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ADVICE FROM THE REGULARS
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?
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).
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!
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.
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.
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).