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The new HFP chat thread – Wednesday 24th 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/2020/06/24/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-wednesday-24th-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!

Comments (129)

  • Martha says:

    Hi.
    I have booked tickets with easyjet for the family in the summer. I have a new baby who I can’t register their birth yet due to coronavirus. This means I can’t get them a passport. What will happen to my flights? Will easyjet refund? Insurance?

    • Rob says:

      You are responsible for your inabilty to obtain the correct documentation. Your insurance won’t pay. EasyJet will only refund you if the flight is cancelled or if it is still allowing people to swap existing flights for vouchers.

      Unfortunately the queue for new passports is now three months long, looking at reports.

      • Martha says:

        Thanks.
        Are would easyjet allow me to change my flight or give me a voucher if they have not cancelled the flight?
        How do I do this? Phone?

        • Rob says:

          You need to look at the guidelines on the easyJet website to see if you qualify.

        • Darren says:

          Hi Martha, you can change an existing flight on the Easyjet website and at the moment there is no fee for changing to another flight in the future (not on my booking anyway), but this may change as flights start moving.

          Check your current booking ref on the website and select ‘change flight’.

          The alternative route is waiting for the flight to cancel and get your money back.

          • Darren says:

            I should say, check the prices on the new flight as you could lose money or have to pay more depending on the new flight price.

        • Lady London says:

          Easyjet flight changes are free online currently. You pay fare difference only.

      • Richard says:

        Got my passport back last week only 2 weeks after doing an online replacement application.

        • Jonathan says:

          Online replacement is a completely separate system. Essentially verifies identity automatically by cross checking HMRC/Driving License & drops you straight into printing queue.

          Anything that requires human input has a huge backlog so first passport, lost/stolen etc. Unfortunately no face to face appointments available currently which is normally the best way to expedite (at a price).

      • Alex M says:

        the passport queue is starting moving now according to the reports and my experience – got my child’s passport renewed in 1 month.

  • Dave Winchester says:

    I booked flights from Heathrow to Bangkok on Lufthansa in First during their deal back in January. Was due to go in early June, but was obviously cancelled and now want to push out a year, which seems fine given Lufthansa’s t&cs – but Expedia (who I booked through) are steadfastly saying they’re processing the refund and won’t rebook anything. Can they do this?

    • Lady London says:

      I’d call Lufthansa directly, check our your proposed new dates and ask them do they see any problem with this. They will want to send you back to Expedia but give it a try and try to get what evidencw you can from them.

      One thing that occura to me is it seems most airlines can only change the same ticket to flights within slightly less than 1 year of the ticket issue date (generally pretty much same as your purchase date). So if you bought your ticket some time ago as ahead of your first flight, using the same ticket means you have a shorter period to choose a new flight within.

      An airline could resolve this by issuing a new ticket and keeping it all on same PNR but I doubt Expedia as an OTA has all of the knowledge/skills/access/systems authorisation to do this.

      Its unfair and you do have EU261 rerouting rights which should allow what you want free of charge. But having an OTA in the 3 way mix complicares things.

      I am b****y minded and so many people seem to be finding EU261 rights impossible to get as soon as an OTA is in the mix. Personally I’d try and sort this with OTA and try to get LH support but I know prob impossible ATM. Being cussed I know s o m e o n e owes me execution of my EU261 rights so if they fotce a refund, I’d do a moneyclaim dot gov dot uk claim naming both LH and Expedia as defendants and ler the court sort it out.

      Good luck

      • Lady London says:

        would require you having the refund, purchasing tge replacement date you want and doing the moneyclaim for the difference.

        You could also investigate Section 75 claim on your credit card for cost of replacement ticket. Due to Section 75 covering consequential loss of their breach of contract (terms and conditions), and violation of applicable statute (EU261), having forced you to purchase a replacement ticket yourself in even if at higher cost.

  • Andy says:

    Got Etihad to ring me back via twitter for the 50% bonus on the travel voucher. Got a few questions answered. 2 years validity is from 2 days after issue. Charged in US$ But gets converted to £ straight away so no exchange risk. Also must book and fly within the 2 years.

    • Baji Nahid says:

      There is a massive queue for this voucher, did you get charged a transaction fee?

      • Andy says:

        If you mean because it’s changed in US$, no as I have a no fees card. Actually you get an email from Etihad saying the sterling amount credited to your account, which was a couple of quid more than got charged to my card. I’m dubious on the book and fly within 2 yrs bit, but I’ll be using it well before 2 yrs anyway.

  • old bob says:

    As there is precious little in the way of hot food in J on BA these days, and the offering is a sandwich in a bag left on ones seat, I was chatting with Geoff recently about what sort of sandwich we would be happy with, I mean a plain old cheese and ham doesn’t really cut it. What do Hfpers prefer?

    Personally, I am more perturbed by the lack of alcohol on board which is surely one of the main reasons to fly in J.

