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The HfP chat thread – Monday 22nd February

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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 (359)

  • Benilyn says:

    Ernie fixed?

  • Anuj says:

    Check your Aegean miles account for a gift of miles. There’s only 2 days to claim them. I got 1000. So now 6000 miles in total since opening for doing nothing.

  • stevenhp1987 says:

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/963491/COVID-19_Response_-_Spring_2021.pdf

    Point 94 (from 8th March): “In England, travel abroad for holidays will still not be permitted and, from 8 March, outbound travellers will be legally obliged to provide their reason for travel on the Declaration to Travel form.”

    Looks like a new form will be required to leave the UK and we must fill in our reason for leaving. Will they be looking to stop people leaving without a “reasonable excuse”?

    Point 115 (from 12th April): “People should continue to work from home where they can, minimise domestic travel where they can. International holidays will still be prohibited.”

    Looks like they are going to prohibit international travel?

    Will be interesting to see how much is guidance and how much will become law.

    • Andrew says:

      A review on international travel will be published on 12 April to allow “time for people to plan for the summer” so probably from June be permitted I would have thought.

    • Anna says:

      It will all require new legislation as the current regulations expire on March 31st. So they’ll have to either make it an offence to travel abroad per se without an approved reason or make it something you’re not allowed to leave your home for. Possibly more (to quote Keir Starmer) “empty threats”.

      • Anna says:

        It’s going to be very difficult to keep track of who’s allowed to do what on which date.

      • Andrew says:

        Labour still pushing for comprehensive hotel quarantine too.

        • James says:

          And? The Tories have a stonking majority and have made, and no doubt will contiune to make (and have full responsibility for), all decisions since January last year based on what they want to do.

      • abc says:

        They’ll obviously extend the regulations (and make appropriate relaxations as outlined in the government’s plan). However, as they are planning to get rid of the ‘stay at home without a reasonable excuse bit’ from 29 March, on international travel if they wanted to outlaw holidays they’d have to include specific rules on international travel (and define what a ‘holiday’ actually is), which don’t exist at the moment.

        • Blair says:

          And frankly it must be easier to simply focus on returning travellers and what a safe UK re-entry looks like instead of casting around to define a holiday in an era of digital nomads and remote working.

    • Andrew says:

      Remember, that’s England.

      Sturgeon or Drakeford might allow foreign holidays, so it’s perfectly possible that there’ll be a queue of Welsh or Scots at Heathrow, Edinburgh or Cardiff travelling legally.

      • Andrew says:

        I can’t imagine Nicola being less cautious than Boris.

        • memesweeper says:

          she’s opened schools more quickly than England this time

          • Froggee says:

            Just for the tiddlers. Baby steps on that. But it worked out okay for me as my two were back today.

      • Tracey says:

        And what happens if you are in a cross border support bubble. Am I literally going to have to do a back to back into Wales to travel from Heathrow?

    • Blair says:

      Great detail Stephen. It’s easy on days like this to get carried away by the odious Kuennsberg’s hyperbole. The main prize, the only prize, is what the SIs say. Even though of course in a true democracy it ought to take an act of parliament…

      • Blair says:

        On that point, any news on when we can expect the SI to be published? And if Steve Baker and others might play hardball and seek greater scrutiny?

      • Eppleby Green says:

        I agree she is odious. She’s one of the reasons that I’ve not renewed the TV licence.

  • Matthew says:

    easyJet have pretty much cancelled all flights in March and April now so check your booking if you wish to rebook or get a refund.

    • Jody says:

      They were quick off the mark! That’s our Easter trip to Tenerife cancelled. Am considering changing it to a birthday trip in July, or possibly going for New Year.

    • Harry T says:

      Thanks, they’ve cancelled my April Prague flights, which were Milan flights originally from last summer. Think I’ll move them to 2022!

      • DK says:

        Annoyingly available schedule is till March end 2022 so you can’t move Easter cancellation to April 2022. And no sign of any claim form but endless request voucher/amend dates.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Yet 😉

        • Matthew says:

          There is a link on my cancellation to request refund. You can also just wait for next summer schedule to release then choose your dates. That’s what I’m doing….

