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The new HFP chat thread – Sunday 19th 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.

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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 (130)

  • Graham says:

    I’ve got a BA flight CPT-LHR in April. It’s showing 747 so obviously it will change. I want to keep on top of seat allocation and remembered the MyFlights app but found it’s discontinued. Is there anything that’s taken it’s place?

    • Rob says:

      No. The new data protection rules mean that MyFlights (or anything like it) was no longer able to access your data.

      • Matt says:

        MyFlights would have been very useful this year, keeping on top of changes and cancellations. It’s a shame that it couldn’t continue – it was one of the most useful apps around.

    • onlysuites says:

      Not free but expert flyer will keep a tab on a flight and let you know when there is an equipment change. Also it can monitor seats to let you know when the one you want opens up.

      • meta says:

        There’s also free Check My Trip app powered by Amadeus I believe. It shows plane changes as well as time changes. I get notifications about cancellations and time changes before I receive an email from airlines, in some cases even several days before!

  • Yuff says:

    Just had first hand experience of BA refusing to refund a cancelled flight albeit I cancelled it last month.
    I cancelled an Avios booking within 24 hours they only offered a Future travel voucher which I have just tried to use. There has to be Avios availability to use the voucher so I asked for a refund as I didn’t want to have to call again. They said no problem but there is a £35 charge for cancellations to which I replied not if you cancel within 24 hours, the CS agent replied you are not within 24 hours as you cancelled last month.
    Refused to put me through to a manager and they would have tried to keep the whole £50 in taxes, sounds pretty petty to me.
    I hung up in frustration and have just filed a complaint……

    • BS says:

      Sounds like you accepted a voucher. Afraid this isnt convertible to cash because you change your mind. I think they are in the right here.

      • Yuff says:

        They didn’t give me a give a choice, I expected the Avios and cash back on my card. Why would I accept a voucher on worse terms.
        If I could use the voucher for any flight not just ones with redemption availability then that is different and I would have chosen to swap for a voucher.

        • ChrisC says:

          Did you call in or use the on line button?

          Since March you really need to call to get a full refund whether because it’s a within 24 hours of booking or the actual flight has been cancelled.

      • Rob says:

        Apparently some phone agents WILL let you convert vouchers from Avios flights to cash if you pay the £35 per person fee – I assume the agent reactivates your old ticket and then cancels it. Can’t be done on cash tickets though as they were never originally refundable.

  • Clive says:

    I had an RFS cancelled to Rome as a positioning flight. Called BA asked for a refund. Avios back in my account within 24 hours and cash back on my card within 72 hours. Good job. Just wish Swiss could follow this example.

  • Ming the Merciless says:

    Looking to book an multi partner redemption.

    Can you add additional flights after booking?

    I.e book flight 1 6 months out, flight 2 12 months out then when flights open book flight 3 at 14 months out. All flights within a 12month period?

    I assume change fees will apply.

    Also what are the open jaw rules. If flight 2 lands in LHR from HKG, can flight 3 depart DOH?

    Any advice appreciated.

    • Charlieface says:

      Ticket validity is 12 months from original date of booking.
      DOH-HKG is further than LHR-DOH and HKG-LHR, so would not be allowed.

      • Anna says:

        That would only matter for a 241 redemption, but it’s not clear what’s happening here. Three journeys are mentioned – unless Ming is talking about “nesting” the middle flight. Not sure what a change fee would be applied to either.

    • Ming the Merciless says:

      So the issue here is I want to book the flights at the first opportunity, but I’m aware that tickets are only valid for 12 months and you can’t book more than 12 months out.

      I can’t book flight 1 (6 months from date of booking) flight 2 (12 months from date of initial booking) and flight 3 (14 months from the date of initial booking) all At the same time, if at all hence the question about change fees.

      It’s not a 241 so I’m not sure what the open jaw rules are.

      • Anna says:

        I still don’t understand what you would need to change? Are flights 1 and 3 the outbound and return? If they are separate bookings and no 241 is being used I don’t think there would be any issues with open jaw.
        It might help if you posted your proposed itinerary as it’s still not totally clear what you’re trying to do here!

        • Ming the Merciless says:

          “Looking to book an multi partner redemption”

          Let’s break this down then.

          Feb 21Lhr-cpt-lhr,
          Jun 21 lhr-lax-lhr
          Dec 21 lhr-Hkg-adl-hkg-lhr,
          Jan 22 Doh-AUK

          A mix of ba, CX and AA.

          • memesweeper says:

            “Can you add additional flights after booking?”

            I don’t think so. I’ve not booked one, but from what I know, the whole itinerary goes is priced as one, it’s not just by sector, so the price in Avios cannot be determined until you’ve booked all the sectors.

            This is in contrast to the OneWorld cash round-the-world tickets where you pay first, and can subsequently make modifications.

          • meta says:

            Backtracking is not allowed on multi-partner award tickets. You cannot return to LHR from LAX, you need to go to Hong Kong from LA.

            I think you can change. I think you also need to book your itinerary straight away and then you can change, if outside ticket validity you would have to re-ticket. So possible risk is that there is no award availability.

          • Charlieface says:

            Quite right, that is backtracking to LHR twice and definitely not permitted.
            In theory if you booked a multi-partner on the basis of just two flights/partners, you could then rebook to anything you like and it would reprice. It still needs to be within ticket validity and backtracking rules though.
            Is it actually cheaper to do this itinerary as a multi-partner anyway?

          • Lady London says:

            I thunk wirh a bir of thought and choosing the right airlinw to get the hubs you want, and a tiny bit of open jawing you might be able to get this done in with two return tix. An agent who’s been in the business long enough to have proper ticketing skills could probably work with you to avoid the problems above. It would be well worth paying such an agent his fee.

