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The HfP chat thread – Sunday 24th October

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

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Comments (455)

  • Super Secret Stuff says:

    Crowne Plaza Plymouth has literally doubled in price over the last 2 weeks. Found the weekend after our initial dates at the same price as pre price hike on a third party website (click trip). So gone ahead and booked direct for the new dates (which will actually suit us better), submitted my first ever best price guarantee claim.

    Any experience with the best price guarantee claim? Does your status still get honoured if you use it?

    • Jony says:

      Crowne Plaza Plymouth is drab, with the exception of the cute hot chocolates served with a shot glass of maltesers. Ever since the very poor refurb we’ve stayed at the future inn ,where a king suite will get you a huge bed and separate living area usually with a free bottle of cheap fizz and fruit plate for around £100.

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        Interesting, might use that as a fall back option. Thank you

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      So a quick turnaround from IHG, but why are they always so painful to deal with! Just told me it is not valid as click trip charge in Euros despite showing the price in pounds.

      Needless to say I have thrown my toys out of the pram and said if they don’t honour it (bearing in mind I saw the same price last week booking direct) I will stay elsewhere. What a palaver

      • JDB says:

        Go for it; the billing currency is a complete red herring in any BRG claim, unless all you are claiming is a minor currency difference which isn’t the case here. What you are seeing is simply a GBP rate converted in Euros by the the OTA and it is the underlying GBP rate you are claiming for. The IHG itself site offers the opportunity to display the currency of your choice as the room rate, but that doesn’t mean they will bill you in that currency.

        • Lady London says:

          Exactly. Your liability for hotels and cars is in local currency unless prepaid

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            Thanks guys for the advice. They’ve emailed back still declining it so I’ve emailed back with the euros price they were looking at, the euros price they’re selling it at, the fact that it all ends up being charged in GBP and made reference to there recent run in with the ASA. Hopefully they’ll escalated it to a manager and get there arse into gear

          • Aston100 says:

            Dear SSS, you are wasting your time.
            I’ve been there and tried that approach several times to no avail.
            I once escalated the issue as far as I could, and received a final written response from someone apparently quite high up in the BPG policy making, dismissing my claim due to the room being priced in a different currency on Agoda (or might have been Expedia) despite it being substantially cheaper than through the IHG site. They cared not in the slightest that from my POV, I would genuinely be saving money by NOT using IHG for that very same room. For them, the fact that the pricing was in a different currency was enough to reject the claim.

            IHG BPG is a complete and utter waste of time and not for purpose.

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            @Ashton100 I like a challenge and have a way with words that sometimes pays, plus I love giving IHG a run for there money with there stupid policies, awful customer service and quite frankly rubbish IT systems. Its oddly fun when you prove a large company wrong

        • Aston100 says:

          You’re wrong JDB.

    • John says:

      Crap hotel and crap lounge when I stayed in 2017

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        I’ve stayed before, it’s not that bad. Or put another way, it’s the best option you’ve got

        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          Although thinking about it, I stayed in 2019 so maybe had a refurb since

          • Chrisasaurus says:

            Well I queued for 50 mins to check in at 7.30pm and then after phoning for near 30 mins gave up trying to order food and had to Deliveroo so can’t say I’ll be rushing back…

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            Oh dear, was that in the last 18 months? Service standards were excellent pre-covid, at least for me. Will be a real shame if they have fallen off a cliff…

    • Aston100 says:

      IHG BPG isn’t fit for purpose.
      The rules are very strict. For example they don’t care that you can pay substantially less for the same room through an OTA if the currency is different.
      Waste of time.

      • Pete M says:

        Every experience I have had with the IHG BPG has been awful awful awful. Totally not worth it and just ruins your experience before staying sadly…

    • Lady London says:

      SSS let us know how you get on with IHG. IHG seem dishonourable as I’m pretty sure John at loyalty lobby has also covered IHG in particular for not honouring their own Best Rate Guarantee conditions.

      Even Accor is going to look more honourable than IHG soon given the Creation IHG card is now saying it doesn’t intend to honour promises such as denial of free rooms earned.

      • Gormlesstraveller says:

        For a successful claim, I believe that it’s the hotel that pays rather than IHG

  • Ben says:

    Hi all
    Going to T5 for the first time in years this weekend. Can I please ask is security etc normally any longer due to covid?
    Also is the South Lounge still the quieter of the 2 (not inc the ‘secret’ down the tunnel)
    Did I hear they are not serving champers anymore? I take it food is still done on an app?

    Cheers!

    • Ben Willis says:

      Hi, was there a few days ago, checking in fine, security a bit busy (10 mins) food ordered on app, however can now get drinks yourself. No idea re: champagne. Journey back was a nightmare, had to wait 1+ hour for baggage

    • Richie says:

      Security is bad, because HAL don’t want to pay for a good service.
      Yes quieter.
      Apparently, just ask for something sparkling.

      • JDB says:

        Following the comments earlier in the week, it is the the regulator (seemingly supported by consumers on here and pressurised by airlines) who won’t allow the funds for a better service; the regulator has opted for the lowest investment/service HAL proposition and then undercut that, so you reap what you sow! Separately, 3D scanners are being introduced which ought to speed things up, but also more body scans that will slow things!

    • The Original Nick says:

      Fast track was fine for me last Friday lunch time. The Galleries lounge was rammed so I left and went to the PP lounge which was nice and quiet.

      • Ben says:

        Thanks all
        PP lounge being the Club Aspire?
        Thought that was meant to be awful

        • ianM says:

          Club Aspire is perfectly fine and at least it doesn’t close at 5.30 like the Plaza Premium. You’d need to be a right nob to think it was awful.

