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The HfP chat thread – Thursday 24th 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.

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Comments (239)

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

  • Chrism20 says:

    Is anyone else having issues with e-rewards today? When I click on the survey links in my emails I get an error message.

  • James. says:

    Has anyone had issues with Virgin vouchers posting after hitting the spend target in the Free card? Both I and the missus reached this 3 months ago and nothing has posted. Flying club tells me to go to Virgin Money and Virgin Money vice versa. My understanding is these post as soon as they are reported.

  • Nick_C says:

    We have a deal with the EU. The best possible Christmas present.

    And Santa is on his way …

    • Anna says:

      Father Christmas, please!
      Can you read the 2000 pages and give us a synopsis?

      • Nick_C says:

        Whatever the details of the deal are, and a proper analysis will come to light over the next week, it is good news for the UK and the EU that we agreed on a deal.

        I still think that Boris is an incompetent buffoon, but he was right to threaten to leave without a deal if necessary and be prepared to carry it through. It’s a pity TM didn’t take the same stance (although it would still have involved uncertainty and an 11th hour settlement).

        I’m confident that the agreement will be a good deal for the UK and respect UK sovereignty. A bad deal will not get parliamentary approval.

        Now, after a suitable period, Boris should step down and make way for a strong and competent leader – whoever that might be.

        • bill says:

          You’re confident that the agreement will be a good deal for the UK and respect UK sovereignty – however you have’t read it

          “A bad deal will not get parliamentary approval.” – with his majority any deal will get voted through

          • Bazza says:

            It’s a fantastic deal.. Even though remaoners will still moan – as is the nature.

        • BJ says:

          Wasn’t no deal supposed to be better than a bad deal … are all you Brexiteers going to start spinning with your tails between your legs and pretend othewise in an effort to save face or fool yourselves?

          • Number9 says:

            News flash BJ we’re all brexiters now …. wether you like it or not.

          • BJ says:

            I’m not denying the facts and I am sure I can live with them Debs but I don’t have to like them 🙂

          • Bazza says:

            Who said its a bad deal? It’s a fantastic deal for the majority – who voted to exit the EU. The elites like bready will just have to swallow it..

        • Anna says:

          I’m ambivalent about Boris. Sometimes you need a ruthless, untrustworthy git to get things done.

          • Harry T says:

            Not convinced that’s ever a desirable set of attributes when it comes to diplomacy, especially considering all treaties and deals are ultimately built on trust.

          • Anna says:

            That’s the instinctive reaction, Harry, but when you consider the flawed individuals who did what was needed at critical points in history (e.g. Churchill, Lord Nelson, Mandela), sometimes you have to just accept that you can’t neatly divide everyone into good and bad categories.

          • BJ says:

            @Harry, when all is said and done, regardless of how they spin it, I doubt that Boris & Co achieved anything at all over and above what the EU were willing to give them.

          • Harry T says:

            @Anna I agree human beings are complex; I would never regard anyone as wholly good or bad. Unfortunately, I don’t think Boris can be favourably compared to someone like Churchill as he lacks the leadership characteristics.

          • Harry T says:

            @BJ didn’t you hear? We held all the cards!

          • BJ says:

            Yes Harry I did … it was a full deck of Jokers!

        • Bazza says:

          I think boris has done a decent job on this but is well passed it. Couple of years after the spectator was his prime..

    • Sukes says:

      re EHIC, European Commission press info graphic contains the following: ‘ The Agreement contains a number of social security coordination measures aimed at protecting the entitlements of EU citizens temporarily staying in, working in or moving to the UK and of UK nationals temporarily staying in, working in or moving to the EU after 1 January 2021. A wide range of benefits are covered, including old-age and survivors’ pensions, healthcare (e.g. European Health Insurance Card) pre-retirement benefits, maternity/paternity benefits related to the birth of a child, or accidents at work.’

      • Bazza says:

        That’s fantastic for UK side! Boris has really exceeded expectations

        • Rob says:

          No EHIC.

          You misread it.

          We know it is gone because the Irish Government has said it will voluntarily pay for NI residents to keep it.

    • BJ says:

      Scrapping the idiotic Brexit would have been the best possible outcome.

      • Anna says:

        When exactly are you going to get over this?!

        • BJ says:

          When we rejoin or Scotland becomes independent and joins, whichever comes first. Hope that is precise enough 🙂

          • Anna says:

            The Scottish people absolutely have a right to determine their own future, but how would they rejoin the EU, for instance, with no currency?

          • BJ says:

            @Anna, the issue of currency would be settled one way or the other both in the short term and the long term. None of the old 2014 arguments that created fear and uncertainty will work next time. FWIW, I was torn on the issue last time but next time I will vote yes because the overwhelming majority of people under 35 want it and I font feel that people my age and older have the right to steal the future they desire.

