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The HfP chat thread – Sunday 24th October

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Comments (455)

  • Anna says:

    Any readers with EU passports (@meta?) – if you now enter the EU with your immediate family who still have UK passports, can you all go through the Schengen entry point or only the EU passport holder. I know you’re allowed to take your close family in with you regardless of Brexit changes, but what actually happens at arrival?

    • Anna says:

      Actually I guess Rob should also know this!
      (Also setting aside any relevant covid restrictions, obviously)

    • Doug says:

      You can, but it depends on which country and airport you go. The queue managers these days tend to be quite strict

      • meta says:

        Had no problem so far, but last week my partner got EU passport and also proper eu covid certificate. It just makes it all easier and cheaper.

        • Doug says:

          Yes covid is the reason it has been strict, but I have EU passport and my partner not, but she has been joining me the EU queue for a decade now!

          • Anna says:

            Thanks Doug, that’s good to know. My Spanish passport is in the post; when I did the application I had to include names of OH and son so I’m assuming those go on the passport to show they are immediate family and therefore allowed in with me. Spanish bureaucracy is labyrinthine, though, so we’ll see what happens on our next trip!

    • George K says:

      Have been doing this consistently since January. Been taking everyone on the EU desks and no trouble so far. They get stamped (and checked that not in breach of the 90-day rule) and that’s it.

      • Anna says:

        If they are your immediate family, the 90 day rule doesn’t apply to them, surely?

          • George K says:

            You may well be right, but I can tell you that there was a fair bit of excitement when one of the EU entry stamps was mis-dated (as a random date in the year 2159) and they were all questioned on when exactly they had entered the EU earlier in the year. Obviously still well below the 90-day rule so no action was taken, but both French and Greek border guards flicked through the pages of the passports and counted all the stamps before wishing everyone well.

        • John says:

          90 in 180 day rule doesn’t apply when travelling together with the EU/EEA citizen, or travelling alone to join the EU/EEA citizen who is residing in the EU/EEA. Holidays is kind of a gray area.

          Strictly speaking, only applies when going to a member state other than the EU/EEA citizen’s home state, unless the EU/EEA citizen has previously exercised their EEA treaty rights in another member state and is now returning to their home state.

          When the UK was in the EU these rules were applied quite strictly (though we don’t have the 90 in 180 thing, just 6 months on each entry at the discretion of the immigration officer).

          • Anna says:

            That’s not my understanding, as per the article the EU passport holder has the right to enter any Schengen country irrespective of the reason for doing so, and is entitled to take their immediate family in with them.

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      Depends on the airport.

      Most have been fine with with me joining my wife in the EU citizen queue (wife dual UK/EU national). They still stamp my passport of course.

      Spain (Malaga & Alicante) demanded we go into separate queues as they’ve simply put stamping stations the other side of some egates!

    • QFFlyer says:

      I hold an EU passport and I used to use the accompanying card as an alternative to my UK passport or the book to avoid the e-gates when everyone was being forced to use them (this was in Norway, if I remember correctly) – my OH (UK passport) was fine to come through the normal lane with me, and we were through in seconds compared to the long lines at the e-gates.

    • Harry T says:

      I guess leave doesn’t always quite mean leave 😜

      • ChrisBCN says:

        The hypocrisy of those who want nothing to do with the EU then immediately apply for an EU passport post-brexit is somewhat incredible!

        • Harry T says:

          Maybe certain people regret their decisions and want to jump ship back to the EU!

        • Anna says:

          Ah ChrisBCN I forgot it was Sunday! When did your HFP ban expire this time? Why is it so difficult to understand that being entitled to dual nationality doesn’t equate to wanting to be under the yoke of Brussels?

          • Doug M says:

            You voted to remove rights from the rest of us you’re happy to continue benefitting from. A completely defensible position, yeah right 🙄

          • Anna says:

            No, that was negotiated after the referendum took place. Freedom of movement could have been retained as per Norway and Switzerland. Bitterness seems to have completely blinded some people to the facts.

