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The HfP chat thread – Thursday 21st 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 (440)

  • Yuff says:

    Have a flight back from Abu Dhabi next week and did not realise that they insist on PCR tests prior to flying to every destination.
    I did find flights from Dxb on Royal Jordanian, in J, but they also insist on PCR prior to flying.
    Could fly Dxb direct to London in World Traveller, not overly keen.
    Other potential option is Turkish in Business via IST for £1300 each or Fly to Doha and go Doha London via Amsterdam on Qatar in J, doh – Ams is 60k plus £100 each.
    I don’t think Turkish will have any covid issues with transit, not sure about Doha and Ams.

    • Sandgrounder says:

      Aren’t PCRs cheap as chips in the UAE now? Capped at AED50? Or have you got Covid and want to fly anyway?

      • Yuff says:

        All of us would like to enjoy our holiday without having the faff of testing if it isn’t needed and personally I’m not too keen to be on the wrong end of a False postive and all the hassle that would entail.

        • Sandgrounder says:

          Ah OK, you are looking for a row, how about this? 🙂
          I test twice a week regardless of where I am, it’s the responsible thing to do. I accept though that others feel differently. I’d rather not share an aircraft with them though TBH.

        • Tracey says:

          False positives are very very rare, false negatives are far more likely.

        • N says:

          Oh that must be awful for you. All that faff!!!

          Get tested. It’s cheap.

          • Rhys says:

            Testing IS a faff. Does anyone actually enjoy it? It is a huge barrier to people travelling at the moment. There are so many different testing requirements enacted by different countries.

          • andyT says:

            And necessary.

    • Andrew says:

      Why not just fly direct from DXB with BA?

      • Yuff says:

        Thanks to HFP we aren’t too keen to travel in World Traveller and would prefer to travel in J.
        Just to answer sandgrounder’s points I have had plenty of covid tests and fortunate to have tested negative everytime. I’m also double vaccinated as is my wife, our 14 year old daughter was vaccinated last Thursday and that potentially provides a complication for a pcr test so soon after vaccination, although her pcr test the same day of her vaccine last week was negative.
        I will happily comply with the necessary regulations but if I have the choice to take a flight which needs a pcr test and a flight that doesn’t I would prefer the flight that doesn’t when I am in a foreign country.

        • Andrew says:

          Book BA J then?

        • Dominic says:

          Na, vaccine won’t impact PCR. Assuming it was moderna/Pfizer…

          The PCR can be done at a shopping mall, takes 2 mins. 60 AED in Abu Dhabi

        • Andrew H says:

          Double vaccination only reduces the chance of catching it.

          I know – I caught it about 2 months after 2nd jab, and had virtually no symptoms.

          You may not know if you have it or not – how do you know if a “test isn’t needed”

        • Andy says:

          Perhaps your bigger challenge is the 14 yr old is likely to get Covid even though she’s been vaccinated

          We’ve got a vaccinated 16 old who’s got covid, and we picked it up before he got symptoms because we’ve been doing LFTs twice a week for the last six months

          TBH I find it mind boggling that you’d rather risk other people’s health than take a PCR test when travelling

          • Ben W says:

            I’m sure the time spent on this thread will soon be greater than the time to actually take the test.

    • Harry T says:

      You need a test to leave Abu Dhabi? Are you sure?

      • Sukes says:

        I’m guessing what Yuff is alluding to is that with Etihad COVID-19 PCR testing is mandatory before every flight.

        • Yuff says:

          Sukes……exactly that, it would have helped if I had mentioned Etihad in my original post…….it gets worse we are booked in F, my wife wants to fly emirates economy, and avoid testing, and i probably agree with her…….

          • Ravi says:

            DO kids under 12 need PCR test to be on Etihad flight ?

          • Paul says:

            Your money your choice obviously, but are you really saying you would rather fly indirect in economy than direct in first, and presumably stump up the extra money for the one way flight and lose the money paid for the f return, to save 5 minutes and £10 doing a test? Of course testing is a nuisance, but how much time have you already spent trying to avoid it, and how much will it cost?

    • Sarah says:

      Won’t you have to do tests during your stay in Abu Dhabi anyway?

    • Aston100 says:

      Hi Yuff, whats the testing situation like in Abu Dhabi?
      I think someone around here wrote there are as many as 4 tests from pre departure until time to leave your hotel (not including any for exiting the country).
      Is that right?
      If so, why would one additional test matter so much to you, if you’ve already had to do so many thus far?

