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The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 7th September

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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.

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Comments (469)

  • Alan H says:

    I’d appreciate hearing others experience around rebooking of flights following the 8 July policy change.

    Ive just tried to reschedule flights booked to GCM in the October Avios sale. I wanted to reschedule them to October this year but the CS agent stated that the 8 July policy has now been revoked. I escalated it to the call centre management who confirmed that they had been informed that the policy had been revoked (although under review) and all they could offer was a voucher, refund or rescheduling within the original 12 months of ticketing which is not feasible for a number of reasons.

    Has anyone else had a similar experience?

    • Jill ( Kinkell) says:

      I got this last week…agent read out memo stating ‘on August 27th at 3.27…..’ back to ticket validity. ( which is what you are saying) I challenged this and then he said. ‘Oh wait…further memo at 5.23 to ignore that. All theCS interactions gave conflicting information and none could move our trip to the year ahead as the date wasn’t in the system! All HfP posters were really great in advising, ( see chat thread of last week 2/3 Sept , I think) but I ended up getting a FTV as my stress anger, frustration levels couldn’t cope! Good luck

    • ChrisC says:

      According to “anonba” (who works for BA call centre but isn’t an official BA lurker on flyer talk) the new policy was revoked (see post 186) so it’s obviously taking time to filter through.

    • AJA says:

      This is news to me so I went over to FT to look at the specific ticket validity thread. There are several posts on there that BA did indeed revert to the old policy however there is also a post last night by user anonba who wrote: “No there was another update to it but the second update was revoked.” And then a further one by same user 40 minutes later saying “There might still be further changes”

      See post number 166 onwards.

      Very disappointing if BA do indeed intend to change the policy for the worse.

    • Graeme says:

      This morning, changed a booking for October by 1 week as I’m hoping to be able to rebook to Oct 22 at preferred dates.

      I was told that I have to rebook by original ticketed date + 1 year, November 21 in my case as booked Nov 20. Last week, it was from Feb 21, rebook Feb 22 which was my revised ticketed date following an enforced change.

      I’ve taken a chance that my new flights will be cancelled in the next week and can hopefully rebook for Oct 22. If not, can FTV and pay off April holiday.

    • Anna says:

      Hi Alan, let us know how you get on if your trip goes ahead! I’ve been following CIG’s announcements about re-opening but they have changed their minds so many times now it’s still not really clear when tourists are going to be allowed back in without substantial quarantine, even if vaccinated.

      • Alan H says:

        Hi Anna. I’ve just been watching the Tourism Minister on Cross Talk and together with all the other CIG announcements, I’m doubtfull that they will open up the borders as planned on 14 October. Given BA’s shenanigans, I’m even more disinclined to book with them even though my house needs some repairs from Hurricane Grace. Going to apply for a Virgin card today and downgrade my BA AMEX. Good to see you’ve made some welcome summer trips!

        • Anna says:

          Yes, I feel like the curse is finally broken!
          They are in a bind really, a lot of residents don’t want anyone coming in without quarantine but that’s going to put off a large number of US visitors who can go elsewhere with few restrictions. I have booked for 3 weeks next summer but nothing that can’t be cancelled, obviously. I have blown my stash of points on the Westin and the Kimpton, plus our week at Morritt’s. Let me know if you ever need a house sitter 😂

    • Jane says:

      I was just coming to report, I’ve been trying to change my canceled 5th – 27th August 2021 flights to August 2022. My outbound was changed a few weeks ago after being given the run around by a few different phone operators about interpretation of the 8th July policy. My inbound was released yesterday but I couldn’t get through on the phone. Tried live chat this morning who have now sorted it – new flights 4th – 26th August 2022, showing in MMB but the operator got an error when trying to issue the tickets and referred to back office but I think this should be sorted eventually. No mention of new policies revoked or otherwise but it did take for ever and need a lot of prompting from me; someone who didn’t read HFP would have given up so thanks all 🙂

      • Wollhouse says:

        I hope they don’t remove this revision!- I’ve been trying to ring for days as I can’t MMB and haven’t managed to even get through.

      • Jill ( Kinkell) says:

        Well done. I was given runaround on the You First line and gave up. Disgraceful the level of incompetence of the CS agents. Even got the ‘no you can’t speak to a supervisor as it’s not a valid call’

  • M S says:

    Hi HFP, are there any rumours yet re the replacement Miles & More Cornercard? Getting a bit twitchy that my points only have a few more unprotected months…

  • WaynedP says:

    Am trying to purchase QS flights from DUB to JNB.

    Any way to avoid QS billing in Euro, as this will incur Amex 3% forex fee ?

    I have already logged in to my Qatar Account which shows my region as GB, but I can’t find anyway to get the booking engine to quote or charge in anything other than Euro.

    Any advice / workarounds gratefully received, thanks.

    • Harry T says:

      If your itinerary originated in Europe, you will have to pay in euros. You are always charged, as far as I know, in the current of the country your first flight departs from.

