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The HfP chat thread – Thursday 14th 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 (328)

  • Sapiens says:

    Great Dubai write up yesterday.
    Rob I know you’re not too interested in it, but if you did a YouTube video of this trip (or HFP content in general) in the correct way, you could easily get millions of views. The YouTube revenue opportunity has completely changed over the last few years and people are now making a HUGE amount of money from content far worse than yours.

    • gareth says:

      To be fair I would watch YouTube videos done by Rob and team.

    • Mark says:

      To be honest the ad revenue isn’t that great.
      500k subs and above yes, anything under and its pretty poor compared to site based normal click through revenue.
      I imagine Rob gets more through clicks and ad revenue on his site, he also has much more control this way rather than handing power to the mighty Yotube gods and giving them the keys to his business.
      Who knows what the future will bring and what YouTube will decide for other people’s businesses.

    • Rhys says:

      The thing about Youtube is that is it VERY lucrative, but for very few people. The handful at the top cream of the lion’s share of the money.

      Plus making videos is extremely resource-intensive!

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Agree. It may have been nice to have a few short Instagram stories / reels though.

        • Rhys says:

          It’s crossed my mind, but haven’t been able to do much given the amount of travel!

          It also gets quite complex. Taking photos for Instagram AND an article is already time consuming – I effectively have to photograph everything twice for portrait and landscape. Adding video to that is another thing to do.

      • Aston100 says:

        Didn’t I see you chatting to Sam Chui on a new BA a350?
        That guy gets a shed load of views, but doesn’t seem to have impartial views.
        I think there is an opportunity out there for (mostly) unbiased reporting. Perhaps a fortnightly video?

        • Rob says:

          Sam doesn’t work for free. Many airlines pay him. One of our contacts was telling us what he had asked for to do a piece for them.

          (This is not unreasonable, by the way. Any long-haul trip he does is, by definition, at least a 5 day commitment. If I was doing that more than once or twice a year I would want paying too.)

    • Rob says:

      Anika was keen on videos so when she was in London we did them. Rhys prefers Instagram and Facebook Live so that’s where he focuses his energy.

      We never got paid 1p from the videos we put on YouTube because we don’t meet the threshold for getting paid. At the moment we only use it for uploading clips of the team on TV 🙂

      It is very rare that I do any coverage of family holidays because, well, its a holiday. (There are practical reasons too such as, as per the photos of the Burj, rooms are set up for rollaway beds, quickly get covered in clothes etc.) I made an exception here and will do one more review from the trip too.

    • Mr. AC says:

      It’s an illusion. There are already many, many established travel bloggers that are covering this market very nicely, including detailed video reviews of any hotel of note under the sun. You need to find a niche. If you do, yes, there’s much more money to be made now than it used to be – advertisers have come to the platform in force after YouTube built out a content rating / moderation system.

      By the way, HfP needs 1000 subscribers to start being paid for the videos (although judging by the number of views so far, it will be peanuts for now). So go subscribe! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyZAYpPQMMt6Gpf7zkLMJlA

  • Chris Heyes says:

    Sapiens OOOooo below the belt ” people are now making a HUGE amount of money from content far worse than yours.”

    • Andrew says:

      “Nowhere near as good as yours” might have been a better way to say it! Lol.

  • BJ says:

    Anybody know why BA have not yet scheduled any flights from BKK or HKG to LHR in 2022, and when they might do so?

    • Michael C says:

      Still early for schedule, BJ?
      FWIW Swiss in Aug. is GBP 320!

      • BJ says:

        Referring to T+355 Michael, SIN and HND have been loaded but as far as I can tell BKK and HKG are loaded only to 28/12 I think. We cannot go in August, we’d miss Indigo Bath … but thanks 🙂

        • Michael C says:

          Yeah, realistically we’re now onto winter plans, too…it’ll be all the sweeter when it comes around!

