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The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 14th April

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We are running this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Comments (338)

  • Clive says:

    Morning, does anyone have experience on the VS+ CC how quickly the voucher posts after hitting the spend threshold?

    • mr_jetlag says:

      Use the Virgin Red app, it tells you within a couple of days of the spend.

    • Jonathan says:

      Does anyone know if they’ll be looking at putting a spend tracking in their app like Amex has ?

      The only way of tracking a spend within the last year is by going through all card statements in the year so far, and toting up the total spend on the card, which is hardly an ideal way of doing so when you’ve got to spend £10k/£20k in a year to get a special reward

      • Alex says:

        Yeah I cannot wait for them to add this, much needed!
        A faster route than this though is if you call virgin they can tell you you’re “total spend to date” for the year so you know how far/close you are to the 10/20K spend

    • Matthew says:

      Mine hasn’t. And been chasing them for 4 weeks. Should have been credited in December

  • KBuffett says:

    I recall reading some comments on here at the start of the pandemic about how there would likely be a sea change in hygiene standards and reassurance at places like transportation, hotels, retail, restaurants etc. In reality, it looks like very little has changed.

    My local Morrison’s (where I only shopped to abuse the AmEx offers) has no restrictions on the number of people in the store, no attempt to help with distancing etc.

    All coffee shops are happy to use their bare hands to put on the lids on coffee cups.

    Hotels I’ve stayed in have no outwardly verifiable or observable cleaning regimes, no real attempt of reassurance either.

    I had my haircut yesterday at my usual small barbers, no staff were wearing masks. It’s a tiny place and no attempt to restrict the number of people inside and no ventilation!

    Whilst I am not suggesting that things haven’t changed, I’ve definitely notified that there’s very little verifiable hygiene (like tamper / safety seals) or attempts at reassurance.

    I haven’t flown since all this started, but previously I used to wipe down most surfaces myself and the wipes would almost certainly become brown and the head rest covers where often greasy rather than pristine white.

    As a first world country, hygiene is often lacking in key public places, especially toilets at airports, coffee shops, restaurants etc. Often, third world countries at better as they employ attendants!

    Just some rambling thoughts from me.

    • Richster says:

      Totally agree. there needs to be a well designed media campaign to highlight this kind of poor standards so that the ‘unwashed masses’ are educated in how to correct this. Given that enhanced hygiene standard will also help reduce colds and the flu, surely everybody would be happier if they didn’t get these infections?
      Also, ‘the masses’ complain about how long these lockdowns and restrictions etc are lasting… but it’s because of the lack of media education that this goes on and on. Come on Mass Media, educate the people and lets get out of this sooner!

      • TGLoyalty says:

        It’s quite clear They’d rather whip up fear than education.

        • Jayne says:

          You’ve been listening to Karol Sikora and that renowned epidemiologist, Denise Welsh again, haven’t you?

          • TGLoyalty says:

            I honestly have 0 idea what you are on about.

          • mvcvz says:

            Are they Teletubbies characters? Might as well be for the majority of people here who have never heard of them.

          • Jayne says:

            Really TGL, he’s the outlier scientist who downplays everything covid related and mixes with the element of ‘celebrity’culture that thinks because they seen something on Facebook they know the science better than actual scientists, or just believe to virus doesn’t exist. Your social media account suggests you very much know our Karol.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            looks like I have a stalker … the internet is a massive place and just because you like one fb post, instagram picture or tweet doesn’t mean you know who they are and/or read everything they say.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Also a differing views to your own doesn’t mean they are all wrong.

            Sometimes you have to read the views of those you don’t agree with otherwise you living quite a narrow minded existence.

          • Jayne says:

            Right, so you do know who we’re talking about then… cause you said you didn’t. Also, interesting you covered three sm options there, I was only aware of one and that is because we follow some of the same people/companies and I’ve seen you post. As for “liking just one post”, ROTFL.
            And if you put yourself out there in the public domain, don’t be surprised if you’re noticed.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            I still have no idea but you mentioned social media 🤷🏽‍♂️

            Say hello if you look. No need to be shy.

