The new HFP chat thread – Friday 22nd 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. Lady London says:

    Paid holiday until the end of August? And we’re still only in May? Are you a teacher, then, @Lockdown L ?

    • BrightonReader says:

      ALL the teachers I know are still working doing on-line lessons or preparing lessons to send out by emal (or hand delivering them) and then marking the work their pupils have done!

      They are also phoning pupils to offer 1-2-1 help as well as supporting parents in their new home schooling duties.

      And there are still thousands and thousands of teachers physically teaching in schools that are still open for key workers children and those in care etc

      • Thinking Point says:

        Exactly! Fed up of teachers being considered as free-loading. We have also been writing reports, going in for children of key workers, setting homework, replying to their emails and work, speaking to every child in our class by phone, attending online training and webinar and now preparing classrooms and resources for the children to return on 1st of June. People also forget that a lot of teachers have children of their own too and as parents, we have to oversee their learning too. Please be sensitive when posting stuff about teachers sitting at home and getting paid for doing nothing.

        • ankomonkey says:


          I’m not a teacher, but headmistress of my kids’ school seems to be working incredibly hard and did so during the Easter holidays. My daughter’s teacher is also in regular contact, mainly for motivation purposes. I’ve been very grateful and very impressed at their work ethic.

        • Thinking Point says:

          Thank you ankomonkey. Also, schools have open during Easter holidays and will be open during the May half term next week so we are having to go in during what would have been holidays for us. I just feel so many have no respect for teachers when we are exposed to so many children and adults at school. If people haven’t got anything nice to say, not to worry but they just need to keep their jibes and sarcasm to themselves!

    • Doug M says:

      They may call you back early 🙂

  2. Optimus Prime says:

    People have always taken the ‘government advice’ with a pinch of salt and to the next step.

    There’s been sunbathers in Greenwich Park since 24th March. Since 10th May they’re now gathering in groups of 20+, etc.

    I honestly don’t care though it’d be nice if people still tried to keep 2m away from strangers. We’ve noticed fewer people doing it this week.

    What really annoys me is that yesterday morning at 8:00 the park was covered by garbage – plastic wraps, bottles, broken glass… Don’t want to social distance? Fine by me but is it really necessary to litter all over the park?

    Apologies for the rant 🙂

    • Lady London says:

      not sure if just thick, or selfish
      maybe both
      Welcome to the UK in 2020

      • There are virtually no examples of coronavirus being transmitted outdoors, it seems. If you do a quick Google you’ll find there was (not in the UK) a big contact tracing study of 1,285 people and a grand total of 1 person had caught it outdoors.

      • Lady London says:

        TBH older people have told me a couple of times they get walked over on pavements as though they were invisible (even when quite large) when there isnt a virus about. Perhaps it’s what @marcw called “Evolution”.

      • RussellH says:

        I thought that it would be because “young people” cannot look where they are walking because they are focued on their phones. Do they not also walk into lampposts etc.?

    • The Lord says:

      Purely anecdotally and based on a couple of walks in London this week that people aren’t moving out the way like they used to too. Also seeing fewer people in masks, maybe the weather causing that?

      • Once Louis Vuitton etc re-open and you can buy a £500 designer one, you’ll probably see them pick-up!

    • Chris Heyes says:

      Lockdown [email protected] Try coughing & spluttering “NOT into your Elbow” they will run away lol

  3. The Lord says:

    Have I got this correct for Book with Confidence with BA Hols? For 2 ppl I book and pay £300 deposit, if I choose not to travel I don’t pay the remainder and get my £300 refunded to me as a voucher?

    • Gruntfuttock says:

      Very interested to read answer to this one. I’m in the same boat so to speak

      • Yes, although note point 4 in the T&Cs: “If your holiday includes a non-changeable hotel and/or experience product and you wish to make a date change or apply for a voucher, the value of your original flights will be credited towards this. The amount paid for your original non-changeable hotel and/or experience reservation will be forfeited.”

