The new HFP chat thread – Thursday 7th May

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We have decided to run this new daily chat thread on Head for Points.

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the defacto repository for random comments and questions.  It is unlikely that the news flow will be so big over the next few weeks that we will need many ‘Bits’ articles, however.

The comments under this article are where you should post questions about travel and, indeed, anything else on your mind.  At this tricky time, and given that many of you are stuck at home self-isolating, we want the HFP community to have a place to chat.

Please only comment under the main articles on the site if your comment is directly related to the topic of the article.  This has long-term benefits as its keeps the commentary relevant for people who read those articles in the future.

By default, HFP shows the last page of comments under the article.  If you want to see the first page of comments and read them all from beginning to end in order, click here: The page will refresh with this article but the comments will now show the first page and not the last page.

We will continue to monitor how this is working.  Let’s see how it goes.  Take care!

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  1. Daniel says:

    Can anybody confirm that the HSBC Premier credit card(s) work well with Curve?

    I have a few significant bills to pay off soon and if I can funnel the payments through Curve onto my HSBC World Elite Card then I would be doing pretty well. Also, can I pay off my Amex balance each month using Curve from the HSBC card (if I have the paid account) and effectively double dip?

    • Tom H says:

      Why not try?

    • Yawn says:

      Wasn’t there an HfP article about Curve blocking double dipping not too long ago?

    • Grant says:

      Depending on who the bills are owed to – maybe.

      Paying Brighton – yes, if you have Curve Metal or are prepared to accept a 1.5% charge on each payment for Curve Fronted.

    • Jonny says:

      Yes – I use my Premier credit cards (US and UK) on curve without issue.

      If you don’t have a US premier account set up, might be worth doing and using the US credit cards on curve for 1.4 avios per £ instead of 1 avios per £ on the free card (no fx fees on the US card)


    Silver lining to reduced air travel – cleaner air and reduced greenhouse gases.

    • It’s not just a simple question of relative proportions J. It is about the type of damage being done, where it is being done and over what timescale adverse impacts will occur. There is no question that air travel is a key contributor to the greenhouse effect and climate change. However, we rely on air travel just like we rely on cars and other contributors to global warming Both are inescapable facts and we need to balance our needs with the harm caused. I’ve always felt that the best solutions are to be found in using l political tools that drive new cleaner technologies forward, and by education so that people can learn and buy into small changes in behaviour that can make big differences. There is no doubt though that the improvements in environmental quality seen around the globe in recent months supports the arguments of those demanding action on air quality and climate change, and they will be able to use this evidence in the future to ensure the likes of Heathrow’s third runway is dead. However, we are not hearing much yet about the negative environmental impacts although I expect we will do so in due course. For example, waste separation has decreased and land filling has increased, plastic bags of the worst type have returned on a massive scale. It is not all good news.

    • Andrew says:

      It’s getting warmer and fewer people are using deadly polluting wood burning stoves.

      Back in January 2017, half of the worst particulates in London came from burning wood.

  3. Another day, another points or miles sale. Regardless of the spin on blogs, it should be obvious to everybody and their granny that should people heavily subscribe to these then they herald a devaluation at the very least. Perhaps even more substantial changes to scheme rules. This is not to say there are no opportunities is the short term, there will be but these are hardly secure. We cannot be certain how reliable published airline schedules will be next season, and whether hotels will remain with their current management groups. Indeed, we cannot even be sure if an airline, a hotel or a loyalty scheme will still be in business next year. While it is more likely than not most will be in some shape or form, the reality is that the buzz word is currently ‘unceryainty’ and in buying points or miles at the moment we don’t really have a clue exactly what we are buying. It could be argued that this is true at any time; I wouldn’t disagree with that but it is certainly more true right now than at any point in in our livetimes. Perhaps fortune will indeed favour the brave, good luck to any reader brave enough to buy huge stacks of points or miles at this time 🙂

    • Genghis says:

      Uncertainly in these unprecedented times…

      The only points I’ve ever bought were SPG points which were on at a v reasonable bonus, so that I could then transfer to Marriott and buy a travel package. Then Marriott moved the goal posts and the points became less valuable to me. I’ve got my money back and more since, however, since I find Marriott points hard to acquire and their hotels in SA are good value on points.

      The only time I might even consider buying is if I have a need for an instant redemption.

