Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Sunday 24th 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 (244)

  • 747_Brat says:

    To make a claim on the travel insurance that come with the HSBC Premier Current account, does the transaction needs to be charged to the Premier Debit/Credit card?

    I believe Amex has this requirement so just wanted to make sure I have all bases covered before I buy tickets for our next holiday.

  • Ian M says:

    The plans for hotel quarantine for people entering the UK seem to be getting more serious.

    “The hope is that the current numbers of arrivals (around 10,000 a day) will slow to a trickle of several thousand visitors a day once the measures are adopted.”

    Goodbye airline industry..

    • BS says:

      It really isn’t practical to have multiple flights in the middle of an epidemic. Most people *really* don’t need to travel. It is the people who are travelling at the moment when they don’t need to that are forcing this.

    • BS says:

      And I see from the article around 5% of people are not completing either the passenger locator form or have a PCR test. Around 250 of the 5,000 checked got fined £500. They are checking 50% of the 10,000 arrivals. Airlines are getting fined £2000 for each of these passengers.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      The hope?

      This isn’t Australia…if the c3.5k truckers that cross the border a day are going to be exempt what exactly is the point?

      • The real John says:

        Tell that to Priti Patel

      • Ian M says:

        Exactly. Its all bonkers. They’re drunk on authoritarianism

      • Erico1875 says:

        The truckers are most likely in their cabs

        • The real John says:

          Can staying in their cab for their entire time in the UK be enforced?

          • Paul pogba says:

            They will only have a limited amount of contact with others and even then it will mainly be in airy or open warehouses and loading bays. They sleep in their cabs and could be tested in both directions.

          • tom1 says:

            It’s interesting that Singapore, who have been very strict on entry to the country by air, have only just recently started testing daily truck drivers coming over the border from Malaysia.

      • Colin MacKinnon says:

        There seems to be a lot of concern about the SA and Brazil variant.
        Maybe just hotel isolating those who’ve been in Brazil or SA in the past few weeks?
        Would all be a big late with people simply transitting via Doha and Madrid etc!

        • Doug M says:

          Or those that have met those that have been in SA or Brazil. Or those that have met those that have met those that have been in …………..

          • Colin MacKinnon says:

            Like the way you are thinking!

            I drank some South African wine last night, do you think I should self-isolate 😉

      • Callum says:

        The point, as I’m sure I must have told you multiple times before, is that something is better than nothing. Not that a trucker behaves in remotely the same way as a tourist/visitor to make the comparison valid.

        I know you have an agenda which is warping your beliefs, but it’s always bizarre seeing otherwise intelligent people say things like “what’s the point in doing anything at all to stop the spread if it’s not perfect?”.

        • Si says:

          As a trucker who can spend days if not weeks in europe at a time, and also has European truckers regularly stopping at our yard by Heathrow T5, I confirm they are very low risk compared to other “foreign” visitors.

          They spend 99% of their time in their cabs (inc sleeping) either by themselves or in their crews and where possible are completely self-sufficient with cooking etc. They will come into contact with various people on Eurotunnel/Ferry and at probably multiple drop-off/pick-up locations, but this number is likely to be far, far less than the number of people you have close proximity to when you go to supermarket…

          All they want to do it is get their jobs done and get home while spending the least amount of money possible e.g. cooking in their cabs rather than restaurants etc. All very low risk.

          Anyway, since Brexit, there’s far less lorries here at mo

        • Rob says:

          Except it’s not, is it? We could also stop all non-Covid NHS work, close all takeaways, ban cargo flights into the U.K. etc. None of this actually justifies the 0.0001% reduction in cases that would ensue.

          • Mco says:

            Well said.

          • maccymac says:

            It’s not about reducing the overall reduction in cases, it’s about stopping the community transmission of new variants that the vaccines are not effective against.

            New Zealand closed their borders at the beginning of the pandemic when they detected 102 cases. Their swift action meant that they prevented community transmission and were able to come out of lockdown and sustain a relatively normal domestic economy, schooling and their healthcare system could focus on non-covid work.

            There is increasing concern that the SA variant will render vaccines useless. The time taken to redevelop new vaccines, manufacture them and deploy them to the whole population again will allow plenty of time for these new variants to take hold and we will be back at square one, into lockdown and lurching from one crisis to another.

            We have detected 77 cases so far so the time is now to minimise its entry to the UK. Our feeble tracing system can only monitor so much.

            How successful a mandated 10 day hotel quarantine (probably poorly enforced) remains to be seen.

            Also FYI, stopping all non-Covid NHS work does not reduce cases. It just treats those already suffering from the disease who need it.

        • Matt says:

          Pretty much all that has been done to combat Covid, with the exception of vaccination (hopefully!), has been of the “something must be done” type, with no attention to whether it has any positive effects or to whether those positive effects outweigh the costs.
          Something is not necessarily better than nothing, especially when it comes with significant costs. The only government intervention so far with a clear and measurable effect has been moving people out of hospitals into nursing homes to “protect the NHS” – that something cost thousands of lives.

