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The HfP chat thread – Sunday 31st 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 (368)

  • Nigel says:

    Boo 👻

  • Stephan says:

    Happy Halloween! Question on SUB and referrals. I referred à friend gold but they applied for the wrong card, platinum as they just clicked through my link and didn’t change the card. If they cancel the card within 14 days do I lose my referral bonus? And if they do cancel within 14 days can they apply for the gold amex in the meantime and be eligible for the sub?

    • Andrew says:

      They might as well keep it for a month now they’ve got it and use the dining credit and then cancel. Might even get a retention bonus when they call to cancel.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Yes you’ll keep your bonus and no. They won’t be eligible for the sun on Gold.

      They’re best off keeping it and working out a way to creatively hit the higher sun and spend the £200 dining credit.

    • SteveJ says:

      Expensive mistake as they’ve locked themselves out for two years from the Gold SUB now. As others mention, suck it up and make the most of it for now is their best option.

  • MarkS says:

    I’m in North London and need a pcr before travelling to dubai. Anyone know the cheapest option for a reliable turnaround? Randox has a collection and drop box available but a little wary given they will only have 48 hours by they collect it and we fly

    • Blenz101 says:

      You are not supposed to do a self administered test for entry to the UAE. If the checkin staff notice then you may have an issue. I found the in person Collinson test with a 3 hour turn around to be the safest option to get a guaranteed result rather than rely on something being sent via the mail.

      • Yuff says:

        Collinson has a LOYALTY20 code you can use.

      • N says:

        Oh crap I didn’t realize this. Is this specified anywhere? I couldn’t find anything clear online

      • Chris1922 says:

        Source ? I can’t find anything that states that, only that a negative RT-PCR test is required, 72 hours prior. Nothing on UAE website or Emirates.
        I was planning on using Randox, but they have a walk in lab in Glasgow (my location) in any case. It’s just more expensive than the post option…
        I fly in December, so who knows how it will change before then

        • Chris1922 says:

          Ah, found it. Hidden away in Emirates website. “…must be a Reverse Transcription‑Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT‑PCR) test. Other test certificates including antibody tests, NHS COVID Test certificates, Rapid PCR tests and home testing kits are not accepted in Dubai…”

          • N says:

            Thanks! That is quite sneaky, best to be safe and get an in-clinic test done!

          • blenz101 says:

            Others on here have used home tests and not had an issue, so you may well be fine. I’ve travelled several times on the Collinson Rapid PCR test and never had an issue. It is a full lab based RT-PCR test.

            The ‘rapid PCR’ tests they mention are presumed to reference other types of Covid tests giving near instant results.

          • Katie says:

            Has anyone used the Radox home version successfully in Dubai – what if it was taken at work and not at home…

          • blenz101 says:

            I don’t think we have had reports of anyone being denied boarding who has a valid PCR test.

            It’s more a cautionary tale that those tests are not officially allowed so if there is an option to get something compliant at around the same price point then that is the safest option. Reality is anybody could take a home test so the certificate is worthless. If you got the wrong result just use another nose until you get a negative result and fit to fly certificate.

            There will be zero issue in DXB itself as the paperwork is just glanced at and they trust the airlines to have checked it.

        • blenz101 says:

          Not sure how you couldn’t find it on Emirates, the quote is “Other test certificates including antibody tests, NHS COVID Test certificates, Rapid PCR tests and home testing kits are not accepted in Dubai.”

          You are reliant on check in staff / certificate not picking up the ‘home testing kit’.

          It is odd that such tests are even offered for travel. If you had even the slighest sniffle but were still minded to travel you could just get someone else to take the test for you so it would prove nothing.

          • N says:

            Cheers, I definitely glossed over that bit. I was focussed on the PCR test bit and the websites seem to say they cover all countries. But best not to take those guys for their word

      • MarkS says:

        Good job I asked! Thanks all

    • Simon says:

      express test at Brent Cross. drive thru.

  • Patrycja says:

    Good a morning all,

    I am travelling to LA and Hawaii for New Year. Does anyone have an experience of using NHS appfor entry into venues and attractions to prove vaccination status? We are planning to visit Universal Studios and I hope we don’t need to do test to enter.

