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The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 27th July

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

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Comments (382)

  • James says:

    Small wins but seems BA have reintroduced priority boarding – at least they have on the flight I’m on.

    • Andrew says:

      That was announced a couple of weeks ago. And much debate on here about how some people prefer to board with economy passengers or those without status.

      • James says:

        Personal preferences, and to anyone who dislikes boarding first just wait until the end?!

        • Andrew says:

          Exactly – priority boarding gives you the choice – board when you like, at the beginning or the end.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Or in the middle of your group has already been called and you missed it.

          • MW says:

            That’s why I never understand the issue some people have with priority boarding. Surely it depends on the circumstances on the day?

            At least if you have the option of boarding early, you can decide whether you want to use it or not.

          • Rhys says:

            Priority boarding is great. I don’t normally want to board first since I’m in the lounge, but at some point I’ll wander down to the gate and see a long queue of normal passengers waiting to get scanned in. The priority boarding lane by this time is empty and I just breeze through. Delightful.

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            @Rhys I agree it is delightful. I get it for free on most airlines / airports, even before the priority boarders, so might be biased but I rather like it

            (I am Visually Impaired and partner is an electric wheelchair user. Disabled perks, haha)

          • Babyg says:

            kind of – priority boarding doesnt help you deplane… … i find everybody gets off quicker via the covid controlled disembarking, vs the massive rugby scrums…

          • Andrew says:

            At Rhys – it depends on which flight you are on.

            In normal times, for a full BA domestic to EDI on a Friday early evening, there’s only ever a handful of passengers who *don’t* have priority boarding.

          • Rhys says:

            Fine on most routes and flights, however.

  • Andy says:

    Wow, £2250! Even worse than before. It’s all well and good saying it’s to deter travel to Red list countries but what happens if the country you’re on holiday in goes Red at short notice?! That’s what has been putting me off booking anything.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      The red list needs to be dropped. It’s a disgrace.

      • Yuff says:

        It’s more than a disgrace 🤣

      • Anna says:

        +1 – and why do they keep bleating that people shouldn’t be visiting red list countries when it’s still perfectly legal? They have the option of legislating for essential travel only like other countries have done.

    • Tracey says:

      I never understand why people opt for returning to the Uk and suffering in a quarantine hotel, rather than going somewhere green/ amber for 11 days that would be more pleasant and potentially cheaper.

      • Andy says:

        I suppose it can be tricky to sort out Tracey? If the country you’re in goes Red at late notice maybe you can get out of there.

        The idea that any country in Europe should be even at risk of red seems crazy.

        Actually the whole thing is crazy. Just let people who live here quarantine at home and enforce it

        • Save East Coast Rewards says:

          If a Schengen country goes red you can move to a neighbouring country that’s not red without passing any immigration controls. If you have a passport stamp entering the red country within 14 days you’d still need to hotel isolate, but if you depart from the green/amber Schengen country 15+ days after entering the now red country there’s no way the government could tell that you didn’t spend the last 14 days in the non-red country.

          Not entirely honest, but neither are the ones imposing these rules.

          • Pablo says:

            It’s 10 days actually so going away for a fortnight you are easily covered if you just move from a Schengen amber+/red to a Schengen amber/green a couple of days before flying back to the uk. As you say the BF won’t be able to prove how much time you spent where. Only problem are “friends” and colleagues who you informed about your travel plans and who saw your IG and FB posts. My advice keep it quiet, say you’re holidaying in the UK 😉

          • Save East Coast Rewards says:

            @Pablo – you’re right, it’s 10 days.

            I was thinking of Italy. You need to quarantine unpon entry to Italy for *5 days* if you’ve been in the UK the last *14 days* which makes no sense whatsoever.

            Following that to the letter, I fly from the UK to Italy have to isolate for 5 days, then I need to make a quick trip to Spain, when I come back I would also need to isolate for another 5 days as I had been in the UK within the last 14 days.

            Of course, that’s just in theory, I doubt anyone would quarantine twice in these circumstances

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Time. You don’t have 11 days somewhere then 5 days here before you can leave and see a dying loved one etc

        It’s an absolute disgrace because you would come here if it wasn’t urgent.

