Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 17th November

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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.


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 it 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 (315)

  • James says:

    Anyone else having difficulty getting through to BA on the 0800 number – it just cuts me off before even the blurb is finished. A real pain

    • BS says:

      That is because you are using Skype. Skype doesn’t recognise the call as ‘picked up’ by BA until you reach the options. So skype cuts the call thinking it is unanswered. The solution is to press star (or any other phone button that emits a tone) once every 10 seconds to keep the line open until you get through to the options menu.

      • james says:

        Wow how can you tell I’m using Skype? In fact you can’t – I’m using a mobile telephone!

  • Fred S says:

    Looking at entry requirements for Dubai it appears that negative PCR test and travel insurance are the main 2 prerequisites. However, they reserve the right to require tourists to isolate in a government facility if covid is suspected on entry. Only going for 4 days, so should I be concerned that even with a negative PCR test there’s a possibility of having to quarantine whilst out there and end up having to stay longer than planned?

    • Anna says:

      It’s a bit of a gamble. It’s probably advisable to take your temperature regularly and only travel if it’s normal.

      • Andrew says:

        And how relaxing is that for a holiday? You want to look forward to a trip not be approaching it with trepidation.

        • meta says:

          At the moment, every country has the rule that if they suspect you have covid symptoms, they can require you to self-isolate or quarantine. This year I’ve been to several European countries and temperature was checked on arrival at all of them. In Greece, they did random testing. It really depends on you what level of risk you are comfortable with. I would be ok to go to Dubai with negative PCR test and no symptoms. Generally, you would have to show some serious symptoms for them to require you to quarantine.

    • Has says:

      Does anyone know if Amex Platinum covers Covid with their travel insurance, if I was to travel to Dubai (after lockdown)?

    • Blenz101 says:

      Dubai is offering free testing on arrival and if travelling on EK you will also get free covid medical insurance. If you arrive with your own certificate (test taken 96 hours prior to departure) you will pass straight through to baggage reclaim.

      However, If you decide to take a free test at the airport, results in about 24hrs, and test positive then on your text/email (as in UK) you will be requested to self isolate. Your EK or own travel insurance will cover any care you may require. Tests in Dubai cost around 150AED if you want to check you are safe to travel again.

      On your entry form you declare if you do test positive whether you would be able to self isolate. Assuming you are staying in a hotel room then you will be able to tick yes. Others arriving from the sub-continent staying in shared accomodation who aren’t able to self isolate as I understand it are provided government run quarantine accommodation.

      Worst case is perhaps you decamp to an airport Hilton for £30 a night and delay you return until you are no longer infectious. Don’t think Dubai poses a greater risk here than anywhere else.

  • M says:

    Marriott offer will work via Emyr right?

  • Mikeact says:

    One for DIYers.
    Spend £300 over 1 month at Dulux Decorator Centres = 10,000 Avios.

  • AMC says:

    Can anyone confirm that Natwest Reward credit card works fine with Curve when shopping at supermarket? By fine I mean double dipping, 1%+1%.

    And also other retailers as well, do the rewards get posted accurately? What’s the experience been like so far? Thanks

  • Ollie says:

    Sorry, a bit OT but this is related to travel of the digital nomad/long term kind…
    I am fed up with how this country (U.K.) is being run. With the latest lockdown, which will likely resume after Christmas, and reports today of an effective police state in Scotland, we are being put through unnecessary misery indefinitely. On top of that there’s the Brexit mess which everyone’s been distracted from only because it’s been eclipsed by the greater catastrophe that is Test & Trace.
    I am considering moving to Stockholm before the transition period ends on 31 Dec. Without descending into a political debate, is this something that anyone else has done?
    Are there any other countries similar to the U.K. time zone which have minimal civil restrictions in place at the moment that are nice places to live for 1 year+?

    • Harry T says:

      Even Sweden is increasing restrictions!

    • Darren says:

      Your preamble descended already Ollie, but I’ve heard Sweden’s lovely. Wrap up warm!

    • meta says:

      Are you sure you want to go to Sweden? They’ve started introducing tougher measures including rules on gatherings and more restrictions are on the way. If I was in your position, I would look anything but Europe, endure a strict quarantine on arrival and then be free to roam.

      • Lady London says:

        so has Sweden decided their initial relaxed approach was a mistake then? didnt they go for herd immunity and think it was working for them early on ?

        • Alan says:

          Their approach was never as relaxed as often made out. Although the formal restrictions were less than in other states thy did ask people to restrict travel and socialising and in the main most people did (although not enough to prevent deaths being 10 times higher than in neighbouring states). Unfortunately over time compliance reduced and infections took off as the hoped for herd immunity effect did not materialise.

          Now they are putting stronger restrictions in place backed up by pretty draconian fines and even prison sentences.

    • Peggerz says:

      Well Ollie, that ‘Police State’ is allowing the people’s of the Northern Isles, the Western Isles and the Highlands to go to restaurants and pubs until we’ll after dark. The people of East/Mid Lothian can play golf on world class championship golf courses and buy the bar a round when they score a hole-in-one And it’ll be about 1/3 the price of Stockholm for that drink.
      It’s not all bad news, there is balance. Think again…… 🍺

  • Andrew says:

    Harvey Nics offer back on Amex – spend £150, get £30 (as before) by 20/12 which will likely include the start of the sale and of course any BF deals.

  • Andre says:

    Two Etihad offers with Amex, spend over £500 get £250 back, and get 20% back up to £200.

    • Dace says:

      I have 2 x £250 off for £500 spend plus another card with 20% off. Interestingly it looks as if the £250 offers can be used to buy vouchers. Rob, can you confirm/run a article of some sort?