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The HfP chat thread – Thursday 24th June

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We are running this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

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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 (474)

  • Bobby says:

    Is there a set time for any movement along the traffic light system on a Thursday?

    • TimM says:

      In many countries, traffic lights show a count-down timer for when the lights will next change. In the UK, not. Mid-morning would be a reasonable guess. It was supposedly decided yesterday.

    • TimM says:

      Update, Grant Shapps will make a formal announcement in the Commons this afternoon [BBC R4 just now].

      • Pablo says:

        I wish he was announcing it on Twitter like last year.

      • James Vickers says:

        Yes but as last time will be a pretty certain leak hours before

    • Andrew says:

      According to BBC: As well as today’s review, the government has also said there will be a “checkpoint” review of the rules for each category on Monday 28 June. That could be when ministers decide whether to relax quarantine for fully-vaccinated travellers.

      • WaynedP says:

        Talk about make it up as you go along.

        Really becoming tiresome now.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          While I agree on some bits they are

          The review on the 28th was set in the original paper published when travel reopened. There’s another on July 26th

    • Aaron C says:

      If you’re fully vaccinated or likely to be before you travel it might be worth holding off any booking until Monday in case the widely speculated exemption from quarantine is announced.

      • Yuff says:

        Merkel is trying to twist the knife for Brits travelling, however it wasn’t so long ago, Easter, that when their cases were through the roof she did nothing to stop 40k Germans flying to Mallorca over the weekend.
        Pot and kettle, how ironic if Shapps sticks 2 fingers up to Merkel and puts the Balearics on the green list,
        The Germans are up in arms here because more menus are in English than German……..

        • Anna says:

          Yet she isn’t calling for her citizens to stop travelling to places where they can freely mix with Brits … !

          • Yuff says:

            Politically it’s a great message against all those Brits who stole all their vaccines but everyone needs to get on with opening up borders and letting vaccines deal with this and get on with life.
            This tit for tat rubbish helps no one, we’ve left let’s move on…………
            What’s Ursula’s favourite word re vaccines reciprocity…….that should apply across the board……

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Erm She is for all those she has the ability to since she’s calling for all of the EU to do it

        • Justin says:

          16,135 cases in the UK yesterday. 1,136 in Germany. Most countries in Europe have similarly low numbers. The delta variant is serious and obviously something most countries want to keep out as much as possible.
          But of course, to people like you, it’s all just “politics”.

          • Andrew says:

            Agree Justin

          • TGLoyalty says:

            You actually think delta isn’t everywhere in the EU already ?

          • Anna says:


            The UK is doing far and away the most testing so obviously is going to have a higher number of confirmed cases!

          • The Lord says:

            and how many deaths yesterday?

          • Rob says:

            ‘10% of the number of flu and pneumonia deaths yesterday’ is the correct answer.

          • HAK says:

            I wonder how many of these folks are double vaccinated? Also, can the double vaccinated still spread the virus? If the answers to these questions are “zero” and “no” then it would seem sensible (however unpopular with those awaiting second jabs it may be) that these folk be granted greater freedoms in relation to travel. But we will see.

          • kitten says:

            And nothing should stand between a Brit and their holiday.

          • Yuff says:

            What an hilarious comment, stay at home lock your door and barricade your windows if you are that scared.
            Everyone else who is double jabbed can return to normality.
            deaths and hospitalisations are so far below the best case scenario at this stage that the advisors should hang their heads in shame…….
            10% of deaths from flu when there has hardly been any flu says it all.

          • Justin says:

            The UK government got a lot of criticism for delaying putting India on the red list, which may have led to the delta variant becoming established here. Can you not see how the governments of other countries would want to avoid the same thing?
            Do you seriously think they are going to be saying “oh, but the deaths are really low, so it’s fine, we’ll let them in”. Especially if their vaccination levels are lower.

            The attitude of a lot of people in these comments is basically “I’m British, I should be able to go wherever I want, whenever I want! How dare Johnny Foreigner tell me otherwise!”

            I’m not sure what the comment about staying at home and barricading windows has got to do with the decisions of other governments.

          • Aaron C says:

            Serious in what way? The U.K. third wave has been more of a wavelet!
            The U.K. does far more testing and sequencing so we are going to find things earlier.

        • ChrisBCN says:

          I would assess where you are taking your news from if you think ‘Merkel is trying to twist the knife for Brits travelling’ is an actual thing.

          • Yuff says:

            So she didn’t make the comment in the Bundestag yesterday then?
            Less than 1 in 10 hospitalisations are double vaccinated, they could well have caught covid within 2 weeks of the 2nd vaccination before the immune system has built up further protection from the second jab….

          • David says:

            Quite agree Chris. Some people’s comments here are becoming more bizarre and extreme. For example, I see ‘scariants’ being used and amplified by some regular valued and helpful contributors, and just weep.