          • kitten says:

            they should be hanged for that incompetence.

            Oh wait…let’s distribute our patients with salmonella, amongst those who are particularly likely to suffer if they come into contact with salmonella….without testing who we’re sending. Genius. That’s what the NHS overpaid over-numerous “decisionmakers” did.

      • Track says:

        The drivers might be exempt on UK side, but they are not exempt on French side (to enter France they need a recent test) — so they will get tested with some frequency.

    • Mouse says:

      Might make sense when you have zero community transmission, but when you have 1 in 50 of the population going around with covid this becomes nothin more than a political gesture.

      • meta says:

        The Independent quotes Hancock that « some » travellers will be put in quarantine hotels. Here we go again, regulation with myriad of exemptions which no one understands, including those who are supposed to enforce it.

      • Callum says:

        So it won’t be an issue if that increases to 1 in 40? Or if new strains are brought in that are more infectious, more deadly or maybe even immune to the vaccines?

        Numbers are currently falling, at what percentage do you deem it ok to have these restrictions? Or are you then going to turn around and claim it’s not a big problem anymore and we shouldn’t be inhibiting the economy?

        • Mouse says:

          You need to balance the degree of personal inconvenience and economic harm with the gain in terms of reduction in rate – hotel quarantine is high damage for low gain. The other variants will inevitable enter the country, there’s little we can do about that.

    • BP says:

      Surely it will take many weeks if not months to implement this? With the number of international airports, ferry ports, Eurotunnel… it starts to become a significant excercise to organise and enforce this UK wide.

      • The real John says:

        The most generous interpretation would be that they are hoping cases will be very low thus might actually be worthwhile to implement enforced quarantine, by May or June, and are planning for it to take this long to sort out the logistics…

        • Pete says:

          I could sort of see the logic here!

          • Blenz101 says:

            I had just thought it was just constant noise to try and stop the continuing personal travel from the UK which is creating so much noise. Hoping that the threat of enforced quarantine would be enough to put people off travelling whilst they cross their fingers the results of the vaccination programme will begin to show positive results.

            It would be far better to limit arrivals from jurisdictions considered a higher risk based on some actual evidence. How had would it have been to have some testing on arrival for statistical purposes by now?

            Can’t believe EK need to send 2 x A380s and a 777 (on top of the BA service) tomorrow to Dubai from LHR to cover the number of people who would be legally allowed to travel. And yes, cargo, but they have SkyCargo if there genuinely wasn’t the demand.

            SE Asia has similar volumes of movement but they tend not to splash it on Instagram creating content for the Daily Mail.

  • Louie says:

    Are Virgin credit card upgrade etc vouchers book by or fly by their expiry dates?

  • mark2 says:

    My first statement credit for the Platinum £175 offer at Waitrose has arrived.

  • Chelseafi says:

    Do you think BA will extend their Book with Confidence, beyond travel completed by end of Aug?

    • Andrew says:

      Undoubtedly. We’ll see end of 2021 as the next extension. Bookings must have dried up to absolute zero now, so they need to do all they can to even encourage speculative autumn bookings.

      • Anna says:

        Hopefully this will apply to FTVs as well; for those containing avios as well as cash there’s not much award availability for December and January with people obviously making speculative bookings for next winter!

  • kitten says:

    Sunil did you a reply yesterday Page 3.Strongly suggest you claim for the simpler case base, i.e. just a refund of the original ticket, as much simpler case so easier to win.

    • Sunil says:

      Hi Kitten, thanks for bringing your detailed response to my attention, really appreciate it. I agree if doing MCOL need to keep it simple and not over complicate it

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    Can people transit in Dublin? Just wondering because I thought there was a ban on entering Ireland. I see today that there are still flights from Edinburgh and Glasgow to Dublin, but KLM have now stopped their Amsterdam flights for the first time in this pandemic – presumably due to the new rules in the Netherlands.
    So wondering who is filling three or four flights a day from central Scotland to Dublin?

    • Andrew says:

      Royal Mail?


      Human Tissue?

      There’s a lot of time sensitive stuff moved around, the actual live passengers are just a bonus.

  • Doug M says:

    Since there’s been mention upthread of HSBC I’ll throw in that after upgrading the OS of my Samsung yesterday the HSBC app no longer works 🙁 I believe to login via web I need the app to generate a code so not ideal.

    • mark2 says:

      I switched a current account to HSBC to get £175. I have found it to be a nightmare starting with the transfer and am waiting for chance to move it again (I foolishly moved another nomadic account to Virgin for the wine),

    • Mark says:

      Yes this is a known issue along with trying to move the app to a new phone. No sign of a fix yet, but in both cases if you call them they can get you back up and running in about 5 minutes. Basically they will email / text you a new code to get the app back up and running. Not ideal, bit overly complicated but better that than something that can be manipulated / hacked too.

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