      • Oh yes, bought for travel packages too .. higher £, purchase bonuses and transfer bonuses all combined to great effect 🙂 Apart from that only little bits here and there to top up to round numbers for redemptions.

      • Commercial Brontosaurus says:

        There is an alternative view to point pessimism.

        When airlines start flying again, the increase in passenger numbers will be slow to start, will pick up, but it will not be rapid. Planes flown will accordingly be fewer, but with a reduced economy of scale, filling those planes will be harder, especially on lighter routes. What better time then to incentivise people to burn avios and to fill those seats? Maybe there may be something positive down the line, perhaps even something like the great 241 of, when was it, some ten years ago? It’s solid PR, a reward for loyal customers, and flying full planes is financially smart.

        • Genghis says:

          Or more than likely cash fares will reduce to fill seats (rendering the avios less valuable)?

          • Commercial Brontosaurus. says:

            To a great extent yes, but I’d suggest not quite enough to do the job and not lose out. Isn’t this what ‘air miles’ were once all about?

        • I wasn’t being pessimistic, I was highlighting uncertainty over what exactly we might be purchasing. I acknowledged that there were opportunities in the short term and that fortune might favour the brave. But the bottom line is that none of us know. A lot will depend on future J/Y capacity relative to recovery in business/leisure travel, both of which will depend on unknown and uncertain trends in Covid-19. To take a pessimistic or optimistic view requires answers to some of these questions unless you are happy to rely on guesses.

          • Commercial Brontosaurus says:

            Absolutely no disagreement here with that. More a comment to enliven debate about whether widespread devaluation – with arguments made well in this forum – has a good counter-argument. Airports need people in lounges and to sell watches to Rob! Taxis need to take people to airports, etc. Are avios etc a cheap and savvy kick-start?

        • Marcw says:

          Yes, paying 700£ to fly business (+ thousands of Avios). Or you pay 250£ flying in the back but having 3/4 seats for yourself.

          • meta says:

            It’s also what kind of service you’re getting. What’s the point flying J/F if no lounges, no proper food&drink? 3 rows of economy would be similar to a flat bed. I suspect M3 airlines would keep the service, not so sure about European/American ones.

          • John says:

            The point is to have a flat bed. I get lounge access anyway. I would still fly J even if there were no extra services at all and they served all cabins the same meals – if planes were 95% full. If they won’t be I would certainly be interested in having a full row of Y instead.

          • Chrisasaurus says:

            I upgrade to J whenever I can on work travel and book in J for leisure and for me it’s about the rest – mainly the lie flat bed, especially travelling East. I’m sure everyone here has lounge access many times over, but the main point is to not lose a day because of the journey in terms of recovery

      • Harry T says:

        @Genghis other than “15 on Orange” which I’m considering for CPT, any other good uses of Bonvoy points in South Africa, off the top of your head? I note they have a Protea property in Franschoek. I speculatively booked the African Pride Melrose Arch, Autograph Collection in Jo’burg for a couple of nights too – works out at 0.87p per point (I would pay the cash rates).

        • Genghis says:

          I’ve stayed at all those + the Protea at North Wharf in CT (not as good as 15 on Orange). All good value vs cash.

          • Harry T says:

            Thanks, may just grab myself Marriott Platinum status next year in conjunction with the 15 nights from my Bonvoy Amex.

    • Rhys says:

      Let’s be real – hotel points sales aren’t exactly uncommon, even during ‘normal’ times! I doubt this moves the needle much.

      • That’s not so much my point though, the question is more what are we buying if we buy points or miles? We are now less certain than ever before. HFP and other blogs seem to be working on the assumption that cornavirus is a blip on the landscape and that, hopefully sooner rather than later, things will return to business not that much different from usual. Obviously that is what most readers want too (apart from a few taking pleasure in this company or that failing) so I hope you are right. However, I believe it is likely that the nature of the loyalty game will change in some way. Whether these are subtle changes or sweeping changes I have no idea but I think change is more likely than not.

      • I agree but taking BJ’s point it means there will be a lot more points liabilities on the balance sheet which will need to be dealt with at some point. It’s logical, if unwanted, that a devaluation will come. The only reason airlines and hotels are offering these bonuses is to entice us to purchase getting real cash into the business today. There are some people still buying flights and making hotel reservations but the numbers must be low, the stats on revenue must be making miserable reading.