          • Rob says:

            It’s really not great. New Plaza T5 review coming next week which is much better.

        • Roy says:

          I assume PP being Plaza Premium (which is not on Priority Pass, bit is available with Amex Plat).

          I wanted to ask the HfP hive mind whether Plaza Premium or Galleries is a better option atm (breakfast time, if it makes a difference).

          • Ben says:

            Thanks
            +1 to Roy’s Q

          • Pete M says:

            I personally prefer Plaza Premium, as it’s usually quieter, but Rob and Co are advertising it so much that may not last! 🙂

          • Rob says:

            Plaza Premium started doing downhill when NatWest Black switched from Priority Pass to DragonPass and they sent all cardholders a letter stressing that access to T5 Plaza was a key new benefit.

    • Andrew says:

      First Wing is the usual 10 minutes from curb side to lounge.

  • Ryanfozzie says:

    Afternoon all!

    Just checked into the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand – wow, what a stunning property. Does anyone have any suggestions for any good restaurants to have dinner tonight but that won’t break the bank – good food, not fine dining.

    Thanks!

    • Aliks says:

      Its great location but a bit like Mayfair and Chelsea – good restaurants but more expensive.

      The good news is that a 15 min walk will take you to a wide range of bistros and restaurants of all types.

      I don’t know if you are signed up for opentable, but I just checked and they cover Paris so you can get a few points under your belt as well as reviewing the options available near you.

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      Was in Paris last week, came back this morning.

      We just went to Google maps and selected “open now” and £ symbol (or ££ if we felt like it!) wherever we were. No shortage of great looking locations!

      The cheap cafes and bouillons we went to were absolutely amazing.

      Not sure on your price range but Café de l’Empire did an amazing Duck Confit for only €11.40!

      Also had the best chicken, smothered in sauce poulette, I’ve ever eaten in Bouillon Pigalle for €9.80.

      The food is so good in Paris at any cafe or bouillon will do!

      • Ryanfozzie says:

        We’re going to pass near Café de l’Empire on our evening walk, so I might check that out, thanks! 🙂

    • Alex says:

      Concierge at Kimpton recommended Le Bon Georges which we tried and really enjoyed. Outside had heaters and blankets which was nice.

      • Ryanfozzie says:

        Sitrep…..

        We’re currently sat in the club lounge (which is simply fantastic) enjoying the different champagnes. If we make it outside the hotel for dinner, I’d be surprised haha!

  • TJ says:

    Just checking DXB entry requirements. Info seems to be slightly conflicting in places. Do you definitely need to download/complete the C19 DXB Smart app for entry into Dubai as a fully vaccinated traveller who is not travelling outside of Dubai?

    • WearyTraveller says:

      You technically have to but nobody checks it and it’s totally fine if you don’t. Honestly don’t worry about it.

    • Blenz101 says:

      That app has been replaced by Al Hoson in any event. If you are heading to Expo you can use AlHoson to show the required PCR test result. No other requirement for Apps or tests once landed in Dubai. Abu Dhabi has separate requirements.

  • QwertyKnowsBest says:

    Can anyone remind me re BA exec status? TP year ends 08 Nov 2021. Card expiry 31 Dec 2022. What TP do I need by when to retain status?

    Thanks

    • JDB says:

      You need to earn the TP relevant to your tier by 8 Nov to retain current status (and the app will tell you what you still need if you aren’t already there), but if you don’t, you will keep current status until 31 Dec 2002 when you should ‘soft’ land in the tier below.

      • QwertyKnowsBest says:

        Thanks JDB. If I don’t retain current status by 8 Nov. If I earn enough TPs by card expiry (Dec 2022) will I retain status?

        • John says:

          You need to earn the required TPs between 9 Nov 2021 and 8 Nov 2022, to have status until 31 Dec 2023.

          Whatever you earn in the next 2 weeks is irrelevant as your status already lasts until the end of 2022 (unless you are aiming to move up the tiers – then your new higher status will still be valid to end of 2022, so deferring the flights until after 8 Nov 2021 would make more sense)

  • RTS says:

    Hi all,

    Is there a MR to Marriot transfer bonus of 25%? I haven’t done a transfer for a while but from memory there used to be one if you did a certain amount? Is that correct?

    • Peter K says:

      Are you thinking of the uplift when moving from Marriott to an airline. If you move 60000 Marriott to an airline you get 25000 miles instead of the 20000.

  • RJA says:

    Hi, does anybody know if the Sala Montana Roja lounge in TFS used by BA and PP is currently operating? Travelling early next week. Thanks in advance.

  • Jon says:

    A couple of issues with people tryin to downgrade from BAPP to basic BA card.
    There were some thoughts this would happen with the new setup.

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6306976/amex-declined-my-request-to-downgrade-from-ba-premium-plus-to-ba-classic#latest

    • JDB says:

      Amex has always been incredibly generous with all its SUBs, allowing upgrades/downgrades, retention bonuses etc. as well as the pro-rata refunds that facilitate some of these things, but now they are charging £250 for the BAPP, it was always clear they needed to make an effort to protect the value of the card for the payers vs those who prefer only to hold it in the run up to voucher triggering time. The various things that help, eg carrying over spend from free to BAPP, and allowing unlimited upgrades/downgrades are matters of policy rather than T&Cs so can change easily. Some aspects of refunds, but not all, are within T&Cs so need notice.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      There is literally no reason to downgrade

      Just get rid and use a nectar or Marriott card for 24 months.

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