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The new HFP chat thread – Friday 7th August

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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 de facto 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.

Old chat threads are hidden from the HFP home page.  If you want to look for something in an old thread, click here.  This brings up all the articles in our ‘General’ category which includes the chat threads.

Comments (198)

  • Mycity says:

    Trying to get through to Virgin to make a booking just seem on hold all the time, anyone any hints etc?

  • EDA says:

    Just triggered my BA 241 voucher. Where can I see this in my BA account?

    • Anna says:

      It usually appears on your main account page (not in the app though) shortly after being issued by Amex. It takes between 24 hours and a week to show up IME.

    • Rob says:

      It shows very clearly, either under My Vouchers or simply on the Avios booking page, where you will see a tick-box to confirm whether you do or do not want to use a voucher for this booking.

  • Anna says:

    Rob, perhaps you could reach out to the former King Juan Carlos of Spain and ask him to do a “My Favourite Hotel” review? The ex-monarch left Europe in a hurry last week after it emerged he is being investigated for financial irregularities and was rumoured to be in the Dominican Republic, but he is now reported to be staying in a £10k per night suite in the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. It doesn’t clarify if he staying as a “guest” of the Emirates, or whether he gets club lounge access with that!

    • Anna says:

      To put this in perspective, this is like the late Queen Mother being rumbled stashing millions of pounds in the Swiss bank account of a European toy boy lover, then fleeing the country when the Swiss authorities announce that they are investigating her and holing up in a luxury hotel in a jurisdiction with no extradition treaty with the UK 😯

      • Lady London says:

        Didnt the Dutch Royal Family have a similar issue?

        • Doug M says:

          Certainly years ago, mid 70s?, one of them was involved in accepting money from Lockheed to buy a certain military jet.

      • Nick_C says:

        At least he hasn’t been (allegedly) sleeping with 15 year olds.

      • Nick_C says:

        I think the only thing the Queen Mum ever stashed away was Gin and Dubonnet.

      • Paul says:

        If only the misdemeanours of our own royal family were just financial corruption or dalliances with mistresses.

        • bazza says:

          Sounds interesting…

          Do tell more?

          • Anna says:

            Indeed, I’m no royalist but ours are a pretty straight-laced lot on the whole (or extremely discreet!).

          • Bazza says:

            I about as anti royal as it gets. It’s what got me interested. Some insider knowledge?

            Or just megan and harry?

    • Paul74 says:


    • J says:

      I remember my primary school Spanish teacher getting a ticking off from the headmaster for telling us stories about “Juan Car”.

  • GillyDee says:

    Data point: applied online to renew passport on 22nd July, posted old passport on 23rd July, received new passport today. Result!

    • Lady London says:

      Anyone got any feedback on how long driving licences are taking to renew online?

      • Fred S says:

        Got mine (standard 10 year photocard renewal) turned around in 4 days last week

      • Chas says:

        I had mine in my hand within c3 or 4 days a couple of weeks ago. My previous licence had expired end May, but reminders aren’t being sent out at the moment. I only found out when I had my licence rejected as a proof of ID….. Although it turns out that licence expiry dates have been extended by 6 months currently, so it shouldn’t have been.

    • Anna says:

      I had to do my son’s renewal by post that same week and had a similar turn around time.

  • Renaud says:

    Hi, on the subject of Belgium being put on the quarantine list, assuming (and this is a big assumption right now) that France stays off the list, could travellers on the Lille to London Eurostar be affected?
    I’m booked LON-LIL-LON 14/07 to 24/07.
    DfT says “Eurostar passengers travelling from Amsterdam to London will need to self-isolate, as the journey involves a change of trains in Brussels.” But people boarding in Lille will get on a train half-full of people coming from Belgium, so I’m wondering if they will factor that in..
    Of course that’s subject to Eurostar maintaining the London-Brussels service anyway.