  4. Can anyone who has recently upgrade to or taken out a new Amex Platinum card account confirm that they are receiving double MR points?

  5. Sonicoid says:

    I am thinking of adding my son as a supplementary gold to my amex platinum card. Can anyone let me have all the benefits to him of me doing this please? Also, are the bonus points strictly for the first supplementary card issued?

  6. Yawn says:

    So my flights to Tenerife next month were finally cancelled. I used my last Lloyds upgrade voucher on them. Does anyone have any experience getting such a voucher back? There can’t be many of those left!

    • Anna says:

      I think people have, and have also got the voucher extended. I think you have to call, though, not sure how long it takes to get through at the moment. I’ve still got my last voucher but nothing to use it on at the moment!

    • Yes, no problem getting back the voucher. And as mentioned, the expiry will be automatically extended.

  7. Anna says:

    So…does anyone have any thoughts about whether it will be allowed (and acceptable) to travel in the UK in July/August? I’ve pretty much given up hope of any foreign travel at that time. There seem to be plenty of cottages and lodges to rent in this country but prices seem to be generally non-refundable when I’ve looked on so don’t want to commit just yet. We would travel by car and generally keep to ourselves on holiday anywhere but obviously wouldn’t consider it if it goes against medical/scientific advise at that point.

    • Anna says:

      *anyway *advice. Autocorrect got me!

    • August should be ok. The expectation is govt will announce phased relaxation of lockdown from this weekend. Even accounting for a 2 month gradual release, I think we can travel within uk in august.

    • Genghis says:

      Happened in China…
      Not surprising, however, as we experienced quite a bit of racism towards black people in 2016 all across China.

    • Michael C says:

      I have a Cornwall He-de-Hi trip (don’t ask!) reserved for mid-July. For now, the campsite is saying “taking bookings as from May 22”, but as others have said, might know a little more on Sunday. Might be different rules depending on type of accommodation, I guess.

    • Italian government was talking about people there having summer holiday. So if we assume we’re a few weeks behind them then late August or September seems reasonable.

    • Anna (the original) says:

      I totally get that and would do some research before booking. We have family in Perthshire so would consult them about a trip to that area.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Lots of the UK is very different to where I live. tbh if i go out about 45 mins to the cotswolds that’s very different to my suburban neighbourhood and inner city etc

        I’ve always talked but seeing Devon, Cornwall etc I might just do that over the next couple years.

    • Harry T says:

      @Anna the real question is, will the spa at the Langley be open in July/August?!

      • Anna says:

        I doubt we’ll be using it even if it is! But no matter, my booking is secure and that’s what matters 😂

        • Harry T says:

          I don’t think I would pay their cash rates! But tactical use of Bonvoy points may be fair, even if purchasing them in a sale.

          I’m glad your booking is secure 🙃

  8. Nige says:

    If BA does withdraw from LGW, will existing LGW bookings be counted as cancellations (ie will we be entitled to ask for a refund) if they change departure airport to LHR? Or can they change airport within London if they give enough notice? Thanks.

    • @mkcol says:

      I’m certain they can switch you to LHR as they look at LCY/LHR/LGW/STN as all LON.

      • Lady London says:

        Not sure that’s legally sustainable.

        • I think it is. This has come up before.

        • Charlieface says:

          Not legal. It’s classed as a cancellation by EC261, ergo you can ask for a reasonable rerouting or a refund, and extra costs, and compo. Compo not applicable more than 14 days in advance though.

  9. Mummy55 says:

    Has anyone managed to get a refund from Easyjet yet? Have had several flights cancelled so far with more to come. I have filled in the short form for refunds but you don’t even get a reference no..
    The first cancellation was April 1st.

  10. Marcw says:

    BA has obtained 300 m GBP from the special UK covid-19 fund.

    BA and Qatar’s Australian JV (which cover all QR Aussie destinations except Sydney) has been approved

    • Kruggs says:

      it’s funny reading all the outrage about BA not using government funds and firing employees instead, when they had taken this all along and just not reported it

  11. pauldb says:

    IAG Results this morning. Webcast beginning now.

    Currently planning to restart July, don’t see a full recovery in demand until 2023.

