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The HfP chat thread – Monday 27th 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 (472)

  • Venturelog says:

    Thanks everyone. Yes fully vaccinated.

  • Ian says:

    Morning all,

    Can anyone recommend any companies for booking a small private plane, for a trip to eastern Europe from an airport in the Southwest of England? I’ve been looking at some brokers, who seem to add quite sizable mark ups. I’m hoping to be able to deal directly with a small outfit and get a better price. But I have no experience in this area!

  • KBuffett says:

    @Rhys – any feedback from Dubai? I am going this week, is there anything particular that one should note?
    Hope you had/are having a fab time. How was the sandstorm?

    • Rhys says:

      Sandstorm was a fun novelty! I was at the pool when it swooped in. Not like the films – really fine particles, so you don’t really feel it (or see it in terms of sand depositing on the ground). But probably not very good for your lungs!

      My favourite hotel was actually the Royal Meridien. Fantastic staff all round, really nice rooms and a great club lounge too. Only con is that it feels very big and the landscaping feels a bit dated

      • Andrew says:

        Is it still mask wearing everywhere, even outside?

      • Paul says:

        What other hotels did you visit? I’m a big fan of the Royal.

        • Rhys says:

          W Palm, Sheraton Grand, JW Marquis

          • fivebobbill says:

            What did you think of the Sheraton Grand Rhys? I stayed there for New Year 2021, I liked the hotel, nice suite (bit dark), but found lounge quite pokey and was a bit disappointed in the rooftop pool.
            Stayed a few doors down this time at Conrad Dubai about 3 weeks ago and had a much better all round experience, great pool, great lounge, and a beautiful bright corner suite…

          • Rhys says:

            Agree, pool is weakest part of hotel.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        royal meridian near the airport or beach?

        • KBuffett says:

          I think there’s only one Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa.

          The other is Le Meridien.

        • Rhys says:

          only one Royal Meridien!

          • TGLoyalty says:

            The one near the airport has a never “royal wing” where all the platinum+ and club guests usually are.

            Had a very decent lounge offering.

            Visited the one at the beach for a brunch and wasn’t that impressed but perhaps they’ve given it a kick of paint in the past 3 years.

          • Rhys says:

            The interiors have all been refurbished to a very high standard in the past 4 years.

        • fivebobbill says:

          Stayed at Grosvenor House Dubai Marina last week and briefly visited the Royal Meridien JBR, it’s a sister hotel to the GH who operate a shuttle and free access to the RM pool and beach facilities.
          Intention was to lay in the beach/pool area for a few hours, but the heat and humidity was absolutely stifling, no-one was on the beach, all in the shade or wallowing in the pools.
          Unbearable, so about turned and shuttle back to GH and a nice breeze at the 4th floor temperature controlled pool in Tower 1.
          By the way, it is currently warmer in the sea than it is on dry land! Agree with Rhys, gardens well kept but it did look a bit Hi-Di-Hi in places… didn’t go inside.

          • KBuffett says:

            Are the pool areas at GH nice enough to spend a few hours everyday? Are they big enough to not feel too enclosed?

          • Rhys says:

            It was hot last weekend but later this week cooled down a bit and much better. Agree though, sea is like swimming in soup.

          • fivebobbill says:

            Pool area space at GH was ample all last week, always beds and never crowded, and if you believe the staff they’ll tell you the hotel is at 85% occupancy. Very nice to spend time at, food and drink all day, inc Italian restaurant, pool attendants will set up your bed and supply you with an ice bucket and free water all day long. Pool runs from full width access steps at the shallow end to 6ft deep at the other. There’s also a nice breeze which increases as the day goes on. However the sun leaves the pool area at 2pm, when the attendants will offer to move you about 30 metres around the corner (same pool level) where there is a sunbathing area until after 4pm.
            Also great fun to watch the window cleaners…!

          • fivebobbill says:

            * Pool area is wide open by the way, up on a corner site and not enclosed at all

      • KBuffett says:

        Thanks Rhys.

        Are there any other stand out places to visit or restaurants/spas/discounts that you’d recommend? Did you get that discount app and is it worthwhile?

        • Rhys says:

          Didn’t bother with the app in the end, didn’t really cover what we wanted.

          Had a great time at Aquaventure water park on Saturday! Can also recommend Ce La Vi – has a fab (probably best?) view of the Burj Khalifa & pool.

    • Mart says:

      Just back from Caesars palace bluewaters excellent
      Probably best hotel we ever stayed in everything considered (getting a suite upgrade helps)

      • KBuffett says:

        That would really depend on where else you’ve stayed?

        • Mart says:

          Good point
          Definitely best experience in Dubai especially at the price we paid and the room we got
          My experiences in Dubai includes
          Atlantis Inc lounge
          2 x intercontinental Inc lounge
          3 x address hotels liked these but overpriced
          Grosvenor overated old fashioned
          Plus a few more.
          If anyone has any recommendations?

      • LST says:

        We stayed at the end of 2019, it is an excellent hotel.

  • BP says:

    I noticed in the IHG app for my recent SSDV redemption stay it says my spending was 13,450 USD. Is this the amount that IHG have paid to the hotel for my 5 night stay? If so then it’s no wonder the redemption nights were honoured!!

  • Michael AC says:

    Thoughts on Aer Lingus for US travel? The seats look a bit strange in business. And it seems like most of their lounges are still closed but that might be changing once the US reopens. Trying to work out if it’s better to save money or splurge for something else.

    • Rob says:

      Seats are better than Club World, esp if travelling alone and you get a solo row.

      Will be more attractive once Aer Lingus joins the JV and starts to earn BA tier points.

      I have seen MAN at around £1200 return which is attractive. Remember a flight via DUB lets you clear US immigration there – we don’t know how bad queues will get with all the new paperwork needed.

      • Michael AC says:

        Thanks Rob. Yeah a lot of unknowns right now. The post-clearance lounge is closed which makes it a bit of a gamble when to go through.
        There’d be two of us.
        Currently from GLA or EDI it’s about £1800 when we want to go, which is a lot better than the other options.
        Any updates on the JV start date? Last I had heard was the end of 2021.

  • Mikeact says:

    I see that Oman Air announces plan to join Oneworld Alliance…very good news .

    • John says:

      Have you read the reviews on the airline?

      • Rob says:

        Can’t knock First or Business. I’ve reviewed both on here.

      • Mikeact says:

        Yes I have, but based on my two Business flights, I thought they were pretty good…would I fly them again? Yes, most definitely.
        And I thought the Oman a lovely place to visit.

        • Andrew says:

          Agreed. Although Oman is much more expensive than some other places in the region such as UAE and Qatar. Oman Air are excellent and although I’ve not been to the new airport yet, it looks very nice.

      • John says:

        Talking about all the complaints on cancellations/refusal to give refunds

  • Pete M says:

    Oh… Ryanair… Back in July I complained to them about only having four check-in desks open at BER for 8 flights departing within 2hrs of each other and online check-in not being available for anyone (meaning I made my flight with literally 1 minute to spare and loads of people missed theirs) + my prepaid meal not being loaded onto my flight.

    I got an email from them last week saying: “You may have had a resolution to your request through our contact centre or through another channel. If your query has been dealt with that is great and we have closed your ticket… If your query has not been resolved please click here to resubmit and we will handle this as soon as we can.”

    The above link of course leads you to just creating a new ticket. Genius, no?

  • QFFlyer says:

    Amex Travel £100 back on a £400 spend – Business Gold card for both OH and I.

    Haven’t see it on personal Platinum, personal Gold, BAPP or ARCC, but YMMV.

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