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The HfP chat thread – Monday 26th 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.

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Comments (425)

  • A says:

    Landed at LHR from JFK yesterday … no checks, e-gate let me straight through, plane to kerbside in under 5mins.
    To get the passenger locator number I booked the cheapest possible 2&8 test from the updated list on the gov website, which was a slightly suspicious £25 self pick up option from a big yellow in north London.
    Booked random dates in the future, no checks to verify.

    Scam city, but I think a lot of people are of the same opinion and just want the cheapest possible way of getting the passenger locator number with little care for the tests.

    Couple of weeks of fish and chips and get to do it all again in reverse to go home (with zero quarantine requirements in the US)

    • Simon says:

      Sounds glorious. Which was the cheap 2 and 8 place you used ? Also looking for the cheapest possible way to get a reference number for the PLF

      • A says:

        One of the the cheapy £25 pick up ones near the top of the list – can’t remember the full name offhand..I think it had a 44 in the name? Receipt and PLN came immediately.
        The only checks done were by virgin in the line for check in, which was proof of test and that I had completed a PLF. No further checks at any stage. YMMV of course.
        Virgin were great btw

        • Simon says:

          Thanks. will work it out. might not even go to pick it up if the ref number comes with the receipt.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Be careful because while the day 2 might not matter you need a negative day 5 or day 8 test to actually end isolation.

      • MW says:

        No isolation requirement if fully vaccinated though?

        • Pete M says:

          Only if fully vaccinated by the NHS, for the moment.

          • MW says:

            True! Supposedly changing “by the end of summer”, but I will believe it when I see it.

    • Mirp says:

      Thanks for the information. What testing company did you use?

  • NvT1115 says:

    Amex option has re-appeared on DVLA Beta site

  • happeemonkee says:

    Quick question about the travel insurance via Amex Plat card. Does it include cruise cover? I’ve trawled through the documentation I can find online but it doesn’t mention it. Going on a 3 night UK cruise in August and need proof of cruise insurance.

    • Rhys says:

      No, I don’t believe so.

      • Northern Lad says:

        Just spoken to the Amex (Centurion) insurance as we’re going on 3 day Disney UK cruise. Providing the stay consists of minimum 2 days accommodation, then full cover applies.

      • GeorgeJ says:

        Rhys,

        It does cover you whilst on a cruise (and I have used it several times). It does not have all the bells and whistles which specific cruise cover might have (ie missing boat departure when on shore excursions) but otherwise it is fine.

  • Phil W says:

    Am I right in thinking that when returning to Scotland from an Amber country, I must still book Day 2 and Day 8 years via this website? I thought it had been announced it was dropping to Day 2 only but that option still doesn’t exist.

    https://quarantinehotel.ctmportal.co.uk/Quarantine/Home.aspx?country=Scotland

    • TGLoyalty says:

      It should just be a day 2 if you’re double vaccinated (was introduced in Wales and Scotland on Jul 19th and NI today I think)

      Just look for a green country and book that or phone the operator and do it over the phone?

    • BP says:

      Or just book a day 2 from one of the UK suppliers which is much cheaper. The PLF will accept it and you are very much still complying with the spirit of the rules.

      • LewisB says:

        Us folks in Wales and Scotland are forced to use the government CTM portal

        • SteveKicks says:

          Not in Scotland, using any other company reference works fine on your PLF

          • Tracy says:

            Really? I don’t have to pay for day 2 test through the Scottish website at £80+ a test?

    • Patrycja says:

      Hi Phil, there is a new link for fully vaccinated arrivals from amber countries into Scotland

      https://quarantinehotel.ctmportal.co.uk/quarantine/?country=Scotland&vacc=Y

      It shows a single test @ £88

  • LS says:

    I booked a jnb – LHR F flight in the 50% off avios sale for September. Obviously with red list I don’t want to travel. The flight has just been cancelled, and I’ve been offered a different flight (different flight number) 4hours later. Can I choose another flight next year now because of the cancellation?

