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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)

  • Nick_C says:

    “Tunisia has reclassified the UK as a Covid ‘red’ country, meaning that, from today, entry will only be permitted to Tunisian nationals or people who are permanent residents in the country.”

    https://www.travelmole.com/news_feature.php?c=setreg&region=2&m_id=_rv_rY!b~A&w_id=38058&news_id=2044460

  • Nigel says:

    A question for the wise travellers among you (Rob?): Looking at BA flights to MCO in late April next year, it seems to show flights from both LGW and LHR with identical take off and landing times. Gives the impression that instead of changing the departure airport they are selling tickets on two flights but will perhaps cancel one nearer the time? If this is the case, being on the one which is cancelled might mean trying to squeeze onto the other and hoping some decent seats are left. Does anyone have any insight into which (LGW or LHR) would be more likely to go ahead if BA flights to MCO are happening at all in April?

    • Jane says:

      I have been monitoring these for quite a while and have finally booked for next August (fingers crossed). Both flights have been there for ages so it isn’t a new Covid feature – I don’t think they’d get away with regularly cancelling one. I booked the Gatwick departure simply because I could get 4 x CW in the school holidays but not on the Heathrow one.

      • Nigel says:

        Thanks. Hope both of our trips go ahead! I find it hard to understand that they’d intend both flights to happen with identical scheduled take off and landing times into MCO, though…

        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          Given that BA are pulling a lot of things from Gatwick and are likely to want to protect their high value Heathrow slots I would guess the safest option is probably Heathrow.

          I believe as MCO is mainly a tourist destination, pre Covid it was run from Gatwick because it is cheaper. The Heathrow route is new (indicating an attempt to hedge their bets on cancelling Gatwick services). So I would think that Heathrow is again probably safer option.

    • Annabel says:

      Hi Nigel. I booked by telephone an Avios MCO trip yesterday for august 2021 and BA said they were only going to run the outbound 125pm LHR flight and cancel the LGW flight ( even though both flights still appear to be open for bookings! )

  • Benilyn says:

    Used Curve + Creation IHG card. It’s not showing up on pending on Creation website, is that normal? Only asking as my 1Y anniversary deadline coming up so want to make sure it goes through

    • The Urbanite says:

      Creation’s system is temperamental, sometimes transactions only show up once they have cleared.

    • Peter K says:

      Only seems to hit 2-3 days after purchase. I’d give yourself a decent amount of leeway to hit the target!

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      Very normal. Most Curve transactions never show as pending for me.

      They do come off the available balance straight away though, and will post fine after a couple of days.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      My curve transactions take at least 2-3 days to show up on creation.

  • Stoneman says:

    Needing to cancel or shift a BA flight but it seems you can only do this via the telephone. Is this now a new thing?

    • Stoneman says:

      So, does anyone know the number to ring to actually get a refund? Seems the website is designed to keep pushing me towards a voucher.

      • Anna says:

        Been the case since March. Unless it’s a F flight the received wisdom seems to be to call the 0800 number but don’t press any options and you may get through to someone. Chances might be better early morning or evening, though some people have been reporting getting through quickly at different times recently. I think it depends on how many flights BA have cancelled in the past few days.

        • Stoneman says:

          Anna: Thanks. The 0800 number gets me through to someone that tells me to ring the 0344 number which then cuts off. And then when I get through to the executive club, they tell me I can’t cancel because I have a car hire included. All in all, it is quite a system that ole Alex Cruz has set up here. I doth my cap to him for making it nigh impossible to get a refund!

          • Anna says:

            That’s a BA holiday then, but as far as I know you can still cancel for a FTV (though it may depend on when you booked. There have been various articles on HFP about BA’s policies over the past few months).

          • Stoneman says:

            Can you not even make an alteration to a pre-existing booking online?

            Seems I am confronted with a 45 minute queue on the phone lines. I shall not be making any more bookings with BA for the foreseeable future given their behaviour. Even being a gold doesn’t seem to help.

          • Darren says:

            I hope you get the refund, I really do. It should be a clickable option but BA and others are making it very difficult.