          • ChrisBCN says:

            Yuff – no, she did not say ‘lets twist the knife in the Brits’, not at all. So no, she did not make that comment in the Bundestag yesterday. A calming down of the ‘them Vs us’ rhetoric/extremism would be useful.

          • ChrisBCN says:

            David – I’m afraid our government has helped push us in the same direction as the US with the politics of ‘dividism’, and unfortunately a lot of people have fallen for it…

  • Tom says:

    Trying to make a Marriott booking on points where we pay for 4 nights and get 5th free. When trying to book a 5 night stay it says that the hotel isn’t taking points bookings at the moment. However, if I try a 4 night stay on same dates it gives me a price and 1 night stay on the “free” night is also available. Anyway around this? Hotel playing games?

  • Marie says:

    Can I search the chat ? Looking for peoples experiences of randox and know it’s been mentioned on here frequently.Thanks

    • N says: randox

      Into Google

      • Pete M says:

        In summary: tests arrive quickly. You need to drop them off at one of their own locations or a DX depot (list on their website). Results normally arrive next day around noon. I’ve found them excellent if you have a drop off location nearby. I’d say best value company that actually delivers.

  • Chris Carter says:

    Is there any update on status extension with British airways at all? My gold runs out in September of this year…

    • Andrew says:

      I thought anyone who was due to expire during 2021 was given an extra year? It’s people who expire at the start of 2022 who are a bit screwed with no further extension offered yet.

    • Michael C says:

      I was wondering this too: I’m also Sept. (silver), but no indication in the account so far of being renewed: does it just happen closer to the time?

      • Memesweeper says:

        Check ‘card expiry’ in ‘my account’ on the mobile app. Should show a date in 2022.

  • Swiss Jim says:

    I might be dreaming, but I think I remember IHG credit card free nights being extended to 31 December? Including those that had to be used by (?) 31 August. So if I cancel a night booked for July, am I right the voucher will be reinstated with a 31.12.21 book/use by date? Got two of these…

    • Matt says:

      My experience is that the vouchers do come back with the extended dates EXCEPT for the bonus extra voucher some received last December. Lesson learned about taking screen shots but IHG have basically denied this ever existed. I’ve given up trying to get it back as it was a freebie, but it still feels like another CS own goal from IHG.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        The extended voucher issued last December does come back but the original one it replaced doesn’t.

        • Swiss Jim says:

          Ah, that’s a pain. As I think a fair few of us got to use the original and the replacement. It’s the original I want to come back.! Got a totally genuine reason to cancel (family illness). I wonder if the hotel will move the dates. If not, not the end of the world…

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Yup we did. I had to cancel my original as plans changed.

            Hotels can’t/won’t move.

    • Jay says:

      If you is the app and go to the free nights section it will show you all your current (as long as they haven’t expired)

      If attached to a reservation it will show 0-0 as available along with the expiry date.

      Recently had a reservation cancelled by the hotel as they haven’t reopened yet booked using the free night we all got that expired in Dec. They couldn’t reissue a voucher but credited 60,000 points to my account and rebooked a different hotel with the points.

  • Annabel says:

    Morning. Can you request a refund for Avios booking on MMB for a cancelled flight or does it have to be telephone please? Thanks

    • Anna says:

      If BA has cancelled you should be able to get a refund via MMB, unless they’ve changed it again! They will also do this via Twitter if for some reason you can’t do it online.

    • Char Char says:

      I don’t know what MMB is but I got mine online

  • H says:

    CEDR have ruled in my favour following a cancellation of flights. This relates to passenger rights to rerouting at a later date of their convenience (EU261).

    BA argued that they are not under a legal obligation to extend ticket validity. However, CEDR disagreed and interpreted EU261 correctly and has directed BA to waive a £5.3K fare difference and allow rerouting at any date of my choice in the future regardless of the ticket validity.

    Regulation EU261/2004, EU interpretative guidelines and CAA guidance is what I referred to and CEDR reviewed this as well as BA’s own condition of carriage.

    This was a somewhat complex case as BA had agreed to reroute and rebook my flights free of charge originally. However, fundamentally the issue to be reviewed here was passenger rights according to the regulation.

    I’m glad to get there in the end given BA was simply not playing ball or assisting in any way.

    • Ed says:

      Well done

      • Pete M says:

        Well done! How long did it take?

        • H says:

          I started the process in Jan and got the decision yesterday. BA kept on requesting extensions and providing cut and paste responses.

          CEDR have given airlines longer anyway due to Covid-19.

      • H says:

        Cheers Ed!

    • Anna says:

      Excellent – so you didn’t rebook yourself and then claim the money back? This is an issue for a lot of people so it’s good to know that this route has a good chance of success.

