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The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 7th October

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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 (228)

  • SLLee says:

    Looking for advice, please. BA cancelled my return journey twice (YVR-LHR in CW). Just called BAEC Gold line to change for May 2021. But they refused, citing ticket validity (till 15-APR). Can they do that, even when they forced the cancellations? Not interested in refund because partially used ticket won’t get me much. Thanks.

    • John says:

      When was the original journey

    • ChrisC says:

      yes it’s correct. 355 days from the date you were originally ticketted on. Original departure dates does not come into it it;s ticcket issue date.,

      Don’t think there is a workaround either.

      • Lady London says:

        The workround is they reticket you. They’ve cancelled more than one flight on you and that’s not your fault.

        No one has an unlimited number of dates they can travel in any 12 month long period. Some peoplecan only do one trip to a destination per year and that may be tied to the date of a family event or other event the traveller doesnt choose.

        I think I would ask them to issue a new ticket then if they have some admin issue not of your making, in allowing you to reroute your travel onto a later date convenient to you which you do have the right to as they cancelled, you didnt.

        .

        • Charlieface says:

          Yes legally speaking they need to give you a ticket. If their system won’t let tickets remain valid after 12 months (all airlines do this) that is their problem, they would need to reticket.

    • Sukes says:

      I am interested in the legal grounds BA is pursuing here as someone a few days ago on this blog quoted a similar issue. EU261 provides you the right to choose between I) reimbursement ii) reroute at earliest opportunity or iii) reroute at later date of your convenience assuming seat availability. You are allowed to choose once. The picture is a little muddled as you’ve had successive cancellations but I’m going to assume that you at the outset chose option iii.

      EU261 text does not confine this right to reroute at a later date to the ticket validity period set by the airline. I’m not aware of any subsequent court case or interpretation that has added this precedent.

      BA appear to be stating your rights are dependent on your contract with them being active. But CAA guidance on implementation of EU261 implies otherwise. As a precedent I would look at CAA wording on application of EU261 when an airline stops flying a route and thus cuts contract – reroute right does not fall even in such circumstances:

      ‘ in cases of ‘commercial’ cancellations, where multiple flights are cancelled because they are uneconomic to operate, the CAA considers that there should be sufficient time for airlines to identify suitable re-routing options in advance of announcing the cancellations, and also to ensure that sufficient staff and other resources are available to rebook passengers on alternative flights.’

      Furthermore if BA fail to achieve this McDonagh v Ryanair Ltd set grounds that the passenger could arrange their own reroute and seek reasonable costs from the airline for so doing to ensure the passenger is not out of pocket.

      I would
      1) ask BA for the legal basis on which they claim your eu261 rights are curtailed by their ticket validity period terms (& share if they unearth anything!)
      2) pursue getting re-route under eu261
      3) assuming no joy go through arbitration (free for you to do, see CAA website).

      CAA text quoted is found here, see p8 under major disruption: https://www.caa.co.uk/uploadedFiles/CAA/Content/Accordion/Standard_Content/Our_work/Annex%201Reouting%20under%20Regulation%20EU261%20and%20the%20CAAs%20view%20on%20compliance.pdf

  • Spk says:

    BA must be wondering why there hasn’t been much of a net increase in redemption bookings. 450 comments on the Avios offer article and 90% about cancelling and rebooking.

    • BJ says:

      I made 6x one way 37.5k new bookings. I could cancel and rebook outward leg of a 241 to save another 37.5k but did not do so yet as that reservation is already a bit messy. I doubt HfP is typical, I imagine they will get loads of new booking where potential pax previously had insufficient avios to make their plans come true.

    • Charlieface says:

      I doubt the people who made this promotion care. They are probably incentivised to bring in new bookings, cancellations probably don’t factor in.
      It’s the same reason Amex didn’t used to care if you cancelled and signed up again and again.

  • illuminatus says:

    Have been waiting for a refund from BA for a flight they cancelled for 12 weeks now. What are my options – chargeback?

    • Andrew says:

      Ring them to chase. I did this and got the refund in a matter of days. Some refunds seem to slip through the cracks.

  • mr_jetlag says:

    Willy Brandt Airport opening this month! Rob, any chance you or Rhys could be on hand?

    • John says:

      I expect it would depends if London goes on Germany’s quarantine list

      • Rob says:

        Apparently it will be a ‘low key’ event, so I doubt that involves flying in the British media!

        • mr_jetlag says:

          I hope they have a “Red Baron”. I have a soft spot for crap pubs in airports.

  • Sina says:

    Just got offered 6000 MR points on my gold card as retention offer! Spoke to the US team!

  • MadeUpName3 says:

    I have a Creation IHG free night voucher expiring this year. If I use it to book a hotel overseas for next year but cant travel due to the virus would I lose the night? If thats the case the safer option would be booking somewhere in the UK, so any recomendations for best value?

    • Dave says:

      Intercontinental Park Lane would be s pleasant night if you have any reason to be in central London..

    • Anna says:

      You can always cancel it and rebook, yet another of IHG’s useful flexible policies (or flaky IT, I’m not sure!)

    • Peter K says:

      You would lose the night if cancelled after it’s use by date.

  • S says:

    Platinum (personal) AMEX – offered 50,000 as a retention offer and manually addition of some offers onto the card & double MR points on Business Gold for 6 months

    • A270 says:

      Which number did you call? I keep reading ask for Brighton. Do you just ask for points or actually say you want to cancel.

  • Jody says:

    Had a chat with an upset Uber driver yesterday on my drive from hospital to Euston. He was moaning about the fixed fare thing that has just come in (and I knew about thanks to the article on here the other day). Said it was a total nightmare for drivers (although good for passengers), particular with all the new cycle lanes that have popped up. Mine was only a short trip, but he had to go round the back way to avoid getting stuck on Euston Road, which has gone from 3 lanes to 1, and he said he had basically avoided picking up fares to/from St Pancras for the same reason.

    My day was long but uneventful. Trains in both directions were very quiet, I was pleasantly surprised. Euston was like a ghost town, never seen it so quiet. Hospital was temperature check on entry, new mask given (even if you were already wearing one), lots of seating removed for social distancing etc. I was taken into each of my appointments early (which was great) and even bumped into my consultant who asked how I was then added me onto her telephone consultation list in around 6 weeks to go through my test results, as my next appointment isn’t until March. All in all a worthwhile day.

    • Peter North says:

      I had an eventful day too, I went to the dentist and they measured my temperature, it was fortunately within an acceptable range. I mentioned it to my friend who coincidentally had been to the same practice but had seen another dentist. Afterwards I went to my local shopping mall. They had hand sanitiser everywhere, I was thinking to myself if that drops on to the floor there could be a nasty accident, I conveyed my concerns to the centre management who to my dismay were not making notes of a potential health and safety breach, they were wearing masks however which actually made conversation difficult, but after I had made my representations and bid them good day, I headed for the local John Lewis to avail myself of The facilities, only to fond that they had closed down, fortunately M&S is still open , and I used theirs so all in all was not a wasted trip. I also bumped into James Milner the famous premier league footballer.

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