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The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 28th 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 (516)

  • DMW says:

    Am I right in thinking new bookings of BA Holidays offer less flexibility in changes than BA Flight only? Changes to Holiday bookings can only be done up to three weeks before departure – am I reading the website correctly?

    • Cabal of rabid baboons says:

      Yup , pay in full 3 weeks before and you’re committed to travel or lose your money

  • berneslai says:

    I feel like this has been done to death but I can’t get a definitive answer. Travelling to Spain with my 12.5 year old daughter on 15th October. Does she need a negative PCR test before travelling or does she fall under some “travelling with vaccinated parent” rule that I can’t find? I’m about to arrange the PCR test unless someone tells me otherwise.

    • Anna says:

      She needs a test but it can be rapid antigen, taken either within 48 or 72 hours of arrival, can’t remember which it is now.

    • BLT says:

      Not sure the answer above is correct, this was the latest info I found:

      They currently request that travellers from the UK who are not fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to entry must have taken a Covid test within 72 hours before arrival in Spain and tested negative.

      The test must be a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT): eg PCR, TMA, LAMP or NEAR.

      Antigen tests are not accepted if you are travelling from the UK to Spain for tourism.

      All passengers (including children under 12 years old) travelling by air or sea must also complete and sign an online Health Control Form no more than 48 hours prior to travel.

      • Anna says:

        NAAT tests include Rapid Antigen Tests, this isn’t the same as the free lateral flow tests you can get from the NHS. If you look at the tests Collinson is doing for entry to Spain, they includes RAT and PCR, but the former is less expensive.

        • BLT says:

          I’ll just go with the info from gov.uk on uk to Spain travel:

          Testing and vaccination requirements for arrivals from the UK
          The Spanish government requires all arrivals to Spain from the UK (excluding children under the age of 12 years old) to present on entry one of the following:

          documentation certifying that you have undertaken a COVID-19 nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT – e.g. PCR, TMA, LAMP or NEAR) within 72 hours prior to arrival in Spain and tested negative. Antigen tests can only be used in certain limited circumstances (as outlined in section ‘k’ of the ‘Entry requirements for entry in Spain from third countries’ on the Spanish Ministry of Health ‘Travel and COVID-19’ page) and are not accepted if you are travelling from the UK to Spain for tourism purposes (see Reason for travel to Spain below for further information).

  • Steve in Croydon says:

    Just received an email from BAEC stating that certain Household Account changes won’t be available from 04Oct to 17Nov, presumably due to IT changes. These are apparently “improvements”.
    God help us with BA’s IT track record!! Why 6+ weeks for this? I’ll be saving screen-shots of everything relevant to my HA – names/balances/etc.

    • berneslai says:

      1 week UAT, 5 weeks of rollbacks.

      • AL says:

        Oh, berneslai, you optimist! A whole day of go/no-go meetings, three days of UAT during which someone points out that the system doesn’t work on day one but this isn’t realised until day three, a complete outage on day six (a weekend no less!) because someone deleted the database accidentally, then a slanging match between Tata, or whoever’s doing this, whilst the rest of the organisation deals with a go/no-go meeting. Two weeks of rollbacks and a final ten or so days getting marketing to agree messaging to apologise to BAEC members and finally a few days to deal with the customer service backlog…

        And, if all that goes to plan, that’s a successful operation!

        • elguiri says:

          +1

        • Lady London says:

          You forgot the one-month overrun.
          And the “soft launch” that’s full of bugs and almost non-functional.

          Then 1 year till the core functional spec is met, 2 years or never for most of it to work properly.

          But the Big 4 consultancy will have had all timesheets and project milestones signed off week by week by week. So no exposure there.

          • Gruntfuttock says:

            LL – Absolutely true 🤦‍♂️, says someone involved in project delivery with complex software add ons years ago. (ATC). Software engineers had us over a barrel (allegedly 😂)

  • Ste C says:

    Question time:
    I currently have the AMEX Plat card and I am going to get my OH to refer me for the Rewards card, partly for the referral bonus on their account and so I have a “holding account” for my MR points if I cancel the Plat.
    My question is, do I need to do anything special when applying for the new card? should I be logged into my account before following the referral link or will it all get linked later when I add the new card to my online account?

