The new HFP chat thread – Monday 1st June

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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/2020/06/01/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-monday-1st-june/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!

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Comments

  1. VS Flying Club removed as Amex MR transfer partner, as well as Chase in the US. Still apparently will up and running again ‘soon’. Looking like the end to me?

    • solartravels says:

      I’m not surprised at this. I transferred out to IHG a month or so ago, as I simply couldn’t trust them with 100k miles while they are going through such termoil.

      Virgin Holidays owe us a handsome sum for cancelling our Disney holiday last month. The communication has been horrendous, I’d be inclined to believe everyone at VH has been furloughed as the refunds are takings many months. Chargeback done via Amex instead.

      • Look at our bits article today! “on Saturday we noticed that American Express Membership Rewards was no longer offering Virgin Flying Club as a transfer partner.

        This is not altogether surprising. Virgin Atlantic transfers from American Express Membership Rewards are instantaneous – usually – so it is particularly problematic if people initiate a transfer and the points just disappear.”

    • I’m sure there is some logic to that statement but I’m struggling to see it. Especially as, if you have Delta miles, you can still book VS redemptions via the Delta site and of course Virgin will happily sell you a cash ticket.

  2. davvero says:

    Boris Johnson will kill us all!

    Well not really… but today they have lifted the requirement of vulnerable people to shield indoors and are now allowing them to go outside.

    This seems a bit risky to me. Currently the lockdown rules have been so vague since they were relaxed (you can pretty much go anywhere in England by car as long as you can get home at night and sunbathing is permitted which has resulted in crowded beaches).

    I’d say it would make sense to see what happens with the infection rate before risking the vulnerable.

    The government at the moment are acting highly irresponsibly.

    My main worry is we’ll end up getting a big rise in infections and this means more countries add us back to the restricted list and it’ll take longer before we can go on holiday.

    • Yeah, because all we care about are holidays.

      • davvero says:

        The tourism industry is a massive employer and over the summer is one of the main sources of income for the airlines when business travel traditionally is low.
        Protecting lives is the most important thing, but useless PM and his pathetic ‘advisor’ has given us the worst of both worlds. We have had a half hearted lockdown than most people followed but many used the fact it was lightly enforced to skirt the rules meaning we still have a higher rate of infection compared to areas with a proper lockdown who recovered much quicker.
        If Boris incompetence lands us with more deaths then we’ll have another lockdown and countries will ban us from travelling,
        So yes, if we want the economy to recover we need to have done the lockdown properly in the first place. The more people who suffer, the longer it will go on and the more damage to the economy, the more people who suffer mental health issues by being isolated, etc.
        We need a competent government.

        • memesweeper says:

          “If Boris incompetence lands us with more deaths” — it already has, tens of thousands

        • Paul Pogba says:

          The sort of people that breached the lockdown consider every interaction with the police to be an act of oppression. Unfortunately they have the ear of the media.

          • Lady London says:

            Yes. It would be safe and beneficial for the particularly vulnerable if they could go out and go to parks etc. and get sunshine.But idiots who think masks protect them, and don’t understand masks only protect others about 5% (@Callum will be along soon to demand a more precise figure), and who won’t respect distancing and the fact that others, and contacts of their contacts, may be vulnerable, mean it’s really not safe yet for the particularly vulnerable to be out and about in the UK if they can possibly avoid it right now.

            One thing this has rubbed my nose is what I really didn’t want to believe – the selfishness of the human race – at least so many people in the UK.

        • Nick_C says:

          He has more than one adviser. He has dozens, possibly hundreds. Personal, political, expert, scientific. But it’s his responsibility to make the decisions.

    • Tariq says:

      Only irresponsible if you believe that lockdown was necessary, which it was not. Norway have admitted that and apologised for it.

      • davvero says:

        Why did Italy and Spain get their infection rate down much quicker than the UK that has always had a wishy washy lockdown where it meant many followed the rules, but others just ignored them. It really was the worst of both worlds.

        Personally I’d be happy without any lockdown but it does seem irresponsible as the risk is higher for more vulnerable people.

        • Lady London says:

          you are correct davvero.
          Due to the sneakiness of COVID transmission, government should better organise support during isolation for the particularly vulnerable, not throw them under the bus by failing to state they need to stay isolated for now.

