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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)

  • Lou says:

    Hi, I’m going to Germany on Tuesday. I’m fully vaccinated, could someone please confirm that the only thing I need to do when entering Germany is to complete their form ahead of time. I don’t need to do a pre departure test, right?

    • Steve R says:

      Hi Lou. That’s correct. If you are fully vaccinated, all you need to do is to compete the German Passenger Locator Form (on their website) and have proof of vaccination. I would recommend you print off the PLF and have a paper copy of your Vaccination status. Once in Germany, you should be ok getting onto restaurants bars etc with the NHS app to prove vaccination status. We have used it everywhere in Frankfurt without issues. Have fun!

    • Mike says:

      Correct, no pre-departure test, I seemed to get through very quickly as I had a printout of my UK vax cert and a printout of the German plf and it’s code. Those trying to show phones took longer, the immigration guy even thanked me for being organised. You didn’t say which airport you are going through. If it’s Frankfurt, then I would suggest racing through to immigration as the queue can get quite busy for non-EU, your baggage pick-up is straight after immigration, don’t let any signs for baggage claim before then worry you, just keep walking until you get to immigration. I stupidly worried about where baggage claim was as I went past signs saying baggage claim and kept stopping, it probably cost me 1/2 hour in immigration.

  • Matty says:

    Off to Athens in a few weeks. The B787 seems to be operating on the 09:50 departure from Heathrow on a Friday at the moment but I can’t see it operating the route next month. Will that change or should I take it that it’ll be an A320 at this point?

  • Sina says:

    Question – If I fly to Thailand, and come back to UK (airside) and fly to Turkey for 11 days, would I encounter any problems in UK? Can I change planes without going through passport control? (Both flights are star alliance if important?)

    • Rich says:

      If you have hand luggage only, you can transfer airside if you have printed your boarding pass.

      With luggage – I don’t know the Star Alliance rules on through-checking. If not through checked, you’d have to come through immigration.

    • Jonathan says:

      1 ticket or separate? If the latter then it’s a risk I wouldn’t take unless you can travel HBO. Even then they may deny boarding in Thailand as if plane delayed or flight to Turkey cancelled etc then you’d have to enter U.K. as no facility to overnight airside. At that point you’d need to enter hotel quarantine AIUI.

    • Pablo says:

      If TH is still on red list when you fly back and the trip is on separate tickets you will be denied boarding in TH if you haven’t booked the UK hotel quarantine.

      • Nick says:

        That’s not true. If you demonstrate that you’re in immediate transit (regardless of whether it’s one ticket or two) and hold a passport that allows TWOV then you’ll be allowed to board. It’s easy to see why people get confused when well-meaning but mis-informed internetters say incorrect things. Airlines don’t deny boarding ‘on the off chance your connection may be cancelled’!

        This would only ever be an issue if luggage couldn’t be through-checked. If HBO it’ll be fine regardless. On an airline like SQ (for example) that through-checks all luggage, it would also be fine.

        • Pablo says:

          Passengers entering England who have been in or transited through … Thailand… in the past 10 days must:
          – have a quarantine package for 11 nights; and
          – arrive at Birmingham (BHX), Farnborough (FAB), Gatwick (LGW), Heathrow (LHR) or London City (LCY)

          The airline sees London as a final destination and the passenger needs to comply with the entry requirements for the final destination.

        • Sam G says:

          YMMV situation I think, I’ve transited Vietnam before without a visa on seperate tickets before for example but the airline did quite a bit of checking yet I know of other times the airline refused to carry in that exact situation. So personally I wouldn’t plan to do this as it could easily go either way

        • Jonathan says:

          And if you are delayed on inbound so miss connection then you’re not protected on separate tickets ie. you have no booked onward travel outside CTA. You’re not then “in transit” by any definition. Don’t think it’s unreasonable to point out this could get messy quite easily. Just book as 1 through ticket so it’s black & white in regs that you can avoid quarantine whilst transiting or use one of the many routes from Thailand-Turkey that avoid a UK connection.

    • Kai says:

      @Sina – Where have you been man?
      I posted sometime earlier this week, to check how much you put on the Morrison’s offer this time around. It is always good to know how much fellow miles and points enthusiasts are doing with a particular offer.

