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The new HFP chat thread – Tuesday 14th 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/2020/07/14/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-tuesday-14th-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 (141)

  • Wally1976 says:

    I was looking last night for a cheap hotel in London for a family break at the end of October (during school half-term). I came across the Holiday Inn Express Wandsworth and it was only £30 a night! Including breakfast for 4 of us! I realise it’s not exactly luxury and the location isn’t perfect but even so it’s almost absurdly cheap. Anyone been to this property? Trip Advisor reviews are really very good for such a cheap hotel.

    • Anna says:

      I’ve never been to Wandsworth but there are some great IHG offers around at the moment anyway, so HI and HIE are even cheaper than usual.
      Perhaps someone more local can tell you if they would recommend staying/parking there (if you’re travelling by car).

      • Rob says:

        It is, literally, opposite the Wandsworth tip (‘recycling centre’) and next to a hugely busy road. Drive thru McDonald’s about 90 seconds walk, as is a Homebase and a BP garage.

        However, to be fair, Wandsworth Town station (National Rail, not tube) is only about 2 minutes walk away and just past the station there is a run of interesting local shops. You can be in Waterloo in a couple of minutes on the train. No problem parking at the hotel.

        For that sort of money you obviously can’t go wrong.

        • Sunguy says:

          There used to be an “Outback” restaurant just opposite there too – probably in the same complex as Waddle used to live in. Used to visit quite often (NHS discount on the absurd prices (which is the reason the whole chain in the UK failed) made it affordable). Not bad area ….and easy for central London and definitely worth the £30!

        • Graeme2 says:

          And The Ship just round the corner has a cracking beer garden facing out onto the river.

    • Waddle says:

      I used to live in the block of flats opposite the Holiday Inn. In laws often stayed there when visiting us without complaint. The recycling plant, although large, is fairly well tucked away and we never had any problem with it. There used to be a B&Q right next to it but that is currently being developed into more properties. It is very close to the train station and trains into Waterloo are very frequent.

      For that money you can’t go wrong and I would even make that statement if the price quoted was several times your amount. Parking is decent as well if you’re driving.

    • Doug M says:

      Go for it. Wandsworth is very typical of much of London, lots of old flats which can seem intimidating, alongside lots of river view new builds, which seems soulless and deserted. The area is a little odd, but as said a short walk, 5 minutes, to Wandsworth Town station, and is on a stretch of Old York Road which has the feel of a village more than London. Assuming some normality nice restaurants and shops. The Waste place is a couple of hundred metres up the road and not opposite, the immediate neighbours are a BP station, a gym and some seriously expensive flats, along with a closed B&Q, that site to become more luxury new builds assuming the plan continues. Also it’s fairly easy to walk along the river to Putney, maybe a mile, and much closer is a Young’s pub, The Ship, right on the river which is really nice, even if it is next to the ready-mixed concrete place with all the lorries coming and going during the day.

    • Wally1976 says:

      Thanks for all the replies folks. Parking at the hotel is £16 per 24 hours – seems a lot when the room’s only 30 quid! I might look at other nearby options or might just pay it.

      Are the trains from Wandsworth town into Waterloo frequent?

      • Bazza says:

        Traffic around there used to be murder! Get stuck on that one way system ..forget about it!!

        Like the others say – bit of a dump but easy to get out of on the train to London

      • Waddle says:

        Around 8 trains per hour on weekdays, 6ish on Saturday and 5ish on Sunday I recall. They take about 15mins.

  • N says:

    Pretty niche question, but can I use an SNA on a famtastic rate with Marriott?

  • rams1981 says:

    Curve refunds etc seem to be working fine now. Go to cash and you can use that to spend.

    • Yawn says:

      Yup. And from a rewards perspective that is a good thing too!

    • Matt says:

      They’re not entirely working: I’m still waiting on a refund for a declined (but charged) transaction on 25 June. And getting any response from Curve customer services is a time-consuming trial because they’re “currently receiving a high volume of messages” (which I assume is code for “you’re not the only one still having problems”).

  • Yawn says:

    Anyone any quick solutions as to how to earn 40 Heathrow reward points? I’m at 7,210 and would like to transfer out the whole lot to Avios. Thanks!

    • memesweeper says:

      If you’re anywhere near Heathrow you can earn them at the landslide shops.

  • Waddle says:

    Sky News: Virgin Atlantic Airways is close to unveiling a £1.2bn rescue package that will salvage thousands of British aviation jobs

    • Sunguy says:

      The thing is – that until the US get a grip on their outbreaks, I cant really see how aviation can get back to anywhere even close to something like “normal” ….

      Either that or the political/business pressure to open up the routes – however, with Brexit going full steam sideways, Trump campaigning to be re-elected (badly) and Boris bashing Europe …. who the heck knows whats going to happen….or when…

      Until the FCO states the USA is on the list of countries that your travel insurance will cover you for going to and the US reinstates the Visa Waiver Program – its all pie in the sky….(or should that be in the ground!)….

      P.s. I know that the routes to the US are not the be-all and end-all, however, the transatlantic routes from the UK in particular are the heaviest grossing/used routes.

      • PJJ says:

        How far ahead are Virgin cancelling their flights, any idea ?

      • Harry T says:

        Trump won’t open the borders until at least post-election – he needs to play to his base, and preventing any form of immigration and selling Covid-19 as something bought in by foreigners will probably appeal to the typical Trump voter (many of whom likely don’t own passports or a degree certificate…).

        • Bazza says:

          “passports or a degree certificate”

          I assume you have both.

          What does that prove exactly?

          • Ming the Merciless says:

            It proves you don’t have the correct documentation to travel to a multitude of different countries other than your own, and that you haven’t taken a post high school educational course that awards degree level qualifications.

            Obvs…

        • Lady London says:

          naughty stereotyping, @Harry T !

      • Optimus Prime says:

        +1

        BTW Hawaii just delayed tourism reopening to 1st September.

      • Spaghetti Town says:

        Well – if you look long term, the US will probably have achieved a lot of herd immunity so flare ups there might not be as bad.

  • Owain says:

    Looks like the Melia 50% extra offer mentioned at https://headforpoints.com/2020/06/15/melia-50-buy-points-hotel-bonus/ has been extended from the 12th to the 31st – the headline still says the 12th, but the text of the offer now says ‘All MeliáRewards points purchased between 8th June and 31th July will receive a 50% bonus.’

  • Andrew says:

    Has something changed with IHG allowing overlapping bookings? I have a reward night booked in December. Thanks to the new dynamic pricing the number of points required has gone down but every time I try to rebook it I get a message stating “An error has occurred. Please contact your nearest reservation office”. I’m loathed to cancel my existing booking before the new one is in place.

    • Colin JE says:

      I had that problem a few weeks back when the dynamic points came in, but the next day it worked. Fingers crossed the points stay at that level.

    • Jon says:

      I got the same error message when trying to make a reward booking (not an overlapping one) on the web site a week or so ago. Switched to the app and it all went through fine. I do also have a couple of overlapping bookings, so whatever the glitch is, I don’t think it’s that (unless I was just lucky 😉 HTH.

      • Andrew says:

        Thanks for the tip. Booking through the app worked. That’s a quick 12.5k points saved!

  • Nick says:

    I finally got my virgin Atlantic refund back today, after cancelling in March. Anyone had an issue with the incorrect amount being returned?