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The new HFP chat thread – Wednesday 3rd June

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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!

Comments (187)

  • GERRY says:

    I contacted IHG re choice benefit, it wont appear unless you trigger number of nights based on COVID 19 reduction, I don’t think it was clear on email issued.

    • Rob says:

      That is absolutely not what the IHG website or the press release on the extension said.

      It does, of course, make sense to do it the way you have described, but that isn’t what they offered.

      • Grant says:

        Indeed. The website currently states:

        “All members’ programme status will be automatically extended through January 2022, allowing members to enjoy all the benefits of the status they earned during 2019.

        – For Spire Elite members this includes the Choice benefit of 25,000 bonus points or gifting of Platinum Elite status to someone each year

        – This change will be automatically reflected in member accounts in the coming weeks.”

        • Julia R says:

          Yes, I contacted them about this last week, and they said the same. I went back to them for clarification as to why the website says something completely different. I’m awaiting a response and chased them today. I find that the responses from the customer service team are often pretty poor and that escalating things usually gets a better response. We’ll see what happens this time.

          • Andrew says:

            Maybe Rob can get some official clarification. It really did say that we would all get the 25k bonus or companion platinum regardless. Seems they are going back on that, and not even updated their website!

      • Martyn Ford says:

        My email reads:

        I reviewed your account and I see that your Spire Elite choice benefit of 25,000 points were already posted on your account last 21 Jan 2020. Please note that this benefit is only available annually once a member reaches the requirement to maintain the Spire Elite status of either 75 qualifying nights or 75 qualifying points.
        I understand that your status will be extended until January 2022 due to the global pandemic and I’m glad to let you know that choice benefit should be available to be redeemed on your account by early 2021.

        • Rob says:

          Fair enough. Perhaps we all get it in January 2021 then.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Try twitter. The email customer services staff are useless and frankly rather than accept their own website says something they’ve decided it incorrect and needs fixing.

      Tbh I don’t think anyone will actually get it without meeting the nights / points.

  • Capecam says:

    Sitting on board a BA flight from Berlin to Heathrow . 69 of us on a 20 year old A319. Interestingly the crew are forcefully asking everybody to wear masks – and offering free masks to the few passengers without. There was a furore about BA not mandating masks , but the crew are going to every effort to ” encourage” use. Lengthy social distancing pre flight announcement. VERY strict airport enfoced 1 hand baggage policy. Not even extra laptop bag or ladies hand bag.

    • J says:

      Wonder why BA are resisting masks? Not surprised originating from Berlin most are wearing masks as its obligatory in the supermarket and public transport here. You might have been on one of the last flights from Tegel – as it will now apparently close on 15/6 so presumably BA will be moving to Schönefeld before Brandenburg opens later this year (supposedly)

      • ankomonkey says:

        I’ve taken a gamble booking BA to Tegel before an ex-EU flight next year. My second flight (not BA) will leave from Brandenburg or Schonefeld (depending on whether Brandenburg is open). My hope from the outset was that Tegel would be closed and my BA flights would be moved to Brandenburg or Schonefeld.

        • J says:

          Nobody seems to believe Brandenburg will actually open this year but maybe this time it will?!

    • Andrew says:

      Sounds a relaxing travel experience! I certainly won’t be flying for a year or so at least.

  • Alan S says:

    Not sure how many of you have been through the online KLM refund process following a flight cancellation?

    You almost have to applaud them for how complicated and fiddly they’ve made it. You almost need a PHD to decipher all the codes/info they require (and already have linked to the booking) – plenty of opportunity to make a small error which would no doubt invalidate your refund request.

    It almost suggests you have to put in a 2nd refund request for any additional parts of your ticket – extra leg room, seat selection, meals, bags etc. We’ll see whether my main ticket request comes back as a refund with that included…

    • Charlieface says:

      Knowing the way they add extras to the tickets (via extra ticket numbers) it’s highly likely it would be a separate claim

  • Rob says:

    Data Point

    I recently spend over £100 with Laithwaites (through wine flyer) and according to Amex this does not qualify for the 15% rebate currently saved on Amex offers.

    Is this utter nonsense? The agent at Amex was entirely unhelpful and actually said the offer had been pulled by Laithwaites themselves

    • Rob says:

      There are 2 Amex rebates – one marked Wine Flyer and one marked Laithwaites. I’m not sure if Wine Flyer orders trigger if you only registered for the Laithwaites one, or vice versa.

      • rob says:

        I have noticed on a family member’s card that there was an offer specifically for Wine Flyer. However I’m shocked this is classed as a different company for the purposes of this offer. To me this feels like something that should be reported because it’s incredibly misleading.

