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The HfP chat thread – Saturday 31st 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 (223)

  • Sina says:

    Booked JW Grosvenor House for a day to use my Marriott offer, and was upgraded to Superior King Suite, any restaurant recommendations other than JW Steakehouse?

  • Adam says:

    We’re about to take the plunge and book South Africa for Feb 21. Have any other bookers taken out extra travel insurance? Virgin offer a free Covid insurance which isn’t perfect but seems to hold its own against the likes of Battleface and Staysure.

    • BS says:

      You almost certainly will not be allowed in, unless you go and stay in another country first. Also you will need to quarantine on return. I wouldn’t book anything non-refundable

    • BS says:

      But to answer your question, if you are the right age, and don’t mind the limited cancellation cover, battleface is good

      • Adam says:

        It’s a VS reward booking so have miles flexibility (which are worthless if VS goes bust anyway). S75 on the taxes. Free cancellation on the hotels (and even airport parking). Quarantine on return isn’t an issue. I’m gambling on there being a more widely accepted you-can-travel-if-you’re-negative approach. We would probably also self-isolate in the 2 weeks prior.

        • BS says:

          In which case that’s a reasonable gamble. It might have opened by then due to the reliance on tourism (as many other countries in Southern Africa have). Battleface provide good Covid medical cover which is the main thing you need. It’s their cancellation due to Covid that is lacking.

        • WaynedP says:

          I’ve gone for Battleface myself, Adam.
          Main thing is to have medical cover, which it provides within limits despite what FCDO advice is when you travel.

        • WaynedP says:

          I’d rather be over than underinsured.

          Enormous pressure from SA domestic tourism industry has succeeded on softening the authorities’ approach recently, but bad second wave figures in UK may reverse that trend.

        • WaynedP says:

          I hope not though.

          There is some flexibility on getting a visa currently, even for UK citizens.

          My own compassionate application is currently being processed, and I’m hoping to be there myself next month.

  • JamesH says:

    Hello – if lockdown does happen in the UK and international travel is banned, does anyone know what that means for Hilton reservation booked with free night certificate? 30 day cancellation window passed, may be charged first night BAR? How does that work?

  • YC says:

    Mattress run question – if I were to book a 4night stay (marriott). Physically check in day 1, not be seen next 4 days and checkout mobile on day 5. Any issues? Never done more than a single night mattress run before

    • Andrew says:

      Totally fine – especially in these times, ask for no service throughout for hygiene reasons. Plus I don’t think there are any laws on not using a service you’ve paid for.

      • ChrisC says:

        Some hotels will will want to inspect rooms even if you’ve requested them not to be serviced to make sure there isn’t a build up of rubbish etc.

        They wint be in there every day but every other day or so.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Just ruffle up the sheets and bath towels run the shower etc if you are worried about it not looking “lived in”

      No Luggage isn’t a sign as plenty of people use hotels as a base for other things and come and go with belongings.

  • krys_k says:

    I’ve just activated my Amex business Platinum card and rather than having to spend £6k for 45k points, 40k (not 45k) points are already sat in my account. Very strange.

    • Foz101 says:

      Very odd. Im £5k through the £6k spend and 7k points randomly appeared a week. You are in luck!

      • krys_k says:

        Wonder if I spend £6k whether 45K points will drop. Or just 5K. Or something else.

  • Andrew says:

    Get your Marriott £400 stays and Harrods £100 shopping in early next week before it’s too late, looks like national lockdown will be announced on Monday:
    https://apple.news/AsBSQrbexRTOM4Njb1JsK4w

    • Chris says:

      I doubt I’ll ever see my Langley stay for end Nov. And Amex won’t extend again

    • Rob says:

      Marriott should be ok with 19 December end. Harrods is trickier – might pop in on Monday for some wine.

      • Andrew says:

        Although there’s always online for Harrods, including wine and free delivery when you spend £100. If you go today or tomorrow Rob you’ll get 10% off which includes wine but not other food.

        • Andrew says:

          Forget the last point – offer doesn’t start until Monday! Why did they tell us so far in advance, so confusing!

    • YC says:

      Yes potentially bringing forward any mattress runs before everything closes for rest of the year (dec deadline could easily extended till eoy or hotels may not reopen till 2021)

  • Michael says:

    Is it possible to move the balance on an Amex account between cards? After a recently cancelled Accor stay my Platinum card is just a little shy of £1000 in credit. Is it possible to use that credit to pay the outstanding balance on my BAPP and Gold?

  • Anna says:

    If anyone’s still thinking about joining/renewing IC Ambassador for the extra free night certificate, you now have until Jan 31st to complete the qualifying stay, which could be handy if hotels are now going to be closed until December!

    • BuildTheWall says:

      I guess no extension for the free night?

      • Anna says:

        Still says April 30th in the Ts and Cs but IHG have been very good at extending all this stuff in recent months so you never know!

    • John Caribbean says:

      I got the email on this yesterday. Is this a new deal or has it been running a while?

      • Rob says:

        Been running for a while but weirdly IHG won’t update their website to show it so we have been low key about promoting it.

        • Anna says:

          I’ve just had an email about it this morning which is the first time IHG has proactively offered it to me!

      • Anna says:

        Just FYI, John, my OH renewed Ambassador in September, we did a low-cost stay at the Kimpton Clocktower at the beginning of October and the free night certificate posted with the earned points a couple of days later, so it obviously works despite the general lack of information!

    • Wollhouse says:

      Hi, can you clarify this? I joined (paid fee) ambassador and immediately got a free night voucher. What is this “extra” free night based on a stay? I’m booked into Kimpton Glasgow in a couple of weeks based on some nice HFP reviews.but….. It looks like Glasgow might be a non starter then! How do you earn the “extra” free night? Or am I misinterpreting and it’s the voucher you get if you pay to become ambassador?? TIA