  • Tony says:

    Mandatory covid tests for incoming passengers to UK has been delayed until 18th Jan as per Grant Shapps. Apparently it’s to give incoming arrivals more time to prepare 🤨

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Not the fact that they still hadn’t released details of which tests would actually e accepted.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Only released last night!

        You will need to find a test provider. You must make sure that the test provider can meet the standards for pre-departure testing.

        The test must:

        meet performance standards of ≥97% specificity, ≥80% sensitivity at viral loads above 100,000 copies/ml
        this could include tests such as:
        a nucleic acid test, including a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or derivative technologies, including loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) tests
        an antigen test, such as a test from a lateral flow device
        It is your responsibility to ensure the test meets the minimum standards for sensitivity, specificity and viral load details so you must check with your test provider that it meets those standards.

        LAMP test is good. They can be taken closer to travel date and results in hours.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          And just in case you were worried your ministers might get stuck outside the uk

          Also, in limited circumstances:

          – foreign government officials
          – UK government officials conducting essential state business, essential government work or essential policing

          • Dr Lee says:

            Any idea how this is being legislated for? There’s no new statutory instrument that I can find.

          • kitten says:

            utterly, utterly predictable. And this government wonders why lack of respect

  • Harrier25 says:

    For those not seeing AMEX offers on their account, I wasn’t either on my free Rewards card which I linked to the same account as my Gold Rewards card, but by simply unlinking the card and then relinking it again to the same account yesterday seemed to work. Offers have started to appear this morning. Maybe this will work for others too.

    • Alex M says:

      How do you unlink the card? TIA.

      • Harrier25 says:

        Log in to your account via a laptop/desktop. Click on Account Management along the top, then Card Management on the left, then choose Remove a Card from Online Services and follow instructions from there. Log out and log back in again before readding the card. Follow same process except this time choose the option Add a Card to Online Services and follow instructions from there.

    • Maciek says:

      didn’t work for me 🙁

  • mr_jetlag says:

    Shapps is an utter blithering idiot. the point is to detect and stop any transmission of the new strains from Brazil and RSA, why would you give returnees five days’ notice to dodge the tests?!

    • Harrier25 says:

      Only shapps an utter blithering idiot?? We voted for a clown and ended up with a circus!!

      • RussellH says:

        You may have voted for a clown – I certainly did not.

        • Aston100 says:

          The problem is the lack of a good quality opposition to keep the govt on it’s toes.

          • Harrier25 says:

            Yes, I agree. We only had the option of a clown or a pantomime villan to vote for back in December 2019.

    • Andrew says:

      Apparently an announcement about a potential travel ban from Brazil coming today.

      • Grant says:

        Isn’t there already effectively a travel ban from Brazil put in place by the Brazilian Government to stop a potential inflow of cases from the UK?

    • mr_jetlag says:

      that was in response to tony: “Mandatory covid tests for incoming passengers to UK has been delayed until 18th Jan as per Grant Shapps.”

      • TGLoyalty says:

        You have to give notice. You can’t expect someone with a flight today to have already got a test which takes 3 days.

        The idiots problem was his department didn’t publish what tests/standards until about 11pm last night.

  • Wally1976 says:

    I’ve seen some very cheap Ryanair flights to Corfu around Easter and getting tempted to make a booking. Only thing is that although Ryanair allow you to rebook up to 30/9/21 for free if necessary (just paying the fair difference), I can’t see us having an opportunity to do so as we’re very limited on dates we’re available.

    So I reckon if we weren’t able to go we’d take a £400+ loss (as a family) which I’m not really comfortable with. What are people’s thoughts on the likelihood of a trip to CFU going ahead at Easter time? They ARE on the travel corridors list at the current time which is what prompted me to look.

    • Sandgrounder says:

      My 2 cents is that Easter is quite a big risk if you will lose the cash if you can’t go. My gut feeling is that with the vaccination programme reducing cases hospitalizations and deaths we will probably be able to leave the UK, however the EU/Shengen didn’t lift the external travel ban right through the year except for a handful of countries with very low levels of virus. I can’t see us getting to that point by Easter. You/your spouse may have a second nationality which will allow you to travel regardless, if not there is a big chance you won’t be able to go. My guess is as good as anyone else’s though of course!

