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The HfP chat thread – Thursday 29th July

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We are running this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Comments (460)

  • Simon says:

    I’d be extremely appreciate of any hotel or general accommodation recommendations with regard to breaking up a driving journey from London to Trump Turnberry. (With many positive remarks about TT – Harry T! 😉 – then, as Titanium and with 5 x SNAs in hand, I have taken the plunge for a week in late August.)

    My wife and I were hoping to drive up to the Yorkshire Dales or to The Lake District area on the one day, stay overnight, then head off to Turnberry on the following day; repeating the same on the return journey.

    We do have two Frenchies in tow, however, one recently disabled sadly, so I’d be ever so grateful for any dog-friendly accommodation suggestions, too. Many thanks in advance, all.

    • Harry T says:

      Sorry to hear about the Frenchie! I hope you enjoy Turnberry, it’s a lovely hotel with warm staff. There were a few minor service hiccups with presumably new hired last time I went, but nothing too serious. My best advice, if you don’t have kids (and maybe if you do!), is to try and book the spa during a quiet time. I had to complain to the spa team about horrendous poor behaviour in the pool, from kids that the parents ignored/encouraged. A friend has had the same experience this week with parents not parenting. Apparently they used to have adults only slots – it’s foolish they gave that up. Try and see if the staff can book you in for quieter times.

      • Simon says:

        Harry, that’s a great idea re the spa and booking during quieter times — I’ll do just that. Thank you.

        The only kids are the doggies at this point 🙂 (and thanks for your kind words).

      • Aso40 says:

        When we stayed in June (before school holidays) the spa was blissfully quiet. There were only 3 other people there, and only for a small part of the time – had it to ourselves for at least half.

        It is a really nice facility, just recently refurbished.

        • Aso40 says:

          One other tip – if you are not there for the golf but want a bit of a taste of it, then it is free to use the pitch and putt at the front of the hotel. Concierge provides clubs and balls. This did not seem to be advertised anywhere.

          • Simon says:

            Great idea, Aso40 👌🏻 — it’s been donkeys’ years since I was on a pitch and putt, so that’d be fun with the other half. Many thanks.

        • Harry T says:

          Yeah, I wouldn’t stay there again during school holidays until they sort their shit out with the spa – they need to provide a luxury experience for adults in that environment. I’ll definitely go back though!

      • KBuffett says:

        Any idea if there are lots of midges around that area? I keep being warned off a trip to Scotland due to midges being ‘everywhere’

        • John says:

          I didn’t notice the midges at all but my wife found them really bothersome. Glasgow and surrounding countryside and islands

          • kitten says:

            Avon So Soft is apparently the thing for midges. Even soldiers said to use it.

        • Jill ( Kinkell) says:

          Rubbish! Someone is spreading porkies! I live in the Highlands and we are rarely bothered. Only when it’s a still, damp warm..ish evening .

    • Yorkie Aid says:

      We had a wonderful stay last month at Linthwaite House in Bowness-on Windermere. Dog friendly with fantastic grounds. It also has a Simon Rogan restaurant (recently reviewed in The Guardian) if that’s your sort of thing.

      • Simon says:

        Yorkie Aid, many thanks for the tip — that’s just the kind of area we’d be interested in having a pitstop at, so will certainly take a look. Thank you. 🙂

        • Yorkie Aid says:

          You’re welcome Simon. Forgot to mention it is also bookable through IHG as a Mr & Mrs Smith property but not sure whether the rates are any better than going direct.

          • Simon says:

            Ah, that’s also great to know, Yorkie Aid — I’ll have a nose through the IHG site in that case. Much obliged. 🙂

    • ChrisA says:

      There won’t be any points in it (other than credit card points), but the Bull in Sedbergh (10 mins from J37 M6) is a good stop-off.

    • Andrew says:

      It depends on what kind of driver you are, but it’s barely over 4 hours at a steady 70mph from the M25 to Southwaite.

      • John says:

        Except it’s 50mph roadworks for 1 hour and Birmingham or Manchester rush hour traffic depending on the time you leave. I guess you could do 90mph on the M40 to even it out like some…

    • Chas says:

      If you fancy staying in a pub, I can recommend the Buck Inn in Malham which is dog friendly. It’s on the Pennine Way, so some lovely walking on the doorstep if you want to stretch your legs and get some air having been in the car all day.

      • Simon says:

        Cheers, Chas — I’ll check that out as well. 🙂 I might well mix it up, staying in one place on the way up and in another on the way back. Much appreciated.

  • HBommie says:

    Some chatter on TripAdvisor re Italy’s 5 day quarantine for UK arrivals being continued after a comment by their Minister for Health to the press.

    I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough as it was due to expire tomorrow.

