Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Monday 9th 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 (353)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • BJ says:

    Email just received from Nectar, yet more points/avios to be won for transfers to BA or spend elsewhere;

    Hey Mr BJ, Spend some of those juicy Nectar points you’ve saved up at big brands like Sainsbury’s, Argos, British Airways and loads more from 12 August to 1 September, and you’ll be in with a chance of winning 20,000 Nectar points*.

    Sounds good, right? Make sure you check the app from 12 August, then load the offer to your card to enter.

  • Matthew says:

    @Reney I used Prenetics for return and had no issues with any checks with the PDF on my phone.

    @ChrisA I’m sure they all show the same information but the benefit of the French app is that you don’t need to login or be connected to the internet. It’s all locally stored and much faster with less pfaffing around

    • Matthew says:

      The reply didn’t link but this was RE: Eurostar / France

    • ChrisA says:

      Yes good point – something which I will be more likely to think of when my Vodafone contract reverts to roaming charges!

  • YC says:

    Whoever is complaining about waiting on hold to BA/Virgin. Took me 3 hrs to get through to Delta…

    • VickyTM says:

      I thought the Delta hold voice was strangely calming!! Better than Bittersweet Symphony

      • Blair says:

        Delta can do a lot via Twitter DM and some iMessage system I didn’t quite understand.

  • Clive says:

    Virgin points for concerts on the Red App – Blondie/Madness so interesting options.

  • Idrive says:

    Hi little help please i have tried caling Ba all day with no results. Which US or other call centre can i call? Can you share some numbers i can call with skype please?

    • Claire says:

      I used the chat facility rather than call to cancel a flight. Took a while but nowhere near times people have been saying. Started as 11th in queue but all sorted in the end and avios back in my account next day refund will be in 7 to 10 days according to agent. Good luck

    • C says:

      Try calling the U.K. number at exactly 8am. It works for me

      • Idrive says:

        I ll sure try! Thanks but if i could book tonight would be ideal all the organization of the trip depends on the rebooking of the flight!

  • ChrisC says:

    Issues with Randox test collections

    “Anger at overflowing Covid test drop boxes”

    “One of the bigger providers of Covid PCR test kits has responded after images of overflowing drop boxes were shared online.

    “The firm, Randox, said it was increasing the number of drop boxes and the frequency of box collections.

    “The move comes after people posted pictures of returned test kits piled high on top of drop boxes in Sutton and Hampstead over the weekend.”

    • Blair says:

      “Anger at paying through the nose to test for a virus variant that’s already all over Europe, UK included” – There, much better Aunty.

  • BrianEXT says:

    Cancelled by Virgin credit card 14 months ago.

    I have been offered a cash refund on a Ryanair flight that was originally booked with the Virgin card.

    Would this refund still be refunded 14 months after closure? If so, I’m guessing Virgin would write to me?

    The other option is keeping my Ryanair voucher but I’d much rather have the ~£500 cash.

    • ChrisC says:

      Yes VS will contact you and ask you where you want the money sent to.

    • Harry T says:

      Just ring virgin up when you are notified. Or you may be able to log in to your old account and check for the refund. I’ve called them in the past for a refund to a cancelled card – they had no problems refunding me to my bank account.

  • Mark says:

    Hi- newbie question. Emirates just advised that I need to take a test within 3 days before arriving back into the U.K. from Dubai in a couple of weeks. We leave next Monday from Manchester. I thought it was just a PCR on day two after returning for fully vaccinated travellers? I’ve checked the different test providers and they all seem to have different ‘offerings’ . Spent a couple of hours going round in circles and would be really appreciative of anyone who might better guide me! Thank you in advance.

    • John says:

      Everyone needs a test to board a flight to the UK but it can be lateral flow

    • Rob says:

      It is Day 0, Day 1 or Day 2 so Emirates is technically correct. Just buy a Randox with the BA code, or have it done at Manchester when you arrive and be done.

      • Mark says:

        Thanks @Rob. Appreciate the fast reply. And thanks also to John for your comments. Mark

      • Blair says:

        Careful though, LFTs don’t seem to exist in the UAE. I’ve not spotted them at any test centre here. You don’t want to get caught arguing the toss with an Emirates check in agent at 4am if they’re insisting on seeing a PCR result. PCRs are cheap as chips here with 12hr turnaround the norm. If I were you, I’d wait and get my return to UK test done while in Dubai. Granted a LFT you bring with you allows you to ‘self-manage’ any potential positive result so I can understand why you might want to exhaust all possibilities in that regard.

    • Harry T says:

      You need a rapid antigen in the three days prior to departure to return to the UK from a green or Amber list country. It doesn’t matter if you’re vaccinated. It’s stupid but so is Grant Schapps.

      • Mark says:

        Aha. So, if I understand Rob and Harry T’s combined comments, we need a rapid antigen within 3 days of departure from Dubai and then a further test on day 0,1 or 2 when we have returned to the U.K. This test could also be rapid antigen rather than PCR? Sorry for the clarification question

        • Blair says:

          No your test when back in the UK MUST be a PCR. And see my note above re UAE and saliva-based tests not seemingly being a thing.

          • Mark says:

            Thanks @Blair. I think I have it now- hopefully! One PCR test taken in Dubai approx 24-48 hours before departure, will cover us to fly back and would also meet the U.K. test requirement. Much appreciated

        • Harry T says:

          You need a rapid antigen test in the three days prior to returning to the UK AND a PCR test within two days of arriving into the UK.

          • Blenz101 says:

            Bingo. Only tests available in Dubai are PCR available across the city without booking at any clinic / test centre and capped by law at around £20 universally. You will need this to board back to U.K.

            You will also need to book arrival tests separately in the U.K. the number of which will vary depending on your vaccination status.

          • Mark says:

            Thanks @ Harry T. 2 tests it is. Thanks everyone for your help and patience.

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