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The HfP chat thread – Saturday 12th 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.

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 (279)

  • Josh says:

    reposting here – what’s the cheapest day2+8 and test to release providers at the moment? Need to book for our return from US.

    Thanks!

    • Yuff says:

      If you are happy quarantining for longer than 10 days go for the cheapest.
      If you want to do test to release or be free after day 10 go with the best reviewed companies.
      I used RT Diagnostics, wife’s day 2 tests were returned Tuesday still no results. Wanted to get them in person TTR tests yesterday which you cannot do until you have a negative day 2 test.
      You cannot call them and their email response is incredibly slow.
      They really should not be endorsed on the government website.

      • s879 says:

        I bought a 5 tests package for USA with Prenetics. USA is fine with an antigen test and so is the UK so my predeparture ones didn’t have to be PCR ones. My day 2, 5 and 8 were PCR and the total cost worked out at £260. Not every country will accept an antigen test as pre departure but you mentioned USA. Not sure if it’s the cheapest but have has a good experience.

    • Frankie says:

      I went for TestingForAll for day 2 and 8 (£99) It was the cheapest on the list of government websites. Just get that especially if you’re planning TRT too on day 5 as any delay in day 8 result doesn’t matter as you’re free. For TTR I used Collinson at Heathrow T5 who guaranteed same day result. Was £76 with the BA discount.

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      Randox is currently £43 per test (so £86 for D2D8 and £43 for TTR) with the BA discount.

      They’ve been reliable thus far.

      • Nick Burch says:

        Randox are a bit funny about where you can return samples to, because they don’t use Royal Mail. If you’re not near any of their drop-off locations (which have some surprisingly large gaps), the extra cost of posting pushes their prices up

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    One of my business accounts has just had a new payment to Bauer Consumer Media appear.

    Can’t think of anything I would have subscribed to through a business account – don’t usually do subscriptions anyway – but is this from some Avios wheeze I have forgotten about?

    • Anna says:

      Have you used The Economist subscription offer?

    • Froggee says:

      Shouldn’t be. Local radio and cr4ppy magazines? But they are a proper company. You accidentally been advertising!?

  • Anna says:

    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/covid-uk-news-%e2%80%93-live-21-june-lockdown-exit-cancelled-boris-johnson-to-announce-on-monday/ar-AAKVQvR?ocid=msedgntp
    Leaked news that BJ will announce on Monday that lockdown easing will be delayed by a month. If this is the case I can’t see the government relaxing restrictions on travel at the next couple of reviews.

    • Lord Doncaster says:

      Indeed but it still gives them an opportunity to relax ‘something’ for the English school holidays. I’m planning Spain in September now…

    • Sam G says:

      I too think mid July for much travel. My worry is if cases are still high we will then start to not be let in anywhere! Not (tentatively) planning any travel until Sept when I am double vaccinated

    • Andrew says:

      Yes, BBC reporting this yesterday evening. Up to a 4 week delay and we’ll find out on Monday what potential new restrictions are put back in.

      • meta says:

        I just hope they don’t restrict travel as some have reported. I really need to see my parents and my grandma which I haven’t now seen in about 2 years.

        • patrick C says:

          As usual, the UK policy is absolute nonsense when it comes to avoid covid.
          The vase nunbers and Indian variants are highest in the UK, but let’s allow unlimited national travel and meetings with no tests and no masks so it can spread easily.
          And let’s limit travel where you actually get testwd and have to follow rules…
          And when quarantaine made sense for travellers from Indoa, BJ waited 2 weeks so he had a better PR moment for negotiatimg a useless trade deal with Modi

          Confirms why I left the country 😉 travelled to Italy now with a test, no issues whatsoever. Will need another test on return and done.

        • David S says:

          And it’s all down to BJ wanting to sign a trade deal

    • David says:

      Will the BoJo ever learn not to govern by wishful thinking alone? That six week delay in closing borders with India is exactly why we cannot unlock fully now. This is on him.
      A new wave of Covid is now coming, formed almost entirely of the so-called Delta (or Indian) variant. You might also want to call this the Johnson Variant, because he failed to put India on the red list, for several weeks. Be in no doubt: this is a problem of Johnson’s making.
      I remember people crowing here how our vaccine rollout was much better than others. The assumption was we’d get out of lockdown ahead of them. But the delay in restricting travel from India means that this now won’t happen and Europe and the US will be travelling and taking holidays abroad we’ll before us.

      • Lady London says:

        It’s worse David. The virus still circulating in a large pool of people increases the chance of it forming more variants. Good chance vaccine protection will still work on most of them. But the longer time, the higher the risk something breaks out that get through previous vaccinations and then we’re all back to 0. But at least Boris got his wedding done.

      • Anna says:

        Yet most European countries aren’t banning people from the UK at an individual level, it’s our government policies which is making it virtually impossible to travel!

        • kitten says:

          In past 4-5 weeks lots of the key ones have reduced Brit visitor ability @Anna

      • Yorkieflyer says:

        In the 2 weeks after Bangladesh and Pakistan were red listed how many people arrived from India before Boris cancelled his trip and they went on the Red list?

