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The HfP chat thread – Sunday 13th 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 (131)

  • Lev441 says:

    Do spire elites get upgrades at IHG properties on a reward booking?

    • Andrew says:

      Yes, where available as usual

      • Lady London says:

        not that there is often much to upgrade to.
        At top end, there might be. But for many properties, practically no difference.

        So far as Europe is concerned, CP have good reports on upgrading. Otherwise think it’s have to be higher level than that and even then you might not be able to discern any actual upgrade.

        • Lev441 says:

          Thanks – was wondering about a stay next year at either the intercontinental Tel aviv or the crown plaza…

          • Phil says:

            As Spire I’ve always been given Lounge access at CPs, where they have a lounge, as a welcome gift. Sometimes you have to ask for it (they’ll offer you points or a drink instinctively) but I’ve always got it.

          • Hb133 says:

            Don’t expect anything from the David Intercontinental in Tel Aviv. Quite the worst service and management attitude I’ve had in Israel and I’ve been there a number of times. Status seems to make no difference in that hotel (I was spire elite at the tine) and there are many many better places in the city to spend your points or money.

          • Lev441 says:

            I’ve never really stayed anywhere in Israel with good service or attitude….It’s kind of expected in Israel! However interesting that your experience wasn’t good. I know people who go back to the David Intercontinental year in year out for the Jewish holidays…
            I wonder if status in the ambassador program would be recognised?

          • Hb133 says:

            I’ve had flawless stays at The Drisco, Hilton, King David and The Norman so it can be done and have been let down at Bereshit, The Brown, The Carlton and I’m sure others

          • eligold says:

            I just stayed in the Waldorf Jerusalem and it was really amazing service.
            I couldn’t find any fault even if I looked for it.
            With basic Hilton membership, we received a very nice room with Breakfast.
            Brilliant room service and all round extremely clean

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Intercontinental don’t really recognise anything but the ambassador programme. However, if occupancy is low it may increase your chances

            CP much more likely to upgrade.

          • Rob says:

            Some do. Le Grand in Paris used to give a letter to Plats (before Spire arrived) outlining what they got, because I got one once.

        • Chrisasaurus says:


          I’ll have you know my upgrade to an even numbered room was most welcome!

  • Lady London says:

    It;s cr*p. If it’s not showing on the Easyjet timetable it’s cancelled.

    btw when they put “sold out” recently, that was “90% we’re going to cancel this but we’re not within 4-2 weeks of the flight so we haven;’t finally decided yet”.

    Gone=gone, on Easyjet.
    This might change when flying gets serious again, when flights come back. But for now if it’s gone then the flight has been cancelled their computers just haven’t got to letting you know yet.

    They have kept a few routes with a flight on some days but basically, for all the other routes they’ve cancelled their methodology seems to be cancel the days they would normally cancel due to light loadings, first. So they might cancel Tuesdays plus 2 or 3 other days of the week on a route, first in a month. Then they would circle back to the other days and cancel leaving only 1 flight per day max so far as I can tell, then eventually people on those more popular days would eventually get notified long after people on the day of the week they knew to cancel immediately becuase it would never get that busy, were notified (difference can be 4 weeks depending on the day of the week your flight was so far as I can tell).

    Where Easyjet has gone down to only 1 or possibly, 2 flights per day, note my earlier postings on that for their latest wheeze – if you were on a flight that was cancelled, as in legally cancelled, gone, not taking place any more, then if Easyjet still has any other flight on that day going, they will *not* admit it’s cancelled, they will send you an email without any flight numbers at all on it claiming the time of your flight has changed. When in fact it’s a cancellation.

    Done it to me for flights over 4 hours later or earlier, and up to 15 hours later claiming it’s a change and refusing to take me off the flight when I told them I would not be taking up the seat at that different flight time. So I now look like I’m a “no show” thanks to the way Easyjet is lying about cancellations trying to claim they’re only changing the time (but the flight number is different and it’s always a longstanding different flight number they move you to ).

    So beware.
    They *will admit cancellation, but only if they have no other flights on that same day.

    this is what I have concluded from observation and experience.

    • Lady London says:

      *re above once again the website has had a blip and put the reply in the wrong place. 2nd time today and this time I also got asked to identify 3 rounds of bicyles on a captcha. Really.

      • memesweeper says:

        worth a second post though 🙂

      • TOBIAS L says:

        Take your whining elsewhere. Plenty of forums for people like you.

        • Aston100 says:

          Bit of an overreaction don’t you think?

        • Rob says:

          Do we use captcha?!

          • Lady London says:

            apparently, if the new website has had a blip (or maybe my network blipped) and decided it no longer has all the data it wants about your connection, yup it threw me a captcha mid-reply before allowing me to continue 🙂

        • Cat says:

          This is very much a forum for Lady London, thank you very much.

          • Polly says:

            And LL worked very hard over the past few months advising people on how to get refunds etc etc.. very helpful, keep up the extremely good work m ‘lady! Much appreciated by those who know you…

          • Cat says:

            Indeed Polly – thanks loads for your help over the last few months Lady London!

