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The HfP chat thread – Friday 17th 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 (588)

  • Patrick Cold says:

    Three of us booked a terrific BA holiday deal to Vegas in J for October and have only paid a deposit so far. Assuming it doesn`t go ahead, what are our options in terms of moving the trips a few months ahead? Thank you.

    • Michael C says:

      I was able to move BA holiday flights under the same conditions. but I believe hotel prices are adjusted to the new dates.

    • ChrisC says:

      If the flights are cancelled then you can have a refund or rebook to a later date but you’d need to pay any additional costs if the hotel is more expensive

      If you just decide not to go then you’re making a new booking and you’d have to pay whatever the new cost is.

    • Anna says:

      You’re reliant on the flights being cancelled, which they may not be, to get a refund or change (or plenty of BA goodwill). Otherwise I think you can still get a FTV.

    • jj says:

      I had a similar issue about three weeks ago with a New York trip – I was supposed to be there right now – and my flights weren’t cancelled.

      I don’t know if it’s changed, but, at that time, the policy was that, as the border was closed, I was allowed to rebook for a different date using the same pricing calendar that was in force on the day that I made my original booking. However, I couldn’t roll forward beyond 12m from my original booking, and the hotel was repriced. As the new hotel rate was much more expensive, I changed hotel for the revised booking with no issues.

      This was all done via chat. I found it much easier than a phone call, as I had time to explore options with my wife before committing.

  • Jonathan says:

    Has anyone successfully bought gift cards (ex ivy giftcards) for restaurants with the Amex £200 free restaurant credit ?

    • Rob says:

      Why would you want to go there and buy a gift card vs going there and having a meal?! You’d need to buy it on the premises, asssuming such things exist, and note that not all Ivy sites are in the offer.

    • bill says:

      I went to the ivy kensingteon recently and it was possible to purchase gift cards in the restaurant. they were mentioned on the menu

      • Sam G says:

        I saw that but I wasn’t sure if they’d still be processed via their gift card provider (via a staff portal or similar) or actually via the epos. Service was pretty painful just getting served so I didn’t bother to ask, would be interested to know though.

    • Shub says:

      I enquired about it at the Ivy in Birmingham, but didn’t buy in the end. They mentioned the Gift card can’t be added to the table bill as the Gift card payment was on a different system or something like that. So didn’t risk it.

      • Sam G says:

        Yes that is what I suspected – highly unlikely it would credit then

      • K says:

        Why? Are gift cards, even if purchased within the confines of the restaurant, explicitly excluded from the offer?

  • Alistair Smith says:

    Hello. I’m looking for some advice/reassurance from anybody who’s traveled to Portugal with British Airways recently. British Airways are asking us to upload covid tests, vaccine records and the Portuguese passenger locator form to ‘manage my booking’ to be verified before we can check in for our flight to Porto.

    The problem is the passenger locator form requires a seat number to be added before we can download it, yet British Airways don’t allocate a seat number until you’ve check in (I’m loathe to pay £13 for a standard seat on the aircraft before check in just to be able to get a seat number for the PLF, but at the moment this is the only way I can see around this problem)

    Does anybody have experience of dealing with this problem that they’d be kind enough to share as this is adding to the stress this holiday was meant to be a break from!

    Thank you!

    • Creatine King says:

      Dont stress. We had similar to Spain…. Use a best guess seat number – 19A and 19B – then you are ready to rock. If you rrrreally wanted to, when you have checked in, you can ammend the PLF to the correct seats, but life is far too short……

    • Tracey says:

      Try submitting the form without a seat number. If that fails then make one up.

    • Memesweeper says:

      A friend had a similar issue when I did the form on their behalf… I guessed a seat number … and got it right!

    • A says:

      I can’t add any more than others already have but thought I’d mention that on returning to the UK, the gate agents in Portugal (in our case at Lisbon) wanted to see all documentation OR VeriFLY – they were most relieved to see we’d uploaded via VeriFLY.

      Of course, all may change as rules change etc.

    • jek says:

      I don’t know about Portugal but for our flights to Spain BA already allocated seats at least 48h before the flight and there was an option to change them. It allowed us to fill the form for Spain and upload it to BA.

