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The HfP chat thread – Sunday 29th 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.

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Comments (197)

  • Keith says:

    Has anyone any recommendations of what VIP (skip the lines) services are good to use at Grantley Adams?

    • roberto says:

      I did it. Was worth the small cost. I booked through Viator clicking through from [email protected] for 15% back and it saved some time but plenty of stress.

      All the agents there are much of a muchness.

    • NP says:

      I went through BGI two weeks ago and didn’t use the VIP service. We flew UC with virgin so fortunately were one of the first flights in and also the first group on the bus and into the terminal; so VIP would have been a waste of money. The VIP line basically skipped the queue for the paperwork checks and got you into the covid testing area faster thanks to someone navigating you through.

    • Simon says:

      Platinum VIP services- worth the £65- through immigration/ customs/ PCR test inn30 minutes. Others had to wait 3-4 hours. BA flight now lands st the same time as Jet Blue from JFK and 30 mins after the Virgin. Queues were huge! Make sure you print your docs- it speeds the whole process up further

  • bafan says:

    I need to sell some USD in cash – has anyone got experience of Ace FX? Rates seem to be pretty competitive. I’d hoped to put it in the bank in the U.S. but that ain’t happening anytime soon by the looks of it.

    • John says:

      Yes it’s fine.

    • SM says:

      I have used them once before, exchanged USD for GBP in their London Bridge branch couple of years ago, money deposited a few days later. If it’s a reasonable amount of USD suggest to ring them beforehand to negotiate a good rate.

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      Used them a couple years ago after a Vegas trip.

      Sent $1,700 via special delivery. Got paid fine.

    • bafan says:

      Thanks everyone. It’s in the four figures so I’ll give them a call.

  • Gary says:

    Ventured into FT EC261 thread as wanting to pursue our cancelled J class Avios seats LHR-BKK from Jul 21 via MCOL for 2 reasons. 1. BA unlikely to agree to any direct options (as no BA summer schedule & direct only Thai or Eva) 2. prefer Aug 2022 (so beyond new one year fr departure BA rule). FT forum has a less bullish interpretation of “later date of your own convenience” – e.g it said “If you are asking to be re-routed at a later date of your own convenience, then the airline can indeed refuse to rebook you unless there is availability in the appropriate booking class” under Q&A on re-route/reward availability. Any MCOL experience to confirm or refute this? Should I have lower expectations on succeeding? maybe pure luck depending on judge’s view on the day?

    • Babyg says:

      why dont you just get rebooked with Qatar (yes not direct but a very nice option?)… seems like an easy solution?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      My expectation is you will lose because they will happily book at any point within a year of your original departure.

      And a year is plenty of time to arrange annual leave etc etc.

      @babyg’s suggestion is probably the best outcome.

      • Lady London says:

        Court has upheld the fact that no limit. Plenty of good reasons why someone might need longer. Obvs be reasonable.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          “No limit” really? So I can decide it’s not convenient to travel for another 5 years and expect to be reticketed or awarded cash by a judge?

          I really doubt it. You’d have to prove the allowable rebooking period was unreasonable

          • Harry T says:

            I agree with TG. There has to be a point at which a rerouting/rebooking request is clearly unreasonable. Otherwise, the system is open to abuse, when it’s actually designed to support the rights of passengers rather than be used to shaft the airlines.

    • Lady London says:

      same cabin class is what you’re entitled to. Each cabin is made up of a number of booking classes. Any booking class within your same cabin is an appropriate booking class.

      Eu261 specifically states, for example, that a ticket needing reroute that was booked into an avios/award booking class is not allowed to be restricted to only within same (avios) booking class by the airline. Any of the available booking classes is appropriate if it’s one of the ones in your same level of cabin.

    • Sukes says:

      EU261 Art 8.1.c states ‘re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at a later date at the passenger’s convenience, subject to availability of seats.’

      You have no legal right to insist on a direct re-route. The European Commission has stated an airline is expected as per ‘good practice’ to ensure ‘reasonable efforts are […] made to avoid additional connections’ without providing greater detail (document 2016/C 214/04 section 4.2). However the Commission (& the UK CAA: doc entitled ‘Annex 1- re-routing in accordance with article 8 of regulation eu261/2004 and the CAA’s view on compliance’) each emphasise that the duration of a re-routing should be as comparable as possible to the original journey. Where re-routing time on the originating carrier is similar to other carriers the Commission states the passenger should accept re-routing on the originating carrier or its partners.

