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The HfP chat thread – Saturday 31st 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 (317)

  • Ryanfozzie says:

    Good morning all!

    A IHG Ambassador question. Today is the last day to sign up and get a free stay up to 40,000 points if you make a stay before August 31st. Now I have a question about the ‘qualifying stay’. If I book a weekend in August at a Kimpton in Edinburgh using the Ambassador Weekend Free night, would the paid night trigger the 40,000 point free stay?

  • Patrycja says:

    Good morning all and happy Saturday!

    After a great Ibiza trip last month I am planning Madeira in August. My husband and I will be fully vaccinated by then so entry should be straightforward.

    Does anyone have an experience with free antigen tests offered by Madeira prior to departure from the island to depart to Uk?
    I believe they are offered in Funchal hospital which will be close to our hotel.

    I am trying to decide whether to take test with me from Uk or use the free ones on the island.

    Many thanks in advance.

    • AFKAE says:

      Hi Patrycja- they are available at loads of Farmacia’s in Funchal, but you may need to give them some notice. The MadeiraSafe website suggests 4 days.
      You are right about the hospital just a short taxi ride (8€) from the seafront in Funchal, there is a 24 hour walk in service there. You do the test hang around outside in the sunshine for 20 mins and then they come out announce your name and give you the piece of paper-all very efficient.

      • Patrycja says:

        Lovely, sounds like a straightforward process. I might use it this time. Thank you!

      • Richie says:

        Apparently, Portugal is making an announcement w/c 1st August.

        • Patrycja says:

          To make things better or worse?

          • Rob says:

            Can’t get a lot worse than ‘must be vaccinated AND must show a negative test result’ ….

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Why not take a couple of £10 chronomatics tests (BA code to bring the price down and order separately)

      If you get the free one happy days if not you have a fall back plan.

      • Keely says:

        Can I just check…I’ve just (this morning ) had a test in Malta and paid 40 euros for it …could I have taken a test with me and used this? Doesn’t it need somehow to be certified by a (supposed) health professional ?

        • Keely says:

          I’ve just answered my own question .. it doesn’t need to be . Thanks for the tip , I’ll be doing this in future …

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Yes you could have taken it with you and the result is verified by picture

          And it works on the same principle of trust as all at home tests … how will anyone know who shoved your day 2 swab up your own nose and not somebody else’s.

          • Keely says:

            Thanks TGI I’ll be better prepared next time. By which time they will obviously have changed the rules again….

          • Rob says:

            But how would you know the other person wasn’t asymptomatic infected?

          • Keely says:

            And just to be clear …I’m not trying to circumvent the (ridiculous) rules ..I’m just trying to comply with them at the lowest possible cost.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Rob you don’t. Just like your don’t know you’re …. Risk

            A grandparent who hasn’t left the house/garden and is fully vaccinated is far less likely to have Covid than an 21 year old that’s just been on a plane, partying in nightclubs etc

            Anyway no is saying to do it the point is it works on trust that you will indeed shove it up your own nose.

      • MW says:

        How do you get Chronomics to be £10? Antigen test seems to be £22 with the BA discount.

      • BP says:

        BA code has stopped working. 2 days ago the price was £8!!

      • Patrycja says:

        They are £22 now not £10. Given I have to pay rediculous £88 per person for Day 2 test to return to Scotland (we are flying direct). It would be nice not having to pay for tests to return to the Uk. We are likely to go for 10 days so if the process is quick, I don’t mind going to the hospital which is nearby.

        • Tracy says:

          Someone on here said that the PLF will accept any day 2 test, not just the Scottish one…..

          • Patrycja says:

            They clearly haven’t read the small print. We only have one approved provider in Scotland. You can get away with other providers as there aren’t many checks at the border but officially you should only use one.

    • Harrier25 says:

      We’re in Madeira at the moment….arrived last night. You need to book the free PCR test via the Madeira Safe app after you arrive and apply at least 4 days before you want it.

