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The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 26th 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 (669)

  • foz101 says:

    Morning, can anyone recommend a reliable Day 2 LFT test provider with good turnaround times? I need to order for my return trip from Dubai tomorrow and would like to get the codes for the PLF as soon as possible

    • Rhys says:

      Haven’t tried their LFT yet but ExpressTest is very good.

    • Andrew says:

      Collinson – I ordered mine yesterday at £23 (using Amex20 code) and the PLF code arrived within minutes.

      • Pete M says:

        https://www.simplytestme.co.uk/ at £12 gets you a code in seconds and posts the test out – probably the cheapest vaguely trustworthy one.

        • Gavin says:

          This! The code comes instantly. I don’t know why anyone is using the more expensive options at the moment.

          • Pete M says:

            Either because they have too much money or some bizarre desire to be super-uber compliant…

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Exactly. Just get the code. If the test doesn’t turn up use a free nhs at home kit and forget all about it.

    • Sarah says:

      Testingforall have been reliable for me when I’ve used their Day 2 PCR service.

      • Jody says:

        We ordered the lateral flow tests from them as they were selling them before the 22nd. PLF number came instantly, cost £19.

  • Sammy says:

    Etihad are not responding to my emails to refund APD for m TV children who are between 12 and 15 years. Their website shows the message and the email to contact. I have called them and was told to forward all details to another email address. Been going around in circles. What should I do as there is no written response or refund. Is there an airline ombudsman service?

    • Mike says:

      Apparently they have to be real children and not just TV children

    • Harry T says:

      You could try a chargeback but I’d probably try and escalate within the organisation first.

    • Ali M says:

      they used to be super good with Twitter.Bite the bullet and try calling again (wait 2 hrs,do something else in between) and you’ll get through to someone.Usually the guys are helpful.give it another 2 weeks theb chargeback / ombudsman as you have sent emails / twitter unanswered questions and phone call logs to show

      • Sammy says:

        Thanks all. I paid my tickets using Etihad credit so a chargeback won’t be possible. However, I am owed that money. Their complaint procedure is a joke as its more like ‘feedback’ that they never reply to.

        Harry, how do I escalate within the organisation?

  • MarkS says:

    Question re Amex platinum downgrade to gold. Do you retain the free priority pass for the full year even after downgrade? TIA

    • blenz101 says:

      The priority pass is always linked to the underlying credit card, some lounges will allow you to bring in several addtional guests and charge the linked card for example.

      Once the Amex card is cancelled the PP will be as well. Gold will get you lounge key.

  • KP says:

    Renting via AVIS.com is far cheaper with country of residence as USA than booking via sky scanner or through UK hertz or Avis .I normally do this way for Europcar with country of residence as USA to get a quote and on the payment page I change to UK and always picked up rental without issues.Avis does not have the same option to amend on the last page. My Amex platinum does cover insurance. Picking the car at Houston to drop off at Dallas with unlimited tolls is 460$ for 5 days. Europcar doesn’t serve Texas.

    • roberto says:

      The only issue with “accidentally” putting the incorrect country of residence is that if the car is stolen or involved in a real accident the insurance issue could get very messy.

      • Britbronco says:

        Nobody is suggesting changing the country of residence, simply the country of the website you are using. Country of residence is in the booking itself.

    • Reney says:

      When I booked a car in Scotland via a US website. Stating clearly I lived in the UK and called Amex Plat to confirm insurance coverage. The rental company would not let me have the car because of minimum uk insurance requirement. They added the min insurance on the spot which ended up costing a little more than had I booked on a UK site.

      When I lived in the US, I actively rented cars via UK websites because it came inclusive of minimum insurance which is cheaper than having the add on via US website. I did not always have a CC that had added insurance thou. Or when I had CC with coverage I wasn’t the main driver and it costs more to have me added as an additional driver. I always put down the correct country of residence of the main driver.

      The difference in price between countries basically driven by what insurance is included by default. And the min insurance policy of that country will probably determine whether they let you take the car without insurance – they probably can’t take your word re CC coverage

  • Dubious says:

    Has anyone noticed that with the USA opening up BA have been going through their non-USA and culled frequencies?

    Despite solid demand over the Christmas period and the opening of the Vaccinated Traveller Lanes, the LHR-SIN/ vv route has just dropped from once a day to 4 times a week.

    The people on the cancelled flight seem to have been shafted given the remaining flights we’re already ram-packed for Christmas.

