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The HfP chat thread – Monday 15th November

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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.

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Comments (408)

  • mr_jetlag says:

    First! Class on the 777 to Singapore was a pleasant surprise last week. Anyone know if any of the newer 350s will have F or is it being phased out across the fleet?

    • MarkZ says:

      The next three A350s off the line for BA are showing as not having First. However, the next 5 B787-10s are showing that they will have 8 First up the front.

    • Rhys says:

      There are no plans to put F on the A350s it seems, sadly

      • TGLoyalty says:

        The 18 777x will though as will all 12 787-10 as mentioned.

      • Andrew says:

        There are rumours the A350 may get 8x F if they are refitted to reformat the stowages to work around the impact on range limitations from the poor initial design.

  • MarkZ says:

    Oops! Sorry – didn’t press the Reply button first! Half asleep on the night shift!

  • Marina says:

    Singapore airlines question
    My son has 200,000+ Krisflyer miles that are due to expire in March 2022 – he is currently living in KSA and wants to use but limited before March is there any way to extend them ? Otherwise any ideas on best use from there or maybe U.K before March ?

  • Tazzy says:

    I have blue BA Amex. I want to upgrade to black card. Do I have to call or can I do this on line? Also is there any time limit on how long I have to keep it before downgrading/ cancelling?

    • Mark says:

      If you apply online AMEX should match you up on their systems according to previous posts on HFP. There is no min limit however be careful if you plan to cancel quickly as AMEX can give you a black mark by your name if they feel you are gaming the system

    • Oliver says:

      Upgrade you can do online, but downgrade/cancel you need to call. I did downgrade recently, after upgraded for a month, no issue with the representative, it was downgraded immediately,and membership fee refund received the next day

      • Blindman says:

        Mrs B downgraded over the Chat.

        Got the pro rata fee back within hours, Blue card is in the post.

        Wonder if she will get the referral points we’re waiting for -nearly 90 days….

        • Oliver says:

          My chat function doesn’t appear for months now! I can only call them, but the wait is not long, and Amex always offer callback, so I guess they just don’t want to chat to me.

          I referred my partner after upgrading, and the points posted the next day, it is so random these days.

  • Frank says:

    Q: has anyone used Curves travel insurance and can give their experience? May need to curtain/cancel.

    • Peter K says:

      Isn’t this the same question as yesterday with the same typo?

    • Roger says:

      Not used but you may want to look at inclusion and exclusions in very detail.

      • blenz101 says:

        No personal experience either but its underwritten by AXA. What do you want to know? There is nothing I have ever seen to suggest AXA have an issue covering insured losses (less excess) up to the policy limits? They are one of the biggest names you could hope to be backing the policy.

        As Roger says do check the policy wording as it isn’t as comprehensive as some paid policies.

  • Yuff says:

    Has anyone used Emirates skywards+ to get a 20% discount on reward bookings?
    When you join can you use the 20% discount straight away?

  • MarkS says:

    Controversial question but how does UK customs duty work on luxurybproducts bought from say Dubai. Noticed that prices are approx 20% cheaper for some items (fair given Vat) . Saw plenty of people boarding our flight and walking through nothing to declare with LV etc shopping bags which looked like they were fresh from a boutique shopping trip. Asking for a friend of course.

    • Dani says:

      Some people travelling from the USA might wear what they have purchased or unwrap/use their new iphone, tablets etc and use them prior to boarding home… To celebrate their home coming you understand.

      • mradey says:

        Some have been known to post the packaging back home using the USPS – to save space in the carry on luggage you understand.

      • Frank says:

        Then pack back in the retail box and browse how to sell on ebay

    • Sandgrounder says:

      If you exceed your allowances you can declare online here before you travel home:
      You can then walk out through the green channel.

    • Jonathan says:

      They can tell from the serial number of duty is been paid or not. I had a photography lecturer at college once who was given a new SLR by his daughter as a birthday present. Took it in and out of the UK numerous times and then one day got stopped and charged him the import tax after about 5 years.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Someone is talking out their rear quarters.

        • Rui N. says:

          Indeed. The UK for sure can’t keep track of every individual serial number of every single item sold around the work. Also, after you get the item in the UK, can’t you just let customs know when you travel that you’ll be taking it out of the country so that you don’t have trouble when coming in? I know that some countries have a desk at departures for you to do that (but don’t know if that is the case in the UK).

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Forget Around the world … they don’t have that info readily to hand just for the items sold in the U.K.!

            No customs officer is going to expect you to pay import duties on a gift given to you 5 years ago.

            Reality is you’ll breeze past 99% of the time without seeing someone and the other 1% just make sure it’s not in plan sight in the bag still with the sales receipt from earlier on.

          • John says:

            You can do it in the UK but they may roll their eyes at having to do unnecessary work.

            I’ve only been spot checked once, and was mentally preparing to be fined a 4-figure sum… the officer even rifled through all my brand new electronic devices (not in original packaging obviously) but didn’t seem to be bothered about them

            Then she said “all right, are you bringing any other food that I haven’t seen yet”. I replied “I have a packet of biscuits from the plane” showed her where it was then was sent on my way

          • Anna says:

            Quite – OH’s family in Bermuda have to declare expensive items like cameras BEFORE leaving the island. They can’t track sales and are so aggressive about collecting import duties, if you can’t prove you already had the item they assume you bought it on your travels and make you cough up!

        • Jonathan says:

          Au contraire @TGLoyalty and @Rui N. I imported a dozen Lenovo docks from Germany this year and the import paperwork (circa 20 pages) has all the serial numbers, net price paid and import duty due on it. UPS are sharks at making sure this is paid before delivery. Therefore HMRC know all the devices which have had duty paid on, those not on the list, by default are deemed not to have duty paid.

          I accept a person at customs in Heathrow airport wont have the information to hand, but can get it if required and how you handle the initial situation will determine how much detail they will go into.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            You think they write down every serial number and actually logged it 😂

          • TGLoyalty says:

            They can’t even tell when people have overstayed their visas and you think they have this info on 100’s of millions of electrical goods entering/leaving the U.K. a year

      • Sina says:

        I recently got an email from Le Shuttle telling me I can drive to Calais and do my Christmas shopping VAT free!?

        • Rob says:

          …. within the UK legal limits for bringing stuff back into the country.

        • Anna says:

          My dear late Grandpa was a famous (in such circles) authority on antique clocks and watches. He once brought a very old clock back from America and being scrupulously honest declared it at MAN customs. The bemused official asked him how they would verify the value of the clock locally. Grandpa said they would probably need to contact the only recognised expert in such clocks in the north of England, a professor at Salford university. The officer asked how he could contact this person, to which Grandpa replied, “Well you’re speaking to him now.”

    • Gormlesstraveller says:

      £390 of goods allowed into UK without paying VAT.
      Duty isn’t applicable to luxury goods I think.

  • Degsy says:

    Interesting new addition for Hilton in DC, by the looks of it (the Trump International):

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