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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 😂😂

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

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