          • Ken says:

            Lovely that you can have your cake and eat.

            The rest of us can go and hang.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            “Freedom of movement could have been retained”

            It was pretty clear from the brexit propaganda this was number 1 on the list to go.

            The hypocrisy is clear.

          • ChrisBCN says:

            No need for the personal attack Anna, keep it adult! Not sure who you think I am that makes you think I’ve been banned.

          • ChrisC says:

            ‘yoke of Brussels’

            Utter nonsense Anna.

          • Doug M says:

            The Freedom of Movement for Norway and Switzerland comes from adhering to the rules you were so keen to escape. I just don’t see how your position is anything other than hypocrisy and self-interest. It’s easy to speak of bitterness of others when you’ve created the the situation that led to the bitterness. If you really think of Brussels that badly why don’t you cancel your Spanish passport and further escape Brussels?

          • Anna says:

            So you weren’t personally attacking me, ChrisBCN, glad we cleared that up. I do wonder how you felt when the Spanish government was using tear gas and rubber bullets (contrary to international law) on your fellow Catalonians in 2017 and your beloved EU dismissed it as “an internal matter for Spain).
            As for this obsession with Freedom of Movement, to play Devil’s Advocate, how was it fair that the U.K. and other wealthy countries were free to drain the young, skilled workforces of the poorer EU nations? 5 million EU nationals have applied to stay in the U.K. since the referendum, whereas around 60,000 U.K. nationals move to the EU each year (and many of these will be economically inactive pensioners. All this whinging smacks of selfishness, frankly.
            I for one am heartily relieved that my taxes won’t be propping up any more non-existent plantations and other shenanigans. The EU is a basket case, economically and politically.

          • Anna says:

            Doug M, perhaps if Remainers had worked with the government to secure a better deal rather than attempting to sabotage the process at every stage, they might actually have been happier with the outcome.

          • Anna says:

            And you know there’s an Espexit movement, right? Then again, probably not …

          • ChrisBCN says:

            Wow, that’s a whole basket of issues there!

          • Doug M says:

            Classic whataboutery. Ignore points made and throw in random this and that.

          • Anna says:

            What is your actual point then, Doug M? I’ve always been a Spanish national and would be allowed to enter Spain as such regardless of whether either Spain or the U.K. was a member of the EU. If it were Spain which had left the EU, and not the U.K., it wouldn’t change this fact, so it’s completely illogical to conflate it with Brexit.

          • Doug M says:

            Always been a Spanish citizen, but your passport is in the post. My point remains your willingness to sidestep the difficulties you happily inflicted on the rest of us. You constantly bitch about the EU but rather than celebrate your Blue UK passport you go straight for the EU member Spanish version.

  • Will A says:

    Noticed a 10% off Morrisons offer on both my Amex Plat and Bus Plat today. Very surprised at the amount of Morrisons offers lately – there was one in September and now October too…. There is also 8 points/£1 spend at Morrisons on Virgin Shops Away but when I log in it says no active offer. I’m not complaining as I’ve milked it this year.

  • Roberto says:

    There have been some huge increases in all cash/points rates in Hilton Hotels around London
    Hotels that pre covid were basically 40% cheaper for similar dates in the lead up to Christmas 2019
    Is this down to demand?
    Prices are becoming a little bit ridiculous if you ask me.
    18 hours in a 4 star hotel for £375.

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      People still don’t want to travel abroad, so are spending ridiculous amounts in the UK. Can you blame them? Particularly if they have acute health conditions?

    • meta says:

      It’s not just London, it’s everywhere. They are trying to make up for covid losses…

      • Sam G says:

        Yeh – I saw a review of a Britannia hotel in Manchester someone had paid £299 for a Saturday night & it was the cheapest room available! mental

        • Crafty says:

          Kimpton Clocktower was going at over £500 for a standard room the Saturday night we used a credit card voucher a few weeks ago. I was angry enough at the poor experience – can’t imagine how much more angry if that were how much I had paid.

