Bits: Amex removing the Priority Pass restaurant benefit, tonight is HFP Summer Party night!

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News in brief:

American Express removing Priority Pass restaurant access

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two Priority Pass airport lounge access cards, one for you and one for your supplementary Platinum cardholder.  This allows each of you to get two people into any of the 1,200 airport lounges in the Priority Pass network.

(You can find full details on Priority Pass here – you can buy one separately without having to take out an Amex Platinum card.)

Over recent years, Priority Pass has been adding restaurant partners too.  Instead of visiting a lounge, you can visit a restaurant in your departure terminal and receive a £15 discount on your bill per person.  A lot of people found this more attractive than visiting a lounge – and, in fact, you could do both!  Priority Pass does not limit the number of different lounges or participating restaurants you can visit in the same trip.

American Express is now removing the restaurant benefit from UK issued Platinum cards.  From 1st August, you will no longer be able to claim a credit in participating restaurants even if the restaurant is still listed on the Priority Pass website.

There is one relevant exception.  The only UK restaurant participating in the scheme, the Grain Store Café & Bar at Gatwick South, will be retained, at least for UK cardholdersWe looked at The Grain Store here.

I am guessing that, following the recent sharp increase in the Platinum fee, Amex did not want to be seen to be removing key benefits so soon.  A handful of other restaurants globally will also be retained although there is no list.

There is now a problem, in that the Priority Pass website is no longer an accurate guide as to what you can access with an American Express-issued Priority Pass.  You need to use the ‘Find A Lounge’ function on the Amex website – click here – which is the only place you can see which restaurants will still accept your Amex-issued Priority Pass card.

Renaissance St Pancras exterior

Tonight is the Head for Points Summer Party!

If you were lucky enough to get a ticket for the Head for Points Summer Party, generously sponsored by Marriott Bonvoy, we look forward to seeing you tonight at Renaissance St Pancras between 6pm and 9pm.

But please don’t all arrive at exactly 6pm or it will be chaos 🙂

Hotel directions are here, but to be honest anyone who struggles to find a building which looks like the image above, built above a major railway station, probably shouldn’t be allowed out on their own in the first place!

The lobby entrance is on the ramp above Euston Road. You are heading to the Hansom Hall on the ground floor which is directly in front of you as you walk in.

If you are coming and did NOT receive an email from Rhys on Friday, contact him at rhys at headforpoints.co.uk and we will resend the final details.

We have an impressive guest list.  As well as being able to chat to fellow HFP readers and Marriott Bonvoy staff, we are expecting senior employees from (in alphabetical order) Air New Zealand, ANA, British Airways, Flybe, Malaysia Airlines, Oman Air, Qatar Airways, South African Airways, Vietnam Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.

There will also be representatives from Club Eurostar, DragonPass, IHG Rewards Club and Monese, as well as a few friends from the media.  These people are all very keen to hear your views on both their companies and the competition so do stop and chat when you see them.

Emyr Thomas, our luxury hotel booking partner, will also be there – he will be able to tell you about STARS and Luminous, two new schemes for high end travel agents which offer clients extra benefits when booking at the top Marriott Bonvoy brands.

I still don’t know what the final raffle prize line up will be, but Marriott Bonvoy is generously putting up a few luxury hotel stays.  The Ritz Carlton Budapest, pictured below, is definitely included – you can check out its website here.

(EDIT: we also have a champagne afternoon tea at the Renaissance, a hotel stay in Mallorca and a hotel stay in Israel to give out.)

Ritz Carlton Budapest

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Comments

  1. Farah says:

    OT – Going to India at the end of July and looking for a tour group to cover the golden triangle with. Any recommendations for honest, good tour guides/operators?

    Thanks!

    • Sanya says:

      I know a friend who organized it all through Trailfinders in the UK and had a great experience.

    • We (a couple) booked through a small local agent based in Jaipur. After an initial contact I emailed an outline itinerary (the main sights in Rajasthan) and mentioned that we wished to stay in some Oberoi hotels en route. After some back and forth we finally fixed the itinerary, including some additional items he suggested (for example an overnight camp at Chhatra Sagar – which was stunning!).He did all the bookings – including internal flights – and provided a car and driver for the 9-10 days. At each major stop we were met by a local English speaking guide, who liaised with the driver at each location. This was in 2016.