  • Josh says:

    Can someone quickly remind me when the Virgin Atlantic CC changes are happening ? I know it’s from August but cant remember the exact date.

    Thanks

  • David says:

    Any suggestions –
    Back in June I changed a virgin Atlantic booking in upper class – all this was done in whatsapp and at the time of the booking I was told very clearly there was no extra charge and the tickets all appeared as normal on line.
    I contacted them on Monday via whatsapp to change the dates and after four days they replied stating that I owed them £300 and downgraded the booking to premium economy. What should I do surely this is breach of contract. Virgin just seem to be making it up as they go along these days.

    • Ls says:

      Check you really owe then £300. What was it for? I imagine it was a fare difference. You do not get this for free unless the original flight was cancelled. The change fee is free at the moment.

  • Yorkie Aid says:

    Newcastle Station First Lounge… Does anyone know whether this might be open next week? National Rail website says it is open but LNER says it is “currently” closed but with no date given for reopening. Thanks in advance.

    • Lumma says:

      I thought it was open on Monday evening but didn’t go in as I believe there’s no food and drink available, which makes it just a private waiting room

      • Yorkie Aid says:

        Thank you Lumma. I will take a look anyway then 🙂

        • David D says:

          Was there on Sunday, it was open to sit in and use the lavatory. Food and drinks were not in stock.

  • Reney says:

    Looking to book a P&O staycation cruise, would I likely get an extra perks or discount via a travel agent. If so does anyone have an agent to recommend? Thanx

    • Jody says:

      You might get it a bit cheaper if you book through a TA rather than book direct. The usual ones I look at are Cruise 1st, Cruise.co.uk, Iglu and I can’t say I’d recommend them after having to do a chargeback against them last year, but Cruise Nation (to be fair, booking a staycation cruise is a very different experience to booking a cruise holiday package as we had, so I’m sure they’d be fine for that).

      Are you or anyone you are going with eligible for a blue light card? They give the best discounts (we got 50% off our balcony) but you have to book direct to get them.

      • Reney says:

        Jody,

        Thanks so much!! Just to check of the three TA you named Iglu is the one you had the issue with?

        One of the party just retired from the NHS earlier in the year, will check if they qualify for blue light discount. Thanks for the tip!

        • Jody says:

          Sorry, Cruise Nation was the one I had a problem with.

          If you have a retired NHS person amongst you, they will definitely be eligible. Tell them to get on applying for it asap! I don’t know the make up of your party, but the discount will only apply to that cabin they are in (so great if you’re all in the same cabin, not so good if you’re two couples as only the one with the blc holder will get the discount if that makes sense?).

          • Reney says:

            yes it makes sense. The blue light card website seems to say only retired arm forces and police or firefighter are eligible not nhs unfortunately.

            Looks like one of the TA you suggested are offering extra on board spend, so you have definitely saved me money! Thx very much I really appreciate all your advice.

          • Jody says:

            Ahh, that’s a shame. I had assumed all retired personnel were eligible but have just checked and you are correct. How annoying!

            Glad you’ve still managed to save a bit of money though. I know that P&O were also offering some on board credit with their bookings (although that wasn’t combinable with the blc discount I got unfortunately, but we still saved a packet!).

            I hope you have a lovely cruise.

  • Sina says:

    @rams1981not sure if you see this but I just switched to Igloo using your link!

    • rams1981 says:

      @sina Thanks so much – I got an email to confirm. Whilst their rates have gone up you can cancel any time and they remain competitive at the moment, credit balances earn 3% and can top up the account with Amex 🙂

  • YC says:

    Received a new curve card today (after some fraud which Curve dealt with promptly). New card is a ‘commercial’ card. Is this preferred over a ‘personal’ card? Or I should be trying to get a ‘personal’ card to minimise any future issues?

    • Yorkie Aid says:

      I’ve always had a commercial one (don’t know why – that’s just what they sent). I’ve never experienced any problems with it but many readers on here seem to prefer the personal one.

    • John says:

      The recent T&C changes say you should only be using commercial for business spend…. someone reported on here that Curve asked them for proof of business spend.

    • Chas says:

      You’ll want the personal (metal) one to use it fee free paying HMRC if it makes any difference. The commercial ones aren’t subject to the cap on interchange rates, so cost the retailer more. Hence why Curve prefer to issue those…. On the flip side though, I believe that the commercial cards have a daily cap of £5k, compared with £4.5k on the personal card.

      • Kai says:

        What is the minimum period I need to hold the card if I take the metal subscription? I recall there were some changes recently on this.

      • Harrier25 says:

        No the commercial cards have a daily spend cap of £9k as apposed to, as you correctly say, £4.5k.

      • Yorkie Aid says:

        Commercial cap is £9k per day / £1.6m pa

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