        • Anna says:

          I’m going to chase this up as I haven’t had my statement credit either. Each time I’ve ordered from Wine Flyer any communication I get is marked Laithwaites so I can’t see how they can say they are different companies. It’s the same website!

          • AndyGWP says:

            It appears to me (based on very little data), that you got Wine Flyer offer on BAPP, and Laithwaites on non-BAPP (or certainly on the Gold in my case)

            I’m waiting for credit still (Laithwaites using Gold card), but only ordered on Sunday and it took a few days to debit

            6% extra discount is now pending on ‘the other site’ too

  • aDifferentSimon says:

    I last loaded revolut with my curve card in Feb ’19 – can you still do that fee free?

  • Kerry says:

    Hi All – has there been any rumour or gossip about when BA might return to something closer to full onboard service on longhaul flights? They are restarting a large number of routes on 1 July, yet lounges appear to remain closed at LHR and they state on their website alcohol and hot food are still not being served in any cabin?

    • Rob says:

      No. Worth noting that Qatar etc are running a virtually full service (meal is on one tray and not served course by course in Business Class, but that’s about the only change) so you can debate how much is cost cutting vs necessity.

      • Andrew says:

        The meal is still served in courses on QR, it’s just the table set up (with the salt and pepper, bread basket, and all cutlery in a napkin roll rather than placed for each course) with the starter is provided and then the next courses are brought one by one. And then the tray is cleared.

    • Harry T says:

      It’s a great question – as I’m flying BA F in December, I am also interested in any speculation.

      I do think eventually the European carriers who are currently taking the pish will suffer sufficient competitive pressure from the ME3, SQ, CX etc to provide a real service. Until flying picks up significantly again and the differences in service become more apparent to the average consumer, I’m sure BA and LH will use every opportunity to invoke COVID as an excuse for cost cutting.

      Having seen how QR has handled the pandemic and their flight services vs BA, I know who is getting my business next time I fly long haul, provided there is not a huge time or monetary difference.

    • Anna says:

      They seem to now be cancelling an awful lot of July bookings.

  • Simon says:

    Cheekily booked BA Avios peak flights to KUL using a 241 hoping they would be cancelled in July.
    They just did, rebooked using MMB, got 4 x CW perfect dates in Dec. Could not book FRI/SAT/SUN

  • WaynedP says:

    BA just cancelled my 18 July flight LHR to DUR, which was itself a re-booking (two weeks ago) of a trip I was meant to depart on 18 May.

    It was a bit of a desperate punt that I knew could be scotched anyway, and have been fearing cancellation, given Rob’s recent info about BA only getting back to meaningful flights in August.

    Am pretty desperate to get out there and console my dementia suffering mother after the unexpected death of my father four weeks ago, who was her sole carer. So it’s not even as if it’s a “leisure” trip.

    Just sobering to consider how much I took for granted the freedom to jump on a plane at short notice and fly 5,000 miles across the world, and would like to express my empathy for anyone else in similar situation.

    • AJA says:

      Wayne I am so sorry to read your post. Condolences on the death of your father and I am sorry about your mother suffering dementia. I think travel to SA is not ordinarily possible given Covid-19 but it might be worth contacting the South African Embassy in Trafalgar Square and explaining your circumstances. They may give you special dispensation to travel. I am not sure if there are any flights on any other airline to SA

      • WaynedP says:

        Thanks AJA

        No special dispensation available for my circumstances. Just have to try and second guess when SA Govt will lift restrictions on overseas visitors and keep pushing out my flight dates and hope for the best. It’s grim for everyone, and beyond our control, which helps to know.

        • AJA says:

          I read on FT that SA is only likely to open to foreign visitors in February 2021.

        • Anna says:

          So sorry Wayne, is there any chance of being able to bring your mother here for a while? I lost my 94 year old grandpa in April, only his partner was able to be with him in the weeks leading up to his death. She is 91 and her only family is in France, where she can’t travel at the moment (it would need one of us to travel with her as she is so frail). Sad times.

        • WaynedP says:

          Thanks, I have a cousin living with Mom 24/7 and able to do so until Christmas.

          Not entertaining the nightmare of continued lock out beyond that, notwithstanding FT reports.

          Meanwhile am hoping and praying that the economic pressure will force earlier entry for overseas visitors with foreign currency now worth 10% more than before lock down due to Moody’s following earlier Fitch and S&P in downgrading SA Govt bonds to junk status at the end of March.

          Fingers crossed.

          Meanwhile all non-native SAffers take note: best steaks and red wine in the world are now 10% cheaper than they already were.

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