    For Hawaii, we will need to do a test before our flight, can anyone recommend any test centres/providers in Orange area of LA?

    Many thanks in advance.

    • Jamie O says:

      The Hawaii test has to be with a Hawaii approved vendor. CVS and Walgreens are two big drug store chains which are approved with lots of branches. See the Safe Travel Hawaii website for info. We went in July through LAX and used a provider right in the airport.

      • Patrycja says:

        I checked Walgreens already but it required American health insurance details and US ID card. How long in advance did you do your test at LAX?

    • Louise K says:

      You might be better asking about testing for Hawaii in the Flyertalk / Hawaii forum.

      • Patrycja says:

        Thanks, I’ll try Flyertalk as well

        • Louise K says:

          Also, Look at Hawaii Safe Travels. They list all of the approved labs for tests for Hawaii.

          Let’s hope they make an announcement soon that will allow our jabs to be recognised for entry to HI.

          • Patrycja says:

            I did have a look at HST before posting but it is a long list of labs and I am hoping that someone can recommend a reliable one. There is an announcement due next week from Hawaii governor but I am planning for the worst case scenario.

    • LST says:

      For universal:
      Acceptable forms of proof of vaccination are a vaccination card or photo/digital photo of vaccination card (including name of person vaccinated, type of vaccine provided, and date last dose administered), a digital vaccination record from the California Department of Public Health or an approved company, or documentation of vaccination from a healthcare provider, in each case showing that a full 14 days have passed since receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series (e.g., Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) or since receipt of a single-dose vaccine (e.g., Johnson and Johnson [J&J]/Janssen). For those vaccinated outside the United States, a full 14 days must have passed since the last dose of a vaccine that is listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO).

    • John says:

      Since the US main vaccine proof is a handwritten card, I think anything is acceptable

      • Patrycja says:

        I just want to make sure we don’t get turned away. For Hawaii, the hand written card is accepted as proof but our app isn’t

        • Alan T says:


          Will be keeping tabs on this as we have a trip planned in March. No stopover outbound, just a 2 hr connection at SEA!, but I really hope it is all consistent and streamlined by then and no variable inter island requirements?

          • Patrycja says:

            I am hoping this gets sorted before we go but I am planding for the worst

    • Louise K says:

      As mentioned below there is testing in airport at LAX in various locations and they operate 7am to 7pm

  • Rosie says:

    Marriott £50 off £200 spend

    So I booked through Marriot directly , the Sheraton LHR £79 and the Dixon £129 both on different dates (however same week) been 2 weeks and no credit has posted both hotels on the participating hotel list provided by Amex

    Called Amex they say it has to be £200 spend in a single Transaction, checked terms and there is no mention of this (offer is still on card so can read through them still )

    Offer activated when it was released and recently had a reminder email about the offer

    Can I escalate if so how

    • TGLoyalty says:

      In my experience it’s cumulative and when they don’t post in can take a month for it to correct.

      • Rosie says:

        Hi thanks for the info when I called they said had to be a single transaction therefore they will not look into as I’m not applicable , I did point out that there is no mention in the t&c that it has to be a single transaction but still no joy

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Were you talking to Brighton? the other CS seem to read off script and show little initiative.

          unless you’re closing the card soon I’d just wait it out and if it doesn’t post by the time the T&Cs say escalate with a call during the week during 9-8 and ask to speak to someone in Brighton if you get another CS.

        • Kevin says:

          Call again as different CS will do thing differently particularly between those philippine & brighton CS

    • Tony says:

      If it helps, I made one booking for two rooms at the same hotel, which came through as two transactions of £153. Offer triggered the following day.

    • Kwisstan says:

      It was cumulative for me. Try to speak to someone in Brighton.

      The Thistle hotel one wasn’t as the t&c is singular. But heyho, off to the pods I go

    • Chris says:

      When the offer states a statement credit on ‘an eligible transaction’ then it’s usually a single transaction.
      When it states ‘when you spend £xxx +’ then it’s usually cumulative.

