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The HfP chat thread – Thursday 5th August

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We are running 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.

Please only comment under the main articles on the site if your comment is directly related to the topic of the article.  This has long-term benefits as it keeps the commentary relevant for people who read those articles in the future.

Old chat threads are hidden from the HfP home page.  If you want to look for something in an old thread, click here.  This brings up all the articles in our ‘General’ category which includes the chat threads.

Comments (283)

  • Imran says:

    Looking to refer my Mum for BAPP before the Sep 1 changes. Am I correct in thinking that if she gets accepted today/tomorrow, she will lock in the £195 fee?

    The reason I am worried about locking the old fee is that my Mum’s first statement won’t be generated until 1 Sep anyway. So if she applies now and is invoiced the fee in her first statement, will it be a £195 fee or a £250 fee?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      If the website still states the old fee that’s what she’ll be charged (for this year only).so go by what you see on the Amex site

    • Chris Heyes says:

      imran anytime it’s “approved” note Approved, before Sep 1st its the old fee for 12 months then ongoing its the new fee unless you cancel

      • BJ says:

        Plus to be sure of approval before 1/9 you should apply 10 days before in event they are slow if it goes to review.

        • AndyGWP says:

          I think historically there has been advice that to increase chances of immediate acceptance, it’s better to apply during working hours

          • BJ says:

            Yeah, I rarely do anything with amex outside office hours, I don’t even activate and add my cards to my accounts. Dad recently added me as a supp on his PRG under the 6000 MR offer outside hours and it took 8 days for it to get approved.

    • Rob says:

      You’re fine now. Remember that if you didn’t read HfP you wouldn’t even know anything was changing.

  • Manya says:

    **Guidance required**

    Would appreciate some guidance on any potential recourse options.

    Currently in Cancun with family and when flights were originally booked we were due to return via LAX on 7th, On 31st July I changed return to be from Cancun also on 7th due to ongoing issues with entry into the USA.

    I see Cancun as my return flight on my BA app.

    Having called BA exec club today to query options to have Cancun flight moved earlier to land before 4am BST curfew BA are claiming they can see my Cancun flight as being ‘booked’ but not ‘ticketed’. As a result of this the overseas call centre have been unable to move me to an earlier flight which they were willing to do otherwise. They have advised calling back at 8am on Thursday morning to see if they UK centre can finish the process to ticket the Cancun flight and then amend booking to move me to a flight departing on 6th.

    Knowing BA IT issues might not be easiest to overcome and I have a limited window here to secure diminishing availability, I have booked a fully refundable return flight which is costing £4K for the four of us. It’s a standard economy booking booked with Amex.

    If BA are not able to overcome the IT issues and ticket my return and I need to utilise the seats via the £4K booking is there any recourse with BA?

    Thanks in advance!

    • AndyGWP says:

      I don’t think it’s an IT issue. I think it’s a human issue isn’t it (back office staff physically needs to ticket it). Appreciate you want to get your ducks in a row, but I wouldn’t worry too much until you’ve called them in a few hours 🙂 let us know how it goes

    • BJ says:

      Probably none I’m afraid. I doubt BA is under any contractual obligation to you in this respect except to ticket you before departure. In extreme cases this could amount to check in or ticket counter agents makung calls on day of departure as has happened to me before.

    • Jonathan says:

      Assuming the original flight isn’t cancelled then you have no legal recourse. Moving your booking to an earlier flight home with no fare difference is a goodwill gesture not a right regardless of whether the altered flights had been ticketed or not. They could just hold you to original fare conditions ie. FTV.

      On the plus side, you’re in a common situation where complex (ie. change of origin/destination rather than just dates) amended reservations have to be manually reticketed. The queue for this process is dynamic & the closer you get to new departure the higher priority you get. I would expect the process to be fixed within 24-48 hours of departure date at which point you can cancel refundable flights & move the original ones (which will now be a simple date change so no reticketing).

