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The HfP chat thread – Thursday 14th October

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We are running this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Comments (443)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • TheOtherN says:

    There’s a weird block of no train transport whatsoever between France and Spain 10th-14th November this year. I’ve tried Paris to Girona and Figueres, even local trains from Perpignan over the border, and nothing is available.

    Could this be demand around Armistice day, or is there some odd strike action or track engineering planned? Can’t find anything in the planned works pages.

    Any insight from the great minds at HfP?

    • John says:

      Try railforums UK

    • kitten says:

      Narbonne?

    • Sukes says:

      You might want to email help @ raileurope dot com and ask for advice. They helped me in <24hrs during last week’s Spanish Renfe strikes.

    • TheOtherN says:

      An update for the locomotively enthused:

      Raileurope say tickets “haven’t been released to them yet”, which is somewhat at odds with all the tickets they are offering either side of the block. SNCF also don’t show any availability in that block, but plenty either side. I’m blaming Armistice demand and giving up!

  • Mick S says:

    Reading all the chat about Creation and the appalling way they have handled the last couple of weeks, even if they completely reversed the closing of cards I would be inclined to simply say “stuff it”. On face value this is a toxic company that is bankrupt of customer service.

    • Crafty says:

      +1

      It’s always been a shit company, but very exploitable.

      • BuildBackBetter says:

        There’s a limit to that too. Don’t want to be maxing the card until end of Nov, only to realise payments to card don’t go through and you get a missed payment update on your credit profile.

    • David says:

      Er, no. Its Curve that is toxic along with various strands of MS or MS-like activities.

  • Degsy says:

    DP: recently purchased event tickets via Marriott Moments. Based on the face value of the ticket, I’ve received approx 0.56p per point, which I’m happy with. The seats look pretty decent as well. (This was a straight purchase rather than auction format.)

  • Gtellez says:

    Does Anyone have recent experience if the Amex Marriott offer (spend £200, save £50) is cumulative? I want to book two nights at Marriott Preston and the cheapest rate is prepaid (although with free cancellation until the day before) and just below £200, but with one dinner at the hotel I would get more that £200 spent. Do you know if they really charge you in advance? Thanks!

    • meta says:

      Prepaid rate is usually charged in advance (at the latest on the day of the stay), but yes it’s cumulative.

      • Gtellez says:

        Great, then I’ll book that rate since it is like 40 cheaper than the flexible rate, thanks!

  • Lyn says:

    A question re the PLF form for a transit through Heathrow. Could someone who has used the form for an under 24 hour overnight transit at LHR please be kind enough to let me know what to expect?

    Sorry if this sounds like repetition. I asked question a couple of weeks ago about how to fill in the PLF without a mobile phone number (answer – OK) and whether day 2 tests are needed for transit (answer – no).

    Now I have actually filled out the form as far as it will let me since it is more than since 48 hours before our flight. I was surprised that it only offered the options of either “Stay in the UK” or “Change flights in the UK within 24 hours, without going through UK border control”. I expected to see an option for an overnight but under 24 hour transit. Hence my question of what to expect. I would be grateful for any advice. Thanks

    • Bill says:

      I haven’t yet done this process I will be doing so next week.

      This is from https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-air-travel-guidance-for-passengers#transiting-through-england

      If you will be transiting landside through England you need to do the following when you complete your passenger locator form.

      select ‘Stay in the UK’ under the Your travel plans section
      reply ‘I will be travelling for an exempt reason’ to the question about whether you are required to self-isolate on arrival
      select the Exemption options, and then select ‘Transit Exemption’
      This includes if you are transiting onto the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. You may need to show evidence of onward travel and where you will be staying at the border .

      • K says:

        I can confirm this is the correct way. We did it before and was asked where we are travelling to and when. Border Force did not ask us to show tickets

      • Lyn says:

        Brilliant, thank you very much Bill and K.

        I think a helpful person had given me this exact link last time and I stupidly couldn’t find it again. This trip is stressful enough with BA’s route and flight cancellations and pre-travel covid tests, so anything that lessens the stress is very welcome indeed!

  • GillyDee says:

    Newbie Platinum question – going on a nature tour where you can pay the deposit, but not the balance, on an Amex. Would I be covered by the Amex Plat travel insurance?
    Thanks

    • Ste C says:

      I would say yes. I have had them payout on flights when the company didnt take Amex. Medical is always covered though

      • meta says:

        You can pay on any Amex. Doesn’t have to be Plat. I prefer to pay on an Amex credit card, rather than Plat as that gives me more protection.

    • Sukes says:

      Yes I have had Amex Plat insurance payout for Thai island trip where accommodation providers where cash only and Amex accepted this verbally (flights were paid on Amex). I would however email AXA in advance to get written assurance your cover is valid in your circumstances and take screenshots of any online payments to show Amex payment was not an option. Just as a reminder the travel disruption cover etc is dependent on having paid on Amex. The medical cover part of the insurance is automatic on holding the card and is not dependent on its use. I have had to argue this with AXA and talk them through the T&Cs on the phone in the past as their agents aren’t always up to speed on this distinction.

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    Off to Algarve. Looking for two days (Sun and Mon) after a week in an apartment.

    IHG has Holiday Inn – looks OK and is about £50 a night. Crowne Plaza is dearer and says there is building work nearby.

    Pine Cliffs – read the HfP reviews – is £150 a night, so might get the £100 off £400 Amex after a dinner or two.

    So: do you as an Amex Bonvoy gold get any decent upgrades at Pine Cliffs, or is it worth using Emyr and booking a higher grade room to get the $100 credit from him plus the Amex.

    Or should I just hope for an upgrade to sea view at the HI – we are both Spire Elite – since we normally eat out (never really been resort people!)

    • Lee says:

      Don’t think Pine Cliffs is on that list for £100 off

      • meta says:

        Yes, as a rule of thumb – Portugal, Italy, Malta, Greece, Cyprus, any country further east are never on any of the Amex offers lists. Or anything outside Europe. In the past they did run a promo for Hilton US hotels.

    • ankomonkey says:

      The Holiday Inn Algarve is on a really nice beach, but is a very basic hotel with a small swimming pool and little else. It is clean and fine as long as you don’t arrive expecting anything special at all.

      • Colin MacKinnon says:

        Thanks. Looks like HI then – happy with a basic room and go out to the beach etc

    • Harry T says:

      I didn’t think Pine Cliffs was anywhere near good enough to be flagged as a Luxury Collection – it’s kind of a rubbish Sheraton. I was Gold and staying on a STARS rate via Emyr when I visited for a single night in 2020 – I did not receive a proper upgrade or a late checkout.

  • David says:

    Anyone else having difficulty registering for the Marriott Global promotion?

    A Note About This Promotion
    We’re sorry, but there was an error in directing you to this promotion.

    The reason for this error could be:

    You’re trying to access a miles promotion and are a points-earner, or vice versa
    You are not eligible for this promotion
    This promotion has expired

    My earning preference is set to Marriott points

    • paulm says:

      Yes happens regularly. Contact them and they will register you, Twitter is good for that if you use it

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