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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 (331)

  • mr_jetlag says:

    nothing is certain, but it’s very likely the UK will still be in lockdown by Easter. We are booked to be in Tokyo for two weeks so I’m not happy about it myself! Travel corridors are meaningless am afraid if the other end lock their doors…

    • mr_jetlag says:

      Rob or Rhys, my replies to comments (the above was to Wally1976) don’t seem to be threading properly if someone adds a new comment in the interim. Not sure if this is a known bug. Bring on the forums please 🙂

      • The real John says:

        Replies often show up as as top-level when I use my phone, but ok on desktop (fingers crossed for this one)

        • kitten says:

          phone is a mess.
          I think it’s got some sort of timeout issue. Old website no issues in accurate threading, although new website far better optically arranged

    • Mike says:

      I am in the same boat I have the same issue on a companion voucher which probably wont have its expiry date extended again 🙁

  • Lumma says:

    How soon does the yearly fee hit the premium IHG card after receiving the free night?

    • jil says:

      in my case the fee appears before the free night, by a week or so

      • Lumma says:

        Interesting. The night is there but no charge yet. I guess it will appear when my bill is produced which is usually the 14th. I just worry as they only gave me a low credit limit (despite having £6k on the free card) and Creation just flat refuse to refund any overlimit fees.

  • Dave says:

    Anyone got a BA number that would get me through to Newcastle rather India? Or is one time better than another to phone the general number to get through to them?
    I’m being given the run around by the India call centre despite asking them to do something pretty simple that I’ve done a few times before. I’m getting nowhere despite HUACA a couple of times. Currently been on the phone on and off since 8am!

  • Doog1000 says:

    Hi Ryanair refund question here – Ryanair cancelled a flight of mine last June and I requested a refund rather than a voucher
    eventually in November I received an email from them offering a voucher but saying I would get a refund eventually so taking it was optional
    Still no refund forthcoming and I was about to book a flight this summer so clicked on accepting the voucher – however no voucher has arrived – any ideas how long these vouchers take to arrive – tried calling Ryanair but there telephone number never connects

    • Pete M says:

      Web chat is your best bet – once you get past the bot they are actually fairly helpful.

    • Alex J says:

      I had a couple of Ryanair flights cancelled back in Sep/Oct. I took the voucher once and the refund for the other one.
      On the cancellation email itself, there was a voucher code already. All I had to do is to click on the very big “Accept voucher” button, and I was good to go, it was usable immediately.
      The “Request refund” very small print link was on the same email. I took about 10 days to get the money reimbursed. I don’t recall if the email said what would have happened if I hadn’t clicked on either link.
      All in all, as much as it shocks me to say this from Ryanair, it’s been the most painless refund I’ve ever got!

      From your experience it could be that back in June their IT wasn’t as smooth though, so maybe at their end they didn’t generate or send you the email.

  • Anna says:

    Has anyone stayed at the Habtoor Palace Dubai? Cash rates for April are looking very reasonable. I know it’s away from the main tourist zone but that might actually be an advantage if Easter is going to be really busy.

    • Andrew says:

      I’m not sure Easter is going to be anything for us other than sitting at home 🙁

      • ChrisW says:

        I think household mixing allowed in the UK is a realistic hope to make up for Christmas being cancelled. All high risk + over 70s should be vaccinated by then.

    • MinR says:

      Haven’t stayed there personally, but I have friends who have and they were very pleased.

      Iirc, the Habtoor Palace Dubai was formerly the St. Regis Dubai until the Habtoor city hotels moved from Marriott (SPG) to Hilton.

      • Rob says:

        Correct. I went to a private Jamie Cullum gig there on an SPG offer when it opened. Very opulent interiors (to St Regis specs) BUT the hotel is directly next to Sheikh Zayed Road which is 14 lanes! Not the view you want and the air quality must be terrible.

        Location oddly isn’t bad to the extent you are in the middle of the city. No beach though, no walkable shopping, nothing. Everything requires a taxi albeit the same is true for most Dubai hotels.

        If it’s cheap then, for the build quality, you will get a deal. Taxis are so cheap you’re not adding much to your stay.

        • Anna says:

          The website says there’s a free shuttle to the WA on The Palm to use the beach and facilities there.

          • Rob says:

            I’d take a taxi – its £10 and more pleasant – but not a bad option.