    • Anna says:

      They were saying on the BBC this morning that people will have to quarantine even if they’ve only driven through Belgium en route to catch a ferry so presumably it will apply to Eurostar pax as well. I can’t see France staying off the “list” much longer though. (Unless they drop any claim to fishing rights maybe 🤪)

    • AJA says:

      Interesting conundrum. I think that you will have to self isolate unless they put you in separate carriages. I’d be worried about any cleaning of the carriage before you get on. Do you know if anyone else could sit in your seat between Brussels and Lille and then get off?. I think the self isolation issue will apply anyway given the spike in infections in France..

      • Renaud says:

        Good question about separate carriages. I did a return trip 2 weeks ago and didn’t pay attention if my carriage was empty, but that was before they put Belgium back on quarantine. All I know is that they limit the seats they offer to maintain space between passengers.
        I’m now mostly concerned about Eurostar keeping their trains running at all. Demand for Brussels is likely to drop, and they won’t maintain just the Lille destination (they had only reopened it 3 weeks ago…).

    • ChrisC says:

      Oh that really is ridiculous. I’m supposed to be returning from AMS on 1st September

      I’ll be in Midi for less than an hour after changing off the Thalys and will be fully masked!

  • Keely says:

    Morning anybody have any recommendations for travel insurance for existing conditions ? We have insurance with our bank account but even though we’ve been with them for 20 years they won’t cover cancer (did point out it wasn’t existing when we took out this account but they weren’t having it..) .Thanks

    • Lady London says:

      Staysure are rumoured as being OK provided you give them full disclosure.

      • Keely says:

        Thanks LL I’ll check them out

      • Sunguy says:

        Staysure can be rather expensive – Ive found that it really pays to look at specific cancer related policies….

        What Ive found with staysure is that they will happily cover you for something that is not related to specific conditions – but once you add that coverage in, it can be *seriously* expensive…..

    • Anna says:

      I hope whoever’s affected makes a full recovery, Keely. Unless the exemption appears on your policy I would lodge a complaint about bank as well.

    • Sukes says:

      My mother has complex medical needs albeit not cancer so I’ve become a bit of a pro unfortunately at sifting annually through insurance quotes. Vast majority of medical screening will be done through a computerised system with same qs which you answer online or by phone. It seems 95pc of insurers use Verisk computer system, the remainder tend to use Protectif (v detailed questions including medication prescriptions) or Tamis. You may find that ‘computer says no’ simply because you have a risk profile that the insurer is not targeting selling to. You may instead need a tailored individual phone assessment. I’d start with Insure Cancer then Clear2Go and Treat U Fair. Then I’d look at Avanti and Insure&Go, both of whom I’ve used for my mother in recent yrs. Her cover with them has been under their ‘normal’ products with her conditions declared and has been at times less than half the price quoted by the ‘specialist’ firms such as AllClear, StaySure, Good to Go for almost identical cover. Few tips: i) if insurer won’t cover you for annual they may still give you a quote for single trips; ii) if you get a quote check who the underwriter is (it will be in the policy doc and usually at bottom of website) and google to see if you can find a similar but cheaper policy underwritten by them from another insurer; iii) if you’re really stuck contact your local broker to see if they can find you an individual specialist policy; Iv) if you’re eligible make sure you travel with EHIC card. I doubt you can complain to your bank – generally there is always a requirement to tell your insurer of any health change, as you have done, and the insurer usually has the option to no longer provide cover and repay premia if appropriate. Gd luck & happy travels

  • Benilyn says:

    Ernie & Curve Blue (free), are there fronting charges via IHG/VA?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Not yet but unless you have fronted on it won’t go through

    • BJ says:

      None with HH about 6 last night.

      • Simon says:

        What about with M&M Diners, gents?

        I had been dining out (couldn’t resist :)) with the 8999 situation, and so far so good, i.e. no Diners cash advance fee or interest. But, with rumours on here yesterday of the 8999 now being toast, then I’m wondering whether any further Curve/M&M to Ernie transactions might start attracting fees? Any thoughts?

  • AndyGWP says:

    Re: Virgin flights

    Just had confirmation that our flights to Cuba in October are cancelled (no surprise)

    These were never officially operating (according to the last press release – they were covered by “additional flights they were hoping to bring back on board”), so they hadn’t been cancelled, but hadn’t been not-cancelled