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The HfP chat thread – Sunday 19th September

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

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Comments (390)

  • Mr Miles says:

    Anyone got a referral code for Wheely?

  • Kevin says:

    Based in the last Friday info, am i right that antigen and day 2 test is no longer required if back to London on 4 oct?

  • David S says:

    Is there any chance of an update of how BA is getting on with refurbishing their long haul fleet. Long time ago that it was announced and covered here and looking ahead to 2022 it would be good to know what to expect

  • Nick G says:

    Rob / re your comments on Four Seasons over a Ritz Carlton. What makes a FS better than a RC? We’re looking at booking to go back Doha next year the FS has been renovated but has no club lounge however having stayed at the RC in a club room there for 10 nights before I can only gauge my view on that experience.

    I really want a lounge to use so toying up the grand Hyatt and its lounge but it’s a dated hotel v RC and club lounge v FS for modern rooms but no lounge

    What’s the thoughts folks? Don’t want to stay downtown prefer some beach side location if possibly

    • David says:

      Four Seasons – understated class, no club room , not Bonvoy , expensive very beige.
      Ritz Carlton – a Marriott in a fur coat – club lounge, Bonvoy, less expensive, French chateauxesque ( not a word I know)
      Stayed in some amazing RCS and Fourseasons and some dreadful ones.

      • JDB says:

        @David that is a brilliant, fair and concise summary! Only point of disagreement is that are a number of very non beige FS and I would add that FS is hugely generous (like Mandarin & Peninsula) with returning guests, even within the group, RC isn’t.

        • David says:

          My favourite Fourseasons is Koh Samui – very non- beige
          Favourite RC – Bali – not a faux chippendale dresser in sight.

      • Lady London says:

        David is that a RC is a Marriott in a fur coat and…. also meaning the rest of the common saying that begins like that? 🙂

        • JDB says:

          I can’t speak for David, but I would say the rest of the saying is apt for RC! A little bit of dark panelling and a big vase of flowers doesn’t make a 4* hotel into a 5* one.

        • David says:

          I think there is underwear.

      • BJ says:

        Never really got why people get excited about hotels, stayed at everything from Travelodge to Pebinsula and they all feel like varnations on the same thing to me .. places to wash and sleep. Sure, I prefer nicer ones but I don’t really care so long as it’s clean and the bed is comfortable.

        • JDB says:

          It isn’t necessarily getting excited (although many in here do re mini upgrades) but we are fortunate enough to live in a very comfortable and spacious home, so to go on holiday somewhere without tip top accommodation is not much of a holiday. Only exception is travelling to amazing places where there simply is no prime accommodation or trekking etc.

        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          BJ, the HfP readership (and x100 commenters) are by definition unusually interested in this stuff – relatively minor differences in the grand scheme of things. Outside the HfP echo chamber most of the population think along the lines you describe. My parents are very comfortably off and not averse to paying a premium for comfort when they want to, as they only fly near the pointy end these days. They visit the Royal Opera House in London quite a lot (itself not a budget affair) as they’re into Opera. They could probably afford the Savoy, certainly anything on the teir down from that, and yet they stay in …… the Covent Garden Travelodge, as it’s close enough and they honestly don’t give a s**t about anything apart from having somewhere to sleep.

          • Rob says:

            But that’s how life works, isn’t it? Even if you’re well off, you always over-spend in certain areas and not in others. We don’t run a car and I don’t think I’ve bought any clothing since the shops reopened in May (although that is partly a function of being too busy as well). My old boss in the bank who was probably on around £5m per year used to fly easyJet with his family, whilst most other people at his level used NetJets.

          • The Savage Squirrel says:

            Very true. I laughed because that’s my typical annual clothes spend too. I’m not sure it can necessarily be labelled under/overspend either. It’s fair enough not to spend money (and as you say – more crucially time) on something you have zero interest in. Having found a hotel that works adequately for their needs, my parents won’t have spent a second looking at or thinking about alternatives.

          • BJ says:

            Probably because they are genuinely passionate about opera but couldn’t care less what those sitting around them at the opera think about their hotel choice. It’s like owning a V12, how many who do are passionate about driving it or the engineering, and how many are more motivated to purchase it for a different reason? I think it’s the same for most luxury items. At least when it comes to hotels I accept there can be measurable differences in what you pay for. By contrast the differences at the pointy end of the plane are more baffling to me. With very few exceptions like the apartment on Etihad or Emirates showers in F, I am not convinced that differences between airlines is worth inconveniencing oneself for or paying a hefty premium for. Only exception I suppose might be according to height and weight and by extension bed length and width, then I accept small differences could be a big deal.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Nothing beige about Bustan Palace for example

    • Rob says:

      FS only does luxury hotels, it runs through their DNA. Marriott does not. Of course neither does Hyatt but it is family controlled and they are more bothered about their reputation.

      • BJ says:

        Can you define luxury, what are your minimum standard benchmarks?

      • David says:

        I like St Regis and Park Hyatts tho – and I have stayed in some truly dreadful Four Seasons – Boston and Nevis spring to mind.

        • Nick G says:

          Interesting as I’ve never stayed in a FS before. Part of me wants to try a different hotel as there’s tons to choose from but then the club lounge at the RC is fantastic. Rooms equally as luxurious, rest of the hotel including pool is v dated

          • HH says:

            Maybe it’s because I’m in my 20s, but I’ve generally found the service at Four Seasons properties snootier than Mandarin, Shangri-La, Ritz Carlton etc. No direct experience of the Doha FS though, as I’ve always gone with the QR Stopover offer.

