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The HfP chat thread – Saturday 3rd 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.

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Comments (356)

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

  • IF1 says:

    Currently at Shepard’s bush BP to buy M&S GC but no offer email confirmation when I bought GC

    • Steve S says:

      None when I purchased fuel.Have to wait and see

      • Peter K says:

        None when I bought fuel today either. I checked before hand that the petrol station was in the accepted list as well

  • Nico says:

    Any recommendations for a RAT – Rapid Antigen Test provider – with same day results in London ?

    • Steve says:

      I used this a couple of weeks ago, very easy and results took ~ 20 mins: https://www.privatecoronavirustests.com/product/eurostar-rapid

      • Nico says:

        Thanks v much – this is for spain so a RAT should be fine unless anyone is reading the rules different to me

        • TGLoyalty says:

          No, must be either fully vaccinated + 2 weeks or a NAAT (PCR or LAMP) test

          RAT only applicable for EU citizens using their green pass.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            See my comment at 10:16 on page 1 with links and the relevant text.

          • Nico says:

            Thanks – re-read the rules and you are totally correct

            So for the PCR have used Randox before but given the 48 hour window can anyone recommend a walk in clinic with quick turnaround

          • Anna says:

            Randox seem to be doing 4 hour testing. At MAN they are doing 12 hour and 3 hour tests at £70 and £95 respectively, plus Collinson doing LAMP tests for £85 so I’m sure there would be something similar at the London airports.

            https://doctap.co.uk/randox/

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Collinson do pre departure lamp tests at LCY and LHR T5 90-120 mins for result. £85. They charge £82.50 for PCR so wouldn’t bother with that.

          • Nico says:

            Ryanair making the same mistake as me BTW

            https://www.ryanair.com/ie/en/useful-info/map-page

          • Anna says:

            It’s all changing so quickly it’s hard to keep up! Ryanair still has the last change which was June 7th, it all changed again yesterday!

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Though the link they give you does have the correct info.

    • Nico says:

      EU only I mean….

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Yeah intra EU travel for a summer citizen resident looks like RAT is ok.

      When you click find out more and put in U.K. it clarifies NAAT only from July 2nd

  • MarkH says:

    Hi – I would like to travel to Portugal to see family at the end of July but the earliest I can bring forward my 2nd jab is too late as the NHS booking site only allows a minimum gap of 8 weeks between the jabs.

    Is it possible to get my 2nd jab earlier by going to one of the mass vaccination centres? Would the Westfield Stratford or Marble Arch centres work?

    Alternatively, is it possible to go without the 2nd jab and quarantine, even though I will only be there for 4 days?
    I will be staying at my family’s villa in the countryside and will only be ‘out and about’ on the way from and to the airport. Does anyone have any experience of quarantining in Portugal for fewer than the 14 days required? Are any checks done either on entry, during the stay or leaving?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Reports you can if you go to a mass vaccination centre at Wembley worth trying the other London ones as long as it’s been 4 weeks.

    • Anna says:

      Lots of comments over the past week about people getting 2nd jabs earlier, should be fairly easy in London.

      • MarkH says:

        Thanks both – I though that was the case. I normally follow the comments each day but haven’t been able to keep up recently so very helpful.

        It has been 4 weeks so will try my luck at one of the mass centres.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        There’s 0 clinic evidence a longer gap for Pfizer makes any difference.

        “This consistent interval should be used for all two dose vaccines to avoid confusion and simplify booking,” NHS chiefs said in Thursday’s update.

        Rather than what’s best to get as many fully jabbed people as possible.

        • Anna says:

          At the start of the vaccination program people were getting the 2nd Pfizer jab 3 weeks after the first one, as this was what happened in the trials.

    • Yvo says:

      @MarkH – Marble Arch is where I volunteer and the rules change hour by hour, often they do take walk-ins until the queues inside build up. Every single centre you pass just ask. Don’t be shy. First thing in the morning it’s quietest, opens 8:30am.

      • MarkH says:

        Thanks Yvo. Due to go into the office a couple of days this week so will drop by and see what the deal is.

  • Anna says:

    I’ve got a week booked in Nice at the end of August and considering going on my own now as my unvaccinated teenager never wanted to go anyway! Has the IC Cannes left the IHG portfolio or is it just closed for refurbishment? Not many other points options apart from HIs.