      The one spanner is booking new flights through Amex which BA won’t be able to touch till 24 hours before departure. I’d try & rebook new ones direct with BA now & cancel Amex as it’ll make the changes easier.

      • Jonathan says:

        Ps. I would strongly advise posting a query like this on the BA Flyertalk board. My answer & most others on here are based on experience & understanding as a customer. There are people on there who will give you an answer that is completely watertight.

        If you do this then be aware a new user has a limit (?5) on posts in first 24 hours so keep original post succinct but including all relevant details (not personally identifiable ones like names/booking refs though) & only reply to answer specific questions not thank people (do this once resolved) or debate rights/wrongs of BA’s actions.

    • ChrisC says:

      BA reticket in flight order so your retickket will be slotted into the queue to be dealt with on that basis. Phone agents have little say over this process

      Hopefully it’s been done by now

    • Manya says:

      Unfortunately the flight is still to be ticketed. The annoying thing is also the inconsistent guidance being given by agents from the exec club number, the CSA who I spoke to at 8am today said that my current booking does not need to be ticketed in order to rebook me onto an earlier flight but she can now no longer do so as the availability which was showing previously has now gone. She said that the agents who I spoke to previously should have placed a hold on the seats when they saw them.

      Frustrating as I was previously told (when the availability was there) that the agents couldn’t do anything until flight was ticketed and to call up when BA centres opened in the morning.

      This whole episode has been such a stress! Mentioned to BA numerous times that I’m flying with a 3 yr old and 5 yr old and quarantining on return isn’t a viable option yet they’ve been zero help in assisting.

      The change in classification was always going to be a risk but I didn’t account for shambolic processes at BA also being a variable!

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    I read recently that in 2020 the restaurant in the Hilton Park Lane lost its Michelin star. I think it was the only one in the UK Are there any other Hilton affiliated (so including Conrad, WA, etc) restaurants in the world with Michelin stars?

    • His Holyness says:

      Of course, there’s a good few, WA Rome 3* and Hilton DM 1* in BCN come to mind

    • VerdantBacon says:

      La Pergola in the WA Rome is Michelin starred. I believe it’s the only 3 star in Rome.

      Conrad Tokyo and Conrad HK also have Michelin starred restaurants

    • KBuffett says:

      Slightly off topic, but it’s a shame that Hilton have allowed that property to find own the toilet. It desperately needed a refurb but I think Rob mentioned it’s being converted into flats.

      • BJ says:

        Most of the legacy Hiltons in UK are horrible, best avoided in favour of the newer brands. If not staying Conrad or WA it is safer to stick with DT and Hampton. Some like HGI too but I’ve been disappointed with them. So far only tried one Curio on my current trip but HfP reviews seem to be suggesting they might be good but a mixed bag as we are probably to expect.

      • Rob says:

        It is.

  • James says:

    Wonder what it’s going to take for Maldives to come off the red list. Holiday at the end of September is starting to become a concern.

    • Gtellez says:

      I am in a worst situation, since I am departing on Aug 16 (through Madrid). I finally decided to extend my holidays 10 days in Spain to avoid hotel quarantine.

      • James says:

        Oh no! That really is a shame. Fingers crossed for good news for you.

    • BJ says:

      Probably take a Minister on holiday.

    • Ls says:

      Genuinely what is the red list concern with the Maldives? High cases, high variants, low vaccine uptake?

      • JP-MCO says:

        Can’t be high cases as there were ~130 there yesterday. More vaccines delivered per head of population that France, Austria or Germany. No idea about variants but I would have thought Delta was the dominant strain. So it must be the other deciding factor at play… politics.

      • James says:

        The islands are surely very safe and essentially their own bubbles. I know a lot of resorts are ensuring all their staff are vaccinated. India off the red list but a super safe and isolated Maldives – nope!

  • Gary says:

    Anyone w report/experience from with the last week in terms of random testing of UK arrivals by Greek authorities? There has been reports in last few weeks this was the case, and am wondering if things have changed recently as on the verge of cancelling our trip to Crete next week to avoid the risk, albeit small, of being inadvertently quarantined.

