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The HfP chat thread – Thursday 1st July

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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 (375)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • TimM says:

    What are the current best options for booking the two post-return tests coming from an amber country to the UK? We are flying BA so should have access to their ‘special deal’.

    • Flying Misfit says:

      I am currently using Randox for Day2/8 which cost 86 squid after using code BritishAirways43. However, I would check if Randox has a drop of location that suits you. I think testingforall comes out at 99 a pop for both and from other accounts they seem to be okay but do not have any personal experience. Not sure of I have come across cheaper options for the Day 2/8 tests.

      • TimM says:

        Have done the same Misfit – £86 pp for the Randox with BA code, many thanks. Now I just have to organise a pre-flight test in Greece – easier than it sounds if you didn’t know where I am staying! Hopefully this over-reaction to lack of testing last year will end soon.

    • Flyoff says:

      I have been impressed with Randox. Day 2 and day 8 tests arrived the next day after my online order. They use their own drop boxes which you can see the locations on their website. You can also use DX too but this is a Mkn-Fri service. Their own are Mon-Sun. We placed the Day 2 in our local Randox drop box on Sunday afternoon. Email confirmed receipt at their lab the next morning and the results were emailed at 1PM.

      • Pete M says:

        Same positive experience with Randox – cheapest company that actually turn results around quickly.

        • David S says:

          We used Xpresstest as we had a local drive through testing facility at Reading FC. It was £129 using click through from the BA site. Didn’t see any facility to input a code though so unsure if we were ripped off. However service was good and results same day and no need to worry about postal or delivery delays

          • Ben W says:

            Plus as Express Test is in person you get a legitimate reason to leave the house during quarantine to ease any post holiday boredom.

  • KBuffett says:

    Quite a few new offers on AmEx. Mostly usual rubbish like £20 off David Clulow (after already being marked up 6000%, you’d have to be an idiot to buy from them!!)

    £200 off £1000 at Four Seasons is interesting.

    • YC says:

      Limited FS properties. i.e. none of the ‘cheaper’ ones in europe

    • Andrew says:

      And some Estée Lauder brands (Aveda, Origins, MAC) with 15% back.

    • Mike says:

      Sweaty Betty Spend £100 or more, get 12% back every time – er yippee !

      • Michael C says:

        Añways top of my list, whereas only saw Marriott offer cos of comments here!!

        • Andrew says:

          Betty really must pay Amex for the privilege to be at the top of all our lists! Beyond irritating.

          • Lady London says:

            Think how much the markup on product must be, for that

    • Andrew says:

      David Clulow often has other stackers, 10% at Virgin Credit Card and 10% at Paw – so better if the sale is over £100.

      But like all opticians, nobody (sensible) actually pays the shelf price.

  • Paul says:

    Not sure I like all the articles being sponsored. Appreciate the current environment must be making life really tough but the unique selling point of HfP was its independence. One sponsored article a day would be reasonable.

    • Andrew says:

      At least we have the chat page – that’s the real value of HfP these days.

      • Mike says:

        +1 Love the daily chat article (long may it continue er perhaps until a forum is introduced)

    • YC says:

      The 2 Amex ones today are genuine new changes to Amex cards. Relevant to some

    • KBuffett says:

      I can’t see how the contents of either article would be any different if they weren’t sponsored.

      They are both relevant to points collecting.

    • Rob says:

      Paul, I agree and it was not planned this way. Billhop was meant to be Tuesday and Gold was meant to be yesterday – both were moved for different reasons. I did the Heathrow Rewards article deliberately for this reason.

  • Toppcat says:

    Does anyone on here have views on Wotton House, the unbranded IHG hotel near Dorking? I had never heard of it until it popped up on a search yesterday. A quick perusal of HfP tells me that it used to be the De Vere.

    It still has availability for some weekends in July, and isn’t stupidly expensive, which would suggest it isn’t very good… But the website and reviews look okay…

    • Gavin says:

      I don’t know about the hotel, but the area is nice. Lots of pretty villages, nice pubs and walking/cycling. Wotton Hatch is/was quite a nice pub, although not been for years!

