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: https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/06/03/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-wednesday-3rd-june/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!

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Comments

  1. 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

  2. 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.

    • 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.

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

        • 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.

  3. Unfortunately as expected BA just cancelled my July Avios 2-4-1 flights to and from Tel Aviv in First. Ideally I want to rebook for the same time in 2021 but that is not possible as they only sell tickets for the next 355 days. I just checked online and I can buy cash tickets in First for May 2021 but there does not appear to be reward availability.

    I want to check that as I booked last October that means that I can only use MMB to rebook as far as October 2020 as the tickets are only valid for 1 year? Before I phone and look silly is it possible YouFirst will just allow me to change to May2021 or is it better to just change the flights to October 2020 and then change them again to May 2021. Is the latter possible or will I still run into the problem the original ticket was issued in October 2019?

    • I’ve just rebooked our avios reward flights for a flight to the US later this month to May next year; I was told by you first they can only book reward seats not cash seats if the original booking was using avios. It’s a pain as I’d got up specifically to ensure I got the seats in first the first time around. The new dates I wanted didn’t have availability so had to rearrange again. (There were cash seats showing) I had tried MMB initially to see if that would let me do it but that wasn’t working on any date.

      • Matthew says:

        I’m pretty sure that’s not correct. They are supposed to offer you a reroute at your convenience. The fact you used avios originally is irrelevant.

        • Yes, re-route in your original class of travel. Disappointing to read about You First being so uninformed/spouting typical BA BS, they have been fantastic with me. I also can’t re-book via MMB on another cancellation, it’s very frustrating!

        • I hadn’t looked at it that way, in light of the number of cancellations I just went with it, presumably if an isolated flight was cancelled BA would rebook everyone affected onto a suitable replacement, passengers wouldn’t have to wait for the next flight with reward availability to travel?
          I’m guessing it might be related to the original booking being made at D-355 so the validity of the ticket would have been limited, my new dates are in May 21 approx 22 months after the initial booking. I’ll query the point though when I ring through to book the inbound leg in a couple of weeks.

    • Update: I just phoned YouFirst and cancelled for full refund rather than trying to rebook. I was hamstrung by the ticket validity ending in Nov 2020 and inability to rebook for July 2021. Took just 4 minutes in a queue before call answered. Very nice man on the line, said he was very sorry BA had cancelled our flights. He was very matter of fact and said everything would be refunded, cash in about 5 days. Checked BAEC account; Avios and 2-4-1 voucher valid to mid Aug 2021 refunded instantly, Brilliant service, just a pity I won’t be going to Israel or experiencing BA’s First Class. Oh well.

  4. Are people getting email notifications of BA cancelling flights, or just seeing it on their accounts? If they’re now cancelling flights up to July 18th, my 26th departure cancellation can’t be long off, I would have thought. It’ll be a bit of a sickener all round if BA cancels its entire July schedule then the government announces it’s negotiated airbridges with a load of countries!

    • Polly says:

      We got my OH cancellation emails from BA about 2 weeks before the flights were due to leave.

    • Andrew says:

      My 18th July departure to JFK was cancelled yesterday.

    • I had an email cancellation for a 29 July LHR-SJC flight today (and got through on the phone in around 15 mins to sort the refund out).

      • AndyK says:

        What number? And what options have you selected to get through?

        • I used the number in the email: 0203 250 0145, then had to try to a few different alternatives to get into the queue. I think I ended up with option 2, option 2, then wait.

          • AndyK says:

            Thanks. Will try again as was unsuccessful a few times earlier today

    • I got a text notification and then shortly afterwards a cancellation email.

    • Thanks – 2 of us are on RFS and 2 on a BA flight and car booking so it’s going to be a bit messy. I’m not 100% comfortable with the prospect of travelling but my son has some mild neurological problems and really benefits from spending time outside and swimming and has already missed the opportunity at Easter. All the swimming facilities are currently closed (and I’m not sure I would use an indoor pool at the moment anyway!) and the weather here is like a wet and blustery October today! The thought of six weeks of school holidays like this is really quite depressing.

    • Stu N says:

      W have had emails and texts for all our cancellations so far.

  5. Andrew says:
    • Andrew says:

      And no First Wing, fast-track, lounges or priority boarding except for families with small kids.

      • Stagger Lee says:

        Also people who need extra time to board, like me.

        That said I would rather board at my alloted time rather than be sat down and then have loads of people going by me to their seat.

      • Lady London says:

        makes a mockery of everybody else having to wear masks (that actually jncrease risk because of the poor way people use them, leave used ones lying around and don’t discard them safely) as well as having hardly any protection from them in the first place.

    • Joseph Heenan says:

      It looks like they’re “asking” you to wear a mask, not mandating it. It sounds awfully like they won’t take any action if a passenger that does not wear a mask.

      (This is made clear in the FAQ where they say whilst you’re asked to wear masks in all airports, masks are mandatory in some airports.)

      • Lady London says:

        someone posted on here a day or so ago that a BA crew were making it mandatory on a flight they were on.

    • Darren says:

      Making masks mandatory is a good thing. Just because people don’t know how to wear them doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be used, education is they way forward. Condoms don’t work if you don’t put it on right and start touching and fiddling with them!

      • TGLoyalty says:

        How long until you stick your hands in a back seat pocket and pull out a used mask and decide what you just said is devoid from reality.

        • Darren says:

          There are idiots everywhere, as I said…education.

        • You should never stick your hand into seat pocket. Saw people use it to wipe off their fingers all the time.

          • Lady London says:

            I think I’ve learned a bit too much from this one! mostly…. yeeeurgh 🙂

  6. BA getting real pasting in Parliament (on BBC Parliament) now – Minister Kelly Tolhurst has agreed they should pay a price for how they are handling the restructuring.