          • Fm says:

            I too have had pretty poor experience at the Kimpton twice in the last few weeks – tried their contact form and emailing with no response. Standards seem to be dropping, debating whether I should actually stay with them again or move back to the Doubletree

        • ChrisC says:

          Ah the room with no window. Check out the Angry a people in Local Newspaper Facebook page.

          Friends don’t ever let friends stay at any Britannia owned property.

        • Ken says:

          It’s purely supply and demand, nothing else.

          Most Manchester hotels are full on a Saturday night particularly if United are at home that weekend.
          Stayed at Marriott V&A last night and it’s was full, as was the Aloft and the Salford Marriott.
          Last rooms in all 3 going for £300+
          If you want a room on a Saturday night book early, or have points.
          Fridays rarely as expensive though.

          • ChrisC says:

            Last weekend I booked Manchester HI for first weekend in October (Fri 30th Sept – Mon 3rd Oct) next year (not footy or concert related)

            Last weekend it 20k points per night. Now it’s 20/35/17
            Cash rate for the Saturday is already £150

            (and yes I booked them as 3 separate nights and yes I rebooked the Sunday to get 3k points back)

      • Anna says:

        Indeed – I have 3 nights booked in Edinburgh at the end of December and prices have shot up since I made the reservations. Conversely, prices in Europe and the US have dropped noticeably.

        • meta says:

          I’d actually wait now before booking. They’ll drop again if the measures are reintroduced.

          • ChrisC says:

            Book a refundable rate to lock in a good price then cancel if it drops.

            If it goes up then you’re laughing.

  • Voltron says:

    Has anyone ever claimed the extended warranty on the green charge card? Tempted to buy the new Dyson v15 on the card, expensive at £600 though…

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Get a Gtech, we love ours and no problems in the last 2 years

      • AJA says:

        +1 for gtech air ram , bought one for my mum to replace heavy old hoover which went bang. She is really happy with it as it’s light and cordless and battery recharges in 1hr. Enough charge to do a 2 bed flat 90sqm twice. Charge lasts 2 weeks.

        Alternatively buy an iRobot vacuum cleaner and let it do the hoovering for you. Ours is brilliant, programmed to go around twice a week, navigates back to the base when it’s low on charge, then sets off again when recharged and takes off where it stopped. Sends a message to the phone if it gets stuck (rarely) and when it needs emptying. Goes under beds and furniture. Sends a message when job is complete and you get a map of the house.

        • Sam G says:

          +1 for a robot! love ours! unfortunately not quite so automated since we got a dog who likes to leave his toys around for it to eat up but a quick visual inspection of the area and then send it on it’s way a couple of times a week, brilliant

          Wouldn’t get a Dyson personally, we have an Animal bought out of habit & I am not at all impressed with it for the money , I have a £40 Titan wet/dry that does a better job

        • Reney says:

          I need to buy a new vacuum too and was going to buy a Dyson, had one before and liked it but the new ones are too heavy. Thanks for the recommendation on a Gtech, I think I am sold! Has either of you brought the handheld too? The stick is too big to use for the car. It is much cheaper to buy the pair on the official website.

          • AJA says:

            Not bought the Gtech hand held version as my mum paid £20 in Tesco clubcard vouchers for a no-name-brand (probably Chinese) corded hand held machine to do the stairs about a year ago. Seems to work well enough. I agree prices for the pair on gtech website are good though.

    • JDB says:

      Hopefully you’re not daft as a brush or a complete sucker so buy a proper hoover not a gimmicky thing on a stick and save several £100s

      • BuildBackBetter says:

        Which one would you suggest?

        • TGLoyalty says:

          None of them are up to much these days however. Miele was decent and honestly the wireless shark is actually much better than Dyson.

