The new HFP chat thread – Saturday 30th 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:  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. Waribai says:

    Slightly OT. We have LCY-EAS flights with BAon the new route for late August. How likely is it that BA still go ahead with this?

    • August seems OK at the moment – no LCY cancellations so far. That said, it is always a desperately quiet month for them anyway as no business travel so it wouldn’t surprise me if they waited until September – unless they want to ramp up slowly.

      • Karen says:

        Hi Rob,

        I need to fly to the US (preferably LAX), from London by 8th of July at the latest, for immigration related essential travel. Which airline is my best bet for booking a flight with for early July, with a return trip at the end of the month?

        Many thanks!

        • Virgin is out. BA is your best bet I think – they are doing 1 x daily IIRC so even if one is cancelled you only get put back 24 hours.

        • Booking via BA, or even American Airlines, should give you a few options for re-routing in case your original flight gets cancelled.

          I don’t know if you plan use avios? If so, I find the Qantas web-site really useful for checking availability of OneWorld award flights because it shows a calendar of available dates in the different classes for a month at a time. Even if you are buying a revenue ticket it would give you an idea of the routes currently available. You do have to be a Qantas frequent flyer member to search, but it is free to join in the UK.

    • Michael C says:

      Could always be asked to be rerouted to LGW-BIO if LCY cancelled?
      It’s Vueling, but hey-ho.

  2. Bonzo says:

    I’m in a quandary. I tried to move my Virgin points to Hilton. A hefty amount. Virgin FC told me by text that they had moved them. They never showed up at Hilton. Now VFC say the points never existed in the first place! Fortunately I can show that did via emails from Award Wallet. It’s two weeks since last email from customer services saying they will get back to me. What do I do next? Can I make a small claims claim? I’m guessing I owned the points? Is there an Ombudsman for frequent flyer points? Any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.

    • Chris says:

      I moved some recently. Requested from Virgin FC over WhatsApp on 2nd May. Showed up on the 14th May in my HH account.

      • Chris says:

        How long has it been?

        • Bonzo says:

          2 months. I was told the points had moved initially. When I queried after 30 days they said the points had never been in my VFC account.

    • ChrisBCN says:

      Picking up the phone and calling them would be a good idea right now!

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Completely agree. Phone is the only way forward.

      • Bonzo says:

        I’m beyond that stage. I was really wondering whether small claims was an option….I can’t see that there’s an Ombudsman scheme which is appropriate?

        • Lady London says:

          phone and escalation is best. something has gone badly wrong. call at the beginning of their opening hours early on the week ideally.

          valuation and proof is messy if you go to court or ombudsman I would really avoid this if poss

          take a look at flyertalk in case anyone else has same issue or in case there’s a contact listed there you can raise it with.

          When you call ask them to escalate

  3. Any more news on the Barclays Premier/Avios tie up? Assume COVID has put this on ice for the moment but wanted to check I hadn’t missed it…

    • It is still happening. We have the details but it is confidential. Let’s just say that the original May launch date is not now happening but it will definitely be launching in the next few months.

  4. As all travel from the UK has to be essential talk about leisure flights is currently just talk! I have 12 seats booked on LGW to SZG on 18/7!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      It doesn’t have to be at all depends on where you live in the UK you are free to travel as far as you want and FCO advice is advice not law.

      • As long as you have enough cash to cope with not having travel insurance of course.

  5. Johnas says:

    Tokyo getting culled? I think you need to go back to bed

    • Robert says:

      Ha very true, finally worked out my error, I had NRT still saved in my favourites and that was recently pulled. Updated to the new airport and it works fine.

  6. John W says:

    Out of interest, what is the general opinion of Business class price development going forward ? – There are some business class flights for dates I want around Christmas for £1600 on my preferred Airline Qatar (credit points to BA) – Only downside it is EU departure not UK. ( Which I have done many times)

    • John W says:

      Sorry , would help if I said, flights to BKK

      • Lady London says:

        Do people think BA is taking the p *** cutting Business and First Class offering on board to practically zero? or are they being more sensible than other airilines like QR and LH who are still maintaining their offering just serving ir slightly differently?

        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          If it’s safe to serve a tray of food …. then it’s just as safe whether it’s good or crap. So a plastic sandwich is just being mean.

        • ChrisBCN says:

          They seem to be operating on the principle that the people who are flying HAVE to take that flight so they don’t need to bother with service. It would stop me making future bookings though until they announce an end to it, I guess once more airlines return they will be forced to provide a service again. Pretty insulting really but probably most people aren’t aware of the cuts.

        • Peter K says:

          I suppose it depends on your personal appetite (no pun intended) to risk and the airlines appetite for risk.

