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The HfP chat thread – Thursday 23rd September

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

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the de facto repository for random comments and questions.  With the news flow being lighter, we are running fewer ‘Bits’ articles.

The comments under this article are where you should post questions about travel and, indeed, anything else on your mind.  At this tricky time, and given that many of you are at home, we want the HfP community to have a place to chat.

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Comments (529)

  • Richie says:

    There was a question in the HoC yesterday “how many days a worker on the minimum wage would have to work, this year, in order to afford a night at a luxury hotel – say in Crete?”. Any good answers?

    • Char Char says:

      50 in the summer 6 in October

    • Colin MacKinnon says:

      10 mins reading HfP and then another 10 mins applying and referring for various Amex cards (since they don’t ask for a minimum income now for Plat)

      Basically, we are now on minimum wage and weeks in a five star hotel aren’t an issue (albeit we also spend savings!)

    • Anna says:

      Was that after Angela Raynor told Dominic Raab to go back to his sun lounger?!

    • Dave says:

      Ignoring her huge salary, If Labour’s Angela Rayner (who asked the daft question) had a pound for every letter of her massive job title then she too could stay at a luxury hotel!

  • Diydegsy says:

    Kimpton clock tower manchester any benefits for ambassador spire elite recognised or upgrades/ breakfast ? Thanks

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Just your normal Kimpton benefits upgrade isn’t guaranteed, no breakfast unless they feel generous and you might get 1pm checkout if they feel nice.

    • Rob says:

      Book via Emyr, you’ll get breakfast and some hotel credit plus an upgrade.

    • AL says:

      I usually get a drinks voucher for The Refuge, too. Worth visiting, irrespective of whether you think the voucher’s worth the effort.

    • Karl says:

      I recently booked via Emyr. Cost about £40 more than the cheapest rate but got £77 F+B voucher, upgrade and breakfast (which was excellent). Also given an additional £10 F+B voucher for Amb membership.

      • Anna says:

        I’ve done this and it’s a great deal. Also got an extra cat upgrade due to being spire and themed goodies in the room. Elemis toiletries which I love anyway so another plus for me. On both stays I got a voucher for £20 which will buy 2 cocktails. The Refuge is really good, and makes for a short stagger to the room if you’re not staying up late!
        They will put fresh milk in your fridge if you ask them and you hate the little pods like me!

  • Shaw West says:

    AC hotels Spain free breakfast for Titaniums?

  • Scott says:

    Any recommendations for an overnight stay at JFK? Arriving at 9:10pm and connecting flight at 11am.
    Looked at the TWA hotel (£198/night) but won’t really have time to experience that properly.
    Got some Hilton points and a a load of IHG points (50k/night?), but cash is fine if prices aren’t stupid and not bothered by chain.

    • Njb says:

      Stayed at TWA in Aug 19 – only worth it for airport location. Very much style over substance with tiny rooms.

    • Ja says:

      I am stopping over next May and looking at the same hotel. I think it’s the only hotel that doesn’t need bus taxi etc I have a 6am flight so need the closest

  • Craig says:

    Will be at T5 on Saturday, flying CE. How is it at the moment with regards check in and security, hopefully there about 9am? Also, how are the lounges, options are Galleries or Plaza Premium with Amex Plat? Thanks.

    • WaynedP says:

      Gosh, Craig – our itineraries seem to be converging..

      I think you were a week or so behind me at STH HI in June, but now we are scheduled to be at T5 on same morning. Bit early in the day for a drink, but happy to stick you and yours to a coffee or similar if we bump into each other before our 10:10 departure 🙂

      I have booked Mrs dP a lofty Hyatt room overlooking the airport the night before, but suspect I’ll be deriving a little more pleasure from big jets coming and going than she will.

      • Craig says:

        Driving down on the morning for an 1135 departure, been a bit of a faff as NCP didn’t tell me the car park I had booked was closed. It’s never too early for a drink!! Maybe see you there Wayne.

