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The HfP chat thread – Monday 28th 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 (138)

  • Gerry says:

    Can anyone find promotional rates for latest IHG, I have had look and cant seem to find.

  • Optimus Prime says:

    Have just noticed the ‘Recent comments’ links are back! Thanks HfP!

    • memesweeper says:

      where?

      • Rhys says:

        Just a test. Back in proper later this week hopefully.

      • SammyJ says:

        Just a quickie please:
        We’ve got 4x return LHR-MIA paid using 2x Amex companion vouchers, 300k Avios, plus £2800ish.
        If we cancel do we get the whole lot back except for £140? The 2-4-1s just go back in the account along with all the Avios, and they’ll refund the cash quite quickly? Thanks!

        • SammyJ says:

          Has my post somehow gone in as a reply? Oops, not sure how I managed that!

        • Gin and Tonic Please says:

          Yes all correct, other than the “quite quickly” part, which can vary… Also, I’m assuming your 241 hasn’t already expired. If so, I think you get a 6 month extension, though I could be wrong.

        • Jill (Kinkell) says:

          Yes…did this myself. Avios and 241 back, still waiting since 14 th September for cash to be returned

  • QwertKnowsBest says:

    Can I ask for help from anyone knowledgeable about the much-discussed BA vouchers.

    I have flights to USA booked for 4th October using a companion voucher and Avios. For obvious reasons I will not be travelling, the flight is NOT showing as cancelled. I made the booking on 13th Feb. I called BA today to cancel and obtain a future travel voucher, but as I had booked prior to the 3rd March and travel was after 30th September, they advised they could only refund less a £35 per person charge and would add a 6 month extension to the voucher which would then expire on 10th April 2021. I pushed for a voucher, but the only suggestion was to wait a few days and try again to see if a change in BA policy.

    I am wondering if this is correct? Also, any advice if anyway to get the voucher extended beyond April 2021?

    Thanks for any advice/information.

    • Anna says:

      You may struggle to get a voucher if you booked before March (daft as no-one knew about Covid then!). Is it a flight which has been running up till now? There’s a small chance BA might still cancel it.

      • QwertKnowsBest says:

        Thanks Anna, annoying as had secured perfect day before connecting flights from MAN etc, buy hey ho bigger problems in the world!.

    • Harry T says:

      I don’t think you’ll have much luck getting a future travel voucher, even if BA extend Book with Confidence.

      I have heard of people making a booking with their 241 that they know will likely be cancelled and then converting the cancelled booking into a FTV that expires in April 2022. This may be possible even if BA don’t cancel.

      • QwertKnowsBest says:

        Thanks Harry T, noted re booking poss cancel flights but I will leave it a couple of days and take the cash and hope can use 241 before April.

        Cheers

        • AJA says:

          Right now your best hope is that Book With Confidence gets extended to cover October flights – that’s a very slim hope since we are only 2 days from October and BA doesn’t seem to be doing anything. Can you do a flight date change? Ordinarily you would have 12 months from date of issue of tickets so you could move booking until 12 Feb 2021? That said it sounds like you used the companion voucher on the very last validity date if they will only extend validity until 10 April 2021. But check your BAEC account – you might find it already shows that the voucher is valid until 10 April 2021 in which case you might be able to reschedule. Amex companion vouchers were automatically given a 6 month extension of validity even if they were used.

    • Charlieface says:

      I would wait til the last minute just in case they cancel the flight

      • QwertyKnowsBest says:

        Will do.

        Can anyone remind best number and time to call BA in the hope of reaching the UK call centre.

        Thanks

        • Doug M says:

          Have you checked thebasource to see if the flight has typically been operating. No guarantee but a good guide to whether it’s likely to operate.

  • RobL says:

    Any suggestions as to the best travel insurer for a skiing trip to Italy in January. That will cover Covid risk?

