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The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 26th August

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We have decided to run this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the de facto repository for random comments and questions.  With the news flow being lighter, we are running fewer ‘Bits’ articles.

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 at home, we want the HfP community to have a place to chat.

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Comments (183)

  • trevor says:

    random question I know but hoping someone may know…my partner worked through lockdown and was never furloughed but we have a feeling she may have been without her knowledge. Is there anyway to check short of asking the company outright, which she (obviously) wants to avoid.

    • Nadeshka says:

      Pretty sure you have to agree to be furloughed, my husband requested it but still had to sign paperwork saying he agreed to it and the dates. But that’s a reputable employer, if she suspects they are cheating the govt on the scheme then I suppose they aren’t the type to stick to the rules and could lie about that consent.
      Were they topping up to 100%? Because then no I don’t think you’ll see it on your payslip.

      • Trevor says:

        She was paid 100% all the way through hence no difference as far as she is concerned. However for various reasons she suspects they have furloughed her but not told her and therefore obv got her to work etc. From what I’ve read employers didn’t need to get an employee to sign in the early days, hence easy to abuse the situation but wondering if there is an independent way to check. I guess I know the answer which is no

        • Nadeshka says:

          He’s double checked his payslips, there’s no sign he was furloughed on them. So if they were topping up to 100% then no, she may never know. Guess the only way to find out will be to ask directly or to shop them to the govt if she suspects they did defraud the scheme.
          Is she concerned about something aside from the honesty aspect? Her pension contributions?

          • Ken says:

            All claims for furlough had to state the employee name, NI number, week claimed and amount. From day 1 there was supposed to be agreement with the employee that they were furloughed.

            The only way would be to know would be to contact HMRC and state that you were never furloughed.
            Unless the company state “furlough” in pay slip, there is no other way of knowing

          • trevor says:

            thanks for checking…no she is only concerned about the honesty aspect of it and the fact they are possibly taking advantage of the situation but aside from our thoughts and impressions of the employer we have no actual proof

          • trevor says:

            sorry the thanks for checking was to Nadeshka but thanks both for responding

          • Lady London says:

            Employers are required to keep documentation including the employee’s written consent.

            On the gov dot uk website if you select Contact HMRC they have updated their online fraud reporting for Covid scheme frauds including Job Retention Scheme (=furlough) fraud. They are encouraging employees to report. The form does not require the person reporting to enter personal details. By June HMRC had apparently received over 2,000 reports.

            However although there is legal protection for whistleblowers and the online report form can be submitted without personal details, practically : is your wife prepared to lose her job at an inconvenient time? she would also need to think about who would provide a reference for her time there, to a future employer. HMRC has said they will be auditing employers, however how identifiable would she be as a possible source so far as the employer is concerned? Quitw a few employers are nasty but weigh up risks and any possibility of personal consequences and decide.

    • BJ says:

      Wouldn’t be surprised. I suspect there was abuse of this and the self employed scheme on a massive scale.

      • Lady London says:

        Especially when they moved the date to allow people to be included, whose employment had started after the furlough scheme was announced. What were they thinking?!

  • Ant says:

    I booked flights to Nairobi for August next year using Avios + companion voucher. Are these bookings covered with the book with confidence policy. So I can get an FTV if I decide to cancel for whatever reason?

    • BJ says:

      You can cancel for £35pp and get your avios, mobey, and voucher back.

    • Aston100 says:

      Where are you searching for avios availability? Seatspy seems to go no further than 23rd July

      • Anna says:

        Seatspy and RFF are both broken, you have to search on ba.com. It took me a couple of days to get used to it again!

  • Aston100 says:

    IHG account is locked for some reason.
    Contacted IHG Service Centre who reckon its a global problem.
    Didn’t sound very convincing to me.
    Anyone else having a problem logging into the IHG Rewards Club?

    • mark2 says:

      Yes I tried about 1300 and failed and just tried again unsuccessfully.

    • Aston100 says:

      Working after 17:00.
      I did reset my password anyway, just in case.

    • Janeyferr says:

      I get an error when trying to look at the details of my Kensington Indigo booking. Thought it was just being a phone and/or offer booking making it throw a wobbly.

      • Aston100 says:

        Yeah the site is misbehaving. Not pulling up search results properly and some of the links aren’t working.

  • KS says:

    Not sure if this has been asked/answered so please bear with me. Looking at Virgin Atlantic’s fee free change policy in effect till November, can I book for cheaper dates and then switch immediately afterwards to the more expensive dates that I am actually interested in? That seems to be the case but boggles my mind.

    • Jonathan says:

      It’s (change) fee free not fare difference free!

      • KS says:

        Not for tickets for travel until Nov 2020. Here is the text:
        “Any potential differences in fare will be waived if you choose to travel on the same route and in the same cabin.”

  • Ant says:

    BA just cancelled my flight from Ibiza so before I call to move to another flight has anyone been there recently and have any feedback?
    Any suggestions on a small agritourism or B&B?

  • Lisa says:

    I’m travelling with Finnair in business class from Heathrow Terminal 2 next week, it seems as though they won’t have their own business class lounge, nor are they partnered with other business class lounges in the terminal. Do you know whether there is a Business class lounge for these flights or will this be scrapped for a commercial lounge, or nothing ?

  • Craig says:

    We are often quick to criticise but on Monday morning I called easyJet to request a refund for cancelled flights. Call answered within 10 mins, no quibble and money back on my AMEX this morning, less than 48 hours after I called. They’ve really upped their game since the dark days of March and April. I’ve also done nicely from their flight change policy with other tickets.

    • Lady London says:

      For Easyjet I believe they are pretty ok about refunds because this avoids future liabilities of at least two types.

      • Aston100 says:

        I put in an s75 through Amex against Easyjet in June.
        Still waiting.

  • Munch says:

    Booked flights to Ibiza just before the change in FCO advice for travel early September. Looking at changing to Portugal. Outbound is booked using Avios the inbound is a cash booking. What are my options with BA? What additional charges would I incur for the change?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Probably to take an FTV and buy a new ticket. So the cost would be the difference in fare.

      However, you will end up with two vouchers you’ll need Avios seat availability to use one.

      I can’t see any other options.

    • AJA says:

      Cancel the Avios ticket for refund of Avios which will cost you £35. Then cancel cash flight in exchange for a FTV to use against new flights to Portugal.

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