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The HfP chat thread – Monday 26th 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 (252)

  • David says:

    onefinestay spend £200 get £200 back appeared on BAPP + Supp

    Also less excitingly looks like Accor finally joined all amex offer party with spend £350 get £50

    • KS says:

      Onefinestay could be really useful if it allows split payments across multiple cards.

    • Andrew says:

      This has been a feature of the platinum card since the fee increase, as a monthly repeating offer, like the Addison Lee credit. However £200 doesn’t get you even in the door, so I’ve never used it. I guess they are rolling it out as a one off offer to other cards now as maybe no one is using it on platinum.

      • KS says:

        Yes but I have it on platinum and now on 2 BAPPs, that makes it £400 + $200 off. I could pay £100 and get the cheapest property in Milan for 3 nights.

        • meta says:

          There is a minimum stay on most properties and I think you have to book online so there is no possibility of splitting on different cards. It might be possible over the phone though.

        • Rob says:

          If they are willing to split the bill, yes.

    • Jil says:

      My free AMEX rewards card got the same, I think it’s rolling out to everyone

      • Rob says:

        That is a permanent Plat benefit of course. You won’t find anything for a lot more than £200 though.

        • Amar says:

          Thanks Rob . . .but doesn’t that mean if me and my wife both have a Plat & 1 supp for each other (4 cards total) we could book an $800 stay, split across 4 cards and get the full $800 back . . . .as many times as we wanted?

          Seems too good to be true . . .

          • Rob says:

            If they would do it BUT in the 18 months that the offer has been on Plat, no-one has ever mentioned successfully splitting a bill.

            Remember that OFS funds all this. The call centre person who does it for you may be unemployed by Friday.

            OFS now earns Accor points I think.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Accor is very poor. £50 off £350 won’t drive much extra business.

      • Nick says:

        Yes it’s not like Accor to do the same thing as everyone else but significantly less generous 😜

  • J says:

    Just reading about the passengers forced off a Qatar flight to Sydney and strip searched – would this put anyone off flying Qatar?

    • ChrisC says:

      Some context would be good before you try and stir people up.

      It appears the airline involved was incidental to authorities trying to find the potential mother of the baby.

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-26/qatar-airport-baby-women-invasive-search/12812364

      Was it badly handled then yes it was but it was the Qatari authorities not the airline that did this.

      • John Caribbean says:

        I’ve a ET flight to Lanzarote, booked as part of a holiday package, flight plus car. The flight has moved from LGW to LHR and as such it seems I can cancel.
        Is this a completely free cancellation of both flight and car, and I’d get my entire deposit back?
        I have DMd BA on Twitter but no response yet

        • AJA says:

          Your post somewhat oddly appears in the middle of another unrelated post. But to answer your question yes it is a cancellation so you can get a full refund from BAH.

      • blenz101 says:

        Well the airline and state are one and the same in Qatar. It does seem however that some of the news articles are written with a particularly negative outlook on the Middle East.

        I don’t think this would be headline news had it been a western country undertaking the searches to identify the mother. Undertaking invasive searches are not exactually unheard of in the context of airport security / customs and law enforcement. There has been no suggestion that the searches were not undertaken in complete privacy and by female medical teams.

        I guess the authorities could have communicated the reasons for the search which sounds like it was lacking but attempting to locate the mother does not seem completely unreasonable.

        • Andrew says:

          It was an extraordinary situation to find a newborn baby abandoned in an airport toilet and they were acting in the best interest of the child to locate its mother

      • Adam says:

        Sure, but you’re far more likely to be in HIA if you’re flying Qatar so asking the “will this put you off flying Qatar” query seems pretty sensible to me, no?

        • Andrew says:

          Everyone on this site loves Qatar Airways because its business class is consistently one of the best around, often at the best price ex-EU, and you can almost earn a BA silver card from one return trip to Asia. So in answer to the original question would this put me off – no it wouldn’t.

    • AJA says:

      I am male, and therefore unlikely to give birth, so very unlikely to be strip searched to prove I’d just given birth. As a resultI don’t think that this would stop me. There are however plenty of other reasons to avoid Qatar.

      As for the incident itself the handling of this does seem a little OTT but I suspect the reporting has been somewhat sensationalised. It was limited to 13 passengers so I guess they targeted certain women ie the most likely to have just given birth and abandoned a baby in the airport. I don’t think they were manhandled or even searched by a man.

      • Chris says:

        Due to entry restrictions Aus flights can only carry about 40 passengers at the moment

    • Lady London says:

      Yes. me.
      It was a timely reminder that the government regime even at a transit stop can lead to horror.

      Previously I would have just gone with Qatar for any non-US longhaul I do. But now not so sure.

      At least the ladies in this case were not alone. My bet is some poor employee who suffered a miscarriage.

