The new HFP chat thread – Monday 29th 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!

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  1. Hilly says:

    I’ve got to book and use my 241 voucher before the end of Oct or I’ll lose it. I don’t have an Amex to pay the tax on the booking. Clock’s ticking on two year wait for signup bonus. Any advice please? Is there a non-points-earning Amex I can quickly apply for?
    Have no idea where to go in the world either!
    Japan cancelled April 2020 and looks like I’m going to lose the hard earned 241 🙁

    • ChrisC says:

      Check the July credit card update at the top of the screen. That’s kept up to date with offers etc.

      Does your travel companion have an Amex? My understanding is that the taxes, fees and BA surcharges need to be paid for using an Amex card but any Amex will do.

      • Any amex will do, it does not even need to belong to one of the travellers. Another option would be for Hilly to be added as a supp by somebody; this would have no impact on entitlement to bunuses.

    • Chris Heyes says:

      [email protected]’t Normally Advice this but it looks to me that a voucher from a “Canceled” booking
      is what you need ? (unusually)
      Ask either Anna or Lady London how to ?

    • JohnT says:

      Anyone else in the household?

    • I think there’s some kind of basic Amex which doesn’t then bar you from other sign up bonuses but the easiest thing would be to use someone else’s – what about the other person you’d be travelling with, are they eligible for a card? Are you waiting 2 years for the Platinum also? If not, you could get that, use it and cancel and only incur one month’s fee and it won’t affect your next BAPP.
      At a push, as Chris says, you can make a booking then cancel it for a voucher which should extend your 2 4 1 until April 2022.

      • Genghis says:

        Holding any personal Amex card precludes one from obtaining a bonus on most cards, except BAPP and Plat, where there are specific rules (no avios earning card and no MR earning card in last 24 months respectively).

        • So if there’s absolutely no other option, Hilly could get the Platinum, use it to pay the cash element (possibly get sign up bonus if eligible), then cancel?

          • Makes you wonder if the 2 year rule was partly decided because of the 2 year expiry date on the 241 – some people then find they can’t use the companion voucher unless they disqualify themselves from future sign up bonuses!

          • Genghis says:

            But you can “reset the clock” on the BAPP, hold an MR earning card to pay the 241 taxes, and still get a sign up in 24 months?

            OP has not stated their card history or what cards they want to apply for in the future.

            Assuming that they have reset the clock and want to do a full churn cycle through 3 cards per person, i.e. Marriott / Nectar -> Marriott / Nectar for partner -> Plat -> Plat for partner -> BAPP -> BAPP for partner, I’d suggest just using a trusted friend’s card (or rather a friend that trusts you!).

  2. Chrisasaurus says:

    Curve is back – already used it this morning

    Not a bad turnaround to be fair to them, hard to 🎩 that

  3. Roger says:

    Yes, back now.

    Is curve blue -> black upgrade instant i.e. will I be able to use my black card without fees instantly if I upgrade from APP? or Do I have to wait for new physical card to arrive before using it?

  4. Andrew porwol says:

    I’ve just gone to book heathrow car parking for next week and the prices are the highest I’ve ever seen! Seems like they are taking advantage of no 3rd party car parks operating, and a reluctance to use public transport. £173 for a week!

    • Andrew says:

      Have you checked NCP Flightpath?

      They seem to be taking bookings from 1st July.

    • Harry T says:

      I’ve not looked at LHR but Sky Park Secure is offering free cancellation for a lot of parking and you can go through Money Saving Expert to get a 10% discount code.

    • Lady London says:

      check airport hotels – often there are stay one night leave car for differing periods options. they usually work out so much better you might not have to use the night! not sure if Thistle did them but others defo do park n fly rates such as the one that used to be called the Renaissance, and the ones near the M4

  5. Lottie says:

    If BA moves my flight from Gatwick to Heathrow am I able to treat it as a cancellation and change for free? I know that they like to say all London airports are the same even though they are miles apart!

    • I would definitely put up a fight – all sorts of reasons why it’s not reasonable, eg. booked car parking etc

    • Craig says:

      I have Malaga booked in October, holding off on booking car parking at the moment. Just wish they’d make a decision one way or the other.