      • Pablo says:

        Only ppl I know who went through hotel quarantine were passport holders of Brazil and the Philippines. These are quite restricted in where they can enter. I think citizens of western countries have more options where to go before coming to the uk.

        • MW says:

          But red list arrivals are restricted to UK citizens, no?

          • Blenz101 says:

            Yes or those with indefinite leave to remain.

            The nonsense is also highlighted by the fact I have come over to Mykonos from Dubai (red list) and am mixing freely with plenty of Brits. No mask requirements and no social distancing anywhere. They turned the music down slightly last week but it is now very much back.

            If I stay here 11 days I can head onto the U.K. and avoid hotel quarantine altogether but any less than that and despite coming into potential contact with hundreds of Brits I am required to be imprisoned on arrival whilst everyone else on the plane would be free to return home and follow another set of rules.

          • Pablo says:

            There must be exceptions for certain visa holders because those ppl were new starters coming to work for our company.

      • BuildBackBetter says:

        Because these are mostly people who don’t have uk or eu citizenship yet. So they cannot go to amber countries without visa.

    • Blair says:

      Price is going up because Govt prepaid for all those hotel rooms. Anyone vaxxed would be mad to pay it now Ireland has abolished hotel quarantine for the fully vaxxed.

  • Mikeact says:

    Looks like the US is definitely off for travel going forward, confirms White House official .
    And hotel quarantining likely to rise to £2250 per stay from Red list countries.

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      Can you link to a source for this? I’m supposed to be going to NYC in F end of August I’ve thought that’s getting more and more unlikely, but will the trip be able to go ahead later this year? I need it to keep gold.

        • BJ says:

          Let’s face it, travel to the USA never looked remotely likely this summer at any time this year. The only surprise is that so many thought it did and went to the hassle booking etc.

          • Andrew says:

            Agree. Spring next year is probably the earliest we can expect.

          • Save East Coast Rewards says:

            I booked this last year! Originally for late June I moved it to late August as that was hitting the end of the 12 months ticket validity. Although the 12 month limit no longer applies so as long as one of my flights in the booking gets cancelled I should be able to move it to next spring.

          • kitten says:

            I’m more worried about the political signalling in the US’s decision. Especially as UK and EU are open to vaccinated Americans with vaccination proof of a type that can easily be forged

        • Save East Coast Rewards says:

          Thanks Chris and Andrew for the links. Some EU countries (including Italy where I am currently) have made it possible for US residents to fly over here, in Italy if you take a special covid tested flight (additional testing before departure and arrival) you get to skip quarantine on arrival. These flights are operated by Alitalia, Delta and AA. But want to do it in reverse and be a resident of a European country they won’t let you in even if you took the same covid tested flights.

          I’m sure the UK would reciprocate with the US if they were to allow UK residents over.

          It just feels frustrating that the blanket ban on UK+EU has been there from the start but a lot of places where the covid risk is higher are still allowed entry.

          Transatlantic travel is very important to BA and even more so to Virgin so this is frustrating news

  • Dej says:

    Flying out Friday morning from T5, 7am flight.. checking in around 5.15, will both North and South lounges be open at that time?

    • chris1922 says:

      North lounge is closed at the moment, at least it was last week when I was there. South is open, with table service only for the time being.

  • S879 says:

    Chronomics covid tests experience. Was overcharged so requested refund twice for 2 consecutive days via email. On the phone number, which someone kindly put here, all options lead to automated messages. Now DPD will be delivering the kits today. Should I refuse delivery, dispute with Amex? Paid with BA Amex.

    • Dej says:

      Ah I posted a few days ago, I was over charged, I emailed to cancel but had no joy. I was able to cancel via logging in to my account. (a little late for you now but just in case some one else is in the same boat)

    • fivebobbill says:

      I wouldn’t refuse delivery, been there before with DPD on Euro footie tickets and they disappeared, opened a whole other can of worms and major issues. Accept the delivery and at least you will have the items to return when the matter is resolved.

  • Saiz says:

    BA CW flights were cancelled so have rerouting on AA from T5 on Saturday morning. Which lounges can I use? Booking was made with BA.

