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The HfP chat thread – Sunday 23rd May

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Comments (230)

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  • Harry says:

    Good morning. Help would be greatly appreciated.
    Last Thursday, my scheduled BA flight returning to UK for today(Sunday) was cancelled. I called BA and they could not offer any other flights for the day but could only change my flight a different BA flight at a later date. I called on Friday and they gave me the earliest flight back to UK which was Wednesday, 3 days after my original scheduled booking. I accepted the change as I had no option. On Saturday evening I checked my email and saw that BA had sent an email on Friday evening that my cancelled flight had now been reinstated and I had the choice subject to availability to take it. By the time I had seen this there was no way enough time to arrange pcr tests, pack etc for a family of 7. If I decide to keep my new rescheduled flight on Wednesday, would I able to claim fair expenses, food, accommodation etc?
    Where would I also stand with eu261 compo for flight cancelation?
    Many thanks.

    • Jonathan says:

      You will still get duty of care costs for the extra 3 days. I think you’d have an uphill battle on compensation as the Covid exemption seems to still be widely accepted. I also think you are returning from Israel so I imagine BA would argue their hand was forced by the escalation in conflict restricting their ability to operate normal schedules/routings.

    • Tracey says:

      BA may argue that if you had kept an eye on your emails you would have had opportunity to arrange PCR checks in time.

      I have a friend who was booked on the outbound, when it was cancelled they rebooked themselves onto LY on the evening flight tonight, as the earlier flight was already full. Their morning BA flight was re-instated but they had already made the change. They are now stuck with this, even though they had their PCR tests taken on Friday afternoon.

      • Harry says:

        Thanks Tracey.
        When you say stuck with this, does that mean BA won’t pay for the cost they paid on new airline?

        • Navara says:

          Travel insurance???

          • Tracey says:

            Really don’t know if their travel insurance covers a cancelled flight when FCDO is advising ABE travel.
            They would only be out of pocket for the difference in fares.

        • Tracey says:

          They had booked with a travel agent. By Friday, when they thought their BA flight was cancelled, they had booked onto the LY flight. So they have already paid for the LY flight. I think that the travel agent had arranged a refund of the BA flight at the time. Either that or it was a travel agent seat held rather than paid for. They definitely hadn’t had a conversation with BA about BA’s obligations to get them to TLV, so I’m guessing they have no comeback.

          • Lady London says:

            Airlines love passengers to take refunds because that takes away their far more valuable rights to rerouting and duty of care. Never take a refund if you could want those other options.

            Get onto the travel agent and make sure they don’t submit a claim to airline for refund (or withdraw it pronto if they did).

            Travel agent should check with customer before refunding and a formal request should always be made for rerouting to make the cancelling airline liable under EU261 liable for costs of replacement tickets even if higher. The airline that cancelled you has to be given the chance to reroute you for you to be able to claim whatever the replacement ticket costs. Don’t worry it seems BA will always refuse (illegally) but you have to ask. I as the passenger would ask.

            You don’t actually have to decide about a refund by the date of the flight. You can do it much later. But meanwhile protect your rights by not taking a refund and ask for reroute

      • Lady London says:

        I don’t think BA can argue about when/if people should see emails. Especially if BA had already messed them around cancelling their flight and, apparently, refusing to reroute them on the other carrier (which EU261 would have said they were supposed to).

        If BA had wanted to guard against this then they should have booked the other flight as they were supposed to. Then communicated with the passenger if they reinstated the original flight. If the passenger was out of contact too bad.

        BA can’t have it both ways.

        This is one reason if cancelled you must always give the airline that cancels you a request to reroute you even knowing that in the case of BA they seem to illegally refuse to book on another airline even when there’s no other reasonably close alternative to the original flight. Also a good idea to remind BA that they will be fully responsible for providing acommodation, transport to and from accommodation, all meals and some communications costs eg internet, for any extra days under EU261 duty of care part.

      • Lady London says:

        No Tracey they should still claim off BA and take it to MCOL if necessary.

        I hope they had asked BA to reroute them on a flight as close as possible to the flight BA cancelled ideally (but not necesssrily) mentioning any alternative flight on another airline. If BA refused or offered only their own flight on later day(s) then this is illegal and slam dunk for them to recover their costs as passenger advised they still wanted to travel as close as poss to original time. If they requested this right and BA refused (and couldn’t offer any other flight including their own, as reasonably close as possible to the flight the passenger had booked) then slam dunk BA is liable to reimburse them.

