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The new HFP chat thread – Friday 10th July

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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/2020/07/10/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-friday-10th-july/comment-page-1.  The page will refresh with this article but the comments will now show the first page and not the last page.

Old chat threads are hidden from the HFP home page.  If you want to look for something in an old thread, click here.  This brings up all the articles in our ‘General’ category which includes the chat threads.

Comments (177)

  • Richard says:

    Morning all, anyone got any experience of the Marriott Highcliff? Looks a little dated from some of the pictures online.

    • Jonty says:

      It was probably the most prestigious Bournemouth hotel until the Hilton was built. Public areas are OK, don’t know about the rooms. Location is very good.

      • Rob says:

        We’ve reviewed the Hilton and Hampton. Highcliff is SLIGHTLY more out of the centre, being seafront, but I agree it looked dated when I walked past it on my Hilton trips.

    • Stuart Evans says:

      We have stayed multiple times as a Marriott Elite, and there are pluses and minuses:
      1 Great cliff-top location in wonderful seaside town
      2 The restaurant is a Brasserie Blanc and is surprisingly good. No Exec Lounge, although you get a free breakfast
      3 Car parking is very limited
      4 They used to have a quite nice indoor pool/spa area but this has closed in the last year. Still has a nice outdoor pool (and a great beach at the foot of the cliff) but it makes it less attractive in winter
      5 Comfortable but not stylish

  • MARK CLEVERLY says:

    Can someone remind me what the end agreement was for extending status with BA please? I was silver until May but i am now bronze. I thought they were extending status?
    Thanks
    Mark

  • BJ says:

    Just seen BBC reporting that South Korea are to require virus certificates. I hope this does not become a new norm with many countries as it will have the potential to make multi-country travel itineraries a real hassle and much more expensive. The uncertainty of whether we might actually be able to complete an itinerary as planned would be an even bigger issue, I cannot see insurers queueing up to cover the need to return home under their disruption and curtailment policies.

    • Anna says:

      I can also foresee a thriving trade in fake certificates. Plus, as you could catch the virus at any point after being tested, I can’t see that it means anything much if you do get one.

    • Harry T says:

      Virus certificates such as a recent negative test, or a positive antibody test?

      • BJ says:

        Didn’t read it. Biggest issue I see is if we need tests, say within 72h of arrival but we are in multiple countries on one trip, and only a few days in each country. I often do this in Asia but it could become so much hassle, even impossible. I haven’t kept up with antibody testing news but I guess the lack of news suggests that remains far from a simple solution as Anna was discussing yesterday or day before.

        • Anna says:

          OH and I have been tested for antibodies this week but it was made very clear that a positive result doesn’t necessarily mean you’re immune. So I can’t see anywhere relying on that to let you in at the moment.

  • Anna says:

    SeatSpy and RFF seem to be back to normal this morning after having a bit of a meltdown yesterday. I got loads of RFF notifications for DXB and AUH for Xmas/New Year in F and CW if anyone is interested. OH got his leave application refused so we won’t be going but I haven’t cancelled the notification yet, so keep getting exasperated when these land in my Inbox!

    • Rhys says:

      I imagine BA must have been re-arranging their availability then…

      • Anna says:

        Yes, if you fancy spending Twixmas in the Emirates flying in F, go for it! I am gutted.

        • Nick says:

          An internal BA memo yesterday apparently said that 90% of flights currently on sale have redemption availability, which is something of a record (not every cabin on every flight obviously, but at least something). If anyone wants to book, now is the time to do it!

    • MadeUpName says:

      A lot of a availability popped up for our flight to Greece yesterday too.

  • Anna says:

    Request for the collective wisdom – I’m hoping to go away with my sister in September next year, using one of the BA regional services, so Malaga/Palma/Florence/Ibiza/Alicante. I will have enough points and certificates for 4 nights at a top IHG property – are there any in any of those locations?

    • Anna says:

      Or Nice. Don’t bother suggesting the HIE at Malaga airport!

    • Yorkieflyer says:

      I wouldn’t bank on the regional direct flights operating, we had a couple cancelled last yr and all have been cancelled this year. I doubt they will survive the cull

      • Anna says:

        I’m not banking on it but they are now on sale for 2021 so there’s a modicum of hope!

