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The HfP chat thread – Sunday 23rd May

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

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Comments (230)

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  • George K says:

    Morning all – we’ve got flights on Bank holiday Monday and trying to figure out if the At-Home PCR tests are an option at all. If I’m understanding it correctly, you need to do the test and post it off yourself. So if the test is to be received via post by the provider, I’d need to send it no later than Friday afternoon, correct? Because if I did it on Saturday, it wouldn’t be delivered on Sunday.

    If that’s the case, then I think I just need to go get it done with Collinson or ExpressTest. I tried to do a dummy booking to see where the discount code went, but I couldn’t see it before warnings of committing to the slot first came up.

    And last question: Are PDFs of certificates on phones acceptable?

    Many thanks in advance!

    • C says:

      In my area, for a family member’s Sunday flight I found a local provider that guaranteed a 24 hour turnaround from receipt of an at home kit. They provided prepaid Royal Mail return shipping, or it could be dropped off at their lab (a 25 minute drive from me). I dropped off the sample on Friday night, and we had results by Saturday mid-day.

    • Rich says:

      What time on Monday is your flight – you’ll have to perform the test after that time on Friday.

      If the provider is using Royal Mail Priority (the COVID service) you can check collection times at your nearest Priority post box. The providers to tend to be a bit vague about timescales. If you go with one that guarantees within 24h of receipt and uses Royal Mail 24, then you should be covered (as long as you postbox collection time is an hour or so after the time of your flight!)

      You never know what’s going to be acceptable to whom (check in staff, gate staff, border staff. I would print out as well to be safe.

      • George K says:

        7am, but arrives mid-day. I think an in-person test is safest…

        • Tim says:

          UK requirements for tests are not 72hrs, they’re 3 days before. Same for US and some other countries. So your time of flight on Monday is irrelevant, as long as you test on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, you’re okay to travel. Obviously some countries will differ to that, but I’m not sure of your destination so can’t be more specific.

    • Yorkieflyer says:

      I wouldn’t risk a postal test for an ex UK flight, the additional stress really isn’t worth it, you are adding more moving parts to go wrong. Good experience with Collinson

    • Jimmy says:

      I’ve just done this and went with an in person test at Express Test for piece of mind. If there are any issues you’ll want to be made aware of them as soon as possible. I’m going to try a home test for my day 2 test when I get back to trial how it works when there’s less at stake

      I travelled to Lisbon, and everyone on my flight that I could see (myself included) were just showing the pdf on their phones when boarding and passing through the border control.

    • Pete says:

      Collinson take the payment at the test location. If you show them proof of a BA booking they take £5 off.

      ExpressTest at Heathrow are now £59 for drive thru PCR

      • Jason says:

        Pete how are you getting that price? Thanks can only see £80

        • H says:

          When you go to book on expresstest website, you will see this price

  • Roberto says:

    Data point Virgin to Hilton points taking 7 days atm.
    Still waiting on Avios to Nectar done on the same day.

    • Anttelli says:

      My Avios to Nectar transfer was requested on 12th May and still waiting, was told 10 working days.

  • Gav says:

    Anyone made, a payment to virgin credit card over the weekend and not that the payment applied to the balance? Made one on Friday app gave usual 30 min to be applied but its nowhere to be seen.

    • Gary says:

      Virgin tend be slow to apply, takes a few days. From memory, 2-3 days to reflect on your statement. slower if it’s over weekend. NB Virgin points awarded is limited to your monthly credit …. in case this a top up payment after you reached the limit

      • Gav says:

        Normally on the app it shows within 30 min. Hopefully it be there tomorrow.

        • Reney says:

          I have noticed that it took much longer last week, but it did eventually show up.

          • Gav says:

            Thanks. My payment due date is Tuesday so I won’t be happy if it’s not there by then

    • Ja says:

      I made one on Thursday which didn’t turn up until yesterday. Very unusual

    • tom1 says:

      I made one at 10am (bacs faster payment) and reflected in balance already, showing as pending in transactions.

