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The HfP chat thread – Friday 11th September

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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 (132)

  • George K says:

    Did anyone else just got dumped with 5 back copies of the Sunday Times mag without asking? 😛

    I just called to cancel. Previously I gave them a ring to see if the coverage of its impending demise was true, but they claimed ignorance after relieving me of the £30.

    No real answers this time either, so I’ve pulled the plug…

  • KS says:

    Any comments on Sixt’s Lucky Dip car? I need a rental next month for 3 days out of London. It will be just me and OH so I won’t mind getting a 2 seater convertible 😉 but what should I realistically expect?

    • John says:

      I was looking at this the other day. I would anticipate that you’ll get whatever make/model the agent has available most conveniently at the time. I reckon pot luck will be the main deciding factor – which cars are clean, parked conveniently for the agent to access and not currently booked. Might even come down to which keys are closest to hand.

      I would say that it would definitely be worth you being nice to the agent and wrangling for a nice motor when you pick up.

    • sloth says:

      did it once @ Valencia…was given same category as the rough price I had paid. I queried it and was given the reply…”its pot luck”…yeah right…

      and yes I was polite up to that point 🙂

      • Nick says:

        Other car hire firms have the opposite problem… they’re too generous. I frequently battle with Enterprise over upgrades. Every time I go they try to give me a much bigger (in their words ‘better’) car than I’ve paid for… and I practically have to beg for a smaller one as I really don’t like or need big cars. Should be grateful I suppose!

  • WaynedP says:

    Email received from Virgin Money this morning, applies to my Rewards+ credit card, but I imagine other Virgin CCs too:

    Mastercard® has altered the way it handles foreign transactions when you spend money abroad. From 11 August, your purchases and cash advances will normally be converted to pounds sterling on the same day. This means you don’t need to worry about a change to the exchange rate after you spend.

    When you bought something in another currency previously, it would be converted using the exchange rate on the day it left your account. This could have been a few days after your purchase.

    Not sure why they quote an effective date of a month ago, and probably not earth-shattering implications, but interesting nonetheless.

  • Jessiefan says:

    Is there an HFP article that summarises the covid cancellation offers from different airlines? I know there was one for hotels but it would be useful for airlines also

  • jamie says:

    WHat’s the thought around travel to USA next March/April, surely that will be possible by then??

    • Nick says:

      In March/April this year pretty much everyone said “surely they’ll be open by October”…

      I’d like to think so, but the only certainty at the moment is that uncertainty will reign for a while. Your crystal ball may vary of course. The other question is whether you think it’ll be desirable even if they do open, given the US attitude (or lack of) to covid.

      • BSI1978 says:

        +1. & I write this as someone that has booked a trip to the States late April 21 (deposit only paid at this juncture!).

        Heart says things will have improved within 6m both here and overseas, but head agrees with Nick and recalls how positive we all were in early/mid-March…..

        • Andrew says:

          Might be more likely by the summer instead of late winter/spring as things will/are getting worse over the summer and countries will not be in a hurry to open borders. I’m thinking June could be a safer bet.

    • Anna says:

      I (re-booked) flights to the US back in April, for next April. I made sure our outbound leg in in F as You First are the best option for retaining one’s sanity if it all goes wrong. The CSA said to me, “We will really be in trouble if we’re not flying next Easter”.
      At this point, my personal feeling is that unless a vaccine arrives before then (unlikely), we won’t be allowed to enter the US, or return home, without quarantining, even if travel is technically possible by then.

    • Nick_C says:

      From the UK side, I am expecting the second wave to peak in February, when young people spread the virus during the pre Christmas party season, and pass it on to their elderly relatives over Christmas who then die six weeks later.

      From the US side, depends which geriatric is in the White House come January.

  • Connor says:

    Just had an easyJet holiday that we were due to take next week to Tenerife cancelled. We also had a separate flight only booking on the same dates for other people coming with us but this hasn’t been cancelled. Managed to quickly rebook flights and a hotel separate for the rest of us. Any idea on the likelihood that the flight will also get cancelled?