      • Harrier25 says:

        We booked our free PCR tests on the Madeira Safe app this morning. Just waiting for the appointment email now. They choose where you go and at what time. You just stipulate that you require it within 72 hours of your flight home.

        • Harrier25 says:

          One more point. The only way to book a free test is via the Madeira Safe app/website. If you book your own PCR test direct with a pharmacy or just turn up at the hospital you will be charged €25.00.

          • Patrycja says:

            Thanks. I only need antigen test to return and we are going for 10 days so sounds like enough time to book and arrange. Good luck with your tests!

          • Harrier25 says:

            You can book free antigen or PCR tests via the Madeira Safe website. As they are both free we chose to go for the more accurate PCR test.

  • mart says:

    do avro energy still allow top up by amex? looking to switch and they seem cheapest.

  • N says:

    thinking of booking a flight to the US for November, around Thanksgiving time. i was previously confident that the travel corridor will be fully functional by then but now not so sure with all the talk of autumn/winter chaos with the virus
    this indecision meant i missed out on the british airways sale – any thoughts on if another sale is expected? though i’d like to book before any announcement is made, otherwise the prices will go up

    • N says:

      just to clarify, I’d like to book before any government announcement on the travel corridor is made
      is it worth booking now and if a sale comes along, i could just cancel it and rebook through the sale?

      • AJA says:

        From what I’ve observed BA seems to be doing promotions every month so I’d wait. I think they have to have a 28 day break between “sales” in order to be able to prove that the sale offers are genuine discounts so on that basis I think there will be another sale in late August or early September (possibly a paralympics sale).

  • mart says:

    Also…been off grid for a few weeks. Any update on the changes re the 50% off avios booking promo last year and BA’s change of policy re moving 12 months from date of original outbound? Have HFP readers had success rebooking?

    • Sam G says:

      Yes. you can now rebook up to 12 months from the original outbound as long as your flight was cancelled – BA updated their ticket validity rule and plenty of reports of success here & on FT

      • Mart says:

        Thanks. My original flights to aus were rebooked to October with Qatar – currently they aren’t cancelled, but clearly aren’t going to be able to go. If I called up to rebook would I be able to or do I have to wait till the rescheduled flights are cancelled?

        • Sam G says:

          you need to wait. Qatar are still operating so they might not actually get cancelled though you might want to try getting Qatar to cancel you off somehow (not sure they’d touch a BA ticket though), but they’d be delighted to have the seat back to sell for $$$ I’m sure

          • Louie says:

            Assuming by Aus you mean somewhere in Australia rather than Austin, you are nigh on certain to get bumped even if the flight operates.

  • Stephen says:

    Sorry another AMEX Platinum insurance question

    1) Car Hire Excess – have read through the documents, but cannot see anything in terms of having to pay using AMEX?

    2) Greece / Croatia – does anyone know whether COVID/non-COVID claims are being accepted on AMEX Platinum travel insurance (from looking at the documents, it looks like the costs must be paid on AMEX/or points bookings)?


  • Bill says:

    I was wondering if this Boots test is sufficient for pre departure to Spain ?

  • Thomas Shelby says:

    Airtime rewards £3 Bonus when spending £8 or more this weekend code PAYDAY3, I’ve been getting boots gift cards

    If you haven’t signed up NWM87QEG for extra £1

    • Char Char says:

      Has it tracked for you though, tried at wilko nothing showed

      • Thomas Shelby says:

        The past few bonuses have tracked fine, takes around 7-10 days. I always stick to boots and use chip and pin for the transaction (starling card)

      • ChrisC says:

        when did you make the purchase? I find it takes a day or two for it to filter through. Never seen them be instant in appearing in my account

        Always keep the receipt until they do as you need it to make a claim.

    • Ryan Gill says:

      Thanks for this. Although it’s a smallish benefit, I always appreciate seeing these posts. I wish Rob would include them or there was a specific place they could be found.

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