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The HfP chat thread – Sunday 25th July

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Comments (359)

  • Phil W says:

    Good Morning from Munich

  • HH says:

    On 5 July, I made a direct Accor booking for 25-27 July using their Book With Confidence rate. The cancellation policy said ‘No cancellation charge applies prior to 18:00 (local time), up to 3 days prior to arrival’ — I cancelled on 13 July, but I still haven’t had the l prepaid amount refunded to me. Has anyone else experienced this / what’s the usual turnaround time for Accor refunds to come through?

    • Lou says:

      I booked two stays with Accor under their book with confidence offer. I ended up cancelling both stays, got a cancellation email. I then discovered some months after that I never received a refund. I forwarded the cancellation emails to both hotels, asking for a refund. One hotel replied saying they had never received an email from Accor about the cancellation, apologised and issued a refund immediately. The other hotel never replied. I then raised a ticket with Accor, who never replied!! So I’m now disputing the transaction with the CC company.

      As a result, I will not be renewing my status with Accor, nor will they get my business again unless they are the cheapest hotel.

      • Lou says:

        (special dispensation for the hotel that actually responded-they’re in my good books)

      • HH says:

        Thanks Lou. Pretty scummy of Accor, I agree. I ended up rebooking at the same hotel, so I’ll try to sort out the refund with them when I check in (I have the cancellation email), otherwise will dispute with Amex.

        • Lou says:

          Well we can confidently say I won’t be booking Accor again!

          • Tariq says:

            The worst chain, haven’t stayed with them for some time (think the last time was Novotel BKK in 2018, which was a lovely hotel) and would actively avoid.

          • Lady London says:

            IMM(multiple)E, Accor won’t sort out misbehaviour from Accor hoteliers, but Accor hoteliers will often be very kind and helpful and will find solutions to misbehaviour from Accor.

            I stay in a couple of Accor hotels regularly and I’m flexible with them and they are helpful with me. The way to stay in any Accor hotel is to forget it’s an Accor hotel.

    • Barnaby100 says:

      Accor or rather T5 Sofitel were the only cancelled travel I didn’t get refunded last year. Still bearing a grudge

    • Mark Peterborough says:

      I used the same rate for a booking last year at the Mercure London Kensington , I had to cancel well within the terms of the booking .I waited for a while for a refund and after contacting Accor customer services they advised me that the conditions of the rate were a refund in 90 days and the hotel would be refunding me .I eventually found this 99 days to be true after digging deep into their website .
      I contacted the Mercure Kensington and they confirmed the same . After politely asking if they could do it asap they declined and told me that it would take 90 days . After 90 days had passed with no refund I contacted the hotel again who advised me that the refunds agent wasn’t at work for another week and they promised it would be done then . After 97 days and no refund I contacted the hotel, they advised me that I should get my credit card company to do a chargeback as their refunds agent was still not at work . An hour later the hotel phoned me and asked me NOT to do a chargeback and promised me the money lawr that week . I eventually was refunded by the hotel after about 100 days . It left me with a very bitter feeling towards the entire hotel group and so far I have avoided having to use them since .

      Premier Inn and Travelodge have all been brilliant in the last year or so .

  • Gareth says:

    I want to take my 4 year old and 1 year old on their first city break to London this summer. Perhaps stay for three/four nights. The wife might also be in tow although she isn’t a fan of big cities so may stay home.

    What are the must-see things for the four year old (he’s about to start school this September). He likes the usual boy things eg dinosaurs, planes, cars, trains etc. The one year old is still happy to sit in a pram most of the time so will be happy doing that.


    • TimM says:

      Natural History or Science museums. They are very child-friendly with lots to grab and maintain a little one’s attention. The science museum grabbed mine as a toddler.

      • Harry T says:

        100% the natural history museum – I loved being taken there as a dinosaur obsessed kid.

    • SteveJ says:

      +1 to natural history and science museums. London Transport museum at Covent Garden also worth looking into.

    • Anna says:

      Definitely Natural History Museum – when we went a few years ago you had to book separate timed entry tickets to the dinosaurs as it’s obviously hugely popular with children, also be prepared for long queues to get in at peak times!

    • Michael C says:

      Our nº 1 tip would be the Postal Museum: soft play area (need to reserve that ahead of time), you get to ride on the old postal underground, and the “museum” bit is very hands-on/interactive, sending letters through vacuum tubes, etc.
      Also another vote for the transport museum. In fact, at their age, I’d put both of those ahead of science/nat. history both for fun and ease!

