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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.

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 (414)

  • MKB says:

    To save anyone else Googling, like me: Monica Vinader Ltd. is a British jewellery brand selling necklaces, pendants, earrings, rings and friendship bracelets.

  • Pete M says:

    Coming through T5 yesterday I was surprised virtually all the e-gates were open with no further checks. Do we know this is because the PLFs are now actually linked to passport numbers or have they just given up?

    • The Lord says:

      Same for me Saturday. Assuming it is because you cannot check in without a PLF and negative test? Some spot checks were being conducted. All in all was a very pleasant experience at the border. Great time to travel with so few people doing it.

      • Pete M says:

        I cannot disagree. Well, apart from the fact my passport didn’t work at the e-gates, so spent another 20mins waiting to see an officer. Who was absolutely lovely, to be fair!

        • John says:

          Try a second gate if the first one doesn’t work. But sometimes there seems to be a flag set that demands a manual check (a bit like contactless wanting PINs every so often). Would be nice if you could opt in to be notified when this happens so you don’t waste time trying the egate

          • Pete M says:

            That’s an interesting comment, John. I tried about four before giving up, so must have been what you suggest!

    • George K says:

      I don’t think so. It’s always been thus – if you’re traveling without kids and can use the e-gates, you fly through unchallenged, while the manned desks go through every piece of documentation. I came back with family and was asked for PLFs, negative tests, proof of Day2/8 booking, and the guy double-checked everything matched, in terms of passport numbers, names, dates, etc. I think we hit an agent in training, as he was under supervision from another agent, but still, I remember coming back by myself and using the e-gates with nobody asking for anything.

      • Pete M says:

        For most of this year the e-gates (at least at T5 which I use regularly) have been either shut altogether or only a handful were open with manual document checks ahead of them.

        • George K says:

          My apologies. I seem to have gotten off lightly the one time I was alone on HBO then!

    • Sam G says:

      I came through the e-gates in December last year (at T2) and then was stopped for a spot check of my PLF after. This combined with the airlines checking you have one at check in/boarding means it’s unlikely anyone is travelling in without one completed

  • WaynedP says:

    IHG Summer offer email just received:

    “Summer is coming, so why not swap video calls for waterfalls, quarantinis for pool side martinis, vitamin C for vitamin sea?
    Save 20% off with Advance Saver Summer Offer.
    Book by 2 August 2021, stay by 30 January 2022.”

    Are they saving money by giving the PR/Marketing responsibility to the intern, or are the experienced professionals just rusty these days after extended furlough ?

    • Aston100 says:

      No savings against any of my current IHG bookings when I checked.

      • ChrisC says:

        Therer are some good savings against my bookings but at the expense of a longer ‘cancel before to get a refund’ period provision.

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      I saw this, it cracked me up! So cringe…

      It is trying far too hard

  • Rui N. says:

    Following up on my question yesterday… I have a new supp Amex card that I want to add to my existing online account, but it gives me the error “Unfortunately, the Card you entered cannot be linked to your existing Online Services.”. Yesterday, people suggested to activate the card and a few days later add it to the account. Unfortunetaly, apparently you can’t activate an Amex without an online acount anymore… (at least I can’t find the option!) Tried the chat, but the person was useless (kept saying he couldn’t find the card in my account; very surprising, since my question was about not being able to add it to the account!). Any suggestions?

    • Manny_D says:

      What’s worked for me previously is setting up a new online account, activating the card on there and then removing the card from online services, and then adding to my existing account.

    • mark2 says:

      My suggestion is to open another online account. It takes about 30 seconds max; much less effort than you have expended so far.
      I always open a new account for each card (lots).

      • Rui N. says:

        It’s for the Mrs., she ‘d disagree that her time would be better spent in having 2 Amex accounts!

      • Rui N. says:

        (Also, if it was for me, it was probably worth the <45 min I've spend on this over 2 days, if it saved me logging in on multiple accounts at least once a week over the next couple of years.)

        • John says:

          The time taken to log into a different account is barely more than the time it takes the Amex website to load the next card.

      • Bagoly says:

        And this way you get more (not necessarily double) Offers.

