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The new HFP chat thread – Sunday 31st 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: https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/05/31/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-sunday-31st-may/comment-page-1.  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!

Comments (160)

  • TB says:

    Got LHR – BOS booked 7th August in F return with BA. Rob mentions the 14 day quarantine shouldn’t still be in place by then, but what will the Concorde Lounge and onboard offering be like? Can’t say I’m excited about paying F-class prices to get a packed lunch and a bottle of champagne left on your seat….
    If we do go, will they compensate you if they are not providing you the full service offering?

    • Rob says:

      No compensation being offered AFAIK for lack of catering. Oddly other airlines are back to serving hot meals.

      • J says:

        BA using coronavirus to cut costs who’d have thought it?!

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Not really odd is it. Any excuse to keep cost cutting for as long as possible.

      • Andrew says:

        Most airlines never stopped.

        • J says:

          And the cheek of them saying it’s for safety reasons…

          • Andrew says:

            That will be the excuse for not extending status too – lounge capacity. Funny how every other airline thinks it’s going to be ok though and have extended status.

    • Andrew says:

      You won’t get a bottle of champagne left at your seat – it’s BA’s current policy to not serve any alcohol on board in all cabins as “people can’t follow social distancing when they are drunk” which is obviously ridiculous as if that was really the reason then one drink could still be offered – no one is drunk after one drink. The best you can hope for is maybe 10k Avios in compensation if you complain after flying.

      • TB says:

        Thanks – any idea about the Concorde lounge?

        • Andrew says:

          Currently all lounges closed. And whilst restaurants in the high st are pulling out all the stops to open asap and get money in the tills again, you can bet your life the airlines will be playing the social distancing card for many many months as to why they can’t reopen the lounges. And even when they do, that small print about lounge capacity restrictions that’s always been there will be exercised and the real possibility that even a ticketed First passenger will be told that the lounge is full and they need to wait for someone to leave before they can enter – that will be the case for a long time.

          • Lady Londont says:

            I think BA will have s policy guaranteeing First passengers access to lounges as and when they reopen.

            i could just about tolerate a prewrapped meal on a tray provided it wss Do&Co, generous portions, with wine or champagne, for a while if BA has a genuine safety reason.

            Cheaping out on a sealed sandwich pack thar’s no better than Gregg’s or EAT and lower standard than even Pret a Manger is just cheap.

            Whatever happened to the much trumpeted Do&Co food on board0anywsy?

      • Callum says:

        Is that seriously the excuse!? What are people supposedly doing that breaks social distancing any more than BA does already – sitting on eachothers laps?

    • Harry T says:

      I’ve got F to Abu Dhabi booked for December and I’ll definitely cancel if BA haven’t stopped giving a reduced Y service in all cabins.

      • Anna says:

        Let us know if you get an email from BA announcing that M & S sandwiches are going to be on sale in CW and F going forward 🤣

      • Andrew says:

        To be honest Anna that would be an improvement on the current situation in F and CW – it’s a meat or a vegetarian sandwich so tough luck if that’s not to your liking or you want two.

  • Matt says:

    Virgin Flying Club website / Text message service now down for more than a week, with no transactions possible.
    Never encountered a loyalty program being unable to access your details for this amount of time before.
    Getting very very suspicious.

  • Paul says:

    Called Amex yesterday to see what I could get if I suggested I would cancel my platinum card.
    Simple answer was nothing. I was offered a downgrade and pointed towards the £100 M&S deal.
    15 years straight membership and zilch.

    I will say that dealing with their Philippine call centre is desperate.

    • Andrew says:

      Call back and ask to speak to Brighton, I always do. As a platinum member part of what you are paying for is access to a UK call centre.

      • Alan says:

        Agree definitely worth a HUACA attempt. Had to do it twice for my ICC Dollar before getting sorted. Should be straightforward for UK Plat once thru to Brighton team – I’d just be explicit in what you’re looking for MR points-wise given it is clearly wide open to all cardmembers (it’s just agents don’t seem to know how to find it on the system!)

