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The HfP chat thread – Monday 14th December

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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.

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 (300)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Swad Wolf says:

    IHG Spire Elite question – I have just reached Spire status. Are they still offering 25,000 bonus points for reaching Spire and if yes, how do you get them credited to your account? Thanks

    • xcalx says:

      Log into your account.. You will see the 25k points offer or gift status offer click on the points and they hit the account instantly.

  • Andrew says:

    London will move into England’s highest tier of coronavirus restrictions from 00:01 GMT on Wednesday, MPs have been told.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55306928

    Get your restaurant meals in today and tomorrow!

    • James says:

      Or have some common sense and, for the greater good and coming out of this sh*tshow sooner, stay at home.

  • Navara says:

    “Get your restaurant meals in today and tomorrow!”
    The exact reason tier changes need to be immediate to have maximum effect

    • Andrew says:

      Indeed

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Disagree. Plans have to be made for these businesses to shut. There is lots of fresh food which wold otherwise be a huge waste and a cost these businesses can no longer bare etc

      • Anna says:

        I’m sure piling into shops, hairdressers, schools and gyms (which can continue) is having a worse impact that sitting in a restaurant.
        Hopefully there will be some capacity to move to take away services , this has made life a bit more pleasant up here. I can’t for the life of me understand how the country is going to be able to afford this.

        • marcw says:

          The tories discovered the magic money tree.

        • Navara says:

          “Hopefully there will be some capacity to move to take away services , this has made life a bit more pleasant up here.”
          Anna
          You make it sound like we don’t have cookers up north 😉
          Although I have passed plenty of road kill on the way home

          • Anna says:

            Navara, we are all so fed up with cooking! Having not been able to eat at anyone else’s house since March, a night off cooking and clearing up feels like 5* luxury just now 🤣

        • Harry T says:

          No good evidence to suggest significant transmission in non essential retail or gyms.

          • Anna says:

            But are you saying there is for restaurants? It just seems illogical to exclude them if not. Also with hotels, its’ entirely possible to be socially distant from anyone not part of your household – you’ve stayed in plenty recently, Harry, what do you think?!

          • TGLoyalty says:

            @Anna no but closing hotels, bars, pubs and restaurants starts to limit movement. Which is all they are really trying to achieve. Keep you home as much as possible.

            What we actually know is that it spreads indoors rather than outdoor (extremely low risk)

            It spreads far more where there is low ventilation (fresh air) than where there is lots of ventilation.

            Same way going to watch the football isn’t the problem in itself but you get there via public transport, share lifts with people from other households, perhaps go to the pub, are funnelled through tight enclosed spaces to get in etc etc

          • Anna says:

            But TG, the amount of movement generated by people going to hotels and restaurants must be minuscule compared with the numbers going shopping, and then to hairdressers and gyms on top of that. My hairdresser re-opened after lockdown then had to close after a customer who had her hair done on the first day of opening tested positive! Yet I know of no one who’s been contacted by track and trace after having a meal out when the restaurants were open.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            I don’t disagree. It’s all nonsense.

          • Brian says:

            Are you basing this on the test and trace data? (Lol)

            (I’m not saying there is any evidence by the way as I don’t know, but the test and trace data is a waste of time)

          • Lady London says:

            but lots of evidence on transmission between people crowded into entertainment venues and pubs.

        • Genghis says:

          Interest rates v low / negative. Inflate the debt away. Bond holders (ie pension funds) worse off in long term.

      • James says:

        They can sell their excess food via takeaway, better donate it to a homeless shelter.

    • marcw says:

      That’s what’s happening here in The Netherlands. New lockdown from midnight.

  • John says:

    Spoke to advisor re the Test to Release scheme as still no providers shown and unable to opt in on the locator form. All you need should be on from 4am tomorrow he said! So where on website it says the providers will be provided shortly before scheme starts, they are really being literal!!!

    My flight in leaves at 8am so I hope will work!!!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Your flight leaves at 8am? It arrives in England?

      You can resubmit the form and take part in the T&R process later so doesn’t have to be when you land.

      • John says:

        Managed to do it just after midnight! About 10 providers listed with half saying “come back soon when we are ready!”
        One provider stating they want taking off the list already as being inundated with calls and emails!
        The first day I should be able to get tested is next Sunday which none near me (Manchester) offer a service for, so in effect it will be 6 days until tested which, once the result is back, will be 8-9 days! If wait 10 days no test needed!!!

  • Lol says:

    Sorry to ask something mentioned in the past but I failed to find it when searching. I’ve just closed my BA Amex card and was told that without a BA Amex card I can’t pay the taxes on a previously earned Companion Voucher. I’m sure I’ve seen on HfP that any Amex is OK even in someone else’s name. I do have the Amex Reward card and my wife has the Amex Gold card. It would be good to hear that confirmed here though.

    • Harry T says:

      You just any Amex card to pay the taxes. My last companion voucher booking was paid with my Amex gold card. I no longer held the BAPP.

