NEWS: Chose your airline seat away from kids, red list could shrink soon, Boots refuses test refunds & most day 2 PCR tests not looked at by Border Force

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Chose your airline seat away from kids

JAL has introduced a way to show where children under 12 are seated on the seat map. This is to allow adults that wish to be seated away from children to make an appropriate seat choice. While I actually like the idea having had some difficult flights with someone else’s badly behaved child disturbing everyone, I can see some flaws. First, you could pay for a seat away from children sometime in advance only to find that the seat map has changed by people booking last minute. Secondly, families often swap seats around once on board, so again you could still find you are close to a child when you don’t want to be.

One solution would be to allocate the mini cabins on some aircraft as adults only. However, I also like one that is non-snorers only as often they make more noise than the children on a night flight!

What do you think? Is this a good idea? Let us know in the comments below.


Red list could reduce substantially in next review & legal action starts

According to the Telegraph, as well as getting rid of the amber category and PCR tests for fully vaccinated travellers, there is also a move to reduce the red list. Currently, the UK has an astonishing 62 countries on the red list which is far higher than most other countries. It’s also one of a small number of countries that insist on hotel quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers. Both Ireland and Norway were two of the remaining in countries in Europe to use hotel quarantine and have now allowed fully vaccinated passengers to quarantine at home. 

Red list countries were originally meant to be for only those with variants of concern and high cases. As the Delta variant takes over from others, there are less and less countries on the red list that have variants of concern in any substantial quantities. Let’s compare our 62 countries to Ireland. They have…6 red countries. While I have always been in favour of a red list to some extent, I believe it is totally over the top currently, and some hotels no better than a prison with mice and rats seen in some rooms reportedly. 

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Peru

A class action has begun on behalf of people who are fully vaccinated who have been forced to quarantine. London-based firm PGMBM said it had called for a judicial review into the policy, but the government had refused. The company believe around 100,000 people have been forced into hotel quarantine. I think we would always have been better using GPS tracking and allowing vaccinated people to quarantine at home if they consented to having a tracking device. In Barbados, they have been using tracking bracelets during 2021. One client of PGMBM said that his family had caught Covid in quarantine and then brought it back to the family. Obviously, that is very hard to prove. 

There is expected to be a traffic light review this week which may or may not include the proposals to reform the entire traffic light system. Travel companies urgently need something to happen as the end of furlough rapidly approaches and the government refuses any additional support for the travel industry. 


Boots refuses test refunds & most day 2 PCR tests not looked at by Border Force


An investigation by The Guardian has shown that some companies are flouting the law and refusing to refund customers whose day 2 tests arrive late. Obviously with a day 2 test you are obligated by law to take a test on or before day 2 or face a fine of £2000. So for a well-trusted company like Boots to refuse to refund a test when it arrives 6 days late and legally the person would have to get another test long before that to comply with the law. 

Boots policy says

This is actually against the Consumer Rights act that states you are entitled to a full refund if the product is not up to the required standard. Boots told the Guardian they would send a replacement product – not sure how that helps when it is after day 2? I will not be using them any time soon!

Another company, Atruchecks, has been threatening customers with reporting them to the police for leaving bad reviews or writing in to complain! Have a read of their Trustpilot page here. I’ll be avoiding them like the plague!

 From 21 September, companies who fail to follow the law will face fines of up to £10,000, said Mr Javid, the Health Minister. 

“I requested a review from the Competition and Markets Authority to address exploitative behaviour in the private testing market and ensure the government is doing everything it can to crack down on excessive pricing and inaccurate claims,” he added.

As I have suspected all along, the majority of day 2 tests go unchecked so you could buy the test and never actually take it. I know a number of people where things have gone wrong and they ended up taking the test very late but no one noticed! A Business Travel Association survey found 76% of 498 travellers returning to the UK said their PCR test result was not looked at or verified by UK Border Force. The survey of more than 500 travellers found 97% said nobody had asked to see their Day 2 or Day 8 PCR test on their return to the UK either. 

12 Comments on "NEWS: Chose your airline seat away from kids, red list could shrink soon, Boots refuses test refunds & most day 2 PCR tests not looked at by Border Force"

  1. Really like the idea of being able to book my seat away from young/poorly behaved children. I’ve had some miserable flights thanks to screaming babies or children’s iPads blaring out. I’d welcome this.

  2. Josephine Brayley | 14 September 2021 at 8:15 am |

    I have been looking at the day 2 and day 8 tests for my son who is arriving back in UK from Ukraine to receive his vaccine. I spent hours looking and the reviews on trust pilot are terrible. We decided that if they are not looked at anyway May as well go for for cheapest! Any recommendations please as I am off to Minorca con October.

    • Randox if you have a drop off point nearby. £43 each.

      • I used Randox recently. There is no dropping off point within 30 miles of here so I sent the sample Royal Mail next day delivery which was £6.95 which was reasonable.

        Hopefully these things won’t be needed much longer

  3. Atruchecks are an absolute joke of a company. Used their day 2 tests earlier in the year, which did arrive however we never got our results. I know this is common with these companies however I wanted what I paid for and they admitted that a huge amount of tests they received weren’t processed so I chased for a refund. Month after month passed with zero communication. I did a chargeback via AMEX and sure enough within 4 days this company challenged my case by proving they sent the test but I won because they obviously didn’t prove they actually tested the sample. How can they ignore complaints from customers for months but have a team responding to card chargebacks, when they know they didn’t provide the service in the first place. This whole system needs seriously cleaning up.

  4. I won’t bore you with the long story of the abysmal service provided by 1010labs. The Halifax told me they are jointly responsible with the merchant for providing the contracted service. They checked the T&Cs and said that by my quoting the reference number on my arrival form the contract was satisfied and there would be no refund no matter how bad (or absent) the actual service. It’s illegal under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 to advertise a service and then issue a contract which restricts the advertised service. I would happily sue 1010labs but they don’t disclose any proprietorship detail, also illegal.

  5. I have had good experiences with Qured, XpressTest and Collinson. All have had responsive customer services, with both tests and results received on time. There’s plenty of discount codes available so you should never need to pay the full price on the website.

  6. A year ago Qured were overwhelmed and had appalling service. However I used them for the home test pre-departure from the US a month ago, and all went extremely smoothly.
    Collinson (before they moved out of LHR T5) were superb for on-the-day tests for LHR departures.
    ExpressTest last month were equally quick and efficient for a Day 2 test taken on Day 0 at LHR after arrival from the US.

  7. I think the best thing to do with non-performing testing companies is to send a notice before action and if they don’t then refund, proceedings in the country court. I’d be amazed if they defended them falling back on illegal terms and conditions. I would have expected better of Boots but since the US take over they really have gone to the dogs as far as service goes.

    Hopefully by the end of the month all this testing for vaccinated people will be an unpleasant memory IF the government is able to see sense.

  8. I can’t understand why someone who flies without children thinks their money and flight is more important than someone with them and that the parents are second class fliers to others. A family of 4 pay MORE to travel in the same cabin as solo fliers but solo travellers and couples have an attitude they are worth more. It’s arrogant. I am all for being away from morons who actually think if a child cries it is “badly behaved” so if people want to choose a seat let them do so but to be honest the general attitude I find puzzling.

    • I’m not referring to babies crying. I have had flights where I have been continuously kicked in the back by a child. Flights where parents sit watching a film while their child creates havoc in the cabin. Obviously most parents look after their children but I think if people don’t want to take the chance of being unlucky and the airline offers it, why shouldn’t they? It’s not arrogance to want a peaceful nights sleep on a flight when you have paid for business class.

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