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The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 15th June

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

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Comments (414)

  • Sam G says:

    Is there an upgrade offer currently from Amex gold credit card to plat? The only reference on their website is from the gold charge card

  • Alan H says:

    Due to travel to Jersey next Monday; two questions.
    1. we live in a green area under the new criteria but travelling from an airport in a red area. Which one counts for how we are treated?
    2. If its the red and we need to isolate until getting a negative result from the on arrival test, can we move about the inside of the hotel or is isolation limited to just the hotel room?

    • Ja says:

      Have you had your jabs?. Have you looked at the Jersey gov website?. We are travelling Friday.

      • Alan H says:

        Thanks Ja. I am double jabbed. I had looked at this but I’m unclear on the line, “countries or regions where you have stayed overnight or will have stayed overnight”. I will be staying home in green area and travelling direct to the airport in red, ie not staying overnight in a red area so I’m not clear on how that affects what I’m required to do with regards to isolation. I understand now that isolation restricts you to remaining in your hotel room.

        • Ja says:

          I believe what matters is where you have stayed overnight. (From what I have read). You could try doing a dummy run of the form and see what it says without submitting it

        • Lady London says:

          Rob said a long time ago it’s where you slept. If you didn’t stop and sleep there then you are allowed to travel via airport in red zone.

          I think it was within the comments on earlier Jersey article.

  • MKB says:

    Some data points on our experience of doing six days’ quarantine at home last week after returning from an Amber country.

    My husband, a polite chap, decided to engage with the various Test and Trace phone callers. As a doctor, he was working from home doing video appointments with patients all day, but his mobile was ringing regularly, despite asking T&T to only call him outside working hours.

    Without exception, the callers (who are clearly doing a thankless task) were unfriendly, soulless automatons, refusing to deviate from a 7- to 10-minute script, asking the same questions to which they should already have had the answers (“Are you planning to do Test to Release?” being a common one), and giving out quite a bit of factually incorrect information (such as, if you feel unwell for any reason, you should not call your GP, only NHS Direct).

    My husband received a visit to the house to check he was home. (They had his name, not mine.) Ironically, if they’d come five minutes earlier, we would have been out doing Day 5 testing (with Collinson at East Midlands Airport — £76 each, quite well run).

    I, on the other hand, decided I was having none of this nonsense, so ignored all of the T&T calls. They stopped after a few days and I was allowed to conclude my quarantine in peace.

    Today, on Day 8, three days after being released by a negative Day 5 test, there’s been a visit from a local Police Community Support Officer. We were out, but he was very apologetic when I called him and said we’d done Test-to-Release. I formed the impression that it was commonplace for him to be sent out to check on people he didn’t need to check on. I didn’t ascertain which of us he was checking on.

    • Tomgold says:

      really grateful for you sharing your experience

    • Matt says:

      That has echoes of when my wife and I were isolating because we both had covid. I didn’t get any calls, my wife was repeatedly woken up by early morning phone calls from morons unable to deviate from a script, respond to answers, or apologise for unnecessarily waking someone up.

      • roberto says:

        I was in the UK for just 2 days but continued to be bothered 4 or 5 times a day for the full 10 days despite filling in the PLF correctly and reporting it on my day 3 and 4 calls. I did not answer ther calls after that.

        The next time I was in the UK I put my Spanish mobile number on the form and did not get called at all..

        I agree that my interactions with the callers were not exactly enjoyable or personable but its not a job I could do.

        • kitten says:

          visiting colleague had same experience. all docs showed a 1-day visit and was harassed every day or 2 for 7 days despite saying she was no longer in the country, as in all documents. She stopped answering her phone and the calls stopped after that.

      • MKB says:

        Indeed. We both had Covid last October, and the calls then verged on harassment. When you’re really poorly, the last thing you want is to be continually disturbed by people giving you a grilling who express no empathy, when all you need is to rest.

      • David says:

        Morons? Really?

        • Rob says:

          To be fair, most only applied because last Summer you were only given 1 person per week to call and got the other 39 hours 55 minutes per week off, on full pay. They are probably still getting used to having real work to do. I was thinking of applying myself as I could have found 5 minutes spare at some point during the week and the £30k would have come in handy ….

        • Matt says:

          7am: “It’s (unintelligible name) from the NHS, calling to see how you are”
          “you’ve just woken me up again”
          “pointless question already asked multiple times before”

          Morons is the positive interpretation. Deeply unpleasant/rude is the alternative.

    • mark says:

      On arrival to the UK, you’ll need to show your bookings for Day 2 and 5 (or 8) PCR test, is that right?

      Do they then ask you to submit your Day 2/5/8 results?

      • MKB says:

        We filled in all the details online, then went straight through the e-gates at Gatwick without issue.

      • MKB says:

        No, you don’t need to do anything with the test results you get back.

      • Birdy says:

        I used the e-gates at Heathrow on Friday evening but was directed to see a person. They asked to see my negative test certificate, which I had on my phone, but not bookings for day 2&8 tests.

        • MKB says:

          We had print-outs of everything, just in case, but they weren’t needed.