          • eligold says:

            LL always has great insights to share and this stuff about Easy jet is also hugely helpful to know

        • Jack says:

          How rude. Unbelievable.

  • Kevin says:

    A silly question, may I know whether the Amex Marriott £50 offer must be used for Marriot own hotels only or can also qualify when pay for stay at Residence Inn or Sheraton?

  • EKForever says:

    Apologies for asking if this has already been raised, but…..I have just received a BA change of flight notice, where they have moved my flight to 24 hours later. This was a flight + car booking. I just called the Newcastle call centre, who advised that a) I will not get a refund for my 1 reduced day of car hire; and b) if I wanted to keep the duration of my holiday the same by returning back 1 day later, I would have to pay an additional amount due to a change in the car hire.

    They would rather issue me with a full refund than waiving the car hire change fee.

    Am I right to put my foot down over this issue….no wonder I rarely fly with BA.

    • Sukes says:

      EKForever I’ll have a crack at it. I assume you booked direct with BA Hols & booked car at same time as or within 24hrs of the flight. If so you’ve booked a Package Holiday as defined by the UK’s 2018 Package Travel & Linked Travel Arrangement Regs, which is the UK version of the underlying EU directive. Bear with me cos this comes down to semantics in legislation.

      BA’s relevant Clause is written to confirm with 3.11.1-6 of the UK regulation, which you can access at Under Clause 8.3 of current BA Holidays T&C the operator considers a departure time change of over 12hrs to be a Significant Change to your package. You have the choice under Cl8.6 to i) accept the change; ii) accept alternative arrangements with a *price* (asterisks are added by me) differential refund if applicable; or iii) cancel with full refund within 7D. So far so inline with what BA has told you. Note you have to tell BA within 7D what option you are taking otherwise they will automatically process a refund.

      However BA Hols has a very specific interpretation of subsequent section 3.11.7 of the UK regulation. The latter states where the accepted changes to the contract ‘result in a package of lower *quality* (again asterisks are mine) or cost, the traveller is entitled to an appropriate price reduction.’ Now Cl 8.6.3 of BA’s terms states that refund is only due if there is a difference in price – I read this as too narrow a transposition of the UK legislation whereby your changed package, with its curtailed duration, is now of lower quality and of diminished value to you even if its provision was at the same or higher cost to BA. As a result of your trip being x% shorter in time duration, I would state to BA why this personally makes the trip inferior for you vs what you purchased and that you formally request a price reduction under their legal liability as created under Part 3.11.7 of the UK regulation. Good luck.

    • Lady London says:

      this does not sound right. I believe ATOL regulationa which govern BA Holidays would allow you to cancel the whole thing and get a full refund for this.

      Are you sure you were talking to BA Holidays? Assuming you booked this as a BA Holiday there will be a separate number in your documentation.

      If you did book them separately then the same is true of the flight (this time due EU261 not ATOL) but you would receive no compensation for any ancillary arrangements you had made separately eg loss of car hire days or nonrefundable hotel nights. in thar case you could check if your insurance would cover it.

      • Sukes says:

        Hi LL EKForever stated BA Hols were willing to give a full refund; that doesn’t seem to be in Q.

  • Bonglim says:

    Does anyone know if BA offer anything for closed lounges? Flying out of Larnaca and it suggests the aspire lounge there (used by BA) is closed.
    Am I going to get a ‘tough luck’ from BA or some kind of food voucher?

    • Lev441 says:

      Let me know please too – flying out on Tuesday eve!

    • Simon says:

      Was in Larnaca 3 weeks ago- all lounges are closed- nothing offered. There’s very little open airside.

    • Jack says:

      I saw somebody on FT who had written to BA about it and they told him ‘F off’ basically on the grounds that lounge use was only “where available”.

    • guesswho2000 says:

      Very unlikely, they provided nothing when their lounge at FCO was closed long term due to the fire, a partner lounge closed during the pandemic is going to be below the bottom of their list, I suspect.

  • Tim Rogers says:

    What’s the latest on Amex Platinum retention deals?

    I’m minded to cancel since I haven’t been able to use the lounge access since February. I previously got a 20,000 retention bonus 3 months ago or so.

    • Darren says:

      Someone recently reported 40000 for renewal after they complained about the lack of usable benefits.

      • David says:

        AE Business Platinum offers £250 credit (transferable to bank account) 4-8 weeks after renewal AND pro rata refund of annual £595 fee if subsequently cancelled.

    • Harry T says:

      I was given 40,000 points the other day when I said I was thinking of cancelling my Platinum card.

  • BLT says:

    Does anyone know for certain if the virgin CC 241/ upgrade voucher has to be used by the member who earns it? I’d like to use it for my sister and her family?

    • High Grade says:

      Yes voucher has to be used by the person who earned it. Virgin confirmed this to me last week.

  • eligold says:

    Is there any arrivals lounge to be had in Heathrow currently for Virgin or BA?

    • Rob says:

      BA opened it briefly but closed it again – with no early morning long-haul arrivals of note, it had no customers.

      Plaza Premium Arrivals is open in T2 for Virgin passengers.

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