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The HfP chat thread – Sunday 28th March

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Comments (247)

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  • Baji Nahid says:

    Hit my 10K on the BAPP, if i continued spend on the card, would that have an effect on the spend target for the following year to obtain the voucher?

    • The Streets says:

      No – only spend after your anniversary date will count towards the next voucher

    • Chris Heyes says:

      Baji Nahid Sorry that’s a no, that’s the main reason as well to closely monitor your spend
      Your 241 voucher runs out at the end of 2 years from when you hit your target.
      Not when you got the card (of course due to covid there are likely extensions)
      but that’s not the norm
      Timing is very important especially if you like me plan says 2 years in advance
      Example in your case yours would run out March 2023 No good if you wanted a trip in April 2023

      • Jill (Kinkell) says:

        I got an email from Amex a few weeks ago saying vouchers due to be triggered would be extended by 6 months. My anniversary date is June so I’m hanging off the last £60 until then which means new voucher will last until Dec 2023

  • Michael C says:

    Just thought I`d mention a nice bit of HIlton interaction!
    Thought we’d go to London on the first “free” Sat. (i.e. 22 May) so booked a room at the Hyde Park Hilton to paint the town red* (*i.e. go to the pirate ship playground in Kensington gardens…). I´d looked before, as I like the location, but never found a large room: this time there was a Grand Family, 2 double beds, free-standing bath, etc. As an afterthought in the “comments”, I asked for a park view. Next day, had an email back saying all family rooms are on the “lower-ground floor” (?!)…but would we consider 2 doubles with park view for same price!
    Seems there are some nice people in the world…while reservations are at 10%, of course ;o)

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Interesting indeed – was a cash booking I presume?

      • Michael C says:

        Yep – and just about every rate is cancellable up to the day before for now.

    • Chris Heyes says:

      Michael C I use Hilton a lot although all our stays are off peak I’m only Gold never tried to better it.
      I find Hilton top notch, the individual Managers I mean
      There are always 3 of us staying, so we always book a 3 bedded room (double/king and a single)
      When I book I always e-mail the Manager telling him/her our arrival time (it’s usually evening, in case they want to clean the room last, let someone have late checkout)
      At the same time politely asking “it would be appreciated if an upgrade was forthcoming”
      We have always “without fail” been upgraded from a 3 bedded room to a Suite (ok mostly a Junior Suite) still with Lounge assess when they have one
      It’s I’m presuming because we travel off peak and probably won’t work at peak times
      My son uses my Hilton card (I’m a C he’s a G) never been questioned on the card hard to tell the difference

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        +1 that asking (NICELY, and not throwing any sort of entitled strop if the answer is no) is more effective than any status.

        • Isherwood says:

          +1 we always email a hotel before a stay to confirm booking and ensure requests are noted (quiet room; away from lift, etc); it’s great to make a connection and has worked out well for us on many occasions (upgrades; gifts in the room; late check-outs, etc)

          • Harry T says:

            100%, always build a pleasant relationship with a hotel in advance of your stay, especially if it’s a fancy one and you intend to be a repeat customer. I’ve built up a rapport with some delightful customer service staff for various hotels in London. It’s a mutually beneficial situation if you can build a relationship with a hotel. Decent status does help too – I have noticed better treatment as Marriott Platinum and now Titanium.

      • Michael C says:

        Great ip Chris, as we’re always looking for that exact bedding!

        • Chris Heyes says:

          Michael C Most Hiltons (some Accor) only have a few 3 bedded rooms for 3 Adults and the “Up-Grade” from that is a Junior Suite/Suite.
          So if they are going to up-grade you it will be Junior Suite
          I some times book BnB 3 Bedded room even though as Gold I would get breakfasts included. doesn’t cost much more and Junior Suite more likely
          Can’t say would work peak times “never travelled or stayed peak periods”

      • Hotelier says:

        +100% Still lots of people don’t notice their actual reactions when they are told no and think they are being nice for just the minimum of not shouting. I can guarantee you people that make a fuss about upgrades will get the minimum within their status entitlement, as they are likely to say on next stay ”oh but last stay you gave us xxxx”. If I have a top suite unsold and need to ”get rid of it” it will go to the one that doesn’t complaint and smiles the day an upgrade is not available.

        • Chris Heyes says:

          Hotelier I think with Hilton The theory is i get an up-grade to a Junior Suite,
          The person in a Junior Suite gets up-graded to a Suite, the person in a Suite gets a up-grade to either better Suite or Executive Suite so on so on
          My upgrade from 3 bedded allows a family to use it
          Most of the time (not all though) when i e-mail Hotel with arrival time usually say after 8pm plus check out time if early
          i more often than not get a thank you for being considerate and we have arranged for you to be up-graded (this is months before our arrival)
          Sometimes we are not told until arrival
          We also pack up suitcases and take down to Breakfast, let them know room is vacated but we will check out after breakfast if that’s ok
          The hotel seems very appreciated of that
          I find treat the Hotel right, they treat you right
          Especially if you stay a few times a year,

      • BJ says:

        Strongly recommend you take the relaxed opportunity to get to Diamond, the extra benefits and recognition mount up.