        • Tracey says:

          They aren’t that aware of the regulations and had booked everything through a travel agent. The agent phoned them to say BA have cancelled your flight. They accepted that from the travel agent. Then when the cease fire was announced they decided to travel and the travel agent booked them onto LY as the BA flight was still cancelled, but could only get them on the later day flight. So they had their PCR done on Friday afternoon and got their results Saturday. Then they heard that the BA flight was back on, but they had already booked LY.

          So I’m not sure whether the timeline means the accepted the refund. Also the FCO advice against ABE travel may influence things?

          • Lady London says:

            Basically someone had to ask BA for a reroute. And a refund must not be taken or requested. Then BA is liable for all costs of reroute plus duty of care (such as lunch in this case).

            – presumably travel agent could ask for reroute but I as the passenger would to make sure.

            Get onto agent and make sure they don’t process a refund request. If travel agent don’t know about these rights and check with and inform passenger then they don’t know their business.

            We had someone that was brought back from Australia last year on QR at a cost of £5,000 under these rules that they didn’t have to pay when that part of their original ticket probably cost £800-£1,000 and that’s the only refund they would have got.

  • Ben says:

    Anyone know the transit rules for France at the moment? Need to drive back to Italy next weekend, but precious little information about transiting through France seems to be online. Can’t imagine the 7 day self isolation rule for Brits makes much sense if I want to leave the country. Thanks for any help!

    • Sina says:

      I believe the self-isolation applies if you stay more than 24 hours in France.

    • Yuff says:

      I’m sure I read somewhere the isolation was voluntary 🤷🏻‍♂️but can’t find the article or maybe it was a post in one if the chats on HFP.

    • TimM says:

      My interpretation of the rules is that an address must be provided where you must self-isolate for 7 days, with negative PCR tests not more than 72 hours before arrival and 7 days after arrival. You would not be allowed to drive through France during this period!

  • Dan says:

    Just discovered that Capital on Tap no longer accepts payments through Curve. I was planning to put some HMRC spend through to get to the £5000 spend threshold for their 20000A Avios bonus offer. Still worth paying the fee direct to CoT I guess but annoying. CoT say:

    “Unfortunately due to some of the features of Curve, it conflicts with some of our internal processes and compliance procedures and due to this, we are unable to support the use of our cards with the platform.”

    • Freddy says:

      Wasn’t paying HMRC with the use of curve touted as one of the benefits of taking out the COT card?!

      • Mr(s) Entitled says:

        It wasn’t touted in the article but it was confirmed in the comments.

        I’ve got a large HMRC Corp Tax bill to pay starting in June which was the main driver for my CoT application. I’ve also been left making manual entries to Sage because the advertised connectivity was false. Starting to feel like I’ve potentially been sold a dud.

        Rob has a contact at CoT to deal with issues arising from the promotion so perhaps he can confirm.

        • ThePrince says:

          I asked a question about this yesterday and there were conflicting reports. It would be good to get definite confirmation from CoT if we can. Without the HMRC payments I’m better off keeping the Amex Business Gold (which I was planning to cancel).

    • Peter K says:

      I have put through 3 (genuine) payments through curve to CoT in the last 2 days successfully. Not to HMRC however.

    • Rob says:

      We discussed this yesterday. Others are still paying Curve quite happily using COT. Odd.

    • John says:

      As said yesterday I have paid £4500 everyday this week. Following your post have just brought forward a VAT payment and charged £4500 – went through no problem.
      Reminds of the Curve issue – I swapped from business to personal and my daily limit went from £9000 to £4500. Contacted curve ( as have others) and informed in writing maximum daily limit on personal card is £4500. Numerous people on this board have a £9000 daily limit. Some times it does not make sense but you struggle to be able to do anything!

  • Princess says:

    Good morning everybody! Sorry another post about testing, looking for opinion:
    Portugal require a negative PCR to enter, but hey don’t specify what details need to be on your response. DNANudge (approved gov test supplier) in London offer bubble test for £100 (up to 10 people) so I’m guessing you only get one response with the names together. They also offer a fit to fly certificate for £100 each.
    As Portugal doesn’t require any particular detail, what is your view? Can the airline make problems on boarding?

    • Princess says:

      If you use the bubble testing I mean…sorry I wasn’t clear

    • Rhys says:

      You will need a certificate.

      Eurofins does individual tests for £40 via BA. I used ExpressTest which they were fine with

      • Princess says:

        Thanks Rhys, I know Eurofins is the cheapest atm. I was just hoping to save more as I need 5!!!

      • Princess says:

        Ohhhh!!!! Eurofins now is out of stock of tests….

  • Riger says:

    Did anyone see Google Store offer of £100 off on £400 spend on Amex card?

    Does anyone know with Google I/O any new product launch over next couple of months, since offer expires towards end of July.