  12. Amex Travel Refund:
    Has anyone had (recent) experience with how long it takes for a refund to appear back to the card account? – I had my Easter flights cancelled by the airline, and I’d booked them with a car through Amex travel. They were very helpful on the phone and I received confirmation through email that I would receive a full refund, but that it may take up to 12 weeks.
    This was 6 weeks ago, and was just wondering if anyone had any datapoints on their experiences?
    Recognize that everything is a complete CF right now, but slightly disappointed it’ll take 3 months to get the money back.

    • Paul says:

      Cancelled 2 hotel bookings via Amex Travel last Thursday. Received the cancellation emails right away, credit invoices arrived the following day and refunds back on my card today.

    • Toby says:

      I had a flight cancelled at the start of March. Still waiting for the refund. They say they’re waiting for the airline 🧐

      Upsetting too they’ve outright refused a chargeback!

    • Interesting – thanks for the replies. Looks to me like they maybe pay the hotels only after the stay then but airlines when they are ticketed.

      Interestingly buying the car and flight together seems to have made it a ‘package holiday’ as I got an ATOL certificate from them too, which to me implies they have to refund the money in 2 weeks by law? Of course, that seems like an unrealistic expectation right now, but 12 weeks is pushing it. Fingers’ crossed.

      In other news, got an email from columbus saying they’re all ready to take payment automatically for another year’s travel insurance. The price seems to have gone up for me and there’s a big disclaimer saying nothing COVID-related is covered. Sounds like an expensive chocolate teapot. I’m annoyed I have to put effort in on my part to call them and cancel! I emailed but no reply. I’m not spending ages on hold so will be asking Amex to charge back if they do take it and I can’t get through! Rant over…

  13. Optimus Prime says:

    Data point about cancellations: CFU-LHR on 28th June cancelled by BA on 4th May.

    • Optimus Prime says:

      And just received another email cancelling LHR-CFU on 20th June (yeah, inbound got cancelled 3 days before outbound).

  14. Jessiefan says:

    Had a shocking experience with AMEX Platinum – Flybe flight claimed for in Feb and no refund received and they have closed my claim. AMEX can’t answer why they’ve done that and I’ve had to reopen my claim. Totally fed up with them and will be closing my Plat asap

  15. memesweeper says:

    General credit card question: A friend has been charged interest when paying off the interest bearing part of a credit card, but leaving the interest free bit in place. I’m fairly sure there’s a regulation that states lenders must apply credits in the most favourable way to borrowers, does anyone here know the source? I’ve been asked to draft a complaint.

    • Lady London says:

      MSE would be the best source on this. A squizz at the terms and conds of the account might be useful in case it’s contractual practice and not governed by statute. MSE will say if it’s statute or not. Gotta feeling they have warned against spending on cards till any balance transfer is paid off, perhaps due to this kind of reason.

      • memesweeper says:

        My eyeballs hurt after more than 60 seconds on MSE… I might have to take the pain for this query though!

        I’ve checked the T&Cs and they are contradictory about the interest free period and the way they apply credits to balances. So definitely worthy of complaint.

    • Dezbez says:

      Definitely the case now that repayments have to be applied against the buckets with the highest interest first. It’s complex though, as there are so many variables. I can’t recall the legislation; I think it’ll be either CCA or CONC.

    • Anna says:

      I got stung last year when I made purchases on my Lloyd’s card when I also had a balance transfer on it. They do clear the highest rate element first BUT you are charged interest from the day you make any purchase. I think it’s an absolute swizz and not really made clear enough but Lloyd’s didn’t agree so I had to pay them £12 for my error 😡

  16. If I have only had the business plat cancelled recently and want to take advantage of the extended sign up bonuses can I take out the personal Gold card and the BAPP and get the bonuses?


  17. Ghosty says:

    Can you book a reward flight for a group (5) with some in a different cabin due to availability on the same ticket

    • memesweeper says:

      You can’t online.

      My only experience of calling up and asking was a ‘no’ – I just don’t think a PNR can have tickets in different classes within it.

      We ended up with three in business and two in first as a result, and had to swap seats (with the consent of the cabin crew) to sort out the mess 🙂

  18. baecgc says:

    I’ve had two separate bookings cancelled by CX for avios booking made for flights on CX and BA have “selected news flights for me”. I know I have to call to cancel and get the refund, but if I cannot get through if I never accept the new flights surely they’ll just refund me?