          A sandwich can be held in the packaging with gloves on and eaten without touching the outside of the container with your mouth (I’ve seen it done), a plated meal has no doubt been touched more and potentially more risk of contagion.

          Do you take that risk? Does BA risk someone saying that’s how they got COVID-19, via a plated meal, and taking them to court (it could happen)?

    • John, CW reward seats to BKK just popped up within the past hour for Thursday 10 December if those are any use to you.

  7. Bonzo says:

    Anyone know how long comments have been subject to moderation on here?

  8. Graham says:

    Just had a late June flight to Faro cancelled Anyone have an idea when BA will publish what their flight schedule will look like in July 2020 ?

    • Looks like things will remain uncertain for UK travellers for a while yet. Greece opening from 15 June for visitors from 29 countries but UK is not one of them. Doubt other countries will see UK much differently until incidence of Covid-19 in UK falls further.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Neither are Italian or Spanish travellers allowed in. I believe they are likely to open up to more countries in July time.

        • More countries will open up to more other countries all the time as outbreaks within countries are brought under control. Hopefully such decisions will be made largely on public health grounds as opposed to political or economic grounds. If so, a principal factor will be Covid-19 incidence and at the moment we have no idea whether it will be low enough in UK in July, August or whenever to give other countries sufficient confidence to welcome UK travellers back. It will depend on how high other countries set the bar, and how successful we are in the UK in reducing incidence. I’ve always suspected that temperature is important, if true then hopefully that will help as we move into summer. However, it seems likely that the speed and extent to which the lockdown has been eased will be the main factor controlling the shape of the outbreak in the UK in the short term.

          • Temperature is only an issue in that breath droplets carry further in cold air. Given how good the weather has been since March I doubt it will make any extra difference.

          • It could also be an issue in survival time of the virus on surfaces. It could weaken the virus on surfaces too, rendering it more easily destroyed by handwashing etc. I have no experience of viruses at all, but that temperature impacts it in a number of ways is very likely.

          • Catman says:

            I am currently in Thailand, we have had little or no Covid 19 here notwithstanding the millions of Chinese tourists here when the pandemic broke out. It’s hot here is the main reason for no virus.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Heavy sunlight = UV so perhaps something there too depending on the culture outdoor vs indoors etc.

            UK hospitality scene is by in large indoor with a bit of outdoor space and many other countries it’s completely the opposite.

          • Brazil has plenty of sunlight…

          • @J the trouble with Brazil is the proximity of millions of people to each other. And plenty of sunshine combined with the heat means many Brazilians stay indoors preferably in air conditioning so they’re not as exposed to sun as much as you’d think. Ironically vitamin D deficiency is high in Brazil. It’s only tourists and beachgoers who are directly in the sun.

    • Spain has indicated that UK travellers will be welcome from July, not sure about Portugal. IMO, flight schedules will depend largely on what happens with the UK quarantine proposal. This is going to be the biggest deal breaker for travel this summer; the uncertainty it is creating for the travel industry is massive and I’m struggling to understand why the government is being so vague on how long it will last unless it really is the case that they want to keep people here for the summer!

      • Spaghetti Town says:

        And so it should last. scientists have already said the measures are being lifted too quickly.

        We don’t wanted any imported cases thank you. Nor would we wish to export any to other countries.

        • Lady London says:

          +1 economics on both ends of journeys are forcing governments’ hands.

          Anyone in a vulnerable group should still be sequestering themselves and trying to avoid travel and people outside of very very few to avoid indirect contacts with the disease. Given the 2 week incubation period each contacts and each of their contacts have. Autumn/winter will be a time for special care.

          But economically, what else can we do? For those not at special risk the losses caused by restrictions are too great for the vast human overpopulation on the planet. Nature has very obviously significantly recovered in many ways once humans stopped destroying it so much in lockdown. This vast majority of humans has to eat. And they must have their holiday no matter who they kill.

        • Yes. Too many people, including to my surprise many here in HFP community, are a bit divorced from the reality of the situation we face here in the UK. The fact is that we have the highest death rate based on population from Covid-19 of any country in the world. Furthermore, the 7-day average deaths today remain the highest in Europe, significantly higher even than for Italy, Spain and France. Although comparison is difficult due to differences in testing, this suggests it is more likely than not that incidence of Covid-19 also remains significantly higher in the UK than in those other countries. Regardless of which airline plans this and cancels that, predictions of airline capacity, and idiotic press headlines proclaiming Boris has saved our summer holidays, UK travellers are going nowhere until overseas governments believe that we do not pose a significant additional risk to their own citizens, their other visitors and by extension their economy. For that to happen will require current downward trends in the UK to continue which will be dependent on the impact of easing the lockdown. Were the easing of restrictions simply to sustain existing incidence and deaths without causing a second wave, it seems unlikely that this would be sufficient for other countries to relax restrictions on UK travellersre if their rationale is typical of that which led Greece to arrive at its current decision.