    • Lady London says:

      Look in the schedule it’s probably gone already if it’s going.

      Take a squizz at October while you’re there you could get a surprise.

  • Alex says:

    I have flights booked from Paris to Heathrow to Vegas with BA in club world.

    Fully expecting it to be cancelled and will get a cash refund but I paid for seat reservations. Seats have been moved so I could get these refunded now. Will they be refunded if flight cancelled or am I safer getting refund now?

    Also, if flight does go ahead then I’ll have to claim on insurance. Will insurance pay out for seat reservations?

    Thanks

    • Alex says:

      Should add it was all a cash booking, if that makes any difference.

    • Rhys says:

      Easier to get them refunded now

      • Lady London says:

        +1
        BA are being very naughty about this. Demand your cash back now and put it in writing

        • Nick says:

          They really aren’t. For cancelled flights they have happily been refunding ancillaries with no argument whatsoever. The ‘difficulty’ you’re referring to has arisen with customers taking vouchers – here the amount paid clearly gets added to the voucher but some people didn’t read this and have tried fighting for a refund instead, which BA have (rightly IMO) argued.

          In any case, BA have never argued over refunding seat fees in cases of aircraft change. You get a choice of either selecting seats on the new aircraft instead, or a refund if you prefer.

          • Alex says:

            I vaguely remembered some people had issues but couldn’t remember what. Probably would make sense to get a refund on the off chance I couldn’t get a refund, entry was allowed so insurance wouldn’t pay and I had to take a voucher.

            Anyway one of the flights has been cancelled so I’ll be calling up to get it all refunded.

            Thanks all

  • Alan S says:

    Need to pull on everyone’s wisdom.

    241 BA booking to Malaysia in November, which I can cancel now based on a class downgrade, but it’s all going to be cancelled anyway due to Malaysia banning international tourists until 2021.

    The 241 expires in May 2021, which would be the only reason to take an FTV in order to extend it’s validity.

    Issue being that I’m not sure I can be bothered having 200,000 Avios and taxes tied up in an FTV that I’m not 100% convinced we’ll use.

    My intention is to take a refund. If the 241 voucher expires then so be it, as it only has a real value if/when it’s used and we’ve got another one tied up in a US booking in June 2021. The alternative after a refund might be to use it as part of a short-haul booking that is likely to be cancelled and tie it up in an FTV that way (therefore extending the voucher to April 2022).

    Anyone think that sounds daft/can see something obvious I’m missing?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Just get a refund and book and RFS european flight with the 2-4-1 and take an FTV for that.

      • Anna says:

        +1. I booked outbound flight to VIE for December (which probably wouldn’t have happened anyway!), then the next day OH’s work changed their mind about giving him time off so I cancelled and got the FTV straight away. I didn’t do it deliberately but it conveniently extended my 2 4 1 which was due to expire in January!

    • Rachel R says:

      Interesting. I’ve had a downgrade on the home leg from KL to LHR (First to Club), but was told that doesn’t entitle me to cancel free of fees. Is that not correct?

      • Lady London says:

        If you fly it in J because they downgraded you from F then you are entitled to receive 75% of the cost of F back.

        Hopefully somebody else can confirm if you can get a cash refund of all instead

        • Lady London says:

          I think you can get a refund but blinded with the prospect of 75% of First fare back plus earning still loads of avios if it was a cash ticket, I’ve never thought about a refund 🙂

      • Sukes says:

        You have been advised correctly. You are entitled to compensation (Article 10 of EU261) but don’t have right to free reroute or reimbursement (Art 8). Amount of compensation is dependent on great circle distance of your flight. In this instance it will be 75pc of the ticket price (note this is the ticket price of the home bound leg, not your whole trip). There is legal Requirement to reimburse you within 7days of the downgrade. BA can offer you a voucher rather than cash but you can insist on cash – a voucher can only be granted upon your signed agreement (Art 7.3).

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