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The HfP chat thread – Monday 4th January

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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 (360)

  • Dominic says:

    Not sure if allowed, but does anyone have a Trading212 account referral link they’d like to share? Can easily get off Reddit, but would rather benefit a HfP poster, if possible! Cheers

    • Asim says:

      Here you go: and we both get a free share!

    • DodgyDCF says:

      2 friends got Astrazeneca share worth around £70 using my link last week and another got Royal Dutch stock worth around £13 for reference, let us know what you get Dominic

      • DZOO says:

        Have seen this platform mentioned a few times on here – what’s so great vs HL etc?

        • Waddle says:

          It’s mostly fee free. You pay stamp duty on UK shares, that’s about it. You can even have an S&S ISA. Obviously you don’t get the same level of support and expertise with HL.

        • DodgyDCF says:

          Stock trading is free vs £11.95 per trade on HL. There are no FX fees for US stocks vs 1% on HL.

          HL charge ridiculous fees but they have the most extensive mutual fund offering and most reputable. I have both T212 for daily trading and my ISA with HL for stocks and funds.

          @waddle There is no expertise with HL, they just charge fees.

      • Asim says:

        I have had an EasyJet (£8) and GE ($10) recently.

  • Charlieface says:

    This country is mental

    • Andrew says:

      Is it?

      • BJ says:

        Yeah, 2016 and all that…

        • Cat says:

          Indeed, BJ.

          Kind of wish we hadn’t made all those EU doctors and nurses feel so very unwelcome now, TBH.

          • BJ says:

            Careful what you say Cat, we’ve got to get over it!

          • Cat says:

            …without an ITU nurse to monitor our ventilator.

          • Harry T says:

            @Cat and @BJ didn’t you hear that the UK’s relationship with Europe is all settled now and no one is allowed to talk about it because you lost? 😉

          • WaynedP says:

            We ALL lost, big time. Just won’t be immediately apparent to everyone.

          • Cat says:

            I got the memo @HarryT, but I predict that lies on buses will be as talked about for as long as Maradona’s Hand of God, for their role in our national losses!

          • BJ says:

            @Harry T, you are presenting with
            increasingly alarming symptoms 🙁

            @WaynedP, I doubt 52% will ever realise it.

            @Cat, are you suggesting God doesn’t English football?

          • Cat says:


          • Bazza says:

            You really should look into the facts before writing nonsense. What percentage of NHS doctors are from the EU?

          • Bazza says:

            Plenty of UK born nurses and plenty from the rest of the world do an excellent job. What a terribly flawed argument. Or were you deliberately discriminating against anyone from outside the EU? Visit an NHS once this covid has cleared and see who Really works there not who the Guardian tells you does! Grow up!

          • Cat says:

            Far fewer than in 2016, Bazza.
            The NHS has lost 22,000 EU Nationals from the NHS since the referendum. We still have 4.1% of our GPs, 9.1% of our hospital doctors and 6.0% of our nurses who are EU nationals.
            Does that help Bazza? I’m not keen on losing UK born doctors and nurses or doctors and nurses who are born elsewhere. I’d rather keep them all, since the NHS is horribly understaffed right now. It’s not just me or the Guardian who thinks this, try talking to a few doctors or nurses about staffing levels in the NHS right now. If you don’t know any, maybe read this.

          • Dick Steele says:

            Respectfully, Cat

            There are more medical staff working in the NHS than ever before. There isn’t a shortage of students wanting to be doctors, quite the opposite. There is no shortage of doctors.

            Do you think EU nurses are better than those from the Philippines for example?

          • Rhys says:

            We also have an ageing population that requires increasing care, so a growing NHS is precisely what you’d expect. The real question is whether it is growing proportionally to the increased need.

            My mum is a nurse, I live with nurses and many of my friends are nurses (some from the Philippines) and the stories of mismanagement is, frankly, shocking. I think it’s embarrassing that we treat and pay our healthcare staff. It’s no wonder we have to import thousands from abroad – frankly, I wouldn’t want to be a nurse in the NHS, either.