    • Anna says:

      I always pay the taxes on award bookings with whichever Amex I get the best return on at that time. It’s usually one of our BAPPs because of the triple avios, but I’ve occasionally used a gold or even the now-defunct Lloyds one when I was trying to hit the spend for the upgrade voucher.

    • Jane says:

      I’ve been worrying about this too as flights booked in August (2-4-1 with return added on later) still haven’t been charged for the return leg and the BA amex is cancelled – whilst I know I’ve paid before on a different card to the one with the 2-4-1 when BA called to get more information to try to take the charge they said it had to be that one ! that was October and I’m still waiting to see what happens.

    • Genghis says:

      Nothing to worry about. I paid 241 taxes with a friend’s Amex when wife and I got banned by Amex and couldn’t get cards.

      • sloth says:

        impressive getting your wife banned as well as yourself…;)

        • Genghis says:

          She understands the risk of what I do and enjoys the benefits. I was just a naughty boy. I am now a customer and I’m a reformed convict in Amex’s eyes; well kind of.

      • Matt says:

        What did you do to get banned? Is that still the case?

      • Lady London says:

        must have been quite sticky

      • Charlieface says:

        I thought he got banned because of MS, or was it Shop Small abuse? (or both at the same time!!)

  • aDifferentSimon says:

    Here, have a laugh – I got the anniversary date wrong on my virgin credit card (fee free), 2 months earlier than I thought. I put through £19,999.80. No voucher awarded!

    • Rhys says:

      What did you buy?!

      • Holam says:

        a few bonds by any chance 😂

        • aDifferentSimon says:

          That was the annual total, not in a month. I stopped using the card with a plan to tock over the 20k near the year end but messed up and missed it! (no nsi or tax! )

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Oh no! One of those life lessons I guess.

      I get you were going to tick it over close to anniversary date but Here’s a tip NEVER only spend just what it takes to hit your bonus. Last min refunds etc can really mess it up

    • Doug M says:

      That really sucks, worth a phone call to ask?

    • Jonathan says:

      I don’t think there’s any easy way of tracking how much you’ve spent that qualifies as spend towards the voucher with Virgin, and when annual timer resets itself, can anyone confirm this at all?
      When I say qualifying spend, transactions like interest, late payment fees etc. are usually almost always excluded, and general charges to the account that are also excluded from having the right to earn the cards rewards like with just about all credit cards

    • Lady London says:

      Noooooooo !!

    • Mike says:

      Does Virgin work for Bendy and to pay HL?

      • aDifferentSimon says:

        I’ve never tried but hazard a guess of “not since about October when things seemed to tighten up at virgin”

  • KP says:

    Will the Plaza lounge in LHR T5 be open after Wednesday for Beer and food after the new restrictions.

    • Rob says:

      Not clear. Lounges CAN open but the operators don’t seem to take advantage of it.

  • Singleton says:

    Is there a mechanism to report people who are not self isolating even though they’ve been advised to by the NHS app?

    • Andrew says:

      There is no legal requirement to self isolate if the app alone has told you to self-isolate, so not really any reporting mechanism. If they have been informed to self-isolate by Track and Trace then, yes, the Police by calling 101.

    • Jack says:

      Get a life?

      • meta says:

        No, unfortunately not. I tried reporting a beauty salon which was open near my house during this lockdown. They were operating discreetly with curtains down and people queuing at the back entrance. Police said they are not going to enforce it and the council didn’t care either. It seems a few cases in the media are only for the optics. No wonder cases are growing!

        • Anna says:

          That’s a disgrace on both counts, I would have gone to the media! It’s a serious breach of health and safety and you can only wonder what other corners they cut (or varnish).

          • Anna says:

            The therapist probably wouldn’t have been insured either so if they injured someone the client would have no comeback.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            It’s clear both are breaking the law so there shouldn’t be any expectation of insurance / come backs.

          • Anna says:

            TG – they won’t even have consider it until their lip fillers go horribly wrong and they’re left looking like a Spitting Image puppet of Mick Jagger (though actually this look seems quite fashionable these days).

          • Anna says:

            Though I think only the therapist would be breaking the law – it’s not illegal to have a beauty treatment, only to operate such services.

          • meta says:

            I tried going to media, but local journos were too lazy to check it out. And the salon was trying to be clever by operating a few hours a day. This is what happens when there is no enforcement and messages from authorities are not clear or too complex.

            I honestly give up with this minority of people who think they’re above. I stopped going to my local Coop as well as the staff never wore masks.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            I believe the Nov SI was written as such that both were breaking it.

            De facto you were with someone else outside your household indoors without a reasonable excuse and that was an offence you could be fined for.

          • Lady London says:

            @Anna miaow

      • Nick_C says:

        I think Singleton has a life, and hopes to retain it for as long as possible. People disobeying the law and spreading Covid puts lives at risk. We should all be reporting criminal behaviour to the Police.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      How can you report someone for not following advice?

      As said only legal if T&T formally contact them.

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