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The HfP chat thread – Friday 30th 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 (382)

  • Yorkieflyer says:

    Qured absolutely useless today after previous good experiences. In video queue for one hour 40 until we abandoned call. Only response to email to support after 40 mins was just wait. Shan’t be using again can’t recommend anymore if they are going to be unreliable

    • Simon says:

      Sorry to hear that. With Chronomics and others now doing LFTs with no video call, just send a photo, i think Qured’s days might be numbered…

    • meta says:

      Have back ups! I waited 10 minutes last time. But if you pre-book a slot, I’d expect a refund if waiting for more than 15-20 minutes. I would take a screenshot/photo of waiting time too.

      • tony says:

        Just a shout out for Breathe Assured who I used today for LFTs by video. It’s £38 a test but as you order more the price comes down. A 5 pack is £150.

        The nurse was there on time, went through the necessary and we were all done in the promised time. She stayed on the line to give me time to check the certificates were correct.

      • Yorkieflyer says:

        Indeed booked at the earliest point so went online and grabbed another appointment tomorrow am, if that fails then off to get a local test, not flying back till Monday so not in the last chance saloon. Just wasting holiday time and having to reassure Mrs Yorkieflyer that it’ll be alright on the night,
        Yes may well try the photo variant in future. So ridiculous that you can’t use an NHS lft and just upload the result

  • Ana says:

    We will be flying tomorrow from Gatwick (North Terminal).
    What do you think is the best lounge there for breakfast / lunch?

    Thanks!

  • KS says:

    Reg Amex offers, can I consider myself targeted for an offer if I see the offer at login page of Amex account but it is not in my list of offers on one of the cards? I’m looking to get Relais & Chateaux offer to my BAPP while I already have it on Plat and wondering if anyone has been able to make a similar case to get an offer?

  • Testing says:

    Can we use the LFT to enter Portugal and also use it to enter UK for a weekend trip?
    Just buy additional Day 2 PCR test apart from the LFT.

    • tony says:

      The LFTs are only valid for a small window, so that will determine what you can do. It’s pretty relaxed for the UK (within 3 days) but I know Greece has to be no more than 48hrs before arrival.

  • Lady London says:

    They’ve sold your room for more most likely. Or a regular guest is returning and wants his usual room level. Or someone who spent substantially is in the room and staying extra night(s).

    What type of booking did you make? flex? nonrefundable? 3for2 offer? 72 hours notice required to cancel or modify? ie was it pretty hard to get out of, and has hotel broken the terms that would have been imposed on you had you wanted to modify or cancel.

    exactly how far ahead did they let you know? 2 days? how does that compare with the terms if you’d done that.

    The IHG terms you state might give the hotel a let-out if they move you from a booked Sky Suite to a toilet in the basement as they’re not sold out in that type of case.

    I’d call the General Manager today in working hours ideally by 3pm, try not to take Duty Manager instead you can get them anytime call back try again for GM.

    Really kick up a polite stink then email them and IHG call IHG as well.

    Ask fot what you want. Either insist on room type booked or better (or tell them to shove tge booking – politely) or accept what they have to offer with a sweetener such as £50 per day bar and restaurant/room service credit with free breakfasts as well. In ordinary times I’d have wanted 30% off the rack rate discounted off whatever room they put me into – but they’ve done what they did to you to get more cash into the hotel so they won’t do it.

    If there’s a considerably better hotel in town or near enough (easier if IHG but go for it anyway) I think I’d open by saying this is a special stay and I need the level of accommodation I booked so I need you to walk m to the [better hotel name] in not less than same room category. Then take it from there. You are perfectly right that them telling you on a Friday that they’re not providing what you booked on a Sunday is shabby and is making your life difficult at busy holiday period when acceptable alternatives are already booked and they are fully responsible for sorting out something equivalent.

    “Politely shirty” is the tone. btw check what they’re still selling online before you call

    • Lady London says:

      above for Ryanfozzie page6

    • Ryanfozzie says:

      The one and only Lady London – thank you for such a detailed reply!!

      After some further digging (and the only reason I am ‘okish’ with it) is that someone has a long term booking in that room and they say it should have not been for sale.

      I booked a couple of days ago a Parking + Breakfast rate, so flexible without deposit. I get where you are coming from and they let me know 48 hours before check-in, but my rate I could cancel up until 24 hours before check-in.

      Doing some more digging (based on a future Sunday-Monday with the same rates as what I booked).

      Standard Room: £114 (Room Only)
      Standard Room: £152 (Breakfast + Parking)
      Superior Room: £150 (Room Only)
      Superior Room: £192 (Breakfast + Parking)
      Suite: £172 (Room Only)
      Suite: £216 (Breakfast + Parking)

      Currently we are paying £132 for a Superior Room (Breakfast + Parking). Now they made a thing of the upgrade which in hindsight I feel is taking the proverbial as a Spire Elite member would get that standard 1 category upgrade…. So in theory we are only paying £20 less than we should (Based on booking a Standard Room + Breakfast + Parking and getting an upgrade to a Superior Room)…..

      This is the best hotel in town and we do want to stay there! I’m going to call the hotel now and report back. I am going to aim for the £114 as I feel this is fair (discount + free parking + breakfast)

      • Lady London says:

        That’s t(£114) the best you can do but feels fair. prob good to tell them about the Amex offer putting you at £180 which is why you’re not impressed. So far in worse room not achieving what you wanted for special stay – based on their comparative rates the £114 would feel like some difference but £140(£136) does not. Establish the amount of bar credit first min £20 pref £30.
        Make sure the specialness lost is not really compensable by money…but as we and they know, it will be.