          • Dick Steele says:


            While nurses are paid nowhere near enough in the UK, it is generous compared to the pittance medical staff are paid in Spain.

          • Cat says:

            No shortage of doctors? Are you joking? Have you spoken to an actual doctor about this?

            I like to be able to evidence my assertions, so this is a report from the commons library, making it abundantly clear that there’s a recuitment and retention crisis in the NHS (8% of vacancies remained unfilled in the NHS this time last year, compared to 3% of job vacancies across the UK economy) .

            As I’m not a total bigot, I don’t rank nursing abilities by nationality (but thanks for attempting to put racist words into my mouth – there isn’t enough toothpaste in the world to remove that bilious taste, thanks again, no really). EU nationals are leaving nursing (and the UK generally) in their droves since the referendum – which is why I mentioned EU nurses. I also know a number of teachers, especially MFL ones who have done the same, as they no longer want to be here. I don’t blame them. Nor do I rank teachers from different countries in some sort of hierarchy of xenophobia.

            I do worry about the fact that 8% of our NHS vacancies are unfilled. I don’t care who fills them or where they’re from, as long as they’re fully qualified, and they’re not Harold Shipman or Beverley Allitt.

            Also, on a personal note – many of those unfilled vacancies are in rural areas. I grew up in Boston, Lincolnshire, and my parents are still there. The stroke ward is only able to operate every other weekend, so if either of my parents have a stroke on the wrong weekend, they will need to be blue-lighted to Lincoln – a journey that takes an hour (less than ideal, given how important rapid intervention is with stroke victims’ outcomes). The children’s ward has been downgraded to an assessment centre, and children are now routinely treated in Lincoln, an hour’s drive from their parents. They have had to temporarily close the neonatal unit there, literally because they can’t find the staff to run a full service. Nobody wants to move and work there.

    • Charlieface says:

      Now how did that derail from the news of the day to Brexit… 🙁

      • BJ says:

        We got to Brexit because I am keeping control of my right to freedom of speech regardlelless of how much Brexit supporters might want me to give up that control.

      • Ross says:

        Because Brexit seems to be a worse disease than COVID. There’s no vaccine, it never goes away and it infects all with frustration and anger – no matter which side you’re on.

    • Cat says:

      “Remoaners are their lies never end.”
      Yes, I’m deeply embarrassed. Where’s my red pen when I need it…

      • Cat says:

        For one thing, there’s been a 3.7% drop in FTE GPs between Sept 2015 and Sept 2019, while demand for GP appointments has risen, as anyone who’s tried to get a GP appointment in the last few years can attest.

        No need to apologise for attempting to imply I’m a xenophobe, with absolutely no cause, Dick.

      • Cat says:

        Now could you provide the stats and a source to prove your point that “there is no doctor shortage” please?

    • ChrisBCN says:

      Bazza, I note that Cat provided the statistics you asked for, and instead of responding to that you smear out playground insults. It’s not a bad thing to change your opinions when evidence is presented you know.

      • bazza says:

        Try to keep up Chris

        • Cat says:

          What time of day do you normally start drinking on a Tuesday?

          I’m assuming the semicoherent response from “Bazzag” is actually your response that you’re referring to (posted 14 hours after ChrisBCN replied, and he appears to be keeping up just fine).

      • Cat says:

        Thanks ChrisBCN

  • marcw says:

    IAG down 8%… Where are the “stock gurus” that predicted that IAG would bloom today after last Fridays announcement??

    • BJ says:

      Probably drowning their blooming sorrows if any were big enough to put their money where their mouth is.

    • AndyGWP says:

      First Group also down 8%, Carnival down 6% and Spoons down 6%

      There’s been a crumble across the board this afternoon since news of Boris’ announcement tonight taking place

      I don’t think it was hard to predict the impact of the announcement – or have I misunderstood?