  • Andrew says:

    It was an extraordinary situation to find a newborn baby abandoned in an airport toilet and they were acting in the best interest of the child to locate its mother.

    • Adam says:

      Yes, that’s why you very often see police in the UK strip-searching every woman in a city where a newborn child has (tragically) been abandoned. Oh wait. You don’t.

      • Sam says:

        A lot different to 13 women in a plane, compared to “every woman in a city”.

        • Adam says:

          You seem to miss the point my facetious comment was aimed at drawing out – namely that locating the mother of an abandoned newborn is important for the welfare of both newborn and far more so for the mother herself – but it is not a necessity so to subject thirteen women to an invasive medical examination to which they cannot really give informed consent given the circumstances is totally unnecessary.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        @Adam how many cities have 13 residents?

        • Adam says:

          See above – you’re somewhat missing the facetious point. Finding the mother was not a necessity – and would you believe it, it turned out she wasn’t one of those 13 women so the group they needed to search was in fact larger than the 13 being bandied around…

          • Andrew says:

            I think finding the mother of a new born baby is a necessity!

          • AJA says:

            Adam, I get you are outraged on behalf of the 13 female passengers subjected to this. What I don’t get is your lack of concern for the welfare of the newborn baby? How do you think they should have handled this?

            I suspect the reporting has been overly dramatic and think they were asked to remove their clothing rather than stripped of it in a frenzied search which is how the reporting comes across.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Some very sensationalist views going on here.

            I seriously doubt any doctors/ambulance crew sexually assaulted anyway in the medical exam. I also find the reports that no one spoke English extraordinary since most doctors/ambulance etc are foreign citizens who are expects to use English as their first language.

    • Chris says:

      Andrew : Why are you vigorously defending state sanctioned sexual assault. For the benefit of the rest of us; what is the point you consider sexual assault to be innapropriate.

      Oneworld should be throwing Qatar out today.

      • AJA says:

        Rubbish. You’ve been taken in by the sensationalist reporting!

        • Chris says:

          The government of Australia’s statement sensationalist?

          “ Reports indicate that the treatment of the women concerned was offensive, grossly inappropriate, and beyond circumstances in which the women could give free and informed consent,”

          • AJA says:

            I do think that it must have been an awful experience and I suspect they could have handled it better but being dragged off a plane as some reports state or being asked to disembark is two different situations.

            That statement you quote was made by a spokeswoman only today and is sensationalist. The thing is the incident apparently happened on 2 October and yet it was only reported in the media yesterday. Why?

            Apparently it was the airport authorities who asked the 13 passengers to disembark, not the airline.

            The airport itself issued this statement:
            “Medical professionals expressed concern to officials about the health and welfare of a mother who had just given birth and requested she be located prior to departing.”

            There is also some discrepancy as to where the searches took place – apparently a German doctor on board said “They were taken by security personnel into the cellar, not knowing what was going on”

            But in the same article it also says “Channel Seven, which first reported the story on Sunday, said the inspections involved 13 Australian women, and took place in an ambulance on the runway.”

            “Qatar Airways told Guardian Australia it had not been contacted by any of the passengers on the flight and said it could not comment.”

            https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/25/australia-demands-answers-after-women-taken-from-qatar-airways-flight-and-strip-searched

            Therefore it seems that the dispute is between the passengers and the Qatari authorities and not the airline. On that basis it seems unfair to throw Qatar Airways out of Oneworld.

        • Adam says:

          Replying to your response to my comment above here as we’d exceeded the number of replies possible above.

          You said this:

          “Adam, I get you are outraged on behalf of the 13 female passengers subjected to this. What I don’t get is your lack of concern for the welfare of the newborn baby? How do you think they should have handled this”

          I’m not sure why you think I don’t have concern for the welfare of the neonate – I certainly didn’t intend to convey that view. The welfare of the neonate is absolutely critical. However, as you may be aware the neonate has already been discovered and so was capable of being adequately cared for by neonatal medical staff. Finding the mother is important, but not is not critical to the immediate welfare of the child which needs to be handled by appropriately trained medical staff in theee circumstances responding to prevent key immediate concerns (hypoglycaemia, hypothermia). Tracing the mother is focused primarily on her welfare (both physical as well as mental given she’s may be undergoing a period of acute of mental ill-health), as well as both identifying background medical information relevant to the child’s longer term health and potential criminal liability. But none of that requires immediately identifying the mother for the welfare of the child.

          • AJA says:

            I apologise for any offence my post may have had, none was intended. I am sure the Qatari officials did not handle this incident as well as they could have.

          • Lady London says:

            hypothermia……… in D o h a ? really?

          • ChrisC says:

            LL

            Hypothermia is not related to the air temperature but to body temperature and a babies body isn’t good at regulating its own temperature.

            A cold room can obviously make it worse but a hot room is not an automatic preventor of it.

