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Forums Daily chat thread Click here for today’s chat thread Chat thread – Wednesday 29th May

  • Rob
    HfP Staff
    2,303 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.

    davefl 1,413 posts

    Quick trip update from the USA.

    Prices seem to have levelled out since last summer, no crazy increases that I can see. Surprised at the increasing number of small businesses (restaurants and takeaways) that are cash only. Seems more than before, and lots saying cash preferred and charging 3.5% extra for credit cards.

    Have taken out cash at a couple of random bank ATMS with Wise and FD Debit and only been charged $3-$4 so that’s ok.

    Had my 1st run in with a raging trumper yesterday who says the UK is being ruined because its borders are wide open and Joe is to blame for everything including the weather. Shame really a hes was a lovely guy and apart from that we’d been chatting for 43 mins about bikes as he owns the world’s biggest bicycle museum.

    Glad I’m missing the terrible storms/tornados so far, it has been devasting in many areas. 750,000 in Texas with no power today.

    NorthernLass 8,262 posts

    Morning, @davefl – the birds are twittering noisily outside here and the kitten thinks 3 am is playtime!

    The museums in America are one of the best things about the country – you could fill a long trip just seeking out the most quirky ones. If the political and economic situation is favourable I may finally get around to planning my New England road trip for autumn 2025.

    We had a lively discussion in the pool on holiday last year with a Texan lady who was disgruntled with the UK because we don’t have enough guns, which made her feel unsafe when she visited!

    Aston100 1,451 posts

    We had a lively discussion in the pool on holiday last year with a Texan lady who was disgruntled with the UK because we don’t have enough guns, which made her feel unsafe when she visited!

    I met an American chap who claimed that planes would be safer if everyone onboard was armed.

    Aston100 1,451 posts

    Good morning from the Meliá Hanoi where the temperature around the pool area has a ‘real feel’ of 45 degrees.
    A lovely hotel which would normally be walking distance to the lake and the old quarter if it weren’t for the disgusting temperatures and humidity.
    Still, it doesn’t seem to affect the locals who go about their hard work wearing long trousers and long sleeves. Uncle Ho would be proud.
    Talking of Uncle Ho, we’re off to see him in his mausoleum in a while.

    My one issue with Meliá is the lack of any kind of status recognition for gold members. I mentioned this in regards to my stay at the one in Hue the other week. The Hanoi branch is even worse for that.
    We paid for a suite, and while it is very lovely, they made no attempt to upgrade, even to a higher floor (the hotel is not busy as evidenced by lack of guests at breakfast, the pool and anywhere else).
    Our bathroom got flooded, and we had to change rooms – twice (the first replacement room had problems) and I also had to go to reception twice to get the keys reset (3 resets in total). They put me on an even lower floor until I finally complained that I’ve had more than two hours of my time wasted due to room related shenanigans. At this point they begrudgingly put me about two thirds of the way up. I asked for lounge access as a goodwill gesture, to be told gold members don’t get lounge access, to which I pointed out that yes I’m aware and that is precisely why it would be a reasonable service recovery option.
    Eventually given access for just happy hour on that specific night only, with further commentary about gold members not being entitled and that a move to a higher room is enough from their point of view.

    Can anyone confirm that anything below the top status tier is usually meaningless once you’ve booked a Meliá hotel?

    Anyway, I still recommend this hotel as it can be obtained at a good price when making use of one of your 20% vouchers stacked with the 5% app discount.
    The breakfast selection is huge; staff are friendly; the suites are very nice; the location is reasonably good; eight stealable hangers with more available to order.
    Alas, the toilet paper is poor and you’d need three sheets I reckon. However, the fancy Japanese toilet does a good job of cleaning your nether regions.

    collarbone666 8 posts

    Quick trip update from the USA.

    Prices seem to have levelled out since last summer, no crazy increases that I can see. Surprised at the increasing number of small businesses (restaurants and takeaways) that are cash only. Seems more than before, and lots saying cash preferred and charging 3.5% extra for credit cards.

    Have taken out cash at a couple of random bank ATMS with Wise and FD Debit and only been charged $3-$4 so that’s ok.