    Booking is end of May, so I just wait until 72hours out?

  19. Kian says:

    Does anyone have any experience when redeeming with virgin using some of your own miles and some of your partner’s miles? I’m sure I’ve seen DP in the comments on hfp in the past that the assistant allowing this when both of the two accounts had enough to cover one way of a return journey, but I can’t recall the details..

    • Dezbez says:

      There’s definitely flexibility with them to use either pot – I think you need to have exact/divisible amounts though eg if cost is 25k each way per person (so 100k in total), you have to split it either 50:50, 25:75, 75:25, etc. You couldn’t split it 67:33 for example.
      Not entirely sure of position with companion voucher – I think the person whose voucher it is has to use their points

      • Kian says:

        Thank you! By any chance, do you know what if I’m only redeeming a return flight for myself, but I’d like to use both my partner’s and my miles? Would they still be flexible in this case?

  20. Manny_D says:

    Has anyone had any experience upgrading from the Amex Green card to the Platinum? I am thinking about it in the future, and just wondered how difficult it is?

    • memesweeper says:

      If you have the ‘magic link’ it’s very easy.

      Last time I did it I used this:

      • Manny_D says:

        Amazing thank you! I will take a look in to that. Do you know whether it is a simple upgrade/product change or would a new credit check be involved?

        • memesweeper says:

          I don’t know if I was checked, I don’t think so, but their systems might check some applicants but not others, so if I wasn’t checked it’s not an indicator to rely on.

    • Harry T says:

      It’s easy peasy. My girlfriend did it a couple of months ago. I did it last year prior to the spend for the upgrade bonus being increased. We just used the link – I didn’t get a spend counter but she did. Both of us got the bonus.

      Unsure if they credit check you. They have the right to do so but may not in this instance. I think Amex care far more about your history with them than your credit “score” anyway. If you have another card, you are usually accepted.

  21. Smiles says:

    Interesting article from the head of the IATA saying flight prices will increase by 50% after Covid 19

    • Clickbait. *If Social Distancing is enacted*. It seems pretty logical if 1/3 of your cabin is blocked off.

      Anyway. That’s all in the bin.

    • Helmut Schmidt says:

      these generalisations and false-dawns do not help anyone.
      so often misleading and wrong, only time will tell. many factors will affect the price of a ticket.

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        If we can’t agree that we should pay the appropriate ticket price to enable the flights to happen at all, we will be in trouble…

        I hope, of course, that prices are low. But not at the expense of people losing money, that’s no way to do business with anyone whether b2b or b2c.

        I’ll pay whatever it costs to fly once we have a scenario where doing so is both safe and desirable. And I’ll be greatful that there is anyone there to fly me!

  22. “Coronavirus PPE: Gowns ordered from Turkey fail to meet safety standards”

    Perhaps they can be recycled into a pair of BA “First Class” PJs and slippers?

    • Helmut Schmidt says:

      only yesterday my wife showed me that you can use the eyemask to protect the lower parts of your face with a nice fit. i do not know the exact particle size to the nm that these would block out but they are more useful for this purpose. i have about 60 of these things. glad they are finally getting some use.

  23. Berneslai says:

    What happens to companion vouchers after the cancellation of a Virgin credit card? I’m going to cancel before my annual fee becomes due.

  24. Alex says:

    My sex life has taken a major upturn since the lockdown. Plenty of guys on grindr all bored and nothing to do. I miss flying but at least my downtime hasn’t been wasted.

    • Alex says:

      Wouldn’t you like to know 😘🍆

      • Please let’s not make this like Flyertalk here.

        • Davios says:

          What do you mean? Make it a useful resource with proper forum software?

          • Forum decision is made, but you need to give us 3 months to get the new-look HFP up and running. Forum is only a small part.

        • Lady London says:

          I really hope I’m wrong and think our responses here should/will be deleted due to being replies to the original post, but I’ve come to realise there may be a problem of medication being missed here? Would explain a lot. Does anyone think this could be the case?

