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The HfP chat thread – Thursday 20th May

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Comments (399)

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  • Alex Dudko says:

    Traveling to Madeira on Saturday 29th for a family holiday. What is my best option for pre-departure test and test on day 2 back in UK? If I get it right one test would be subsidized by the Madeira government, test before the return flight to the UK. Flying from Gatwick with EasyJet, me and my OH just had the first jab of vaccine.

    • Ron says:

      I think you still need to either have a negative PCR test result before flying to Madeira OR take a PCR test when you arrive at Madeira and wait for your negative test results, as you only had one jab. I think you need to have had both jabs 14days before you fly to be exempted. If you take the free PCR test on arrival at Madeira, then you will have to pay for the pre-departure test and day2 test.

    • PaulW says:

      See the Madeira tourist site. Basically one test free. Oct on arrival or a pre departure lateral fl0w in Funchal . I am opting for test on arrival (then hotel quarantine until result ). Taking a cured test with me for zoom consultation for return . Not booked day 2 test yet but it will be th£41 one that often takes ages but as long as I have done by bit…

      • Princess says:

        Which one is the day 2 for £41? The cheapest I found was £54.99 with eurofins…

      • Tracy says:

        From what I can find, you are only entitled to a free test for departure in Madeira IF you presented a negative PCR test before flying to Madeira. I am hopefully using the 90 day post covid exception to needing a PCR test to fly to Madeira so I will not be entitled to a free test in Madeira and will need to pay for a lateral flow test 3 days before my return to UK flight & day 2 test. At least that’s how I read it….

      • Alex Dudko says:

        thanks for the suggestion, after reading I see that I can take a test on arrival and wait for results in the hotel, the question remains would I be allowed to board at Gatwick without a negative test or safer choice would be to take a paid pre-departure test and the free one before the return flight.

  • Blair says:

    Anyone got useful experience of what hapoens to IHG credit card free nights that are past expiry now but due to be returned to the guest due to continued hotel closure? I have Intercontinental email today telling me the hotel won’t reopen till June but one of my free night certs was book by 31 Dec (or 30 April, I forget)

  • MCO says:

    Can you use Amex offer to buy gift card online at Harvey Nicholas. Thinking to combine a few of these on a bigger purchase. Can multiple gift cards be used online?

    • Sina says:

      You can buy gift cards online via Amex and will trigger the [email protected][email protected] in regards to spending them online, I’m not sure but others reported they have made the purchase using a credit card and email customer services with their gift cards and they were applied/refund issued. Not sure if this is still possible or you have the option to use them now!?

      • Andrew says:

        Sina is correct – the gift cards can’t technically be used on line, but you can/could email customer services once you’ve made your purchase using a regular payment card online and they would refund that payment card with the value of the gift card. This might not still be the case now that stores are open – email customer services to check. In-store you can pay for a single item using more than one Amex card in the same transaction.

  • Aston100 says:

    Dragonpass Update:

    Thank you for your email.

    Thank you for your patience whilst we have been investigating your request. I appreciate it has taken some time to create a resolution for you as we have been working with Dufry to be able to offer you the best outcome. The promotion that you signed up for was for a duration of 12 months. As the 12 months have expired, any passes that were in your account via this offer are no longer valid. DragonPass understand that this may feel unfair, so would like to offer you some form of compensation for the amount of money that you spent on your visits. We will respond in due course once we have further information and instructions.
    We apologise for any inconvenience that has been caused and we hope to have this resolved very soon.

    If you require any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me.
    Kind regards,

    • Char Char says:

      Again, I already have in writing that they confirmed to extend them 1 year, so accept nothing but a full refund.

      • S says:

        I got the same email. Was there an email confirming the extension? I can’t seem to find it!

        • Char Char says:

          No it was a response to an enquiry, as had looked to cancel them within the 12 months.

      • James Pleasant says:

        I have it in writing for the whole family as well. (12 month extension.)

        Probably Dragonpass are losing money on this would be my guess, obvs we can’t be sure how the relationship works with Dufry ie what gets paid, when.

        Let’s see what they offer.

        • Char Char says:

          Yes that’s right, I’d be happy with a refund at this point rather than deal with them any further

          • Aston100 says:

            Yeah same. I bought 10 passes at the time. Can’t see me using them all up until at least late next year.

          • Dave says:

            I’ve started a chargeback with my credit card co. The terms stated that a refund for unused passes was available at any time. Will see how that goes.

          • James Pleasant says:

            FWIW I got [your case is still being reviewed as we have to communicate to Red by Dufry due to the Terms & Conditions changes]

  • Harry says:

    Some help please. A group of 7 scheduled to fly back to UK this Sunday with BA(some reward ticket some cash ticket). Its a roughly 5 hour flight. The flight has been cancelled. What are my options? Many thanks

    • Anna says:

      Regardless of how you all paid, it is BA’s responsibility to get you back. Have you spoken to anyone? The first thing you need to do is request re-routing as per your EU261 rights. Many discussions on here re this. If they refuse to help you need to get proof of this if at all possible then make your own arrangements and claim costs back. But you need to see what, if anything, BA is offering first.

      • Harry says:

        Thank you Anna. They only have emailed me that my flight has been cancelled and only have offered a change of flight. The earliest is 2 days later

        • James Pleasant says:

          You can re-route yourself back earlier on competitor airline on comparable terms if you wish, pay for it yourself, keep receipts and claim back the difference from BA. They are also liable for duty of care ie hotel, food, transport to & from hotel/ airport, keep receipts no booze unless you get somebody in the hotel to call a few bottles of wine something else.

          Strictly speaking BA should willingly do this for you but if you try to get them to do it and meet reluctance, just make a note of the convo and go on & do it yourself.