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            Gtech is also much better than Dyson. Basically anything is better than a Dyson, I know because we brought one with a cheap insurance policy, it broke 3 times and they gave us a full refund which we put towards a Gtech

        • JDB says:

          I’m no expert on hoovers and it depends exactly what you need it for, but I like to think we have a very clean house and we have 2 x Bosch ones that are super powerful and have lasted for ages. We have had Dyson in the past, but they have proved to be all flash looks and no suction and don’t last. I have never tried to tie the posts to the people but I still can’t get over the lengths people here go to in order to save tiny sums or complain about price increases, test costs etc. but others are willing to spend £600 on a hoover, let alone a seriously overpriced one along with other Dyson products such as his fan or hairdryer. We could afford a £600 hoover but wouldn’t dream of spending that on one…

          • Harry T says:

            I hate it when the flashy lookers just can’t suck hard enough to get the job done.

      • ChrisC says:

        I have a Vax ‘stick’ and it’s great as it’s much lighter than a ‘propper’ one.

        Works like a charm and suits me down to the ground and much easier to use on stairs.

      • Lady London says:

        Good one JDB.

      • Reney says:

        @JDB I had a Henry long time ago. I found vacuuming the stairs with a corded vacuum balancing on a step to be very difficult and often results in bruises or a less than perfect job as difficult to reach whilst holding a very heavy machine. Also getting out various extension cables just to vacuum a small car is a pain. My parents will soon get to an age where lugging a Henry up and down the stairs is a bit too much work. I do think there is a case for stick vacuum.

    • Nick says:

      Would recommend you look at the eufy stick cleaners too, almost as good at a much lower price.

    • BP says:

      I bought a Chinese brand cordless vacuum and it’s been brilliant for the price. Dreame brand.

      • Anuj says:

        Dreame/xioami/Roborock are all just as good as gtech etc but much cheaper and a better design.

    • the_real_a says:

      Are they on the “refurbished” section for Dyson store eBay? Bought multiple product from there – the only thing thats refurbished is the motor. All plastics, battery and accessories are brand new. The product essentially is brand new with huge savings.

    • Youllnever says:

      Interested in the extended warranty experience as well – seems like no one has actually answered that bit of your question.

      • Harrier25 says:

        Never claimed on the Amex Green extended warranty but did cover our new washing machine when we brought it in June. Quite a seamless process. You need to call a special department at Brighton, give them all the details of the product, price, where brought etc, and within a few hours you receive an AXA warranty certificate by email.

        • Youllnever says:

          Do you know if the full amount needs to be paid on the card? For example, if you partially pay by gift card, can you still get the item covered?

          • Harrier25 says:

            Don’t know, you’ll need to ask Amex. I paid the full amount on the card.

          • JDB says:

            The terms aren’t specific so you need to ask Amex, but realistically, they are expecting you to use the card; they just haven’t mentioned part payment by the card. “This benefit applies to eligible registered items that have a valid manufacturer’s warranty and we repurchased on the Card Account from a retailer operating in the UK with premises at a UK address, and will provide You with one additional year’s warranty.” (this is copied and pasted – the obvious typo is in the published terms)

    • Yorkie Aid says:

      We had a Dyson Animal in the past. It didn’t last long and never worked that well at all. Just get a Henry. There’s a reason why so many hotels, cruise lines, builders, etc use them. They pick up everything and they last forever.

      • Lady London says:

        I’ve had the Henry since forever and it seems indestructible. It’s body is large though. If I bought anything else, based on feedback seen in a few places it would be a Gtech.