    • Doug M says:

      This sort of thing is never clear cut, but I believe EU261 treats a change of airport in the same city as a delay rather than a cancellation. No idea what counts as the same city given some of the farcical claims to ‘London’ in airport titles over the years.

      • LewisB says:

        This is all that I could find under ‘Right to reimbursement or re-routing’. “3. When, in the case where a town, city or region is served by several airports, an operating air carrier offers a passenger a flight to an airport alternative to that for which the booking was made, the operating air carrier shall bear the cost of transferring the passenger from that alternative airport either to that for which the booking was made, or to another close-by destination agreed with the passenger.”

        • And rather than doing that BA might be happier to just give you a refund (if that is what you want).

          • LewisB says:

            Probably. Would I be able to request a non Oneworld airline such as KLM?

          • You can’t request specific airlines. You can request to depart as close to your original time as possible, and if that is on another airline then that’s how it is. But if there are 5 departures from different airlines within 15 minutes of each other, including a BA flight, I imagine BA is likely to be less flexible. Alternatively, if BA only fly somewhere three times a week but another airline flies it daily then that is more clear cut.

          • Chris Heyes says:

            Rhys @Tottly Agree especially If you use the Airplane trick (used many times ourselves lol)
            Tell BA Ok you changed from Gatwick to Heathrow so we want a free flight (any airline)
            from Gatwick to Heathrow or willing to Travel by Train “Day Before ” as long as put up free in Sofitel
            including evening meal and breakfast
            Worked for us a few times (last time was only last year)
            We Traveled from Bognor Regis (near Gatwck) To Heathrow the day before our Flight
            we was put up at the Sofitel Junior Suite for “Free” (3 of us) including meal
            Wasn’t ‘easy to get agreement needed supervisor (maybe ages, reg disabled, or even Flat near Gatwick) but also worked from Blackburn previously (House Blackburn, Flat Bognor Regis)

      • Andrew says:

        If you are standing with your suitcase in the centre of London (somewhere close to Charing Cross), there isn’t a considerable difference in best time whether you are going to:-

        London Heathrow
        London Gatwick
        London Stansted
        London Luton

        Maybe a touch longer to get to London Southend and London Oxford.

        • But a lot of people aren’t standing in central London!

          • memesweeper says:

            and if you’ve flown out of Heathrow, and are now landing in Gatwick, your car might be in the wrong place!

        • Lady London says:

          Heathrow to any other airport is a pig.

          Probably train to London from Leeds then
          change station with luggage and schlep on Underground to Heathrow is just about as bad.

          Neither should be accepted unless personally convenient.

          Remember BA is an airline which makes decisions for profit. They dont care about you and they definitely don’t feel any responsibility to serve the UK regions. So dont accept anything you shouldn’t without using any method you can – from just asking onwards – to make it right for you.

        • Lady London says:

          What the h*** is London Oxford ? They’ll be saying Chepstow is London next !

    • LewisB says:

      I was wondering this. I’m waiting for my BA Holiday booking to Vegas in November be moved to Heathrow. Vegas flights next year are from LHR not LGW. Hoping that will allow me to cancel free of charge. I would move it to May next year but prices are obscene compared to Nov cost.

    • I thought somehow that BA has moved all their flights away from Gatwick to Heathrow? But they are still selling flights to Gatwick – we booked one from Faro for Sept just last week!

      • No, this was just speculation. BA never made an announcement on Gatwick and as you say there are still flights from LGW.

    • I’m in the same situation but I would happily fly from LHR rather than LGW as i live much closer to LHR so I’m hoping they do move but my OH is keen to cancel and not fly at all.

      I am waiting to see what they do. If they simply move the flight without giving it a new number I think it would be difficult to argue. If they assign the LHR departure a new flight number then it’s clearly a cancellation of the LGW flight as it doesn’t match your reservation and they’d have to issue a new ticket.

      • ChrisC says:

        I want to fly from Gatwick!

        It’s 30 mins on the train there for me compared to the ~2 hours it takes to get to LHR via national express or via train and tube.

        Not that I can currently get a national express from Brighton there are the moment – or on my flight dates – anyway

        My preference would be LCY but no flights to/from AMS their either.

        • ChrisC says:

          And as if by magic just had email from BA to say my LGW – AMS on 26th and the return on the 31st August have been cancelled.