    • Everything BA are doing is perfectly legal. The ball is in parliament’s court to legislate!

      • Indeed Sports Direct, Ryanair, BA etc just make the most of the UK’s lack of regulations.

      • +1.
        If they have any sense, they need to put in slot restrictions and make it competitive so that BA cannot get away with the dreadful treatment of customers and employees.
        Till then i am happy to be a BA (IAG) shareholder! One of the best companies for dividends!

        • Lady London says:

          they need to enact a law that says if you are sacking x people you cant use that as an excuse to tear up x*3 contracts and cut down pay and working conditions for the *3.

          BA will get away with it because it will take far too long to enact such legislation. The result is they will destroy hard earned compenation earned historically by very long serving employees. What the UK can do in the short term is accept BA’s view that historically earned privileges do not need to be maintained and notify BA that on a date in 2-3 years 30% of the slots they have retained at Heathrow also due to historical, will be removed from BA and BA disqualified from re-acquiring them.

          This will preserve the UK as an open economy and ensure a more even playing field for airlines at LHR. Slots could be auctioned or allocated on basis of greenness, running less commercially viable routes alongside, etc.or just on the basis of…. not being British Airways.

          • Agree 100% with you. That or in an ideal world I’d like to see BA and Lufthansa broken up.

          • Chris Heyes says:

            Lady London @ I disagree i think they should be told they can “Only Keep” 30% of the HR slots they have after all its up to the government to decide the fairness of it
            The government could easily legislate it to come into affect 2021

        • Paul74 says:

          Yep.

  7. Martha says:

    Anyone know with easyjet if there is any flexibility on a flight I don’t want to take in the summer?

    • At the moment you can rebook any other flight with easyJet paying the fare difference (if any). This can be done on their website. I recently got an email from them saying you can ask for a voucher refund with an extra £10 to use in the future but you have to call up for this and it will depend on how far away your flight is of you qualify (I was booked on the 17th of June).

      • Lady London says:

        Be aware that an extra 10 means nothing as Easyjet is quite capable at any time, of increasing one or all of its many ancillary fees by a lot morw than 10. And has done so in the past.

        • Travel Strong says:

          What do you mean by these ancillary fee’s lady london? You have mentioned them before, but I fly easyjet all year round (usually!) and never get hit with anything unexpected. I even read the full fee’s documents after you mentioned it last time, and found nothing sneaky there.

          • she means bag fees and such like

          • Travel Strong says:

            “Any and all of many of its ancillary fees’ … standard baggage fees, leniant carry-on allowance … surely this statement refers to something else?

          • Lady London says:

            ask me in a day or two and I,’ll explain? trying to avoid pulling an all-nighter, not made it to bed yet!!

    • Darren says:

      Flights schedule will be available for May ‘21 tomorrow.

  8. Seatspy has paid off already – a lot of Cape Town availability has come up for December in First and have booked. Hopefully things are closer to normal by then.

    • South Africa have said they do not expect to welcome international tourists until next year.

      • In the meantime BA will have a sizeable chunk of money in the bank from cash sales and award seats “fees” though. Some US-based airlines seem to be putting seats on sale on a monthly rolling basis (even though some of the destinations have said they won’t be open, e.g. Bermuda), then cancel when it gets nearer the departure date.

        • I agree, but I think it is possible they reopen earlier. This is only a draft plan – I don’t think anyone knows where we will be in 6 months time. Agree the airline gets an interest free loan, but I have Section 75 protection under my credit card for the money, and its hard to devalue Avios on a booked ticket. Personally think it is worth the risk. If it is cancelled, I can move into 2021 easily.

          • marcw says:

            So far what we are seeing is that countries are delaying international tourism. Japan, Hong Kong, SouthAmerica, US… and the lists continues. Only Europe is slowly opening up… but the rest of the world…

          • Yes think it’s understandable that South Africa are being very cautious – for a lot of the population social distancing is difficult or even impossible (in townships). Their govt have a lot less resources than the UK but so far have done a good job at controlling it albeit coming across a bit heavy handed (even banning alcohol and tobacco sales).

        • Lady London says:

          So are they getting a free loan from customers?

          • I can’t imagine credit card companies are withholding cash from BA so yes I think it is a free loan. Although they do withhold i.e. the last days of Flybe, in advance of expecting a load of Section 75 claims.

  9. Just received on Euro ICC…

    Enrol for up to €100 in statement credits for online shopping and ordering in food, for a limited time
    In response to the current pandemic, enrol to access statement credits on your Account for the first €100 combined spend when you shop online with Harvey Nichols, Fortnum and Mason and Uber Eats, until 27 August 2020. Subject to enrolment.

  10. fivebobbill says:

    Radisson Rewards offering 100% bonus when purchasing points until end of June, up to 120,000 (240,000 with bonus). Must purchase in USD, which at current exchange rate works out just under 0.28p per point which is pretty good.
    No idea if it’s targeted, I got the email this morning.

  11. Harry T says:

    Anyone stayed at the Kimpton in Amsterdam? Thinking of staying prior to an exEU in the New Year.

    • Genghis says:
    • ChrisC says:

      Very good hotel.

      It’s my go-to place to stay in Amsterdam. Very central and walkable from Centraal. Staff very good as well.

      One thing is that they have replaced their wine hour with a cocktail in return from a drinks coaster from your room.

      I just rebooked two trips later in the year because their (still refundable) rates have come down.

      Torn about a bookign for end of july though as I booked a king standard and they have already given me a 2 room upgrade which I might not get if I cancel and rebook even though I’d save close to £100!

      HFP Problems!

      • Harry T says:

        Thanks!

        They are offering redemption nights for 25,000 instead of 55,000 points fairly often now that dynamic pricing is in place.

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