  • Roger says:

    Do M&S (food store) in store sell any visa/MC type GC (with 3-5% fees).
    Trying to buy for Platinum offer from Amex

  • Nick says:

    Not received the 2 lounge passes on the Amex gold. Already has this card 2 months.

    When does it get sent? And is it via post email or the website

    • Wally1976 says:

      Normally get them in the post very quickly. Presume you’ve got the personal gold card and not the business one (that doesn’t come with the lounge passes)?

  • Magarathea says:

    Not sure if this has been covered elsewhere but I have a trip booked to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi for March next year. I’m staying at the Staybridge Suites and I have just noticed that reward nights have been reduced by 33%. Looking generally at Abu Dhabi and Dubai lots of them seem to offering greatly reduced reward stays during that time. I’m assuming they are reduced to encourage bookings.

    • Harry T says:

      Marriott Bonvoy has dynamic reward pricing, so the amount of points required can fluctuate if the date changes from a peak one to a standard or off peak. I’m unsure if Marriott controls this or the hotel.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        I fell foul to Hilton dynamic pricing also yesterday. Only increased 1K points per night but a surprise as could of put me short of a redemption.

      • Stuart Evans says:

        Marriott cash prices are ‘dynamic’ as well as Bonvoy points. I have six nights at the Westin in Dubai in mid January, and the price was 17% lower this afternoon than when I booked it a few months ago I had a Senior Citizens (ie flexible) rate so was able to take advantage of the lower rate

        I’ll make a note to keep checking every few weeks.

        • Rob says:

          Marriott points prices are NOT dynamic. There is a peak/standard/off-peak but there are only three pricing levels to choose from. It’s not dynamic in the Hilton sense where the points cost is basically the cash price in pence divided by 50.

      • Brian W says:

        Staybridge Suites are IHG, maybe they have launched revenue based redemption’s in UAE too as well as Europe and US as per yesterday’s article?

  • Taylor says:

    Is it right than I can get £200 off John Lewis if I have the offer on main and supp?

    Do I have to go into a Waitrose and buy 2 x John Lewis gift cards? Is there a way to do it online?

    • Rob says:

      Yes, yes, no

      There is no such thing as a JL gift card, they are combined Waitrose JL ones.

      • Sukes says:

        Rob I’m N Ireland based without Waitrose stores : ( Have you any view as to whether a Waitrose voucher purchased online would trigger the Amex credit? Would Amex recognise it as a ‘Waitrose’ purchase or would it end up going through a third party supplier? i know Amex t&c state you’re not meant to get credit for gift card transaction so it would be at own risk. Thanks

        • Rob says:

          If you try to buy it diverts you to a third party website which presumably does not charge your card as Waitrose.

          • bsuije says:

            I can confirm that a John Lewis / Waitrose gift card bought online does not come through as a charge from JL / Waitrose (bought one last week – non-Plat offer related).

          • Sukes says:

            Thks Rob and Bsuije for this clarification re Waitrose evouchers. I was able to save the Amex deal to 4 cards- my main & 3 supplementaries. I made an Apple purchase on one of the gold supplementaries on Thurs and received £100 credit back to that card today Mon at the same time as the card was billed. So as others are noting Amex do seem to be honouring the deals saved to supplementaries.

  • Hypo-Crite says:

    Gosh I’ve now cancelled all my trips to the USA after realising how the law enforcements act towards civilians.

    To the poster the other day who was bashing on about how the Maldives wasn’t a safe place to visit due their laws, i felt that exact same way about the USA too! 😨

    • Dominic Barrington says:

      Except, sadly, it’s not the laws – it is the disregard for the law shown by its officials! Speaking as a Brit currently living in Chicago, it is kind of mind-blowing…

    • Callum says:

      I was looking forward to visit again after my self-imposed exile ends at three removal of Trump. Doubts were already forming as I realise that, Trump or not, it’s an immoral cesspit but this has sealed the deal for the indefinite future. Canada it is!