        • Gruntfuttock says:

          Thanks, no hotel just car hire 🤔

        • The Lord says:

          Yeah, that made me a bit nervous and seems to go against ‘Booking with confidence’

        • Are any hotels on BA refundable? All of those I recall seeing on the rare occasions I have booked hotels with them were not.

  4. Jason says:

    Curve failing on all underlying cards today for payments to Brighton, is it just me?

  5. Nelson says:

    Does Ns and I by crv+ihg card still working without Crv fronted and fees?

    • Doug M says:

      Do a hundred and see.

    • Justin says:

      I just tried paying into NS&I with Crv, backed by an M&M MC and it was declined. I don’t have Metal or Fronted turned on. It was working last week.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        M&M worked fine for me just now on a metal.

        Usually you get a prompt telling you you need to switch fronted on rather than just declining your card.

        Does anyone know if there’s any way to pay down your M&M other than wait for the direct debit to be taken?

        • Justin says:

          If you give Diner’s club a call they will give you details of a bank account you can pay into.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Thanks not an issue right now but will probably need it next month otherwise the card is out of action.

          • 623141 33855463 then your 10 digit account reference which for me starts 201. Send £1 as a test 🙂 Takes a day to show online.

  6. Robert says:

    What are people’s thoughts on international travel later this year, has anyone booked up or got bookings they intend to travel for Aug, Sep, onwards? Just trying to get advice, as the news and media seem to be pointing towards flights resuming as early as next month.

    • Booked our usual Xmas/NY trip last month. I was optimistic then, even more so now. Common sense to book everything flexible or buy now pay later where possible. Don’t forget you can book BA Holidays with a small deposit so losses are small it it comes to the worst..

    • Andrew says:

      Robert, I think flying will be up and running in a few months and overseas travel permitted and probably not requiring a quarantine on return. But the question is, how enjoyable will it all be? How much high maintenance will all the processes and queues and health screening and social distancing be?; how much of a premium flying experience will it be?; and how enjoyable will a socially distanced, facemask wearing holiday really be?

      • Booked in January for the US Open tennis
        Tickets paid for
        Flight booked, will it be cancelled, will I be let in
        Hotel booked, will it be open
        Will the tennis be played
        All or nothing is my hope

    • Re booked from March to September for New Orleans and Nashville but not going – have booked first two weeks in December to Barbados and hopeful to go on this trip.

      Nashville we paid full amount as originally going in March but got refund all bar deposit from BA as full payment for new trip not due to mid August and other holiday only deposit.

    • The Lord says:

      Got a wedding booked in Hawaii for October which I am only about 40% about. More confident about a trip to Greece in August, would say in the past week the chances have increased. Now debating whether to make BA Hols booking.

      • My first outing (assuming not going to Spain in July) is a trip to France at October half term, situation permitting. Hopeful of being able to travel long haul Easter & summer 2021. I’m trying to squeeze in a Twixmas trip at the end of December, would love to see New Year I’m in NYC or Boston but really not sure which way things are going to go over the pond. Looking at Dubai/AbuDhabi/Doha but award availability is poor and I have an expiring 2 4 1 to use.

        • Michael C says:

          Anna just fyi a Hyatt Place (and Hampton Hilton) are due to open in Boston in the last quarter of this year – might nab a decent price if not using points!

        • Louise K says:

          I’ve done NYE in Boston a couple of times – very enjoyable and they make an effort with parades / fire works / ice sculptures. Much less crowded than NYC

    • BrightonReader says:

      Was preparing to book a couple of trips for November and December to the US then a couple of days ago prices went through the roof. Even ex-AMS/DUB/NV offered little scope for any savings.

      • Harry T says:

        Try Ex Barcelona.

        • Robert says:

          Thanks all for your responses, they’ve provided a good idea of what the general opinion is for travel after the summer has passed. It’s encouraging that the govt are now putting the 14 day quarantine in place for international arrivals, as I think it will help keep the second peak low. It is true that the experience will be very different, good luck with the tennis trip to NYC in August. I’m surprised to hear ME doesn’t have much availability toward end of the year, but then it is a popular route. I think I’ll now go ahead and book my Oct trip to Japan, would’ve preferred April for the cherry blossom but reward seats are rare and the hotel prices seem to almost double.