        Their offer so far isn’t showing any effort from them and all they were thinking of anyway. I think they can work a bit harder.

        • Lady London says:

          ….and PS the “long term booking and should not have been for sale” Oh, puh-leeze. That’s complete and utter cr*p.

          Walk away if you don’t get the £114. for me the only thing negotiable is the amount of bar credit. I’d just about think they were bothering at £20, £30 I’d take it they were taking it a bit seriously. Less than £114/£20 I’d cancel the whole thing as it’s a fob-off and no “sorry” element. At £136 for the room they’re not breaking sweat

          • Ryanfozzie says:

            The update you’ve been waiting for 😉

            Called up asking to speak to the GM, was told they are not in at the moment, so I asked for the Duty Manager. Turns out as the phone was ringing for so long, it ended up going to the Duty Managers office!

            Had a long and productive chat with him. Due to the nature of the hotel, and I really do believe him, the room we are getting is preferred by most.

            Long and short is that we are paying £100 for the room + breakfast + parking. That leaves us £100 to spend across the restaurant / bar, plenty for a very nice Sunday lunch and drinks and enough to trigger the Amex offer to then end up with a final bill of £150. All in all I think this is pretty fair and I wouldn’t want to push it as I don’t want a sour taste during our stay!

            Also due to their relationship with another Hotel Indigo, we are working on if something could be done for a stay there…. so that could sweeten the deal!

            Honestly Lady London, thank you so much for all of this!

          • Lady London says:

            Good deal and well done Ryanfozzie.

            Now be nice while you’re there.

  • Matthew says:

    Sorry if this has been asked before. Just wondering if anyone has found a policy that covers us for the following scenario?

    – Booked trip to Greece in Feb 2021 for Oct 2021 whilst FCO advice not to travel in place.

    – Accom requires 50% deposit 30 days before arrival and balance at hotel on arrival. Liable for 100% if cancel within 14 days of arrival.

    – Since I booked when advice was not to travel, my HSBC Premier policy will only cover me if FCO advice is ok on day of travel. That’s fine except if the FCO advice changes to against travel in the 30 days leading upto trip, I am not covered.

    Can anyone recommend a policy that would cover our accommodation costs if FCO advice changes before we leave?

    Many thanks

    • Richie says:

      Are you visiting around school half term?

      • Matthew says:

        Yes – last week in Oct.

        • Richie says:

          I’d do a thorough search of accommodation and compile a short list of possibilities and consider if all of them will sell out for that week. Also consider going to somewhere nearby that’ll have less demand for that week. google maps can be very useful.

    • JDB says:

      I am not sure you will find cover for the accommodation in that fairly standard scenario. Even those policies that cover you for travel to FCDO “all but essential” countries have exclusions around cancellation except in very specific circumstances. In essence, a change in advice is entirely foreseeable. You may be best to try and agree something with the accommodation provider. I have just done that for a trip to Italy in September that I will wish to cancel if the 5 day quarantine remains in place and the hotel agreed immediately.

      Note that with the HSBC Premier policy, my understanding is that you aren’t covered under any of the sections of you travel against FCDO advice.

      • Matthew says:

        Yes, I think I’ll ask direct with the accom provider. Just to clarify though – I will not be travelling against FCO advice. My concern was the period 14 days prior to arrival. I’m committed at that point to 100% of the accommodation cost. If FCO advice changes from ok to a ‘no’ in that last 14 days then I can’t get a refund either via accom or insurance. It’s that 14 day window before arrival that is my issue.

  • SteveJ says:

    Non travel related. Home office recommendations please.

    Looking for a standing desk (prefer motorised) and an ergonomic chair. Not willing to pay Herman Miller prices!

    I’ve been looking at Flexispot (around £250) for the table and the Sidiz T50 (around £175) for the chair. Anyone have personal experience or alternate recommendations in this sort of price range?

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Rodulf from Ikea

    • BP says:

      Costco motorized standing desk gets good reviews.

    • Sam G says:

      Have a look on ebay etc for Herman Miller used/refurbs, could be some coming out of office closures etc. I got a couple (in Singapore though, one of the few things that are cheaper there than here!) and needed a good clean but otherwise good as new

      • Alex says:

        I just brought a used Herman miller off eBay for £300, definitely worth it at that price.

    • YC says:

      Flexispot has been very solid for me over last 12months. Recommend and they frequently have sales

  • Mouse says:

    Does anyone know what the HON in Lufthansa HON Circle means?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      HONour?

      The other is SENator

      • Mouse says:

        But what is an honour circle? And why abbreviate it so weirdly?

        • FFoxSake says:

          First rule of HON Circle…

          • Mouse says:

            I thought that was you must wear a gilet under your suit jacket? Or is that #2? I always mix then up.

        • JDB says:

          Perhaps you didn’t see recent TV series The Pursuit of Love? That featured the HON cupboard.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          What’s a senator in relation to a travel scheme

          They’re just names 🤷🏽‍♂️

          • Mouse says:

            At least a senator is a thing – what’s an honour circle, some sort of dreadful cross between an honour guard and a circle jerk maybe?

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