      • Crafty says:

        Of course they want to “keep people here for the summer”. We are in the middle of a deadly pandemic. Haven’t you noticed?!

    • Hannah says:

      I think they have ready started. I’ve got a flight back from Amsterdam on 12th July and they’ve dropped the number of flights down from 11 to 4 as of yesterday

      • Harry T says:

        I had flights from NCL to LHR in mid July and they’ve been cancelled (I was very pleased about this because they were for a cancelled event – must say that organisers of the Hyde Park event have done a terrific job refunding everyone for tickets)

    • I had Faro cancelled yesterday. Was out 10th July, back on the 17th.

  9. Is anyone else having trouble doing a manual payment to BT. I’ve been trying for the past 3 days but no joy. I put in the payment amount and press continue but it just times out saying btsecure took too long to respond. Tried on chrome and safari.

    • Paid my bill 2 days ago with no issues. Try using the link from your BT app.

      • OK thanks. Just downloaded the app and it says “sorry we haven’t been able to log you in – try again later” It’s beginning to p… me off ! Been doing this every month for years….

        • Now got logged in to the app but it is doing the same thing – won’t let me proceed to the page where you put in your CC details – it just times out.

          • Lady London says:

            could they be doing weekend maintenance? it’s also the end of the month which would hint that. in any event I’d delete all my cookies after such a failure before another attempt.

          • Lady London says:

            PS I find Firefox sometimes overcomes a website incorrect functionality that might occur in, say, Chrome. Incognito in Chrome can sometimes free up things too

          • Finally got it to work on my app with my wifi switched off – I don’t know why that would work but it did.

    • OT @Liz,haven’t seen you online for a while so good to see you back 🙂 Hope all is well.

      • Yes all well here in sunny Broughty Ferry! Not had anything to contribute – been reading HfP and trying to keep up with all the comments. Not booking anything in the future at the moment – just sitting tight to see where this all goes in the next few weeks and months. Hope to maybe see a bit more of Scotland in the caravan later in the year but that will be about it for us this year. Looking out for 87 yr old MIL who is now on her own following FIL passing in Feb. Should be in the USA now!

  10. Have to say impressed with Curve customer service. Upgraded to metal and changed address on same day. Didn’t receive card and I emailed them after a week. They said it could be due to postal delays. Emailed them after 3 weeks again, pretty sure it was sent to old address. Got a reply in a couple of hours that a new card is on its way in a tracked mail. Also got one month fee refunded. And the limits get reset once I receive the card!

    • Genghis says:

      Is that good? Right first time with speedy delivery would have exceeded expectations but to be impressed after putting right failure?

      • TGLoyalty says:

        That’s where CS really shine though service recovery with priority tracked service and a proactive refund vs computer says “a new card is only the way please wait 5-7 days etc. Bye”

        • illuminatus says:

          +1, good customer service is not about if a company makes no mistakes, but about how those mistakes are dealt with, and in the above example imo it was handled extremely well

    • ChrisBCN says:

      So they messed up by processing the address and upgrade in the wrong order, you were without it for 4 weeks, bare minimum they could do is refund you for the 4 weeks you didn’t have the service!

      I do admire your positive outlook!

      • If it was an upgrade the old card will have still worked with all the metal benefits until the replacement was activated.

        There won’t have been that many opportunities to “impress” someone with a heavy blue, red or pink card during the 4 week’s wait

        • Blindman says:

          Well I’m not impressed with their CS.

          Still waiting for replies to emails chasing a chargeback after two weeks.

          Can’t see any alternative to email or App contact.

          A phone number would be good.

  11. Barry says:

    We’ve had a couple of season ticket refunds on our BAPP and now our Amex avios account balance is -7,700! Any suggestions on what we can do here? We have about £8k left to spend until we earn the 241.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Cancel the card and start again in a few months 🙂

    • You’ll have to spend the refund amounts as well on top of your £10k, or have you already factored that in?

    • MattB says:

      I was in a similar position, -11k avios and a few £k in refunds. Ended up cancelling the card, will reapply in a few months ( with referral from the wife’s gold).

    • Chris Heyes says:

      [email protected] Refer Partner (if possable) then cancil your card get parner to get supl card for you
      that’s prob your best bet

      • Barry says:

        Thanks all. Just annoying if we reapply in a few months we won’t be eligible for any sign up bonuses!

      • Genghis says:

        Hey, where’s my comment? Half of it suggested asking HfP for a referral! 🙂

    • Harry T says:

      Cancel the card and cut your losses. There’s no point spending thousands to achieve a 241 whilst not accumulating any avios. You can just cancel it and get a referral for a new one from your partner.

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