      For any chance of success with a direct booking on an alternate airline you, in my opinion, are going to have to argue why it would be unreasonable for you to accept the indirect routing offered. Possibly this could be due to excessive added time to the journey duration based on the guidelines above, or you have personal circumstances that need to be accounted for, possibly mobility issues, needs of those accompanying, etc although I think these would need to be exceptional needs to have much traction.

  • sammyj says:

    SeatSpy – just cancelled my RFF sub and signed up for the £2.99 Seatspy plan (not bothered about alerts, just want the ‘where can I go’ feature). Done a couple of searches and I’m getting this error:

    “Usage limit reached for Premium subscription plan. Upgrade to our First Class subscription plan to increase the limits available to you.”

    Can’t see any limit on the number of searches on their comparison chart (4 alerts but no other numbers quoted), am I missing something before I email them to query it?

  • Taylor says:

    I have been involuntarily downgraded on a 241 avios booking. I had was given about 6 weeks notice and I haven’t yet accepted or declined the downgrade. The youfirst agent is stating that I still have to pay the cancellation fee. Is that correct? I assumed for an involuntary downgrade this would be waived?!

    • Lady London says:

      Technically I think others have said this is not a reason to cancel. Nick or ChrisC might know.

      I’d let BA know if forced into this involuntary downgrade you will of course be claiming the compensation for this after the flight. Remind them you’re aware that this compensation will give you 75% of what you paid for First for your seat back and you’re aware the same amount is payable again extra for the 2nd seat even on a 241 (this is unshakeable fact).

      State whilst you’re aware of this what you’d really like is….[either rebook same dates on another airline that can still offer First] or [would they consider a free date change].

      If they’ve taken First off the route no point asking for date change as if they agree to move you then you’re still downgraded and will have given up valuable compo for nothing. If that’s your case and you really just want to use it as an excuse for a date change wait till a week before the flight without accepting the downgrade in case they cancel a flight on your booking and then you get to choose another date free even if that has to be on another airline to get First.

      QR doesn’t have First so ensure you keep it clear your preference would be to stay in First throughout if you contact them. I agree with Babyg and TGLoyalty QR maybe best outcome though. If accepting QR you can still claim as it’s not First. However I leave that to your conscience as BA has a hard winter ahead and I’m beginning to feel a bit sorry for them. Although I’m sure it will pass quickly.

      • Lady London says:

        kinda mixed Taylor and Gary above but same principles apply for both

    • Rob says:

      The weirdest thing about this is that about 100 local news stations in the US syndicate CNN. This means we also appeared on the websites of, for example, Kat Country 103, CatCountry 95.1 FM, Local News 8, KITV etc etc etc 🙂

  • Tazzy says:

    Has anyone stayed in the Gran Miramar in Malaga? Decent rates for a week in September and couples with the leading hotels of the world Amex offer

    • Richie says:

      If the decent rates include rooms with a bit of a sea view, it seems a good deal.

    • AJA says:

      Interesting. Never stayed but I like the hotel from the outside and looking at the website. Sea view would be pretty good too and in front of the beach. Easy walk along the promenade to the port and into the centre.

  • Benilyn says:

    Driving from south of Oxford to Stratford upon Avon
    Thinking to go through Cotswolds as a detour
    Any ideas for 1/2 towns to stop at on the way? Never been before

    • Dominic says:

      Broadway and Chipping Camden

    • Sean says:

      Bourton on the water, Stow on the wold

    • Grant says:

      Bourton and Stow take you a bit too far south for that route. I’d do A44 to Broadway and lunch in Russell’s, or the Deli if you want something lighter. Then B roads north to Stratford.

    • Benilyn says:

      Thanks for the answers – do you just walk around the town centre etc or anything just do?

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Most of these villages are literally a Main Street or two

        Bourton on the water is a little more than that but as mentioned it’ll be heaving tomorrow.

        Stratford will probably be the same!

    • Joe says:

      Broadway would get my vote as well

    • JDB says:

      Woodstock/Blenheim Palace (and grounds) will offer more to do than say Broadway which is just another pretty Cotswold village, just a very well known one. Avoid Bourton-on-the-Water which has been totally spoilt and is also overrun with tourists.

    • John says:

      I would avoid Stow on the Wold in the afternoon, took me an hour to just pass through the junction at the centre – awful bottleneck and I hadn’t set up live traffic in my car yet otherwise I would have known.

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