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The HfP chat thread – Friday 14th May

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We are running 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 (355)

  • Jonny says:

    Anyone suffered issues receiving the “20k MR points for upgrade to Platinum” offer? My wife phoned up to upgrade her Green to Platinum, spent the £4k, but hasn’t received the bonus points yet. Don’t want to wait 90 days for sure!

    • SG says:

      Hi Jonny
      Has she even had the bonus for upgrading in the past?I am looking to upgrade my Green,been once told that not eligible for bonus,other time that I could still have it!

    • James says:

      I called up Amex to take advantage of this offer and they said they can’t process it over the phone at the moment, but if there’s an email documenting the offer then you should be able to submit it to them

      I unfortunately don’t have an email, just a link to the site. I think there’s lots of crossed wires here as on the website it says to call up, whereas the Amex rep said I should be doing it online, though I can’t even find where to upgrade using the online site!

      Might give them a call back later in the day to see if maybe a change of call centre would help.

  • Craig says:

    Covid vaccine record now has its own section on the NHS App.

    • Optimus Prime says:

      Yeah! Thanks Craig, you’re the man!

    • TJ says:

      +1 Magically appeared today on the home screen…no intervention with GP required and medical/health records still remain hidden. All good!

      • James Pleasant says:

        Mine’s all good. They have taken the feed direct from NIVS, not from your GP surgery record. NIVS data is input by staff at your vaccination centre, who seem to know what they’re doing. They showed me my NIVS data when I asked some time after my second vacc (my first vacc data on the NHS app were incomplete as regards the medicine used/ batch number etc, somebody had goofed up). I could see the NIVS data were fine so I relaxed.

        This bit looks very helpful as well:
        If you have questions about your vaccine record, or to report an error, visit our help and support page
        Report suspected side effects to a vaccine on the Yellow Card reporting site at GOV.UK

      • Linda says:

        + 1

    • Anuj says:

      Does it show a QR code?

    • Harry T says:

      Thanks. Just seen this now you mentioned it. Finally have a record of my 5g shots.

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    Is there an ongoing problem with Amex trying to transfer points to nectar?
    Added nectar account details but just keep getting error message?

    • Benilyn says:

      Use chat function

    • Harrier25 says:

      Is it the same value to convert Amex MR points to Nectar directly or is it more beneficial to convert to Avios first?

    • Andrew says:

      NEVER transfer direct from Amex to Nectar – go via BA and get considerably more (unless you have a few orphan points in MR as there’s no min transfer from Amex to nectar).

      • Harrier25 says:

        Thanks all.

        • Rob says:

          …. unless you are closing your Amex card and are squeezing out every point, because it is 1:1 into Nectar and 500 (?) chunks into Avios. Move to Avios to the nearest 500 and then the rest direct to Nectar.

  • Grahame H says:

    Since presumably the ‘indian’ variants have come from India, there should be real questions asked about how it has gotten in. Flights from India should have been immediately suspended.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      You have answered your own question.

      • James Pleasant says:

        Not really. The Kent variant was just identified first in Kent, it probably came from elsewhere. The Indian variant could easily have gone from Europe to India before it got out of control. France has many thousands infected with the South African variant and it’s not a different problem to basic Covid-19, they just don’t whine about bad variants as much as UK politicians & press.

        Here’s a solution: we just stop genome sequencing and start blaming other countries when variants come along.

    • Callum says:

      Do you also believe the UK should be sealed off by the rest of the world to prevent the spread of the Kent variant?

      • Lee says:

        That’s up to other counties which most of them did I think

      • Anna says:

        Well – most of the world sealed itself off from us when it was declared a “UK” variant!
        Apparently Boris will address the nation later about the worrying variant, so it looks like home schooling, one hour outdoors for exercise and definitely no holidays may be in the offing once more …

        • Callum says:

          Most countries do not currently have a ban on flights from the UK as far as I can see, despite the UK variant still being around. Those that did have also largely been lifted – many a significant time ago.

          How many actually banned flights? I know it may seem like a trivial distinction, but I’m assuming Grahame H also has an issue with British residents/citizens being able to travel from India as well (hence “flight ban” not “entry restrictions”). As far as I’m aware (and please do correct me if I’m wrong), the majority of countries still allowed flights in with their own nationals/residents and for British people under “essential” circumstances.

        • Simon says:

          OR, no more masks in schools, indoor hospitality to open as planned on Monday, and get your jab when you are called…..

        • Tariq says:

          Aka ‘another bedwetting incident’

    • Anuj says:

      I don’t think anyone should be surprised at this point. This government has repeatedly been unable to make the necessary decisions without hesitating for weeks beforehand. They deliberately leak various options to see which the public favours instead of just getting on with it.

    • Andrew says:


      And where do you think vast quantities of the chemicals used to manufacture the vaccine, or vast quantities of the vaccine are made?

      Here’s a clue, it’s not in Canada.

    • Anna says:

      There are a lot of hysterical headlines. There’s much hand wringing locally that 50% of infections in the ward where I live are the Indian variant – but if you dig into the data it’s a total of 4 cases.

      • James Pleasant says:

        …and it’s fair to say there a lot of hysterical politicians. They are more concerned with seeing the favourable polls turn against them than anything else.

        65% of UK population think zero covid and closed borders would be a good policy, which shows how clueless they are.

        • James says:

          Not sure adding ‘pleasant’ the name really helps.