          • NC says:

            When you get there they’ll tell you their website needs updating and that the shuttle is to the Habtoor Grand instead. We complained and they took us to the WA Palm in a Bentley for the day which was nice. But all in all a very odd hotel. High spec hard product – service needs improving. It has its own pool but the one in the Westin next door (to which you can walk from the Habtoor pool) is better. And of course the “V” hotel is next door which used to be the W and then had the most comical rebrand ever. At breakfast the crockery still has the St Regis logo on it…

    • Tarmohamed says:

      With a car, I’ll stay anywhere along SZR.

  • ankomonkey says:

    @RussellH, as you stated, my missing December Marriott Creation have posted in the last 24 hours.

    • RussellH says:

      Yes, I saw mine too last night.
      They may have arrived earlier than that, but on Wednesdays I am unable to look at anything online other than work until quite late in the day. I did not get a chance to check HfP until after tea, by which time most contributors have gone home.

  • GraeM says:

    Regarding vaccinations and entry restrictions abroad, does anyone think a vaccination “passport” or Govt card confirming vaccination will come? I predicted back in March that this would lead to people needing to prove vaccination in order to travel in future and I’ve not altered that belief.

    • Rob says:

      I think some countries will insist that you take a (paid) test to confirm that you have been vaccinated (ie a test which checks for the antibody). The Government will not provide certificates.

      • Andrew says:

        Agreed. We won’t be given certificates of vaccination – so will be an antibody test that’s required for some countries for the next few years until the virus becomes rare.

        • Claire says:

          You do get a card confirming your vaccine dates. I’m nhs staff and have had both vaccines so now carry it around with me, joked it was my covid passport

      • Andy says:

        But how would they work for the millions of people who have children under 18 who are unlikely to be vaccinated for a long time if at all? Will they just say no families can come in? If so then that would hit the tourist market for a lot of countries.s

        • Rob says:

          No-one demands PCR tests for children under 11 so I would imagine no-one would demand antibody tests for children under 18.

      • GraeM says:

        In which case they are going to have to develop a cheaper, quicker and more widely available test otherwise the travel market will not recover. Some form of Govt confirmation of vaccination would be much easier all round. If the destination country is also well advanced with vaccination, and the virus surpressed (likely come June) then are tests really required?

    • marcw says:

      No. Covid-19 is a global disease, not endemic to specific countries or region.

    • Anna says:

      There has been some talk in the media of an app being developed where you can upload your vaccination details.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Vaccines ministers confirmed yesterday that the UK gov will not be issuing passports or certificates under any circumstances in the UK as they discriminatory.

      Probably means it will be introduced in 3-6 months ….

      • kitten says:

        discriminatory? how so?

        • TGLoyalty says:

          His words not mine but he mentioned because its completely voluntary but more importantly

          1) Not being given to u18’s yet
          2) still caution around pregnancy
          3) anyone allergic to the ingredients
          4) probably others I don’t know every reason why someone can’t have the vaccine

          But what are you trying to prove with a certificate other than you will not suffer a severe version of the disease? Will you therefore only ban the over 50’s without a vaccine as the % of under 50’s suffering severe effects of the disease are highly unlikely to overwhelm any good health service.

          If the anti-bodies approach was going to be employed why hasn’t that happened already? Because people still suffer mild symptoms with the anti bodies and they can still pass it on to those that can pass it on to the vulnerable who will suffer severe disease.

          The virus will continue to evolve over time like the other common colds and flus we see today. This won’t be a two shot fix to the world forever.

      • John says:

        And there’s no need if you had the virus already. Most likely the test on antibodies would be the same. A test that is considered invalid by everywhere right now?

        Some countries consider “convalescents” on the same lines as vaccinated persons.

  • Yolo says:

    I think it will depend on where you’re going to. If your destination country hasn’t vaccinated its population yet, they’ll need you to take a test because you can still carry the virus even if you had the vaccine.

    • Den says:

      I agree – thats the problem, you may be vaccinated but you may be tested and be positive! So why have the risk of say going to the Caribbean for a week and being in your room for the duration. Also will you then be allowed to fly home? It really is a minefield of possible scenarios!

      • Anna says:

        This is my thinking, travel is going to depend on the population having been vaccinated in the destination country, plus a negative test for the traveller. Getting vaccinated yourself won’t actually help from the pespective of actually getting somewhere because you still pose a risk to others as per the current wisdom.

        • ChrisW says:

          I think a requirement for a negative test to enter most countries will be around for a long time to come.

        • Anna says:

          Also if countries insist on visitors being vaccinated they are effectively shutting themselves out of the family holiday market.

        • memesweeper says:

          +1

          it’s the level of vaccination at the destination that will matter

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