      • Sandgrounder says:

        Some milage out of this today!
        If I’ve got it, I want to know, regardless if where I am. So tests, fine.
        I won’t be going back to the UAE any time soon though, because of masks outdoors. In a crowd, indoors, fine. But I like to wander around rather than lie on a beach, so I’m going to pass for now.

        • Blenz101 says:

          If your alone outdoors you don’t need a mask. Neither do you at the pool, beach or exercising. Not really sure what other situation you are going to find yourself in where you will be wondering.

          What they are trying to protect for example is the large crowds at the Dubai fountains, Expo, global village and walking around outdoor dining areas (when seated masks come off).

          You will of course see plenty of people walking around the streets with them on but the local population is just used to them and compliant. More hassle to keep taking them on and off than just wearing it like any other piece of clothing.

      • Yuff says:

        You need to have a negative test result 72 hours before your flight departs, to enter Dubai. That’s it. There was not much checking of paper work but the pcr tests were checked.
        Masks indoors, that’s no issue, and normal outdoors again no issue.
        My query is I want to fly home without having to do another test, as if I did have covid I’d rather be at home, than here, and if I can get home without testing under the current rules that’s my priority, as I don’t want to put our 14 year old daughter through isolation, our 15 year did it earlier this year and it isn’t healthy for them.
        So my choice is if I have to do a test and fly in F, or no test and fly economy, I would choose the economy option. I won’t lose any money or miles.
        If I have a choice to do a circuitous route in business, ie Qatar to Amsterdam, which is available that might be an option, or I would try to upgrade at check in.
        Emirates J is £1800 compared to £3.5k for BA on the dates we are due to fly.

    • Mike says:

      Yuff – if you can’t do the test – don’t do the travel

  • Sandgrounder says:

    Amex travel spend 400 get 100 back has popped up on my Plat this morning

    • YC says:

      Thanks – do we know if this previously worked for prepaid fhr rates?

      • Travel Strong says:

        The prepay option on FHR is relatively new – did not exist (on the UK site) at the time of the last offers. So it is untested. However so long as amex travel is the payee, it should be fine.

    • AY says:

      Thank you was about to book later today.

    • Andrew says:

      Really pleased with this offer – I too was about to book for USA, so this is £100 in my pocket. Only slight concern is that then you’re booking is with Amex rather than the airline directly and that could complicate things if I need to reebok.

      • Andrew says:


      • Andrew H says:

        Probably more chance of being able to contact them than the airline?

        • Aston100 says:

          Right, but I seem to recall Amex Travel had to wait to get a refund from the airline before they could refund me.

      • Doug M says:

        I have it on my Green Amex. Used Amex travel for a flight to US previously and the agents were not great with the inevitably time changes on internal AA flights. All OK in the end but nothing like as easy with AA direct. I’ve found AA to be very good, at answering the phone, handling the changes, and refunding in questionable circumstances.

    • mradey says:

      This offer has not appeared on my Centurion. I do have a new Finnair offer; spend £180, get £40 back.

    • den says:

      I can confirm this paid out using cumulative spend.

  • S879 says:

    I will be travelling to Abu Dhabi next week with my family. OH already has HSBC Premier who have a good insurance cover.

    1.Do I need Amex Platinum cover? Is there a difference in coverage?

    2. With HSBC premier or Amex, do hotels need to be paid by that card if I want the cost covered should I not be able to make it (if one of us tests positive very close to the flight)?

    3. Lastly, do any of these cover flight costs if payment was made by a credit/travel voucher?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Thom says:

      HSBC insurance is for holding the account not the card – no requirement to book with a certain card.

  • Saiz says:

    What’s the Randox PCR turn around time these days if using mailbox service? I already have their kits from a trip a couple of months ago so reluctant to book an urgent one. If I post it in their mailbox by say 9am, will I get the results next day? I know it says 11:59pm the next day but just wanted to see what people, who used them recently, have found their timings to be like.

    • Natasha says:

      Yes but not sure about weekend processing. Since it says next working day. Are sat and sun working days for randox?

      • Saiz says:

        I will be sending it at 9am on Monday as my flight is in the morning on Wednesday. How do countries monitor the 48 hour PCR timeline? Do they check the time you activated the kit online?

    • Alan Todd says:

      Used mailbox service from Scotland last week. Dropped off Friday 9am, results received Saturday at midday.

    • Pete says:

      Did mine on Monday morning, dropped off at 10am. Results were 1pm Tuesday

    • Rich says:

      Dropped off last Sat at 3pm, got receipt at lab confirmed Sun 8am, result later Sunday. All very slick regardless of day of week.