  • Zark says:

    Haven’t spotted his news anywhere on HfP, so thought I would share.
    Seychelles is opening up for us from UK with a covid pcr test not more than 48 hours before flying there, stay in your hotel first 5 days (designated hotels listed) and if you pass the free test done by their authorities, free to carry on holiday. Must have health insurance covering covid.

    http://tourism.gov.sc/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Visitor-Travel-Advisory-for-countries-with-Special-Status-21-September-2020-5.pdf

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Aren’t you allowed to spend 5 days on the property doing whatever you want?

      Do people do much else than stay on your property/property boats etc in the Seychelles ?

    • meta says:

      Posted this the other day.

    • John says:

      Very strange list. To put the forlorn U.K. with countries like DE, and then U.K. ban countries like CH?

  • AdamJ says:

    For anyone travelling from ARL (Stockholm), BA are currently flying from T5 instead of T2.

    The OneWorld website says the ARL T5 lounge (Menzies/Norrsken) does not welcome BA Exec club, but they do. It’s fairly mediocre, but somewhere to sit.

  • Seen8 says:

    Rather late question to ask but…BA status cut off point vs. extension which was granted earlier this year.

    My partner’s BA card year ended 8th of June this year, and she was Silver up until then, dropping afterwards to Bronze. I vaguely recall BA was extending Status but the cutoff point was mid-June, and I remember reading some comments of people reaching out to BA and asking them for leniency if they were a few days on the other side of the cutoff point (e.g. extending Silver as they’ve done for those pre-June).

    1) Does anyone have any advice on this?
    2) Does anyone recall the cutoff date?
    3) Would there be any point in my partner reaching out to BA to try this,
    4) What would be the best comms channel e.g. Twitter, Phone?

    Thanks!

    S

    • AJA says:

      The 12 month status extension policy was announced on 11 June so 3 days after your partner’s TP year end. It applies to everyone with a TP end date of July 2020 until June 2021.

      Members whose Tier Point collection end date was in May or June 2020, who did not meet the reduced qualification requirement for their Tier will have the 12-month extension applied to their new Tier once their current card expiry date has passed.

      So your partner’s newly demoted Bronze status should have been extended until the end of July 2022. Get her to take a look at her BAEC account on the website and under the home page click on the View more account information. It will show date of joining the club and Tier Point collection year end and the Card expiry date.

      • Seen8 says:

        Yes, it was extended to 2022. The (perhaps naive) remark I had was if her expiry date had been after July, she would’ve been Silver when it was announced, rather than Bronze – so she was unlucky by less than a month or so.

        I understand people were able to still request some leeway and get the previous status extended, rather than the new July status. Is this correct?

        • AJA says:

          Hi I believe that was if they could show actual flight reservations cancelled by BA that would have taken them over the revised thresholds. How close to retaining Silver was your OH? Also I think three months later you might be pushing it. Remember she benefits from the reduced threshold of 450TP to move back up to Silver and only has to do so from 9 June 2021 to 8 June 2022. So if you’re not flying much it might be worth just going with that.

        • Jonathan says:

          Might get an extension if very close to retaining Silver or had flights that would have got her over threshold but were cancelled but otherwise you won’t get very far. If she couldn’t generate 400 TP’s in the 9 months to March then BA won’t view her as someone worthy of an exception unfortunately!

  • Aliks says:

    What a mess at Heathrow T5 this afternoon!

    We got off the plane from Pisa at about 2pm, offboarding 4 rows at a time to spread things out – social distancing you know.

    When we got into the terminal, we were faced with a huge crowd queuing down the narrow corridor. When I say huge I mean 3 abreast, 300 metres long, with zero social distancing.

    It turned out that some airport jackass with a badge was holding the crowds back in order to prevent overcrowding at the passport check machines. I asked him why the queue was so long and he replied that it was all the people coming back from holiday (on a Monday afternoon?) He really seemed to enjoy his job as another passenger started arguing about incompetence, and was kicked out of the queue and made to go right to the back.

    COVID needs care and attention, but it doesnt need self appointed busybodies enforcing pointless rules. Needless to say, the queues in the spacious passport hall were short and there was no sign of track and trace . . . . .