Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Sunday 2nd August

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

We have decided to run this new daily chat thread on Head for Points.

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the de facto 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/2020/08/02/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-sunday-2nd-august/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 (150)

  • Lady London says:

    Need an EU261 expert.

    Easyjet sent emails ‘changing the time of my flights so they could fly as many people as possible’.

    Trouble is, each of the flights (all short haul) has been moved back by between 4.5 and 15 hours. In fact they’ve cancelled my original flights and just moved me to the only flight they’re still running that day on my route.

    This is clearly a cancellation that they’re not calling a cancellation. In fact they’ve beaten the example of UA, who IIRC only moved passengers to flights 12 hours later claiming it wasnt a cancellation whereas Easyjet’s gone up to 14 hours.

    Annoyingly, checking the bookibgs online, Easyjet hadnt shown in any way that they’ve cancelled my original flight and moved me onto a different fliight that much later – they’ve just changed the flight to the othee flight’s details and time.

    I called them and said please mark these flights as cancelled on my booking because that’s what they really are and allow me to choose a later date to travel as usual. However I would not know by the date of the flight which other date I can travel – so please rmark the flight as cancelled and release my seat as I will not be flying at the new times as they dont work for me.

    Easyjet said they have no way of taking me off the flight they moved me to (that I didnt book and dont want) as its not cancelled and so i would be marked as a no show and lose the opportunity to reroute to a date I can travel on and no return of money ( that I dont want anyway)

    So I mentioned that Im happy with their normal cancellation policy to apply, which should, but if not then under EU261 I am entitled to choose a reroute in the case of a cancellation or a significant time change which this is.

    Is there something I’ve missed that’s new about EU261 that lets Easyjet do this? I really dont want to have to argue about it once theyve marked me as a no-show on flights I didnt book and wont fly on due to their rescheduling .

    • meta says:

      Did you not get an email about the change? For my flight to Porto in a few weeks, I got three emails over 2-3 days. First they sent me a notification of time change (by 3.5 hours) with the original flight number, then again an email to state the same time change and for the flight number it just said NULL. Then the final email which specifically mentioned that the flight number has changed giving me new flight details.

      • Lady London says:

        1 email but not sure if received for all of the three flights.

        Previously any cancelled flight was highlighted on the booking in bright yellow online and had a ‘Manage Disruption’ button firmly visible.

        The flights they’ve changed me to are simply changed by them on the actual booking online to the flights they’re trying to involuntarily move me to. Just those unwanted flights are on my booking now. With no highlighting of them as changed by Easyjet, no yellow etc. If I hadnt seen the email there is no indication on the booking that Easyjet has cancelled my original flight – as there always has been in the past.

        This seems a sneaky change of practice by Easyjet. As this is going to get serious I’m wondering if there is something Ive missed that lets them get away with cancelling peoples flights and denying them their right to reroute at a later date that is convenient to the passenger

    • ChrisBCN says:

      Did they change the flight number? I’d be calling them again to see if I still get the same response, then asking for a supervisor, then threatening EU261 to see if they budge. If they don’t, I’m not sure…

    • TonyG says:

      I had the same situation with easyjet. They moved my flight by 5 hours. I anyway wanted to cancel for a full refund. I called and pleasantly said since the time has changed so much, the flights no longer suited me. The fully refunded straight away.

      • Lady London says:

        I dont want to be forced into a refund I want my normal rerouting rights as previously given by easyjet – ie I want to choose a later date to fly but I wont know what date for a while yet. It was not a problem in the past and you did not need to choose your replacement date to travel before their proposed replacement flight which I’ve involuntarily been moved to.

        Does anyone know have the airlines succeeded in some way, in having passenger rerouting rights of EU261 removed? For a shorthaul flight Im sure a move of 4.5 hrs is enough to reject and reroute and them trying to automatically assume a flight 14-15 hours later works, is ridiculous. Am I missing something? I think this one may go to court if Easyjet persists in denying theyve cancelled a flight when they have and want to be sure.

        • Chris Heyes says:

          Lady [email protected] I’m sure EasyJet just haven’t realized yet “WHO” Their dealing with lol
          But I’m sure they soon will do
          I Can’t see anything at all that you’ve missed by your description stated ?
          i can tell you I’ve had reason to complain a couple of times in the past (to BA though)
          A strongly worded Solicitors Letter to them (my cousin is a Solicitor so no cost to me)
          Giving them my reasons why they are “out of order” and also “Taking them to Small Claims Court”
          within a certain time frame (can’t remember what now ?)
          Certainly worked though, didn’t get anywhere near court paid out more than was asked for on both occasions but with confidentiality clause around pay-out
          I Wish now i had kept copy’s of Solicitors letters very well written (I’D have paid out if I’d received it lol

          • Lady London says:

            Ta Sukes. I will ruminate on this.

