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The HfP chat thread – Saturday 18th 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 (305)

  • aviosnewbie says:

    Not able to pay beardy via bendy this morning….regardless of underlying card

  • Blair says:

    Netherlands advice: Anyone familiar with this CoronaCheck app they are requiring for entry into most hospitality venues as of 25 Sept? The app was bugger all use to me when I tried earlier as you need a Netherlands digital ID, which has to be applied for in person and there doesn’t seem to be a tourist QR upload option.

    • Pieter says:

      You can’t upload any non-Dutch vaccination proof into the CoronaCheck app. EU citizens are expected to use their respective countries’ apps which NL will accept and event/bar/restaurant staff will be able to scan.

      However, with a UK vaccination you’re stuffed. You’ll need to take a rapid test every 24 hours at a “Testen voor Toegang” facility and upload the negative result in the CC app (you don’t need a NL ID for this).

      I’m in the same boat. Dutch citizen, resident in the UK with UK vaccination. Seeing family in a few weeks’ time, having to go through the same rigmarole of daily testing…

      There is quite a lot of public backlash though and public disobedience may lead to no checks being conducted or the Gov rowing back. We’ll have to see!

      • TPGreen says:

        Could you not just use the French anti Covid app which does take a NHS vax status? If they are compatible across EU countries, surely it doesn’t matter that you aren’t French, don’t have to prove that?

      • Dave says:

        @Pieter are you sure this is accurate? What’s to stop a Brit showing them their QR code in the French or German app?

        • meta says:

          Not possible. It is still essentially NHS QR code and when the border officials scan with verification app it will show as invalid. You can try it with any other EU covid verification app and see what happens.

        • Pieter says:

          Source is Dutch government website plus local media, plus me trying for myself with the various apps. I know the NHS QR code can be uploaded into the French app and have done this myself. The French (and say, Italian) verification app then recognises it – all good.

          However the Dutch verification app still doesn’t recognise it. All of this may be IT teething issues, plus in the end a paper certificate may be accepted. But for the moment there’s no iron cast guarantee.

    • Harry T says:

      They will obviously come up with a solution that allows british vaccination to be recognised, like every other major EU country. I wouldn’t worry about it. The French accept the british QR codes in their Corona app, for example.

    • Fivebobbill says:

      On a similar note, has anyone any advice on travelling to Switzerland? I’ll be there in 2 weeks, am fully vaccinated UK/NI AZ, but the rules appear unclear as to entry for UK visitors, plus it appears the Swiss are insisting on an EU covid cert or some sort of pass to get into restaurants and bars from this coming Monday!?

      • John says:

        Afaik the Swiss haven’t come up with a solution for non EU / EEA / CH yet

      • James17uk says:

        They have been accepting the NHS certificates up until now. I’m sure this will still suffice even if you have to upload to a website for a further pass.

        • Tom1 says:

          I put my NHS Cert in to the french anti covid app, and that is working with mixed success in geneva. It worked in Burger King yesterday but didn’t work in IKEA (living the dream).
          The Swiss Bag said they will make NHS certs work – not sure when . (Was announced yesterday)

          I wouldn’t worry too much – anywhere I go that cannot scan have always let me in once I show my NHS Cert.

          • Fivebobbill says:

            Cheers guys, will try to get the French version up and running before I go. And it’s a weekend football trip Tom, can’t see IKEA being a deal breaker 🤪

          • Tom1 says:

            Fivebobbill- you can now apply for a Swiss covid pass if you really want one. Need proof of vaccination, copy of passport, and proof of your stay in Switzerland – so hotel or flight confirmation. Could take 7 days apparently.
            Personally if you are in Switzerland for a few days I wouldn’t bother. Checks have increased but are happy to let you in if show NHS certificate (electronic) with some form of ID to prove you are that person.

  • VJ says:

    I wonder if someone can suggest which CC works for free 200 cash withdrawal (no cash advance or interest) via Curve at home, I got Barclays Hilton and Halifax Clarity.