          By no measured plan for lockdown release Boris is back to relying on herd immunity. Looks like having had it does give immunity for a period of time now. But by not staging lockdown release and leaving the vulnerable till last we will still lose thousands who would not otherwise die anytime soon.

          If I was another country people travelling from the UK would not be welcome till the UK shows progress as other countries have achieved.

          Plus the UK population members who havent respected lockdown prolonging the economic and health damage to others I hope a new nastier strain arises only they will catch.

      • Sandgrounder says:

        Norway apologised? Have you got a link?
        Sweden of course didn’t lock down, they had a different policy for avoiding overwhelming the health service. There, 66% of the dead are over 80, but only 4.7% of the intensive care patients have been over that age.

      • Total rubbish. You clearly have no understanding of the issue, I’m afraid.

      • Oh! Matron! says:

        Opinions are like anuses. Everyone’s got one and they are stink of ****

        https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-52823510

        How lockdown has ensured that the Shetland Isles have been case free for 6 weeks.

        Got anything to refute that?

        • Heathrow Flyer says:

          Did you even read the article?

          Social distancing is basically the norm for the Shetlands, and contact tracing is easier due to the nature of the communities there. It’s hardly surprising the virus was able to be controlled on the islands.

          You can’t just assume lockdown = no virus.

          • Lady London says:

            I thought the UK was an island too?
            How did we fail to take advantage of that and contain this?

          • How many times must we discuss lockdowns in the comments before you all tire of the subject 😉

          • ChrisBCN says:

            +1 Rhys! I don’t know why people are STILL coming to a points/loyalty site to talk about the non travel aspects of coronavirus, day in day out people write the same (largely) uninformed nonsense about which country is getting it better, whether masks work, wether Boris is doing the right thing…

            I know this is a random chat thread, but to rake over the same issues day in day out is tiresome… Maybe you need an article recommending sites these commenters can to go to so that this thread can focus on the other, fresher things that can get lost.

          • @ChrisBCN

            Because the armchair conspiracy theorists on here are bored…

    • If you are vulnerable nobody is forcing you to leave the house.

      • Sandgrounder says:

        Given the lack of food delivery options and the fact many need ongoing treatment for their conditions, for many without family support leaving the house is unavoidable. The problem is not the lockdown but the fact we didn’t lock down sooner. It emerged yesterday we only had the capacity to track and trace five cases a week. Instead of going on TV and telling everyone he was still shaking hands, Boris should have locked us down and enforced quarantine on all arrivals at the start of March. We would have been out of this by now and pretty much back to normal. But, spilt milk and all that.

      • davvero says:

        When the PM tells you it’s safe to leave the house then some people will believe him. If the infection rate has increased this could mean bigger risks for the most vulnerable.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Adults should make up their own mind on if they want to leave the house or not.

          As time moves on and they see more and more cases and understand the issues those that they thought were vulnerable actually aren’t that vulnerable and with the prevalence of infection being down means you’re less likely to catch it than 2 months ago.

          Also reading your msgs about Italy and Spain above it’s hard to compare countries. Do you know what their all cause mortality rates have been since their lockdown or just the headline COVID19 ones we see?

          • I agree with you and SpursDebs on this. The UK govt has not covered themselves in glory but it is the general population that has either observed the guidance such as it is or they have done their own thing and ignored it.

            The reality is that we cannot just stay in lockdown forever and we can’t say for certainty that another 3 weeks lockdown will get the infection rate close to zero. So for all of those who say the govt is doing it wrong what length of time do they think we should extend the lockdown? Let’s hear their concrete proposals and then we can have a chance to criticise and disagree with them as they do with the govt.

            I think a lot of people are just anti the current govt so whatever it does will be wrong. They also want to be told what to do so that they can criticise it rather than admitting that individually we all have a role to play in reducing infection rates by observing hygiene and social distancing etc.

            Just because the lockdown restrictions have been relaxed does not mean we all have to go outside. It’s like saying just because we can book a flight doesn’t mean we have to book one.

          • There was an interesting question in the daily briefing last week where the scientist was asked by a member of the public: ‘how come there are still 8,000 infections per day [which excludes hospitals and care homes] after two months of lockdown?’ and the scientist had to admit she didn’t know.

            There was an interesting case study from Singapore I saw yesterday where someone had caught it because, at an evening church service, they sat in the same seat as a ‘super spreader’ who had been to the morning service.