  • T says:

    Thoughts on Hilton Hyde Park? The location is perfect for me, I have spent hours reading reviews but I feel very unsure. Should I opt out for a different Hilton property in the area?

    • Andrew says:

      I stayed there for a couple of nights last summer – and found it to be very decent. Rooms have been refurbished to a nice design and the bathroom is all brand new and stylish. When I stayed, Golds only got a cereal bar and an apple in a bag so went for the 1000 points instead and went next door to Pret. But that might have changed (although indoor hospitality was open then anyway). It’s on top of the tube station and right by the park, Waitrose 5 minutes away if you need bits. I plan to stay again this summer so certainly no complaints here and with its location I don’t think the rate can be beaten. Rob has done a review on here of his “day stays” so might be more objective than the usual trip adviser reviews where a bar of soap was missing and suddenly its the worst hotel in the world that should be shut down.

      • T says:

        Thank you so much! I will go ahead with it then. I live only an hour away from central London but sometimes I need to stay in London and tend to stay at Hilton Bankside/Canary Wharf. I hope they’ve improved the breakfast by now. Did they recognise your status btw? I have a Diamond status so I hope they’ll give me an upgrade.

        • Andrew says:

          Yes they upgraded me from a basic to a park view room as Gold.

          • Big Ernie McCracken says:

            We always stsy here when we come down from the NE Scotland. Not that easy to get to from Kings Cross or Heathrow but once there its perfect. Access to Kensington Gardens and shops and restaurants nearby if you want to stay local. And Tube or 94 bus into Oxford Street and beyond. usually go mid week so have always had s room upgrade.

    • Rob says:

      I did about 10 ‘day office’ days there last Autumn. Hotel is clearly dated – 1980’s room design and furnishings. However, if you get a room overlooking Hyde Park it is pleasant, it is directly above a tube station and Queensway (?) runs down one side with about 300 shops and restaurants on it. You can walk to Selfridge’s which clearly isn’t a bad place to be.

      Purely in hardware terms (ignoring location and view) it is about 30% as good as, say, Marriott’s Bankside hotel – never been to Hilton’s Bankside so can’t comment, but I get the impression they are similar.

    • Lou says:

      I was literally there on Friday night! It looks recently refurbished. I had a good stay

  • The Savage Squirrel says:

    Ethical dilema of the day.

    Radisson family stay on points with final night being this week Friday night. Asked for 2 extra beds in room which were provided at quoted small extra cash cost. To do this they amended the booking which somehow reversed the points payment – refunded back into my account – and removed the booking from showing on my Radisson acount. I contacted the hotel to inform them of this and query whether booking accidentally cancelled, and was assured booking was still live and in place on their system. Have now completed stay and final invoice shows £0 bill (no extra cost!) with still no points deduction from my account.

    Do I inform them again or not. To be honest I’m thinking not, as I’ve told them once about the issue so I’ve done the honest thing and feel no obligation to chase them 😀

    • Manya says:

      You’ve informed them once so I would say that’s your moral obligation undertaken. I would say make your own mind up as you’ll probably get both opinions by asking members of HFP.

    • Andrew says:

      Wrong website to ask for ethics about what you can get away with from other people’s mistakes or loopholes.

      • Raveon says:

        +1 🙂

        • Linda says:

          Many years ago I booked return flights (about £600, really quite expensive) on Caribbean Airways from Barbados to St.Maarten as an add on to our Barbados holiday. They never charged my MasterCard even though I phoned three times about it over a period of six weeks. Add to that our voluntary offload on our BA J flight back which got us a cash amount, a lovely extra night in a different hotel, meal vouchers and taxi fares and we were quids in. As long as you told them about it at some stage the next move was up to them. My conscience was certainly clear.

      • George1976 says:

        Good point. Remember when someone was boasting about short changing a shop worker? Sad.

    • Doc says:

      I had a similar episode few years ago when we merged two bookings into one to add an extra night. The hotel forgot to charge us for the second night (around £150) and i didn’t notice this till we got home 2 days later.
      I emailed them to let them know as soon as I found out.
      They emailed back to thank you for my honesty and since it was their fault, they will not be charging me and we can have the second night free!!
      So if you have informed them, there is no ethical dilemma. Your conscience should be clear.

    • Yorkieflyer says:

      Very similar experience with Radisson years ago with an amended booking. At the hotel we tried twice telling them the billing was wrong, night before departure and on morning. Points all refunded and spent later, we tried

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        Their IT system and website in general has always been impressively shonky and temperamental. This isn’t the first time this has worked in my favour, but by far the largest in terms of value :D.