    • Peggerz says:

      Posted test 4pm yesterday. Received e-Mail saying test is in lab this morning. I’m expecting results this afternoon.

  • AY says:

    Have applied for Amex ICC, got an email saying application being reviewed, will get notified in 10 days of decision. Anyone else has this? I have a platinum already which I use daily.

    • BJ says:

      Reviews are normal, usually happen when applicants are close to the limit of credit amex is happy to extend to them. Based on comments few seem to be declined following review so you shouldn’t be too worried. Keep any applications made within normal UK office hours. Not certain but reviews seem more likely outside them.

      • meta says:

        Contact them after a day or two by phone or via email and supply them with necessary extra documents. It will speed things up.

    • Rosie says:

      I had this the other day … I had a high credit limit on my platinum and then the BAPP was referred , what they did was move some of the credit limit from the platinum to the BAPP

    • Aston100 says:

      I’m considering getting the dollar card for my US travel at the end of this year.
      Is it fair to assume the annual fee will get refunded pro rata, as it does with ‘normal’ UK Amex personal cards?
      I would have no use for that card after my trip.

      • mutley says:

        I was thinking the same, I am travelling to the US for work on the 8th November so may be too late. Also does anyone know if MR from a partners Business Plat be transferred to my IDC if I get one?

        • Aston100 says:

          Hi Mutely, do give us a datapoint if you go ahead with the ICC Dollar card please.

        • Rob says:

          MR accounts are only personal. If the other account is not in your name you can’t move to IDC. If it is, you can.

    • Babyg says:

      ICC is like stepping back to the 1990s… everything is so slow…. but yes this was exactly the process i followed… something happened during my application and it ended up taking an age (3 weeks) to get the card. Now i have it i find it quite a poor card, hard to pay off (eg have to do bank transfers that takes days), not well accepted (like any amex in portugal it seems), and zero offers from amex…. i will hit my bonus and ditch it for the green card i think

  • Mark says:

    There’s been a lot of noise about the IHG Creation cards being cancelled, but not so much about the Marriott 3x points offer.

    Just wondering how many people have received the bonus points? I know a couple have, but also know a couple more, myself included, that have not.

    • BLT says:

      Haven’t received my triple points yet.

    • Mark says:

      Did you have the email from Marriott or the message on your Creation statement?

    • ankomonkey says:

      Haven’t received my triple points yet and don’t expect to get them anymore. About 75% of my spend on the card was MS via Curve and I’ve had the 3/12 cancellation letter. I strongly suspect if I chase the missing bonus points they will try to refuse them – or at least the ones from Curve transactions. Not sure I have the willpower to fight for them with a company as unorthodox as Creation.

  • Aslan says:

    Has anyone had any fees refunded yet for the Creation payment issues a week or two ago?

    Haven’t called them yet to enquire but sent messages via app which have gone unnoticed…

    • EwanG says:

      Yes. I’ve had the default fee reversed (via a matching credit proceed on the same day), but then I did call them last week (Wednesday) to ask why my payment had been delayed.
      If they are only going to refund the fees if you call, that will be very shoddy service (I know this is Creation we’re talking about, even so!) and not what I was expecting after talking to the agent.

    • simonbr says:

      I called Creation this morning about my soon to be cancelled £99/year black IHG card. They informed me that I would not be receiving my IHG free night for spending >£10K, or a prorata refund on the unused annual fee. Never got a proper explanation of why the card was being cancelled. They seem to think they are not contractually obliged to do any of this. Very poor!

      • Yorkie Aid says:

        Start a formal complaint. Wait 8 weeks and then escalate to FOS if necessary. If enough people do this they might just fold and pay up because it will probably be cheaper for them.

  • Mick S says:

    An update regarding the £75 cash fee I was charged for topping up Rev with my Lloyds credit card –
    Added my Lloyds debit card to curve, then went back in time to switch the transaction to my current account. The funds swap over went over yesterday, and today the cash fee has been reversed. I’ve not had to call them

    • Andrew H says:

      That didn’t work when I used Tesco behind Curve – had to call them and they refunded fees “as a goodwill gesture – only one time”

      • Mick S says:

        I didnt think it would either. I expected to be ringing them and getting stressed out !!

    • John says:

      How much did you top up to get charged £75?

      • Mick S says:

        £1500 was the top-up. seems a crazy fee, which is why i was keen to get it sorted. I’ve only had Rev for 6 weeks, and done a same top-up every two weeks. First two top-ups were fine, the third caught the 15th Oct date with Lloyds.

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