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The new HFP chat thread – Wednesday 22nd 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/2020/07/22/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-wednesday-22nd-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 (125)

  • krys_k says:

    Read recently that the Concorde Room is closed and replaced by a terrace. Any news on when the lounge proper will open ? Thanks

    • Rhys says:

      Nope, nothing has been announced yet.

      • krys_k says:

        Is closure based on any specific criteria ? Not enough flights for it to be economically viable currently ? Lack of staff ? Cost savings ? There must be a trigger that will see it reopened.

        • Rhys says:

          Not enough passengers to bother at the moment I imagine, in the same way that sometimes the Club lounge is closed and passengers can just go to the First class lounge.

          • krys_k says:

            Makes sense. Although would be the prime spot for social distancing were it open (in an already socially distanced airport !)

    • Doug M says:

      That terrace is always too warm. I don’t think T5 air-con is up to much.

  • Sonia Hartman says:

    It’s all very well talking about lounges at LHR, but what about Gatwick? When is the BA Business Lounge due open? If it does not open, can I use the Aspire Lounge (which I believe is open). I am a Silver member.

    • Rob says:

      The (very few – one per day I think) BA flights still at Gatwick are using the North Terminal (BA’s South Terminal remains closed.) BA passengers are using the Club Aspire lounge.

      BA is due to return to Gatwick on 8th September.

      • Andi F says:

        Hi Rob

        I am aware BA have scheduled in a number of short haul flights and are increasing the frequency and routes for long haul from Gatwick in September – when you say they are returning, are they expected to return to the South Terminal at that point?

        • Rob says:

          That’s a different question … is it worth opening south for what will be, initially, 15 or so short-hauls per day plus 1 x Caribbean long haul?

      • DMW says:

        I have a BA flight gatwick-Grenada on 5 September – not yet cancelled. Fair to assume it will be?

    • Rhys says:

      BA’s lounges at Gatwick are in the South Terminal which is currently closed!

      • Sonia Hartman says:

        That’s a relief to know I can use the Aspire Lounge. Will entry be by appointment?

  • Amit says:

    Lastminute.com.

    Curious to see if anyone has been successful in getting a refund via lastminute.com for cancelled flights? I had a flight booked for a trip to India in April which was cancelled. lastminute.com gave me the option to take a voucher or a cash refund minus fees which could take up to three months.

    No more contact from them – getting hold of them is a pain

    • Laura_D says:

      Did you pay with an Amex or Credit card?

      I was in the same situation, tried reaching out to Lastminute via twitter and e-mail challenging the £25 fee for the cash refund and they never responded.

      Called AMEX and told them I disagreed with the fee, and they opened a chargeback for the full amount on my behalf. I think lastminute has 90 days to get back to them…so we’ll see what happens.

      • Amit says:

        I paid on a M&S credit card.
        I am about to raise a case with M&S

    • Lady London says:

      Them and Travelup reported by many like this. I think you will find long threads on flyertalk.

      Basically, dont hang around. Do s75 claim on your credit card. Cardco may want to process this as chargeback jnstead, go with it only if quick, with Virgin and LastMinute that approach still seems to be quoting 3 or 4 months so personally Id want to do s75 or insurance

  • WillPS says:

    What happens about a negative MR balance on account closure?

    Hit target, used quickly for statement credit on Monday, now a refund has left me £9 short so balance is £20k short.

  • marcw says:

    British Airways is to start a new route between Gatwick and Montego Bay in Jamaica from October 13, 2020.

  • Chris says:

    Can anyone explain why European car rental prices are so insane this year? Assuming demand has dropped off a cliff so can’t understand why prices are so eye watering

    • marcw says:

      I guess car rental companies have reduced dramatically their fleet.

    • meta says:

      I think the prices went up since beginning of July when measures relaxed. I booked some for August and September in June and it was all reasonable, even cheaper than usual, but now they are almost double what I paid in June.

    • Mr. AC says:

      I can tell you that we’ve opted to take a 4 day car trip (on a rental car, one way) as opposed to taking a 2 hour flight this year on our way to my in-laws. Flight itself is relatively safe re COVID, but going through a crowded airport with a toddler – not so much. We would have to isolate after arrival to make sure we didn’t infect older relatives. No need when you’re driving and not interacting with almost anyone.
      Maybe others are making the same calculation, which is driving demand up?

      • Nick_C says:

        Got an email from Avis yesterday to say they are now allowing cards rented in the UK to be taken abroad. They have to be returned to the UK though.

        • Rachel R says:

          Do they waive the usual charges for taking them abroad? I took a Hertz car to France earlier in the year, and the charge for taking it overseas was twice the daily hire charge.

    • Venturelog says:

      I’ve found the same. I would have expected it to drop due to demand. If i book a car hire for an extra day than i need it for, but drop the key back earlier, is there a charge? I’ve found the price more expensive over 3 days than 4 days!

    • Charlieface says:

      There is a 35% off sale that probably brings it back to almost normal. Hertz in the UK I have found cheaper this year on quite a few rentals, esp when booked via Hertz Australia. Note for anyone using the Amex CDP: the new Visa CDP now works via Aus and gets 15% off, 5% more than Amex.

  • John says:

    Can someone confirm if I take out a new amex Bonvoy card when I will receive the 15 nights? Have 27 already and looking to a quick move from gold.
    Thanks

    • Pangolin says:

      They say it takes up to 60 days. I received my card at the beginning of June and am still waiting for the 15 nights to credit.

    • JJ says:

      Applied in March, still no sign of the 15 night credits.

      Both AMEX and Marriott have been a nightmare to deal with!

      Been through an official complaint with AMEX, decent competition received but still no nights. It’s like pulling teeth.

      I believe nobody has had them credited after the onetime sweep for existing SPG cards holders earlier this year.

  • Chris says:

    Regarding the reduced tier point thresholds article that was run recently.

    My membership year runs to Feb each yer. I now have 2021 flights booked in Apr-21 and Jun-21 which will generate 500 TP. Am I right in thinking that due to the reduced thresholds, I will make Silver in Jun-21 (crossing the lower 450TP threshold) and keep that until Feb-23 (i.e. to the end of my next membership year?

    Am I interpreting that correctly?

    • AJA says:

      Yes that’s what I think will happen provided that you have 4 qualifying flights on BA or IB flights / metal. ie the TP are not earned on say Qatar or Finnair flight numbers.

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