          No doubt tying to get through to cancel for a refund will be fun and a I’ll either cancel the hotel (was part of the Radisson deal a fee weeks ago so not a problem) or take the train.

          • ChrisC says:

            And just called BA for the refund

            Only took a couple of minutes to process after an 18 mins hold so not too bad considering. BUT refunds shold be doable on line. As should using vouhers!

    • Charlieface says:

      If I am not mistaken, a change in flight number is regarded as a cancellation. A change in starting point is manifestly a different route and they need to provide you a route from your original start point, as the regs make clear,

  6. Amex MR points on purchases not posting since Thursday last week, they usually post within 24-48 hours, anyone else experiencing any problems?

    • Harry T says:

      I’ve noticed the same issue on my Bonvoy card since about Friday.

  7. Does anyone know how or have experience of how BA are currently treating the year long validity on return legs? I have a return flight booked in September almost exactly 1 year after the outbound leg. As there is a high probability this may be cancelled in due course I am wondering if anyone knows if BA would currently extend the validity?

    • If they cancelled the return they would still have a duty of care towards you which includes getting you back as quickly as possible to your original flight date/time!

      • I was kind of hoping I might be able to extend out a few months but not sure if this ever happens, or as you say they just offer the nearest available flight.

        • That might be possible – during cancellations you are offered 3 options. 1. Rebooking closest to the original flight 2. Rebooking at a mutually agreed later date and 3. refund. That doesn’t mean I would rely on it being easy or doable – since you are very much reliant on another party to give you roughly what you want! I recommend reading the exact EU261 wording.

  8. Gerry says:

    Is anyone aware if Greece is imposing any quarantine on arrival from UK, looking at going on 4th July.

    • Not sure if they allow flights from the UK now, but otherwise they do testing on arrival (random or everyone, depending on where they come from) and you only have to quarantine is you test positive.

      • I’m not convinced that is true. So far as I can tell it is still 7 days quarantine if negative, 14 if positive from an EASA listed airport (which most major UK airports are). In practice that’s going to be impractical for most visitors.

        All the indications at the moment seem to be relaxation from mid-July.

        • pablo says:

          From 1 July they are moving to random testing of passengers from any destination. It’s compulsory to complete online passenger locator form 48 hour before check in and present QR code on arrival. Those unfortunates who get selected for testing can proceed to their final destination but need to self isolate until confirmed negative.

          • Interesting. Presumably the FCO advice will change accordingly from Wednesday then… that still doesn’t say of course that they will allow flights from the UK.

            I guess all will become a bit clearer over the next couple of days….

    • We’re booked for Mykonos for the 7th. Based on what Greece’s Tourism Minister has been saying over the weekend we’re currently assuming it won’t happen but who knows at this stage… BA still selling flights at sky high prices.

    • memesweeper says:

      Restrictions for Greece and the rest of the world are summarised here:

    • Sorry to say it is not going to happen – It has just been announced (telegraph) that flights from with er UK/Sweden banned until at least 15 July

  9. memesweeper says:

    @Rob – so now things are opening up what’s the news on the Head for Points summer party? S o c i a l l y D i s t a n c e d of course 🙂

    Or will it be another bleedin’ zoom?

  10. Gerry says:

    Yes I seen that, it is not clear, we have flights booked for 4th July, going to book refundable hotel.

    • We don’t have anything booked currently but short notice bookings are unlikely to be a problem…

  11. I was looking at flight prices for February half term 2021 (OH has got to use up some leave before April) and they are beginning to go through the roof. I’m glad we re-booked so much stuff as soon as it was cancelled as I suspect it’s going to be VERY expensive so go on holiday at peak period next year as travel companies look to recoup their losses. There were similar hikes in the wake of 9/11 and also a few years ago when the government stopped schools from authorising holidays in term time – in the latter case a lot of flight and holiday prices pretty much doubled overnight!

    • Harry T says:

      I think the trend will be lower prices for 2020 travel and then price rises for travel next year. I’ve booked all my flights for 2020 and 2021 already. I suspect the cheap Ryanair and EZY fares for this summer will go up a bit when air bridges are confirmed – this is why I booked them early when there was more uncertainty.

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