesn’t win over substance. However sometimes you need the style to have people stick around long enough to get to the substance.

          • Genghis says:

            @Rob can you reveal what’s going to change?

          • Rob says:

            Nothing major. The truth is that we lose probably £1000 per week in ad and promotional revenue from companies who don’t want to advertise on the site given its current look. The task is to make it look super-professional without actually losing any of the character. We are working with a design agency to try to pull something together – it is not an off the shelf solution.

            If we’re lucky then a more modern look will also attract more new readers, because I really have no idea what people think at present when they visit for the first time. We’ve always said that if they start to read the content they will stick around but you need to get them to that point.

          • RussellH says:

            > We lose probably £1000 per week in ad and promotional revenue from
            > companies who don’t want to advertise on the site given its current look.

            Must be firms whose products are all style and no substance.

            It must be three years or so since I started reading this site. What it looked like was, and is, TBH, utterly irrelevant. These days I know well enough how the interface works, and while I have my criticisms of that, I would hope that most of the changes are improvements to the way the site works and not too much messing about with the way it looks.

          • RWJ says:

            Just want to chip in to say that I like the clean, uncluttered look of the site, and the fact it doesn’t rely on flashy JavaScript “so Web 2.0!” nonsense like scrolly “hero” banners and shoving social media links everywhere. I completely understand the need to improve the technology, but thought it worth saying.

          • Rob says:

            That’s not changing. In fact, the draft is even less cluttered.

          • Optimus Prime says:

            Please do not add that infinite scroll with DM-like ads…

          • Rob says:

            Not happening! There will be less advertising, at least on the home page (not signed off the rest yet).

          • Genghis says:

            Hope the improvements go well!

        • marcw says:

          Trolls would actually stop trolling if no one followed their game. Full stop. If you keep replying to stupid, spam kind of comments, they’ll carry on with the game. Just ignore and slowly they will stop commenting stupid stuff.

        • Rob says:

          Except they’re not, because we don’t make you register. We can turn it on by ticking a box, however, so it may happen. Bit of disruption for 3-4 days but then normal service would resume.

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            Sounds a good plan Rob, stop you & Rhys having to get up early everyday to delete silly comments.
            The new plans sound great for this site, especially the forum as i think this will grow your site!

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          “Username already exists”😆

  • Catman says:

    Hi all.
    Can anyone who has recently upgraded to Curve Metal describe what sort of packaging it comes in? Unfortunately I am stuck (albeit quite happily) in Thailand so I am trying to find out if it’s turned up yet.

    I think my original plastic card came in a small box about the size of a packet of cigarettes, buy I could be mistaken.

    • Brian W says:

      Mine arrived a couple of weeks ago in a box the same as the one you describe.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Small black box just a little bigger than the size of a old audio cassette cover.

    • davvero says:

      I got mine when it was first launched and inside the box it came with a set of cards listing the benefits available. It was so long ago it even included Amex.

  • Dogwoman says:

    My metal card came in a small box as you described

  • memesweeper says:

    Best BA or Avios.com number to calll to book a redemption with a Lloyd’s upgrade voucher.

    • memesweeper says:

      Sorry — hit send on that prematurely!

      Does anyone know the best BA or Avios.com number to calll to book a redemption with a Lloyd’s upgrade voucher?

  • Don says:

    With Curve, has anyone seen a situation where the rate shown on the transaction in the App was not the rate actually used? Eg rate shown was 1.15 EUR but actually is 1.13 when you do the numbers.

    In this the FX rate shown should mean an extra £3 in my favour. It’s nothing to do with the underlying card.

    Curve is really getting a bit… [email protected]

    • davvero says:

      Was this over a weekend? The rates can change over a weekend as the transaction doesn’t go through until the next working day

      • Don says:

        No, yesterday. Quite simply, the FX rate shown in the App does not relate to the GBP figure two lines above.

        Tapping the you saved approx fees “?” churns and then nothing happens- as they all do, on every transaction.

        • davvero says:

          Because of the lockdown I’ve not tried it in a while. I recommend asking via the in-app chat and if you find anything interesting report it here

    • Novice says:

      I must admit this thought did cross my mind when everyone was fretting about Virgin Atlantic going bust. I’d say there is some value in raising funds like this. But I do dread the day space tourism might take off because it will probably mean humans are going to now destroy the galaxy; after destroying the world.

  • Baji Nahid says:

    Hi folks, i read on wednesdays chat thread that the RFS £100 deal opened up to other destinations now apart from NYC, but I cannot see this on the BA website when I try to book, tried many destinations for a lot of dates but none are coming to £100 like NYC is. Interesting whether someone just mislead folk on here or if they have actually loaded more destinations.

    • Rob says:

      The former, hence I deleted the comment.

      • Baji Nahid says:

        thanks very much Rob! I was confused about this for a while! Heres hoping we could see more destinations pop up under this!

    • davvero says:

      The BA website says:
      *Reward Flight Saver option only available between LHR-JFK-LHR, only in economy (World Traveller), and only available to UK Executive Club Members

      I believe the plan is to expand it initially to other North American destinations and then maybe others such as Dubai but that’s not happened yet

      • Baji Nahid says:

        Perfect! I can see destinations like LAX,SFO,LAS,NYC,YYZ,MIA etc etc being added! Hopefully they add a few eastern destinations too!

  • Baji Nahid says:

    Also a bit OT: But anyone here use Virgin Red? They are going to revamp soon and asked folk for feedback, I felt that the app needs to be a bit more exclusive for virgin customers such as those who are with virgin media,atlantic,gyms etc than just having the app open to anyone and everyone which reduces the exclusivity for loyal virgin customers. Would like to hear opinions on this.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      They could try giving away some points for unlocking their vaults and not just get a chance to win some points.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Rob / Rhys,
        Will you be launching an app in your updates?
        I’ve seen another site offering an ad free version for a paid sub!

        • Rhys says:

          No plan for an app. And yeah, saw Simple Flying do that this week. Interesting to know if that works for them.

    • Andrew says:

      There must have been a good number of users who only had a VTEC or VTWC connection to Virgin Red.

      Lose the franchise, should you get rid of the marketing cohort?

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