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The HfP chat thread – Sunday 1st August

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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 (250)

  • Tarmohamed says:

    Are there any business charge cards / high limit credit cards which are Visa or MasterCard with a reward scheme which links to either Virgin, Emirates or Hilton?

    • Tarmohamed says:

      Potentially considering this Barclaycard, but was hoping for a points earring card due to the points having no tax implications. Do Virgin terms disallow business transactions?

  • Mark says:

    Any ideas how I can earn amex points on foreign spend. Without paying their outrageous fees. I spend a significant amount in foreign currency and it seems a shame not to earn points on it

  • Harry T says:

    Reposting in case anyone who can help didn’t see my post yesterday.

    Any recent data points on how long an application for the Platinum ICC euro card takes? Thinking of getting one for the bonus as I’ve got a lot of European trips coming up. I meet the criteria for the card, so just wondering how long it would take me to be approved and receive the card. Thanks.

    • Benilyn says:

      A long time… I has been waiting 2 or 3 weeks, eventually gave up as I had spent my MR I wanted to transfer to QR and so cancelled my app. They were waiting on Amex UK to send over my info (credit score / history etc I guess) to the ICC team…

      • Harry T says:

        Thanks, I don’t think I’ll bother then!

      • DZOO says:

        Yes, same for me – took closer to a month to receive any form of confirmation email

  • Dej says:

    I have a BA holiday booked flying out on 26th August. I want to cancel this for a voucher. But I can’t see the option online, it’s directing me to call them. Anyone know the quickest way to cancel this

  • Gtellez says:

    I am double jabbed for more than 14 days now and flying back to Scotland next Thursday. However I have not been able to obtained the vaccination certificate from NHS Scotland due to IT issues (I have contacted them multiple times and opened many cases, but has not been resolved yet). My GP has provided me my medical records where I clearly says that I am double jabbed and even shows the batch number of both doses and the dates I received them. I was wondering if I could use that letter from my GP to skip the 10 days self isolation (coming back from Spain, amber country); does anyone know if that would be ok?
    I have read in local newspapers that it has been an issue for many people in Scotland.

    • John says:

      It seems not, as the legislation https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2020/169/regulation/2A says you are only counted as vaccinated if you have a letter issued by NHS Scotland.

    • Tony says:

      This would be an interesting test case. It’s not like they put a geo tag on you when you get to the border so I’d say you’re fine. Absolute worst case scenario, you get caught in Tesco and it goes to court, it will be clear you’ve been double jabbed by the nhs anyway so no case to answer.

      • John says:

        As I said above, the legislation requires that you have proof in the form of a letter from NHS Scotland, so they would be breaking the law, but perhaps the procurator fiscal will decide that it is not in the public interest to prosecute someone who has in fact been vaccinated in Scotland

        • Tony says:

          And you don’t have to produce those papers on demand. It’s not like the polis will be walking around Tesco demanding to see them. Well not yet, anyway…

    • Mr. AC says:

      I think the real issue is – do carriers check your vaccination docs before letting you board the plane? If yes, it won’t work. Passenger locator form clearly states “VACCINE STATUS: DECLARED UK FULL/EXEMPT” in prominent letters at the top if you select the non-isolation Day-2-test-only option.

      • Gtellez says:

        That is my major fear, that the airline doesn’t allow me to board the plane. However I could step out the queue at that moment and create a new passenger locator form (saying that I’m not double jabbed and I have to self isolate for 10 days). That would take me less than 10min and should solve the issue.
        It is very unfair that due to a problem they have caused and not solved on time (being chasing it many times for the last 2 weeks), I have to isolate for 10 days and pay for an additional test…

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      I had my second vaccine in Italy yesterday and was quite impressed how efficient the procedure was. While sitting in the recovery area after the vaccine I got an email saying my records had been updated and already in there was a letter showing I had both vaccines plus the date and batch numbers, in the next few days my EU ‘green pass’ will update to show two vaccines meaning all will be ready in time for when I can enter the UK without quarantine (14 days after vaccination).

      Considering lots of things in Italy still involve filling in lots of paper forms the efficiency of this was quite impressive

    • Tracey says:

      Does Scotland still require hotel quarantine for those coming back from Amber countries unvaccinated? If so, you risk being carted off to a quarantine hotel if you land at a Scottish airport. If you land in England and travel up to Scotland, you should be safer.