      Despite my initial reservations (selected just by reading some excellent reviews on Tripadvisor) the whole trip ran like clockwork and was all we could have hoped for. The owner (Sabu) was very attentive and kept in close touch with his driver throughout. His communications with us setting up the trip was excellent – seemingly available 24hrs a day!

      More recently (this April) we were in Chennai for a week and I approached him re a 2-3 day local itinerary. Although a long way from his base in Rajasthan he organised everything on a similar basis as before – faultless.

      The name is Icon India Tours: http://www.iconindiatours.com/index/
      Sabu will tailor your trip to what you want.
      There are one or two other similar sites around (eg Iconic India Tours) – so check the links carefully!

      • We are looking at booking a 3 week tour for Feb next year so will send them an email and see what we can organise. Their 3 week trip is different to the one I was looking at with another company but their itinerary has drastically changed since the downfall of Jet Airways.

    • Leafwarbler says:

      We used a well known company for a Golden Triangle trip a few years ago. We fell in love with India; not so much with the travel company. We’ve used Indian Panorama since for a bespoke 4 week tour of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, and last November a wildlife tour of Pench and Satpura ending in Ahmedabad. I’ve been very happy with all aspects of their service. Excellent communication, seamless transfers and reasonable prices.

  2. barnaby100 says:

    Thanks to the bastard who stole my phone. I hope that getting a 4 year old iPhone is worth it.

    As you will see from the texts I was in a conversation with my husband as he sat having chemotherapy. I have also not got my train ticket to get home

    But hey you enjoy it!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Sorry to hear about your phone. Hopefully it was registered with find my iPhone so it can be erased blocked etc

    • Kevin C says:

      I’m sorry you lost your phone. Were you at the party? There was an announcement about a found phone I think. With apologies if I have got that wrong (I was at the back of the room).

      • barnaby100 says:

        Yes. Just after 6pm, I left it on the badge table, walked off for a couple of minutes, realised came back and it was gone. Alerted event staff and hotel staff but no luck I am afraid.

        So that as a very expensive night with phone, train costs and lost income as I cant work on the train. Plus a lovely walk home at the end of the journey at midnight as I can’t call a taxi.

        They found a different phone that was shown to me but it wasn’t mine sadly.

        • Concerned says:

          A significant PR fail for HFP.

          • Yorkieflyer says:

            I think that’s a little unfair!

          • barnaby100 says:

            That is unfair. there were less than 50 guests in the room at the time although it slowed up quickly. 1st phone loss in 25 years.

          • The Rachel / Tim phone was in Rhys’s pocket. We said during the raffle we had it. I assumed it had been claimed, we even made a 2nd announcement when we saw a text pop up saying ‘Hi Rachel’.

        • Kevin C says:

          How awful. I hope someone finds it.

    • Jay H says:

      Sorry to hear about your phone! I also misplaced mine at the event but thankfully there was a more positive outcome for me.

    • Andrew porwol says:

      Was this at the hfp summer party? If so a phone was handed in there and an announcement made that a phone had been found.

  3. TGLoyalty says:

    Unfortunately couldn’t make tonight

    Was hoping there would be some Instagram posts / live story on the goings on

    • AndyGWP says:

      I got a picture of the staircase 👍🏻🤷🏼‍♂️😆

      • Polly says:

        So did cat! Sorry about the quality!
        Great party, last to leave, us girlies.
        Anna and Liz, you got to get to the next party!

        • Wish I could but it’s a long way from Dundee! Only visit London every couple of years. A Scottish version would be great though!

  4. NvT1115 says:

    Still on route to the HFP party – have I missed anything?

  5. Robert says:

    Had a great night at my first HfP do. Thanks to Rob and the HfP team! Fingers crossed we can make it to the Christmas one, too!

  6. BlueThroughCrimp says:

    1200 mile round trip for me. Great night. Hope everyone enjoyed themselves.
    Thanks to all.

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