          • yorkieflyer says:

            in the same boat, but can you let date of the cancelled flights go by? What happens then?

          • Harry T says:

            @Matthew is it possible to change to new dates online after the original flight dates have passed? If so, I’ll just wait until the April and May calendar next year opens up.

          • Matthew says:

            @Harry. Yes I had this last year. Flight to Naples cancelled in December. Even last week I could choose a new flight from any UK to anywhere in Italy. I held in incase it worked for us but chose refund instead. So yes you can just let it sit there until you decide. The only ‘risk’ would be if they change the flexibility they allow to change the airport in same country as I guess legally a reroute is normally same route. But worse case is you just get a refund.

          • Matthew says:

            @yorkieflyer Yes the cancellation just sits there in your ‘Manage Bookings’ until you decide what to do. I’d wait for summer 2022 flights to be released before making a decision.

          • yorkieflyer says:

            That’s good to know, hadn’t frankly occurred to me doh

  • John says:

    +1 (although at least Sainsbury’s tills are spitting stuff out, Tesco’s stopped doing that ages ago).

  • Keely says:

    Evening all can anyone recommend hotels in santorini ? (I’m informed that fira is the best place to stay?)

  • Roberto says:

    My IAG and Easy jet shares are pumping today. (nearly doubled since my purchase)
    Where are all the doom mongers that were too scared and saying don’t buy?😂

    • pauldb says:

      Why would you want to own an airline more highly valued than pre-COVID, saddled with a crippling amount of debt?

      • Rob says:

        BA doesn’t even have the capacity to get close to previous levels of profitability for a number of years given the loss of the 747 fleet.

      • Colin MacKinnon says:

        Exactly – if you weren’t a buyer in late 2019, why buy now?

        • Rob says:

          …. and with far fewer aircraft than it used to have, even if demand did shoot up.

    • Track says:

      Stop bravado, Roberto.

      Those shares are up by financial engineering and measures, eg 5-year long export loans from Govt, 4000 staff on furlough money from Govt. Without that the cash burn would be unacceptable and BA would’ve ceased to trade.

      When IAG become ‘pences stock’, eg under 100 pence, then anything is possible.

    • Kevin D says:

      Think about selling soon. Nobody ever got hurt taking a profit. Then put some money in Southwest airlines instead.

      IAG may continue rise some more but once air travel increases in the summer and beyond, it’s likely to be a bumpy road after that. Share price only going up at the moment due to vaccine optimism and roadmap out of Covid. Sooner or later it will start to reflect the business’ fundamentals, and I can’t see IAG making money over the next few years.

      • Alex says:

        I’m in the same boat, I have IAG, Boeing and EasyJet all doing well so going to cash-up sooner rather than later I think

  • Aston100 says:

    So am I right in thinking 17th May is the earliest we can go on a domestic holiday with overnight stays in hotels?
    And if so, is that just within England, or would I be able to do this in Scotland and Wales too?

    • Anna says:

      Scotland and Wales set their own rules so you’d need to check those as well as the English ones. It sounds as though hotels may be allowed to open from May 17th but from April 12th unless things start going backwards, you can have a holiday in self-catering accommodation, so holiday cottages, caravans etc. Prices for these are likely to be going skyward as we speak! You could theoretically stay in one of these but eat out al fresco so it’s not just like moving your every day life to another location. That’s what I’m hoping for later in April anyway!

      • meta says:

        From infographic in the document above Step 2 (from 12 April) also includes domestic stays overnight with your own household only, not just self-catering accommodation.

    • Peggerz says:

      Listen out for more from Scotland’s FM later today (Tuesday). She said on Monday that she believed the 4 UK govts would be acting along the same lines, but maybe not just at the same pace. Therefore I’m not sure about self catering (with caveats) opening in Scotland in mid April and hotels in Mid May like in England (assuming all goes well).
      Also, I had booked a weekend at the IC02 for the end of April and included my 40k ‘free night’ from IC Amb which has to be used by then. Well that didn’t go well.

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