          • I read that article, Rob. it concluded that people are spreading COVID-19 by touching seats, handrails etc while asymptomatic and that’s why initially no-one could work out how it was being transmitted. The only way to tell if an asymptomatic person is infected is by testing … which we’ve been so slow with.

    • Spursdebs says:

      How about treating us vulnerable people as adults and let us make up our own minds. We don’t need to be treated like 3 year old children being told what to do and think.

      • Crafty says:

        Because if you catch it, statistically, you will pass it on to 1 other person. And that person will do the same. And so on. And if that keeps happening, we cannot suppress or eradicate the virus.

        • Spursdebs says:

          If I catch it it will probably kill me just like a common cold will. I find your comment extremely patronising as if I don’t understand,I’ve got asthma not a learning disability.

          • Frankie says:

            Spursdebs, did you watch Andrew Marr yesterday? There was a medical expert talking specifically about Covid and asthma. You may want to watch it. It was about some new learnings they’re finding out. Just wanted to mention to you in case you’d not seen it.

          • Spursdebs says:

            Frankie I would rather support Arsenal than watch Marr and the BBC. But thanks anyway!

      • bazza says:

        Did you see Central London yesterday? Clearly people cannot be treated like adults. They must be guided for every action.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          They must be doing something right as infection rates are well down.

          However this can’t go on forever and the virus won’t be eradicated from the earth so the unlock needs to start happening.

          Rules will change until finally there are none except what you should have been doing anyway (washing your hands, wiping surfaces properly, using sanitiser and staying home if you are ill)

        • It’ll be interesting to see if there is a subsequent spike in infections in 2-3 weeks. I hope not, but if there isn’t, it would kind of suggest that all the social distancing has been a waste of time!

          • The question is not whether a second wave will occur – it will, that much is guaranteed as soon as you ease lockdown – but whether it is manageable.

          • The Lord says:

            Hasn’t been any second wave anywhere else. These photos of crowds in parks/on beaches are pure scaremongering. In normal times when you went to the beach did you spend time close to others? I dont think I have ever been within 2 metres of a random person on a beach before. Regardless, the chances of catching it outside are super super low. Other countries dont even have the 2m rule, they have a 1m rule!

          • Stanley says:

            Totally agree The Lord. No evidence of any second wave in any of the countries that have loosened lockdowns….. I read government figures that said the chances of catching it, have gone from 1 in 40 to 1 in 1000 now……

          • I thought there was meant to be a second spike after Easter weekend……… and VE Day……… and every other sunny weekend we’ve had? That hasn’t seemed to have happened.

          • Not going down very quickly either though!

          • The Lord says:

            Number of people in hospital down 15% over the past week, R number in England between 0.72-0.77, new hospital admissions down 20% week on week. All positive indicators

          • Stanley says:

            Every metric is going down. Maybe at a slower rate than we would like due to huge increase in testing….. Why the MSM only report negative news is beyond me though.

          • Callum says:

            I miss the days when people actually researched things before publicly stating it. Seems there’s no shame anymore…

            I know for a fact that South Korea is experiencing a second wave and is re-establishing a lockdown. I find it hard to believe there aren’t others as well.

          • The Lord says:

            South Korea had 2 days in all of May with 50+ confirmed cases. Hardly a second wave

          • Stanley says:

            Well that shut Callum up sharpish.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            One mans wave is just another mans splash … when you’re having 20k infections a day 50+ is but a mere drop in the ocean.

        • Spursdebs says:

          Tell you what I saw yesterday the usual mob of lefty middle class activists being manipulated or paid to cause trouble. What I didn’t see were a bunch of pensioners or vulnerable people acting like thugs.
          It’s not us that need step by step guidance it’s the idiots who are easily brainwashed and can’t think for themselves.

          • ChrisBCN says:

            It’s always somebody else that needs the guidance isn’t it… When did our society become so against each other, calling each other idiots and patronising people not like them – or has it always been that way?

          • Spursdebs says:

            @ ChrisBCN. You must live in a bubble a very small one if you think this is all some kind of new behaviour.

          • ChrisBCN says:

            For someone who rails against being patronised, you are very patronising.