    Had my 1st run in with a raging trumper yesterday who says the UK is being ruined because its borders are wide open and Joe is to blame for everything including the weather. Shame really a hes was a lovely guy and apart from that we’d been chatting for 43 mins about bikes as he owns the world’s biggest bicycle museum.

    Glad I’m missing the terrible storms/tornados so far, it has been devasting in many areas. 750,000 in Texas with no power today.

    The ‘Trumper’ probably thought much the same about you.

    BJ 659 posts

    I’ve always found Americans to be mostly warm, friendly and welcoming but in over 40 years of travelling there politics is the one subject I try to avoid chatting with them about. Oddly for a country blessed with amazing geography and nature I am surprised at the numbers who refuse to engage with environmentalism in a pragmatic and sensible way, preferring to associate it as a tree-hugging offshoot of hippy culture. Comments on cash does not surprise me, I recall many Americans scribbling personal cheques at check-out long after UK had adopted chip and pin.

    Erico1875 144 posts

    @davefl
    As Gold, we have had several upgrades at INNSIDE newcastle, and start of month INNSIDE Manchester

    JDB 4,643 posts

    @Aston100 the hard working Vietnamese wear loose long sleeves/trousers as it’s much cooler when the sun isn’t beating on your skin as they have also worked in the Middle East. Enjoy Vietnam!

    zapato1060 720 posts

    Yep, politics and guns are the two things I darent talk to US folk about. Have April 25 booked to go Florida as have not been to the US since the ‘you know what’ and because of the mentions of extortionate pricing. @davefl Im guessing the tipping culture is still as strong?? Why didnt you take a Chase debit, its free withdrawals across Chase banks over there?

    strickers 720 posts

    Does anyone know what that faint glow in the sky is this morning? I’m sure normal torrential service will be resumed shortly.

    Niall 114 posts

    @Aston100 I can confirm that even the top status with Melia can be pretty meaningless! The upgrade policy used to clear in the T&Cs but is ignored now by many hotels and even the app upgrades don’t show what was once the normal. This is despite the upgrade policy never having been close to as generous as Hyatt for example.

    It sounds like the hotel isn’t doing a good job when things have gone wrong and this indeed is why I stopped staying with Melia. I had some truly awful experiences with Melia and there is no way to complain through Melia corporate. Instead complaints are only ever redirected to the individual hotels. In my case I was told I would only receive a pretty weak service recovery offer if I signed an NDA to not review or tell others.

    MeliáRewards is simply not a serious loyalty scheme and the company as a whole gets worse each year (see FT).

    Having said all that, some hotels are good and Innside (Manchester) and ME hotels have been the most generous with upgrades for me as (soon to be former) MeliáRewards platinum cardholder. I guess as they don’t have lounges.

    Stu_N 117 posts

    Have an overnight layover at Heathrow in the summer and looking for a hotel with a decent pool (for adults to actually swim in.)

    Looking at this old article:
    https://www.headforpoints.com/2017/08/06/which-hotel-at-heathrow-has-the-best-swimming-pool/

    Raddison or CP look like best options – however CP seems to be closed at the moment. We arrive around 1930 and our onward flight is 1300ish, both from T5, so could go somewhere half an hour away if necessary.

    Michael C 705 posts

    I’m applying for my son’s European health insurance card for a school trip, and am
    given the choice of “UK GHIC” or “New UK EHIC”. Is there any difference? I can only see
    that the former also covers a couple of random overseas territories!

    To dare is to do 133 posts

    strickers 716 posts
    Does anyone know what that faint glow in the sky is this morning? I’m sure normal torrential service will be resumed shortly.

    Alien invasion is my guess. Hope they stay long enough for my roof to get fixed!

    Ant M 85 posts

    Quick trip update from the USA.

    Prices seem to have levelled out since last summer, no crazy increases that I can see. Surprised at the increasing number of small businesses (restaurants and takeaways) that are cash only. Seems more than before, and lots saying cash preferred and charging 3.5% extra for credit cards.

    Have taken out cash at a couple of random bank ATMS with Wise and FD Debit and only been charged $3-$4 so that’s ok.

    Had my 1st run in with a raging trumper yesterday who says the UK is being ruined because its borders are wide open and Joe is to blame for everything including the weather. Shame really a hes was a lovely guy and apart from that we’d been chatting for 43 mins about bikes as he owns the world’s biggest bicycle museum.

