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The new HFP chat thread – Sunday 9th August

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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 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/2020/08/09/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-sunday-9th-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 (116)

  • Anna says:

    Re Seatspy/RFF – both are VERY unreliable for July next year just now. I doubled checked my seats with BA.com and nearly had a heart attack when I realised my J seats to GCM for next summer had been released overnight! This doesn’t even fit in with my calculations for BA so either they’re early or I miscalculated. Anyway, all’s well that ends well, I got my 4 seats in J using 2 companion vouchers – cash price for a return journey would be £10k for 4 of is! On a positive note, I’ve had a full night’s sleep as I wasn’t up at 1 am waiting for the system to load 🤣

    • Anna says:

      Showing Club Suite as well, but who knows?

    • Louise K says:

      Yes, I’ve been tracking various routes for next summer and noted Seat Spy was not accurate.

      4 seats to GCM sounds like a prized redemption.

      • Anna says:

        Definitely! This is the first year they’ve been releasing more than 2 J seats on that route. We’re treating my nephew to his first long haul trip so it should be a fantastic experience for him – my son is very blase about it all these days 🙄

        • Louise K says:

          Kids 😂😂😂

          Hope this Covid business has settled by then. We are trying to get to Hawaii next summer, the LAX flights are there and can get the internals but I’m just hesitant to pull the trigger 😩

          We’re terrible parents – we are bring our two boys and their girlfriends but they’re travelling down the back. We are paying their accommodation after all 😂

          • Anna says:

            As soon as ours is old enough he’s going down the back as well unless he’s got his own Avios and cash 😂

        • Chris Heyes says:

          [email protected] Good on you, but that was lucky (don’t rely on seatspy) but worked out ok in end
          hopefully our London-Denver flight either middle Aug or 7th/8th Sept come up good need 3 seats hopefully 1st but if not Business, not showing 1st July so maybe plane no 1st seats Gr
          Then waiting for Phoenix-London pos 3 weeks later that showing 1st for July now so looking ok
          But we like to fly out 1st get full benefit of 1st, fly back Business overnight flight so sleeping so Business ok

          • Anna says:

            They don’t have an F cabin on the GCM route. At Easter we’re going via NYC to take advantage of F but it’s a lot of messing around and 12 hours direct in J isn’t too shabby for the summer trip!
            I don’t normally rely on Seatspy or RFF but they have been so erratic I’d lost count of the days and thought my flights weren’t due for release until 1 am tomorrow. Good job I checked – and that OH was at home to log into his account (though he didn’t appreciate me waking him up at 7.30 shouting “Quick, remind me what your BA password is!” 🤣🤣🤣

          • WaynedP says:

            @Anna OH will thank you when he’s suntanning on a Bahaman beach 😎

        • Alan H says:

          I see the BA airbridge flights from GCM are going into LGW rather than LHR. Hope this isn’t something that will continue whenever flights restart (border reopening put back another month).

          • Anna says:

            No!!!! No domestic connection from MAN to LGW, it would totally mess up our holidays.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Seat spy and RFF are just loading loads of incorrect date in J and F class. It’s such a disspaointment to see availability on one of those platforms then check with BA and nothing.

        • Anna says:

          It was the other way round for me today – nothing on Seatspy and RFF, checked BA and 7 CW seats available!

    • Brian W says:

      SeatSpy Is not fit for purpose. I’ve had all my monies paid to them refunded as I was basically having to monitor the flights I wanted myself as their data was nonsense.

      These 3rd party websites will never be what they claim to be I reckon.

  • KBuffett says:

    Has anyone stayed at Four Seasons Trinity Square? I’m thinking about booking a weekend stay.
    I’m also looking for inspiration for short staycation breaks, please do share any ideas. I’m so used to holidaying 5-6 times a year, I really need a break or three!

    • Diydegsy says:

      Hi haven’t stayed there but recently stayed at The Rosewood and would definitely recommend. If your looking for something further afield there is Calcot Manor in the Cotswolds and plenty to see and do in the area.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Yes last year really enjoyed it. Booked through Emyr for breakfast credit (so you can take breakfast in room or restaurant and have whatever you want up to £70 a day) also £80 credit to spend elsewhere during the stay.

      Parking was free on the street bays post 11am Saturday until 8am Monday incase that matters.

    • AJA says:

      Further to TGLoyalty’s comment re free parking don’t forget that Trinity Square is inside the ULEX and LEX zones as well as being inside the Congestion Charging zone which now operates 7 days a week from 7am to 10pm so will cost £15 a day asuming you don’t also need to pay the ULEZ charge.

      • chabuddy geezy says:

        La Dame de Pic is a great restaurant inside the hotel.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Fortunately I meat the LEV/ULEV criteria but still have to pay the £15 a day to drive.

        Though it’s really not make a break. Re parking at other times sure you can find somewhere decent on justpark.

