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The HfP chat thread – Friday 16th October

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We have decided to run this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the de facto repository for random comments and questions.  With the news flow being lighter, we are running fewer ‘Bits’ articles.

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 at home, we want the HfP community to have a place to chat.


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Comments (214)

    • Rhys says:

      Looking at the timeline in that article it sounds like it /might/ be ready by late 2021. Not quite so soon unfortunately…

  • Ronald Jeremy says:

    BA fined £20m over 2018 Data Breach. In other news its Barnsley chops for me tonight from none other than Donald Russell with seasonal vegetables. Any suggestions for a wine choice?

    • WaynedP says:

      May I recommend a good, full bodied South African red ?

      A Stellenbosch Pinotage, or a heavy Cabernet Sauvignon from Paarl or Stellenbosch will complement perfectly.

      Open and pour half a large glass 20 minutes before serving food to allow the wine to breathe.

      • Anna says:

        I second the full bodied red – the spiciness of a Shiraz would cut through the fattiness of the chop.

      • Ronald Jeremy says:

        Lovely thanks for the recommendation.

    • Lady London says:

      I’m a tradtionalist. Would go for a Margaux as not too heavy yet enough strength to fight the fat.

      • WaynedP says:


        Was open to expanding my palate when I came to Europe, but never found anything that tasted as good as the Cape Wines that I cut my teeth on as a student.

        But will look out for a well-recommended Margaux to pair with some of my own Donald Russell goodies that arrived today.

        Thanks @LL, as well as to those who drew attention to the special TV offer at Donald Russell which provided excellent value for money to the Amex offer.

        • TK says:

          What was the special TV offer at Donald Russell? I must have missed it.

          • WaynedP says:

            A selection of assorted steaks worth about £50 for £29.99 labelled tv offer on the website or search Donald Russell tv offer.

            Haven’t checked if it’s still running, nor did I see any time limit, but I guess if it became too popular they might prefer to withdraw it.

  • David says:

    Amex Gold – just got offered the 5k MR points with £1k spend in 3 months that a few others have got here – conversation took 5 minutes. Probably could have gone further and seen what else was available but I am happy with the offer and will try again at card renewal time (January).

    Bicester Amex offer – any feedback on whether the spend can be cumulative or should one just purchase a gift card on arrival? Also any feedback on how busy it is at weekends at the moment? Planning on heading there on Sunday.

    • Carol says:

      I think the spend might be cumulative but I purchased a gift card and received the £40 the next day, as I was unsure. I went on a weekday so not sure what the weekend will be like

      • Andrew says:

        I purchased a gift card to be sure as it wasn’t concrete as being cumulative, but probably works fine. And don’t believe what they tell you at Guest Services about Prada not accepting it, because they do accept gift card. It is very busy at weekends and Sunday more so as many of the larger shops have to follow Sunday trading hours. Most shops at weekend use a digital queue system with QR code which works well but can be annoying when you’re in the middle of shopping in one shop and then get a message to say it’s your turn at another shop down the other end. Many shops have over an hour wait to get in.

    • ash says:

      Works fine for cumulative spend just check which shops as not all apply

  • Dave says:

    Does anyone know what duty of care rights if any you have when a holiday company changes your flight date? Virgin holidays have given the option of reducing our Orlando holiday next year by one night (with a partial refund) or extending it by three nights (and pay extra). Can also cancel for free.

    • Rhys says:

      Pretty sure someone here once managed to negotiate a longer holiday without paying extra!

    • antoinette says:

      we went last Saturday and it was busy. We first had a look at what we wanted to buy and then went and bought the gift cards in lots of £300. That avoided the risk of not being cumulative. Most shops were happy to put our shopping behind the counter until we went and got the gift cards.
      Some outlets, including Gucci can only process one card per transaction.

    • Blenz101 says:

      Duty of care doesn’t exist for you. You may be able to negotiate some goodwill on reducing the price of staying longer as Rhys suggested.

      But having been offered a full refunded you have the right to walk away but nothing extra,

      • Dave says:

        Thanks, thought so. I asked for some goodwill but they are not forthcoming

    • Sukes says:

      From what you have described Virgin is complying with its legal requirements.

      EU Package Travel Directive Art 11 requires that if the provider proposes a significant change to the package as sold before the start of the package you can accept the proposed change or cancel without termination fee (I assume technically you’re in the position of having to do the latter as your hol with original flight dates is no longer available).

      As per Art11.3 the provider can offer a substitute package (in your case they seem to have provided two possible substitutes). The price can be higher/lower than the original package. The difference in price vs the original package will be absorbed by or refunded to the customer if the substitute is accepted. Note that your ability to consider the substitutes will be very time-limited – this is because virgin has to adhere to the legal requirement (art5.2) to refund full payment within 14D of a terminated package contract. So if you don’t decide within the deadline communicated your contract will be terminated and the refund process begun.

      With regard to your wording ‘duty of care’ I think you may be thinking of measures an airline under eu261 or a holiday provider as per the package holiday directive would be legally required to provide if in this example the package had already been underway. For reference if you were blocked abroad (eg flight home cancelled) because of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances the tour op would be required to bear your extra accommodation cost for a max of 3nights (unless you fall into the criteria for vulnerable travellers). Other parties (airline, travel insurance etc) could be liable if additional nights were required.

  • Jody says:

    Cancelled our forthcoming Monte Carlo break (the one with free helicopter transfers) today as it was balance due day. As others have reported no problem cancelling and received full refund of deposit.

  • Rahaney says:

    Any cash advance fee from creation via bendy?

  • SteveSlow says:

    Seen people mention it on here before, does anyone still have a spare Metro bank referral?

  • Sean says:

    Data point. Received email of cancelled vegas flight for early November at 2pm. Phoned up 2.15 – didn’t choose option – call patched through 2.35 refunds processed by 3.05 (different bookings and seat selection fees). Not too bad.

    • Rob says:

      I cancelled both Lufthansa and BA flights yesterday. Lufthansa – called the general Miles & More UK line and got it answered instantly. BA – called the Gold line (I am Gold) and got it answered immediately.

      Still need to ring Virgin this week – feeling less confident about that one, with no status.

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