Bits: cheap Dragonpass lounge access, 750 Avios with No 1 Lounges, airberlin new short-haul business

News in brief:

Daily Telegraph / Dragonpass offer returns – or earn 750 Avios with No 1 Lounges

The Daily Telegraph has brought back its occasional airport lounge access promotion with lounge network Dragonpass.

Via this link (ignore the April date!), you can buy passes to any lounge used by Dragonpass for £16.50.  This is a discount on the usual price and the Dragonpass £50 membership fee is waived.

For most UK lounges this will be the cheapest way of buying access this Summer.  Thanks to Daniel.

However ….. remember that No 1 Lounges has an excellent Avios-based deal for its lounges at Heathrow Terminal 3, Gatwick, Birmingham and Edinburgh.

For £20 per person, you receive lounge access AND 750 Avios points.  This is a better deal than the Dragonpass offer.

The Avios will only be credited to an account but you can move them to BA later via ‘Combine My Avios’ online.

As long as you avoid the overcrowded Gatwick North lounge, struggling under the weight of BA passengers who are currently lounge-less, the No 1 Lounges portfolio is very impressive.  At £20 per visit, less the value you place on 750 Avios, this offer (click here) is a good deal.

No 1 Traveller

airberlin launches short-haul business class

With what feels like the influence of 49% shareholder Etihad behind it, airberlin is launching a pseudo business class product on its short-haul network.

(As a member of oneworld, you can redeem Avios points on the airberlin network.  I am flying them next week as it happens.  There are currently no airberlin flights to or from the UK however.)

There are two reasons for this change.  One is that, at the same time, airberlin is moving to 100% buy-on-board catering in economy.  It currently offers a free drink and snack with the option of paying for more.

Secondly, and this is only a guess, Etihad believes it can attract more premium transfer passengers connecting to / from Etihad if they can book business class all the way to their final destination.  It will also help airberlin attract transfer passengers to its expanding long-haul network.

This is what is happening:

business class will be only the front row of seats so a maximum of four passengers!

the middle seat will be left free

the seat pitch will be adjusted in rows 2+ so that row 1 gets 32 inches of legroom

benefits include a welcome drink, a pillow, free food from the buy on board menu, priority boarding, priority check-in, fast-track security, lounge or airberlin waiting area access, extra baggage allowance

all business class tickets will be fully flexible and seat reservations will be free

Avios Redemption University – Lesson 17 – How to earn and redeem Avios points on Flybe
VERY good deal - 4,500 Avios for a £30 subscription to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine
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  1. James67 says:

    What they try to pass off as short haul business class remains a joke, when I heard about this I was expecting a new seat in 2+2 configuration.

  2. Metatone says:

    While this sounds as lame as Club Europe often is, I’d guess one reason re connecting flights is the baggage allowance.

    • Not totally lame, though I guess it depends on the money involved. Lounge access + the coveted front row. Even the extra luggage allowance could be worth something.

      Peter Mandelson would probably go for this deal… (see FT! :) )

  3. Great! A reasonably priced way into the Maple Leaf lounge in T2 at LAX before my economy flight to Hawaii in September thanks!

  4. Does anyone know if the eVoucher from Dragonpass comes via email straight away upon purchase, and in a form (pdf?) that I can email to my in-laws overseas who are about to fly over here with a longish stopover where lounge access would be really useful?

    • You could just email them the link to buy….

    • DP promptly emailed me my 6 lounge passes (not from this deal, though I assume the method will be the same). Both in the form of a PDF & a printer-friendly page. Wasn’t instant but it was quick, maybe a couple of hours.

      So you either print the page – I’m sure your in-laws could do that – or show them the voucher on a tablet etc. Or print the pdf. All bases covered!

      Incidentally, No1 T3 LHR didn’t seem to have a real-time system in place to check the vouchers, they just took a quick look and put them down on the desk without there & then inputting details into the computer. I guess they would only get payment from DP by inputting the details into the DP recording system later but it did make me think…

  5. Apologies for not being well versed on this, I’m due to fly out of Gatwick S on Thu around 6, and was contemplating getting there early in an attempt to use my 2 free visits (with my lounge pass card) at No1 Traveller. I’ve heard various stories regarding people being turned away due to capacity constraints, would anyone have any experience of this on a Thu afternoon around 3pm?