  25. Froggitt says:

    Now you can no longer do Opinion Polls for 5 pts a pop to keep your points active, you can spend 3 of those 5 pts on an ebook

  26. Froggitt says:

    “Points expire 07/05/2021”


  27. Just for our very own @Secret Squirrel…

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Aww, how cute 😍

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Who’s my new copycat as above? If your going to want to use my username, please ask first and I will review your request.
        Otherwise, please use “Secret Squirrel is Best”, “Wot No Secret Squirrel Today”, “My Lord, Secret Squirrel”. 😉

      • Lady London says:

        So sweet

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      You’ve never seen me in my latest starring role. Here is my debut below:

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        That will be me after a few sherbets at the next HFP party! 😂

  28. rams1981 says:

    Tesco pet insurance. After numerous emails and formally raising a complaint my points have finally posted. Took out the policy on 20th Feb. They had offered me £10 compensation which i turned down. Be interesting to see if they offer more or not.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      You got your points, but your turned down £10 as compo – what are you hoping for?

    • Baji Nahid says:

      Ugh tell me about it! they are now playing ball and refusing to pay out! it has been day 76 for me and now they are taking the mick!

  29. Peter Taysum says:

    Any news on BA status? I was set to re-gain Gold before the pandemic; at the moment they seem the only company not to be extending.

    Do they want me to fly Air France/KLM via PAR and AMS; as I’m NCL it makes no difference to which hub I use… If my status dies why stick with BA?

    • Yes. There’s enough people who’ll still fly BA, they won’t go above and beyond because they don’t need to.

  30. BA refund helper says:

    Just a notice to all Head for Points readers:
    ‘BA refund helper’ was set up to help FlyerTalk members get refunds if they are struggling through regular channels. It is only me processing these refunds in my spare time.
    * Please do not contact me unless you have been unable to source a refund through the usual channels for two weeks. There’s limits to the amount of time I have so this makes things fairer for all
    * I will be giving priority to existing established FlyerTalk members, unfortunately I’ve been getting loads of messages from people with no posting history often asking questions they’d already know the answer to if they participated in the forum

    • Rhys says:

      Hello. Can BA perhaps assign a couple of members of staff to do the same for people here? Might take some of the pressure off. If you’re doing it for FT there’s no reason you can’t do the same here (over email). Would save a lot of people time on the phones. You can give us an FAQ so that common questions are avoided.

    • Harry T says:

      Just wanted to say thank you for your help, BA Refund Helper – you’ve done a lot for the Flyertalk community. Sorry to hear that some people have been trying to request your assistance inappropriately.

    • Brasov says:

      Thank you for helping so much, and in your spare time as well!

    • Baji Nahid says:

      Hi there,

      I have not needed to use your services but wanted to say thank you so much for you taking your time out of your day to help people, I hope good things come your way!

      Many Thanks

  31. Rhys says:

    Which one o’ yous decided it was a good idea to start impersonating Branson Cruz and Cherie Blaire?! We’re running a reputable travel site here, not a loony bin!

  32. Michael C says:

    So the Virgin Media owners have just merged with Telefónica in the UK?! Looks like the name will survive in some areas, at least.

  33. Frances says:

    Has anyone recently cancelled their Virgin Atlantic Credit Card, if so, what was the easiest way to do it?

  34. Chrisasaurus says:

    This wearing gloves fallacy is dangerous, why is it persisting?

    • But you don’t wash the gloves. You do wash your hands. If you’re my wife, you keep the free gloves from the grocer on the hall table and put them on again next time you go out to handle fresh food.

  35. Super Fede says:

    Aperol is on sale in Waitrose (and Partners) – only £12 a bottle (reduced from £15)

    • TGLoyalty says:

      It’s only £10 on Amazon …

      • Super Fede says:

        Thanks for the heads up. I’ll order some later (using the HfP link of course) advantage of Waitrose is I get them now, but Amazon will get next weeks order 😁

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Data point:
        Virgin flying club Whatsapp contact, took 3 x days for a reply but once in dialogue only took two messages and 10 x mins later all done.

  36. TGLoyalty says:

    Why don’t they put out more hand sanitiser stations instead would be far better

    Not seen a single supermarket install hand sanitiser stations on the way into a supermarket or on the way out ether.

    • Harry T says:

      Supermarkets won’t want to pay for them!

      • Lady London says:

        Mine has one but it’s hidden near the fruit and veg and not signposted. At least it’s present unlike the masks they emailed us all to say they had….!

    • Harry T says:

      Also what Larry said. I’ve heard of people trying to steal masks from ambulances.

    • mark2 says:

      In our local Waitrose (Alcester) the person who allows people in and out gives you a squirt of sanitiser as you go in.