          • A says:

            AJA – no worries, tone hard to judge on the internet as always. Safe to say it is was likely a scenario staff hadn’t been properly trained for and so inevitably it was handled in a less than perfect fashion.

            LL – as Chris points out, concern for hypothermia for neonates isn’t really related to ambient room temp (though that helps) but the general inability of neonates to regulate their own body temperature. An unclothed or semi-clothed neonate not in skin-to-skin contact will quickly become (potentially dangerously) hypothermic.

      • Anna says:

        Unfortunately most countries on the planet are less liberal than the UK (despite some popular myths) – we’d never do business with anyone if we judged them by our standards.

  • John Caribbean says:

    Sorry, originally replied in a thread so re posted, hope that’s ok
    I’ve a ET flight to Lanzarote, booked as part of a holiday package, flight plus car. The flight has moved from LGW to LHR and as such it seems I can cancel.
    Is this a completely free cancellation of both flight and car, and I’d get my entire deposit back?
    I have DMd BA on Twitter but no response yet

  • Ant says:

    Looks like Ba has cancelled flights to Malta for December. We have business tickets for Christmas booked with A Lloyds voucher outbound and Avios inbound.
    Before I call BA this morning what are our rights as this makes life complicated for us as we need to go home for Christmas.
    Also Ba have not yet informed us of this cancellation.

    • Anna says:

      I think you will need to call avios.com for this if you used a Lloyds voucher. You are entitled to re-routing (in the same class if available) under EU261 – it might be worth having an alternative option to put to them. If they dig their heels in and deny you your rights you may have to book other flights and claim back via CEDR or MCOL.

    • Jonathan says:

      Go home as in get back to Malta? You are entitled to a reroute on a different carrier if BA can’t get you there reasonably close to your original dates (+/- 2 days at most).

      You will struggle to get this out of BA in the absence of flights on a partner so will probably have to book alternative yourself & take BA to small claims court to recover the cost. It’s a cut & shut case so no risk you’ll lose, it’s just a bit of a hassle.

      Things to bear in mind, DO NOT accept a refund from BA for your original flights as they have then fulfilled their obligations to you. You also need to give them an opportunity to fulfill their obligations so try on the phone then if you get nowhere send written correspondence (e-mail or recorded letter) stating what you’re requesting under EU 261 regulations then if they refuse send a further letter headed Letter Before Action. If they don’t backdown then go to Money Claim Online & start proceedings. You can include your reasonable expenses eg. Postage, £25 MCOL fee & interest at 8% from date of claim. Expect them to back down prior to court hearing although it may be at last minute.

  • James says:

    Good morning all,

    Im looking for some help. I know I’ve read on here somewhere about somebody complaining to BA regarding a number of flight cancellations and BA bumped them up to BA EC Silver. If someone could provide me with the article URL that would be most helpful!

    • Jonathan says:

      You need to wait till the end of your Tier Point collection year then if you had cancelled flights which would have retained your status level there are reports CS will consider granting an extension. This was prior to the universal status extension/reduced thresholds so may not be applicable anymore. Those who succeeded (based on reports on FlyerTalk) also seemed to be retentions for those with a decent track record rather than upgrades.

  • Tom1 says:

    All offers disappeared from my Amex platinum charge card in the app this morning.
    Went there to see if the harrods offer had been added to the app.
    All my saved offers are still there, just no others.

    I know it happens sometimes, let’s hope there’s a harrods one when they return!

    • Andrew says:

      Still no sign of the Harrods offer in the offers tab. But it doesn’t start until next Monday so likely pop up then. Check your post this morning, notification probably there.

      • InfrastructureDebt says:

        Those with Harrods Amex – is there currently a £75 off £200 spend at Harrods offer floating about? If so what is the starting / expiry date of the offer?

  • Dave says:

    Anyone know if the Selfridges Amex offers typically trigger when used in the restaurants there?

    • Andrew says:

      Should be fine. For some odd reason when I pay at the Birmingham store the pending transaction always says “Selfridges Krispy Kreme”, but then once it clears it just says “Selfridges Birmingham” – and this is literally every till, not just food ones.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        I hear nespresso and a few others have their own tils.

        The safest way really is to buy a gift card then use it around the store.

        • Andrew says:

          Yes Nespresso and Louis Vuitton – some others too maybe. But if you have a gift card they will take you to a Selfridges till to pay.

      • RussellH says:

        Our local pub comes up as “The Old Vicarage” while pending, then changes to the name of the pub once cleared. The name of the pub is on the card receipt.

    • Chas says:

      In a similar vein, can anyone confirm if the spend £150 get £30 back at Selfridges which I’ve saved as an offer is likely to work on cumulative spend? I know that it isn’t specified in the T&Cs, but would appreciate any recent feedback.