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The HfP chat thread – Friday 11th June

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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.

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Comments (341)

  • @mkcol says:

    Good morning!
    70 minutes to go 🙂

  • KBuffett says:

    Can anyone recommend a Tax Consultant that’s also qualified as a barrister and chartered accountant. Feel free to recommend yourself if you are one.
    Relatively simple exit advice required, but important that any paperwork is correct for me

    • Genghis says:

      I’m not sure you need such a qualified person for such simple advice: they’re like hens teeth. I know a tax barrister who is also a CTA. @genghis1232

  • Steve says:

    Question about cancelling flights: I have an avios+241 booking where BA has previously cancelled the outbound leg and I accepted new dates myself via the app. If I now want to cancel, can I do this myself online (paying only £35 pp) or do I need to call? I’ve never cancelled one before and a bit twitchy about refund processing correctly…

    • Anna says:

      In theory you can still get a refund online if BA has cancelled your flights, but you may now have to call since you’ve accepted new dates – you can check this via MMB. If it only gives you the option of a FTV you will have to call. I’ve found there’s not much difference in refund processing, it can be good or bad both ways!
      Another option is Twitter though – I recently cancelled a 241 booking and it was all sorted within 48 hours with avios, 241 and cash back, pleasantly surprised!

  • Ron says:

    Does anyone know when will Jun22 bookable on Airbnb? Is it 0:01 1/7/21? Thanks.

    • Yorkie Aid says:

      It depends entirely on each host’s availability settings. They can allow future bookings either 6 months, 9 months. 12 months (maybe longer) on a rolling basis.

  • Yorkshire rich says:

    Going on our little random uk trip today. Staying at the doubletree Hilton Bristol tonight and tomorrow where apparently England cricket are staying. Going to catch the train to bath
    Also going to the Hilton Cardiff Sunday and Monday then going to stay at the Hilton garden inn in snowdonia where the reviews aren’t great. Will keep people informed if anyone’s interested

    • Freddy says:

      Bit of a trek from Cardiff to Snowdonia. If I was near Bristol/Cardiff and wanted a UK roadtrip I’d add the Gower and/or pembrokeshire but depends what your after

      • Yorkshire rich says:

        After writing that we had a quick discussion and think we may do something along those lines. Think we will do snowdonia another time

        • Genghis says:

          The Gower peninsula is fantastic when the weather is great. I had a great time on a camping trip next to the beach when at university. Who needs to go abroad? The sea will still be freezing though. Enjoy!

        • James says:

          Portugal Rich, Portugal 😊

    • BSI1978 says:

      England cricket, the mens team at least, are currently playing up in Brum….

      • Yorkshire rich says:

        That’s what I thought. The lad on reception just said to me “not sure we will upgrade you as it’s very busy because we have England cricket staying (can’t remember if he said tonight or tomorrow). There seems to be availability so we will just wait and see

      • Craig says:

        Could be the Vitaility Blast game between Gloucestershire and Sussex?

      • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

        Looks like England Vs India Women’s test next week

    • Rob says:

      I was at Cadbury House last weekend. If you want somewhere to eat nearby, try Meditteranivm (yes, with a v). 25 mins walk or 5 mins drive.

      • HBommie says:

        I have a reservation at the one in Bray this weekend, any good?

        • Rob says:

          It was the best meal we had all last week whilst away, although admittedly from a low base. You’re right, there are two branches with the 2nd in Bray.

    • Travel Strong says:

      Just put a HGI Snowdonia mini-review on page 3. Certainly not a bad review, think it’s just a matter of eating at the pub down the road!

  • John_H says:

    Morning.
    Has anyone travelled to the US recently?
    My wife and I (she has US citizenship, I have UK) are booked to fly BA to Philadelphia at the end of July and return mid August. We are both fully vaccinated.
    We intend to take a copy of our marriage certificate and proof of negative Covid tests before we fly.
    Anything else we should know?

    • Anna says:

      There was a discussion yesterday about how difficult it is to get into the US at the moment without a travel corridor, though I think whether you are vaccinated or not doesn’t come into it! I don’t know if you will still need an ESTA as the spouse of a US citizen but I would fully research the current entry requirements well before the travel date.

    • Anna says:

      Also, if the current rules don’t change, you will need to self-isolate and take the required tests on your return to the UK, plus a travel insurance policy which will cover you for travelling against FCDO advice.

      • John_H says:

        Anyone know of any insurers that will offer a policy for the USA at present? I have a policy with Nationwide FlexPlus that is invalid if travelling to a country where the FCDO has advised against “all travel”, The FCDO website for USA currently advises against “all but essential travel”. Nationwide were unwilling to advise on the term “essential travel”.