    • Njb says:

      I stayed there once on a work trip. Was happy. Didnt explore the grounds but inside was nice. Decent breakfast.

    • Jek says:

      We just have been there to explore the area. It’s a great location and the pool was open, but breakfast was bad and the room stuffy and too hot as they don’t have AC.

    • Benilyn says:

      I stayed few weeks ago, 32k for Saturday, 25k for Sunday. I think decent value at those levels. I was in the base room which was a bit small, no upgrade given as Spire Elite. I enjoyed it, it has very nice grounds, friendly staff, decent restaurant (also do afternoon tea). Breakfast was a bit meh. No A/C.

    • Toppcat says:

      Thanks all – appreciate the input. We’re going to give it a go. I will report back!

  • Tracey says:

    The BA i360 in Brighton could well be the only “flight” we take this Summer. Any discounts anywhere?

  • Kurt Kraut says:

    In case people were not aware: Eurostar lounge is open. Very quiet this morning. Obviously access for 1 person with Amex Platinum. Limited choice of food ( croissants, pain au chocolat, cereal).

    • Andrew says:

      That was always the standard food offering, was never much.

      • Dave says:

        Not true, pre-COVID there was sliced ham, cheese, organic yoghurts, bananas, smoothies, etc.

        • Pete M says:

          I just wish they weren’t so zealous over where the Platinum is issued, my hit rate getting in with a US one is very low…! 🙁

  • meta says:

    Sky News reporting quarantine-free travel for double-jabbed Britons planned for 26 July.

    • Anna says:

      That will be excellent news as long as it’s children as well!
      Now just to work out how to do the PCR test within 48 hours of arrival, at the moment the only option seems to be very expensive same day services!

      • meta says:

        I need to figure out how to move my BA return by a few days as to avoid quarantine, but also not pay significantly much extra.

      • Harry T says:

        Children are a large reservoir of infection currently, so that complicates matters.

        • Anna says:

          Well they should be allowed the vaccination then like in the US and other countries!

          • Pete M says:

            I really do hope they also address the issue of letting people vaccinated outside of the NHS in – at the moment it is very much BRITAN FURST on that front… The EU should be pretty simple, the US not so much perhaps.

          • meta says:

            The report also stated they are working with EU on mutual recognition. I am converting my NHS to EU digitial passport next week. Just been given access to an online portal to submit all the documents from my country, but it still requires a visit in person to finalise it as they need my signature.

          • Jonathan says:

            Pretty much all the available vaccine & vaccinators are being fully utilised at the moment though so you would be reducing availability for others. It seems like booster jabs for over 50’s will also pick up the slack after over 18’s are double jabbed as well so wouldn’t bank on younger teenagers getting it for a while yet.

            I know there’s lots of anecdotes about low uptake/I walked in & got 2nd jab with no queue etc but that’s a tiny proportion of the 2.4million jabs being done weekly.

          • Yuff says:

            My 15 year son has just been offered a vaccine here in Mallorca this morning.
            Under 16s need parent approval.

    • The Lord says:

      Great timing, booked in for jab 2 on the 26th!

    • MKB says:

      If fully vaxed Brits are safe on 26 July, why aren’t they safe today? Surely the Civil Service is not so inept that they need a full 25 days to update the relevant Statutory Instrument and webpages?

      • Cats are best says:

        It’s due to the difference between politics and science.

      • Optimus Prime says:

        Because the restrictions are being relaxed so that MP’s can enjoy their not so deserved holidays.

        • meta says:

          I think also because they are at the moment agreeing with EU on mutual recognition. Because EU digitial certificate will allow EU tourists to come into UK as well.

  • Jimbob says:

    Anyway of earning air miles of Halifax mortgage overpayments? I see that they’ve blocked MasterCard debit cards starting with a 5, so rules out Curve card

    • Andrew says:

      Don’t most MasterCards start with a 5?

      The general rule was Amex/Diners/JCB 3, Visa 4, MasterCard 5, China/Discover and (the now defunct) Switch was 6.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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