    • AJA says:

      I can’t comment on barbers or coffee shops as I haven’t stepped in either for over 5 years (bought Philips hair clippers and my OH cuts my hair, buy Lavazza ground coffee in Waitrose or Sainsbury’s and make a flask every morning) but all of the shops I’ve been in have controlled the numbers, have sanitising stations everywhere and where they do still serve you have been wearing gloves or wash their hands before serving. Not flown since Feb 2020 so can’t comment on aircraft or hotels either except to say I always used to wipe surfaces on-board and also confirm that the wetwipe was filthy afterwards.

    • KP says:

      +1

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Fomite transmission is highly unlikely in the real world. Most of the methods being employed to combat it won’t actually clean the surfaces because they are using anti viral sprays or UV light and hand you a wipe to clean the surfaces around you for them.

      Tight confined places with no ventilation are a worry and you should really call the place out and vote with your feet if they don’t listen.

    • Optimus Prime says:

      +1

      Also when using the office toilets, I see A LOT of men who go back to their desks without washing their hands!! 🤮

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Hasnt research shown that virus doesnt spread from touching surfaces?

      • Jayne says:

        Is this a joke?

        • Matty says:

          ‘Covid-19 rarely spreads through surfaces’:
          https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00251-4

          • Jayne says:

            Thanks, I took this from the article:
            The WHO updated its guidance on 20 October, saying that the virus can spread “after infected people sneeze, cough on, or touch surfaces, or objects, such as tables, doorknobs and handrails”.

          • Rhys says:

            On the surface, “can” and “rarely” mean the same thing. The difference is likelihood.

          • Jayne says:

            So, you don’t bother washing your hands after being out or before eating then, after ouching handrails, handles, going shopping etc etc?
            Rather you than me.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            What’s washing your hands when you get home/before you eat got to do with understanding that COVID spreads very rarely from fomite transmission?

            I did and still do the former because I like to wash away the dirt/grime etc I’m just not hyper vigilant wiping down every packet and box I see because of a virus which very rarely actually spreads by touch (fomite transmission)

        • BuildBackBetter says:

          Looks like someone hasn’t had their Weetabix today yet

    • Stanley says:

      We managed to cope pretty well with standards as they were for 100s of years. Why should there be a sea change now? How can a supermarket marshal social distancing? Do you want barriers in every aisle, one person at a time browsing cereals. DO NOT ENTER until Mary has chosen her coco pops???
      Gloves are also a red herring – can a server not have germs etc on the gloves as easily as their bare hands??

      And many of these issues can be dealt with on a personal level eg. Get a supermarket home delivery, dont go to a hairdresser with standards you arent happy with, dont travel at peak times on public transport…..

      I’d rather not live in a world of hazhard signs, plastic screens and stickers on every surface. I take personal responsibility and weigh up my risk of doing anything I choose to do.

      • Anna says:

        Quite, clean, bare hands are much safer than dirty gloves!

        • MW says:

          I am surprised this is not mentioned more often. I see “glove warriors” all the time touching their faces after handling trolleys – very little point in the gloves if they are dirty (same with improperly handled masks)

      • Jayne says:

        There’s not been a global pandemic running for the past 100 years, though, has there Stanley?

        • Stanley says:

          Yet there hasnt been one previous to this even though we used to pack in to tube trains, and form a scrum at Tesco.

          • Jayne says:

            Huh, people together on trains r a scrum at tesci doesn’t create a mutating virus though, does it Stanley?

          • Stanley says:

            My point being, weve been doing that for 100 years and havent created a mutant virus that ive been told about…

          • Jayne says:

            And where there is a mutant virus, Stanley, what does happen in those circumstances? Do you think it spreads at all, or maybe you just don’t think it exists at all?

      • will says:

        We haven’t really managed to cope pretty well for hundreds of years.

        Spanish Flu being probably the best global example, but pick any infectious disease which is now either under control or eradicated.

        Measles, Mumps, Rubella, TB, Rabies etc, let alone more regional recent episodes of SARS1, MERS, Ebola.

        Unfortunately it’s quite hard to actually asses the personal risk of catching an infectious disease as we discovered last year when people were dying in Lombardy and Wuhan and many people in the UK made the personal assesment that they would be OK to live normally and subsequently spread a disease that killed 100k+ people.

        It’s not just your health, it’s what you transmitting a disease can do to someone else and it’s why people well versed in vaccinations urge everyone to get one regardless of personal risk.

        Potentially the worst breeding environment for a future vaccine resistant variant is in a partially vaccinated population esp where those mixing (young in pubs/schools/uni) are not vaccinated.