      • H says:

        I didn’t rebook myself but I provided screenshots of alternative flights with another carrier. CEDR found as I didn’t provide evidence of payment of alternative flights that it wouldn’t be just to ask BA to reimburse but instead they must follow Art 8 to the letter affording me my passenger rights to book whatever date I wanted in the future 🙂

        • Jody says:

          Thanks so much for the update, that’s really useful.

          I’ve just sent off my letter before action to BA, and assuming they don’t back down, have been thinking CEDR instead of MCOL as don’t want to fork out for expensive tickets and pay the large fee that would involve with MCOL.

          Can’t believe it’s taken so long though.

          • H says:

            No worries. It has taken long but I can see CEDR have reviewed everything with great care and methodically. Another point is that I requested CEDR provide BA with no further extensions and they agreed as BA kept on requesting extensions and providing cut and paste responses.

            One option would be to book a fully flexible ticket and reclaim dependent on the date of the flight.

          • Memesweeper says:

            You can avoid the cost of fully flex by booking Select/Select Pro which are refundable, still keeps the risks down if you loose.

    • Jody says:

      Was your original booking cash or avios?

      • H says:


        • Jody says:

          Thanks H. Mine is Avios, but I imagine the same rules apply. In winning the case, does that mean that future CEDR claims could/refer to yours as the precedent has been set? Or is each case looked at individually (I appreciate you might not know the answer to this)?

          I do have a LOT of questions, as I suspect I am going to be going down this route very shortly. If you’re prepared to answer them (totally understand you may not want to) is there any way of Rob hooking us up so we can contact each other?

          In relation to where you’ve said about booking fully flex tickets, the dates we want to move to are the end of April next year, so a little way away. Currently a fully flex Club World ticket on BA is £26k, so a little bit cost prohibitive for us to book! We could book via BA holidays if we added a 1 night stay on, and that would allow us to book with only a deposit, but even that was around £3k. Virgin was around £16k for fully flex, haven’t looked anywhere else yet.

          Thanks again for updating us, I’m sure a lot of people on here really appreciate it.

          • H says:

            Hey Jody – happy to connect and help if I can… @Rob what would you suggest in terms of connecting? Happy for Rob to share my email without it being posted here, if there’s a way to do that.

            The same principles would apply to an avios booking and my understanding is CEDR would look at each case on its merits.

          • Jody says:

            Thanks H, hopefully Rob can do the exchange of emails as also happy for him to share mine. @Rob, please let us know is there is anything else we need to do to facilitate this.

          • Jody says:

            @Rob, @H, I’ve sent an email to the site asking for emails to be exchanged just in case Rob or Rhys don’t see these posts. Hopefully they’ll be able to sort out a mutual swap of email addresses for us.

    • Gary says:

      well done and helpful thank you. Any other reasons you went for CEDR instead of MCOL other than potential cost implications mentioned?

      • H says:

        I just wanted to try them out to see how the process works. The cost implications of MCOL weren’t a consideration for me… my outbound flights were flown in 2019, the ticket purchased in 2018 for some context. The cancelled flights were in 2020/2021…

        I wasn’t sure of an exact date I would be requiring a rebooking as BA have kept cancelling the flights I wished to be rebooked onto.

    • Alan S says:

      I’ve now had a response to my letter before action from BA Customer Relations and it’s predictable in it’s ‘computer says no’ style to my re-routing.

      ‘Outside of ticket validity’, we’ve now noted you as a ‘no show’ because you didn’t tell us if you wanted a refund or FTV, why don’t you claim through your travel insurance etc.

      At least I have that now and can proceed to MCOL to get BA to exercise my rights in law. Real shame that’s required, but presumably that’s the postion that BA have decided to take and hope x% drop off because they can’t be bothered with the hassle of MCOL/CEDR.

      I’m assuming that getting embroiled in a back and forth with BA is now pointless and I can proceed to MCOL on the basis that I’ve given them every opportunity to resolve both pre and post LBA.

      • H says:

        How can you be a no show for a cancelled flight?!

        • Alan S says:

          You ask a very good question.

          By all accounts, their view is that they rebooked me onto a new flight (which I didn’t accept) but I didn’t tell them what I wanted to do about it & didn’t check in, so they mark that as a no-show.

          • H says:

            There needs to be evidence to demonstrate you accepted the alternative flight offered and you were afforded your passenger rights following a cancellation.

  • S says:

    I seem to recall someone here mentioned that they negotiated some arrangement for full board package with Six senses Douro valley. Could you elaborate on what that’s all about?

    • Jonathan says:

      It was Genghis. He was a little coy with details on his original post so maybe try e-mailing the hotel & asking if they can offer a deal?

    • Genghis says:

      Contact the hotel and negotiate

    • BP says:

      Seems all meals must be taken in a single restaurant. Maybe a little boring for lunch and dinner.

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