            In each case so far, the flight number has been changed to a different flight number in my booking. My original flight number no longer appears at all, on that day in the timetable. So is this open and shut eligible for me to insist on rerouting i.e. rebooking to a later date due to the flight I booked being cancelled and their proposed reroute timings (4.5 to 14 hours different departure timr) dont work for me?

            I can see me having to take this to court if EU261 is what I’m relying on.

            I did give some thought as to what ‘The Ombudsman’ would consider ‘fair and reasonable’ in all the circumstances. I came to the conclusion that as travelling 14 hours later,ie at just before 10pm instead of 7am, meant I wouldnt be able to attend what I was travelling to attend during that day it was unreasonable of Easyjet to assume the evening flight worked. And the switch to a different flight 4 and a half hours earlier meant I would not have time to achieve what I was travelling for. And their switch on another day to 4.5hours later was going to land me at an airport that is closed overnighr without transport to get home. Is that fair and reasonable of Easyjet to deny me my EU261 right to choose to fly on a later date convenient to me when i can identify one following their cancellation of my flight?

          • Lady London says:

            Ta Chris H !

        • Sukes says:

          @Lady London your case is interesting and likely more commonplace given Covid.

          ‘Cancellation’ in EU261 is defined as the non-operation of a flight which was previously planned and on which at least one place was reserved.

          EZJ have decided your flight remains operable, albeit at different dates / times. EU261 is not applicable. As per the CAA “Where an airline has made a change to your flight (the flight time for example) it is known as a schedule change. This is not the same as cancelling flights. Schedule changes should always be notified to passengers at least 14 days in advance, and the change should only be to the time or the date and not the flight number. Airlines typically advise in their terms and conditions that the time of the flight does not form part of the contract and that it may be subject to change.”

          Unfortunately there seems little consumer protection here. CAA states “What is a significant time change? This has not been defined in any legislation or court of law and may vary from case to case. However, if the change is significant to you but does not fall within the airline’s definition, we suggest that you advise the airline why the change is significant. If the airline changes your flight time significantly, you may be entitled to a refund or a more suitable alternative. In many cases airline terms and conditions set out this right, but even if they do not you can still request it.”

          No such right is explicit in EZJ T&C which state under term 15 “Except for your rights under these Terms or Applicable Law, the flight times shown on our Website or elsewhere are not guaranteed…at any time after a Booking has been made, we may need to change our schedules or cancel, divert, deny boarding or delay any flight. This may include changes for reasons of safety, required regulatory approvals, or for other commercial or operational reasons.”

          So in essence there is no law as to what you are entitled to, and the CAA therefore refers you to negotiate with your airline. It is unlikely but possible that your travel insurance could cover this so it’s worth checking their T&C (I checked Amex Plat and it doesn’t). As others & indeed yourself have suggested if another push to EZJ is unfruitful a solicitor’s letter with evidence as to why the schedule change is in fact a cancellation in all but name (& flight no) would be my next step.

          • Lady London says:

            Thanks to everyone for their comments.
            Putting what you’ve all said together – you’ve all reassured me that EU261 applies. Therefore I should be entitled to request a reroute of same flight on a later date of my choosing.

            The two points that you brought out making this so are :-

            (1) @ChrisBCN made me double-check the flight numbers. The flight number has changed on my booking in every case. So based on Sukes “the change should only be to the time or the date and not the flight number”, Easyjet is indeed doing a flight cancellation and this is proven by the flight number now being different. So EU261 applies. So I do have the right to choose rerouting.

            (2) @Sukes I think this means any terms and conditions within Easyjet’s contract are overridden
            by EC261/EU261 – as statute overrides contract.

            So I feel reassured that Easyjet has really cancelled my flight despite their trying to deny it, and therefore I have the right to insist on being able to rebook the same trip to a later date convenient to me. I’ve advised Easyjet I will not be able to identify a later date for the rerouting convenient to me, before the date of the flight they cancelled and will do so when I am in a position to.

            thank you very much, all.

  • Dominic Barrington says:

    Given the wisdom on this site about all things travel-related, can anyone tell me whether the UK immigration form currently in place for the pandemic requires you to declare as a visit/stay in a country a connection in a foreign airport? Later this month I’m flying from Antalya to London on Swiss, with a 3-hour layover in ZRH. Do I have to mention Switzerland on the form?

    • pauldb says:

      I believe you have to declare where you’ve travelled from (Turkey) and the flight you arrived on, so that confirms you’ve been Switzerland. If you’ve changed plane in Switzerland you are very clearly deemed to have been there: should Switzerland come off the exempt list you would have to self-isolate.

    • Vit says:

      Dominic, the declaration form which you will need to fill in online, will ask you for all the countries, you’ve been through or will have been through the last 14 days before arriving in the UK. So basically, you will fill in both Turkey and Switzerland even it is just a transit. It will give you option to do so.