    • Jill (Kinkell) says:

      Our Tesco has several tables with hand sanitiser , paper towels and spray to clean the trolley as you you go in.

      • PerkyPat says:

        My local Aldi has hand sanitiser on the way in.

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          You should try our local Superdrug. One in, one out system. Enter and have to stand in a square marked on the floor, you have to extend your arms as far as possible whilst hand sanitizer is squirted into your palms from a distance, now on your way!

    • BrightonReader says:

      The M&S I go to in Brighton has staff wiping the handles of shipping baskets

      The Morrisons has paper towels and spray available

      Ditto the big Sainburys I use.

      But people need to take some responsibility for themselves as well and have their own wipes and sanitizer. I have a very small plaxtic bottle from a Delta amenity kit that I take with me when I shopping.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        My local Waitrose and M&S have someone wiping the handles before they are stored to be collected which is great.

        Morrison’s leave a spray bottle and paper towel so you can wipe your own but you’ve already collected the unwiped trolley, then touched a communal spray bottle so your hands could be contaminated by then anyway.

        No hand sanitiser dispensers at anyone one of these 3 supermarkets I visit.

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          Our Waitrose, queue along high street as the oldies here do not know what 2m looks like so stay 4-5m away from the person in front. Bless!😉

        • Harry T says:

          @SS better than them getting confused by the metric system and standing too close together!

        • Andrew says:

          @SS & Harry T

          How old are we talking?

          My parents hit 80 next year and were taught the (concept) of the metric system. My mother was a nurse, and dad an engineer so they used metric in their day to day lives for much of their careers.

          Indeed, my dad has always given his weight in Newtons.

          As for the hand santiser, My hands are so hacked with frequent washing and santising they are now bleeding constantly.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Ah yes the old I have 2ft arms fully extended, plus a 3ft trolley in front of me but I’m going to leave an extra 2-3m just in case brigade.

    • Fenny says:

      I’ve seen 2 in the last week. Perhaps there’s an advantage to living in the town that time forgot.

      • Peter K says:

        Giving weight in Newtons! Love it. He’s right, they should ask for his mass 😂😂

  37. Harry T says:

    So Virgin Money have told me that I will be charged next year’s annual fee for my VA Rewards + credit card in June. Is anybody with an imminent renewal fee keeping their card and, if so, why?

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      People hoping that VS won’t go under so the same value still potentially holds as before with keeping the paid card. I have upgraded but “Boost” in their terms state its a pro rata refund if you close the account so using this route you can’t lose.
      I’m sure the same terms do not apply to taking out the Rewards Plus card directly.

      • Harry T says:

        Interesting T&CS. There’s nothing in the Rewards + T&Cs that allows that, so I guess I’d be screwed if I cancelled later.

      • Genghis says:

        Even if VS stays in business, personally I wouldn’t renew. I’d do “his n hers” for a new sign up.

        • Harry T says:

          Unfortunately, my girlfriend was rejected before, perhaps because she is a student (though they initially rejected me, so who knows?)

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            Harry: why not downgrade to free card so you can still earn some miles but no annual fee.

          • Harry T says:

            Do they let you downgrade?

          • Genghis says:

            Not in the Amex sense. You’ll be rejected but can then contact them to get the card.

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          Depends how much your pushing through on the Rewards Plus card per month.

    • I cancelled mine ages ago to focus my efforts on Marriott and keeping an old free Hilton card as a non Amex backup. But, anyway if you think VS will survive the earning rate is excellent for VS miles or even ok converting to HH… And advantage of it not being an Amex with acceptance etc.

      • Harry T says:

        My problem is I don’t really have a decent alternative Visa or Mastercard (only free IHG mastercard). So if the Virgin card gets pulled, or I cancel it, then I have no good options when I can’t use Amex.

        • Free virgin card another option? 🙂

        • The Virgin card changes due on Monday have been pulled, by the way.

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          Call them up and ask to downgrade to the free card. Otherwise cancel & reapply in 6x months if the card is still around.

          • Harry T says:

            They told me I can cancel and apply for the free card (and receive a sign up bonus on the free card, which I’m not sure I believe). But their applications teams isn’t taking calls right now, so it sounds like quite a faff.