    • Jerrry Butler says:

      I personally like a cheese sandwich, preferably with a couple of pickled onions on the side, I’m guessing that my fellow passengers would be particularly enamoured with that , especially if it was washed down with a couple of pints of strong ale.

      I end to avoid alcohol pre flight anyway as I find that I suffer quite badly with trapped wind especially on descents for some inexplicable reason

    • Lady London says:

      Pret’s crayfish sandwich 1 for every flight hour would do me fine. However I expect that in Y. In longhaul J I expect hot meals ( crayfish sandwich with cocktail sauce doesn’t heat very well).

  • Aston100 says:

    I’m going somewhere at Xmas.
    That country requires min 6 months validity on my passport.
    My passport expires just over 5 months before my flight.
    I’m unsure what happens if you try to renew early – I think you lose whatever time was left on the passport?
    Given the reports of 3 month wait times, would it be best to apply for a new passport by September?

    • Doc says:

      You can apply early but lose whatever time you have left in your old passport. Normally renewal takes 3 weeks but currently taking 6-7 weeks+. We were supposed to go away in September, so applied end of May. Still waiting for it to be processed.

    • Chris K says:

      Yes unfortunately EU rules on passport validity means rollover months are a thing of the past now, as you can’t travel to the EU with a non-EU passport that has more than 10 years’ validity.

      • Chris K says:

        To clarify, that’s the reason the <9 months rollover was removed, because of the potential of travellers being denied entry on a passport issued outside the period of rollover months being added to their 10 years. Or something along those lines, anyway!

    • Peter North says:

      Just pay for a same day service or next day service in person and be done with it

      • Aston100 says:

        Is that still a thing these days?

      • BrianW says:

        Will need to be the ‘in person service’ as he prefers to stare at delivery men through his window as opposed to opening the door and accepting the package so he’d still be passport-less this time next year if he opts for the postal options 🤦🏼‍♂️

    • Lady London says:

      I think you get unused timeback but only up to 10 years total validity. MSE was my source a while back.

  • Sina says:

    American Express Shop Small – is this offer for all small businesses accepting Amex or just the ones that are found in Amex shop small map?

    • Andrew says:

      Now there’s a question!

      There are three general rules.

      If a business is on the map, it might not accept Amex.
      If a business isn’t on the map and accepts Amex, it might trigger ShopSmall.
      If you don’t get the trigger email, you might still get the ShopSmall return.

    • Kai says:

      No, many independent pubs don’t trigger the offer, at least.

      • old bob says:

        My local takes Amex and is on the map as shop small! When it reopens me and Geoff are going to buy two points of ale ( just over a tenner) and get £5 back every time.

  • Andrew porwol says:

    Just an enquiry. I made an Avios booking on 15th June for an august flight which has been cancelled. I’ve phoned up and been told that I can move it to any BA flight on the same route regardless of Avios availability but now I’ve phoned to do it the agent says it’s not allowed and there has to be Avios availability. Any thoughts please.

    • Rob says:

      This policy was never written down anywhere by BA. Quite a few readers have taken advantage by booking flights they knew would be cancelled in June and then rebooking for peak Christmas and New Year flights. May explain why it has disappeared, if it has ….

      Have you tried Manage My Booking? This was never meant to be done by phone anyway, it was meant to be set up so MMB did it for you.

      • Andrew porwol says:

        Thanks for your reply. Just tried MMB. Might try ringing again tomorrow

        • Charlieface says:

          EC261, legally they have to give you any available seat on any flight on the same route. If you want toget some sense into them, call their bluff and ask them to reroute you on a non-Oneworld airline (which you can also), they will soon fold.

          • Talay says:

            Done this with a Amex 241 BA booking LHR-BKK 07/07/20 – 29/08/20

            Outbound now on Qatar and as BA cancelled the inbound today, tomorrow we will have Amex 241 on Qatar return or if I push, business class on Eva direct. Thai seems not to be flying / not guaranteed.

          • Lady London says:

            Nice one, Charlieface ! 🙂

    • Lady London says:

      It’s rubbish you have that right under EU261 and BA:s ‘policy’ cannot override that. try another agent and kick up a stink if you still gdt refused.

  • yorkieflyer says:

    Really pretty annoyed with BA’s rolling cancellations. They’d cancelled our Cityflyer flights in July and after a huge tussle was offered Aer Lingus replacement flights but really don’t fancy connections at the moment so abandoned ship and went with BA’s suggestion of booking Easyjet direct!
    Now the August return, separate booking, yes I know, is now not bookable, all August is gone, yet no email nor cancellation yet. Surely somebody will have decided on no Cityflyer services from oop north all summer by now? One assumes they have, but the methodology of rolling cancellations leaves us at the mercy of whatever price/availability scenario is there come the day.
    Just waiting on similar on our complicated long haul Xmas itinerary, sigh