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Business Traveller (Asia-Pacific) - - INBOX FORUM - BUSI­NESSTRAV­ELLER.COM/FO­RUM

AD­VICE FROM THE REG­U­LARS

POST MONTYSAURUS

I am seek­ing ad­vice from all the reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tors. I have a client in Am­s­ter­dam (AMS) whom I visit ev­ery so of­ten and so, given that I have a trip to Hong Kong (HKG) early next year, I thought I would com­bine it with a visit to my client and go from AMS to HKG via Lon­don Heathrow (LHR) in Club World with Bri­tish Air­ways (BA), which would save me a great deal of money.

I am un­likely to need to re­turn to AMS when I fly back and I have seen on this fo­rum be­fore ad­vice that if one doesn’t make a habit of not tak­ing the last sec­tor, BA will ig­nore it. My con­cern is that now it ap­pears that BA have been man­u­ally record­ing credit card CVVs, which would en­able them to charge one’s card months af­ter the orig­i­nal book­ing.

Could BA then charge me the LHR to HKG re­turn fare, which was about £2,000 [US$2,621] dearer than AMS/LHR/ HKG? In the event that you ad­vise that I have to re­turn to AMS and then back to UK, the sav­ing is still sub­stan­tial. Can I have ad­vice please – will BA pe­nalise me, as I am a mem­ber of Ex­ec­u­tive Club?

➜ MARTYNSINCLAIR

This is my reg­u­lar route and onto Bangkok, and my ad­vice is to play the game by BA rules and you will ben­e­fit from a cheap air­fare and suf­fi­cient Avios for three or four free re­turn flights to north­ern Europe, de­pend­ing on your Ex­ec­u­tive Club sta­tus. Try and beat the sys­tem and you may find your ticket price in­creases (as mine did last trip when I missed my po­si­tion­ing flight).

Say­ing that, I don’t believe any­one who has pur­chased their own ticket for an exEurope fare (on ba.com) has an in­creased fare is­sue by not us­ing the last sec­tor, but if you use an agent and don’t use the last sec­tor, the agent will pass onto you any re-price for los­ing the last sec­tor.

I use a travel coun­sel­lor on the ba­sis they have ac­cess to a far wider range of flights and I believe bet­ter fares, in­clud­ing their add-on charge (well worth pay­ing it). Just made my next reser­va­tion from AMS – the only added safety I have now done is tak­ing an ear­lier po­si­tion­ing flight to AMS, rather than out to AMS on the same air­craft that starts my exEurope ticket, back to Lon­don.

I have for this trip taken the one flight ear­lier. Plus side is cheap fares and plenty of Avios; down side a longer travel day and you need a sys­tem… (and I never check lug­gage in, only hand bag­gage).

➜ OPENFLY

Last week my LHR-AMS flight – af­ter my CPT-LHR leg – was can­celled and I was re­booked on a much later flight. There­fore, I missed my AMS-LGW [Lon­don Gatwick] flight, which also had to be re­booked, on the 21.15 flight … ouch. All this was due to a mere zephyr at AMS and the usual Dutch panic!

I asked to speak to a man­ager in the first class check-in area to dis­cuss my sit­u­a­tion. An amaz­ingly af­fa­ble, help­ful young BA man­ager ap­peared. My ques­tion was: “If I don’t travel and just go home, will you re­cal­cu­late my fare as I had heard that this is a pos­si­bil­ity?”

He re­as­sured me that as it was due to “flight dis­rup­tion” I would not be recharged and would get a re­fund, which sur­prised me. He then went on to say that they were fully aware that pas­sen­gers are “dump­ing the last sec­tor”. He was un­der the im­pres­sion that if they were given a rea­son – ill­ness, dead cat, etc – there would be no re­cal­cu­la­tion. But, if your flight records showed that this was the third time that your cat had died then your fare would be re­cal­cu­lated – and it was hap­pen­ing! So, straight from the horse’s mouth.

I left T5 and went straight home. I have al­ready re­ceived my two re­funds!

TOILETRYTASTIC!

POST SKY­HIGH

I stayed at the Radis­son in Tokyo and Mel­liber Apart in Casablanca this year. I travel the world and have never be­fore seen sealed toi­letries, and was sur­prised to find the Ri­tu­als Toi­letries in Tokyo were sealed with a clear tape, while in Casablanca there was a seal which stated “do not use if bro­ken”. I think all ho­tels should fol­low suit for safety and hy­giene rea­sons – oth­er­wise any­one could put any­thing into the toi­letries.

➜ IN­QUIS­I­TIVE

I am sur­prised that the orig­i­nal poster is sur­prised – most five-star ho­tels pro­vide sealed toi­letries. I mostly stay in Hy­att, Mar­riott and Hol­i­day Inn prop­er­ties in Asia-Pa­cific, and all th­ese ho­tels pro­vide toi­letries in sealed pack­ets.

➜ IANFROMHKG

I would very much pre­fer to have a pump-ac­tion bot­tle for all this stuff rather than add tonnes of plas­tic waste to the world, not to men­tion all the prod­uct that is thrown away.

I am not par­tic­u­larly wor­ried about con­tam­i­na­tion – most of th­ese prod­ucts only go on your skin and are im­me­di­ately washed off. Un­less the prod­uct is caus­tic, toxic or al­ler­genic it is very un­likely to af­fect you un­less you have a skin con­di­tion or an open wound. If you have a skin con­di­tion then you should prob­a­bly use your own toi­letries, and if you have an open wound you should be dis­in­fect­ing it or wear­ing a wa­ter­proof dress­ing any­way (if you know what’s good for you).

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