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The new HFP chat thread – Tuesday 11th 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/2020/08/11/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-tuesday-11th-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 (233)

  • Ben says:

    Payments to Solihull – Do MBNA or Lloyds attract fees/interest/cash advances?

  • craig maurice says:

    I see A LOT BA reward flight availability on literally every route I have searched .. is this because of COVID and no one flying so more seats available? Or has RFF gone upside down? Thanks

    • Rhys says:

      There are issues with the reward flight API so both RFF and SeatSpy are a little funky at the moment

      • craig maurice says:

        Ah OK, I just checked seatspy and then compared to a search I did on BA directly and it seems the results on seatspy are a lot more accurate. I reckon something up with RFF at the moment.

      • Craig Maurice says:

        Rhys now RFF is showing no seats at all on any routes (seatspy seems fine)! There is for sure something serious wrong on at RFF …

    • AJA says:

      RFF is pretty unreliable at the moment. Reports over on FT and here a few days ago of people seeing availability on RFF and Seat Spy and then finding BA website says differently.

  • KBuffett says:

    There seem to be a couple of these types of offers. If you deposit £150k with them for 6 months, there is a £600 Harrods Credit or £1250 if you deposit £650k. I might go for it….

  • Stagger Lee says:

    We just decided to scrap our planned trip to Hawaii in Feb. We’d booked a 241 to San Diego and were going to add the Hawaii flights later.

    I managed to get through to BA and must say the guy was really helpful and switched our booking to the Cayman Islands instead and I didn’t have to pay the expected change fees. Which was nice.

    The interesting bit was that he refunded my booking as a voucher and then applied that to my new bookin. I assume that means I would get another voucher if this ends up getting cancelled. That would work out nicely as my 241 expires in Feb.

    • Anna says:

      Keep a close eye on the Cayman Islands, the government has just scrapped its latest plan to re-open in September (even with pre-testing and quarantine on arrival). Most people think there won’t be any proper tourism for at least the rest of this year and maybe beyond. Migrant workers in the tourist sector are all being repatriated and government officials are adamant that tourism won’t re-start until they consider it safe, even if it destroys the industry. We have trips booked for April and August but I am not counting on either of these going ahead!

      • Stagger Lee says:

        Thanks. I will keep my eye on the situation.

        I’m also not assuming anything will go ahead wherever we book but wanted to have something in the diary more in hope than expectation. Worse case scenario is I get my money back (or a voucher for future use).

        The other option was St Lucia or Antigua but 241 availbaility is very scarce around our dates.

        • Anna says:

          Have you looked at accommodation yet? Hotel and car packages can be reasonable (for Cayman!), and the island is very easy to navigate, especially as they drive on the left (which along with roundabouts, confuses the heck out of the mostly American visitors!).

          • Stagger Lee says:

            We only changed our mind last night so still Early days on planning. Current thinking is to stay Grand Cayman and also have a few days on Little Cayman. Wife will be diving while I stay on the beach drinking and reading.

            If it all falls through then so be it. Bermuda is one back up option. It wouldn’t be quite as warm but really want to go back there.

      • Alan H says:

        Likewise I have flights booked to GCM for September, November and January and I honestly don’t anticipate any of them going ahead. Also with all the expatriates having left I’m not sure what the quality of the tourism sector and services is going to be like.

        • Anna says:

          I’d happily self-cater in our apartment but the problem is going to be fulfilling the entry requirements when they finally decide what they are going to be! The government is talking about making it a high end destination for Europeans but I don’t think they understand that even well-off Europeans would consider it dreadful value for money!
          I know someone who works there in the public sector and it sounds like those who don’t rely on tourism don’t actually want tourists back very much now they’ve got the place to themselves to enjoy. I’m watching it all carefully as we are committed financially to going at least once a year and are really hoping to spend a month there each winter once we’re both retired.

  • Richie says:

    Hi – I’ve just checked my BA Exec Club and it says my Gold status is valid until June 2022. Does that mean I don’t need to earn any points in the current year (as it’s basically valid for 2 years), just need to earn points in the year running up to renewal? Just want to be careful as I know how BA likes to pay switch-aroo with the rules…!

    Thought, to be honest, I’m sure how much I will be flying – at least, not long haul for work.

  • memesweeper says:

    Just had a travel company try and surcharge me for using a credit rather than debit card. Before I complain does anyone know what rule/regulation this breaches? (It was the rail ticketing outfit Omio)

    • AJA says:

      I thought that surcharges for accepting credit cards had been made illegal back in 2018?

      https://www.gov.uk/government/news/card-surcharge-ban-means-no-more-nasty-surprises-for-shoppers

    • Anna says:

      They might still be allowed to do it if they’re based outside the EU.

      • memesweeper says:

        Indeed, although why they’d be partnering with National Rail to sell to UK consumers with that structure is anyone’s guess. I’ll quote the gov.uk press release and see what happens.

        • memesweeper says:

          Quick check reveals the payments are to GoEuro Travel GmbH, but the organisation is technically headquartered in Delaware. Complaint lodged.

        • AJA says:

          The actual regulation is the Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012 amended by paragraph 12 of Schedule 8 to the Payment Services Regulations 2017 with effect from 13 January 2018.

          The thing is did you try to pay with a business credit card or a personal credit card? I think companies can still charge a surcharge if it is a commercial credit card ie Amex Businss Platinum.

      • Peter North says:

        What would you do without this site?

    • SteveSauceman says:

      I just had the exact same thing, the fee only appears for an Amex card though, not a Mastercard.
      I tried complaining to Amex but they didn’t seem interested

      • Anna says:

        I think they are still allowed to charge a fee for certain Amex cards.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Not for any personal cards – debit/credit/charge, bank transfer, cash etc it all has to be the same price.

          They can only charge business cards.

        • Nick_C says:

          The directive didn’t cover Amex cards. Just MC and Visa. The UK went further than the directive required and included Amex. So businesses in some EU countries will be lawfully applying a surcharge for paying with a personal Amex. I think KLM might levy a surcharge for Amex.

  • BJ says:

    Good news when Thailand fully reopens: Air Asia has now moved some flights back to BKK which will be useful for same day connections. Otherwise choice between BKK and DMK will largely depend on flight schedules and where in the city you stay. It will be interesting to see if there are much differences in fares between BKK and DMK.

    • memesweeper says:

      Hurrah! that’s great news if it’s a permanent move. I wonder which AirAsia national affiliates will be using BKK?

      • BJ says:

        Thai variant. Supposedly starting with Phuket, Chiang Mai, Surat Thani and Krabi. Time will tell if this gets serious. Full range of destinations loaded on their site from BKK already. Presumably most via KUL or just unbookable errors for the moment.

    • dezbez says:

      Or ‘Thighland’ as the orange one pronounced it the other day.

  • Ed says:

    747’s are starting to be removed from summer 21 timetables. Plenty more time for equipment changes between now and then. Some may find they’ve gone from 4 class flights to 3 class flights. So might be worth checking if you’ve got a booking.

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