  • David S says:

    Has anyone tried to load their Fit to Fly COVID tests into MBB. Had my email from BA yesterday and neither myself nor my OH could find anywhere on the site to actually load the certificates. Help appreciated

  • Vin says:

    Data Point : Hilton Aberdeen TECA
    Love the clean new modern lines. Diamond upgrade to Exec room but lounge only re-opens in June. Voucher provided for a drink and starter/side/dessert for 2 per night to use in restaurant/room service menu. Gym and spa due to re-open in June. I’m told the hotel is fully booked from Sept to Dec 21! Free parking for now.

    • AnotherUser says:

      Stayed precovid, and it is a nice hotel if you don’t mind being out of the city! Wonder why it’s fully booked – oil companies booking up rooms in case they need them?

      • Vin says:

        Yes that’s what I was told – ‘oil company bookings’. Great Hot cooked breakfast for Golds/Diamonds in the main restaurant – hope they don’t decide to follow the US model …

        • AnotherUser says:

          That makes sense. If you’re wanting to go back in September, worth checking nearer time time – oil companies often cancel short notice.

          It’s a nice pool and jacuzzi, when that reopens. Agree about the excellent breakfasts, too – v good made to order omelettes, and the baked goods were decent too 🙂

    • Char Char says:

      No issues with availability on the website from what I see, not sure why people say fully booked when its not.

      • Vin says:

        Mea culpa. Should’ve checked the website instead of relying on the information provided by the concierge whilst having a social chat.

  • Roger says:

    AMEX Travel offer – £50 off £200
    With no current travel plans what can I do to make use of offer?
    Any location where I can buy future travel credit?

    • Andrew says:

      Book a flight with BA and then cancel for a FTV

      • bafan says:

        Wait that’s a great idea. Who do I cancel through and where will I get the voucher?

        • Tracey says:

          Online and on your BA account. If it is a straightforward cancellation you may even get an E-voucher that you can use online without having to phone.

          • The Original Nick. says:

            Surely you’d end up with a FTV with Amex Travel and not a FTV sitting in your BAEC account?

          • KS says:

            That’s right. It would be available for use with Amex travel for BA.

      • A says:

        The book a flight and cancel on BA is actually a really good shout.

      • BuildBackBetter says:

        But the passenger names will be locked in?

        • Memesweeper says:

          Correct. Keep it simple and book only for yourself.

    • YC says:

      Anyone tried this yet?

      • KS says:

        I did. Not with the offer but to make use of IAP with Plat travel. Make sure you call and book because some tickets cannot be converted to FTV (that’s what the agent told me). The FTV can be used through Amex travel for a booking on BA upto March 2023.

        • KS says:

          Scratch my advice on call to book. Offer is only for online spend so I’m not sure it will track. Maybe call to confirm booking would be valid to get FTV and then book online.

          • Memesweeper says:

            What ticket class / type is out of scope for FTV? I’ve read the T&Cs and don’t see much wriggle room for BA.

          • KS says:

            I’m not sure either. I didn’t push the agent because what I wanted to book was applicable for FTV according to them.

  • James. says:

    Looking to purchase ExpressVPN and though the price they show is in GBP they actually bill in USD.

    What’s the best card to pay for this:

    MBNA Horizon or

    • Harry T says:

      A card that doesn’t charge you FX fees.

    • Travel Strong says:

      Curve on a weekday. (Not weekend).

      • Ryan says:

        Personally I’d use a Revolut but because you haven’t mentioned that, MBNA (good experiences with their rates) orCurve

    • Anuj says:

      Curve otherwise monzo on a weekend

  • fly-by-wire says:

    Joined HSBC Premier recently to get WE credit card but having issues obtaining it. Was promised on the phone that they would send out an upgrade form for me to sign but ended up with just a booklet about the card. Phoned back to be told they are not doing upgrades but suggested I try in branch as some maybe able to even though they are not supposed to! Any suggestions on how to go about this other than going around every branch in SW London?

    • Red Flyer says:

      Same happened to me when booklet only turned up. Eventually I got the form and sent it back and it was lost! After several calls they sent me 2 sets of forms and envelopes and paid for recorded delivery and I got the upgrade card on Friday about 6 weeks after I started the process. After all the faff I got the £195 fee waived too.

      • Polly says:

        Same here, after finally going into a branch, they downloaded the form, l signed it, they scanned it, and card with me within 5 days. They also waived the fee, as 2 sets of forms sent but never arrived. They really make you earn that card.. worth all the faff tho.

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