Thailand to remain closed
Thailand a few weeks ago had seemed to be amenable to restarting international flights in a very cautious way. After allowing some very specific categories of international passengers such as diplomatic staff and medical tourists, the country appears to have taken fright and stalled all future plans. In an article in the Bangkok post, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) the ban on international commercial flights will remain in force while the Covid-19 situation remains critical in many countries. The ban is now indefinite and there is apparently little enthusiasm amongst the public to reopen the borders. This seems strange given that on many of the islands, tourism is the main source of income and businesses are already starting to close down permanently.
If you want to go to Asia, pretty much the only likely option is Bali which at present is still expected to open by October. If you have a cheap Qatar ticket qualifying under their Travel with confidence policy to another Asian destination, it could be worth keeping an eye out for good prices to Bali or Maldives. Qatar will allow you to switch to another destination within 5000 miles subject to any fare difference or move the date as much as you want.
BA changes how it deals with BA Holidays cancellations?
I was alerted by a flying friend and TLFL reader about a change in BA policy he was told about. At present, it is not totally clear of all the parameters, but it worth bearing in mind before you panic if you receive a BA Holidays cancellation.
In his particular situation, he had a holiday booking which had one leg cancelled. He was then able to rebook that on a different flight. Then a second leg got cancelled. At this point he received an email from BA saying that it had automatically cancelled the booking and he would receive a refund within 7-10 days. BA said they were cancelling due to the high volumes of people trying to phone, so this would save him having to call up. For most people they would probably be glad if it happened as they just want their money back. However, this booking is in March so there is a fair chance that it will still go ahead. Therefore he gave them a call to see what could be done.
He was told that there is now a new policy that if your booking gets auto-cancelled you can rebook the same holiday for the same price. Normally this would only be possible whilst the booking was still “live” i.e. you had not agreed to cancel the booking. You can call up and quote the original booking and get a discount on the price to match the original. It seems to be a new policy as a supervisor had to get involved to sort it out.
So if you do get a holiday auto-cancelled but want to rebook, you will need to phone up and see if they will do the same for you.
Etihad’s new collectible amenity?
We all love a nice amenity kit in business and first but now it appears there is a new item which we may be swiping off the plane – face masks. It’s a mixed bag who provides them but most just provide a cheap disposable one. Etihad has decided to go one better it seems! I like this idea, there is less waste and it is handy as an extra mask. It will also serve of a timely moment of hopefully times past when this is all over.
Etihad Airways has launched innovative new protective wear for First and Business class guests. As part of its new health and hygiene programme, Etihad Wellness, premium passengers will receive a snood style facemask for use throughout their journey and to take away.
The soft reusable snood has been treated with MicrobeBARRIER™ fabric treatment, a broad-spectrum antimicrobial treatment, laboratory tested and proven to reduce the presence of germs in fabrics. With this long-lasting protective layer, the snoods are washable and reusable, making them environmentally friendly.
Travellers can choose to wear the snood around their neck like a scarf and when in close proximity to others, pull it up over their mouth and nose to protect themselves and those around them.
Made out of lightweight, breathable and stretchy jersey fabric, the snood is comfortable and ideal for travel because it can be easily slipped on and off as needed.