        • Lord Doncaster says:

          The Zero Covid evangelists are invariably public sector workers who get paid regardless of work or lockdown…It probably also has a lot to do with the loaded nature of the question being asked.

          “Do you agree that it would be a good idea if COVID was eradicated in the UK”…

    • Tracey says:

      Variants are named according to where they were identified, not where they come from.

  • Peggerz says:

    I applied for the Hilton status challenge on Wednesday (2 days ago) and the application went away first time of asking. I’ve just checked and it has come through as Gold. 90 days until Diamond hopefully.

    • Alex says:

      What are the conditions of the challenge?

      • Peggerz says:

        With evidence of status/stay at other hotels (ie IHG, Radisson etc) apply from low/no status in Hilton. If granted, gain Gold status for 90 days and in that time 5 nights should retain gold until March 2023. 9 nights for diamond until March 2023.

  • Uddin says:

    With such a low number of cases in total Test&Trace plus Surge Testing could deal with Indian variant easily.

    The Government could allocate resources and use similar structures and methodologies we have offered in Africa during Ebola outbreak.

    Instead, it is again about ruling by fear and anxiety, companies of friends and neighbours “helping” with quarantines, hotels, modelling, predictions, restrictions, focus groups, intelligence gathering, medical surveillance, PPE orders etc. Private companies approved by the Government to do testing, not fulfilling their contractual obligations yet charging over £100 per test.

    These u-turns, closing, opening, green lighting countries that do not allow us to enter or do not even allow their own citizens to enter, obscure territories on the list, it is a disjoint mess.

    Confidence in airlines, schedules, the whole system collapses. One day it is buy buy buy Portugal, the next day Jet2 pauses bookings.

    Meanwhile we had a zero covid deaths day in England. We somehow survived Kent variant, Brazil variant, South African variant, today it is Indian, but there will be more, surely we need to get back travel one day.

    We have protected the NHS already, sacrificed a full year of education for kids, let a lot of businesses go bankrupt, it is time to be efficient and constructive now, not govern by fear and in such corrupt manner.

    • James Pleasant says:

      I’m not really a believer in Test & Trace as unfortunately many people getting a bad (ie infectious) result will just ignore it. A lot of them can’t afford not to work. I freely admit that if I ever got that bad result, I would hate the self-isolation period & would possibly cheat & go for a few secret walks at dawn, same as I am doing now though my quarantine is finished midnight. I present no danger – 2 vaccs.

      With schools, it was probably YMMV – both my kids’ schools – and they are in GCSE & A-level years – have been magnificent – yes I did already tell leadership teams I was very happy with the schools and they were overjoyed to get the message of support. My daughter (GCSE) has knuckled down and done better school work than she ever did before. Probably the reward system we set up has focused her attention 🙂

      There could be a bad Covid-19 variant around the corner in terms of mortality – but no evidence so far. All ‘bad’ variants so far have been exaggerated and are dealt with fine by existing vaccines. Best response is to push more vulnerable people to get vaccinated, I think govt could do a lot better here in terms of persuasion.

      • BuildBackBetter says:

        Exaggerated? Relatives of thousands dying in India would disagree.

        • James Pleasant says:

          it’s just another Covid-19 variant, no more deadly than the Kent variant. The existing vaccines are just as effective in immunising people against it.

      • Chris Heyes says:

        James Pleasant So Covld has been a blessing for you and your family
        Your kids have knuckled down to School work and done better since Covid ?
        Also you have gone on secret walks that you wouldn’t have gone on without Covid All I can say is well done !

    • Simon says:

      Well said !

    • Ryan Gill says:

      Over a 3rd of adult population both jabs, over 2/3s 1 jab. Jeez, they talk so solemnly like hundreds are dieing per day. If we can get back to that level quickly then why have the jab in the 1st place? Surely the majority will now resist the Indian variant adequately and avoid hospitalisation. It does feel like the Govt are enjoying this bit of drama.

  • ankomonkey says:

    An article on MSN is reporting that Collinson airport testing prices are to be reduced to £65 for a PCR test. I’m hoping Amex have a few offers soon for the testing companies 😉

    • Rhys says:

      Eurofins offering tests for £44….

      • Jimmy says:

        Do you know if they have a Day 2 only package as I can only see the Day 2 & 8 package on their website? As I understand you can’t use regular tests for Day 2 and Day 8.

        I guess we’ll know more in a few weeks when more people have actually needed to use them.

  • John says:

    just seen a new Curve advert on FB

    it does look like Amex could be back with Curve soon -)

    • Toaster says:

      That’s not how I see it.

    • Rhys says:

      Seems like wishful thinking on Curve’s part rather than any marketing strategy…

    • Sean says:

      That is the advert that is going alongside their crowdfunding campaign.

    • DT says:

      About as likely as a Friends reunion

      • BuildBackBetter says:

        That is happening!

        • Harrier25 says:

          If it does happen then Curve will finally make it big. Amex is the missing link to the success of Curve…and as this was the biggest selling point to its subscription model, it’s proved to be a massive missing link.

          Just think….to be able to use Amex everywhere. Wow!

          • Optimus Prime says:

            If it happens we should take bets on how many Amex accounts will get shut down after a month.

            Look at what happened in the US with the PayPal debit card…

          • Harrier25 says:

            Which I’m sure is the reason Amex walked away after the initial Curve trial. I think they got an insight into the possible abuse of Curve and the reason why I’m very sceptical that they’d return.

          • BuildBackBetter says:

            Lol, I was talking about friends reunion!

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