        • WaynedP says:

          Hope you don’t get cast awry by our Extinction Rebellion friends.

          That was a sizeable consideration to me for driving down a day before actual departure.

  • Harrier25 says:

    Regarding the new Chase current account, I can’t find anywhere on the website acceptable deposit methods. Are you able to fund with a credit card?

  • WaynedP says:

    No joy logging into my Shell Energy utility account this morning, neither website nor App, but success just yesterday ???

    I did my research before joining the sensible bandwagon of switching away from the big six, and was pleased that Shell purchased First Utility as I saw it as an endorsement of my own due diligence.

    Is it possible that even with Shell’s deep pockets this provider may be in jeopardy ?

    • Peter K says:

      Is it actually Shell owned, or just using Shell branding would be my question? I doubt Shell will want to lose millions just propping up an energy company when they have the perfect excuse that it is Ofgem’s fault.

    • Rich says:

      Interesting. I’m with Shell Energy for my broadband, and can’t log in either. I certainly could a few days ago, as I was checking my bill.

      Thankfully, the broadband is still working.

      I have a feeling that Shell Energy is just a rebrand of First Utility (who had terrible CS reputation). I doubt that Royal Dutch Shell’s pockets have anything to do with it, but I could be wrong.

    • WaynedP says:

      “Shell Energy Retail Limited began as First Utility in 2008 and was rebranded to its current name in 2019 after it’s acquisition in 2018 by Royal Dutch Shell. Previously and at the time of the buyout, First Utility were right on the heels of the ‘Big Six’, as the 7th largest utility provider in the UK.”
      source = https://utilityswitchboard.com/gas-electricity/providers/shell-energy/

    • WaynedP says:

      Like I said, I’m in the industry and did thorough research at the time.

      Also not sure why anyone would get away with blaming Ofgem for a world-wide price shock and a UK Govt imposed price cap.

      You would have thought that a conservative govt would know that you can either control price or supply, but never both.

    • Neil says:

      Apparently Martin Lewis told everyone to download latest bills etc. on tv this morning so every energy web site is very slow or down.

      • WaynedP says:

        Yes, but comments on HfP suggested same thing a couple of days ago, without any melt-down.

        You can’t possibly be insinuating that ML influence is greater than HfP effect … 🙂

    • John says:

      Being in the industry just means you know some technical terms, not sure it really helps unless you are saying you predict that shell will not go bust?

      I’ve been with them and their customer service is awful.

      • WaynedP says:

        😆 Relieved you’re not doing my annual performance appraisal.

        None of us can predict business survival or failure with any certainty. Best we can do is minimise the risks based on our knowledge.

        Industry insider knowledge can be better than your blanket implication. For example knowing that Trailfinders put their customer deposits into escrow, unlike most other Travel Agents, has paid dividends to customers facing Covid-19 cancellations 🙂

  • Duncan says:

    I understand the Platinum Global Dining Collection is suspended right now, but I feel I heard someone mention getting benefits anyway when booking via Amex, is that correct? Any experience with that on here, especially with The Ivy?

    • trader363 says:

      Don’t know about the Ivy but the concierge told me last week that they are still offering benefits (specific to each restaurant) when booking via them

      • Duncan says:

        Do you tend to call or interact with concierge via live chat? Any good concierge experiences?

        • Benilyn says:

          2018 they got me a table at Sushi Samba next day when it was booked out online and over the phone direct. Only time I used it and worked

    • BP says:

      I just called them as needed to book The Ivy Glasgow for next week. No mention of any extra benefits (I didn’t ask). They then booked me at the wrong time! Waste of my time when I could have done it online about 10 times quicker.

      • BP says:

        I asked about extra benefits when they called to confirm my reservation. There are none.

        • Duncan says:

          Good to know! I won’t waste my time until the program re-launches then. The concierge via live chat seemed _fairly_ disinterested anyway. Seems like a real mixed bag with those folks.

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