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The HfP chat thread – Friday 19th February

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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 (290)

  • marcw says:

    United plans to be a player in the BOS-London market battleground.

    United Announces Plans to Begin New Daily Nonstop Service Between Boston Logan and London Heathrow

    United plans to operate its premium Boeing 767-300ER aircraft on the route, with 46 United Polaris Business Class and 22 United Premium Plus seats.

    Boston will be United’s 19th daily flight between the United States and London Heathrow

    We will continue to monitor the demand recovery and travel restrictions as we finalize a start date for this service later in 2021

    hub.united.com/2021-02-19-united-announces-plans-to-begin-new-daily-nonstop-service-between-boston-logan-and-london-heathrow-2650621690.html

    • Rhys says:

      yep, already written it up 🙂

    • Andrew says:

      Oh, that’s good.

      Not sure about the front of the plane, but I’ve found that United is a considerably better experience than BA when sitting at the back.

      Hopefully they will be ready to fly to EDI again too.

      • bafan says:

        Agreed. United at least provide a decent amount of food and a comfy seat. BA, particularly returning from the U.S., is dire.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Am waiting for JetBlue to start flying to UK. Good that I can credit the miles to American now.

  • YC says:

    Rob/Rhys – Where and when are you planning your trips this year? Seemed to have timed your holidays pretty well last year 🙂

    • Rhys says:

      I’m very tempted to book a different European city break every fortnight for this summer. Some won’t be possible (and I’ll just claim a voucher) but at least some are likely to be open to travel!

      • YC says:

        Good idea may start booking cheap BA flights as options. But the amount of flights cancelled and I’ve not FTV’ed has built up considerably. I suppose its weighing up cheaper flights (risk of more FTV) vs waiting for more certainty (more expensive)

      • Michael C says:

        Yes, I’ve done this with Nice for early June – too early? But cost next to nothing, so voucher fine.
        Also looking at NYC for long w/end in Oct. – maybe as a BA holiday so as not to shell out cash.

      • Lord Doncaster says:

        On your own?

      • QFFlyer says:

        That’s basically my attitude (but within Austrlalia) – throw enough darts and some will stick. I’m seeing a lot more of the country now that I’m forced to stay within its borders haha.

    • Rob says:

      We have nothing in the diary beyond the rearranged California Easter road trip, which looks 99% certain to be rearranged again into 2021.

      I will play it by ear. Tempted to do a family trip to Israel if it opens up early, as is likely due to vaccination progress, so could be a May half term option. We usually do something in Europe in the Summer so that can be a short notice booking. I would still like to do Oman in October (was planned for 2020) but now BA has dropped it we will need to be creative on routings.

      • Russ says:

        May see you in Oman then. We’re down for KWI, QTR, MCT, DXB over six months starting October. We won’t return if there’s even the hint of another lockdown. If so, we’re setting up camp in the Al Bustan palace with all the money the Mrs hasn’t been able to spend since last March 🙂

        • Graeme says:

          My wife’s father used to play Santa for the Al Bustan when there training their Air Force. Driven around in a Ferrari. Some place and on the bucket list!!

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Must be one large war chest!

          Al Bustan is lovely but hammers the pocket!

  • 747_Brat says:

    GBP/USD climbs above $1.40 for the first time since April 2018. It is the strongest the Sterling has ever been against the Dollar in last 2 years. If you looking to purchase USD for future travel, now is the time!

    • Kevin says:

      Purchase online and get delivery ?

      • 747_Brat says:

        You could do that Kevin. I suggest you check MSE’s Travel Money portal to find the providers with the best rates:

        https://travelmoney.moneysavingexpert.com/

      • YC says:

        Just change in revolut

        • Andy says:

          How does that work? You just set up a balance in revolut of a diff currency e.g. Yen, Dollar? then withdraw it at the cashpoint in that country with no exchange charge?