    Also I suppose there is an additional value to the No1 Traveller deal as you forgo the £5 booking fee if you want to reserve a time/booking.

    • Gatwick South is the huge new No 1 lounge so should be OK. It is North with the problems as that is where the BA passengers have gone.

  6. TGLoyalty says:

    FYI when using the No 1 traveller Avios deal ensure the person at the desk actually checks you in on their system otherwise the Avios won’t post.

    Had this happen once as the women at the desk quickly let me through having just checked my confirmation email which felt like efficient service at the time but then ended up having the chase the Avios.

    • I think if the Avios don’t post, you just got yourself another lounge pass for free…

      • TGLoyalty says:

        The access is for a certain day though?

        They did post my Avios straight away as a ‘gesture of goodwill’ after I emailed them

        • Not sure we’re not at cross purposes. What I meant was that the lounge pass – which is supposedly 1-off, any day, unique code – should give you the 750 Avios once the lounge agent put it into the DP recording system. The fact that you didn’t get the 750 Avios probably means they did NOT input the certificate details correctly if at all.

          Which is what I was alluding to in my other comment earlier. [The casual way they slung my certs down on the desk without immediately putting the details into the DP recording system.]

          Ergo the lounge pass is probably still valid for another life. You only live twice!

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Ah understand now

            However, you book your No1 access for a certain person, day and time window rather than just buying access for 1 day in the future

  7. Lewis Watson says:

    Is the dragon pass offer for the no1 traveler lingua or do they use a different one? In Heathrow t3

    • yes it works fine in No1 T3 LHR – you might prefer to pay £5 to secure entry at busy times as that lounge does end up turning away users at peak travelling times (book on the No1 website, at least 4hrs ahead of time)

    • Dragonpass lets you select the exact lounge you want to book.

      • Lewis Watson says:

        Which is best longue in t3 then? I am used to transiting t5 don’t think I have ever been to t3 before

        • Lewis Watson says:

          Which lounge does ba use? Am a silver but traveling with 3 friends with no status. Trying to find the cheapest way to get a lounge on our stop over.

          Ps raffles love the blog it’s been a great help on past

          • BA has its own lounge in T3. You can’t buy passes for that. As you have Silver you can also use the American lounge or (from 1st September) the new Cathay Pacific lounge which will probably be the best choice.

            Until Cathay opens, No 1 is the nicest.

            You cannot get all of you into one lounge unless all 4 of you pay for No 1. Your best bet is 2 of you in BA / AA / Cathay, via your Silver, and two of you (literally) next door for cash in No 1.

            • Lewis Watson says:

              Thanks for that I thought with most ba flights going out of t5 they wouldn’t have longe in t3. Probably pay for all 3 of us to be in the not traveler then.

      • With the Barclays deal the 6 DragonPasses are open-ended/ valid for a year

  8. Together with a Bank Account package, those deals seem to remove my remaining justification for an Amex Plat.

    Downgrade to Gold Rewards here we come…

    • Depends which bank! Barclays have changed their rules for Travel Plus Pack, from next month minimum 6 months @ £15.50, still gets you 6 DP passes and free insurance so not so bad

  9. O/T but a data point – Called HSBC asking to waive first year fee on the new Premier CC, no joy.

  10. Anyone have any knowledge of the lounge at BRS? Cant find any info through Google, FT or airport website.

    • Colin JE says:

      There’s an Aspire Lounge and an Aspire Plus, which is adults only. I went to the Plus lounge a few months back to try it out. It’s fine but nothing amazing for the price premium it requires.
      Some photos of the Aspire Plus on here:

      • nate1309 says:

        Its recently been completely revamped and it pretty comfy. Wifi was good speed and streamed a film while I was in there. Had soup, sandwich, a beer and a jack and coke all in all chilled out.

        • nate1309 says:

          I was also in the CWL lounge on Thursday and that was nice too, they have all the spirits from Penderyn distillery which makes nice whiskey, gin, vodka and cream liqueur (which Mrs Nate1309 says is much nicer than Baileys) in the brecon beacons.

  11. Scallder says:

    Just to double check the Avios for No 1 is per booking, so presume everyone in the party should be booked on separate bookings?

    • If that is the case, certainly! Whether you book 4 slots in your own name (and so you get all the Avios) or you have to put them in the name of arriving person (and Avios may want a name match) is a different question.

  12. The telegraph promo isn’t working anymore if you’re not a subscriber is it ?