    Glad I’m missing the terrible storms/tornados so far, it has been devasting in many areas. 750,000 in Texas with no power today.

    I found the opposite when I was there earlier this month – a lot of places were card only, even the food trucks in Portland.

    I was lucky and missed the storms too. My trip started in Houston and thankfully I’d moved on from there when the storm hit that took out a lot of the windows of the Hyatt Regency – which was directly opposite the hotel I’d stayed in (C. Baldwin, Curio Collection by Hilton)

    Ant M 85 posts

    I’m applying for my son’s European health insurance card for a school trip, and am
    given the choice of “UK GHIC” or “New UK EHIC”. Is there any difference? I can only see
    that the former also covers a couple of random overseas territories!

    There’s only the GHIC as far as I’m aware. I think it might just be sites describing the GHIC as the new EHIC since that’s what it replaced and people are still used to the old EHIC name.

    https://overseas-healthcare.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/get-healthcare-cover-travelling-abroad/start

    HampshireHog 137 posts

    Very wise to avoid discussing issues of the day with Americans at least while in their homeland. To the average European they do seem a tad unworldly and hang to the right….

    Misty 289 posts

    I’m applying for my son’s European health insurance card for a school trip, and am
    given the choice of “UK GHIC” or “New UK EHIC”. Is there any difference? I can only see
    that the former also covers a couple of random overseas territories!

    It’s only the new one from now on so it’s odd that it gives you a choice, unless there is something I missed.

    The new one has a huge union jack as it’s background.

    TooPoorToBeHere 267 posts

    I’m applying for my son’s European health insurance card for a school trip, and am
    given the choice of “UK GHIC” or “New UK EHIC”. Is there any difference? I can only see
    that the former also covers a couple of random overseas territories!

    Only a subset of people can get the latter, have you read https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/apply-for-a-free-uk-global-health-insurance-card-ghic/ ?

    TooPoorToBeHere 267 posts

    Does anyone know what that faint glow in the sky is this morning? I’m sure normal torrential service will be resumed shortly.

    The solar system almost touched 10% of the rated output…that’s basically tropical.

    TooPoorToBeHere 267 posts

    Morning, @davefl – the birds are twittering noisily outside here and the kitten thinks 3 am is playtime!

    The museums in America are one of the best things about the country – you could fill a long trip just seeking out the most quirky ones. If the political and economic situation is favourable I may finally get around to planning my New England road trip for autumn 2025.

    We had a lively discussion in the pool on holiday last year with a Texan lady who was disgruntled with the UK because we don’t have enough guns, which made her feel unsafe when she visited!

    1 – Please post kitten pictures

    2 – There’s just such variation in America. Big cities where you might never notice a gun other than on a policeman, to places where large numbers of people are carrying openly and concealed.

    I like to think I’ve seen a bit of stuff but I’m still boggling at flyover state “most people have a gun in the glovebox or storage bin of their truck, and a lot of them don’t lock the vehicle or even close the windows when going into a shop” mindset. It’s really a different world.

    aseftel 279 posts

    Can anyone confirm that anything below the top status tier is usually meaningless once you’ve booked a Meliá hotel?

    This is my experience, but to be fair it’s consistent with the programme terms: on-property, Golds get late check-out, free wifi and bogof breakfast. That’s it. All the value is in the 20% discount. And it’s a good discount. Stacks on almost any property, date, rate, cash/points, room, board basis. Just use the saving to book a higher category room if you want an upgrade.

    Paul 146 posts

    strickers 716 posts
    Does anyone know what that faint glow in the sky is this morning? I’m sure normal torrential service will be resumed shortly.

    Alien invasion is my guess. Hope they stay long enough for my roof to get fixed!

    The Global health card which will generate guffaws of laughter anywhere you try to use it comes emblazoned with the union flag. It looks naff, and has all the usefulness of Liz Truss

    Paul 146 posts

    @Strikers – ok sorry I have no idea why your post about the glow ended up with my comment about the GHIC – apologies.

  • The topic ‘Chat thread – Wednesday 29th May’ is closed to new replies.

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