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The HfP chat thread – Thursday 16th September

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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.

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Comments (538)

  • Rhys says:

    I’m off to Dubai tomorrow. Anyone have any recommendations (or discount recommendations – I seem to recall an app mentioned at some point?)

    • TGLoyalty says:

      The entertainer is the discount app

      Where are you staying?

      quite like tribes in the Dubai mall sitting outside over looking the fountain.

      • Layla says:

        I’m off to Dubai in a couple of weeks too. I’ve heard of the entertainer app. Are there any special promo codes or advice on which to purchase? Help appreciated! Thanks.

        • Rob says:

          Got onto eBay and ‘rent’ the app off someone for a week. Saves a fortune because it is VERY expensive albeit you will make a profit overall.

          • BP says:

            Apparently they sell a tourist version now. I previously rented off eBay for something like £20 for a week and it saved about £200

            There’s also a MasterCard version for middle eastern card holders. It only requires the card BIN to register and it’s not hard to find a working BIN… The more exclusive cards get better deals…

      • Rhys says:

        Thanks, will try Entertainer.

        Staying at Sheraton Grand (it’s got the new Sheraton concept), W Palm, Royal Meridien, JW Marquis. So all over really!

        • Rob says:

          Rent it on eBay!

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Check out city walk (Farzi Cafe is good), Le Mer (hopefully weather isn’t too hot right now) and Al Seef is worth a visit in the evening depending how long you are there.

          All close in taxi from SG and JWM. The tower A lounge at JWM did some decent cocktails the last time I was there but food was meh still worth checking out as drinks prices in Dubai are £££

          Also the steakhouse was very good (on entertainer) with a great view of Dubai when near the window.

          Tribes (and the whole group) have their own app – FFI

        • DeB20 says:

          Sheraton Grand was beginning to show its wear and tear in the rooms when I last visited in November 2019.

          The JWM Marquis was excellent and I can’t praise the front desk team and restaurant team enough for their dedication to providing excellent service. The rooms were in good condition too.

          Look forward to reading your reviews Rhys, although I am personally veering towards staying at the Address Boulevard or Address Downtown, my old favourites, when I next visit Dubai.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            The one on sheikh dated road was fully refurbished in 2020

          • Rhys says:

            The Sheraton Grand has just been refurbished as part of the Sheraton new-look style so it will be brand new (hence I am going!)

        • TJ says:

          Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort has two exec lounges you are entitled to use if Platinum Elite or above. The better one was Le Royal Club Lounge which served some decent food and drink.

    • Mrs_Fussy says:

      Second Entertainer App, almost monstly 2 for 1

      • KBuffett says:

        I’m trying to sign up, but it’s not accepting either of my email address as a valid email address. Any ideas?

    • Chas says:

      Hopefully Blenz101 (can’t quite remember his full moniker) will be along soon to give you his detailed local insight.

    • KZ says:

      The Marina is where you want to be really- loads of bars, beaches and restaurants, and one of the only parts of the city you can (and actually want to) walk around in. Definitely the most vibrant part of the city.

      If you‘re staying at the Conrad in the city centre, there is a free 30min shuttle to the la mer beach, however, it‘s a 1 hour return leg as the bus services other hotels as well.

      The financial centre has the nice restaurants, though not much else. The Palm I found just a bit secluded, and it was rather quiet when I was last there despite peak season.

      Best part of Dubai are the people- there is a very good chance you‘ll get yourself invited to a villa and/or yacht party.

      • Aston100 says:

        What people?
        The local snooty and slightly xenophobic Emiratis (particularly bad towards non white people)? or the poor imported workforce who are forced to look happy? or do you mean privileged ex-pats (can’t call them immigrants apparently)?

        • DeB20 says:

          Good point Aston100!

        • Adam says:

          Indeed Aston100! And Marina is where you would NOT want to be. Crowded and overpriced.

        • KZ says:

          Evidently we spend our time around very different people.

          The Emiratis tend to avoid the touristy places for obvious reasons. The ones I did come across were lovely – very friendly and keen to talk to you.

          It is exceptionally easy to get a work visa in Dubai. The “imported workforce” are there because they actually want to be there. To say that they are “forced to look happy” is projecting your own world view on theirs and frankly naive.

          I was referring to the largely young demographic coming from all over the world. They are friendly, ambitious, and often accomplished young entrepreneurs whom I think Rhys may enjoy talking to.

          • Aston100 says:

            I think you are living in a bubble and possibly protected over there by ‘white privilege’.
            And you call me naive.

          • Rob says:

            I think you’re failing to distinguish between unskilled labourers (who may not have the greatest living and working conditions in Dubai but it is generally a lot better than what they have left behind) and the more the educated who tend to work in the hotels and restaurants, and are not really any different to a German coming to the UK to work as an au pair. Working in a 5-star hotel in Dubai would be an enviable job for an educated person from Pakistan etc.

            And, as I always say in these discussions, if you are so concerned about the welfare of immigrants abroad, the best thing to do is to campaign for the UK to fling open its doors to all immigrants. This is the best way of improving conditions for immigrants in other countries, whose employers would then need to compete with the UK in terms of wages and living conditions. I rarely find people in favour of that though.

          • KZ says:

            A rather predictable assumption has been made – I am non white (as are – surprisingly – a large proportion of the people in Dubai!).

            The juxtaposition of accusing strangers of “white privilege” while using the phrase “snooty and slightly xenophobic Emiratis” is certainly an entertaining one…

        • KBuffett says:

          Rob makes some good comments.
          I’d also say that people from the UK are certainly not friendly to tourists, and the UK has become rich by arguably plundered the world. So these types of conversations don’t really get us anywhere.
          It’s a great holiday destination, and KZ is correct in that Dubai has now attracted a lot of young, ambitious, energetic, entrepreneurial people and it has a lot going for it. The future prospects are great. There is also a lot of increasing and high quality manufacturing there.