    • ChrisC says:

      Yes

      When BA cancel a flight they will autorebook you onto an alternative but you don’t have to accept it. It just protects you onto another flight if you do want to fly.

    • Rhys says:

      Yes, you can choose any flight you like, although it has to be within 12 months of the original departure day: https://www.headforpoints.com/2021/07/19/british-airways-flight-cancellation-policy/

      • Mark says:

        Does anyone know if Virgin are doing anything similar?

        • Alex J says:

          Virgin moved my LHR-PDX flights from June to October without a fuss, and that’s with just a single cancellation on the first SEA-PDX hop.

          • ChrisC says:

            I think the question was more on the lines of do VS have the same policy as BA as beign able to change within 1 year of travel date rather than one year of booking date.

  • trader363 says:

    Am travelling to Barbados this week and my wife has a Business Platinum – would this cover us for travel insurance even in the event that we catch COVID there?

  • Gary says:

    DP. Prenetics/Project screen return to UK lateral flow kits. 2 out of 4 kits purchased did not have any liquid reagent to dip the swabs. Seemed to have dried out even though the seals were intact. So check the kit before departure!!

    • idontfly says:

      Thank you useful to know, did they arrive the day after being ordered? This is the service where a video call is needed right?

      • Pete M says:

        No video with this one, you just send a picture of the test. Have heard about the liquid missing a few times now – not good at all!

        • idontfly says:

          I guess you can just top up or use the NHS reagent in that case?

        • Pablo says:

          Take a box of NHS lateral flows with you and use the liquid from those.

          • Pete M says:

            Sure, but at £26 a pop you’d really expect better! Especially when the margin on this must be like 90%. Starting to think Chronomics at £10 with the BA code are the better option now!

      • Gary says:

        They did arrive pretty quickly (2 days I think) after placing order via DPD.

  • MCO says:

    Have I got this right? (its so confusing now)

    Going to Santorini this week so me and my wife who are double jabbed don’t need any tests, just need to show the NHS app as proof?

    The 6yr old is exempt but the 12 yr old needs an antigen test?

    Coming back the 3 of us will need an antigen test and the 6yr old is exempt? Also need to prepay for test on day 2 after arrival.

    Have heard people mention that they have bought antigen test before hand and taken with them? How does that work?

    FCO advise on Santorini is clear right.

    • Anna says:

      You need to check an official Greek website pretty much every day before you travel as everything can change very quickly.
      I would suggest printing off your PDFs for your vaccinations and taking them with you as there was a report of people getting refused boarding the other day because the NHS app went down.
      You can order pre-departure tests but you might be cutting it a bit fine now – have you checked if your hotel offers them or if they can recommend a local pharmacy to do them? They invariably seem to be cheaper if you get them done abroad.

    • GeorgeJ says:

      The FCO currently does not advise against travel to Greece.

      Given that the ONS survey indicates that 1 in 80 of us are positive, taking a free NHS test before travel would probably be a good idea. No point in travelling to Greece as a carrier and then being quarantined. Currently Greece is carrying out random tests on visitors arriving from the UK (see earlier post quoting 1 in 5 ratio) so at least one of you has a good chance of being tested.
      You will need to complete the Greek PLF online just before you travel and they will authorise it at midnight the day before. I have used it several times and it is a good system.

      I personally wouldnt bother taking a test to Greece since tests are available locally and a PCR test is capped at euro60 by law, antigen is cheaper.

    • Damian says:

      I have just returned from Santorini. You don’t need a PCR test to enter Greece if double vaccinated. We ordered antigen test from qured (using BA discount) and took with us for the return flight to enter the U.K. One family goes on the PLF form to enter Greece. On arrival at JTR they did a Covid test following passport control from one person per party. I travelled with my wife and did the test. You’re allowed to leave straight away and I received a text message within the hour at our hotel saying it was negative. Not sure about children.

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