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The new HFP chat thread – Wednesday 19th 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.

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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/2020/08/19/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-wednesday-19th-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 (139)

  • Emma says:

    Afternoon! Looking to go to watch Lions rugby in SA in July 2021. Several flights now available but BA seems to be the only provider who’s flexible policy would cover July 2021 bookings and their flights are all sold out (suspect they’ve sold to packages). Just checking I’ve not missed any other providers who’s policies extend to next summer (or any rumours of anyone like Virgin who may extend)? Appreciate we could just pay more for flex tickets (or wait a while to book)… but any other ideas welcome!

    • graham says:

      All of the “organised packaged” trips for the Lions will be released on September 2nd and they would have scooped up most/all London flights to Cape Town/Jo’burg making it difficult for the DIY supporter. Other airlines to look at are Lufthansa, KLM, Delta, Air France, TAP, Qatar and Austrian Air and also consider Amsterdam and Paris for departure.

      • Emma says:

        Thanks Graham – am based in the Midlands so suspect we’ll end up doing 1 stop with one of those airlines (unless Virgin’s direct routes are available, thought I’m suspecting they’ll be sold out too!)

    • TheThunderer says:

      Hi Emma, I’m watching for these too. I was under the impression that the flights were being released daily at around 335 days out. Post on here if you hear anything more?

      • Emma says:

        Sounds good! It looks like you can already book with Qatar, Lufthansa, Air France etc (Virgin Atlantic and others not out for a week or two) but I’m just worried about booking and then getting stung with charges if need to change dates / cancel if they move the Lions tour. (Not keen to pay the hefty packaged tours option!) Will post on here if I see a good solution come up. Note: I did see pricing at c.£1300 pp for Qatar economy outbound (to Jnb) and business inbound flights (from Cpt) from Bhx or Man earlier… but if you need to change or cancel it’d be pretty hefty fees. Just still feel a bit uncertain about the event happening to lock in to potential high charges!

  • NvT1115 says:

    Afternoon All – has anyone recently upgraded a Amex Personal Gold Charge to Platinum – and triggered the bonus points? I have the link but have heard anecdotely that applying for Green Charge and then upgrading is the best option???

    • memesweeper says:

      There are few personal gold charge cards left — the new ones for the last few years have been credit cards. If you actually have a gold charge then the upgrade route to platinum should still be OK.

      • NvT1115 says:

        Thanks MEMESWEEPER – yes it’s definitely the Charge Card version.

      • Andrew says:

        Admittedly late last year but worked for me (downgraded Plat to Gold CHARGE in August 2019, upgraded back to Plat for the upgrade bonus about 4 months later)

  • Lady London says:

    sorry i know this has been posted a few times but hss anyone got the BA Newcastle number? travel arrangements just got mesded arpund and need to actually try to get through to BA urgently

    Apologies if I’ve missed a link on the new website to search comments tried a regular search and nothing came up

  • Matt says:

    Anyone had issues with Marriott covid cancellation policy?
    I made a booking in April for the end of Sept under the policy at the time that it was fully refundable (I saved the email).
    I tried to cancel and hotel effectively said that the policy doesnt apply as some peak weeks are excluded and they considered the full 6 months they are open to be peak.
    (full response below)

    “Following to your mail, we would like to inform you that the below policy is not eligible for our hotel for 2 reasons: a) We are a seasonal resort hotel which faces high occupancies all 6months season and as per Marriott announcement, it states: “Some exclusions may apply. May exclude periods with special event restrictions or peak demand weeks. Please refer to individual property rate rules for details.” B ) We are a franchise hotel and as per Marriott awareness, we offer voucher credits instead of cash refunds

    • memesweeper says:

      IANAL but I’d kick up a stink if ‘cancellable’ rate isn’t actually cancellable. Putting something in the small print won’t get Marriott out of their obligations under Consumer Rights (formerly unfair terms) or Misrepresentation Acts. I wouldn’t argue with the hotel any further, their position may be legal in 99% of territories. Marriott, who market and sell hotels rooms here, should know and understand our laws.

    • E says:

      The Marriott policy wasn’t what it seemed to be. I think Marriott may have covered themselves under Consumer Rights because they did have a caveat (an asterisk which at the bottom said the fully refundable policy didn’t apply to all hotels and it wouldn’t apply to hotels in peak demand weeks). Saying that every open week if peak demand if pushing it though!

      • E says:

        At the time of promoting this they did say you had to check with the hotel what the conditions were when booking it to see if it qualified for free cancellation. What hotel was it?

        • Matt says:

          marriott domes of elounda.
          I spoke directly to Marriott and they said a few hotels had done this (implying they went rogue) and that they would raise it with the hotel; 2-5 days till I hear back.
          In the meantime the hotel did offer a voucher valid for 18months so not terrible, I just booked it thinking it was 100% refundable as 30 Sept is hardly “peak”

          • Ricatti says:

            This also has to do with Greece government-level decision giving leeway to hotels ‘to refund” with a voucher.

            Hotels in Greece and France have funny way of interpreting these local regulation: instead of freedom of contract and refund in cash if they choose, they say that it is “government” that now prohibits them from issuing refunds, even for cancellable bookings.

          • Ricatti says:

            Domes of Elounda can make a case that their active trading period is April-October, and treat it all as ‘peak’, as customary in Greece etc.

          • Graeme2 says:

            If it was marketed in the headline as refundable then they can’t legally get away with burying it not actually being refundable in the t&cs if the contract is under english law.

  • Aston100 says:

    Hello people.
    I need to book 3 rooms for 2 nights at a Holiday Inn Express.
    Not on points.

    What’s the best way to do this to maximise points including the x4 challenge – multiple 2 night bookings, or is there no difference if I do a straight single booking?
    Thanks.

    • Rob says:

      You will get points for both rooms BUT I think the bonus only applies to one room. How you book won’t make any difference.

      Logically put the 2nd room in someone else’s name so it kicks along their 4x target.

  • Martha says:

    My IHG is being declined for any curve or non curve transactions. I have been using it for the last few days for a range of transactions…
    Should I contact IHG to unblock?
    Should I wait?
    Is this normal?
    Thank you.
    M

    • Youllnever says:

      Sounds like you’ll need to contact them – I don’t see any reason for waiting.

    • Genghis says:

      I assume the credit card? I’d contact Creation.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      If you have nothing to hide then definitely get on the phone ASAP. I’ve heard of security blocks from Creation.

    • Travel Strong says:

      This happened to me last week.
      I suspected a block, but left it 1 day, then did another transaction (at a shop, inserting the card instead of using contactless) and it went through fine and everything else then worked too.

      Still unsure if I had simply capped out on contactless transactions and needed to do a pin transaction, or if I was briefly under review.

  • Yan says:

    First retrospective case study of SARS-CoV-2 transmission on the airplane (incl. link to the original paper)
    https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/88131

    • Peter K says:

      Interesting read and in it a large reason why taking precautions yourself on a flight may not help…4 of the 7 passengers on the flight with COVID19 had symptoms yet still flew!
      Masks not being worn also a factor for sure, but the lack of respect some people have for others is an overwhelming risk factor and hard to compensate for.

  • Nick Newbury says:

    In light of the changes to the Virgin credit card rewards is this now a better bet than BA Amex?