        I once saw an ad in a marketing industry site and it looked awfully like a firm in Malmesbury was looking for a fulltime person to write positive reviews of their products across social media. I’d recently declined an invitation to apply for a role there after checking feedback on glassdoor. Jus sayin

        • JDB says:

          Very interesting @LL! The product was quite good to start with (and not at such a premium price point) when they were the first with the bagless technology but everyone has caught up now, so they rely on marketing (and, from what you say ‘managing’ reviews) and wacky design. You have to admire them for turning a mundane product (usually kept hidden away, so limited ‘boasting’ value) into a ‘designer’ one in many people’s eyes, so they are willing to pay a big premium over products that offer better functionality at a fraction of the cost.

      • Peter K says:

        Old Henry’s are very good, the new ones are awful, really awful. Not just my opinion but that of several people I know who used to swear by them.

  • BuildBackBetter says:

    Has anyone used SmartShop on iPhone? Tells me I need to turn on ‘precise location’ in settings. Anyone know how to do that?

    • Simon Miller says:

      It’s impossible as there is no such setting in iOS 15. I actually called up about this yesterday and was asked if I was using an iPhone running iOS 15. I was then told it was an issue on Apple’s end and to let them know about it.

      Presume it will be fixed in an update to the app but you can’t use it at the moment with iOS 15.

      • Youllnever says:

        Oh my – lucky that I haven’t upgraded then after the slew of bugs being reported early on!

    • Anuj says:

      There is, when it asks for the location permission, above the mini map there’s a button on top left that says precise you press that and it toggles between precise and rough.

      Right now just go to settings > privacy > location> scroll to smart shop > toggle precise. If you don’t see it, delete app and do it the way I say in the para above.

      • Anuj says:

        FYI I’m on iOS 15

        • Simon Miller says:

          Thanks, just tried deleting and reinstalling (which I’ve tried before I think). I never get asked to share my location on opening the app and it’s still not showing up in the list of apps under Location Sharing in settings.

  • meta says:

    @HarryT I replied to you very late about my experience at Sheraton Grand.

    • Harry T says:

      Thanks! Will see if I can find it.

    • Harry T says:

      I’m very sorry you had such an awful experience. Sad to hear the hotel has gone downhill. FWIW I have stayed at the London EDITION during 2020 and again a couple of times this year. The hotel has maintained its very high standards and continued to be excellent recently, even when at full occupancy. So that’s my number one choice in London.

  • Adam says:

    Hi All wanted to get some thoughts on my situation below and see if there’s any other option than having to take a refund.
    Bought flights LHR MSY on 29 September 2020. Flights were for 9th Feb 2021 coming back 24th Feb.
    BA cancelled this flight as they have been doing for the past year. I rebooked it for flighing out on 2nd May 2021 coming back 21 Jun.
    Then they cancelled my rebooked flight and I left the booking alone.
    I’m now trying to rebook the flight for 17th November 2021. I called up the contact center yesterday and was told since the booking has been purged/expired I can only get a refund or voucher. Not a rebooking.
    Are there any policies in my favour here or am I out of luck? Flights are about £150 more expensive now so would much rather the rebooking.

    • Richie says:

      You are entitled to re-booking at a later date subject to seat availabilty. Nov 21 is a reasonable later date. Their stance is unreasonable, follow @meta’s advice.

      • Lady London says:

        …yes, actually subject to seat availability of any type provided it’s in same cabin. Doesn’t even need avios seat to be available even if you booked with avios, any seat being sold to anyone ie coming up on website for cash, you have a right to be rerouted into.

        If BA can’t provide you reroute on date convenient to you or, for example, says they’re not flying the route then they are still responsible for putting you on another airline. If they still won’t then claim on mcol either before or after the flight.

      • Definitas says:

        What is @Meta’s advice?

    • Lady London says:

      Perfectly reasonable you might not have known for a while, when you wanted to rebook to.

      They are being ar$es. Take it as far as it needs to go

  • Yorkshire Rich says:

    Can somebody tell me the easiest way to make sure my 14000 Accor points don’t expire very soon please. I know you can go to one of the properties and spend some money in there but I’m sure I’ve read before there are far easier and convenient ways.

    TIA
    Rich

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