    • Alistair Smith says:

      Thanks for the comments everybody. It appears I was pre-panicking as I’ve just checked Manage my Booking and allocated seats are now displaying – as Jek says this was 49 hours before check in 🙂

  • r* says:

    Im trying to check in for a BA flight tomorrow thats within 24 hours of departure so should be able to select seat at checkin. However, it wont let me check in as it says ‘we cannot complete online checkin for your flight on this occasion, proceed to airport to get boarding pass’.

    Does that mean Im not even able to select a seat? I cant find any option to do so.

    • Creatine King says:

      Dont stress. We had similar to Spain…. Use a best guess seat number – 19A and 19B – then you are ready to rock. If you rrrreally wanted to, when you have checked in, you can ammend the PLF to the correct seats, but life is far too short……

      • Sam G says:

        The only reason I would go back in and change the seat is if you ended up getting “pinged” for being close to a COVID case onboard based on the wrong seat you’d be quite annoyed. But I’m not sure Spain/Portugal does anything like that anyway

        • Simon says:

          agreed. but on that basis, chose front or back row to minimise how many people you could be pinged by?

    • Tracey says:

      You should be able to use MMB to choose your seat. You won’t be able to check in without submitting all your documents and even then it is hit and miss.

    • Harry T says:

      You need to check in at the airport, so they can check your documents.

    • Jek says:

      Have you uploaded your documentation? We were not able to checkin until BA verified the uploaded documentation.

    • ChrisC says:

      which airport?

      • r* says:

        LHR. Its not so much not being able to check in that was the problem, more that I couldnt select seats so may have been at risk of being split up. It just seemed weird that I couldnt pick seats without checking in, there was no longer an option to do it in MMB once it was inside the 24 hour window.

  • BJ says:

    With Accor All now extending validity on basis of any earning activity, does transferring the 5000 bonus Qmiles for signing up to QR PP count or are these sign up bonuses nontransferable?

    • Rob says:

      It should count, yes.

      The Qatar bonus seems to be transferable after a few days, just not instantly.

      • BJ says:

        Thanks Rob, probably a safety net on my partners account as we were going to do a stay in next two months.

  • C says:

    Can you use a FTV over the BA chat if it doesn’t involve an additional payment?

  • aviosnewbie says:

    Does any credit card offer warranty for MacBook Pro screens? My screen got damaged and I had to change it. Cost £380! I haven’t registered any warranty, so just checking if there’s anywhere I can make a claim. I have amex biz plat, Curve, HH, HSBC premier, VA, IHG creation, BAPP. Can I make a claim to any of these? Thanks!

    • Rui N. says:

      Did you buy a computer each on each of those cards?! Any warranty claim would be on the card used for payment, no?

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      As above, also depends when you brought it. Amex biz plat and BAPP should have purchased protection. Amex are also usually quite generators if you provide good evidence

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        Also probably required to pay for it on the card you want to claim off of

    • Peter K says:

      Can you claim on your home insurance if broken at home?

  • KZ says:

    Does anyone have any ideas to get to China? I need to travel in Nov/Dec, but there appear to be not a single flight from UK or even all other European airports direct to China. Connecting flights through Tokyo and HK exist in theory on google flights, however, apparently these are not allowed.

    Would be very interested in hearing if any of you have heard of any way to get to CH.

    • Sam says:

      Do you have a Chinese passport or visa?

      I think Amsterdam is an option and there is a list of updated flights somewhere on here:

      • KZ says:

        Thank you for your replies. Visa wise I am definitely allowed entry, the issue currently lies only in the availability (or lack of) direct flights from Europe to China. CDG, FRA, WAW, LHR all show no flights to china on google flights… first flight I found is in January. Is this just how it is or am I overlooking something?

    • Lee says:

      Minimum 28 days quarantine

      • idontflymuch says:

        Is it really 28 days now? I thought it was 14 days hotel then 7 days at home. Going to try to apply for a visa soon to visit family who need support, in which case it would be with KLM on their LHR-AMS-CTU. I thing Chengdu is acting as a hub for foreign arrivals. I know things are worse if you try to get to Beijing.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Singapore might be an option.

    • Kai says:

      Direct flights from/to UK are banned by the Chinese govt. There are few European airports where you can transit e.g. Helsinki and Paris but it’s very risky as they can be canceled at short notice or you can be denied boarding for random reasons.

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