    • AJA says:

      I saw your reply yesterday saying it didn’t work. I’m confused did you actually click on the link to activate. Try the actual page address here:
      https://global.americanexpress.com/myca/oce/emea/action/home?request_type=un_Activation&Face=en_GB#/
      Where does the process go wrong? Does it not allow you to get to step 2? I just tried using dummy numbers but it fails because “The information you entered does not match our records. Please try again. Your account will be locked after 3 attempts.”

      This suggests the page is working. Do you get a similar error message?

      • Rui N. says:

        The page is working fine – the one you shared yesterday worked as well. The problem is that is doesn’t allow the process to advance without logging in/creating a new account (which is right on the second page, after inputting the card number).
        Thanks a lot for the help and for digging up these links 🙂

        • AJA says:

          Oh OK. Sorry that it doesn’t allow you to progress without creating a new account. The only other suggestion I have is try to activate the card through the Amex app.

    • TM says:

      It wasn’t possible for me to add more than 4 Amex’s to one account recently – not sure if this applies to you

  • Matt C says:

    AMEX Shop Small – fyi- The Bombay Sapphire distillery in Hampshire appears to be part of this. Just bought an e-voucher for a distillery tour as a gift and the AMEX shop small notification popped up. The tour / experience includes a drink at the end.

    • Alex says:

      Having done the tour, it’s a very good couple of hours! Enjoy!

  • Christophe says:

    I’ve received a new Tesco Bank Mastercard through the post.

    This looks very different from my existing card. There’s no World branding and no Clubcard number on it.
    I presume this means I can’t use it as a Clubcard, and more importantly, can’t use it to get 1 CC point per £ on fuel instead of the regular 0.5 points?

    • Blenz101 says:

      Not sure why you would presume this, the cards have just had a redesign. Most people are now on QR codes so the actual clubcard numbers are pretty meaningless now.

      The Tesco Bank website could have confirmed this for you in seconds.

      • Christophe says:

        Not sure why the need for the uppity tone!

        In any case, there is no information on the website regarding the double CC points on fuel (other than holders of the Premium Credit Card).

        Unless you can point me to it? (not wanting to waste any more of your precious seconds though!).

        • Blenz101 says:

          Wasn’t meaning to be rude but just surprised that a card redesign caused you to come on a public forum and suggest points earning had stopped on a “clubcard” credit card.

          Information on earning rates is here –

          https://www.tescobank.com/credit-cards/purchases-card-1/

          • Chris says:

            At no point at all did I say points earning had stopped.
            Never mind. I’ll run a test purchase of fuel and post the results here.

        • John says:

          The website hasn’t said anything about double points for years, but I’m still getting them.

          • Blenz101 says:

            Chris – you suggested that the card can’t be used as a clubcard.

            And the points earning rate is broken down by Tesco, Tesco Fuel and spend outside of Tesco on the Tesco bank website for card spend

  • 747_Brat says:

    Data Point:
    Virgin Red refused to credit the 500 first time shop bonus points. When I joined Virgin Red from Red Vaults back in Nov/Dec, I was offered a 500 points welcome bonus. Apparently, a Virgin Red member is entitled to only 1 bonus, because of which they rejected my claim for the 500 first time shop bonus points.

    • thehornets says:

      This happened to me this week too. The twiiter support team were no help, even though the ‘500 points for first purchase’ tile is *still* visible in my app.
      Decided getting frustrated about it wasn’t worth the 500 points, although I will admit that’s nearly half a kettle in value 😉

      • 747_Brat says:

        Haha, for me it would have covered the oven trays but alas…….!

  • Ritchie says:

    I’m picking up older relatives from LHR T2 later today. Their flight lands at 18:15. They have UK passports and all the 2&8 and PLF gubbins on them. They have a wheelchair booked & highly unlikely to use e-gates. Anyone have educated/empirical guesses on when they’ll pop out landside given ‘the current situation’? TIA!

    • Pete M says:

      Check how many flights are landing at T2 around the same time. If you have several long-haul it could be a while. But if they have assistance they’ll get priority, so can’t see it taking much more than an hour?

      • chabuddy geezy says:

        I have seen wheelchair users sent to the front of the queue.

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