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The HfP chat thread – Sunday 19th 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.

Please only comment under the main articles on the site if your comment is directly related to the topic of the article.  This has long-term benefits as it keeps the commentary relevant for people who read those articles in the future.

Old chat threads are hidden from the HfP home page.  If you want to look for something in an old thread, click here.  This brings up all the articles in our ‘General’ category which includes the chat threads.

Comments (390)

  • Jane says:

    Wow, Travel Insurance is crazy at the moment, two quotes so far, both for worldwide plus winter sports (optimistic), ABTA was anywhere from £725 – £975 depending on the level, staysure £159. Looks like it’s going to be a dull afternoon reading small print.

    • Rich says:

      I’d be interested to see what you find.

      During Covid I’m self-insuring, up to a point, by making flexible bookings. I’ve taken a couple of trips, and relied on Amex Plat. I assume at all times they won’t pay out, then I can be pleasantly surprised when they do!

      The thought of medical bills or paying for 2 weeks accommodation do worry me though. The rest I can probably handle.

    • JDB says:

      Have a look at Nationwide FlexPlus, the insurance that comes with the account seems good and covers worldwide travel to ‘non essential’ countries. Also covers winter sports.

    • Andrew H says:

      I got a quote for about £300 from Staysure for a couple including cruise cover and worldwide including US (for the QM2 crossing to NY). This is including a pre-existing condition (atrial fibrillation, currently OK). Thought not a bad price and if you get it through the right site, 25% off.

  • Lee says:

    QQ: I was waiting for my flight to Doha with BA to be cancelled this November. Now all inventory has been zeroed out. When will BA cancel the flight normally? Thanks

    • Pablo says:

      My booking still holds but flights are no longer for sale. Let’s wait another week or so.

  • Tony says:

    Trying to make an online transaction with my IHG credit card. Creation are asking me for digits from my online code as part of the authentication process. I’m sure I set this up, but either way, have clearly forgotten what it was. Any ideas how I reset it? (And is this number different to the code I use to log in to Creation’s website, right?)

  • Patrick Cold says:

    Just got straight through to BA Gold line, made some bookings using vouchers, all sorted in 20 minutes. Was I very lucky indeed? I was expecting the worst.

  • Raveon says:

    Brief review of the Virgin Red Room at the AO Arena (formerly known as the MEN), Manchester for its inaugural event last night (Sat 18th Sept):
    (see these HfP articles for background
    https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/12/21/book-manchester-ao-arena-tickets-on-virgin-points/
    https://www.headforpoints.com/2021/08/06/redeem-virgin-points-ao-arena-manchester/)
    This was our first visit to the arena since the heinous 2017 bombing and security was – as expected – noticeably tighter than our prior experience, with highly visible & fully armed BTP officers on patrol around the venue. Entry is gained via a dedicated suite entrance (which bypasses the main queues) on Trinity Way and once through security – which requires all personal items to be deposited in a tray for inspection and full handheld wand body scan – we were swiftly escorted to the ‘Red Room’ by a member of the arena staff.
    Once delivered to the suite, we were greeted by a Virgin ‘Genie’, but then passed over to a bar host – seemingly employed by the arena – to take our order. Soft drinks are complimentary but beer and wine is not. Whilst this is made clear when booking, it was still slightly disappointing not to receive say a first ‘welcome’ alcoholic drink on the house. The range and stock was also rather limited, with the fridge looking more like you’d expect to see it at the end of the event than the beginning and, unfathomably, no one had thought to switch it on! Needless to say, £5 for a 300ml bottle of well above room temperature Amstel did not make for a great first impression. The server then went AWOL for several long periods throughout the evening, leaving the Virgin host looking rather helpless and only able to offer tap water as both soft and alcoholic drinks remained locked in the fridge.
    There are three types of seating in the suite: an area of soft, low stools in the socialising / bar area (see photos in above links), one row of high stools and two rows of cushioned benches, which is where we sat for the gig. These offer a great view of the stage as the suite is located a mid level and only just off centre, at a distance that doesn’t require you to strain your eyes to see the performers.

    • Raveon says:

      Despite the slightly shambolic drinks offering, I would say 20,000 points offered reasonable value, especially as we are Blossoms fans. If you are starting to doubt the long term prospects for a big pile of Virgin Points and/or are looking to burn a few points, there is a good selection of gigs and events coming up, however you would have to be desperate to consider any costing 60/70k points compared to the cost of paying cash to access a similar suite; I would certainly agree with Rob that the pricing at that level is very “toppy”, even if the drinks service is up to speed by then!
      Rob, please feel free to contact me if you would like any further details to include in an article (unlikely I know haha).

      • Rob says:

        Thanks for this, I appreciate it. We are hoping to do a HfP event in the suite at some point so should be able to try it out then. Can’t really complain at 20k points for two people though.

  • Rich says:

    Got an existing Amex MR account with a large balance in it, attached to my ARCC. I applied for the PRG recently, and the points seem to be going into a new MR account. Is it as simple as calling up and asking them to redirect the points into my existing account? I’ll likely cancel the PRG next year.

    • Aston100 says:

      Well it does give you the opportunity to get 90k referral on both accounts rather than on just the one account as you are meant to.

      • Rich says:

        That is a very good point!

        Although, to be fair I barely manage a couple of referrals per year.

  • bafan says:

    Been in Canada since Wednesday, having a wonderful time. I was a bit panicky with all the rules before I came but it was much easier than I expected. Considering extending my stay and going to Banff now!

    • AL says:

      Banff is ace! I roadtripped across Canada a few years back and the scenery around the BC area is gorgeous. Enjoy!

      • Mike says:

        I used to go to Banf every other weekend when I worked in Alberta – lovely place

  • Chrism20 says:

    Some changes coming to Nectar this week.

    Mainly around Nectar prices similar to Tesco’s Clubcard prices, however you will have to use either the smart shop app or the relevant handheld device instore to benefit from these discounted prices by all accounts.

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