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Forums Daily chat thread Click here for today’s chat thread Chat thread – Friday 1st March

  • Rob
    HfP Staff
    2,229 posts

    This is today’s chat thread.

    If you have specific questions about Avios, hotels or credit cards, please ask them in the appropriate forum and not here. This thread is a good place to post interesting deals you have spotted or your general thoughts on travel and all things miles and points. Thank you for contributing.

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,108 posts

    Good morning from Waldorf Astoria Palm Jumeirah. On what will likely be my last stay. Customer service is just too far below their peers to encourage me back I’ll be moving to Grosvenor House on Tuesday who even now are sending helpful pre-arrival emails.

    Waldorf on the other hand:
    – pre-arrival enquiry by me re early check in revealed they had not applied any of the benefits of my agent rate
    – on arrival, no early check in could be offered at all. Surely someone has to get the first room cleaned after 12.00 so why not someone arriving with both Diamond status and the agent package rate that both offer it as a STA benefit. I asked what rate or what route one needs to go to secure early check in or indeed a higher chance of it; nothing but luck apparently
    – also on arrival, rate quoted far higher than my confirmation from agent. They had no record of the stay 4, pay 3 offer in my rate. A visit to back office for best part of 10 mins still has not resolved it
    – reception said they’d whatsapp and email when my room was ready. Nope, nothing. Arrived back at 17.15 to try my luck. Yes of course my room was available, keys handed to me. No further enquiries, no proactive update on whether my luggage was in room or in storage, no offer to accompany to room which their marketing of ‘personal concierge’ would suggest
    – a broken shower reported last night at 18.30. No one has yet shown up
    – and, since i’m being picky, the hook for the wooden shoe horn is empty. No sign of said shoe horn

    The difference in service between the ICs and upper Marriotts versus this WA is night and day.

    Travel Strong 262 posts

    I was on the fence about foregoing the extra sqft, but increasingly feeling very good about cancelling that Waldorf and swapping to the Hilton Dubai Palm Jumeirah. (GH maybe next time, but Hilton points are my friend for Easter!)

    Greg 21 posts

    Happy Saint David’s Day to the HfP team, its readers and followers around the world, wherever you may be.

    dshunter 47 posts

    Taking BA business class from Heathrow today for the first time in nearly 20 years. Leaving from T3.

    I have Amex platinum but no status.

    Best lounge for food?

    Panda Mick 46 posts

    Taking BA business class from Heathrow today for the first time in nearly 20 years. Leaving from T3.

    I have Amex platinum but no status.

    Best lounge for food?

    Virgin? 🙂

    Qantas gets a better rating on here than Cathay, I believe. And I don’t think you’ll be allowed in admiral’s club

    Panda Mick 46 posts

    Wow….. Hilton T4 is 29K points this weekend, and cheaper than the HGI HX…! Bargain!

    dougzz99 631 posts

    Taking BA business class from Heathrow today for the first time in nearly 20 years. Leaving from T3.

    I have Amex platinum but no status.

    Best lounge for food?

    It’s been asked and answered over and over, it’s entirely subjective. I’d go to Amex and have a look, then Qantas and Cathay. Decide for yourself. I personally find the BA lounge fine, and the Cathay lounge overrated, but we all have our own view on things.

    phantomchickenz 316 posts

    Taking BA business class from Heathrow today for the first time in nearly 20 years. Leaving from T3.

    I have Amex platinum but no status.

    Best lounge for food?

    Have a look under the reviews tab, they’re all in there and very informative. My preference would be Cathay.

    Indy500 153 posts

    ACE to GAT in CE

    ‘morning

    We don’t normally bother with CE on short haul as we’re Silver and have the lounge. After yesterday’s lunchtime flight I can confirm that we won’t be bothering again.

    1. Ran out of any meal choice by row 9. Only vegetarian sausage with ‘bubble & squeak’ left for all remaining rows which, to be fair, was pretty inedible and tepid.
    2. No coffee or tea offered after meal
    3. Ran out of Sauvignon Blanc by row 4.
    4. Ran out of any champagne after 90 minutes of flight.
    5. Pre-ordered champagne & chocolates as an infight surprise for OH ‘not loaded’. Told to email for a refund . Was offered another drink [obvs not champagne!] as compensation. I did mention that we were in CE…….
    6. Both pre-orders for neighbouring passengers ‘not loaded’.
    7. No WiFi

    This is simply not worth any premium and a pretty dreadful service.

    Ho hum…
    Indy

    shilly 113 posts

    If I book 2 rooms with Marriott and pay for 1 with points will I be credited for the room paid in cash towards elite night status or not, wasn’t sure?

    MattB 261 posts

    ACE to GAT in CE

    ‘morning

    We don’t normally bother with CE on short haul as we’re Silver and have the lounge. After yesterday’s lunchtime flight I can confirm that we won’t be bothering again.