      • Henry says:

        Imagine not going to see a beautiful place full of millions of people like the USA because of a president that you’ll never see anyway. 😂😂

        • Baji Nahid says:

          People actually are not visiting the USA because of trump, many reasons @Henry

          1)He’s made it harder for many people to enter the country
          2)He’s racist and it doesn’t appeal to folk
          3)Because you have the privileged to visit a place like the USA others don’t
          4) Just because you dont see a world leader, does not mean that his actions and policies affect folk.

          • Henry says:

            That’s just your own opinion.
            None of what you claimed is true.

          • Baji Nahid says:

            all of what i have claimed is true, unless you can provide me with what racism means?

        • Ken says:

          He literally tells black congresswomen to “go back to where you came from”.

          And he doesn’t mean NY or Ohio where they were born, he means some unspecified country in Africa or Central America.

          Helpfully he tweets these racist tropes so that apologists can’t say his words were taken out of context.

          • Aston100 says:

            And yet the Henrys of this world will certainly dispute that.

          • Henry says:

            I wonder how many of you lot go to China or Cuba and don’t think twice about the lovely people who run those countries.

          • Baji Nahid says:

            Ken some people will always continue to be blinded by racism because of their privilege, you can only feel sorry for them.

        • Henry says:

          I do have pricipals or principles, I just don’t watch as much CNN as you do and i go to America often and find most people to be lovely (including Trump supporters) and not racist.

        • Callum says:

          I was hoping, at a time like this, people like you would feel less empowered to come out of the woodwork. Shame.

          I’m not going to try and explain why someone would put the sanctity of life above their own self interest. If you don’t understand it on your own, you never will. Not that I’d expect anyone who genuinely believes it’s possible to be a nice person while supporting Trump to understand. On this topic actually I often cite BlacKKKlansman – the seemingly nicest person in the whole film is one of the evil KKK housewives. A perfect demonstration of how, while people may SEEM nice, that is not necessarily the case .

          And no, China and Cuba are not on my banned list. Perhaps it escaped your notice, but the leadership there are not democratically elected enjoying widespread support. That being said, having been to America 11 times (and having been manhandled and dragged off my feet by police), it’s no major loss to me.

          • Baji Nahid says:

            I am so sorry to hear your experience with the police callum, i mentioned above that those who are privileged by never experiencing racism, police brutality, violence and unfair death will never understand.

            However if anyone does object to the above being challenged then it proves my point. The World has a race problem and it needs to be dealt with ASAP.

          • Callum says:

            Thankfully I am white and British – it was nothing compared to what so many others go through (just a shock coming from peaceful Britain!). I dread to think what they would have done if I was black and/or had a “strange” accent!

            And my major crime? I caught a bus, half asleep, at 6am after arriving on a long flight. Purchased a one week ticket from the machine that was dispensed pre-activated (i.e. the expiration time was printed on the ticket – you can’t save it for later) and sat down on board. Two police came on board checking tickets and yelled at me saying it wasn’t activated properly. While apologising saying I didn’t realise, one of them grabbed my collar, pulled me to my feet and half dragged me off the bus. After releasing my collar he told me to put the ticket in the validator and that I’m meant to do that before getting on any bus.

            Of course, as we’ve seen on so many videos, his partner just stayed mute in the background watching.

      • Boi says:

        See you in Canada Callum! Keeping my fingers and toes crossed that we are able to relocate in August. We might even catch the tail end of BC summer…

        • Callum says:

          Enjoy! I’m considering doing the same thing if Australia doesn’t work out (what perfect timing to make a move…).

    • Baji Nahid says:

      I really do think that as the corona virus battles on and what is happening in the states, there will be a much more reduction in US visits/flights/

    • Callum says:

      Are you a liar or a fool?