    • Harry T says:

      Staycation wise, I’ve just enjoyed a stay at the University Arms in Cambridge – it’s certainly not on the level of Four Seasons though (charming boutique hotel, well located, quirky, good cocktails).

      I’ve got Trump Turnberry booked for next month, which looks like a more luxurious property. They currently have a decent staycation rate bookable through Bonvoy (it’s essentially half board, and much cheaper than their usual summer prices). I don’t even play golf but it looks like there is plenty to do.

  • Dave says:

    Amex platinum insurance question…

    I have to take two weeks off work from next weekend. I can’t drive and want to go abroad somewhere pretty safe even though I know there’s a risk.

    If for example I booked and paid for flights and an Airbnb today for Italy which is currently in the travel corridor, if the Govt put the UK in lockdown again or if the FCO advises against travel by the end of the week am I covered for all my spend? I sort of think I am but then again as I’m booking when I know Covid is a risk does that imvalidate it? I’d book using an amex card in any case.

    Anyway just checking here as there’s more knowledge than I have!

    • Sukes says:

      Have a look at https://secure.axa-travel-insurance.com/OLC_V3/welcome/AmexUK and the Covid 19 Travel Disruption Advice published by AXA for Amex card members. Generally you should be fine. I always screenshot my purchases with date and time so there’s no doubt about chronology of events if FCO advice changes. Sign up to FCO Italy alerts so if it does you have an email record of when you found out. Bear in mind that if the airline or accommodation operator cancel the liability is with them rather than the insurer. Ordinarily that is not problematic but at the moment getting money back is an arduous tiresome slog with providers pushing travellers to take vouchers instead. On the flip side I’ve been in that situation and Amex Plat (Amex itself, not the insurance) worked wonderfully in getting my cash back through chargeback when airline & hotel would not pay up. I hope you get to go, have no probs, and enjoy la dolce vita!

  • dezbez says:

    Not sure if it’s ever been discussed on here before (I’ve never seen it mentioned), but another Avios earning opportunity is through NatWest Rewards. I’ve got a current account on which I earn £5 each month in rewards (some minimum criteria for this but easily achievable). You have the option of converting this into various rewards, including Avios. £10 gets you 1170 Avios (0.85p each) so a semi-decent price.

    • GS says:

      Are they still doing the Avios vouchers? I spoke to them a couple of months ago (I was thinking of joining) and NatWest said they have put the vouchers on hold and you can only take the rewards as cash at the minute?

      • Peter K says:

        My last email from Natwest about redeeming the rewards (within the past 2 weeks) mentioned Avios IIRC.

      • Travel Strong says:

        Still there – you’ve been told a fib – the scheme is funded by partner offers.

        Avios exchanges available now for 0.85p per mile.
        (£10 for 1170, £20 for 2350, £50 for 5870.)

        The only thing that has changed recently is the cut in rewards earning. The standard earning rate was about £10 a month if you just ran a couple of DD’s and app logins. Now it is more like £5 a month.

      • d4ve says:

        I redeemed NatWest rewards for Avios a couple of days ago. Still live.

  • Nadeshka says:

    In response to questions yesterday on our Osaka flight cancellation – it looks like they have completely pulled the route from the winter schedule (till March 28), so we just miss out. Luckily the friend I helped to book the same trip a few weeks later keeps her avios redemption unchanged.

    I looked at rebooking on a partner/any other airline but there were no other direct flights to Osaka, and with a nearly 2 year old in tow (and all the gear that implies) we want to stick with direct flights. Original plan was an open jaw into Osaka and out of Tokyo, now it’s just a vanilla Tokyo return.

    Luckily we hadn’t gotten around to booking Osaka accomodation, just Tokyo (Conrad!), so we will repivot our holiday north, likely around Hakone etc. Not too upset about it, probably since I’m about 50/50 on whether it will go ahead (i.e. will Japan open its borders to us…)

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      It looks like a lot of routes are being pulled and reinstated Mar 21, of course this could be extended as it gets closer next year. Our cancelled Feb flights has made us evaluate again after two holidays cancelled and decide to stay in England next year with a 3 day trip abroad.

  • Jon says:

    I have just had a flight in December cancelled and called to reschedule. A new e-ticket has been issued.
    What are the chances it will now qualify for the double base avios promotion?

  • Alastair says:

    Am landing at LHR T2 at about 5pm today, booking a taxi for pickup. Anyone who’s done this recently – what’s the state of play with passport wait times, locator form etc malarky – is 30 mins from landing a good estimate or should I go longer? (Have checked bags too)…

    Thanks!

  • Rahaney says:

    Looking to change 2 upgraded WTP -> CW flights to next year. I take it you can’t simply change the date? There has to be reward flight availability on the new date?
    Thanks

    • AJA says:

      Correct. Plus it has to be within original ticket validity ie 1 year from date of issue of ticket, not from date of flight.

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