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The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 8th December

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Comments (452)

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  • Dave says:

    Good morning from Bangkok where I’m anxiously waiting for the result of my PCR test from yesterday evening. Pre flight was clear and I had Covid back in October so hopeful all will be fine unless it picks up the previous infection.

    Bangkok airport process was very smooth and quick. Better than expected..

    • Brian says:

      Good luck Dave. Me and better half in same boat. Waiting on results in Bangkok hotel. Just had test 10am this morning and totally agree with bkk airport. Very well organised

      • Dave says:

        Thanks Brian! Supposed to have for results by 10am, said they push them under our door. By 11 was getting worried so messaged down to find out the results had come hours earlier and we were negative so good to go out which was a massive relief!

        Enjoy your holiday!

    • Wollhouse says:

      Yes, after Polly’s Singapore experience, I’m also worrying about leaving the UK as negative but arriving in Samui and getting a positive! Were BKK staff still head to toe hazmat? Quite surreal last time, but yes v efficient. And I’m expecting it to be even smoother as I suspect they’ll only want to see your visa and the Thai pass. Or do they still want the reams of paperwork for hotels and vax? Glad you’re out and enjoy!

  • Tarmohamed says:

    If anyone happens to be in a developing country, and Apple play or contactless isn’t advertised, still try using it… I’ve left my Curve card at home, have managed to use Apple Pay for most transactions after telling the cashier to enter the amount and tapping my phone… the PDQ’s look ancient but still works…just be ready for the funny looks as if you’re trying to scam them…

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      What’s odd is in Egypt a lot of EPOS systems seem to accept contactless and even have the contactless symbol on them but they insist that contactless won’t work, I’ve never managed to convince them to hand over the machine so I can try tapping my phone, they insist on the card.

      What’s odd is when I have been able to see the screen there’s no contactless logo on there, so perhaps it’s like Sainsbury’s around about 2015 when their equipment could take contactless but it was disabled for some reason. I’d like to be allowed to try tapping just once though!

      • Lady London says:

        Are they trying to conceal that they’re doing that currency scam on their machinea which insist on charging you in GBP at a scam rate instead of in local currency ?

    • Ls says:

      In Zimbabwe they don’t accept any contactless even if both the card reader and card have the contactless symbol on them. Haven’t actually tried Apple Pay though.

  • ACK says:

    Good morning, at least better morning than one of our pilot’s today:

    “This delay is due to an operational constraint where a member of flight crew has taken ill. To get you to your destination as soon as possible, we have a substitute pilot currently in Budapest who will be available once they have completed their mandatory rest period.”

    BA flight delayed but unfortunately, I still have to show up for checkin at the original time. Too bad, could gave used an extra two hours of sleep. Hope the crew member isn’t too seriously ill.

    • Amy C says:

      That’s mad they don’t have a spare pilot in this country. I had the same thing at Luton a couple of years ago and one was taxied down from Manchester at 3am.

    • AJA says:

      Where are you flying? Sounds like the pilot was the crew member that is ill. Is that’ grounds for compensation if you are delayed by more than 2 hours? I’d argue that your delay is down to an operational issue that BA is choosing to substitute with a pilot currently in Budapest. That said I hope the crew member recovers.

      • Tom says:

        There are some sadly uncaring attitudes here this morning!
        Crew sickness anywhere that is not a base of the operating carrier is defined as extraordinary. It is unreasonable and unrealistic to expect an airline to have standby crew available in non base locations. Let’s hope the crew members involved is only mildly unwell.

        • Rob says:

          However, EC261 DOES believe that an airline should have replacement crew, parts and maintenance staff available everywhere it flies, as numerous test cases over the years have shown.

          • Nick says:

            That’s a nonsense… extra crew downroute is not expected under EC261.

      • ACK says:

        Just saw the crew walking to the plane. Can’t tell if it was partying too hard yesterday or a genuine illness. Re: compensation, we were given food vouchers, which was useless as BA is now paying for lounge access for those eligible, and the lounge is open. As I had plans in London today which are now cancelled I’m not happy, but I also don’t think it’s reasonable to have spare crew based at outstations just in case. So if it truly is an illness (guess I’ll never know) I don’t think I’m entitled to anything. Had the plane went tech, that’d be a different story, but 2-ish hours late doesn’t qualify.

        • ACK says:

          Responding to myself as I had a chance to speak to the crew member who was unwell. I’m no expert so apologies for the noob observation: three stripes, I guess that’s a first officer? He must have flown the inbound 870 yesterday evening (I recognise some crew members from the 870 two days ago). The text from BA about the unwell crew came at 02:45 local time and he is now onboard, sitting in a window seat in the last row of J. Me passing by mentioned to him that we were told about a sick crew member and I hope he was better now. He said “it wasn’t good”. So I guess it must not be covid, otherwise it’d be pretty irresponsible from BA to fly him home today, must have been a stomach thing or something similar. Perhaps he was given medication that prevents him from flying an aircraft, I don’t really know.

          • meta says:

            You are due EU compo, so claim it especially given that you had to cancel meetings.

        • paul says:

          Irrespective of whether it is reasonable or unreasonable to expect an extra crew member to be in country, the lack of crew is entirely in the hands of BA. EU261 compensation is due as is /was duty of care at the airport including meals calls and hotels accommodation as appropriate.