      • xcalx says:

        I had 3 cruises in April cancelled yesterday. I will not be going for a plan B for this Easter.

      • The real John says:

        Greece seems to currently allow UK residents to enter even though we can’t go to other Schengen countries.

    • memesweeper says:

      Highly risky. If you’re not comfortable with a £400 loss book with an airline that gives some sort of flexibility as an option.

    • Andrew says:

      Very very unlikely anything will have changed by Easter – I wouldn’t be booking anything before May, possibly June.

      • ChrisW says:

        Yeah I don’t think much will have improved with European travel by Easter. My guess is that Easter will mark the end of the current lockdown in the UK, with visiting other people’s houses allowed (to make up for Christmas) and then in April the gradual reopening of pubs, restaurants, gyms, beauty/hair, cinemas etc.

        The problem is I think the more people the UK vaccinate, the more countries will only allow British travellers who have been vaccinated. If you’re a low risk group like me, you probably won’t be vaccinated until July at least. Very frustrating but I’m prepared for another several months of grief for hopefully a good late summer/spring.

        • Nick says:

          Other countries won’t put a restriction on unvaccinated people until it’s proved that vaccinating prevents transmission. As ever, the restrictions aren’t about protecting an individual, they’re about protecting everyone else.

          • Alan says:

            If the vaccine doesn’t prevent transmission most other countries won’t care whether or not you have been vaccinated. It will be the status of their own people that decides when they reopen.

    • Alex says:

      I have flights to Corfu to see gf parents for 26th April – booked with 50% avios to allow cheap cancellation if any issues. Corfu currently has very slow cases and due to direct flights to the island(missing out mainland Greece) I think travel will be likely. The likelihood of not going is more dependant on UK travel rights than Greek in my opinion

      • ankomonkey says:

        Current Greek rules would require people arriving from the UK to have 2 or 3 tests and to quarantine upon arrival regardless of test results. Hopefully things will get less restrictive rather than more restrictive, but it’s not yet an unrestricted entry.

  • wobblywings says:

    Like many others I have a bunch of Hertz points expiring due to lack of activity. I read on FT that some 5*/PC customers have recently received an email saying the points won’t expiry due to Covid. I read on FT that others had their accounts zeroed already (ouch!). Is anyone else in the UK in the same predicament. Does anyone have more details or the original announcement? Does it apply to UK customers too or only US? I can try and do a 24/7 rental but time is short and would need to physically get to the location which is not great given the lockdown. Thanks!

    • EwanG says:

      My points booking, which I later cancelled, seems to have reset the expiry of my points. I know that others on here say that should not be the case.

      Currently 13 months since my last rental with Hertz, during which time I would have normally rented a couple of times, my next scheduled rental with them is September which will be 21 months vs 18 month expiry (and have not had any correspondence about expiry extensions)

    • graham says:

      I am in the same position and contacted Hertz to be told that the UK where not extending any points and they cannot be transferred to hotels or airlines either so will be lost. What great customer service!

      • EwanG says:

        A low cost solution for you both (if you are not prepared to take the risk of a redemption/cancel combo) is to do a booking on Hertz+ for an activity, and get points on that. Mind you good luck finding an activity you can book due to lockdown!!

        • EwanG says:

          For $6 and the grand sum of 2 Hertz points, this instant e-ticket could be the activity equivalent of a mattress run!
          “Harry Potter’s Edinburgh: Explore the magic of the city on an audio walking tour”
          NB it says points will be credited within 4 weeks of your experience

    • thehornets says:

      I am sure I read recently that they will be extendede to year-end – no email though

    • GeorgeJ says:

      Just book a car for the day using points, that extends the points for another 18 months. Did that in the autumn as i had the same issue as you.

      • wobblywings says:

        Might do that – alternatively I see a 1hr 24/7 rental can be as little as 7 pounds. Does anyone know whether points post promptly?

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