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The HfP chat thread – Friday 17th 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.

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 (588)

  • BJ says:

    Thailand drama goes on, don’t know why it ever went on the Red List.

    • whiskerxx says:

      Pretty obvious really.
      Number of cases went up sharply.
      They “regulate” the number of new cases declared by the number of tests that are performed.
      They do little genomic sequencing.
      They started the vaccination programme using Chinese vaccines, and that is the bulk of what has been used.
      Only 40% population have had one vaccine of some kind, only 20% have had two.
      They have porous borders with the surrounding countries.
      I could go on, and on and on about a whole pile of other stuff.
      I’m surprised you don’t know.

      • Andy says:

        But it’s delta variant so what’s the point?! I might go to Thailand and bring back the delta variant, which is 100% of the cases here!! Madness

        • Anuj says:

          Perhaps it’s the worry of bringing back variants that we don’t realise until it’s too late due to their low vaccination rate?

          • Andy says:

            Well shut the whole world then Anju! But there aren’t any new variants of concern and if they get picked up then act then. Otherwise it’s a ridiculous situation

          • BJ says:

            A new variant that may yet come to dominate the landscape may have emerged yesterday, today, or perhaps tomorrow … in the UK, why not?

      • BJ says:

        Thailand and the UK are similar in size. The reality on the ground shows Thailand has weathered the covid storm much more effectively than the UK.

    • Thom says:

      I have (cancelled) BA flights for mid-November so I am hoping it moves off the red list + the new Bangkok entry requirements are palatable!

      On a practical level, putting aside the small number of people who may wish to avail themselves of the Phuket sandbox, the changes to Bangkok aren’t planned until the 15th October so there will be time for another review before then which will be far more important!

  • Luke says:

    Booking an outbound Eurostar from London to Amsterdam, but don’t know when I’ll be returning. My travel insurance covers up to 31 days so I assume will need a return ticket booked. What’s the best option? Did think Avios booking for the return and then cancel it but it’s 40+ euros to cancel and recredit the avios.

    • Sam G says:

      If you mean you aren’t coming back at all but want a throwaway ticket for the 31st day then Ryanair from Eindhoven probably cheapest – should be about €10 . Not sure you’d actually need a return ticket though I think any claim after 31 days would be rejected until you’d been back to the UK and started a new trip.

      • Luke says:

        I’ll be back before 31 days, I just don’t know when. I assume any medical claim would be rejected if I didn’t have a return ticket, even within those 31 days…

        • Blenz101 says:

          Why would you need a return ticket seems an odd assumption to make. Your insurer will only not cover you for trips longer than 31 days but isn’t going to mandate you to hold a fixed return.

          • Luke says:

            Looks like I’ll need to read the policy. I’ve always (maybe incorrectly) been under the assumption that a return ticket was required for travel insurance to be valid (even for medical up to the maximum length).

          • Rich says:

            I can see how an insurer might ask ‘what are the dates of your trip?’ when you make a claim, but I’d be surprised if they asked for proof of return travel, and even more surprised if they weren’t happy with ‘I’m due to return on this date; I haven’t booked it yet’.

            I wouldn’t worry about it.

    • AJA says:

      What do you want the insurance to cover? If you are intending to come back to the UK why not just buy a flexible return ticket for the last date when you intend to come back? Then you can change the date if you want to come back earlier. Or buy a one way cash ticket on BA and then if you need to change you can cancel for a FTV and rebook?

      Alternatively buy a separate one-way travel insurance policy but be aware that if you do not possess a return ticket, this can affect some types of claim. For instance, if you want to make a curtailment claim, cutting short your trip due to the illness or death of a close family member back home, you will find that you cannot claim the cost of a ticket home, as you would have had to buy one to get home anyway. This seems harsh but that is how the curtailment cover on travel insurance works.

      • Luke says:

        My only concern is medical cover while abroad…. I just don’t know the exact date I’ll return – I’d like to travel abroad and then book a return ticket when I’m ready (certainly before 31 days). Obviously not favourable for travel insurance, although would be fine if my policy covers medical up to 31 days without proof of a return ticket. Will need to check. Not bothered about cancellations etc… more worried about medical costs in the unlikely event I ended up in hospital in Europe, although I always assumed any claim would be rejected without proof of a return journey as they could argue I planned on a trip longer than 31 days.

        • AJA says:

          I think you need to ask your travel insurance provider but I think you will need to book a return trip to be covered or at least have two one way tickets in each direction before commencing your trip.

