Bits: temporary Gatwick Express timetable, Hyatt category changes, Park Inn sale

News in brief:

Emergency Gatwick Express timetable starts tomorrow

I have written recently about the terrible punctuality problems at Gatwick Express.  The company has now brought in an emergency timetable for Monday to Friday use.  This is part of substantial changes to the entire Southern network due to a shortage of staff.

You can see the new timetable here.  During key hours, the service is now reduced to one train every 30 minutes.  This is stretching the definition of ‘Express’ I think …..

Gatwick Express new trains

Hyatt Gold Passport category changes

Hyatt Gold Passport has announced its annual list of category changes.  These are generally done when the cash rates for a hotel have jumped or fallen for a particular reason and there is a need to bring the points needed for a free night back in line.

These changes take place on 1st August.  It is a ‘no lose’ situation for existing members.  If you need to book one of the hotels going up in price, you have three weeks to do so.  If you need to book one that is dropping, you simply need to wait three weeks to book!

The changes are mainly at the lower end with hotels switching between Category 1 and Category 2 in both directions.  The biggest fall is Hyatt Centric Miami Beach which drops from Category 6 to Category 4.  None of the UK Hyatt hotels are impacted.

Full details can be found here on

Southend Park Inn

Park Inn Summer Sale – up to 25% and free breakfast

Finally, Park Inn – part of Club Carlson – has launched its Summer Sale.  This covers all of their properties in the UK with savings of 10% to 25% off regular rates.  Their seaside Southend hotel is shown above.

You need to book before 31st August for stays until 4th September.

If you book direct via the Park Inn website here you will also receive free breakfast.  This is probably a more valuable benefit than the cash discount you receive.

For those readers with families, children under 16 stay free when sharing their parents room and children under 12 eat free when a parent buys a meal.

Remember that American Express Platinum cardholders can benefit from their Club Carlson Gold status when staying at Park Inn properties.  If you stay for 2+ nights before the end of July you can also earn bonus points with the Club Carlson spring promotion.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Agoda launches PointsMAX - a Kaligo-style miles earning booking site
502 Virgin miles for £1.50!
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  1. sarahluv says:

    why does anyone bother with the gatwick express? the regular trains take a couple of mins more and are a third of the price. also, victoria isn’t exactly handy if you are travelling to the city or canary wharf

    • Metatone says:

      Horses for courses. The bad news is that the situation is also messing up the Thameslink trains on a regular basis.

      Gatwick Airport really needs to take Southern to court as it is in danger of becoming unusable as an airport. The road situation was already a mess, and now you can’t rely on the trains. Some days you need to allot 3 hrs just to be sure to get to Gatwick in time for a flight.

      • Can’t help their case for airport expansion. Say what you like about Heathrow the presence of tube and train links is a real advantage over the poor gatwick rail line

    • In normal times yes – currently you couldn’t be more wrong. I reverse commute to the South Coast most days. At the moment GX trains are far more likely to run than ordinary Southern Trains and you have a far better chance of getting on one due to overcrowding. For months there has been no certainty whatsoever that you would even make it to LGW on any given day via train.

    • Because the DfT keeps indulging GTR in its whimsical fantasy of gouging passengers despite being against the franchise and routeing rules.

      “victoria isn’t exactly handy if you are travelling to the city or canary wharf”

      But Paddington is worse.

    • Speak for yourself! Do you know there is a direct entrance to the GEx platform from the car park at the back where Pret’s office is? I can be in that car park in a cab within 6-7 mins of leaving home and directly on the GEx platform 45 seconds later.

  2. OT but has anyone know cancelled a cash & points Hilton booking? Is the refund issued in cash or is it refunded entirely in points like IHG ? Thx in advance

    • WIth Hilton points and money bookings, you always pay the cash part at check-out, so there is nothing to refund.

      Owing to Hilton’s antiquated voucher system (which is all behind the scenes now), it takes about 30 minutes to get your points back and you don’t actually see the reservation as cancelled until the following day.

      If you decide to book again, some hotels have a funny habit of telling you that you have a cancelled reservation, which seems really odd to me.

  3. Andrew Stock says:

    Govia Thameslink Railway are a complete disaster. I use the Great Northern service and every weekend there is a high number of cancellations due to no drivers???

    They had the highest number of cancelled trains last year at 5% of any train company. This year will be even higher.

    I have been trying to claim delay repay since April and have still not got the vouchers despite numerous telephone calls.

    Gatwick can’t get the second runway which it’s dreadful train service when you compare it to Heathrow in a few years:

    Crossrail every 15 mins (operated by MTR of Hong Kong for TFL with direct trains to the West End, City, Canary Wharf and Stratford)

    Heathrow Express every 15 mins

    Pic line every 5 to 10 mins

  4. “This is stretching the definition of ‘Express’ I think”
    I’m pretty sure that Express is the speed, not the frequency!

  5. Slightly OT, but this is the most recent Club Carlson thread…

    Does anyone know if Carlson (specifically Radisson Blu) offer a discount for a second kids room? Hyatt for instance offers a 50% discount off BAR when booking a second room to be occupied by under-12s… does Carlson do anything similar?

    • This is the Radisson family deal:

      Hilton do 50% off as well but needs phone booking. Used this very successfully for upcoming Spain trip.

      • Thanks Rob – hotel is not in UK, so that doesn’t help. Actually mailed them directly and got told that they don’t do anything similar, but have been offered 20% off each room which is pretty good.