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The HfP chat thread – Friday 30th 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 (382)

  • Patrick Cold says:

    Good morning. I have a Hilton booking next week which work might now prevent me from using. Can my partner still check in and expect to receive status benefits? Thank you.

    • Paul says:

      Yes just don’t say your not arriving. My wife often does this

    • John says:

      Did you add their name to the booking as additional guest?

      I heard that some London Hiltons are now asking for ID to check in

      • Matt says:

        Intercontinental Park Lane asked for my ID in check-in last weekend

      • Njb says:

        Conrad SJ asked for ID at check in – just to show my name they said

      • Oh! Matron! says:

        Hampton waterloo and waldorf this week : no requirement

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Phone and get here added as an additional guest and for them to make a note she will arrive first.

  • Pete M says:

    DP: Just going through T5 and the Covid test centre was heaving. There must have been like 100 people waiting. Not sure I’d recommend leaving it until you get here to get tested, at least this early on a Friday…

  • berneslai says:

    How stringent are Marriott on attendance to claim elite stays? I’ve just priced up a local mattress run and it’s more than double the price of ‘staying’ elsewhere in the UK.

    • YC says:

      I think its a good chance u will be flagged as a no show

    • Rob says:

      Marriott – 100%

      The hotel – chat to the reservations manager and you are likely to find it can be done, with Marriott never finding out

      • John says:

        Think this very much depends on hotel. I tried this with 3 hotels in Manchester – told no by all three . Said they would not process if not seen by staff at hotel at some point during stay.

        • Rob says:

          Option B is to agree that you check in personally but that you won’t show your face again and the hotel agrees not to check you out early (which is what would normally happen when they see your room is empty).

  • freedom says:

    Will Qatar come off England’s red list anytime soon? It is a bit ridiculous now.

    • Ls says:

      There are rumours it will be amber for those coming directly from there, and red for those that have transited. From the telegraph. But nothing official.

      • freedom says:

        Thanks. Wonder how much traffic originates from Qatar…

        Why did not England put all transit countries in the red list, e.g. Singapore?

        • Pete M says:

          It’s pretty hard to transit via SIN at the moment, but it was more for show anyway…

      • Andrew says:

        I think the rumour is for the other way around – which is nonsensical, but the Telegraph was suggesting that transit would be Amber but direct passengers would still be red.

        • freedom says:

          Can it be more ridiculous? Qatar vaccination rate is 60+% 2-dose and 70+ % one dose, reporting less than 10 cases per 100,000

          • TGLoyalty says:

            You think the government care about the facts?

          • Chris Heyes says:

            freedom I’M amazed how many people just like a good moan lol
            It’s ridiculous How, what, why Doesn’t matter, someone decided, live with it or jump of a cliff, no matter how people distort the facts or report them to support their argument. doesn’t alter anything
            But i suppose if it makes you feel better ?

          • TGLoyalty says:

            @Chris Heyes no ones moaning. They are questioning the decision.

            You don’t think politicians work for us not the other way round? This is meant to be a democracy

          • freedom says:

            @Chris Heyes

            You look like a person happy living in North Korea without questioning any decision from the government.

            The rest of the world can question whatever decision being passed down.

  • Nick M says:

    Morning everyone, I have a voucher from the IHG CC with a “booking date” that ends 31/12/21 – am I right in thinking that I could still book for (eg) March 2022? If I subsequently need to cancel, do I have any options or will the voucher just be lost?

    • Crafty says:

      If it’s “book by” rather than “stay by” then yes, but yes cancellation will mean loss.

    • Genghis says:

      Yes, can book for March 22 but any cancellation of the booking from 1 Jan you’d lose the voucher.

    • Vin says:

      The IHG CC night has a book by date, unlike the AMB 2-4-1 which expires if not used within the year of it being issued. If you cancel the CC night and it’s outside the voucher validity then it will be lost and IHG will not budge on it.

    • h2d says:

      The only caveat here is that the covid related extended/reissued IHG vouchers were actually issued as US style vouchers with a ‘stay by date’ not the normal UK CC ‘book by date’. The fact your expiry is 31/12/21 makes me think it could be the former as the expiry date is typically based on the day your CC was issued. Easy enough to confirm by trying to book for next year

    • Nick M says:

      Thanks everyone!