          • AJA says:

            0344 493 0747 option 1 (calls charged at local rate) or +44 191 4907901 option 1 then option 1 says (outside the UK) but try it anyway

            Or if booked after 3 March, so within book with confidence policy, apply for a FTV online and then phone up once received to book a new holiday.

  • Anna says:

    Looking at the IC O2 as a back up to the Paris Le Grand for my birthday weekend next year in case there’s still quarantine. Rates for Ambassador free night certificate in a suite quite reasonable when you factor in lounge access. There are a couple of concerts on that weekend – will the hotel be adversely impacted? (Though my OH will probably be interested to know if the Pussycat Dolls will be staying there between performances 🤣)

    • memesweeper says:

      May 2021? I’d guess at least half a chance there will be no concerts at all … the location is what it is … the boat is the cool way to get to the sights from there, but the tube is quicker.

      • Anna says:

        These are already re-scheduled but I guess it’s a case of wait and see as no-one knows how long the current situation will last. As to the location, I quite fancy exploring Greenwich, I am a bit of a history geek and haven’t been to this part of London since I was a little girl!

        • John says:

          If it’s an option where you’re departing from (and depending on the weather) flying into London City gives you some fabulous views of the whole area, and if you’re lucky with the flight path, Westminster, South Bank etc.

          • Anna says:

            I would love to do this but flights from MAN are only Sundays as far as I know (and who knows if they’ll even be running next year?) I also like the views coming in to land at LHR from our MAN connections onto long haul.

        • Genghis says:

          Note that if you want to get to Cutty Sark from the 02, the bus (188) at peak times can take an age, probably the same as going via Canary Wharf, with a train from London Bridge and a short walk just as quick.

    • Rob says:

      There is a curfew on the O2 so the concerts won’t run late, even if noisy. Not sure if a lot of people try to hit the hotel bar afterwards.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      The lounge is quite pleasant with a few nice spot looking towards the river/Canary Wharf, worth it on an ambassador stay. Few canapés to tie you over but deffo won’t replace a meal like some lounges can and drinks selection is more than good enough.

      Be cheeky and ask for 2 drinks vouchers and exchange for a couple nice cocktails in the bar (£15 each with service charge). I prefer the clipper bar to the the sky bar but worth trying both.

      There have been concerts twice while I was there and the lounge wasn’t busy at all (probably because the prices and IC lounge access keep numbers down)

  • SL says:

    Made the mistake of paying corporation tax with Miles and More thinking this was fine and VAT was the one that caused problems. Now payments over £100 are not going through.

    Any other opportunities to pay HMRC aside from using Curve Metal with Virgin/IHG?

    Thanks

  • JA says:

    I have just renewed my IHG Ambassador . My free weekend night showed within a few minutes. However it’s not showing 15000 points that I have received on previous renewals. Have they stopped this?.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Check your balance hasn’t increased 15k as I noticed the line item shows 0 but you do get them.

      • JA says:

        Thanks you are right

        Looking at the app on my phone it does show zero. However when I look on the IHG website it actually shows 1500

  • BS says:

    Anyone know if the net-a-Porter offer that has appeared on my Amex can be used at Mr Porter? I know the purchases actually appear as Net-a-Porter on the statement…

    • Rob says:

      No. Amex did a separate Mr Porter code a couple of weeks ago but all the sign-up slots went within 24 hours. I had to scrap the article I’d done.

      • BS says:

        I know they did separate codes, but they both show up as Net-a-porter on your statement. It would be interesting if both worked at Mr Porter/Net-a-porter or vice-versa. I was just wondering if anyone had tested this at any point

        • Gin and Tonic Please says:

          My Mr Porter transactions have always shown as that, and never as Net-a-Porter. Obviously wouldn’t work in that scenario.

      • CTR says:

        Was discussed a few months back. Mr Porter doesn’t trigger the NET-A-PORTER Offer – just doesn’t work. When a Mr Porter transaction posts on your account it differentiates itself from Net-A-Porter in merchant details if you click on transaction.