        • Anna says:

          This was another discussion earlier in the week – at present it seems that no insurer will cover you for travel against FCDO advice outside Europe. Obviously the big issue with the US is the cost of health care if you needed it; what does your wife’s health insurance say in terms of covering spouses?

        • Frankie says:

          Battleface insurance will cover you.

    • Alice says:

      Yes, we travelled last October, and again in April (same situation – husband is US citizen, I’m UK). We took copy of marriage certificate and proof of why we were travelling (though the latter wasn’t needed). I also applied for a new ESTA (previous one had expired) through the usual system before travelling, and took that confirmation with me. At check-in, they have someone from Homeland Security come and check your marriage documents, and have to phone through authorisation to your destination. That can take a quite a while, so make sure you leave plenty of time.

      • Anna says:

        Just out of interest, Alice, what did you do about travel/health insurance?

        • Alice says:

          We took out travellers health insurance within the US through IMG – https://www.imglobal.com/travel-medical-insurance/patriot-travel-series It’s a fixed rate per day (depending on how much coverage you need/want), so expense will depend how long you’re travelling for (it was about $200 for both of us for two weeks, with a fairly high level of coverage and no deductible). It gave us some basic coverage for luggage, etc. All our accommodation was cancellable, and we have friends we could have stayed with in an emergency, so we were happy to risk not having some of the extra coverage our usual travel insurance would provide. As it happens, we did use the medical element, and it was far easier than trying to claim through a UK insurer.

          • Alice says:

            Two more things – 1) it might be worth checking where BA are actually flying to before you go – we would usually travel to Atlanta, and had our flights booked to there, but realised the month before that no flights were in practice going, so switched to fly into DC (the closest place flights had been consistently going) 2) for post-arrival covid testing (recommended but not required) and pre-departure back to the UK (required) Walgreens offer free drive-through covid testing (PCR or lateral flow). You do need to book the day before, but it was really efficient – book online, bring your passport, and get results via email.

          • John_H says:

            Thank you. I’ll look into this. We only really need medical coverage.

  • Frankie says:

    I flew back from Mexico City last week CW and there was no lounge due to Covid. Normally the Iberia or AA lounge would be open. Of course every restaurant and bar was open. Do you think I could claim to BA for the drinks I had in a couple of bars while waiting for my flight? Thanks an advance for any answers.

    • ChrisC says:

      No.

    • WaynedP says:

      I suppose you could try, but I think (not 100% sure) that airlines aren’t obliged to reimburse cost of any alcoholic drinks in such scenarios. I think you can only rely on “goodwill” from a company that can demonstrate a recent “no alcohol in our open airport lounges” and which has now gone into serious “cash conservation” mode.

      It’s a personal decision, but I took a bigger picture attitude when I found myself in the same position at JNB in December last year.

      BA had already given me BAEC status uplift for cancelled 2020 CE flights not flown, and I didn’t consider the £20 Priority Pass lounge fee that I used as a fall back to be worth the effort of trying to claim back from BA.

      • Lady London says:

        BA lacks any lounge facility at many outstations in Europe and passengers just have to suck it up.

        Even more indicative, at some of those outstations BA indeed used to pay for lounge access for Club Class passengers. But IIRC even at those, BA did *not* also fund lounge access for status passengers who were not flying in Club.

        Many of those lounges still exist, but since long pre-Covid, BA simply stopped providing access for anyone.

        There are things it is realistic to pursue BA about even where it will be tough, but not this.

  • Brighton Belle says:

    I’m Hilton Diamond. One of the benefits is 2nd guest stays free in the same room.
    When I lookup some Hilton room rates in London the price is £30 higher booked as double occupancy rather than single occupancy.

    What option should I book and be sure to get a double room rather a single bed overlooking the bins? I can’t see how to actually book this single room for two and get the lower price.

    • John says:

      Does the single occupancy room actually have a single bed? If so you probably have to contact the hotel.

      If the room fits 2 people, but the price is higher when you book for 2 vs 1, you can just book for 1 and add the second person’s name under additional guest

      • John says:

        To clarify, because a single room only can have 1 guest, second guest free is not relevant when you book a single room.

        What you want is to be upgraded to the double room, but upgrades are not guaranteed for diamond so you should ask the hotel in advance.

        Second guest free only applies when the room could have 2 people but the rate (for the same room) is higher with a second guest

    • Blenz101 says:

      Are you sure this is for the same room type? Are you looking at packages that perhaps include breakfast?

      My understand from the articles here is that the free second guest was for in markets where this is charged for, I think Rob usually cites Germany.

      In the UK you book the room and the hotel has a maximum occupancy of that room. Costs only tend to vary where breakfast is being added as that is per head.

      If you book a double/twin then you will not get a single.

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