  3. The UK’s approach began with herd immunity, that changed when the infection rate was so high that 250,000 could have died.
    Despite the very clear and obvious warnings we allowed football and horse racing to continue and were about 2-3 weeks late with lockdown. People seemed to generally accept this until the architect of herd immunity was shown to be a charlatan with poor eye sight and poorer ethics combined, with a limited understanding of the internet.
    There is no doubt that lockdown has broken down in the last 2 weeks and around me there is a disregard for social distancing.
    I can’t help thinking that there is a deliberate plan to see infections and death rates rise before the end of June to provide this inept government with no loss of face when requesting an extension to the EU transition period. I could be wrong, perhaps the Cummings government really will jump of the cliff but if there is any sense, then a delay would be sensible economically if not politically. Covid-19 provides cover if required

  4. Patrick C says:

    I moved out of the UK now (permanently) and the current profoundly corrupted and incompetent government certainly made the decision much easier. I know there are many true Brexit an torry believers around here, but already after 2 days it has been very refreshing that policies on the continent are actually designed to control the virus properly more in line with Asian countries.
    Over 95% of people wear masks in public crowded spaces (an public transport) and this way you can have a close to normal life (all shops are open etc.) with minimal new infections.
    It is true that Italy France an Spain got hit hardest, but they had a massive unrecognised outbreak at the start. The UK should thank all the companies that moved to wfh and stopped events way before the lockdown as this saved thousands of lives.
    Given the nonchalance about taking it seriously, the UK should actually be blacklisted from traveling anywhere (same as the US). The only responsible way I can see is if there is specific testing done just before taking a flight as the UK infection number is not (significantly) reducing.

    • It seems a very Brexiter thing to call all the MS of the EU “the continent”. They have all dealt with this matter in different ways including whether masks are needed in public spaces.

      • Callum says:

        I see what you mean, but I’ve always called it “the continent” and I’d wager I’m one of the most pro-EU people you’d ever meet!

        It’s like calling the US “America”.

        • I think it’s funny that the continent doing better is used like there was some kind of coordinated plan, some solidarity. In fact it was each to their own. The drawbridges were raised and weaker MS were left to fend for themselves.

          • Callum says:

            Is it? Who said that?

            I’ve genuinely never heard that said before.

          • Callum says:

            Though there is indeed solidarity – countries not affected as much did help other countries. Germany, Austria and Switzerland treating French and Italian victims stands out as an obvious one. France and the Czech Republic donated PPE to Italy. Polish, Romanian and German doctors were sent to Italy. The EU has a €540bn support package, as well as all the other initiatives through development banks etc. It’s coordinating procurement, transferring equipment around the union to areas of most need, coordinating vaccine research etc.

            I take it the Daily Mail didn’t mention any of that stuff!

    • Agree with poor handling here, but masks are in no way a panacea – the evidence is fairy borderline for them, esp if not covering the nose or if you touch it with your hand and then another surface, etc.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Masks are a fallacy. The facts tell you they stop a very small % of aerosols and facts tell you lots of people misuse them (touching them etc)

        But some countries have a “low” infection rate and that must be because they wear masks. Or it’s because of their habits, their culture, their climate etc.

        The fact illness due to norovirus and ecoli is down shows that better personal hygiene is better for every COVID19 or not.

    • London is virtually free of it. You need to look at regional patterns. On some days there are zero new identified infections across the 15 million people covered by the London and Eastern region.

  5. Craig says:

    Data Point: Qatar status match sent on the 19th, email today to say they are looking at it. Matching Krisflyer Silver obtained through the Amex Platinum Shangri-La route, one flight on Singapore since obtaining the status.

    • Sandgrounder says:

      Qmiles have asked me for more info, my existing SIA account had been closed due to no recent activity, I needed to open a new one, I added the Shangri-la status and applied for the match I have obviously not received a card or a statement, and I told them this. They have emailed and asked for a statment and the membership card. I have written back with more screen shots and reiterated that I do not have exactly what they want, hopefully somebody will actually read the message and I will eventually get a yes or a no.

      • Craig says:

        Thanks SG, I actually have the card so that might make life a bit easier.

        • I also emailed on 19th with Krisflyer. Not received a reply yet. Had no flights in the last 12 months, just some Amex transfers and a redemption.

  6. Stu N says:

    Amex Platinum £100 offer has worked on my partner’s supplementary card. I saved the offer when it first appeared, spent with Apple on Friday, credit landed today. Didn’t get a redemption email but they are inconsistent at best.