        • Anna says:

          Well there were the 600 cruise ship staff who didn’t have to do hotel quarantine, but that was after India went on the red list!

      • s879 says:

        Totally agree. Had he closed borders to India promptly we would have been in such a good position now!

        • Pete M says:

          And for domestic consumption / to justify his (in)actions we’ll make it look like the “outside” is dirty (and full of variants) and hence we cannot be allowed to travel there. When you look at weekly average numbers of cases we are again ahead of Germany, France or Spain…

      • Magic Mike says:

        Unless we “do an Australia” the Indian variant would have got here anyway so the “delay” perhaps just brought the situation forward a few weeks.

        If you’re jabbed there’s nothing much to worry about. It’s those who are refusing the vaccine that are the issue.

    • Lady London says:

      more of the government leaking things to test public sentiment or soften the blow. And just in time for the weekend papers too.

  • Dace says:

    How can you find out when you cancelled you last Amex? I ask as my Father is in and around two years but we cannot remember when exactly.

    • gareth says:

      Phone Amex or credit report

    • Mark says:

      Online chat are normally pretty helpful, I then add 2 years plus a week or so just to be on the safe side

  • Lou says:

    For the record, I was not saying anything negative about the 50k/year on holidays, I was just jaw-dropped to see it on a thread. No jealousy here, just caught me by surprise!

    • Lou says:

      And I do have to agree, if I’ve booked a holiday package, irrespective of his much it was, and something drastically happens to it, i.e. return flight moves out by a day, I expect the company I booked the said package with to deal with it. Otherwise what’s the point of booking a holiday package

      • RussellH says:

        There can be many advantages to booking a holiday package.
        As Rob often says, a BA flight + hotel packgae can work out much cheaper than booking separately.
        Financial protection.
        and to give a specific example:
        One of my regular past customers told me that if I were offering packages to France, he would not buy from me because he felt confident in being able to put together all the various bits himself. But he was happy to pay me to do that for packages to Germany or Czechia.

        • Lou says:

          Sure, and my point was on top of that the provider has a duty of care to deal with the issues that arise…

    • Lady London says:

      was jealousy here though 🙂
      I hope @Karen sorts it out

      • Anna says:

        It made me think as well that there’s the question of what proportion of one’s household income one spends on holidays! As Rob said, if you’re a very high earner, £50k might actually not be that outrageous. Our holiday budget is proportionally high compared to most people I know (higher than our mortgage, if that’s a meaningful measure!), but that’s because we love to travel and aren’t at all extravagant in other areas.

        • Lou says:

          As a straw poll, I wonder if we’d get some responses on how much people budget a year for holiday and household size, shame we can’t do it anonymously

        • Lady London says:

          My travel budget often exceeded other expenses. Just as most of my dance dresses (Strictly style) cost more than my cars when I was a competing ballroom dancer.

          You have to have.something to look back on in your old age. Very true that you’ll regret more what you didn’t do, than what you did.

          • Anna says:

            Wow, I didn’t know you were a dancer LL! I adore Strictly and anything remotely related. Are any of your performances on YouTube?!

          • Lady London says:

            H*ll no. My social media performances are restricted to HfP + one other place 🙂

  • Vin says:

    Dragon Pass update.
    Passes purchased with the Dufry promotion had been extended a year to March ’21. I still had 9 unused passes. Contacted Dragon Pass via their App, got an email acknowledgement the next day and a response 2 days later. They have refunded the money for the unused passes and extended my (Classic) membership till end July 22. Can’t complain about their CS and a good result for me seen as it is unlikely I’ll be using an airport lounge in the near future (this year even !).

    • DAJ says:

      Thanks for the update as I have 4 unused so will contact them. Cheers

    • Lady London says:

      Hum.

      So they gave you a membership free which basically costs them nothing. (And in the current climate is overpriced.) Plus you lose the benefit you paid for which we don’t really care who out of Dufty and them is responsible for. They should honour the visits as their commercial problems are not the problems of customers. Who needs a useless membership that it isn’t essential to pay for?

    • JohnT says:

      Same for me a couple of weeks ago.. OH challenged earlier than me and got pass extensions!

  • Jonathan says:

    Advise please . What happens to my companion voucher if I take a FTV from BA . The comp voucher used expires this September .

    • Genghis says:

      It gets bundled into the FTV along with cash + avios used and is valid for travel until 30 April 23.

    • SteveJ says:

      FTV will bundle the companion voucher and will have a new travel by expiry of April 2023

    • Anna says:

      As the replies above but don’t forget you are also then tied to the travel companion you made the original booking with.

  • KBuffett says:

    Rob, can we expect any sign up offers for CoT or Virgin or any similar points earning cards in the near future?

    • Jonathan says:

      Definitely not on Virgin. The card is a loss leader, presumably funded by the airline who aren’t exactly flush with cash at the moment.

      There has also been a trend amongst all unsecured credit providers (except AmEx) during the pandemic towards reducing new client acquisition as there is potentially a huge disconnect between someone’s past credit history & future reliability. It’s not worth the wafer thin margins in the interchange cap era.

    • Peter K says:

      A CoT huge offer only just ended!

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