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The HfP chat thread – Monday 2nd 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 (431)

  • Paul says:

    Does anyone have recommendations for pre departure Covid testing on the Island of Santorini.

    • Blenz101 says:

      My advice based on Mykonos last week would be to make sure you have something arranged in advance as queues at testing centres were running to hours and rapid testing if not booked in advance generally ran out by mid-morning.

      From what I could gather PCR tests are capped at 60 EUR but if you have the doctor come to your hotel to avoid any queues then expect to pay double that (and per person as well!).

      We just emailed our hotel to ask where the nearest testing centre was and contacted them, given Greece have capped the price presumably this will be your best option as well.

    • The Lord says:

      We went to the central clinic in Thira. Took about 45mins, bet you could be super quick if you went first thing

  • Blair says:

    Did MAN to DXB this weekend for anyone interested in latest process. PCR test within 72hrs; did Collinson at the airport and result came back within 18hrs. Vaccination status appears to count for nought.

    MAN check in moved pretty slowly; many passengers connecting in DXB with forms to be checked for whole family group. Check in staff appeared to be doing a lot of phone calls to clarify who could travel through to final destinationx

    Emirates check in staff gave a voucher for entry to the T1 Escape Lounge in lieu of the Emirates lounge. They said the lounge will re-open once they move up to twice-daily frequency, but have no plans to do so at present. They confirmed double-daily 777 service rather than any return of the A380.

    Escape lounge was perhaps half to a third full seat-wise, but many single occupants of tables meaning staff were assigning arriving guests to tables. Food is self service buffet.

    Emirates meal service back to normal bar plastic perforated covering on the bread rolls and a plastic dome over the mixed nuts. The no amenity kits on day flights rule does just seem stingy though, and counterproductive as the staff offer the items individually anyway.

    Arrival in DXB Terminal 3 was quieter than in the past 12 months with many carriers moving back to Terminal 1. Airport staff check for a negative test result, in a cursory manner. Then immigration desk only want to see passports. The free tourist SIM cards from Du are back, being handed out by the immigration officers.

    Overall it was pretty unremarkable. Even MAN security played ball; 5 trays in, 5 trays out, no secondary screening track of doom.

  • Tiger says:

    O/T: I have an appointment booked to go test drive a used car I am planning to buy. I was thinking of taking an expert mechanic with me to check the car. Are there any apps/websites where I can book a mechanic to check the car for me?

  • FatherOfFour says:

    Energy – I’ve seen a few on here asking for referral codes for Octopus / Bulb etc. My contract with eON is nearing it’s end. I gather Octopus and/bulb can be “topped up” wit Amex. Aside from this are they competitive? We have solar, but no EV yet, so electric usage is fairly low.

    • Nick says:

      Yes, but depends on your usage – definitely use details from an old bill and plug them in to a price comparison site.

      • EwanG says:

        +1. Some have reported that using a referral code has resulted in a higher tariff than going direct/through comparison sites but if you want to go with Octopus here’s my link (before Harry gets in with his)

    • Blindman says:

      Igloo can also be topped up with Amex

      They pay 3% interest on your balance too

      My referral link 🙂

      • Mr. AC says:

        +1 for Igloo, best right now I reckon.

        • idrive says:

          amazing thank you for your replies, for some reason no comparison sites showed me Igloo, just clicked via referral (is the discount already calculated) and basically it is the most competitive in absolute terms -together with AVRO variable and basically much cheaper than renewal quotes! the only problem i see is that it is a variable tariff, which means – maybe subject to increase? what is your experience so far, how much do they generally increase? – the alternative is £72 more for a 24 months Fixed terms. I was reading they may heavily increase energy prices?

          • Blindman says:

            It is variable but you can leave at any time with no fees, so if at a later date they become uncompetitive you can switch again.

          • Blindman says:

            Using my referral link gets £50 for both you and me.

          • JDB says:

            I think Igloo’s dual fuel prices went up 12% today! Therein lies the problem with the variable rate, as you identified. When I do a comparison, I see Igloo on the list but quite a bit more expensive than E.On (and after today quite a lot more now) but it is particular to each area and how much you pay monthly and if you have just electricity or gas as well. As prices seem to go up relentlessly, I have found the premium for the two year fixes with E.On has worked out really well.

          • FatherOfFour says:

            Hmm, So MSE comparison tells me that Igloo is cheaper than what I am on by £45 per year. Igloo, via Nigel’s referral link gives me the same monthly d/d cost as MSE, but tells me they are £240/year more expensive!

    • Sina says:

      There is Igloo as well, I just switched to them as my contract ended, and using comparison websites, it shows me Igloo is the best (price-wise)

    • Ikaz says:

      Igloo was cheapest for my situation, and no minimum term made it a winner for me. Worth looking at your location and consumption and seeing what the offers are like really. I also value the 3% interest on balances of up to £1k that you can pay with Amex

      • FFoxSake says:

        +1 for Igloo. You can prepay your bills to earn the 3% interest (on credit balances up to £1K). You can also reduce your DD down to a negotiated nominal amount via email with their CS. Mine is set at £1. YMMV.

        • FatherOfFour says:

          Thanks all. Will check them all out.

        • Youllnever says:

          Is your money protected if they go bust?

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Yes all U.K. utility firms are.

            Though the interest may not be.

        • JDB says:

          Everyone seems very keen on Igloo, but they have increased prices 3 times in less than 12 months so the ability to pay by Amex and the credit interest rather falls away?? We are in the middle of nowhere (so no mains gas) and high monthly cost so Igloo was always more expensive but now (after todays +12% from Igloo) it is extraordinarily more costly.

          • Luke says:

            I’ve just switched to Sainsburys energy. They had the best 2 year fixed rate for me, and 8,000 bonus nectar points. No Amex though, but you can top up with visa/MasterCard

    • Alan says:

      Have a look at outfox the market, it’s very competitive on price and lets you pay via Amex. Service has been fine so far.

  • Ammar says:

    Hi. My wife has a BA 241 voucher expiring Apr 2022, is it worth applying for an FTV to get an extension now or do you think its worth waiting – will there be any extension? @Rob + Rhys – do you have any more information on this?

    • Rob says:

      I would expect additional extensions but not necessarily for a voucher valid to April 2022. Once the US open then – as far as BA is concerned – the entire world is ‘open’, and this won’t be long now.

  • David says:

    As of today, now able to covert Nectar points into money off fuel at Esso. 300 points gives 5p off per litre.

    • Ed says:

      So, you’d be looking at filling with more than 30L to start getting more than 0.5p per point value?

      • TGLoyalty says:

        And it’s probably 4-5p more than your local supermarket station in the first place.

  • Gomac says:

    Does anyone have an Amex Plat 70k referral link?

  • Josh says:

    Sorry to ask again, anyone got the 70k plat ref link to share please?


    • TGLoyalty says:

      If you do don’t post it publicly. That’s a silly thing to do when it’s clearly against the terms.

      Find a way to contact each other …

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        Like a newly created Gmail account without your name or linkage to any accounts 🤣

      • Sal says:

        I guess this is only valid if you’ve not had a personal amex in 2 years?

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      I dont have plat but if anyone wants the gold 32k offer email [email protected]

      Whoever does have plat offer don’t post it publicly 😊

    • Gilian says:

      Hi Josh, if you email me at [email protected] I can send you the 70k referral link!

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