BA status allowances
There is still no blanket BA policy for status extensions unlike many other airlines such as Virgin Atlantic (read here). From Flyertalk, we do now know what their policy has been for recent requests.
If your membership year ended on 8 February or 8 March who had flights cancelled, BA policy is to change the qualification thresholds to the following:
- If you are currently Blue with over 220 Tier Points you get bronze
- If you are Bronze with over 520 Tier Points you get silver
- If you are currently silver over Tier Points 1280 you get gold
I would expect BA to make some more formal agreements in due course.
Has BA given you a status qualification exemption? Let us know in the comments below or on social media.
On Flyertalk and amongst contacts, I have heard of people that were due to fly in the last day or so and had cancelled their flight through British Airways. They received a rather unsettling email from the US Customs and Borders saying that due to the proclamation banning non US citizens who have been in Europe in the last 14 days “Any traveler with a valid ESTA who is subject to the Proclamation and who attempts to travel the United States in violation of the Proclamation will have their ESTA canceled.”
This will no doubt be due to the backlog of cancellations in BA’s systems, and them sending travellers data to the US as they are required to do so. An ESTA being cancelled is unlikely to stop you getting one in the future, but given the reasons for the cancellation, I would err on the side of caution. If this happens to you, I would contact the CBP and explain the situation. If it was a fairly new ESTA you could try to get it reinstated or a refund. You will probably need to provide proof that the flight was cancelled or you cancelled your booking.
FCO advises against overseas travel
Today the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised against all non-essential international travel, initially for a period of 30 days. This advice takes effect immediately.
They are doing this, quite wisely, due to the rapidly changing policies by countries for entry and quarantine requirements. This is leading many people to be stranded abroad in a lockdown situation with no notice.
As I said yesterday, it is worth checking with your insurance about whether they will cover you for any losses as a result of this.
Qatar’s cancellation policy
Qatar has finally made its flexibility better for bookings better. Given that they have not cancelled as many flights as other airlines this is a welcome relief. It also has one of the longest travel periods which is good news.
If you have already booked or are planning to book for travel up to 30 June 2020, up to 3 days prior to departure by having the option to change your travel date free of charge, or exchange for a future travel voucher. This voucher will be valid for one year from its issuance date. This is different to BA where it is from the original date of travel. It also includes award flights. If you change your dates you will have to pay any difference in fare so you may decide to get a voucher and hope a good fare comes back soon.
As usual, the advice is to leave it to near the time if you can, in case they do cancel the flight. Cash is always better although I believe that all the major Middle Eastern airlines will continue to operate due to their government support and extensive connecting traffic networks. Qatar are still operating flights to many destinations, so there is less chance they will cancel than other airlines. To make sure you don’t miss the 3 day cut off, set an alert on your phone to check at D-4. You can check the live status of flights on this page up to 5 days ahead.