      • Sina says:

        Thanks everyone! Will have to decide what to do!

        @Kai I’ve been busy with work recently, just following comments, I did £3k Morrisons which got me two apple watches and a Washer dryer with 40% discount as everything stacked! Quite happy with it but didn’t risk buying more and regret it! 😅

        • Kai says:

          Thanks man for your response. I guess I am in minority with my £18.5k “investment” in Morrisons gift cards.

          • Sina says:

            You’re a legend!! If you actually have the use, it’s quite a great investment!

  • Jamie says:

    Hello,

    Just for anyone else in a similar situation. I had a Virgin 50% reward booking for J.berg cancelled today by Virgin. I waited maybe 30 mins on whatsapp for a reply, they rebooked it for next year no problem with no cost and no change to point requirement so all good. 50k points for 2 people Upper class, cant go wrong… Lets just hope SA opens by next year (I mean, who knows!)

  • Graeme says:

    Virgin CC, near triggering the 241 and want to time it right. Does it trigger on transaction date or statement date? Thanks

  • Andrew says:

    Has anyone followed up with Virgin about them not extending the status matched golds in the recent round of extensions?

    • AL says:

      Is it just status-matched golds having this issue? I’m an “organic” gold and haven’t seen my extension yet either. I’ll WhatsApp them and report back.

    • Mouse says:

      Not yet. Giving them a few weeks

  • John says:

    Can anyone remind me of current cheapest day 2 tests to purchase.

    Thanks

  • Frankie says:

    Posting this in case it’s of interest to anyone… Following on from my post yesterday where I’d bought a BA economy cash ticket Heathrow to Mykonos and had reserved 12c exit seat for free as I am silver. Flying this morning. Yesterday i couldn’t see my seat anymore in the BA app as it looked like club had been extended back to row 12 (from row 9) but all of a sudden I seemed to be in club Europe and could select a seat there rather than being forced to reselect from row 13. Anyway I arrived at airport today and am still in 12c which is indeed now club, so I seem to have been automatically upgraded but no one said anything and I got no notification on email or anything. Is this normal? I was still getting emails last night asking if I wanted to upgrade outbound for £204. The other bizarre thing was that when I checked in with a person at Heathrow I was told my bag allowance was only one hold bag. Even though when I was economy I had a two bag entitlement due to being silver. I did have two bags (took a pal’s who was hand baggage only on a separate booking who is silver and was also automatically upgraded like me but still with zero hold bags) but agent said she could override the one bag limit. Exit rows 11 and 12 only have us in them. So we’ve been switched from 12c and 12d in economy to 12c and 12d in club Europe.

    • Sam G says:

      I believe the divider can only be at 9 or 12 or something similar. So if CE needs to go back but ET is full then there would need to be a couple of upgrades, I got upgraded in this scenario in Barcelona once, enjoy it!

      • C says:

        I’ve also seen this happen where pax who originally booked ET are not given CE catering, notwithstanding where the curtain is located.

        • Jonathan says:

          I’ve also been moved from 13 (ET) to 12 (CE) when no CE passengers wanted to move back to sit in Exit row. They need at least 1 passenger in every exit row for takeoff & landing. Was told it wasn’t an upgrade but they let me stay in 12 and served me drinks throughout + meal when they knew there was spare. I guess it’s an issue if light loads on outbound but they need the full 12 rows for return leg.

    • Eppleby Green says:

      I did have two bags (took a pal’s who was hand baggage only on a separate booking who is silver and was also automatically upgraded like me but still with zero hold bags)

      I thought that checking someone else’s bags was illegal!

      • Aston100 says:

        “I thought that checking someone else’s bags was illegal!”
        Depends if they catch you sniffing their underwear.

      • Anna says:

        Only if there’s something illegal in it and you are aware of that (though good luck explaining if so). Probably technically against BA Ts & Cs, but who’s to know?

      • Mike says:

        How do you answer the question – did you pack that bag yourself sir ?

        • Aaron C says:

          I dunno, Mike. I don’t think I’ve been asked it in a while and often my wife packs the bags or we forget who’s is who’s anyway.
          I don’t suppose anyone loses much sleep over it.

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