        • Stanley says:

          Spanish flu in 1918 ??!?! That’s the argument for 2021 measures? And all the diseases and viruses you mentioned that are under control or eradicated without any draconian measures?

          Lock the doors of all the pubs, schools and Unis, they are breeding grounds !!!

          Then also ban cars, booze, cigarettes, plastics, fossil fuels, medication with side effects and processed foods….. They can hurt people after all.

          • Jayne says:

            Just go on your maskless demo Stanley, and save us the boredom of your nonsense here.

          • Stanley says:

            Quite Jayne, and off you go to lock yourself away and cellophane the door frames. Enjoy living in in your self-made prison cell.

          • Jayne says:

            No, I manage to function pretty well with just a mask in shops etc and some hand sanitiser, enjoying all that is available to me including now haircuts and soon hotels too.
            I’m not a prisoner, Stanley, the state isn’t taking away all my freedoms… its just called good public health management in a global pandemic.

          • Steve says:

            My money is on Stanley being a walker, not a washer.

        • will says:

          Stanley, you made a claim that we’ve been “coping pretty well” for 100’s of years. I just took issue with that on the basis that I can demonstrate many diseases that we were not coping pretty well with in the timescale you cited.

          I’m pretty confident in saying, although I will admit I have not looked it up, if your child has measles you are requested not to send them to school and will be denied boarding on an aircraft.

          Unfortunately infectious diseases have always required control measures in the absence of effective widespread vaccination and to think otherwise is not to have an accurate grasp on history.

          • Patrick Cold says:

            I feel deeply sorry for people like Stanley.

          • will says:

            It’s the rest of us that have to live with the predictable consequences of ill informed behaviours despite being responsible ourselves that have the rough end of the stick.

            That said, borders still incredibly porous, seems inevitable that a variant will end up spreading uncontrolled over here so we are left with just being hopeful that the variants are neither a problem to the vaccines nor more deadly than the current strains.

            https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/passengers-rage-over-pakistan-airport-20359196

          • Rhys says:

            Variants will be a problem as long as coronavirus is a problem, which we are now being told could snowball into an annual resurgence every winter. Keeping variants out is not a long-term solution but a temporary one: the question is, how long will it go on for?

            The current lockdown is to keep coronavirus cases low and variants out whilst we vaccinate everyone – but with everyone 50+ now on the path to their second dose, we don’t necessarily have anything to ‘wait’ for, except, perhaps, public opinion.

          • Chris Heyes says:

            Will, Jayne Your missing the point people have to die, plus die in large numbers to keep the population from exploding
            If you believe in “God” its God what causes wars, disease, ect
            (i don’t i should say i laugh at those that do)
            I Once had a discussion with a group of believers where i pointed out that with no Wars, Disease, we would all be like sardines stood in 1ft space because there would be no room on earth, due to all those who didn’t die populating and populating
            Was a good discussion when they realised what I said was true
            (not the bit about it being Gods wish of course their religion couldn’t except that)

    • Andrew says:

      The UK has really poor relationship with public lavatories. There’s the vandals who seem to think that they are an open target, and the local authorities, airports, stations, and shopping centre owners who operate on the basis that they don’t believe the public deserve to use clean sanitary facilities.

      Europe isn’t much better in places. My last overseas trip was to Monte Carlo – everything was spotless. The facilities in Nice, on the other hand, were as filthy as the UK.

      For my US trips, they are generally super clean. The only thing I find odd is the occasional low or even “saloon” style doors on cubicles in toilets. Those moments when the brain goes “no way” and sends the message to the IBS cramps that this is not the time or place for their nonsense.

      • Anuj says:

        Their loos can be strange too. For some reason the water level is insanely high, I kept thinking the toilets were all blocked at first.

      • James says:

        That’s due to Americans historical fear of ‘untoward’ events going on inside better enclosed cubicals… there are even academic articles and studies about this (you can thank my humanities undergrad degree for remembering that nugget).

        • MW says:

          I never understood this – who wants to do their “business” in everyone’s view?

      • Jay-Marc says:

        I have never encountered a public toilet in the UK that had no doors or partitions at all, as I once did in California. Walked in and there was one very elderly gent sitting down surrounded by male family or friends trying to preserve his dignity.

    • lumma says:

      Regularly washed bare hands are far superior to using rubber or plastic gloves in a food preparation environment

      • TGLoyalty says:

        agree with this. gloves can be a red herring. especially if they aren’t changed very regularly.