        • Anna says:

          I’ve got a last Lloyds voucher to use so if we can’t go direct from MAN we’ll do the outbound via LHR and get a LCC flight back direct to MAN. Did this last year and it was a good experience.

  • Peter Pan says:

    OT: IHG Credit Card Free Night Voucher – Was charged the 2nd year fee at end of May but I am unable to find the free night voucher in my IHG account. Does anyone know where the voucher is in IHG account?

    • Matt says:

      On your account page on the website it would show in a link just under the “Redeem” button. I’m not sure if you can see the free nights anywhere in the app (I certainly can’t on Android).

      However, my annual fee was taken in March and my online account still shows as “0 free night(s)” (4 months later!) so there does seem to be a significant delay between the account fee being taken and/or the account anniversary date and the free night vouchers arriving…

      • Peter Pan says:

        On the website and there are no free nights underneath “Redeem”. Has been 2 months since the fee was taken so will raise it with creation.

      • Doug M says:

        @Matt. I’m on Android and the free nights are one the main page, go menu and then click on your name the first option, the points to the left, the free nights to the right, and below is the 2020 Track to Elite Status graphic.

      • james says:

        The credit card free night usually appears before the annual fee is paid

    • David says:

      My IHG Credit Card renewal is March and my free night will hasn’t appeared on my account yet. All secure messages to customer services have had a response to say they will email the relevant team but nothing happens as a result. I’ve seen this mentioned in the comments here a few times now and It appears a few of us have this problem: I wonder if Rob might be able to ask any contacts at creation for a comment on it?

  • Benj says:

    Had a BA 2-4-1 CW booking to Sydney cancelled today (Australian relocating back to Oz). Looks like Qatar are still flying the same dates. Any views on whether I can insist on being rebooked on Qatar? And if I was rebooked on Qatar, would I still benefit from £35 cancellation/change fee? Thanks!

    • Scallder says:

      EU261 allows you to be requested to do that (unless BA are flying maybe the next day which would probably be considered a ‘reasonable’ delay – but it’s your choice – refund, fly with someone else at the earliest availability or moved to a later date by agreement with you and BA.

      So certainly they need to if you ask for it under EU261 and there won’t be a change fee as the flight is cancelled and they’re having to do it!

    • Scallder says:

      Sorry misread the last bit – I’m not sure about this at all. Might need to agree this with BA whether they book you a refundable fare or not.

      • Anna says:

        Regardless of what you paid or how (cash or avios), you are entitled to re-routing under the circs. As Scallder says, if BA can put you on one of their flights within a reasonable time they can do that, otherwise you have the right to be moved to another carrier at no extra cost and in the same travel class. It sounds as though Qatar might be the only option anyway, in which case this would be a great result for you!

        • Lady London says:

          plus you dont have to decide before your original flight date.

          however your justification for requesting to be rerouted on QR would be that BA has no flight they can put you on of their own, reasonably close to your original time. Generally that could be same day but you might be expected to extend that reasonable time a bit. if you instead choose a date into the future then might be harder to avoid being forced onto BA, for now at least.

          I would take a very hard comparative look at BA’s other flights that are nearish and also QR’s. you could also check QF and CX but right now those are very few and with transit issues so BA doesnt have much else they can offer.

          When youre fairly sure what you can justify as a reasonable alternative can only be done by QR and not by BA then call them.

          Lastly there are rumblings the Australian government may switch to requiring passengers to fund their own hotel stay for quarantine so I think Id stick with travelling sooner than later.

        • Benj says:

          Great, thanks both. Had been assuming/hoping this would still be the case, but glad to have the sanity check! (and yes Anna, QR would be a great outcome!)

  • Andrew says:

    More offers popping up for the LBG Community.

    10% funds return at Apex Hotels, maximum return £60, offer expires 8th October.

    So 16 offers on BoS this morning, 6 on Amex.

    • BJ says:

      I’ve got 3 at Halifax and 2 at Lloyds, and in both cases 1 is a message about covid.

      • Andrew says:

        Volume of offers is relative to frequency of use.

        I tend to use my BoS debit card at least twice daily, of which one of those is in the restaurant at work.

        It’s Friday, so that’s Haddock, chips, onion rings, mushy peas, along with a quarter lemon and freshly made tartare sauce. Followed by a huge helping of sticky toffee pudding and piping hot custard. £6.40

        We’re hoping that “Dishy Rishi’s” half price meals will be valid.