The new HFP chat thread – Wednesday 27th 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. Can anyone tell me where the BA 350s are flying? Was looking at BLR in Jan but looks like it is a 777…

    • Winter schedule (after October) hasn’t been updated to take new aircraft into account. BA will be finalising schedules soonish, but obviously given the current circumstances everything is a bit off kilter!

  2. JohnT says:

    Any info on virgin flying club website and app? Can’t login for last couple of days and message on website saying “technical problems”?

    • Alex H says:

      I can’t get in either. It’s been like that since yesterday

      • I haven’t been able to access since around Friday (nearly a week now) – feels like something big may have happened as even when I phoned they couldn’t access any Flying Club records.

  3. Chelseafi says:

    For those who got the SPG card in Feb is it 1/6 the 3 points per £ ends?

  4. Hertz says:

    Possible that they will amend Selfridge’s AMEX offer if stores reopen to work for in-store spend too? Or highly unlikely

    • It may even trigger anyway – Amex may simply be protecting themselves against complaints that they are encouraging you to rush down to the shops. Although, as it will be top designer clothing at 80% off I imagine, I doubt any incentive will be needed ….

      Actually, one upside of this is that we might not find ourselves in the usual silly position where the big designer brands roll out their winter coats and jumpers during August when normal people are trying to buy shorts (which were marked down in June).

      In my banking days it will always clear which wives were the ones who insisted on breaking off from their summmer holidays to fly back to London in mid August to ensure they got the winter coat they wanted ….

      • Doug M says:

        Sometimes I feel as if we’ve inhabited different planets.

      • Andrew says:

        That would be good if the Selfridges offer did extend to/trigger in store come mid-June, most of the high end designer brands aren’t available online. And remember most of the high end brands own their own stock and are just concessions in Selfridges – this stock is part of a global portfolio which they ship around the world at request (I’ve had a Prada bag transferred to Harrods from New York before) – and so the markets which really spend the big money on this stuff (Asia mostly) are already open and up and running and the stock will have been sent there from Selfridges in April. That coupled with the two months lack of production in Italy and France will mean that yes, collections will be delayed this year but there won’t be an over-supply issue and so I wouldn’t expect to see anything higher than the usual 40% discount on the current collections this summer and possibly less so as they will need something to fill the rails if there is a lack of new stock coming in.

      • Why is that a good thing? If stores are usually reducing things when you actually want to buy them then that’s their problem.

      • Doug M says:

        On random days you could initate the chat thread with a little gem from you banking days, that could draw in a whole new audience.

  5. jamesj says:

    I see Hertz paid its senior execs $16m in bonuses just before declaring bankruptcy, now that’s taking the piss to another level

    • Not overly familiar with US Chapter 11 law, but I believe that the administrators can attempt to claw back any payments made up to 90 days before the declaration. Don’t think suppliers / executives need to give back any money legally but they will probably be asked to.

    • I had an email from Hertz yesterday extending my status until end of Jan 2022

      • Doug M says:

        Hertz status seems worthless, maybe you just need a high level. But by being a member and putting the credit card details into my account I get the reserved car and skip the line usually. Do they offer more than that?

        • It comes free with my IHG Spire Elite

        • Charlieface says:

          Depends on the branch in my experience, corporate locations only. Franchised locations forget about it

          • Its only 5* and I have only ever rented from them once (LAX last Nov). Which ever main supplier is cheapest for my situation is usually my choice

  6. Steve R says:

    We are due to fly LGW to Dalaman at the beginning of August. Booked them using RFS, even for someone living on the M62 corridor still one heck of a deal.

    If, as rumoured BA cancel the LGW flights & move them to LHR, Can we opt to be switched to either EasyJet or Jet 2 and the fly from Manchester or Leeds.

    Currently BA do not fly LHR – DLM for our dates

    • Zero chance of that unfortunately.

    • Have you checked Easyjet prices recently? They were offering MAN-AGP for about £150 return last week for the end of July, that’s half what it normally is. You might want to ditch your RFS flights and grab a cash bargain if that’s duplicated to other destinations. Unfortunately I’m currently locked in to a BA holidays booking for 2 of us with RFS for the other 2 otherwise I might have gone for it!

      • Similar price for MAN-DLM depending on which day you want to travel. If you have a bit of flexibility on this I would save yourself the drive to LGW and either get your RFS flights refunded minus the fee or a voucher you can use at a later date.

  7. Has anyone tried calling AMEX Platinum recently to see if they are still offering 20k retention bonus?

    • Hannah says:

      I tried yesterday and was told that nothing was available. You may be lucky though!

    • I called this morning, and got 15k. I queried it, saying that I knew of several people who had got more, and was told quite clearly that my offer set-up on the system was 15k and she couldn’t improve on that.

    • Thanks everyone. Just tried and nothing on my account unfortunately.

  8. Arnold says:

    I paid BA £469 for an upgrade from Traveller + to Club. The flight was cancelled. I have received full refund for the original Traveller + ticket, but BA have deducted £150 from the upgrade refund on the grounds that “administration costs” are excluded from refunds!