          As I said above I’d buy a one way BA ticket from AMS to LHR – either Avios or cash – for a date that you are likely to return or 31 days from your outbound Eurostar if later. Then cancel for a FTV and rebook if you want to come back earlier.

    • Blenz101 says:

      Anybody with a fully flexible ticket could in theory stay beyond 31 days, it proves nothing. The trip length is to ensure the trip is genuinely travel and not private medical insurance for expats or those with homes overseas that live abroad for extended periods.

      • AJA says:

        Yes but if you did buy a fully flexible ticket valid for say 15 days to start with, and then extended the stay beyond 31 days your insurance would stop covering you beyond 31 days.

        I agree that the trip length is to stop abuse of the insurance and ensure it is covering genuine travel starting and ending in the UK.

  • Roger says:

    What’s the best use of Google play credit I got from new Samsung galaxy watch 4?
    I see some people mentioned about Disney plus but don’t see if it is possible with UK Google Play version.

    • N says:

      Google One realistically.

      I use mine to pay for iptv through iptorrents but that’s a touch grey legally

  • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

    Data point – referred by Mrs T from her BAPP and opted for a Personal Platinum this Monday. Approved same day and card received in post on Wednesday. Activated same day and had £200 dining credit applied via chat today, which will be perfect for those Chelsea restaurant recommendations for next week at the Flower Show. Also get the 5,000 MRs for a supp card and Mrs T gets 12k Avios for referring too. Happy days and another BIG THANK YOU to HfP 🙂

    • Rob says:

      Note The Ivy credit does NOT apply to Kings Road.

      • KBuffett says:

        The Revolut offer ONLY applies to the Kings Road one, strangely.

      • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

        Yes – noted and a shame – going there for lunch on Friday anyway though thanks to all the recommendations. Will probably try to have it large at somewhere like Colbert on Saturday night with the credit!

    • SwissJim says:

      My Supp card credit not yet appeared – card received a couple of days ago. I guess patience is a virtue. How long should it take though – I thought it was near instant. Maybe the supp card needs to be used first (didn’t think that was the case though…).

      • Reney says:

        the dining credit offer is not available on the supplementary cards, only the main card holder

    • Degsy says:

      Who is Mrs T, GG? Presumably not Thatcher. Is she related?

  • Aliks says:

    I’m trying to decipher the latest COVID conditions for Madeira. It looks fairly straightforward for tourists travelling directly from England ie no tests needed for the double vaxxed, however I would be travelling:

    Bogota, Colombia – Madrid – Lisbon – Funchal

    None of the Madeira/Portugal websites talks about travel via Madrid/Lisbon from countries like Colombia so in theory the rules should be the same as for flights from Madrid or Lisbon.

    Does anyone know better?

    • FatherOfFour says:

      Travelers arriving from Colombia (see 178 additional countries) are not allowed to enter mainland Portugal.
      Please note, direct travel to Madeira and Porto Santo is allowed. The land borders between Portugal and Spain are open.

      • FatherOfFour says:

        Are you just transiting at Madrid and Lisbon?

        • Aliks says:

          I would most likely spend 3 days in Madrid before flying to Lisbon, then directly to Madeira

          • FatherOfFour says:

            You are allowed to enter Spain from Colombia, but not mainland Portugal. You are allowed to transit at Lisbon to get to Madeira, so your plan looks ok.

            Source: apply.joinsherpa.com/travel-restrictions (no I don’t have any affiliation despite mentioning twice today!) Plug in your transit as a connection and say you are coming from Colombia. Unfortunately, it doesnt list Funchal airport, but if you enter “portugal” it describes the differences between mainland and the islands.

  • FatherOfFour says:

    Any prospect of the BeNeLux region removing us from their red list? Belgium in particular. Our “couples” holiday is down the pan and Center Parcs in half-term is now hanging in the balance. 2 days quarantine on a 4 day break just doesn’t work.

    • patrick C says:

      The lovely 3rd country national conundrum.
      If you hold an eu passport, should be fine.
      Belgium only checks if you have a plf, nit really whats on it

  • Dominic says:

    Any suggestions on most reliable and affordable link for a RT-PCR?
    Randox London has no availability until Friday next week, ideally looking for sooner than that.

    • Dominic says:

      Scrap this, discovered Randox do Stansted Airport drive thru with loads of availability.

  • Aaron C says:

    Are BA operating anything ex-LGW currently? We have LGW-MBJ booked for January and I’m wondering if it’ll be shifted to LHR?

    • FatherOfFour says:

      Still operating the long-haul from LGW albeit reducing. Some has moved to LHR (Some BGI/UVF/ANU) Dont think MBJ is one of them.

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