    • Rory says:

      Check out La Perle. Amazing show, can get some good deals on tickets too.

  • krys_k says:

    Any recommends for a day 2 test at home from a recent user please ?

    • Anon says:

      Randox seems to be the most reliable and cheapest that you can actually get. Worked for me although I think drop off points are limited and may not be convenient for you.

    • idrive says:

      Nationwide Pathology £40, reliable in 2 recent occasions for DAY2 and you post at the priority red box /post office even on Sat/Sun.

  • Alan Todd says:

    Does row 1 count as an exit row on BA, ie will I be moved if I have a lap infant? Was reading conflicting experiences on FT. TIA

    • AL says:

      Assuming 1A/1K etc., then I think that should be bulkhead in First. But if you pass your flight number, date and class along, I might be able to look it up…

    • Jonathan says:

      1A/C & D are exit row seats. They didn’t count on the old LGW A320’s with a bulkhead I recall but they’ve all gone. If it counts as Exit row then you’ll get a notification you have to agree to when you select via MMB/App.

    • Alan Todd says:

      thanks both. should have been more clear it’s CE. edi-lhr-lca on Sunday. booked into 1F, will see what happens!

  • Chris says:

    I’m sure this has been answered to death but I honestly can’t find a conclusive answer.

    As I see Rhys is off to Dubai, what happens if he fails his fit to fly test, in the 2-3 days before returning?

    • Fair Dinkum says:

      He’ll probably get off with crucifixion.

    • Reney says:

      You won’t be able to board the transportation to return to the UK and need to follow the local quarantine rules for people test positive?

      • Anna says:

        Locked up inside the most expensive suite in the Burj al Arab and forced to write HFP reviews for 10 days?

      • Chris says:

        That’s what I assume but I can’t see it clearly detailed.

        Looks to me like 10 days quarantine, but wonder how that works in reality. Does it have to be specific hotel? How does it work with your flight home?

        • Zara says:

          I know of someone doing this literally atm. Family of 4. Mum tested positive. She is self isolating in a hotel there for 10 days and the dad and kids came back home, as kids already missed a week of school trying to circumvent the Turkey red list issue. The “free” government hotels are shared apparently and like hostels so she paid approx £700 for the 10 days which includes food. But the food was/is terrible so she’s using their version of Uber eats.

          • Zara says:

            Also better to do a lateral flow before the official pcr and if it’s positive then you can choose your own self isolating hotel. If lateral flow is positive, then most likely pcr will (but not necessarily the other way round I have heard).
            If the test is done via pcr etc then has to be government names places only.

      • Mouse says:

        Or find someone who can discreetly provide a negative sample on a new test

    • Rhys says:

      Luckily being double vaccinated and having had Covid-19 just over a month ago I should be ok 🙂

      • KBuffett says:

        Or it may still show as positive……

      • Jonathan says:

        I’d be taking a Qured/Chronomics LFT with you Rhys. Very high chance PCR will still be positive at <8 weeks whereas LFT reverts to negative quite quickly once recovered. Our labs at work won’t even run a PCR for anyone with a positive in previous 12 weeks as a) they’re invariably still positive & b) it’s meaningless.

        Definitely need to check if the recent positive in U.K. exempts you from quarantine in Dubai if test positive again & if you would also be allowed to board a flight home with a positive PCR.

        • Tracey says:

          There is a chance of getting a positive PCR a month after infection, but it certainly isn’t a high chance. Most people would go negative after a fortnight.

        • Rhys says:

          I need to do a fit to fly PCR anyway 🙂 came back negative today.

  • Benilyn says:

    How long does this take to post usually with Amex MR:

    Spend £X, get X bonus Membership Rewards points
    Membership Rewards®

  • rams1981 says:

    Morrisons dropped off both PAW and Airtime. Back on Hilton for 6 days

  • Roger W says:

    JUst cancelled x2 Business Class flights to Antigue 9-19 November. Current cash price £11K

    Took me as long on the phone as the flight would have been – shocking. Perhaps redeploy some of the furloughed staff to the phones. Good work experieince for them. Doubt it takes more than a week to be trained. This call centre experieince must put people off BA. Would put me off flying with the b….y airline again.

    • Tim says:

      Why do you doubt it takes more than a week to be trained? IAG Loyalty (E.g. those you speak to when you book your 2-4-1 voucher flights) train new staff over 5 weeks and monitor them for 6 months.

    • Peter says:

      Tried whole morning to call BA Avios team, still could not get through. Spoken with 2 different person but they could not help at all and had to transfer me to the Avois team , no one picked up the call.

      Any other suggestions? Really tired of this now. Thanks.

      • ankomonkey says:

        Similar thing here. I even tried Chat function – couldn’t help me and told me to call. I re-iterated that I’d called and failed twice today before attempting via Chat. Madness!

        • Peter says:

          used two phones to called whole morning and finally got through, just unbelievable !

  • Definitas says:

    Has anyone successfully submitted a quarantine plan for Canada (i.e. had it accepted and entered the country)? Any tips would be welcome

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Don’t you just need to say you’ll stay in a hotel if you test positive?

    • MW says:

      A quarantine plan requirement is to ensure you have a place to stay for the quarantine period without moving accommodation (for example, 2 bookings at separate locations would not suit).

      If such a stay is not your intention and you have no friends/family who can provide you with suitable accommodation, book a fully cancellable hotel stay for 14 days in addition to your normal accommodation.

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