          • Tom says:

            The flight is not running 3 hours late, so EU261 compensation is not due. Even if it were, any airline will defend the sickness of a crew member at a downroute station.
            It is a stroke a good luck that there was a layover crew member that could be rolled forward.
            Such is life. Crew members are mere mortals like us. Sometimes they get sick too.

          • Lady London says:

            I would not claim for this.

            I know it might be just crew partied too hard and one of them with a hangover rather than sudden attack of Covid on a crew member downroute. And I know BA doesn’t have clean hands on routinely denying open and shut EU261 rights forcing innocent passengers to challenge them which they know only 0.0001% of passengers they owe these rights to, will know or dare to do.

            But we have a major airline that’s running a skeleton service doing their best and I would let this one go. Things happen. It’s not long haul and you’re not stranded anywhere. Suck it up.

          • dougzz99 says:

            See, you’re going soft, BA apologist was right 😊

  • Rh says:

    We have just gone through customs at Male. The check-in desk wouldn’t accept the C-19 testing fit to fly, they called over a supervisor (even though we had already been verified on VeriFLY). I showed the supervisor the VeriFLY acceptance and the website that shows it is an approved test to enter the U.K. and he let us check-in. Was a heart in mouth moment! Flight delayed on the way out here and the way back.

    Trying the Club Suite shortly for the first time so excited!

    We stayed at the Radisson Blu Maldives for 9 nights and it was amazing!

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Can you post a short review? Was it a cash booking? Direct?

    • Polly says:


      Common sense prevails then.. glad you made your flight. And had a great trip. Better than SIN staff. It really is heart in the mouth time these days at checkin.

      Hope you guys in Thailand are going to have a great holiday too. Keep us posted…nice to hear about other holidays…

      • Yuff says:

        That’s the problem with travel these days if you get an over officious/zealous check in operator at the gate your plans could be in tatters because of their misinterpretation of the current rules.
        Generally most staff are pretty relaxed about boarding but you get the odd one who oversteps the mark and it comes down to discretion at the gate, which is never a good basis for travel.
        My wife was nearly the victim of an overzealous Ryanair Member of staff in march this year, at Stansted, , when the Uk ban on travel to Spain was in force and I was constrained by brexit 90 day rule.
        She eventually got on after the doors had been closed and they were taking her bag off but the staff member had no idea what she was talking about but that doesn’t help when you can’t board the plane!!!!!

        • Paul says:

          Not sure officious or indeed over zealous is the right expression or appropriate.
          In some cases the staff have their jobs on the line if they don’t get it right. They need to understand the rules that apply to multiple destinations which have an array of differing regulations, not just the ones that apply to dear old blighty and holders of little blue passports!

          Perhaps your ire should turn on your elected representatives who created this monster, rather than the poor sod trying to do a tough job on minimum wage.

    • Mirp says:

      Thanks for information as I need to order test to return from the Maldives over Christmas.

  • a270 says:

    I need to travel to the USA in the next few days. My ESTA is valid till mid February 2022. Will that be fine or should I reapply? Wondering if visa needs to be valid for a certain period like passports do when travelling.
    I will be away for about a month. In case I need to extend my trip, do I reapply from there or once I have been given say 3 months of visa at immigration, I will be fine?

    • AL says:

      Your ESTA needs to be valid when you arrive in the US and, I think, for the entire duration (although I’ve forgotten). Given you’re only staying a month, and it expires in February 2022, you haven’t anything to worry about – it does not have the same principle as a passport in that you don’t need a certain amount of ‘remaining’ time on it to use it. You can re-apply from wherever you wish; no need to do it in the USA.

    • John says:

      A visa needs to be valid for the whole intended stay. An ESTA is specifically not a visa (though it feels like one), it is a Travel Authorization (what the TA stands for). It needs to be valid on the day you enter the US.

      You can stay up to 90 days in the US on each entry unless the CBP officer gives you less time.

      • zanderblue says:

        This is not quite correct. On an ESTA you can enter USA for a period of up to 90 days, subject to a maximum of 90 days in the trailing year. This is monitored by US border force.

    • Wayland says:

      You only need the ESTA to enter the US, it won’t affect your departure if it expires during your trip.

    • ACK says:

      The esta is a permission to travel to show up at the border. It only needs to be valid for the day you actually show up for entry. It can expire the day after, as long as you don’t seek re-entry for whatever reason during your stay.

  • Saiz says:

    Virgin Atlantic – planned site maintenance again!

  • Gary says:

    DP: Requested Curve metal replacement via chat. Took 6 days to respond, and another 3 days for the card to arrive. No changes to spending limits nor conversion to a business card.

  • Andrew says:

    Vaccine booking site has just been updated for the new booster advice – not sure if that means it’s allowing under 40s to book but it’s allowing over 40s to have a shorter than 6 month window now.

    • meta says:

      I just checked and nothing changed. The advice is the same as the day after announcement. I also can’t book it before 6 month window (over 40).

    • AJA says:

      I have mine booked for next week. Booked 3 weeks ago, 14 Dec was earliest date I could choose with a strict 6 month window since 2nd jab, not bothered about trying to bring forward at this point.

      • meta says:

        I can see it now, but unfortunately there is nothing available for tomorrow or Friday in my area. I am going on holiday end of next week and not going to travel around London to get a booster and possibly catch covid in the process… I’m keeping an appointment for when I get back.

    • Chas says:

      Thanks – just prompted me to look again. I’m mid-40s, and previously I was only being given dates in early Jan, after my 6 months were up. Just managed to book for this weekend. However, my 15yo still can’t book…

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