          • Anna says:

            So you would vote for independence not even knowing whether you would have a stable currency (EU membership requires a functioning market economy)? And they said Leave voters didn’t know what they were voting for!
            But as a huge fan of Scottish history (I’m toying with the idea of writing a paper on Bothwell’s links to the Earldom of Orkney, which has always been overlooked by historians) it would certainly be interesting to observe Scotland as an independent nation once again. My own condition would be that you have to take the Royal Family as well – it was your King James VI, after all who was the first monarch to rule what was to become the UK!

          • BJ says:

            @Anna, we would continue to use the pound. I think that is SNP policy in the short term although I think the membership voted in favour of establishing a Scottish pound ASAP. There is nothing stopping us using the pound so therefore the currency would be as stable as yours (which is not stable at all to my limited understanding), only we would have no say in central bank policy. Ultimately, I would like to see us adopt the euro as soon as possible because I think the rukes tgat come with it would provide a framework for us to develop a more stable economy . Whatever happens I expect times would remain rough for the rest of my lifetime but I think it would ultimately be worth it because I think the people of Scotland would both get to be the sort of country they want to be and would be more prosperous than if they remained part of the UK. The UK doesn’t work for Scitland, and sadly IMO even less so for the north of England. Sonething has to give, I usedbto think that a federal model might work but I no longer do as England is simply too large for the other nations.

          • Anna says:

            It was established prior to the indy ref that Scotland would not be able to use GBP apart from during a limited transition period. A separate Scottish pound would be an entirely new currency and therefore render Scotland ineligible to join the Eurozone (though that’s not necessarily a bad thing given how badly it’s turned out for countries like Greece). Though as I said, it would make for interesting times! Seasons’ Greetings, anyway, as we celebrate this ancient pagan festival!

          • Anna says:

            And presumably in the event of independence from the UK, Scotland will return Orkney and Shetland to Norway from where they were dubiously annexed in the 15th century?!

          • Harry T says:

            I’m not a proponent of Scottish independence, but I can empathise with the position, especially in the context of the present government and recent events.

          • BJ says:

            @Anna, I honestly have no idea about all those details so I am not going to debate them. There is a lot of recent history on countries becoming independent and I am in no doubt Scotland can too. I am also in no doubt that independence is inevitable given the level of support amongst the young so for this reason I think we should just push ahead with it instead of dragging out the economic uncertainty and the agst.

          • David says:

            Anna your position here is ridiculous- and the more you argue it the more likely independence becomes.

            Currency is an utterly solvable problem and a complete red herring when it comes to the meat and substance of independence considerations.

      • Harry T says:

        We are the first country in history to agree a worse deal with our single largest trading partner, entirely of our own volition.

        • BLG says:


        • Bazza says:

          Worse for who? I highly qualified and highly paid doctor? Or a wanna be intersevre cleaner or wanna be porter? Shame on you! Not everyone has the opportunities you have been afforded! You should learn to have a little more compassion for others and give the guardian a miss once a week.

      • Number9 says:

        Blimey BJ don’t think I’ve ever seen you so prickly on this blog. You’re not lord Adonis in disguise are you?

        • BJ says:

          Sorry about that Debs, but I’m sure you can handle anything as long as Number7 keeps scoring!

          • BP says:

            Independence is in no way a certainty. If anything support for the SNP and their independence at all cost policy is falling. An independent Scotland would be in dire straights financially. The country would be a complete shambles.

      • Bazza says:

        When the majority voted it? Please give a viable alternative?

    • AJA says:

      FWIW I think this is good news however one views the deal versus full EU membership. We finally can move forward. I hope the reciprocal arrangements necessary for those of you who travel to the EU on business will not be too onerous. Season’s Greetings everyone!

  • Martha says:

    Can anyone advise how best to use the last few £ on all4one cards?
    Many thanks

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I’m sure you can cash out to Amazon but you have to do it via the allinone website and exchange for a gift card code.

    • Alex M says:

      buy smth in M&S. You can split transaction and part-pay with the card if needed, but that will require a cashier who knows how to do it.

  • ET says:

    Need some advice here…

    Ordered some items from Harvey Nichols in 1 single order, but the order came in 2 separate packages. I had to return it, in 2 separate packages that it came in, with the 2 return labels provided by HN. 1 of the parcel went missing / delivered elsewhere / cannot be found, and HN is trying to push the blame to me. Very unhappy about this, are there any recourse / consumer protection laws etc?

    • Anna says:

      Who returned it (e.g. Royal Mail/DPD)? DPD managed to deliver my Selfridges order to a completely different address but Selfridges laid the blame squarely with them and dealt with it very well.

    • Jonathan says:

      I suspect the return label in each parcel was the same as they generate 1 label per order regardless of number of packages. The 2nd parcel will therefore have been seen as duplicate/faulty when scanned at the sorting centre & shunted off into a pile for manual processing.

      I’ve nearly been caught out with this with Nike but fortunately read the small print & generated a 2nd, different, return label for the second package.

      You may find that once the Christmas rush calms down they’ll deal with the naughty corner of parcels & it makes it’s way back to HN or you but equally it could vanish into the ether.