  7. JohnT says:

    What travel insurance companies are offering covid related cover? I know there were comments on this recently but couldn’t find them. Nationwide flex no longer covers this and hoping ski trip is possible in Jan. BA “guarantee” only runs to Dec and Easyjet just says no change fees for now!

    • Darren says:

      LV was mentioned yesterday in positive terms, but I don’t know if that was for existing travel or new bookings. I’d be very surprised if COVID-19 was covered in the T&C’s at present.

      • JohnT says:

        No new policies available for LV (or on MSE). Also StaySure will cover JUST medical emergency and repatriation relating to Covid.

    • Sukes says:

      Highly unlikely any new insurance policy would cover ‘Covid-19 related events’ now the virus is a known risk. As a data point, even for existing policies Nationwide will not provide such cover for any bookings made since 18 March 2020. Furthermore if relevant to your situation European Health Insurance Cards issued to UK residents are due to lose validity on 31 Dec 2020. Clearly it is NOT the same as insurance but NHS states ‘You can continue to use your EHIC in the country you were visiting on 31 December 2020 for the duration of your visit to that country.‘ Maybe worth starting your vacation on 31 Dec if at all possible…. Pre-Covid, the Irish Gov announced they would de facto cover the cost to continue EHIC protection for N Ireland residents. I’m hoping that still gets enacted….

    • Sandra says:

      Had an email this morning from Staysure, they say they will cover emergency medical expenses if you are diagnosed with COVID whilst away (provided there were no FCO advisory notices restricting unnecessary travel at departure). Doesn’t cover cancellation though as far as I can see. 15% off with code MAY3A and it says 3 months extra free with annual policies. I’m not an expert though so fine print will need checking before buying!

  8. TonyG says:

    I will not be staying with my Virgin CC for the 2nd year. I need advice on what non amex card to carry for non amex spend to max points. Any ideas? ty

    • Andrew says:

      IHG?

      • TonyG says:

        TY. What would be your strategy to max the points on this program?

        • ashish says:

          As much MS as you can, use revoult,, Curve and pay Amex and INSI

        • I use my IHG card to pay OVO energy, who don’t accept Amex. If you end up substantially in credit, you can request a refund back to your bank account, which avoids the problem of the refund going back to the card and points being deducted.

    • Lady London says:

      isn’t something coming from Barclays in the next few months?

  9. Martha says:

    Are the virgin points from Morrisson instore spend still coming through? I have a large amount still pending back from then

    • Connor says:

      Most people said there’s have been credited now, but with Virgin’s latest IT issues it may have stopped them being approved for now.

  10. Good Morning,

    Looking for a hotel on points in Ibiza Town. Obvious choice is Curio as I am Hilton Diamond with 400k+ honors points but it is currently showing 203K per night… keeping an eye on it.

    Any other options on the island people would recommend? (ideally Ibiza town but flexible if required) Couple in early 30’s no kids.
    Avios flights already secured from Manchester end of August/early September

    Thanks

    • Spain seems to keep changing its mind about whether they are going to let us in or not this summer. Unless our infection rate keeps dropping at least at the same rate as it is now (and all bets are off after this weekend, IMO), it’s far from certain we’ll be allowed back.
      I’ve been to Ibiza once and struck lucky as we were booked into an apartment complex at the far end of Sant Josep (I think, it was 10 years ago!) and they put us in a private cottage in the grounds which was utterly idyllic. We will definitely go back but not while we’re paying school holiday prices!

      • Thanks Anna. I agree with you and everything is very flexible at the moment (including the avios booking) so will keep an eye on the ever evolving situation!

        Appreciate the advice on the accommodation as well.

    • Peter K says:

      Sounds like all the basic rooms gone at the curio.

      • Yep. 95,000 a few days ago but looks like they have been snapped up.

    • marcw says:

      I think you are a little bit too late for the party. June through September is VERY HIGH season in Ibiza. Expect to pay A LOT.

      • I’ve been tentatively looking at villas in Andalucia where prices are usually lower than the Balearics (very unlikely that we’ll be going but I need the distraction!). Prices seem to start around 4000 euros for 2 weeks!

  11. Peter K says:

    Another bad sign for Virgin Atlantic. The penultimate vault on the Virgin Red app has been 40k Flying Miles for years. This month it is not. Admittedly it is all sponsored by Virgin Sport this month but still suspicious.

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