    1. Ran out of any meal choice by row 9. Only vegetarian sausage with ‘bubble & squeak’ left for all remaining rows which, to be fair, was pretty inedible and tepid.
    2. No coffee or tea offered after meal
    3. Ran out of Sauvignon Blanc by row 4.
    4. Ran out of any champagne after 90 minutes of flight.
    5. Pre-ordered champagne & chocolates as an infight surprise for OH ‘not loaded’. Told to email for a refund <em class=”d4pbbc-italic” i=”#8217;ll”>. Was offered another drink [obvs not champagne!] as compensation. I did mention that we were in CE…….
    6. Both pre-orders for neighbouring passengers ‘not loaded’.
    7. No WiFi

    This is simply not worth any premium and a pretty dreadful service.

    Ho hum…
    Indy

    That’s the problem with the longer CE flights returning to the UK, they don’t (or can’t) carry enough for both the outbound and inbound flights and I assume generally don’t have the facilities to restock at the destination.

    Seems to be an issue with the Canaries, we used to fly to FUE and regularly heard the crew mentioning they wont have enough Champagne for the flight home etc

    We usually did CE out and ET back but the one time we did fly CE back to the UK they were very apologetic about the lack of drinks and gave us a bag full of mini wine bottles to take home! Shame it was all pretty grim.

    davedent 54 posts

    Taking BA business class from Heathrow today for the first time in nearly 20 years. Leaving from T3.

    I have Amex platinum but no status.

    Best lounge for food?

    Amex centurion lounge no contest

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,108 posts

    ACE to GAT in CE

    ‘morning

    We don’t normally bother with CE on short haul as we’re Silver and have the lounge. After yesterday’s lunchtime flight I can confirm that we won’t be bothering again.

    1. Ran out of any meal choice by row 9. Only vegetarian sausage with ‘bubble & squeak’ left for all remaining rows which, to be fair, was pretty inedible and tepid.
    2. No coffee or tea offered after meal
    3. Ran out of Sauvignon Blanc by row 4.
    4. Ran out of any champagne after 90 minutes of flight.
    5. Pre-ordered champagne & chocolates as an infight surprise for OH ‘not loaded’. Told to email for a refund <em class=”d4pbbc-italic” i=”#8217;ll”>. Was offered another drink [obvs not champagne!] as compensation. I did mention that we were in CE…….
    6. Both pre-orders for neighbouring passengers ‘not loaded’.
    7. No WiFi

    This is simply not worth any premium and a pretty dreadful service.

    Ho hum…
    Indy

    It is commonplace sadly. All the more reason why if you have elite status you need to book yourself into the front rows asap.

    Greg 21 posts

    ACE to GAT in CE

    ‘morning

    We don’t normally bother with CE on short haul as we’re Silver and have the lounge. After yesterday’s lunchtime flight I can confirm that we won’t be bothering again.

    1. Ran out of any meal choice by row 9. Only vegetarian sausage with ‘bubble & squeak’ left for all remaining rows which, to be fair, was pretty inedible and tepid.
    2. No coffee or tea offered after meal
    3. Ran out of Sauvignon Blanc by row 4.
    4. Ran out of any champagne after 90 minutes of flight.
    5. Pre-ordered champagne & chocolates as an infight surprise for OH ‘not loaded’. Told to email for a refund <em class=”d4pbbc-italic” i=”#8217;ll”>. Was offered another drink [obvs not champagne!] as compensation. I did mention that we were in CE…….
    6. Both pre-orders for neighbouring passengers ‘not loaded’.
    7. No WiFi

    This is simply not worth any premium and a pretty dreadful service.

    Ho hum…
    Indy

    That is par for the course. 1-4 are regular occurrences. I often fly LHR to IST/SAW with Club seats IDENTICAL in pitch and width to Economy, except the middle seat is free – but no longer folds down. Last time I flew, a gentleman seated next to me asked the crew whether he was seated in Business Class.

    NorthernLass 7,490 posts

    Agree, I mainly only bother with CE on short-haul when I want TPs these days. I was in the exit row just behind CE returning from AGP last week and it looked very uninspiring (Finnair staff did not deploy curtain 😂😮). We had had a nice brunch of jamon and tuna ciabattas in the lounge prior to departure so didn’t feel at all deprived.

    That said, we had a lovely CE experience to GIB last Easter, breakfast in Qantas followed by lobster pasta for lunch in row 1. If only it was consistent!

    Niall 118 posts

    Don’t know if it was mentioned but Aer Lingus also moving to standard qualification period. Just got an email:

    New Qualification Period starts 1st April 2024

    We’re reaching out to tell you that we’re in the process of making some changes to AerClub. This adjustment is part of our ongoing efforts to enhance your experience and make it a little more straightforward.