          • Anna says:

            BA has been refusing to pay these claims – several HFP readers have had to resort to CEDR/MCOL to get money back so anyone in this position needs to ensure they have evidence to show that they gave BA the opportunity to meet the EU261 obligation first. BA would be within their rights to choose which airline to reroute you on as long as it was convenient for you, and you’d struggle to justify unilaterally making your own arrangements unless BA had demonstrably refused to assist you.

          • Lady London says:

            Check local rates as to what is reasonable for a decent hotel. If the going rate in an acceptable 4* is, say £95, I wouldn’t choose a hotel costing more than say £125-£130 tops. You could ask BA to provide distressed passenger hotel voucher for the two nights if you take that option. Make it clear to BA you expect them to fulfill all their legal responsibilities including all meals and transport etc as well as hotel. Internet also at hotel if reasonable cost as r
            that’s your communication expenses during your wait.

            Otherwise look up Lufthansa etc as the other poster suggests find a specific flight and ask BA for it. Due to changing planes in places like Germany though if not a direct flight I’m wondering if you could make the situation worse by having to quarantine after you get back if you choose that though. BA owes you all these expenses but currently they can wriggle out of compo.

        • Sam G says:

          BA can reroute on Lufthansa/Swiss/Austrian if they have any reasonable options available

          • Harry says:

            Thank you all.
            I have spoken to them and all they can offer is a flight 2 days later.
            If I take this flight am I entitled to compensation?

          • James Pleasant says:

            Depends if they use the Covid-19 get-out clause (not that it would stand up in court nowadays). What is your route? Have they told you why the flight is cancelled? (You can get this information quite easily provided you ask within 24hrs of the flight’s original timing.)

          • Anna says:

            Airlines are generally getting out of paying compo by saying all changes/cancellations are due to covid so you’d very likely have to fight BA to get anything. They have to cover your expenses for the extra 2 days though (but it’s also been reported that they have been refusing to do this as well, so another potential fight). You’d be within your rights to book yourself on a flight home sooner if you couldn’t wait the extra 2 days (e.g. due to work commitments) and would more than likely win at MCOL if BA refused to refund that.

          • James Pleasant says:

            If there are 5 of you on a jolly, maybe students, you might like to go to a decent hotel £200/ night each budget and eat & drink at BA’s expense for 2 days, then try and get compo later. As I mentioned, any booze should not be listed as booze or you won’t get it refunded.

          • Harry says:

            My route is Tel aviv to Heathrow.
            They have not given a reason. How do I get this info through BA? Phone them?

          • James Pleasant says:

            Probably just asking nicely on this forum would get you the answer, several helpful members (not myself) have the info if you give the exact date/ flight number. Failing that, there’s another good forum if you don’t get the answer soon enough here.

          • James Pleasant says:

            Just to be clear: you are entitled to duty of care (refund for the hotel & sustenance etc) no matter what. Will always be fully refunded provided you are reasonable ie £200 hotel and not OTT on food.

            Compo refers to compo for flight cancellation.

          • Harry says:

            Thank you. A group of 7, how many rooms could one book at £200 per night?

          • James Pleasant says:

            It’s £200 each per room. (BA’s ‘daily limit’ except where rooms are generally more expensive.)

            If your group doesn’t mind sharing 2 to a room, BA will happily go higher, ie under £200 each, if you split it when you claim duty of care. You could be very reasonable and just (say) go for a £200-ish shared room for 2 of you – and BA would be overjoyed and might overlook something a bit expensive on the food side.

            You’re also entitled to communications and transport to/ from airport.

          • James Pleasant says:

            Harry – not a clue if your group are students etc or not but it often surprises people used to paying their own way that a £200 each per night budget for a hotel is BA’s ‘normal’ daily limit.

            Similarly, they are quite generous with food. £25 for lunch and same for dinner would normally be OK, no visible booze though.

        • Tracey says:

          I’m guessing it’s lack of demand on the outbound since FCO advice reverting to ABE.

          • Harry says:

            Many thanks.
            Would i be entitled to compo for flight cancelation?

          • James Pleasant says:

            BA will play the Covid-19 card and you’d have to MCOL them for compo (which you could easily win).

            But the duty of care provision is a slam dunk.

            Most hotels would be happy to make a £150 room look like a £200 room if you want £50 of booze. In my experience.

          • Tracey says:

            BBC reporting that Cease fire should be announced soon, any chance that they will put the flight back on?

            I guess it depends how quickly FCO removes their ABE, so people can be covered under existing travel insurance etc.

  • AnotherUser says:

    Thanks to those who recommended the Balmoral’s Curfew Club offer – great room and service. I’d jump at the chance of going back if they were doing something like £125/night again

  • Tim says:

    Anybody know if you can purchase a Qured (or similar) test and just… sit on it…? I’m sure to make a trip in the next month, but not sure when that’ll be. Having a short notice test option would be nice.

  • Sandra says:

    Those who have stayed at Indigo Bath & drove there, what is the parking like please? Says it is across the road & I assume independent? Was it easy to get a space & did it feel secure? Since if we go we’d be out most of the time I’m wondering wether to book Indigo or just opt for cheaper HI Express (which I know is a bit further from centre but seems to have own car park). TIA

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Plenty of spaces but you’re at mercy of demand as it’s a public car park.

      When you say secure it’s secure as any car park as in anyone can freely walk in and out.

      • Sandra says:

        Thanks TGLoyalty, yes I just meant secure as in the the area feeling reasonably safe. I appreciate even then it’s still no guarantee, although it’s a Volvo estate not a Porsche so probably not as attractive to some 😂

        • TGLoyalty says:

          In that case yes well lit, good surface and in full public view

    • Tracey says:

      Worst case and I know its a 10 minute walk from the Indigo, but Charlotte Street car park has never let me down for spaces.

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