    • Aston100 says:

      Make a small donation to a charity of your choice.

    • John says:

      2 years ago I was in New Zealand for business, and suddenly I needed to sign an important contract. Nobody in the UK was willing to witness my wife forging my signature, so I had to borrow my hotel’s printer. Fortunately NZ has a free service where old men volunteer to witness people signing contracts; then I had to post it to the UK via DHL.

      I used Curve to pay the NZ$200. 4 months later Curve refunded the payment to the underlying card, they didn’t respond to my email.

  • Juni says:

    These travel rules are confusing as hell, the UK government is so idiotic. Does anyone have an easy chart or article that lays out this stupid rules simply?

    • Andrew says:

      The rule is quite simple and clear – only travel to green list counties unless it’s absolutely essential.

      • Juni says:


      • Yorkieflyer says:

        No the rule is you have to follow cabinet ministers example and go to Cornwall

        • Chris Heyes says:

          Yorkieflyer OOOoo Right thanks for clarifying so the rule is you can’t fly “You can only go to Cornwall” !

    • George1976 says:

      Green – you can go without quarantine on return (if the country lets you in). You’ll still need pcr tests
      Amber- you can go (if the country lets you in) but will need to quarantine on return
      Red- hotel quarantine on return

      Pretty basic stuff really and quite easy to understand for most people (I would have thought)

      • Juni says:

        This tells me nothing… I know this much already, looking for details on tests required, quarantine rules, when, where etc?

        • SteveJ says:

          If you can’t be bothered with even the basic level of research then you shouldn’t be travelling IMHO.

          • Number9 says:

            +1 I read the question and wondered if google had stopped working. No effort to do their own research at all.

        • George1976 says:

          Check online.

        • Sam G says:

          Green – test before you come back, day 2 PCR est
          Amber – test before you come back , day 2 +8 PCR . Quarantine at home/your own accommodation for 10 days. Separately you can “test to release” at day 5
          Red – before you come back, 2+8 + Quarantine hotel

          What seems to be confusing people is that your arrival destination will also have their own rules that you need to check , nothing to do with the UK govts. Your airline most probably does not have any rules (seen fake news about airlines requiring a test to board say a flight to Spain which itself has no inbound test requirement from tomorrow)

        • John says:

          If you’re travelling to another country you need to look at that country’s government information sites, not the UK’s.

          You can also look at Timantic, though it can be out of sync with changing government rules, IATA has a public extract

          • George1976 says:

            “ If you’re travelling to another country you need to look at that country’s government information sites, not the UK’s.”

            Yep. That’s always been the case but there’s stories about people getting turned away and playing the victim, despite not having even bothered the check entry requirements online.

        • The Lord says:

          It really isn’t that difficult. Thousands of people per day are managing

      • Yorkieflyer says:

        Not really, it’s the multitude of rules and tests and prebooking that will doubtless catch out ‘ordinary’ hard working families

        • George1976 says:

          Does “hard working” mean that don’t know how to use google?

          • Charlieface says:

            Given my experience on the cesspit that is Stackoverflow, I would say that yeah nobody knows how to Google

        • Yorkieflyer says:

          I don’t think HFP readers are typically occasional holiday makers

          • George1976 says:

            Maybe not but expecting people to check entry requirements before travelling is pretty basic stuff. I know lockdown has turned some people into whiny, entitled crybabies but people really need to take responsibility for their own incompetence

    • Mike says:

      Juni – in less than 10 words “only travel to green list counties unless absolutely essential”

      • Sandra says:

        I think one of the issues will be people will check the rules for a green country, say Portugal for example today, and it will be good to go so they will book their flights but never check again and during the intervening time things change in the country they are travelling to and they end up like the 80 year old last week who was unable to enter Spain because he (or his daughter I believe who booked most of it for him) hadn’t checked the entry requirements. They will then whine that they checked, albeit a couple of weeks ago, and someone should have told them things had changed. Rather than following the news/social media or whatever, travellers need to take responsibility and check regularly with the country they are visiting (plus FCO in case anything changes with them) I would say right up to the day they intend to fly.

        • Isherwood says:

          It also appears that travellers foolishly get it into their heads that if they are able to buy a plane ticket to X or Y then they can enter that country. It does seem that the old boy who hit a brick wall at CDW last week should have been better served by his airline, warning to check entry, etc. But I see he was unfortunate enough to be flying with those clowns Vueling so highly unlikely they gave two hoots about him once they had his cash. No surprise his fellow passengers were all arguing with the check in staff – and equally didn’t make the flight, according to media reports.

        • George1976 says:

          People should take responsibility rather than blame others?! It’ll never catch on!

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