    • Rich says:

      I’ve always done it logged out. Then added the new card to my existing account when it arrives. Never failed.

      The new card might be linked to your existing MR account, or might have its own. You can call them and ask to merge

    • Ikaz says:

      Nothing special required from you, when you register it might ask you for your other amex number, they might use this to link your MR accounts. When you activate the new card, do it from your current account, if it doesn’t work, wait a couple of days to activate card. If Amex creates 2 separate MR accounts, they can link them on chat or call.

    • Swiss Jim says:

      Why do this when it starts the 1st year free clock running? Are you about to cancel Platinum, or is it more an enhanced bonus points play?

      More importantly, because I hadn’t clocked this if true, if I cancel my Platinum card having taken out a Gold Rewards Card, are the Platinum earned membership Rewards automatically (or on request) transferred to the Gold Rewards Card or are they lost? If transferred that’s interesting…

      • Rich says:

        As long as both cards are earning into the same MR account, then you can cancel one, and they all stay alive. You need to have a card earning MRs, and make sure the second card isn’t accidentally pointing at a different account.

    • Rich says:

      You could also get the Amex Rewards Credit Card. Benefits: no fee at all, so it keeps your MRs alive as long as you want. Still 1MR per £.

      The benefits of the PRG are enhanced earning if you spend > £15k, the lounge pass, Deliveroo credit, and better RAF deal. Potentially better offers too. But you have to cancel after a year if you don’t want to pay £140.

  • Clive says:

    The World’s Top 10 Airlines of 2021 by Skytrax
    Qatar Airways
    Singapore Airlines
    ANA All Nippon Airways
    Emirates
    Japan Airlines
    Cathay Pacific Airways
    EVA Air
    Qantas Airways
    Hainan Airlines
    Air France

  • Rui N. says:

    Lloyds just sent me an email saying “Good job, outgoings from your current account are 25% lower compared to the same period last month”. They’ll probably think that I’ve lost my job and I’m on the verge on bankruptcy now that Creation doesn’t allow Curve anymore!

  • AL says:

    VS CC holders – is the awful app the only way to get access to transactions and statements? I hate having to do it to reconcile expenses. Can I get them to issue paper statements monthly by post or something archaic? Really is the bug bear of using that card for me.

    • Rich says:

      As far as I know, yes. It’s a pain.

      If you’re on an iPhone it’s easy to ping the statements over to your Mac via Air Drop, or email them etc.

      • David says:

        Er, it’s also easy to do that on Android. Cab directly email, download to phone, upload to One/Google Drive, print and on and on

    • DarrenS says:

      I have always got paper statements by post, even before they switched off the website. Android allows you share the statements with the option to email.

    • mark2 says:

      Yes, you can get paper statements: apply online or by letter.
      I agree that the app is abysmal; removing the online method was a major downgrade, but since it can no longer safely be used for MS it is moot.

  • C says:

    Hi, I had a return booking on a 241 with 4 flights. All 4 flights have been cancelled and rebooked into flights that aren’t suitable. I amended the outbound online to a suitable option and asked them via Twitter to refund the return. They are saying that as I changed the outbound online then I have accepted the flights for the return so they are wanting to charge the cancellation fee. Doesn’t seem fair to me as it’s not clear online that I was accepting the new return flights by amending the outbound. Is it worth arguing?

    • Anna says:

      I’m pretty sure some text pops up when you do this that says you are accepting the change and that no further amendments will be possible, etc, etc. A lot of people don’t read all that stuff, which can backfire later.
      I’m actually surprised they are letting you cancel the return at all if it’s all one booking; I would have thought any change conditions would apply to the whole itinerary. Why are you cancelling the return leg on a 241 though, it’s a bit of a waste of the voucher?

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