        • Chris Heyes says:

          BJ Sorry for late reply Don’t really think its worth getting to Diamond our stays are only 4/5 times a year although sometimes 7/10 nights.
          Son only single nights at a time when flying to Security conferences to give a lecture. using my card
          So would be hard to get and keep Diamond ?

    • Andrew says:

      I stayed there last summer with points and also emailed in advance for a park view which they happily confirmed in advance despite only a basic room having been booked. It’s a nice hotel, well designed rooms. No breakfast for Gold HH then (despite no restaurant legal restrictions) so likely be the case still for a while. But there’s a Pret next door.

      • Michael C says:

        Sounds good, Andrew – believe the refurb was only a few years ago? And an easy walk to Portabello!

      • The Lord says:

        Even better coffee next door to the pret, great lamingtons too

    • KBuffett says:

      Is this Hilton Park Lane?
      If so, for a flagship property it really needs a complete refurb

      • TGLoyalty says:

        It was meant to be having one. Would drop the room count and add apartments too.

      • Andrew says:

        No it’s the one called Hilton Hyde Park. Refurbed recently, very nice bathroom, and a calming interior design in the rooms. Rob did a day-stay review in the summer/autumn.

      • Jay says:

        Flagship in the 1990’s … no longer the case.

      • kitten says:

        I think it’s the old “Pastoral” hotel on the corner of Queensway opposite the park.

        It sounds like an awful lot of money has been spent on it, it’s near enough to Kensington High Street, Diana’s cafe, m Millionaire’s Row, Kensington Church Street, Notting Hill, Holland Park, Portobello Market / Golborne Road / the original Lisboa cafe / Westbourne Grove shops on a sunny day on foot.

    • Anna says:

      Sounds lovely, Michael C. My son’s at the stage when he just wants to stay in his bedroom but it would have been really hard to have missed all the outings we used to do when he was younger – especially pirate ship play areas!

      • Michael C says:

        @Anna, luckily he’s also a food fan, so we’ll be heading straight to the wonderful Sabor in Hedden St. for pulpo & vermut!

        • Crafty says:

          I still salivate at the memory of Sabor’s “at home” box that we had a couple of months ago.

          • Michael C says:

            Totally, Crafty – I was amazed it was IDENTICAL to eating there; very well done. Had to screw up the receipt without looking at it, but hey-ho ;o)

        • Anna says:

          Churros y chocolate for our sweet-loving kid!

  • Chrisasaurus says:

    Does anyone have any sense of what an ‘imperative family reason’ includes (or doesn’t include) vis. Spanish entry requirements from March 30th?

    Specifically wanting to retrieve a family member who isn’t happy (or likely able) to travel back alone but who physically/medically could, so creating a doubt in my mind as to defining imperative and essential.

    • Bs says:

      Essential = couldn’t reasonably be delayed to a later point, along with a degree of necessity that is more than covered by imperative.
      Imperative = must be done or there will be significant financial/health/business loss.
      Can’t answer your question, but it would depend on why they’re not happy to travel, if their travel could reasonably be delayed, health conditions etc. Merely having a disinclination to travel without someone is unlikely to count. But I suspect the situation is more complex and nuanced than that.

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Thanks, all

        Yes, it’s a little more nuanced – it’s mostly an effort to get them home and vaccinated ahead of surgery and subsequent medication that will take them from at risk to highly at risk.

        The surgery can’t wait, and they can’t get vaccinated in time there, and they’re realistically not able to do the journey back alone but don’t have anything in writing and probably can’t get it either (combination of mental and mobility)

        Thank you for the direction – will give it thought

        • Yuff says:

          I think it will be pot luck but after 29th here and 30th for Spain it should change.
          My wife flew from stansted to Mallorca this morning, and passengers being denied access to board, firstly at check in then at the gate.
          She was initially denied boarding at the gate and allowed on after speaking to a manager several others were denied boarding at the gate.

    • Michael C says:

      Could the family member obtain a letter for you from a local doctor along the lines of “xxx needs to be accompanied (for mental health support) for travel to UK due to difficulties in travelling alone”, and couple this with a 24-hour return ticket to show you won’t be hanging around? (All this presuming you don’t have an EU passport!)