  • TokyoFan says:

    Hi all – does anyone have an idea how far out BA are finalising their schedules at the moment? I have an outbound to Pisa (RFS) end of August on the morning flight which appears to be flying as normal at the moment annoyingly (but of course it is refundable -£35) But the return, which is a cash booking, is 04/09 on the evening flight which isn’t refundable but at the moment isn’t flying either. We’re not going anymore and I’m hoping to lose as little cash as possible!

    • meta says:

      If all on one booking and any flight segment is cancelled you can call and request a full refund.

      • TokyoFan says:

        Hi – thanks, aware of that but sadly outward is RFS and return is cash

        • Lady London says:

          so yourw omly losing rfs level of taxes then. I’d call thar a win.

  • Harry T says:

    Just about to check out of the W Amsterdam, and I would heartily recommend it for a weekend in Amsterdam. The hotel has taken reasonable measures against coronavirus but is still providing a high level of service without compromise or excuses.

    • Aston100 says:

      Thanks for the heads up. What is the breakfast arrangement like?

      • Harry T says:

        @Aston
        They aren’t allowed to put on a breakfast buffet, so they bring you the buffet components as a nice spread. You get pastries, bread, jam, honey, fruit, ham, cheese, and salad to start. You are allowed unlimited tea, coffee, juice, ginger shots. The marmalade, jam and honey are individual pots of Bonne Maman. To compliment the continental spread, you can order a main dish from an a la carte menu – items include full English breakfast (very good), shakshuka, eggs benedict, smoothie bowls etc. The full English comes with your own bottles and pots of HP, Tabasco sauce and Heinz. You can also request yoghurt, prosecco and mimosas which are also free if your rate includes breakfast (I presume this is the same breakfast Platinum and above get – I’m only Bonvoy Gold as of now). The hotel wasn’t busy and we had our breakfast on the terrace at Mr Porter in the lovely morning sunshine. The staff are plentiful, friendly and attentive. There is certainly no attempt at nickel and diming either – you can order flat whites until you wake up or have an arrhythmia.

        • Harry T says:

          I should say that they have their own coffee roast and the coffees are made to order – no instant coffee, cafetière or nespresso (you could order a cafetière if you wanted one).

          • Lady London says:

            IME worked for a Dutch Bank snd found the Dutch are the secret gourmets of Europe. There’s nothing they dont know about coffee and chocolate and they know in about some quirky alcohol as well. Lots of word-of-mouth recommendations of gourmet places tucked away in villages…easy to get ro good food as Hollans is small and easy to cross.

        • Anna says:

          That sounds like heaven! Breakfast is my absolute favourite meal. I’m hoping for at least dry weather this coming week so I can create that kind of spread outside on the decking of my Northumberland retreat!

          • Harry T says:

            My girlfriend loves breakfast so she was in heaven. I can take it or leave it but greatly enjoyed the spread at the W! It’s normally a pretty toppy hotel for cash but the covid rates have gently lowered the rates from rudely expensive to merely expensive.

          • Harry T says:

            Enjoy Northumberland!

    • Optimus Prime says:

      Hope you had a good time. What was it like to hang out in Amsterdam in a Covid world?

      • Harry T says:

        @Optimus
        It’s surreal because it just feels normal; I was there last summer and not much had changed, although the hotel is markedly less full and there are less crowds in general. You have to wear masks on public transport and when boarding at Schiphol. Otherwise, there are plenty of signs talking about 1.5m distancing, and every establishment has plentiful hand wash. You have to book ahead for dinner and drinks, but this is advantageous as it means popular/decent bars and restaurants are never packed out. For me, having less crowding when dining out or having drinks is actually preferable.

        In general, people seem happier and more relaxed than in the UK. The locals are sensible but not scared. We didn’t try to visit any museums or galleries this weekend, as we just wanted a more low key, relaxed visit. However, you can book slots at the Rijks and Anne Frank Haus etc, which are being run in a tightly controlled manner regarding capacity and timings.

        • Harry T says:

          And thank you, we had a lovely time. I would highly recommend the hotel and Amsterdam at this time, if it fits with your plans and priorities. We are both in our 20s and well, so we tend to view the risk:reward ratio of travelling in a different way to some – it’s a personal choice. We’ve also both had covid early on in March (I have antibodies) so aren’t worried about catching it (we follow all guidance to protect others). Hope you’re keeping well during these turbulent times.

          • Anna says:

            Harry that’s interesting – OH and I were tested recently, he had antibodies, I didn’t, but apparently most people have lost them after 3 months. They did say it’s not known whether this confers immunity or if so how long that lasts for.

          • Harry T says:

            Yes, Anna, it seems that some people who’ve had the virus are testing negative for antibodies too. Not really my area but interesting nonetheless. My gf was symptomatic at the same time as me, so she wants to try and get an antibody test too. I was a little surprised I had antibodies almost four months later.

          • Optimus Prime says:

            Glad to hear you had a great time. OH and I are fine, thanks for asking 🙂

          • meta says:

            I am at the Kimpton in two weeks! Thanks for the update how things are!

  • Stephen says:

    Does anybody think there will be an online option for using the British Airways refund vouchers? Thanks.

    • Rob says:

      I keep hearing they are looking at it but, at best, it will only be for 100% cash vouchers. It would be exceptionally tricky to create an option which also let you factor in Avios.

      • ChrisC says:

        there was a post on flyer talk about 3 weeks ago saying that the IT ‘fix’ was about to be released but it has yet to be.

  • JOHN W says:

    BA – LONG HAUL AIRCRAFT ON SHORT HAUL ROUTES
    I am aware that BA is currently planning on flying 787 to Larnaca every thursday on the 11am. until end of August – Any other routes that have got long haul aircraft scheduled ?
    I thought I saw this covered recently somewhere ? ,

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