    • memesweeper says:

      That’s *so* poor! I’d write demanding the refund and give them X days to respond with the money, head the correspondence ‘letter before action’. Good luck hope your refund is swift.

      • Lady London says:

        no they cant grab that.
        It was probably an oversight. suggest you phone and remind them of the circumstances and request the money back

  9. Rupert says:

    I had Covid-19 in early April. It was nasty but I have recovered. I have just had confirmation from a private laboratory that I now test positive for antibodies. The test was PHE approved. The paperwork states that it is Un likely that I would develop the illness in the near future. I am desperate to see my son in the USA. Can anyone point me in the direction that enables me to avoid the 14 quarantine rules on my return if there is such an exemption?

    • It’s very simple. Fly back to Dublin on Aer Lingus from the US and connect to London from there. This bypasses the quarantine rules. You don’t even pass through UK passport control when coming in from Dublin.

      • It would not surprise me if Dublin flights will go through standard gates that mean you see a Border Farce person, rather than bypass them. The DUB loophole is too obvious. (domestic UK flights can still use the bypass).

        Still, I’m pretty sure that any quarantine is going to be as tightly enforced as the rest of lockdown, i.e. not at all.

        • Charlieface says:

          Ireland is inside the CTA, ergo you can fly with ID only, no passport, and do not need to pass border control. It’s exactly the same as flying domestic

          • The authorities can still change where in the airport your plane lands, and whether you need to pass Border Force. Just because you can exit the airport now without passing anyone doesn’t mean it will carry on that way.

            Encouraging people to book flights ex-DUB to avoid quarantine is, imho, irresponsible, as it is not going to work. Unless you’re really determined to take that bus to Belfast.

            I still think there’s a better than 50% chance the UK quarantine is never implemented, and even if it is, nobody will be enforcing it.

      • But Ireland has ruled that all overseas arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days. So I’m not convinced this would work.

        • It works. Works the same in the UK – you can still transit.

          • From this Thursday you must (as opposed to being simply asked to, as is the case right now) complete a Passenger Locator form even if in transit through Common Travel Area. Expect to be arrested if you fail to comply.

            There’s a box to tick if you’re in transit, and you – obviously – don’t have to fill in details of where you’ll be isolating in ROI. But the idea that you won’t be flagged for attention by UK Border Force when you arrive at GB airport (whether Heathrow, Glasgow etc) is fanciful. There’s very close cooperation.

            If you take aircoach or train to NI, then fly/sail from Belfast to GB, then there’s no Border Force presence on northern side of border (in contrast to Garda Immigration Bureau, especially on Donegal side). So this route probably would work, but a lot of hassle at the end of a long trip.

            Michael O’Leary currently on RTE etc predicting both UK, ROI quarantines will fail (but I imagine not immediately, so definitely wouldn’t try using Dublin airport for this purpose this week or next).

          • Lady London says:

            woof. We need to more of this. Thanks for sharing @John.

          • Michael says:

            Not sure it will work. Ireland and UK share immigration information and have agreements to enforce each other’s immigration rules for those in transit. So if Border Force wanted to know about it they could.

          • And Dr O’Leary is back on the airwaves for the nth time today. 800 million of refunds still to process. Stats on British summer advance bookings in last paragraphs.


    • I don’t think there is currently an exemption for someone with antibodies.

      • Andrew says:

        And regardless of the DUB loophole unless you are a US citizen or resident you are not permitted to enter the USA regardless of any antibody certificate.

      • memesweeper says:

        nor do I think one will be created — much more likely nations will demand certs. of vaccination, if one becomes available.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Anything which involves an “antibody” certificate will ultimately lead to COVID19 parties to get it over and done with.

          Completely the wrong behaviour

    • @ Rupert are you employed or self-employed and can prove that you need to travel for work usually once a week? If you can get your employer to write you a letter, that might help you bypass quarantine. These people are on the exempt list!

  10. Rupert says:

    But doesn’t Ireland have its own quarantine rules?

  11. Rupert says:

    Thanks Andrew. I can enter the USA. My son is a US citizen under 21 years old. Returning is the issue. I’m trying to do this within the law and not look for loopholes. Flying into Dublin and doing a runner – getting over the border into Northern Ireland would be easy. But I’m not willing to do that. Entering the UK to go into quarantine seems a bit bizarre for me. Has the regulations recognised this?

    • No, the government stance seems to be that antibody tests are not 100% reliable and don’t guarantee future immunity. There was a report yesterday that they are trying to prevent British laboratories from carrying out private tests, though you would hope that a private facility would be able to decide for itself. However, I think any quarantine requirement will be short lived as it’s not what other European countries are doing after June, on the whole.

      • Andrew says:

        And quarantine really won’t be much different to what we have all been doing for the last two months, so I wouldn’t worry too much, you won’t be made to say at Holiday Inn Ariel!

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