    • Tracey says:

      The England rules class anyone over 70 as “vulnerable”, so there shouldn’t be an issue that they can’t travel alone.

    • kitten says:

      are you ok to pay the £400 in PCRtesting fees for the uk on return though plus whatever 2 antigen tests will cost in Spain before your departure from there,?

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Yes, to help a family member it doesn’t matter what cost is involved.

        I’ll certainly aim to minimise it but it isn’t a deciding factor

  • Alan says:

    The JW Marriott in Los Cabos that was mentioned previously has now reversed its policy on charging a service fee on redemption bookings…

    • Harry T says:

      I saw that – good news that Marriott will still crack the whip when asked!

  • The Savage Squirrel says:

    Nice article in the Sunday Times again this week by one Mr Rhys Jones! (paywall)

  • GERRY says:

    What is thoughts on, IHG further extending status beyond this year ?

    • Andrew says:

      They don’t seem to be being too helpful at the moment with AMB status and vouchers so I’m not overly hopeful. At least they gave us the 25k this week so that’s kept me happy for a bit.

  • @mkcol says:

    Now that I have wooden floors throughout my home instead of carpet what are your recommendations for robot vacuums please?

    • Colin MacKinnon says:

      Hi, bought a Eufy about six weeks ago – cleaner not able to come because of lockdown. Was well impressed (cat not so impressed!)Daughter has now bought one for her flat.
      My referral – £40 for you and £40 for me! – is:
      They do a range of machines, my one was for hard floors.

      ps. When you buy on Amazon it seemed to take you to their site, and the £40 code worked. So you might be able to double up with discounted Amazon vouchers via Morrisons. (although I may not get my £40!)

      • Colin MacKinnon says:

        We also have a Sthil robot lawnmower which does the whole apron at the airfield. And after a few months the improvement in the grass was amazing!

        Weeds get chopped before they get a chance to grow, and so they shrivel away.

        No discount codes for anyone, I’m sorry. But you get the best deals negotiating with your local dealer about installation etc.

        What we like about the vacuum is that it can go out every day, rather than the once a week by the cleaner. It is amazing how much cat hair it picks up – and amazing how much the cat sheds!

        We are renovating a small flat in Edinburgh and we are putting a socket under the back of the bed, so we can plug in the robovac there, out of sight. It’s the future!

      • @mkcol says:

        Excellent thanks.

    • Tom1 says:

      I’ve just bought the eufy robovac g30 edge last week. (Of course using amazon vouchers from Morrison’s).
      So far so good – haven’t had any problems and it tootles off and comes back for charge. I’ve got kitchen, dining room, hallway and it manages them all in around 30 minutes.

      I realised that how long it takes doesn’t matter.
      It can take as long as it likes while I’m working or out.

      Was tempted by one that mops – the g30 hybrid also does that, but none of the reviews of any of the sub <£300 were overly enthusiastic (most just drag a cloth over the floor) and some models cannot tell the difference between carpet and hard floor so would mop everything!

      I went for the g30 because it has “mapping” built in where it works more systematically through the room rather than the cheaper ones that just go randomly. However, most of the reviews say that the random ones are yet as effective and quick. Mine does give a satisfying map so you can see where it has been – useful at the start but I guess over time I’ll look at it less.

      The one feature I would have liked was to be able to create virtual no-go areas. With the Edge model I bought I have some magnetic strips I can use to cordon off sections – but you either leave them out and they are unsightly, or you have to put them out before it vacuums which sort of defeats the purpose of having a scheduled vacuum. The more expensive models you can draw areas on a virtual map of your house – for areas where there are cables, or pet food bowls etc etc.

      My parents are now interested – if I’m honest I think I would probably go for the eufy 15c max or 30c max – not sure the mapping is worth the extra.

      Also – if buying from amazon, the prices are up and down like a yo-yo. I’ve got a list of the “normal” and high/low prices if you want.

      Also – vacuum wars on YouTube was very helpful. Some great tests showing how much they all pick up.

      • @mkcol says:

        Thank you for that.

      • ChrisBCN says:

        Camelcamelcamel gives you a price history for things on Amazon, always useful to check if you are paying a low or a high price for these kind of items

  • JohnT says:

    For all those fed up of incorrect rerouting statements from BA regarding 241 1/2avios & availability (after cancellations) – some good news! (See yesterday’s comments page 4).
    Joy and delight – a most helpful agent, and apart from reiterating 1yr ticket validity, everything else done as we wanted with no hassle, booked on AA out direct to a nearby airport and return on BA. Made my Sunday. Just hope USA open by late Sept!

    • Anna says:

      That’s great – please tell me you got the agent’s name and extension number?!

      • Michael C says:

        If they were related to Trump, they might have been Agent Orange.

        I’m here all week!!

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