      I was in Denmark and Norway last week and had to fill the info in.

      • Harry T says:

        Yes, Vit is correct. They will ask you about all the countries you’ve been to in the last 14 days, which includes transit.

    • Sandgrounder says:

      The guidance on the website specifically mentions that transit stops are included, so you will need to include Switzerland.

  • MD says:

    Hello,

    Long time lurker, but first time poster. I was wondering for those who have had an avios booking that was cancelled during the pandemic, were you able to get all your avios and taxes back? Do you they try to make you take a voucher for the avios and the value of the taxes?

    Thanks

    • Rob says:

      BA tried, but if you ring up you can ask for a refund which to be fair is paid immediately.

    • Peter K says:

      If you’ve already accepted a voucher or applied for one online you cannot change that decision.
      If not then you can call (cannot be done online) and get a refund of fees and avios because BA cancelled the flight.
      If you’ve decided you don’t want to go you pay the cancellation fee but get the rest of the money &Avios back.

    • avidsaver says:

      Yes. You get all your avios and taxes/charges refunded. Need to call them to sort it out.

    • Craig says:

      Took about 5 minutes after holding for a while. Either don’t select any options when you call or select option 4 for anything else. No quibbling from BA, Avios refunded almost immediately and taxes refunded 2 days later.

    • Chris Heyes says:

      [email protected] Yes last week BA Cancelled mine, if BA cancelled All Avios back and taxes back took couple of days only (if you cancel you get charged admin fee)
      (i had a AA Flight Denver to Phoenix which i cancelled just got Avios back lost £4 each taxes 3 of us total £12 not a prob such a small amount)

  • Erico1875 says:

    So BA have misplaced our luggsge
    . According to the guy at baggage desk we probably wont get it delivered to our hotel until Monday PM
    . We arrived here Saturday so I am need to buy some stuff.
    Is there a set figure tjat BA allow for in these situations?

    • Alan says:

      You can buy essential clothing and toiletries (reasonable, nothing extravagant) and collect the receipts you should be able to claim this back from BA

    • Andrew says:

      This is why you need Amex Platinum – you would be be able to charge £250 to your card for clothes etc when luggage is delayed overnight, then just show the proof of the delayed luggage and the charges are cancelled off.

    • Chris says:

      Just buy whatever you need, keep all receipts and claim from BA. Upto £1000 would be reasonable

      • Jonathan says:

        Not sure £1k would wash with BA for a 48 hour delay unless it was eg. a ski holiday where you needed specialist items of clothing. The rule is what is required like underwear, toiletries etc. I’d say a pair of jeans & couple of t-shirts from high street stores wouldn’t raise any eyebrows but I certainly wouldn’t buy anything that I wouldn’t be happy to end up paying for myself.

        I’d also point out if the delay is on your return leg you’re not entitled to buy anything.

      • Brian W says:

        £1,000 🤦🏼‍♂️

    • Genghis says:

      My wife was given a sheet when hers was delayed. It was split by cabin. Was £150 for CW IIRC. But we claimed on travel insurance as could claim much more.

      • Jill (Kinkell) says:

        A couple of years ago, my luggage didn’t get on the BA plane with us to Denver, but OH’s arrived no problem. At the airport we were given a preloaded $300 card to buy essentials. So much simpler than receipts and claiming back. Luggage couriered to us after the next days Flight. By this time we were not far off Hill City (Mt Rushmore territory)

    • Gill says:

      We claimed around £300 for a single missing bag on a long weekend. That covered basics like swimwear, shorts n tees but also needed smart evening wear as we were going to restaurant with dress code. We once claimed around the 1k mark but that was a ski holiday. Both were BA claims and both processed without issue. As others have said, buy what you need & keep all your reciepts.

      • Graeme2 says:

        I’ve also had around £800 paid (for 1 passenger) by BA for luggage delayed by around 40 hrs on a ski trip. Was astonished they paid up – I only claimed because it was necessary before making an Amex travel inconvenience claim.

    • Erico1875 says:

      So far we have only spent about 120 Euro on beach stuff. although we probably need to get something for this evening.

      • ChrisC says:

        A good rule of thumb is to spend what you would if though you wouldn’t get reimbursed for the items by either the airline or your insurance company.

        And be aware that whatever you spend now will be deducted from the international limit for lost bags (currently almost £1400 depending on the exchange rate to the 1288 special drawing rights) if your bag is actually declared lost.

    • Kevin C says:

      A few years ago we had a case that didn’t turn up in Tokyo and we were given a prepaid Uniqlo card.

  • BJ says:

    I’m seeing an ad for a website ‘BA Stop Betraying Britain’ splashed all over HFP today.

    • Andrew says:

      Yes it’s good to see Rob is supporting it.