  • YC says:

    Good news – Jordan is off the fcdo essential travel only advice. Odd it’s only changed yesterday given they have been on the amber list for a while

  • BJ says:

    Posted very late last night so it may be game over already but check your Monese accounts for 20% off £50 and £100 giftcards. Even if you have not received the email or a notification it might be worth trying to apply the codes SHOP50 and SHOP100. Stupidly I closed my account just last week but Aston100 confirmed last night that both work.

    • Danny says:

      Just make sure you have £120 in the account before redeeming both codes otherwise it won’t work. Annoyingly no Amazon gift cards available!

    • Swiss Jim says:

      Never really leveraged my Monese account. Am I missing a MS trick? Just opened app for first time in ages (nil balance, had been ignoring). Can’t see anything re gift cards. Do I need to have other than the Simple account?

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      NB it’s a weaker selection of gift cards this time. No Amazon. Sainsbury’s the only supermarket.

    • xcalx says:

      Cheers, no email or notification, we manged to get 2 of each this morning

  • Gary says:

    Returning from red via third country for fully vaccinated. If one arrives at non red-list say on 1 Oct, on which day can one depart fr the 3rd country for London to avoid hotel quarantine? Is it 10, 11, 12 Oct?

    • John says:

      When you arrive or depart the 3rd country is irrelevant.

      If you leave the red country on 1 Oct, then the earliest you can arrive in the UK is 12 Oct, as you were not in the red country for 10 days (2nd to 11th).

    • Can says:

      Oct 12.
      What they do is, subtract 10 from your arrival and make sure you were amber fully that they. Oct11 does not work because 11-10=1 Oct, you were not fully in an amber country

  • Njb says:

    Good morning from Domes Miramare. Not where I was expecting to be as booked Domes of Corfu!
    Transfer over to Marriott for D of C proving troublesome and they lost my booking. After a few hours of hanging around they transferred me to Miramare.
    Good result but more hassle than we needed after an early morning flight.
    Saw D of C briefly as they gave us a room to shower in – small rooms, friendly staff but lacks luxury feel of Miramare.

    • Harry T says:

      They wouldn’t honour you booking at Domes of Corfu? You should definitely receive some kind of compensation!

      • Njb says:

        No – they had overbooked my room.
        Wasted half a day sorting it out. Domes Miramare is an upgrade but even so not what I had booked.
        Emailed Marriott via the complaint app – no response as yet.
        Any direction on who in Marriott to contact?

        • KBuffett says:

          You could try them via Twitter @marriottbonvoy
          I have found them to be somewhat responsive
          However, if you have a LinkedIn profile, I think that channel is the best for relatively serious complaints. Good luck and keep us informed.

      • meta says:

        If you have status there is cash/cash+points compo for ultimate reservation guarantee.

        • meta says:

          You should have actually pointed that out to Domes Corfu in the first instance. I would have also called Marriott on the spot.

          • Njb says:

            I did discuss compensation.
            I did not call Marriott but have emailed them.
            Lets see what happens.
            Thanks for responding.

          • meta says:

            @Njb and what did the hotel say? They should have moved you to another hotel plus $200 in local currency plus 90k Marriott points.

          • Njb says:

            After a 3-30am start arriving at D of Corfu at 3pm – Waiting an hour with excuses that my room wasn’t ready – my exhaustion led me to forget the exact details of compensation due.
            Am following all of this up whilst still trying to forget all about it drinking cocktails in haute living lounge 🙂

    • Rob says:

      Rooms are small, as we flagged in our original article. 22 sp m I think. Would be a bit of a shock after the villa with private pool we had at Elounda last year. They need to be careful that they don’t overextend themselves and their brand.

      • Njb says:

        I do think – from my brief visit – that they have done exactly that. The family room they gave us to shower in was tiny. Fixture and fittings look poor quality – particularly the black toilet !
        Money has gone on design for sure.
        The taxi driver told me that he has done the D of C drive to Miramare many times this season due to overbookings and complaints.

    • Anuj says:

      Domes of Miramare is lovely so if you get some compensation too, it may just work out net positive for you

      • Njb says:

        My thinking too.
        My advice to any future travellers would be do not book D of C unless you arewilling to compromise on room size and want a Domes feeling for less money. The two seem poles apart.

  • Danny says:

    Airtime Rewards, using code SEP3 for £3 bonus when you spend £10 this weekend.

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