        • KBuffett says:

          How about changing the gloves after every customer?

          Or perhaps have some type of dispensing mechanism so staff don’t have to touch the lid that you are going to put your lips on to drink .

          There’s room for improvement. And let’s not mention the famous cleaning rag that’s reused time after time in coffee shops. Why can’t they use something disposable (and biodegradable)?

          Overall, nothing’s changed really whereas hygiene standards should have improved.

          Does anyone recall analysis of cruise ships early on on the pandemic where they found live viruses on surfaces after many days?

          • Jayne says:

            Too many people here who choose to forget to suit their own narrative.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Needs to balance reality of the risk with the environment, we are all trying to move away from being a throw away society are we not?

          Seriously if they’ve washed their hands there’s nothing to worry about. How do you think people prepare food?

          Having a few virus particles on a surface doesn’t mean you can catch the disease from it it if you touch it as it’s rarely viable or if a high enough qty

          https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30678-2/fulltext

          Dirty rags are gross

  • mutley says:

    Quick question for those in the know. Can you get a supplementary card on the Amex Green IDC?

    • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

      Yes but there’s a USD50 charge (not sure if one off or annual fee) and no reward point bonus for the issue so not a very attractive proposition unless that supp card holder will be able to run up a significant amount of extra points via spend you would not have done yourself…

  • Anna says:

    Well it seems that Scotland is going to be open for business from the 26th – for anyone who wants to books tickets for any Historic Scotland sites (many of the major castles and other historic buildings), you have to join a virtual queue to book slots and opening days seem to be staggered. As a history geek I was very excited to get tickets to Linlithgow Palace (£19 for 3 of us) and Craigmillar Castle (free!) for early May. Nice change from the rip off entry prices we get charged on this side of the border!

    • Andrew says:

      Did you know that an annual National Trust for Scotland membership for an indivudal is £63? That’s £9 cheaper than the English equivalent – but the NTFS is welcomed at all NT locations in England!

      People born in Linlithgow can call themselves something quite special. My African-Scottish colleague has used it a couple of times when asked to describe herself in a job interview, it always raises eyebrows.

      • Tracey says:

        I thought there were even cheaper places, like New Zealand, though that loophole may be closed…. I think the cheapest now is Malta at 30 Euro. NT membership is universal, so join up anywhere in the world and you can visit sites in the UK.

      • Anna says:

        The first time we joined was during a holiday to Scotland – might have to do it again!

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Wish they merged all these organisations – national trust, English heritage etc and come up with one annual fee.

  • Mummy55 says:

    I seem to remember in the distant past talk of being able to refer oneself for Amex cards to get the referral bonus. Was I dreaming this or did it actually happen and if it did would it work now? 🤔💤

    • Anuj says:

      Don’t do it, they ban people in America for it, they could start doing so in the UK at any point.

  • mr_jetlag says:

    morning all. Anyone know of these discount codes for £60 Randox testing please?

    • Rhys says:

      Not sure they have been announced yet – Randox only said it would be doing this yesterday, and that airlines would be announced later.

      • mr_jetlag says:

        Thanks Rhys, had decent experience with Halo PCR using Test and Rest but still not cheap at £89. Would be good as a short article / bits item when you do find out.

    • Rob says:

      I get a feeling they will be unique codes issued with a flight booking which Randox uses to get a subsidy payment from the airline.

    • Rhys says:

      Speak of the devil – BA have just sent us a press release. The promo code is ‘BritishAirways50’

      • Waiting2go says:

        Do we know if they are checking if that code used in conjunction with a BA flight… would that even be possible?
        Is this just for the way out single test? Or can it be used for the day 2+8 double tests?

        • Rob says:

          Seems not, which surprises me.

          Perhaps Randox now treats their marketing budget as £0, since BA is doing the selling for them, and reflects that in the reduction. Knock off the VAT, postage etc and there isn’t much left.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Interesting have you had a VAT invoice for a test recently?

            in EU its exempt until December 2022

  • Voltron says:

    Just received new platinum charge car but noticed no luggage tags, have they stopped providing these?

  • Alan says:

    Can anyone tell me if the current Plat 24,000 referrals offer is per card or per friend.
    i.e can you get 24,000 x 2 if you refer the same friend for first a Sainsburys and then a BA card.

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