    • I have bookings for July, September and October in Europe, January (US and Caribbean) and April (Thailand). I reckon 3 out 5 will happen but could be any of them that gets cancelled and not necessarily consecutive! I think July might happen but then may get a second wave of the virus and then back to a lottery again.

    • Craig says:

      I’m lucky that the next planned trip is the North Coast 500 at the end of August, I’m still optimistic about that. Then Spain in October and NYC/Caribbean over New Year all booked using fully refundable options, low deposit or late cancellation. I think those of us in the points collection game are much better placed and have more options than those that don’t.

  7. Claire says:

    When can we travel outside of the UK (meaning when will major airlines travel long haul)
    The earlier the better, got to visit extended family

  8. Has anyone had any joy from Amex regarding their Platinum card – if you contact and tell them you wish to cancel? Spoke yesterday and all they said was to downgrade to Gold or Green/cancel.

    Benefit of double value on points is worthwhile if you are spending lots of money, but not currently worth it to me.

    • idrive says:

      i called last week and was only offered to go gold, asked if there was any retention bonus: straight no! i may try again in a couple of months. If i don’t travel, no need for that thank you.

      • Ian M says:

        I’ve tried a few times. No joy at all. I’m a heavy spender so perhaps they think I’m getting enough from them with triple points

  9. fivebobbill says:

    Tesco Pet Insurance.
    Can anyone who was double dipping on the site that cannot be named, tell me how long it took for the payment to go from “confirmed” to “payable” please?
    Just had 2 go to confirmed this week 🙂

    • Harry T says:

      I regret not thinking to double dip… amateur move on my part. Mind you, I had to nag Clubcard for my points, which have only just posted after almost two months post application.

      • fivebobbill says:

        Oh dear, schoolboy error there Harry, but one we have all been guilty of at some stage.
        Gotta say Tesco have been good this last year or so, this plus the mobile sim offer if you managed to get onto that one… a few times 🙂

    • What do you mean by double dipping? Thanks!

    • Mine is still stuck at pending and had to chase up the pts last week – they still havent arrived in my account. Took the policy out on 29/2

  10. Harry T says:

    When buying Bonvoy points etc from does anyone use a free Curve card?

    Last time I used my Halifax Clarity to pay the USD bill for but the charge cleared a couple of days later with a worse exchange rate than at the time of purchase. I was thinking about using Curve instead to lock in an instant exchange rate. Does anyone know if Curve actually enforce their charges for going above a certain amount of foreign spend a month?

    • I always use Amex as I’m always chasing a bonus or voucher – I don’t seem to get charged an FX fee when buying points, unless I’ve missed it somehow!

      • Genghis says:

        The amount shown on the face of the statement is 103% of the clean GBP amount.
        When you click into the transaction, it then splits out the 100% GBP clean amount and the 3% FX fee.
        Have you really not been charged?

        • TGLoyalty says:

          It’s not so bad if you are using a Gold and working towards the £15k spend 2.75% of your 2.99% back but ofcourse opportunity cost if you used curve or something else (not really with a curve metal though)

          Tbh curve is fine and if you use it during the week there’s no charge.

          • Harry T says:

            Thanks, I’ve already hit the spend on the Gold card for the extra 10k but it’s a good point.

            I was more thinking that Curve has a total monthly limit for FX expenditure, after which they are meant to charge you. I know they have a habit of not actually charging people, so wondered what experiences were.

        • I’ll have a closer look when they charge me for my Bonvoy points.

  11. Remainder2 says: have extended their special arrangements for cancellation of nonreturnable bookings from a period ending on 31 May to 30 June. Think this was done on 20 May.

    Still holding out for this to be extended to cover a mid July non refundable booking I have.

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