    • Dubious says:

      *were already

    • Asim says:

      Surely they still have planes parked up and not being used?

      • ChrisC says:

        Costs a bit of cash to being a stored plane back into service.

        Plus bring back flight and cabin crew back into work needs time and possible training updates etc

    • Sam G says:

      The flights were zero’d a while ago but not cancelled until now. I wonder if they’ve had to cancel in conjunction with the 3000 per day VTL arrival limit but were trying to negotiate or wait & see if it would be raised – as you say, flights are rammed so it’s odd that they cancelled them!

  • Simon says:

    Just checked in at ritz Carlton Berlin as a platinum member , booked Room only rate , upgraded to corner room … without asking they said breakfast is included due to elite status , plus 1000 points as welcome gift… not bad going as apparently ritz Carlton don’t give you breakfast at platinum status just an FYI if anyone is thinking of booking

    • Harry T says:

      Good to know. A few of the RC hotels do this, which is very kind of them.

      • Simon says:

        Yep agree and didn’t even have to ask which is always a bonus , they would of even given the club lounge too but closed due to covid

        • Harry T says:

          Thanks Simon, will definitely consider this hotel when I’m next in Berlin. Always a good sign when a hotel goes above and beyond the programme terms.

      • Lee says:

        RC Kyoto provides free breakfast for all elite members, one of the best breakfast ever.

  • Alison Day says:

    Looking for recommendations for a hotel in Chicago (Jan trip). 1). Downtown: any experience of the IC or either of the Kimptons (looking within the Loop, prefer River North area)? 2). O’Hare: I normally stay at the CP at Rosemont/O’Hare. Any experience of the Hilton next door (can still walk over to the Rosemont mall)? IHG Spire and Hilton Silver if this makes any difference. Thanks!

    • Reney says:

      I stayed at the Kimpton Gray in 2017. Reading back on my own tripadvisor review I had a really good stay. It was walkable to most sights. However the hotel is in the business district which made it cheap over a holiday weekend but also meant most restaurants near by are shut and need to go further for food etc.

      • Reney says:

        just realised you are going in January 🥶, not sure you will be walking any where. Maybe a hotel with an entrance into the underground pedway (?) system.

        • Alison Day says:

          Yep, January is cold! I was last there in Jan 2020 and landed just before they shut ORD due to a snowstorm. Worked in Chicago over the years so braced for the weather. Planning Thurs/Fri night downtown (by myself) then heading to stay with a friend in the suburbs near Joilet so just looking for somewhere central and safe for a couple of nights (and a change from regular Holiday Inn/Doubletree etc).

    • MD says:

      @ Alison

      It’s been a good few years but I stayed in the Monaco quite a bit. Nice hotel, not super luxurious but solid 4 star, excellent service. Good location close to the river so easy to access both River North and the Mile (personally I walk everywhere in Chicago as I don’t mind the cold and it’s really a very compact central area), and the shops in the Loop if that’s of interest. Can’t comment on status recognition as this was before I found this site and had a clue what I was doing.

      Haven’t stayed in the Gray but gets good reviews. The IC is fine, but can get vv busy if there’s a big conference in town. Wouldn’t put it up there with ICs like Porto or Paris but would happily stay again. Nice location if you don’t mind the hecticness of being on the Mile, better for shopping than eating.

      The huge loss to IHG for me was the Palomar. Perfect location in River North, lovely feel to the place with a superb bar. Great range of whiskies! Lots of great restaurants and bars within a few blocks. Shame.

      • Alison Day says:

        Great to know. The Monaco is now on my short list. I only have 1 full day in the city before meeting my friend so just planning to have a stroll/maybe a museum visit (shopping all day is not for me). I remember seeing the Palomar on a previous visit but for some reason I stayed at The Holiday Inn at The Mart. Sad it is no more. Thanks…

  • Gormlesstraveller says:

    Just used a free night at IC Lyon. Thanks to Rob & team and HfP community. I wouldn’t have known about that hotel, Creation and indeed Curve without this site. The free night voucher was an excellent offer, I regret dabbling in Ernie now!

    • Reney says:

      Glad you had a great stay. I understand your regret, but even if you did not dabble with Ernie, if your card ever touched a Curve it most likely would have been shut down.

      • Alan says:

        Yep, my wife’s free card has got the letter and she only used it for “normal” spend via curve – and not that often either as she usually used my companion card for maximum points

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