  • John says:

    If I book a room at The Langham one category below my desired stay (executive with Langham club access) what is the probability of getting a free upgrade under Amex Plat & Amex Travel’s FHR offer? “Room upgrade on arrival, when available…”

    • N says:

      Depends how long a piece of string is at check in

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Even if you get the room, free upgrades don’t always include lounge access.

      If you want lounge pay for it. If it’s just a nice to have then as per above.

    • AY says:

      I’ve stayed at several hotels through FHR and have received upgrades at all of them. The Langham New York had a double upgrade so I’m sure London will do if there is availability.

  • Vin says:

    Randox in-person Day 2 Covid PCR testing at MAN.
    Carried out in the Jet3 Car Parks. Plenty of 10min slots available when booked 2w in advance but still some free on the day (7am-6:30pm).
    £60 each and couldn’t find a discount code that worked.
    No queuing was encountered.
    The tester was very/too thorough – it brought tears to my eyes – I’ve had 50 PCR and 36 lateral flow in the past year, so I know a thing or two about testing 🙂
    Changing the apptt slot can be done 24h in advance but you needed to have registered for an account as the phone line is not answered.
    After the test you are given a registration code to fill in via a lengthy electronic form which must be done or you won’t get your results.
    Having said, our tests were done at 1130am and the results were available same day at 1930h.
    Next time I’ll try the drop box self-testing version !

    • Anna says:

      We used the 3 hour test yesterday at Jet Parks and both results were back just under 3 hours later. My nerves couldn’t have coped with waiting any longer! The teenagers concurred re the eye-watering thoroughness 😢

      • Anna says:

        We’ve got cheapo Expert Medicals for day 2.

        • Vin says:

          Thanks for the tip @Anna. Expert medicals are indeed £20 cheaper than the Randox Day 2 home test. Hopefully they deliver results on time – but is anyone checking if you’ve done the test ?!

          • meta says:

            You don’t need Day 2 test on time as there is no quarantine. I did a test on Monday with Expert Medicals and still haven’t received my results.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            It’s about £8 cheaper.

          • Zoe says:

            We ordered 3 Expert Medical 2 day tests, mine came on day 3, we are now on day 8 and the other 2 haven’t arrived yet. My daughter chased them on the phone a couple of days ago.

          • Aaron C says:

            There is no need to get the day 2 result at any particular time. I used the cheapo expert medicals my my results took 5 days. I really wasn’t bothered by this, but I guess some people really want a result quickly.

    • BigSi says:

      Hi @Vin. We also used Randox at Jet3 last week and my wife was disgusted with the way the tests were carried out. My kids had tears in their eyes and the testers insisted on counting to 10 for each swab in the nose/throat even when asked if they could speed things up as it was upsetting the kids. She wanted to complain but I was not sure if it was a legitimate complaint. I thought they were following UK guidelines but seems not. The Randox self testing version is good (and cheaper) and we had used before but had a flight change and needed urgent tests. We have also had many tests, mainly abroad, and none were anywhere near as invasive!

    • Char Char says:

      86 tests 🙁

      • Rob says:

        Realistically your average European business traveller will be doing 150 tests per year next year, assuming one trip per week requiring 3 tests, so around £6-7k worth.

        This is why Collinson, ExpressTest etc are putting so much money into airport testing facilities.

        • Nick says:

          I think what this tells us is that the majority of home tests aren’t being carried out thoroughly enough. The real ones are supposed to be uncomfortable. If they’re not, it’s not being done properly.

          • Vin says:

            I partially agree with you @Nick – the tests need to be done in a way that permits adequate material to be collected . I just felt the Randox testers method was overzealous and probably just the way they were trained .
            @CharChar – my 50 PCR tests were the ones we needed to do once a week as part of the original Oxford Trial while the twice weekly lateral flow are for work … sadly (?) not travel related 😇
            Thanks @meta and @AaronC for your comments 👍🏼

  • Jonathan says:

    £25k limit means you can earn a max 18750 points per month (37500 if spent entirely with Virgin Atlantic holidays or flights directly on their website) using their free credit card.

    £25k limit means you can earn a max 37500 points per month (75000 if spent entirely with Virgin Atlantic holidays or flights directly on their website) using their premium credit card that comes with a non refundable £160 annual fee.

    A £25k limit doesn’t mean you can only earn 25k Miles points per statement month

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