    • Ben says:

      Depends where you stay but there are good city farms in Hackney and Mudlark

    • K says:

      Transport Museum is another good place. You can use the ticket for unlimited times for upto one year, if you give your details. It is fun for children that age,

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      Don’t underestimate how happy the four year old might be just to ride the tube/dlr/overground etc.

      • BJ says:

        Good morning from the place where the heart is!in addition to above mentioned places a ride on the river, the cable car, Wetlands centre. The zoo too but always have misgivings about those. M&M store. Legoland. Don’t worry about 1yo either. I took my nephew to London as a 1yo. He was from a small village, his eyes just lit up and were everywhere. Clearly very observant and noticing a chance in his surroundings.

      • John says:

        May be better not to do that on a hot weekend, unless they get up at 6am on Sundays

    • Gavin says:

      As mentioned, London transport museum is popular with children, you can go onto some of the old train carriages etc. Interesting museum for adults too!

    • Andrew says:

      I used to love visiting Harrods as a kid.

      • Rob says:

        Toy department is really small now and they got rid of the pet shop. Plenty of £1000 Gucci jumpers for under 10s though.

        • Michael C says:

          Toy dept. is appalling, even at Xmas! Food hall most popular place for us. And the weird escalators, of course.

    • Tracey says:

      Hamleys toy shop.
      DLR and sit at the front of the train, kids will feel like they are driving it, cheap plastic steering wheel will add to the effect.

      • Optimus Prime says:

        I don’t think passengers are allowed at the front of the DLR yet due to covid-protective measures.

    • Njb says:

      We had many trips to London when the children were young and for us they were more successful when we explored the area local to where we booked the hotel. This meant we could mainly walk everywhere – taking a scooter helped too.
      The tube with a 4 year old and a buggy will not be much fun!
      Check out whats going in in the parks too. – the other week they had the herd of elephant structures.
      There are some lovely childrens books with red buses etc that will be worth sharing before you go. He can then spot the attractions.
      The science museum is more hands on than the history museum.
      The Museum of London gets my vote too.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      +1 to Science and NH. For a change of pace if staying 4 nights, then Kew Gardens should offer some respite from the concrete and lots of kid-friendly stuff.

      • Bill says:

        A good thread….I l taking my 6 and 8 year olds next month. Booked a premier Inn with interconnecting rooms for under £80 for both rooms. For 5 nights this seems to be better than any Hilton or Marriott. Even though I’ve got 140,000 points and Hilton Gold

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      Stingy but good…. When they were young I told my kids that Hamleys was a museum – you could play with stuff but not take it away 😀 😀 😀

  • Tom1 says:

    Morning – going to sign up to wise – does anyone have a referral link they’d like me to use?

    Or any suggestions for anything better than wise?


    i can sent you referral sent details to [email protected]

    • tom1 says:

      sorry, didn’t see your message before I used harry’s code.
      be ready with your referral link – sure there’ll be someone else along soon!

  • Patrick Cold says:

    Morning. OH has just recently taken out a BA Amex card and opened a BA exec. account. Does she need to call them so that the avios are transferred across or does BA do that automatically through address/dob etc? Thanks.

    • SteveJ says:

      Would have needed to enter the Avios number or created one at time of opening the Amex. Points transfer is automatic.

      • Patrick Cold says:

        Thanks – do you mean that if she didn`t register when she signed up she cannot link the two? I can`t imagine that is the case.

        • SteveJ says:

          I wasn’t aware you could sign up to the Amex without providing your exec club number at point of application. But if somehow you did then contact them and provide the BAEC number.

          • Patrick Cold says:

            She`s about to. Thank you. A recent convert to the hobby after years of encouragement I`m pleased to say!

          • Nick says:

            If you don’t give them details when opening the Amex account then they’ll open a new BAEC account for you automatically. Once this is done you’ll have to call to merge with your existing one.

  • Charlie says:

    Does it matter if I transfer 8000 nectar points from the nectar app across to Avios to activate the prize entries? Does it need to be done from the executive club app or does it not matter….

  • Steve R says:

    Been searching for using Virgin points & upgrades, Seen quite a few articles for Avios but nothing for Virgin or do I need to go to Specsavers

    • Rhys says:

      We haven’t done much but hoping to do more about Virgin Points in the future (sorry!)

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