      Did you get 2 proof of postings for the parcels? Is the tracking number the same on both?

      • ET says:

        I can’t remember if the 2 labels were the same serial numbers/label, but the address should rightly be the HN returns address since it was generated by them anyways. 1 parcel reached them back successfully, 1 other parcel was delivered to another address (middle of nowhere really). HN arranged for DPD to pick it back up from the 2nd address but when DPD went down they said there was no parcel to be found there.

        Very infuriating. No way I’m letting this go and absorb this £1k loss.

  • Richard says:

    For people who moan about this site and this country in general about how everyone is selfish etc. Can I just quickly point out today that myself and another member have been gifted Hilton gold through the generosity and good will of people on this site.

    Hopefully I may be able to use it by the spring (was originally looking at Dubai for Feb).

    • BuildTheWall says:

      Yes, that justifies the actions of many people openly looking for loopholes and technicalities they can get away with while others sacrifice their holidays and miss their loved ones.

    • Aston100 says:

      Can you please give some recent examples of people complaining about this country?
      I’ve seen plenty of moans about the site, but not the country.

    • mr_jetlag says:

      Yes thank you again to Pangolin, entirely unselfish and a damned good Christmas present. whatever else we argue about this is a great community of travellers and I hope we’re all up in the air racking up miles again next year!

    • Mouse says:

      Yes indeed, well done to those generous people and happy holidays to all!

  • R C says:

    Supposed to travel JNB to LHR on the 26th with Virgin but they canceled the flight last night as a result of the UK banning direct flights from SA to the UK. I managed to speak to Virgin last night but the agent couldn’t rebook us with another carrier and said we would need to wait for a repatriation flight. I’m finding it hard to believe that is our only option given there are lots of indirect options to fly to the UK with other carriers.

    We’ve been in SA for 3 weeks and are ready to go home so we don’t really want to sit around waiting for a repatriation flight especially with the threat of another lockdown looming here.

    I’ve been on hold for over 2 hours today and not sure what to do if Virgin won’t help. Does anyone have any advice on what to do in this situation? Would booking with another carrier and trying to claim back from Virgin be an option if they refuse to rebook us? Tickets were booked for £999 Upper Class return in the recent virgin sale so taking a refund and paying last minute one way to fly with someone else seems bad value if we have the option to get rebooked on any other indirect routing.

    (Already posted this under the bits article having not seen this chat thread so apologies for repeating it)

    • WaynedP says:

      So sorry to hear of your predicament, RC.

      Money Saving Expert (mse) website had some good advice in March when UK citizens were similarly stranded abroad at the start of covid.

      Some information eg contacting local British embassy and following their social media account likely to still be relevant to your situation now, so google mse and Government to organise rescue flights for Brits stranded abroad.

      If you’re in JHB and looks like you’re stuck and desperate for accommodation, transport or provisions reach out to me at deaconwaynedp at gmail dot com

      I have several local family members who would be happy to help you out, regardless of the size of your entourage.

    • AJA says:

      RC sorry to read about your problems. I think you posted something over on FT and the response there seems that Virgin is not proactive on rerouting.

      You are entitled to duty of care until Virgin or another airline / repatriation flight gets you home. Legally you are entitled to be put on the earliest alternative flight or on a date that suits but getting Virgin to do that is another thing entirely. Another avenue is to phone your credit card provider (assuming you paid that way) as they are jointly liable, tell them that Virigin couldn’t rebook you. You might want to price up a one way flight on Qatar which still seems to be flying and then phone Virgin to see if they will reroute you. Good luck! Season’s Greetings!

    • Pierre says:

      We are in a similar situation- in SA at the moment and our BA return flight has been cancelled. BA similarly refusing to reroute us despite indirect flights being available. We have decided to rebook ourselves on AirFrance, and we will be trying to get BA to refund the costs to us. Fingers crossed that will work under EC261…

      • WaynedP says:

        Should do.
        Good luck getting back home safely.
        Hope you bring great memories of SA holiday with you, and that travel disruption to SA is very short-lived 🇿🇦

  • Jody says:

    Loving the generosity on here today, well done to the winners. Typical that it’s the one day I was out and not stalking HFP as I normally do so missed out on a chance. Oh well!

    Hope everyone on here has a wonderful Christmas, especially Rob and Rhys and the rest of the team. Thanks for everyone who contributes, as always I’ve learnt loads from here. Definitely not a big fish (and whilst I know all the code names related to bendy I can’t actually work out what the deal is thanks to the old brain fog I’ve got permanently going on, but I still enjoy reading about it!!). Keep on with the tips for amateurs like me and hopefully 2021 will be a better year for us all (or maybe by the second half of it!).

    • Lawrence Hardy says:


    • TGLoyalty says:

      If earning diamonds before jan 31st (I need 1 night) allows you to gift Gold I’ll happily offer to someone in the comments.

      Merry Christmas 🙂

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