    Standardised Qualification Period:
    As part of this, all AerClub members will now have the same Qualification Period. Your new Qualification Period start date is 1st April 2024. You’ll be able to see this change in your account after 10th April 2024. That means every year your Qualification Period begins anew, and your Tier Credits will reset to zero on the 1st of April

    Seagull 66 posts

    Good evening / morning from the JAL First Class Lounge at Narita. Is always a lovely end to a Japan trip and just as excellent as ever. Even without all the fantastic facilities, space and food, I’d just settle for some Japanese customer service and politeness anywhere in a European lounge!

    redethernet1 87 posts

    Is it likely to request the retention team to waive the “Business” Gold Amex fees in the 2nd year?

    jj 527 posts

    Just saved more than £500 on a hotel booking with Amex Platinum and the Fine Hotels and Resorts programme. Amex was cheaper than anywhere else, even if I allowed for TopCashback/BA eStore benefits elsewhere, and I also get the usual FHR benefits. That’s the second time in a few months that FHR has been cheapest, so my total hotel savings this year have been more than the annual Platinum fee. I checked with Emyr but he couldn’t match, and the hotel refused to match for a direct booking.


    @Rob
    – your FHR article says that the big downside of the programme is the price. You might want to change that statement next time you republish, as FHR seems to be getting some valuable exclusive deals these days.

    jj 527 posts

    ACE to GAT in CE

    ‘morning

    We don’t normally bother with CE on short haul as we’re Silver and have the lounge. After yesterday’s lunchtime flight I can confirm that we won’t be bothering again.

    1. Ran out of any meal choice by row 9. Only vegetarian sausage with ‘bubble & squeak’ left for all remaining rows which, to be fair, was pretty inedible and tepid.
    2. No coffee or tea offered after meal
    3. Ran out of Sauvignon Blanc by row 4.
    4. Ran out of any champagne after 90 minutes of flight.
    5. Pre-ordered champagne & chocolates as an infight surprise for OH ‘not loaded’. Told to email for a refund <em class=”d4pbbc-italic” i=”#8217;ll”>. Was offered another drink [obvs not champagne!] as compensation. I did mention that we were in CE…….
    6. Both pre-orders for neighbouring passengers ‘not loaded’.
    7. No WiFi

    This is simply not worth any premium and a pretty dreadful service.

    Ho hum…
    Indy

    I always fly in CE. It’s not perfect, but it’s much better than economy unless you’re of a grumpy dosposition: you don’t have to share your row of seats with a random stranger who’ll invade your personal space, and you don’t go hungry and thirsty.

    As has been said, 1-4 are normal. Choice is overrated; I’d prefer have no choice of meal than for loads of food to be thrown out, and I doubt the Sauvignon Blanc was better than the other wine. How many glasses of champagne do you need on a flight? Lots of alternatives were available, I’m sure. Did you ask for a coffee? I can’t ever remember it being offered, but it’s always provided on request. WiFi is always patchy on flights, so don’t rely on it – and that problem also applies to Economy seats. The only really poor thing is the lack of pre-orders in my view.

    For comparison, CE is vastly superior to GWR’ pathetic first class train service. It’s also a lot cheaper.

    JDB 4,336 posts

    I agree with all of the above re CE. Of course, it’s possible to have a bad experience, but we haven’t in many years of always taking CE. I think it’s a very good short haul product.

    Above all CE, whether on Avios or cash, is quite cheap and offers very good value for that much more space, comfort and convenience for every aspect of the trip.

    phantomchickenz 316 posts

    Just saved more than £500 on a hotel booking with Amex Platinum and the Fine Hotels and Resorts programme. Amex was cheaper than anywhere else, even if I allowed for TopCashback/BA eStore benefits elsewhere, and I also get the usual FHR benefits. That’s the second time in a few months that FHR has been cheapest, so my total hotel savings this year have been more than the annual Platinum fee. I checked with Emyr but he couldn’t match, and the hotel refused to match for a direct booking.



    @Rob
    – your FHR article says that the big downside of the programme is the price. You might want to change that statement next time you republish, as FHR seems to be getting some valuable exclusive deals these days.

    Seconded. I got a good deal on an overnight in Auckland, and a guaranteed 4pm checkout which was very helpful.

    dshunter 47 posts

    Taking BA business class from Heathrow today for the first time in nearly 20 years. Leaving from T3.

    I have Amex platinum but no status.

    Best lounge for food?

    It’s been asked and answered over and over, it’s entirely subjective. I’d go to Amex and have a look, then Qantas and Cathay. Decide for yourself. I personally find the BA lounge fine, and the Cathay lounge overrated, but we all have our own view on things.

    Ha, I actually didn’t think I could access Qantas or Cathay without status, so was expecting it to be a straight choice between centurion and BA.

    NorthernLass 7,490 posts

    You can if you’re flying in business class.

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