    • Anna says:

      I will have a chunk of Bonvoy points though as my Trump Turnberry stay looks likely to be cancelled, any recommendations?

      • gareth says:

        There’s a nice curio- Hilton- near Toulon if willing to travel along the coast. Otherwise you may struggle if avoiding the holiday inns. As per TG loyalty Cannes closed for a long time for major refurbishment- beach club still open though for circa 60€ for a sunbed for the day

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Why’s turnberry going to be cancelled?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Closed for a refurbishment

  • gareth says:

    What’s the best way to complain to Hilton about a stay? I supplied feedback via the app and put for them to get in touch but a week later nothing….

    • Anna says:

      I usually use the customer services contact form on the website, generally gets a response within a few days.

    • John says:

      The best way is to speak to a manager before checking out… if you were in a rush or the manager was (pretending to be or genuinely) not in the office then try to email the hotel rather than app.

      Some hotels direct app messages into a single person’s inbox.

      If you are diamond call the diamond desk (which AFAIK you can only get to if you set a 5 digit zip code and put your UK postcode elsewhere in your address).

      Twitter may be able to help depending on what you actually want from the hotel

      • a270 says:

        Be careful with Hilton though. Have read of many cases where account was terminated because of a complaint.

        • meta says:

          These accounts were terminated after persistent complaints, not one or two here and there.

  • BuildBackBetter says:

    Has anyone done a balance transfer of spending on an Amex card? Is it possible?

    • Crafty says:

      Why would you want to? Pay your balance via Curve. You can then balance transfer from the card you paid from, many points better off.

    • Anna says:

      You can’t do balance transfers TO Amex (not that you’d want to with their rates of interest, but I have a feeling I’ve done one from Amex in the past when there was a really good offer on from the Lloyds MC.

    • MattB says:

      I’ve transferred a balance away from Amex before.

    • John says:

      Yes, balance transfers are just the new card issuer sending a bank transfer (usually by Faster Payment these days) to Amex in the same way that you could pay off your Amex by bank transfer.

      It requires the new card issuer knowing Amex’s bank details. About 5 years ago a call centre agent for a UK high street bank hinted that I could manually tell her the sort code and account number of “Amex” from my Amex statement…

    • Harry T says:

      You can transfer from Amex to Barclaycard.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Thanks everyone!

  • MattB says:

    Other than India has a country moved up the traffic light system in between the 3 week reviews?

    Looking to book to menorca flying out on the 17th july and thinking of worst case scenarios that with the next review on the 15th July, even if it goes back Amber then nothing else is likely to change until the 6th August? Is that a reasonable assumption?

    We are happy to quarantine if Amber so not worried about that.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      India was prior to the 3 week window starting.

      Can’t see anywhere changing outside the 3 week window unless a VOC quickly emerges.

    • Anna says:

      Hopefully the rumoured changes to the quarantine requirements will be in place by July 26th so it will no longer be required for vaccinated adults and their children.

      • Matt B says:

        That would be good as we will both be 2 weeks post 2nd jabs next week, but my only concern is the it going red whilst we are there!

  • Laura says:

    Afternoon!

    Definitely off-topic but lots of Wimbledon chat here over the last few days.

    Does anyone know if the re-sale queue is taking place for the show courts this year? Not sure how it would work with the QR tickets

    Thanks

    • Zoe says:

      Hi Laura, there isn’t a resale queue. But later in the day I think you might get lucky maybe up in the 200 or 300 stairs. I would try walking with confidence and just flashing your phone at the army guys (then walk upwards and plonk yourself in an empty seat).
      Yesterday lots of people were moving around (in and out of sun for example) we were legitimately in stairwell 315.
      Otherwise I think that people who have been in the corporate hospitality have paper tickets (the ticket resolution queue didn’t seem long enough to justify all the paper tickets I saw) so well dressed tipsy people leaving from about 6pm onwards might be worth asking if they are happy to pass on their tickets. This is how I’d get onto the show courts as a student many years ago.

      • Laura says:

        Thank you! mum and I got No 1 court tickets in 2019 from drunk people leaving early.

        I will make sure to sit at the bottom of the hill!

    • AJA says:

      There is some way to recycle QR tickets as there was a message in MyWimbledon app saying if you leave early please let us know. Don’t know how you do it as play had finished on Court 1 and I stayed till gone 9pm so never needed to tell anyone I was leaving.

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