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The new HFP chat thread – Monday 13th July

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We have decided to run this new daily chat thread on Head for Points.

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the defacto repository for random comments and questions.  It is unlikely that the news flow will be so big over the next few weeks that we will need many ‘Bits’ articles, however.

The comments under this article are where you should post questions about travel and, indeed, anything else on your mind.  At this tricky time, and given that many of you are stuck at home self-isolating, we want the HFP community to have a place to chat.

Please only comment under the main articles on the site if your comment is directly related to the topic of the article.  This has long-term benefits as its keeps the commentary relevant for people who read those articles in the future.

By default, HFP shows the last page of comments under the article.  If you want to see the first page of comments and read them all from beginning to end in order, click here: https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/07/13/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-monday-13th-july/comment-page-1.  The page will refresh with this article but the comments will now show the first page and not the last page.

Old chat threads are hidden from the HFP home page.  If you want to look for something in an old thread, click here.  This brings up all the articles in our ‘General’ category which includes the chat threads.

Comments (113)

  • Travel Strong says:

    Hungary appear to be changing their entry requirements from Wednesday. UK citizens are effectively banned at present. From Wednesday UK will be a “yellow” country, requiring 14 days quarantine – or potentially “2 negative tests 48hrs apart in the previous 5 days” .

    It is not clear what ‘certificate’ will be accepted for the testing. E.g. Will the NHS service suffice?

    It is also unclear if the tests can be taken before travel, or whether the testing exemption only applies to hungarian nationals… hopefully more official wording will follow.

    • Travel Strong says:

      Also Hungary related – those in charge in Budapest are moving to restrict bars forever more in the nightlife centre, and also to ban airbnb (apparently in the interests of siding with hotel owner interests). Combined with the UK ban, it feels like the locals may have enjoyed this time apart from revellers! (… or at least those who do not rely on tourism for an income)

    • GeorgeJ says:

      The testing exemption is only for Hungarian citizens (what else would you expect from Orbans government!). Non Hungarians from yellow get a medical examination (and refusal of entry if you fail) plus 14 days quarantine.
      Frankly, not much of a change here and not enough to get me to go there at present. I have a dental appointment later in the year (ie its high value tourism, not a crawl round the Pest bars) but its not worth 14 days quarantine.

      • Travel Strong says:

        Ouch! I saw that on gov.uk and assumed it would be lifted on Wednesday, but the language is clumsy in most media reports.

        I have a flight that I will decide on by the end of the week. but all indications are – i’m cancelling and going elsewhere.

        Beyond corona – I also feel like many people will make that decision if airbnb is blocked in budapest too. i.e. they will go elsewhere, and not pay 4 times the price for a hotel room.

  • Peter Taysum says:

    Curve seem to have done a “BA” with their app. It was elegant and stylish now it’s a right dogs dinner. Good job at migrating away from the illegal company (makes you think insiders must have known about the illegality) but why so horrible looking now?

  • Sina says:

    Just got my TAP Air Portugal status match accepted, they’ve now asked for the club miles/miles to be purchased! Very nice, less than 4 days!

  • Aston100 says:

    Bangkok:
    Anyone have an opinion of the Intercontinental, especially its location for a first time visitor to that city?
    Secondly, what’s the feeling about whether they would provide a complimentary upgrade to a room booked on points, if the guest is only an IHG platinum? Would they take into consideration a significant birthday or anniversary when deciding whether to upgrade or not?

    Also I note there is a new Kimpton just opened over there. Is that in a better location? It seems pricier then the Intercontinental.

    Thanks

    • Andrew says:

      Hi, depending what you want to do in Bangkok, I would say the Intercon is in a great location. It is next to a walkway which links you you their equivalent of the London tube (called BRT). Within minutes you have great shopping and restaurants. I stayed their (nit with points) and was upgraded to a huge suite. Very, very nice hotel in a very central location.

    • Shanghaiguizi says:

      I usually base myself there at the start and end of my trips three or four times a year. It’s a nice hotel but slightly away from most places so a short tuktuk or cab ride down sikhumvit.

      There’s a few large malls opposite. A nice swimming pool on the roof, that’s usually fairly quiet.

      IC are usually fairly stingy with the upgrades for non ambassador members. Some IC’s don’t even recognise spire level. I’d say normally you won’t Have much chance of an upgrade as platinum, but in these crazy times who knows. If you get club access opt for breakfast in the club lounge as the 1st floor gets crazy busy with mainland Chinese so there’s usually a queue.

      • Aston100 says:

        Thanks for the information.
        I didn’t think the Chinese coach tour groups used high end hotels. I really don’t want to run into them again. Have had quite the experience with those in the recent past.

    • Chris says:

      First up IC Bangkok has/d a decent lounge with good staff that are happy to help. The rooms are decent enough and seem well maintained – they have that IC cozy feeling with plush carpets etc. Good beds, sound deadening and black out curtains are in all rooms. AC can go to Baltic if you need it to. Bathroom amenities are IC generic lemon pledge.

      Location is good as skytrain is outside; big malls are next door. If you are desperate there is a McDonalds over the road; and a good Starbucks in the mall next door. The Kimpton location is less desirable as its further away from public transport; I haven’t stayed there so cant stay. Forget taxis or grab in the day the traffic is/was horrific. You will end up spending time on the skytrain @ the IC which is cool but hectic and may drain time if your stay iii short. Most of the places to /see/ are further away, bar the Erewan shrine.

      I’m a fan of the Shangri La which has a bit of a garden; something the IC lacks, and is right on the river which is nice for watching the world go by. The Mandarin Oriental next door the SL is excellent but a step up in price from IC / SL. As is the Park Hyatt – close to the IC. Have stayed in Sofitel So a lot too its a nice fun hotel with an excellent lounge; but the location isnt as great as any of the above

      In terms of upgrades the lower level rooms are pretty similar but the services change like a lot of IC’s. I have stayed on points – a long time ago – and was given a business room which had some perks but the standard room. Generally book a corner suite to get a decent desk to work from (for cash) and get upgraded to club access corner suite via ambassador (though I haven’t been there so far in 2020 so world may have changed)

      Its really cheap to book hotels in BKK – the standard is pretty good across the board – especially in western brand hotels; so you may want to save your points for somewhere /better value/ but I don’t know the cost of your stay given the variable pricing now.

      • Aston100 says:

        Thank you for the detailed answer.
        Dynamic points pricing is looking like 27.5k per night across many dates. This seems decent as I am sure it was 40k previously.

        That said, I was also looking at the Chatrium Riverside which looks very nice with huge rooms and seems to be excellent value for money. It’s just i’d need to pay cash here.

        Thanks

  • Jeff 99 says:

    Magaluf residents’ fury as drunk British holidaymakers ‘wear no masks’ and ‘jump on cars’
    Some local residents are angry as they face up to the same old antics with tourists beginning to go back to Majorca

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/07/12/normal-service-resumed-magaluf-rowdy-britons-return-holiday/?WT.mc_id=tmg_youtube_offsite_televideo-youtubevideo_July13Magaluf&utm_source=tmgoff&utm_medium=tmg_youtube&utm_content=offsite_televideo&utm_campaign=tmg_youtube_offsite_televideo-youtubevideo_July13Magaluf

    Would be a shame if some of these disgusting louts fell of the cars they were jumping on and landed on their head…

    • Anna says:

      Hopefully they’ll feel the full force of the Spanish authorities and realise how much people are allowed to get away with in the UK!