    • J says:

      The ad has probably been bought based on keywords and topics, doubt it’s any decision by Rob. Although in this climate ad revenue FROM BA or Unite would be very welcome I’m sure.

    • RWJ says:

      Yeah that wouldn’t have been a choice by HfP – Google AdWords ads are bought via keyword targeting. They’re probably targeting any pages that mention “British Airways”.

    • Rhys says:

      Nothing to do with us – with Google ads everyone sees something different based on your own unique profile of what Google thinks you want to see 🙂

      • Colin MacKinnon says:

        I keep getting really ugly face masks from a US company – that doesn’t deliver to the UK!

        I often click on ads on sites I like because I know it’s where their revenue comes from.

        • ChrisBCN says:

          If you go here https://adssettings.google.com you can see what Google thinks you are interested in – you can turn some off if you don’t like them.

          Advertisers use these to determine what ads you see (although this isn’t the complete story…).

        • RussellH says:

          And I avoid clicking on them because it only gives money to Google.

          Though this is the only site where I see ads…
          TV ads I try as much as possible not to buy from advertisers.

    • Lady London says:

      ditto.
      In style, it looks like union propaganda sponsored by Russia, from the 1970’s.

  • J says:

    Anyone heading to T5 soon allow a lot of time – long queues to enter the terminal and longest queues I’ve ever seen for baggage drop.

    • RWJ says:

      You’d think they’d have more lanes or desks open to keep people distanced and prevent queues!

      • Andrew says:

        What’s the situation with the First Wing, I was hoping the lifeboats would be seared according to class.

      • Rhys says:

        This weekend is supposed to be one of BA’s busiest this summer. The challenge is to balance out staffing requirements for days like this with other times (during the week for example) where nothing is happening, or so I’ve been told.

        • J says:

          I expect flights will have to be delayed or a lot of people will be missing their flights. I allowed 2.5 hours (with checked bag) and only just made my “clear security by” time. There is no social distancing in queue to enter terminal or baggage drop.

  • SammyJ says:

    I have 4 one-way flights with BA (operated by Iberia) to Madrid on Tuesday – they were booked to connect on to Miami, so obviously not required. I’ve held off in the hope they’d cancel, but other than a 5min change, still live.
    Is it pretty unlikely that they’ll cancel at this late stage, therefore I’m better to take a voucher? I’ll be busy and travelling to Germany in the next couple of days, so if it’s very unlikely they’ll cancel, I’ll just do the voucher now in case I forget and to save faff when I’m away, but if there’s still a reasonable chance of cancellation, I’ll wait it out!

    • ChrisBCN says:

      It’s a little late for cancellations, but I can only see 3 flights now (maybe the 4th is full, but it’s Tuesday so more likely already cancelled). The 1320 &1845 are both long haul planes so would probably run regardless of passenger loads (for cargo reasons).

      That leaves just the 1030… I’d give it the rest of the day and if it’s still there take the vouchers!

    • AJA says:

      I think the voucher is the only option as if the flight is likely to be cancelled it would have been done by now. You have until a couple of hours before the flight departs to apply for the voucher but realistically I’d apply now rather than wait.

  • Ant says:

    Morning- Need to book flights for Nairobi for August 2021. Thinking of booking them when they become available. Is this the correct way to go about or will it cost us more in tax.
    Do the flights to Nairobi tend to disappear v quickly?

    • Harry T says:

      Cash or Avios flights? Cash flights can often be quite expensive when they are first released, and again close to the date of flying. If they are Avios flights, then the cost should be the same for the same set of dates, and you’d be wise to snap them up as soon as your travel plans are concrete and they are available.

      • Ant says:

        Sorry – using Avios so we can cancel if necessary. And thinking I should book one way when they come out using 241 and then call and add return. But is this more expensive than waiting fans book a return?

        • Harry T says:

          I can’t recall off the top of my head if it works out more expensive booking that way. I believe it depends on the departure point eg if you’re travelling from UK to Hong Kong and back, it’s cheaper if they calculate the taxes and charges as two one ways. However it’s more expensive for visits to and from the US. Hopefully someone with more recent experience can help you with this – my recently redeemed voucher was for flights both ways that were already released. There’s a good flyertalk thread for using BA 241 vouchers too.

          I would personally book the seats as soon as they come out if your dates are not very flexible.

    • Jonathan says:

      Assume you mean book using Avios? It’s never a good idea to book flights with cash when they’re first released.

      I’m not sure how quickly Nairobi flights get snapped up or when/how many additional seats would be released beyond the minimum 4 economy & 2 business, particularly in the current climate. I wouldn’t predict taxes, fees & surcharges would decrease significantly though so may as well book ASAP.

      There’s a fair chance times/days/aircraft will change over next year which may give you potential options to cancel or rebook for free.