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The HfP chat thread – Sunday 22nd 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.

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Comments (215)

  • LST says:

    For anyone looking to buy Christmas presents, Lego have 2x VIP points this weekend with additional 15 avios/£ when going through the BA Shopping Portal. Additional free sets/bricks worth another £30 when spending over £150.00 as well.

    • Nick G says:

      Just about to spend £100 on Lego thanks!

    • Travel Strong says:

      I’ve just taken delivery of some AliExpress brick building equivalents which happen to have the same 5 digit codes as the danish brick building sets, but are $15 instead of £50.
      Extra if you want the box though… arrives in a ziplock bag otherwise 😂

  • memesweeper says:

    Does Amex ever accept applications from full-time students?

    • Keely says:

      My son has one and is a full time student . Does have an 11 hour a week part time job though, so does have some income albeit tiny. Very small credit limit as expected.

    • Jonathan says:

      There’s almost certainly not many students that read this website regularly! The potential applicant would need to call the new cardmembers helpline to see if they qualify

    • AE says:

      I’ve had 5/6 applications accepted during being a FT masters + PhD student. Even before adding my partners income I was accepted for the free BA, gold and platinum card! I currently have the platinum cashback card and I think this is a great option for students and has been getting cracking offers ( e.g the HN and selfridges offers) which is great for a free card.

    • Ian says:

      Both my kids were approved for BA Amex maybe because Amex asked for household income as well as personal (which was minimal).

    • Andrew says:

      I got my first Amex in the week I was 18 – so my “member since” date reflects that which I quite like.

    • Charlieface says:

      If you input household income as well, they should be ok with that.
      Select job as Housewife/husband instead of student

    • dezbez says:

      I successfully applied for one for my son about six months after he turned 18. Used the Amex eligibility checker to direct me to the cards he would most likely be successful with (free BA in his case). For the first few months after his birthday he was scoring pretty low (3.5/10), then after about six months he suddenly increased to 7 or 7.5), at which point we applied. He had a part time job, so that obviously helped.

    • Harry T says:

      My girlfriend is a phd student and has no issues getting approved for Amex cards.

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Depends on their personal income and age. Amex just let me double my credit limit when I turned 21.

      Yes OK I’m a part time student so not 100% the same as you but pretty similar

    • memesweeper says:

      wow — thanks all for the replies 🙂 application to follow

  • Paasan69 says:

    Question regarding airport security. I’m contemplating on getting my daughter a Macbook for Xmas and birthday shortly thereafter. I will need to travel out of LHR to see her for the holidays. This computer is delivered in plastic sealing and I was thinking about gift wrapping it. Does anyone know if airport security will make me unwrap and unseal it to inspect the contents? Or should I not wrap it in gift paper before travelling so that they can see the box? Any ideas would be helpful.

    • Doug M says:

      This’ll be hand luggage right because of value. You’ll then have to remove it for the scanner, my guess would be don’t wrap it.
      Pack the gift wrapping stuff and do it the other end?

    • Andrew says:

      Use a gift bag. And don’t be surprised if you are expected to take it out the box and power it on.

    • Dr C says:

      Can’t you just buy it a the destination as it would make more sense for warranty purposes as well

      • Paasan69 says:

        Thanks for all the tips so far. It will be hand luggage both because of value and the fact that there’s a battery in the laptop. Warranty isn’t an issue as it is an Apple product and therefore global warranty. But when mentioning it, the consumer rights in the country where she lives is better than here in the UK. My concern is that the model I’m contemplating on buying won’t be available on short notice. I agree that the gift wrapping may wait.

        About 5 years ago, I bought a new laptop in the US just before I travelled back to Europe. This was still in the bag from the shop and sealed. Airport security didn’t bother with it. But since it was my own, I would’ve opened it. Now, removing the plastic sealing might not be so important and I don’t think my daughter would even question why it has been opened. But just curious if anyone would have any experiences?

        • Optimus Prime says:

          You kept it sealed and packaged when you brought it from the US? You got lucky, I know people who got stung with import duties upon landing. I always dispose of the packaging, change the default background and install a couple of apps.

          • Lady London says:

            Ahem plus bring the right plug…

          • Paasan69 says:

            At the time I didn’t think too much about it. Was a direct flight from LAX to OSL at the time and customs usually don’t bother too much there.

        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          In terms of gift wrapping it, have it cut down to size and take a plastic seletape dispenser. Wrap it in the lounge or on the plane for something to do! Might as well

        • The real John says:

          Some LHR scanners are a new model which computes 3D images, if you manage to get into the lanes with those scanners you won’t need to take anything out

          • Paasan69 says:

            I’ve passed through these a few times. But they don’t seem to operate these scanners these days.