          • Sam G says:

            I haven’t stayed in an Aman or anywhere like that but I’ve stayed in a couple of FS, RC, Park Hyatt, Shangri-La etc and I based on my limited sample I find the FS to be consistently excellent and a step up – never snooty (sometimes an issue as I’m younger and probably staying on points – interesting you’ve had the opposite experience @HH!) always personable and genuine and I can’t think of a single service “miss” over my multiple stays

            My OH who cares about nothing when travelling other than not having to queue still talks about the breakfast server in Sydney who remembered he needed coffee to function and was waiting at our table with the pot each morning having spotted us coming across the lobby so

      • Nick G says:

        So in conclusion then FS for luxury? RC for attempting luxury? GH for neither then? Having stayed in one of three they all have their pros and cons in ways.

        I get the the comments but we’re just toying up some pampering but in what hotel taking into account price aswell of course!

        Having only stayed in an MO and experienced it’s customer service once it’s hard to judge across brands what’s best based on our wants.

        • David says:

          If you want real luxury and consistency and just beyond thoughtful my winner is Aman.
          All the other luxury chains have their stars and their shockers.

          • JDB says:

            Yes, Aman excellent. We stayed at the Amandari for our honeymoon; amazing place. Tempted by Aman at the Summer Palace in Beijing but a long way out of the city, so to date we have stayed in the centre. Also Belmond, but again patchy; they have spoilt the Villa San Michele. Re FS, we found Nevis OK, but it was many, many years ago. Prague, Aviara, Shanghai all poor. Buenos Aires (and Carmelo, now sadly no longer FS), Mexico City, Bali x 2, Budapest, Sharm El Sheikh, Cairo all excellent. FS Florence, great building/setting but the rest not up to scratch.

          • Colin says:

            Oh how the other half live. For me ……. tends to be weighing up the pros and cons of a Premier Inn or a Holiday Inn Express!!

          • Lady London says:

            JDB is that the Villa San Michele in Fiesole, with a fantastic view over Florence especially at sunset? Wasn’t that a very famous youth hostel originall

  • BJ says:

    OT @Debs, here’s a little bit of Spurs history and nostalgia for you I spotted this morning. On a sadder note it has just been announced Jimmy Greaves has passed away, Saint & Greavsie were my era, fond memories 🙂
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-58542543

    • Spurs drive me mad says:

      Hi BJ I named my son after Jimmy what a player and still our leading goal score, have you seen the documentary on BT sports on him? Really interesting even if you aren’t a Spurs fan I watched it with my grandson who couldn’t get his head round all the smoking! …Spurs treated him appallingly in the end I could understand why he didn’t go back for years.
      Thanks for that I’ll read it properly later.

  • Matt says:

    Just assessing travel insurance needs for a BA Holidays trip to the Caribbean in November. Reading through my HSBC Premier it seems like I’m covered for cancellation if I have to isolate rather than go on the holiday, and the same for my wife. Given that it’s a package holiday, if it’s no longer legally possible to go, or the destination goes onto the Red list/closes its borders to us, then BA should refund me. Am I missing anything important for covid cover?

    All the normal stuff is covered by the policy as well, and I also have Amex Business Plat and Nationwide FlexPlus cover as well as backups!

  • Anna says:

    Our stay at the Doubletree Majestic has been lovely, despite the recent reviews. No service issues and we were upgraded to 2 very nice deluxe rooms even though the hotel was fully booked for a wedding. One of the rooms had a balcony with pleasant views over the grounds – and also of the Premier Inn which looks as though it is also in the grounds 😂.
    Breakfast was top notch and very well managed. No problem getting it included for 4 of us even though both rooms were booked on one account. Beautiful public areas, I love that style of decor and furnishings.
    All in all a great weekend for 120k points when for cash it would have been well over £1k.

    • Lady London says:

      Glad you’ve landed nicely this weekend Anna!

      I’ve just started the Beatrix Rose series you recommended they’re great thankyou. My latest discovery is Walter Mosley. I’ve started with The White Butterfly and will definitely be reading more Easy Rawlins ones, I liked it much better than I thought I would.

      • Anna says:

        I look that one up, LL thanks. We also got to use the £200 Platinum credit at The Ivy for 6 of us – the food was pretty good and they made the teenager a special dessert for his birthday which was sweet of them.

    • Mike says:

      Anna – I have stayed at the Premier inn a few times with a view of the Doubletree Majestic which was so close it looked to be in the grounds of the Premier Inn

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Still don’t trust a hotel called Majestic!

  • Jane says:

    Morning all, I’m fairly sure the answer is yes, but can I just check. Cancelled BA (avios if it matters) flights, that you still haven’t accepted the alternative for… is your seat guaranteed on that alternative flight until the last minute ? no possibility that if you don’t confirm until late they’ll sell out and you won’t be able to ?

    • Matt says:

      If the flight is completely sold out then you won’t be able to get a seat on it. Otherwise you’re OK as far as I know.

      • Sam G says:

        It’s guaranteed on the alternative flight they’re holding in the your booking (BA are actually quite generous in that regard – Lufthansa cancels it after a deadline for example) but any other flight is subject to availability. I would confirm at least 24hrs out to give you chance to iron out any ticketing issues

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