    • Gary says:

      *within

    • Sam says:

      Kos entailed verbally confirming a PLF and a visual scan of the NHS app. No testing for the entire 787 flight as far as we could see.

    • BH says:

      I was in Santorini last month and so far as I could see every lead passenger on the PLF was tested. It was a quick well managed process with results by text in around 10 minutes. We were not held to wait for results.

      Any passenger entering Greece is liable to be tested and the authorities monitor the situation in origin countries to determine how many are to be tested from each flight.

      There is no way to avoid the possibility of being tested. In my opinion, if you are not certain of your status,, you shouldn’t be travelling.

    • DZOO says:

      FYI, music ban and curfew next week in Chania in case that’s where you’re going in Crete…

      • Will says:

        Seemed every passenger was being tested into Kefalonia last month (antigen, so quick release to your baggage carousel!)

    • Eoc says:

      Family members arrived Rhodes two hours ago. One got picked out for random test. It’s everywhere… don’t panic… just shove one up your nose before you go 😊

  • Dave1985 says:

    From the Financial Times.

    Let’s hope that the predictions on here about people being allowed into the US “soon” don’t turn out to be wildly inaccurate 👀

    “The Biden administration is drawing up plans that will require all foreign nationals visiting the US to be “fully vaccinated” against Covid-19, according to a White House official.

    Which vaccines would be recognised for foreign travellers was not specified. Oxford university and AstraZeneca have not yet applied for authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration for their vaccine”

    • BJ says:

      They have been wildly inaccurate all year, and devoid of common sense. You really expect them to change now?

      • Dave1985 says:

        Good point! Some people said vaccine passports wouldn’t be a thing for travel and that there was a chance of being allowed into Australia last Xmas!

        Guessing what will happen next with covid is a mug’s game!

  • Super Secret Stuff says:

    Anyone going to Costa bexuase it’s on Nectar connect, Costa coffee club has a referal programme. £2 of free points

    OH did it a few weeks ago, works well. You can email [email protected] if you want the link

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Points post after first order

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Poorly written offer, OH got £1 of points for signing up and then £2 after first order

    • BJ says:

      I have an offer on my app to trade 300 points for 5x points at Esso. I think it’s the first time I had an offer like that.

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        Is that the Nectar app? I’m talking about Costa Coffee Clun app

        • Rob says:

          I got 8% on MBNA

        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          No reason why you can’t stack Curve, Nectar Connect (on the Curve card) and Costa Coffee Club. Making your second order basically free

        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          Didn’t see Rob’s comment, same would apply. Making second order basically free

        • SteveKicks says:

          @Super Secret Stuff I don’t think Nectar Connect works with the curve card, as it uses open banking to read your transactions

  • richardpiano says:

    Flying back with BA from Alicante yesterday, I was refused entry into the lounge due to ” BA terminating their contract with us”. No mention of this from the check-in lady who confirmed the lounge was open and operating.
    Anyone else experienced this?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Which bit? Clueless check in staff or BA cancelling contracts?

      Answer is yes to both.

      The issue is checkin staff abroad aren’t usually BA staff so while the staff member knew the lounge is open and operational they didn’t know it’s not accessible to BA customer. Complain to BA you might get some Avios.

    • Darko says:

      Yes, check chats on 2nd and 3rd Aug, many lounges are closed. BA dropped contracts. Twitter BA team said to me to file a complaint which I did. I doubt that will achieve much, but if we all accept it silently nothing will change.

      • Allan says:

        The complaint will not get you any Avios. I got a standard apology response yesterday re Malta being unavailable.

      • richardpiano says:

        Just filed a complaint also on the website. Not holding my breath…..

    • Richie says:

      So to avoid being lounge barred in some airports, is there any advantage booking BA flights with other OW codes, ie IB etc!

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