      As someone has noted, Thistle offer seems to be former and Marriott latter.

      But also note the Marriott offer is checkout spend only, so pre-pay rates might not count.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        There’s no difference between the way pre pay and at check out stays are processed. They all count as long as they are charged before the end date.

  • Phil says:

    POD parking was down when we went through T5 sat 23rd and was down again last night when we returned. Does anyone know if it’s often not working and has anyone ever managed a refund as essentially we ended up with long stay bus shuttle parking which costed more than the long stay bus shuttle option? Thanks

    • Asim says:

      Just arrived today morning. Pods still out of order. The replacement bus doesn’t go to Thistle so had to take 423 and walk to hotel in the pouring rain.

      Also took 90min for our baggage to come out despite having priority tags and travelling CW. Seems first to check in = last to get bags.

      • Andrew H says:

        The priority tags mean nothing at LHR

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Priority tags mean nothing at Heathrow when flying BA because it doesn’t participate in the scheme (go figure why they bother with the tags)

      • Jonathan says:

        BA don’t do priority baggage handling* (not for the vast majority of flights anyway) & they admit this on their & the One World website.

        The “priority” tags are an ego massager nothing more.

        *At LHR only they will load the baggage containers so that First/CW come off first at destination but they make no effort to ensure those are delivered to luggage belt first.

    • Toby says:

      For those in the same position: we had this problem a few weeks back and got a cab from T5 to the thistle (where we were parked). It ended up costing about the same as the pods (for thistle customers), and while being less fun, saved the hassle of luggage and the bus.

      • Nick says:

        The pods are not ‘down’ or ‘out of order’, they just aren’t available as a result of reduced demand due to covid and the effort it would take them to turn them on and operate again. To be fair to heathrow, they do make this very clear.

        • Chris says:

          They can’t be very ‘un-manned’ if they require much effort to run!

          Good to know Heathrow are maintaining their shoddy approach to minimising pollution by transferring traffic from zero/low emission transport to higher emission types.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Erm … The pods have been back in action since mid October.

          • Toby says:

            Are you sure TGLoyalty? They were not working on Friday 15th October, and I’d seen advertising they would be working that day. The signs at T5 said they were out of order for a few more says after the 15th

        • Phil says:

          I don’t think so as they had only just broken down when we arrived on 23rd. We saw some returning to one of the stations after people had exited. Checked my booking information and nothing from Heathrow about pods being withdrawn.

  • Phil says:

    Re EU acceptance if the NHS Covid pass QR codes….

    It’s worth highlighting that the iOS version of the app allows you to save the passes to the Apple Wallet app. Much quicker to access than the NHS app and removes reliance on the NHS app working or you having mobile data coverage.

    • John says:

      You can also download a PDF or take a screenshot

      • Katie says:

        Is the downloadable PDF acceptable everywhere (does anyone insist on seeing the 10 day dispatched letter version)

  • Craig says:

    In need of some motivation this morning, I’m supposed to be doing the Lincoln 10k in a couple of hours. It’s absolutely peeing it down and I’m not feeling it.

    • WaynedP says:

      You can do it, Craig !

      More likely to post a better time and have a more enjoyable experience in the cooling rain once you get going, and no need for tons of sun tan lotion.

      Picture the lovely hot shower/bath waiting for you at the end of it.

      Good luck 🏆🏆🏆

    • Gruntfuttock says:

      I’d crack on and do it knowing that when you visit this page afterwards there’ll be 439 more comments to read, oh, and take a sturdy ☔.

    • Tony says:

      Stay in bed man.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      I’m supposed to be also and for what it’s worth I’m in my dressing gown eating pancakes thinking about anything else…

    • AJA says:

      Rather you than me! I admire that you are able to run 10k, I used to be able to but no more. Shin splints put paid to that and then I got out of condition so just long walks for me now but not in this weather.

      I’m even debating whether I really need to go to Waitrose by car.

      If you do, congratulations and good luck, and in the words of the late great Two Ronnies “If you’re going to Kissingdown I suggest you take an umbrella!”

    • Rui N. says:

      F*** that, have breakfast in bed instead.

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