      • Rui N. says:

        Some airlines allow you to change the currency you pay in. Don’t know if Qatar is one of them though.

        • Harry T says:

          Yeah, but don’t they normally give you an awful FX conversion? Ryanair do this.

          • John says:

            The last time I booked with them, Air Canada allowed you to pay in any currency at the IATA exchange rate (which is AFAIK roughly the average interbank rate since the previous Wednesday).

  • Rash says:

    Hi all, I would also appreciate some advice regarding changing a Lufthansa ticket. I took advantage of the Business class sale last Nov 2020 to book to Hong Kong for Oct 21, looks like that will not happen due to a 14 day quarantine even for double vacc’d. I would ideally like a voucher as I know refunds will be tough, has anyone had similar experiences with Lufthansa?

    I’m aware I could move the flight to Oct 22 for example but I’d have to pay the flight fare difference I think

    • Sam G says:

      This was why I steered well clear of those deals – if the flight operates you are really pretty screwed – no cash refund and if you rebook you’ll need to pay the fare difference which on a biz ticket can be £1000s. If the flight is cancelled by default LH will only issue +1 year from ticket validity which won’t help you.

      Best hope is you can get a voucher and wait for another sale but I’d avoid HK – they’re likely to align to China policy which will be zero COVID for a good while longer. Or EU 261 right to reroute at your convenience applies but you’ll need to investigate how to enforce it

  • Joseph Heenan says:

    I’m heading to Germany shortly – I’m aware there were issues with some insurers excluding COVID related claims, is the HSBC Premier free insurance considered sufficient these days?

    Looking at they seem to cover most COVID related claims so I think I’m okay, but any advice from the more experienced greatly welcomed!

    • DeB20 says:

      Best to give them a call, they have always been very helpful and they even covered my trip to deal with a family emergency despite FCDO advice against travel at the time.

  • Richie says:

    Can I pay the social care levy with bendy?

    • JSemity says:

      no, just work via a Ltd and take your cash as divs and no NI thank you very much 😉

      • Richie says:

        Is it that easy?

        • Sam G says:

          Depends on sector , for me it’s pretty much dead, most companies consider my contracts inside IR35 and will only employ me via an umbrella company who pay me PAYE. Big difference from a few years back when I was last contracting!

          • JSemity says:

            thankfully for my line of work there’s still a lot of outside IR35 contracts around

          • Colin MacKinnon says:

            I got way more back in SEISS than I would have saved in Nat Ins!

      • Lady London says:

        The 1.25% is on dividends as well apparently

        Not a good sign for the future

  • Aston100 says:

    If booking a QR metal flight that is being sold as a BA codeshare, are there any particular pros or cons?

    As it looks like class R, I presume I won’t be able to get into any lounge at DOH, but does the same apply at LHR?

    • Sam G says:

      I’m quite sure that a BA codeshare ticket will get you access actually in Doha so if the pricing works out then that is the way to go. They are using the BA lounges at T5 currently so no problem there.

      There was a thread on Flyertalk with a good table but seems like it got deleted!

      • Aston100 says:

        Thanks Sam. The pricing seems better as a BA codeshare (by a margin of a few hundred per person).
        If I can get into lounges on all 4 sectors, then it sounds like a no brainer.

        Are there any cons I’ve missed in regards to a codeshare?

    • AJA says:

      My understanding is that it is better to book as BA as that then determines lounge access. BA’s policy is still that Biz Class gives you lounge access. Downside is that it may be the inferior OW lounge at DOH. Also booking via QR may be cheaper and then simply pay for lounge access?

      • Aston100 says:

        Thanks AJA. On this occasion, it is looking like around a thousand pounds saving between two people if purchasing the BA codeshare rather than the QR ticket.

        • Sam G says:

          well then it’s a no brainer – worst case you can pay for access to the good lounge in Doha and still be up! I believe Qatar direct COVID flexibility is better (cash refunds?) but if you’re happy with a BA voucher if you couldn’t go then go for it. You can book these codeshares as a holiday so that might be worth looking into so you only pay a deposit

    • WaynedP says:

      @Aston100 Were details about Qatar offer you mentioned last night attractive in the end ?

      I am hovering over the “Pay Now” button on a ex-EU flight to JNB and can’t find any offers to dent the cash cost of a J class ticket for one (am also signed up to Q Privilege).

      Have so many cancelled flights with BA & VS tied up in vouchers, but they’re unusable until SA comes off the Red list, or this whole hotel quarantine malarky for double vaxxed is ditched.

      Plus booking QS ex-EU with BA metal flights to either DUB or CDG gets me to within 25 TPs of Gold … for under £2k, but only just before my TP year end on 8 Dec.

      What to do, what to do … 🤔

  • Rahaney says:

    Are there any promo codes or discounts available for Blacklane? Looking at transfers to LHR for next month.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      “Simply download the Blacklane app and use code BlacklaneEV to get £25 off. The voucher is valid until 30th September.”

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