  • Tony says:

    Has ba stopped offering child meals? Booked one for my son ex-lhr yesterday and he was given a regular adult tray with the vegetarian pasta which was offered anyway, so all the CHML did was remove any choice.

    Might have been a catering problem, but if this is an enhancement then I’ll cancel the meal order for the return!

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      I read on FlyerTalk that the special meals offer very little change now. If the standard meal ticks the box then it’s often offered as the special meal. There’s a bunch of adults on FT that have been fans of the child meal in the past.

      If you want something different to the standard options try a Kosher meal. These are still prepared separately to the other meals by a separate company that respects the Jewish dietary rules so you know you’re getting something different. It’s not an alternative to a childs meal but more for if you fly a lot and are getting sick of seeing the same meals time and again.

      When I used to fly multiple times a week there used to be loads of special meal options to choose from, my favourite being the seafood meal but that was enhanced about 10 years ago.

    • Aliyah says:

      BA and AA are very poor with special meal requests. We are on AA business class today and we are a family of 4. AA called me in response to my special meal request. My child has intolerance to gluten and dairy so their dairy free might not be gluten free and vice versa. I can’t believe they couldn’t source even a jacket potato or gluten free pasta with tomato sauce! BA in CW were the same about 1.5 years ago and these are long haul flights.

      • Jody says:

        I’m gluten free and also vegetarian and have exactly the same problem. Can have one or the other, but not both. Will be taking my own food on flights, although that’s a lot easier to do on the outbound flight.

    • Gary says:

      Yes it’s been erratic. Ours got full child meals on the outbound (European short haul) and partial child meals inbound (ie chocolate dessert w a smiley was there but child main they had forgotten which purser sweetly apologised for & served them adult mains)…. It’s luck of the draw!

  • Lou says:

    My tour du Hilton continues, at the Doubletree St Anne’s. Pretty decent hotel! Big grounds backing onto walking routes. Friendly staff, good breakfast offerings and reasonable gym and pool facilities. I look forward to coming here again

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      Used to be a Hilton. I stayed there in 2012 and I liked it, but I saw more recent comments saying it was rubbish and thought it may have declined. So I’m happy to see a positive comment about it

      • Lou says:

        I was put into a refurbished room, sounds like that may drive the positive/negative feedback aspect. That, and the few million kids there for Legoland!

    • SteveJ says:

      Thanks Lou, had looked at it as a quick break option from London, I did wonder (Legoland aside) if there was anything worth doing around there.

      Are the grounds decent to walk around? And what are the walking trails like, hills, woodland? Anything else worth doing/seeing in the area?

      • Patrick Cold says:

        This is a very basic hotel just off the motorway in Bracknell.

      • Lou says:

        Depends how fussy you are about the walks. Lots of small meadows and woodlands to walk around which is what I did. If you don’t mind bit of a drive, you’ve got plenty of places to visit within a 20 min drive as well

    • Zara says:

      I have booked their afternoon tea for 2 overnight stay rate (and includes breakfast) which was £7 more than the room only flex rate and £13 more than the saver rate room only. I hope it is good! I am
      Diamond – did they provide any nice benefits?

      • Lou says:

        I’d have probably gone for the cheapest rate, get the free breakfast as gold/silver, and done afternoon tea in somewhere like Henley.

        I’m ‘gold’. My benefits were being put into a refurbished room, and a free drink along with breakfast. The hotel was fully booked pretty much when I went. There were no proper upgrades to give.

  • Publius says:

    Does anybody know if there is any covid paperwork needed for flights within the Balearic Islands?
    Eg IBZ-PMI ?
    Obviously I need paperwork to get to the Balearic Islands from the UK, but once there how easy is it to hop between islands?

    • JDB says:

      You should obviously check locally to be sure, but my son flew PMI-MAH yesterday (and had flown the reverse earlier in the week) and there were no health requirements.

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        There’s definitely no medical requirements. I’m flying from Italy to Spain today and I don’t need to take a test (but I do on my return) or show my vaccination status. I do have to complete the SpTH form (their equivalent of the PLF). That’s fairly quick to do though. So you could either fill it in just in case or check at the airport and if you need to fill it in you can do it there and then.

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