            I had a very strange experience here a couple of months ago at LHR T5 where I was asked to put all my disposable contact lenses into the plastic bag with my other toiletries. NEVER happened before and I’m passing through airport security usually 6 to 8 times a month (obviously less this year). Had a baffled supervisor agreeing with his subordinate but don’t think he grasped what went on. Anyway, I managed but just barely. Again, this usually considered medication and hence not considered toiletries. I’ve through the years considered airport security at LHR a breeze compared to other places. After the pandemic hit us, they’ve also made it mandatory to remove your shoes. This was not normal earlier in the year.

            I can get the gift wrapping at the destination so no issue there.

            This will be an EU to EU flight so no issues with taxes or import duties upon arrival.

            Thanks everyone for valuable input.

  • Ray says:

    Are we expecting any black friday cashback deals from Amex?
    I am looking for Pixel 4a which is down to £319 but hope there is another cashback deal in the tow somewhere to sweeten the deal.

    • Alan says:

      They had a John Lewis £100 off on Plat recently, although not sure if it’s expired or not? I used it to buy a Pixel 5. Got Bose QC35 IIs via the Google offer too.

  • Nick G says:

    Just checked Amex offers received 1000MR for spending £5 plus spend £75 or more at claridges/Connaught/the Berkeley at bar or restaurant and save £25. Also have a spend £300 and get £100 back for staying at claridges.

    Could work out nicely for a stay

    • TGLoyalty says:

      If you have it on a couple of card then yep. Book via Emyr for some genuine perks over the website rates.

      Unfortunately the Connaught grill isn’t included in the restaurant/bar offer.

  • Mikeact says:

    This may be of interest to Hotels.com users and something I never knew. Last week, I made a non refundable booking for the following day to support a seriously unwell close relative. The hotel rate was the same as Hotels.com. The following morning I was just about to leave, when the hotel called me to say sorry, but under the current restrictions they would have to decline my two night stay even under the Voluntary category. They could not offer a refund but suggested that under the circumstances Hotels.com may be flexible. Going on their Chat line..in the US, I explained the predicament. It turns out that cancelling a non refundable rate, the hotel does not receive any of my payment, it is retained by Hotels.com, totally news to me. However, they were very helpful and explained that as long as the hotel would agree to a waiver then I would receive a refund. This morning, an email has just dropped in my inbox from Hotels.com….refund authorised . Very impressed. And more to the point, another hotel was more than happy to accommodate me.

    • the_real_a says:

      I had similar good experience when the airport hotel i booked went bankrupt. The American team called me, and we negotiated a much improved and expensive hotel to meet my requirements. Very impressed.

      Also when in Malaysia i found bedbugs on the mattress (always do checks!) so declined to stay. Hotels.com once again allowed me to stay elsewhere.

      Its worth also noting that if you use a Tesco clubcard voucher you should be very careful as since its a discount code, not refund or replacement would be available in any case.

    • BP says:

      They aren’t always so good. I booked a hotel in Phu Quoc with Hotels.com stating that the room had a private pool. There was no private pool when we arrived. Hotels.com did move us to a hotel with private pool but made us pay half of the difference. That was as a Gold member.

    • BP says:

      In Siem Reap we had a decent 4* hotel booked and got walked to a lesser 3.5* hotel on arrival. Hotels.com refunded the full stay on that occasion. We chose to stay put in the lesser hotel as I was quite ill and couldn’t face moving.

  • Oli says:

    I have the Tordoff Wine 20% cash back offer saved 3 times on my Platinium. Has anyone had it track more than once in a single transaction?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Yup with other offer. Looks like you’re about to get 60% off

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Just noticed I have 20% of tordoff wines and 20% off tordoff wines and hampers on my gold

        These two look like the same site. I’ll have a look if there’s any value to be had.

        • Leigh says:

          Tordoof Wines and Hampers and Tordoof Wines are different sites. I had the same (2 x 20% off Tordoof Wines and Hampers and 1 x 20% off Tordoof Wines. My spent at Tordoof Wines and Hampers received 2×20% off.

    • Anthony says:

      I’m interested in this as well, I’ve got the 3 20% offers but the T&Cs link to different sites. Do you know if they’ll all be charged by the same company?

  • Mco says:

    Sorry if this question has been asked a 100 times already (Rob HFP needs a forum with sticky’s 🙂 )

    Got a flight for December that was cancelled by BA. CS agent told me I could only move it by 3 days so moved it to the flight the day before. Now I find out that I was not informed correctly as people are still being allowed changes to any dates within 1 year.

    We are not going to travel and it was bought on the 50% deal so I don’t want to cancel and realise I have lost out on the chance to move it to next summer as we have accepted a change already.

    It had cancelled a original ticket and took a FUTV to rebook when the 50% sale came on. What are my options?

    1. If I cancel can I still get my points & money back considering I had used a FUTV to book this?
    2. Anyway to change this to summer 21 (when I try online it says to call)
    3. What’s the latest I can change it too? Should still be free?

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