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The HfP chat thread – Saturday 19th 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 (372)

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

  • Navara says:

    Has Rob escaped to Dubai yet?

    • Andrew says:

      Yes – check Instagram – he’s at the Burj Al Arab with a mirrored ceiling in the bedroom! 😂

    • Ja says:

      Hope so

    • AJA says:

      Yes he’s already there – he did a post on LinkedIn of his fabulous hotel suite. Said the hotel just opened two days ago and was chaotic but the room complete with mirror above the bed, ooh err, looks lovely.

    • TJ says:

      He appears to be staying at the Burj Al Arab at the moment!!

    • Anna says:

      Who did he fly with?!

      • Anna says:

        It would be terrible to be stranded in a suite with a mirrored ceiling at the Burj al Arab in 25 degree heat …

      • Nick says:

        He flew with his wife and kids 😂
        (On Swiss, which is what I think you meant 😜)

        Wonder what he would do if they also announced a return to quarantine for all international arrivals…

        • Jonathan says:

          His kids won’t be going back to school till later in January anyway (don’t think they’re year 11 or 13).

        • Anna says:

          Lol! I was just thinking he could test whether he could get BA to re-route him on a rival carrier if they cancel his return flight …

      • Andrew says:


        • Andrew says:

          That was in response to Anna question about who he flew with – I’m not just saying random European nationalities 🤣

      • Chris Heyes says:

        Anna his wife i think lol lol

  • Baji Nahid says:

    looks like scotland has now been given a travel ban. cant enter or leave the country apart from strict essential reasons.

    • Jill ( Kinkell) says:

      We’re in Tier 1 in Highland, and wee Nicola has put the whole of Scotland into Tier 4 from Boxing day for 3 weeks…… reaching for the gin bottle!

  • Lucy says:

    Do you think they will shut Gatwick? My son is due to fly to Alicante to be with us for Christmas at 7am tomorrow morning.

    • Rob says:

      I doubt they will “shut Gatwick”, but as the airlines cancel flights they may well scale it back massively.

      I would say a 7am tomorrow flight would probably be good, but he should certainly check the airline website before traveling there.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Gatwick is in Tier 2 …

  • Aris says:

    seems like the possibility to cash in the £400 AMEX Marriott offer became 0 right now.

    is there any way for Marriott/Amex to extend this offer again in view of the new tier 4 restrictions? Also I’m happy to redeem the offer for someone who is able to use it, just want the points.

    • Anuj says:

      I’d be interested but not sure how you’d contact me to arrange it perhaps rob could exchange our emails ? To be clear you’re referring to the Marriott points you’d get right ?

    • meta says:

      Prepay the stay for next year. See what someone did earlier in the comments.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Seems this £400 was related to 2020 revenue guarantees Marriott gave the properties so seems unlikely

      • meta says:

        See comment earlier today. Grovesnor House allowed a reader prepay now a stay in February.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Of course pre pay is fine. Just saying why the expiry won’t be extended

  • Alex M says:

    Hope this comment doesn’t get deleted, considering Rob is very busy know and may not notice this ^

  • Rocky says:

    I live in tier 4. Due to fly to South Africa on holiday in 3 days for a 2 week holiday. Negative COVID test & fit to fly certificate received this morning. Currently checking to see which of the four hotels booked and paid for will offer re-booking, but doesn’t look good – prospect of c£13k going down the drain. Flying on BA (non reward flight). Assuming the flight isn’t cancelled, how many here would go ahead and take the holiday anyway?

    • meta says:

      Do you have insurance which covers you in such events?

      • James Vickers says:

        I’d be concerned about whether insurance would cover this but unsure 🙁 wonder if it makes a difference if a country not advised for travel by UK

        • meta says:

          If booked before the pandemic, it might cover it. If not, then tough luck. I don’t book anything non-refundable any longer. I will probably continue this practice forever now.

          • Rocky says:

            Sadly no insurance that would cover – use insurance through Halifax Ultimate Reward Current Account. Booked a couple of months ago – paid for two weeks ago on amex. Gutted – probably all lost now unless just chance it…

          • Anna says:

            +1. It’s become automatic now!
            Rocky – you risk being fined on your return if anyone reports you, and also that you may not be insured while travelling if you go against advice/the law. Hope you find a way to change your booking or get your money back.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            £13k vs £120 fine when you return

    • Jonathan says:

      I suspect a lot of countries will close their borders to UK residents fairly imminently or impose strict quarantine as was done with Denmark.

    • rob says:

      I would go – Supposedly the airport / customs staff weren’t asking any questions last time. If the risk is in Zone 4, surely you are taking yourself out of dangers way by leaving it? 🙂

      • Rocky says:

        I guess you would have expected more checks when the whole country was banned; now it’s only for tier 4, it should be more difficult to police?! What level of proof do you think would be needed that you were travelling for business purposes, if it came to it?

    • James Vickers says:

      Who’s the booking with won’t they allow for change of dates or is it too near? Must be worth asking

      • Rocky says:

        Yes we are asking through the agent, but as so close and over X’Mas they have told us to brace for bad news…

    • Jack says:

      Remember viewing a house was a valid reason for traveling in November. The relatives I’m spending Christmas with are actually house hunting – I’ve asked them to book some viewings for the day after my arrival :).

    • Andrew says:

      I’m afraid you’re not going. As Uncle Chris said – unpack that bag.

    • Harry T says:

      This is perhaps an unhelpful comment, but why would you pay £13k up front for a holiday during the covid pandemic?!

    • Tracey says:

      I would move out of tier 4 quickly, then you could legally fly. I would check travel insurance and if necessary take out a new policy that covers as much as I could get cover for.

  • Mike says:

    Would HSBC Premier WEMC insurance cover the new Tier 4 now?

  • Dan says:

    Will they stop you at the airport and ask for a proof of address, if travelling from e.g. Tier 2? How did anyone travel during lockdown? Not work related.

    • Jack says:

      Who would ask, is the more pertinent question? My house was burgled last summer (2019) and they didn’t send anybody out because they were too busy. I hope they don’t have the resources to hang out at LHR but not send people to deal with, you know, actual crime.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      No one asked anything during lockdown 2

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