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      If you mean from Heathrow then AA are currently in T5 so you can use the same BA lounges

  • Gtellez says:

    A couple of weeks ago I booked the Crowne Plaza at Manchester Airport for one night before an early morning flight. The stay was for Aug 14. A couple of days ago they cancelled my booking and said that it was due to the “safety of their customers due to Covid”… I complaint to IHG through email (I’m Spire) trying to get their booking with confidence promise (be rebooked and get the first night for free). Didn’t get it, but they gave me 10k points as compensation (not bad thinking that the hotel rate was £55) and mentioned that the hotel has been a quarantine hotel since May and it will reopen on Aug 15 (a day after my stay). I didn’t know that there was quarantine hotels in MAN, didn’t even know that flight from red countries can arrive there.
    The worst is that the Doubletree was £80 at that time and it is £104 now… so those 10k points are not even covering my loss. What is better £104 or 30k Hilton points?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      £104 for me

    • Harrier25 says:

      Your getting just over 0.34 per point on that cash rate (£104 x 100 ÷ 30,000), so an average return on your points.

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      Even if no red list countries fly there you could fly in on the likes of KLM after starting in a red list country and then need to quarantine. I’m not sure what happens if you arrive on BA, do they let you fly to MAN from LHR and quarantine there or do you have to quarantine on your point of entry into the UK

    • Vin says:

      The CP at MAN has gone seriously downhill with tired decor and just plain dirty. It brands itself as ‘4 star’ but that’s a joke. Did an overnight stay last November – leaky sinks, hair in the bath, got room changed to another – which had an unflushed toilet ! Changed again, was given 2000 points and a bottle of cheap wine. Complained to IHG central, got directed to in-house guest relations who gave me their ‘understaffed’ spiel and that was it. My business has now firmly shifted to the Doubletree ( everything that the CP isn’t) even if it’s a little more expensive.

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        It was OK when I was using it regularly in 2013 (alternating with the Hilton, which is now DoubleTree) but I did think it was in need of a refurb then. Perhaps it hasn’t been refurbished in all these years. I had a few months contract within a short drive of the airport so alternating between Crowne Plaza and Hilton kept my status in both.

        • Blair says:

          Doubletree is now demonstrably better than CP but Radisson ahead of both. Though always pricier. And the Radisson skywalk to the terminals means you miss the early morning walk from DT/CP when rabbits run out in front of you from behind every bush.

          • Gtellez says:

            The Radisson is still closed, so the only hotel open is the Doubletree when I need to stay, but I will take into consideration for next time

  • meta says:

    Not sure if posted before, but from today, Iceland changes entry requirements for vaccinated and those who recovered. You now need antigen test or PCR within 72 of departure. This is in place till 15 August.

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      I’ll stick with Sainsbury’s then

    • Sandgrounder says:

      And some domestic restrictions have been reintroduced too, it’s the worst spike in positives this year.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        75% of their overall population fully vaccinated … 25% higher than UK

        7 day average 84 Cases in c360k population. Equivalent of the U.K. having average 16k daily cases in last 7 days right now. We ofcourse have double that and no restrictions.

        It’s literally madness.

      • Aaron C says:

        Yeah I saw that. Glad to have timed my trip the other week well for once. No tests to arrive and no restrictions whilst there. I don’t understand their logic at all, unless they have very limited hospital space (seems unlikely).

    • BJ says:

      Thanks, still watching Iceland here. If I go it will be a last minute thing late September, not free until then anyway.

      • meta says:

        I’m going in second half of September. Don’t mind testing as long as there is no quarantine. However, at this rate testing requirements will be in place until « the world » can agree whether vaccines are effective or not.

        • Sandgrounder says:

          One of the charts on shows the number of people testing positive on entering the country. If you focus on this month, when arrival testing was dropped for vaccinated and previously infected people, the figures for this period only include those without either. The vast majority testing positive were detected at the second screening- so they have had a PCR before departure and one on arrival and both were negative, and then tested positive after 5 days’ isolation. Just shows how you can slip though the net with one test alone.

          • meta says:

            Yes, you can get covid after being fully vaccinated, but vaccines are either effective or not at preventing serious illness/death. Number of cases shouldn’t really matter anymore.

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