    • Anna says:

      This doesn’t surprise me. A couple of weeks ago a member of my family tested positive and was told by T & T that everyone they had been in contact with for the past week had to self-isolate for 10 days. All those people then got official NHS notifications. My OH, who is contact tracing lead for his work was asked if this was correct – which it isn’t as the requirement is only to isolate if you’ve been in contact with the person within 48 hours, not a week! Relative then called 119 and was told all the contacts whose details had been wrongly taken would be taken off the contact list and didn’t actually need to self-isolate at all. None of them got any official communication from the NHS to confirm this though!

      • TJones says:

        Come on, what do you expect for £37,000,000,000 of tax-payers’ money?

        • MKB says:

          Reminds me of the horror film “Cube”: several people wake up in a nightmarish scenario, that turns out to have been an unintentional creation of an untrammelled government project that had unlimited resources thrown at it and was put together by thousands of individuals who had no idea what they were working on.

      • The cyclist says:

        Good for him that’s what I say, is he retiring soon?

    • Richie says:

      It appears you can go out to get groceries when amber isolating, has anyone had problemswith this?

      • MKB says:

        The wording of the Statutory Instrument say that you can:

        “in exceptional circumstances such as—
        (i) to obtain basic necessities such as food and medical supplies for those in the same household (including any pets or animals in the household) where it is not possible to obtain these provisions in any other manner”

        The guidance says that if you can receive deliveries or get someone else to shop for you, then you are not allowed to leave isolation.

        The Statutory Instrument is here:

      • MKB says:

        Caveat: that’s for England only.

        • Richie says:

          Thanks. If there are no delivery slots available is that exceptional?

          • Tracey says:

            There are volunteer responders in most areas who will do your shopping for you and deliver to your doorstep. A friend of mine is busy collecting thousands of nectar points from doing other people’s shopping.

          • kitten says:

            No! You should just starve !

    • Rich says:

      Why go to the effort of ignoring the calls? It seems unnecessarily stubborn, and detrimental to the system. Perhaps the PCSO was sent out to chase up because you couldn’t be contacted – in which case a completely unnecessary waste of resources – not to mention (potentially, if you’d been in) exposing him to a F2F meeting.

  • N says:

    Are Virgin CC fees refundable pro-rata if card is cancelled?

    • WaynedP says:


    • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

      No – it’s only really Amex that do this I’m afraid.

      • Reney says:

        and apparently Curve metal if you have done one year. I had a chat discussion about it with transcript in case they went back on their words.

    • WaynedP says:

      In July 2020, Virgin did send everyone a £40 refund (off £160 annual fee) in recognition of not being able to take advantage of Flying Club rewards in same way as before March 2020.

      Good gesture, although I would prefer they don’t repeat it this year if it helps them to keep financial head above water. There’s a good chance they were relying on their most lucrative transatlantic routes being open for Summer 2021 when they made that decision last year.

  • Waddle says:

    Has anyone stayed at the Langley recently (post-17 May)? What have the facilities or service been like?

    • A says:

      I stayed a few weekend’s ago.

      Indoor spa and gym facilities are open; use of both requires pre-booking and I’d recommend doing it as far in advance as possible. One session of each per night of your stay.

      Outdoor pool is also open, with socially distanced loungers. No need to book. Works well if it is sunny. No food or drinks ordering allowed by the pool (hard to fathom why but c’est la vie).

      Food-wise, breakfast is in the main restaurant and gets very busy. Room service available, but quite overpriced (but that’s par for the course at places like this) and you can’t order individual items, only either continental or continental+ cooked item. Advertised as no tray charge though.

      All-day dining and dinner dining available. The on-site restaurant is good, but not excellent. They suggest pre-booking, but not sure if you actually need to.

      Housekeeping by request only as a rule, but you can do this through the marriot app and they’re pretty good at responding in a timely fashion

      • TGLoyalty says:

        They really do need to improve the lunch+dinner menu

        • N says:

          F&B across the board could do with a step up. Having been a few times, I can’t give the offering much more than a 6/10, especially considering what they charge.

          • A says:

            6/10 feels a fair score to me.

            The lobster croquettes are good though.

    • Matt says:

      Service was slow and not very good when we were there in late May. We didn’t make much use of the facilities, so can’t comment on that.

  • gtellez says:

    Is terminal 3 already open? I was looking at flight from Barcelona to Manchester at the beginning of July, but I would have to change from T3 to T5 in 1.45 hours, is it doable? Could I check my bag in directly to MAN? Thanks!

    • Rhys says:

      Terminal 3 is currently open for red list arrivals, but this will move to T4 very soon.

    • Sam G says:

      one ticket your bag will go through and the transfer is doable. Can’t see BA moving any flights early July so highly likely it’ll be T5-T5 anyway

    • ChrisC says:

      even if T3 was open the MCT between T3 and T5 and vv is 90 minutes

      BA wouldn’t have sold you the ticket if it was under the MCT.

  • Tomgold says:

    Anyone been to Athens in the last few days with information about any lounges that have re-opened?

  • Simon says:

    Just wondering if anyone has been through BHD since the Aspire Lounge re-opened on 11th June? Is it open as a BA lounge too now? Just wondering if for a flight on Friday I’ll get access with my BA card or if I’d have to use my Priority Pass card? Thanks!

    • Simon says:

      Just found the answer – apparently is open with normal BA access…

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