          Seems a half decent way of locking money in although I guess it depends on whether Revolut change polices/go bust etc

          • YC says:

            Yup there are limits to cash withdrawals based on your status. But I would just spend abroad with revolut and money gets deducted in that currency wallet. You are locked in at 1.40. Just saw they now have a £1,000/month fx exchange which is not great

          • 747_Brat says:

            I would be very cautious in locking my money with Revolut. They can shut your account and make you wait forever to receive your money!

          • Track says:

            Revolut rate no longer spot. Have to check if high street bank gives you better (Welcome Sainsburys).

            New charges for bank transfers from Revolut.

            1000/month limit.

            Semi-annual KYC reviews.

        • Lady London says:

          Rev charges now outside SEPA and someone said even in week now their rate needs comparing

        • Kevin says:

          Revolut is making a significant changes and implement various charges, need double check

          • Track says:

            See the list above, plus

            App interface destroyed. They should had a separate platform for investments.

    • Sean says:

      Or wait a little longer as some analysts are predicting $1.50 by the year end

      • mr_jetlag says:

        Consensus is 1.37-1.45 for the year, could be above that for a while but not significantly unless USD monetary policy changes (money printer go brrrr)

    • BJ says:

      No chance, there is a trade deal, or at least there will be talk of one, coming that will boost Sterling further.

    • mutley says:

      I was casting around for opinion on whether the pound would hit $1.45 this year on HFP early in January, If so, I will be quids in, I actually think now that $1.50 is on the cards by September though.

  • ken says:

    Obituary of Arne M. Sorenson Chief Executive Officer of Marriott in The Times today.

    Seemed very decent person.

  • David Statham says:

    Hi – what’s the phone number for Cash Refunds for BA cancelled flights please ? I’ve tried the publicised 0800 727 800 and it says its an invalid number. Thx

    • Ja says:

      I rang 0800 123111 Tuesday evening. They said refund would take about 10 days and it was back on my credit card yesterday (Thursday). Less than 48 hours

  • LaserBeams says:

    Advice sought please: I booked a ticket to Las Vegas during the 50% Avios sale a few months ago for travel in April. As it looks unlikely that travel will be allowed (or enjoyable) by then, if I cancel the ticket and take a voucher, can I assume that flights will be rebookable to Las Vegas whenever Avios seats are available despite the fact that it was bought in the 50% off sale? Or will the voucher only be worth the reduced amount of Avios? Thanks!

    • Optimus Prime says:

      It’ll only be worth the reduced amount of Avios.

    • mr_jetlag says:

      wait until BA cancel, if by say 3 days before they haven’t cancelled just take a voucher. If they cancel you can rebook to any day with cash availability.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      As per above It’s only worth what you paid it didn’t freeze the flights to be rebooked

      Prey they are cancelled so you can move them if not you can take a voucher right up to check in closing.

  • Harpo says:

    I’ve not been a major gamer with Curve and not especially looking for coded words of wisdom re regular MS, but I do have an uncharacteristic cash spend to make next week. Question – what (if any these days) underlying CC (WTP+, IHG, Virgin, CapOT) won’t land me a cash advance fee on my Curve Metal? Cheers

    • Alex D says:

      on curve metal you can withdraw up to £600/month without a fee. i personally use IHG without issue but i think they should all be fine as with metal it will have “fronted” on

    • mark2 says:

      I suggest tht you have more to worry about with Curve freezing your account if for a large amount.

    • Magic Mike says:

      Beardy for cash withdrawals.

  • BuildBackBetter says:

    Rob, the link to FT weekend you posted couple of weeks has expired. Should’ve signed up then, missed the offer!

    • Rob says:

      Yes, it’s gone.

      However … if you do the ‘standard’ FT Weekend offer, there is a quarterly option for £44. This is not mentioned on the sign-up page but when you work through the process you are offered a quarterly option. This triggers the £25 so you can still get 13 weeks for £19 net.

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