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            @Harry T:
            Was that the news Rob was going to publish in the next few days in connection with VM – you can cancel and reapply for free card and get the bonus?

          • The VM announcement has now been cancelled.

  38. Brasov says:

    “At lunchtime at an InterContinental hotel (which the Guardian has been asked not to name), the reception area looks much as it would do during more normal times.”

    A very kind gesture from IHG. Hopefully no-one will be put off from staying there in the future (in the unlikely event they are able to identify it from the article).

    • Harry T says:

      I assume they are getting paid by the government but I still think it is kind of them to open their doors. Interestingly, some five star Marriott hotels in LA have been refusing to help home the homeless.

    • BrightonReader says:

      I know that Brightin & Hove Coty council has allocated money for ‘forensic cleans’ (as per the paper going to the committee meeting) in it’s covid budget for hotels being used once they are no longer required.

      • Brasov says:

        If I was a hotel cleaner and I was told to do a forensic clean, I would certainly promise that to my boss, but in the actual rooms, if it looks clean who’s gonna know how well it was actually cleaned?

  39. Frank says:

    A week or so ago, I poked the BeAr about status extensions, pointing out that aviation is basically shut down and their competitors are already rolling people’s status over by 12 months. I pointed out some specifics of my situation that I won’t share.

    Here’s the totally missing-the-point reply I eventually got:

    Thank you for coming back to us and for providing the information we requested. Please accept our sincere apologies for the time it has taken us to reply to you – we’re currently experiencing an incredibly high demand for our help, from members all around the world. We know that this is not the service you would usually expect from us.

    As your current Tier Point collection year ends on [xxxxx] 2021, it’s a little too early for us to make any decision about renewing your Silver membership.

    However, if you contact us again, about a week before your Tier Point collection year ends, we will be happy to review your membership status.

    I hope this is helpful and please feel free to let us know if we can help you with anything else.
    Kind regards
    British Airways Executive Club

    A week before my membership ends in early 2021 is going to be a little bit too late if travel restrictions mean that business flying is only just getting going again towards the end of this year. Amazing – but not in a good way.

  40. Alberto says:

    The NHS Covid-19 app is actually available for anyone to download. When you install and open the app it asks for the first half of your postcode and it seems to accept any UK postcode (I am in E14 at the moment and it accepted that).

    So if you’re curious give it a go:

    As it’s unlikely anyone near you will be using it yet (unless you’re in the IoW where the trial is being held) you can at least see how the app works on your phone and hopefully it can ease concerns.

    It does NOT ask you to enable location tracking, it uses bluetooth to detect when you’re near other users but it doesn’t record the location of the interaction.

  41. Dezbez says:

    Just cracked open a can of the St Austell Cornish Pale Ale used by BA, which arrived today. Lovely stuff, thanks for the tip, Rob. 👍

    • Alessandro says:

      My local supermarket sells it in much nicer 500ml bottles

  42. Anna (the original) says:

    Just out of interest what happens to Virgin holidays if VS goes under? I don’t know if it’s classed as a separate company but presumably it’s still dependent on being able to use Virgin aircraft?

    • Shoestringo says:

      They’re renaming it Virgin Atlantic Holidays. That’s a clue. Like Monarch if the airline goes the travel agent goes too

      • Anna (the original) says:

        Thanks Shoestringo, my interest was piqued as I have only seen references to Virgin flights on here, not package holidays.

      • It never was a separate company, but now it is far clearer. You have ATOL protection though.

  43. I’m trying to make a Virgin Flying Club redemption with KLM from Manchester to Bergen via Amsterdam in March 2021, in business class. The system says there are three seats available and I can select my flights, but when I come to pay it says the price is no longer available and to try again, I try again and the same flights are available with the same number of miles and taxes, but when I try to book it takes me right back to the beginning and says the fate is no longer available! Virgin’s website is frankly crap…does anyone know what’s going on?

    • Graeme says:

      I got the same the other day. Called up, all sorted nice and quickly.

  44. Andrew says:

    First major offer in a while on my Amex, “The Sofa Workshop” (part of DFS) – 15% back when you spend £1,000.

    I’m rather hoping for a matching DFS offer…

  45. Richard Shakeshaft says:

    It’s probably just me, but I think it would be really helpful if all articles on the site could have the date they were published at the top…

    • On desktop they do. We will fix this on mobile for the revamp. Sane with author name.

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