    • mark says:

      Lol it was me ..I was the “stock guru”
      I have an average buy price of 1.14 and trade for a living.
      I’m up 24% on this trade, your point is ?

    • Mr. AC says:

      On that topic, does anyone know what date should we expect the Q4 2020 interim report from IAG? I have a feeling the numbers in there will be quite interesting.

    • Bazza says:

      It had already gone down on Friday – some people always know this stuff is coming. Stock gurus on here? Haha no chance!

  • Drennan Duplooy says:

    So – we have the same legal state of affairs for international travel now that Rob outlined in his last Tier 4 article , subject to specific wording TBC?

    • Grant says:

      I’ve not seen any sign of the new Regulations yet, only the guidance. As we’ve become accustomed too now, the two are often different!

      • Drennan Duplooy says:

        Yep – for sure!

      • Nick says:

        The ‘guidance’ as published tonight has nothing different from T4 for international travel. I’d be surprised if anything changed between now and Wednesday. So Rob is free to suggest ‘property viewings’ and running around wherever and whenever, and we’ll never get out of this mess. If we didn’t have buffoons in charge, lockdown might actually mean lockdown.

        • Cat says:

          King’s College hospital is now so utterly overwhelmed that they’re cancelling urgent priority 2 cancer surgeries, as they don’t have the capacity to perform them.

          Maybe “property viewings” could and should be postponed.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Because it’s property viewings in countries with a tenth of the rate that is causing this.

            Over 50% of the cases are the new “British” strain so it’s absolutely what’s going on in this country that’s causing it not elsewhere.

          • James Vickers says:

            The irony of travel is people are getting negative tests and then flying to a country where chances are they’re much safer.

            The cause of this latest lockdown is a bad combination of the new strain coinciding with the run up to Christmas when people were not socially distancing AT ALL whilst shopping.

          • Zoe says:

            Unfortunately its very difficult to persuade someone who is acting in a selfish way to start putting others before their own desires.

          • Algor says:

            Some people contacted virus and are immune, some already been vaccinated and their “property viewings” have only positive impact on the travel / hospitality industry.

            I’m off for a weekend on The Rock in 2 weeks, as a person who has COVID-19 antibodies I don’t feel even a bit guilty for doing so.

          • Cat says:

            Case in point, Zoe.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            @cat it’s simple if COVID-19 is such a big issue on flights coming in just mandate a pre departure LAMP test policed by the airlines.

          • Cat says:

            1 in 5 false negatives is not good enough.
            It’s simple @TGLoyalty – don’t get on a plane either going out or coming in, unless it is *actually* essential travel.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            It’s far better than catching nil and better than pcr testing someone 2-4 days before they depart. This will never go away. People will catch Covid 19 forever and a day.

            I’ll maintain that if travel was the single biggest cause of Covid in this country the government could easily mandate pre departure tests for those arriving.

          • mutley says:

            Absolutely, I am extremely grateful to the NHS, I had an urgent operation on 19th December ( 17 days from presenting at my local GP to hospital procedure) I doubt that would happen now. My heart goes out to those who need urgent operations that are being postponed due to Covid.

            Again I refer to the Sage advice to the smirking Etonian to lock down in October, which he characteristically ignored. This useless excuse for a man must be constantly reminded that when we sadly and inevitably hit 100000 deaths it was on his watch. Rant over!

          • Cat says:

            Mutley – thank goodness you had yours in time.

            Too many won’t – we’ve all had loved ones having emergency surgery over the years. I don’t understand how anyone can ignore this and continue breaking the rules, trying to justify why the restrictions don’t apply to them.

            Agree about the smirking Etonian, FWIW.

  • Kevin says:

    Got a Lloyd upgrade voucher to be used. If I use it to book a return flight LHR -KUL, would that possible to cancel the inbound ticket and get Avios refund if I would need to extend my stay beyond March. I can’t change date due to BA stop flying to KUL after March.

  • BuildBackBetter says:

    And they claim that the other side was misleading!

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