Bits: Qatar Airways confirms Dublin launch, Plaza Premium confirms T5 lounge, HFP party

News in brief:

Qatar Airways confirms Dublin route

Qatar Airways has finally committed to a date for the launch of its Dublin route.

Services will start on 12th June.  It will use a Boeing 787 Dreamliner which means that you will get the newest version of Qatar’s impressive business class seat as pictured below.

You can read my review of Qatar’s 787 business class seat here.

The service will run daily as follows:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday 
Dublin to Doha  QR18  departs: 15:25 arrives 00:40+1
Doha to Dublin  QR17  departs: 07:20 arrives: 13:20

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
Dublin to Doha  QR20  departs: 08:50 arrives: 18:05
Doha to Dublin  QR19  departs: 01:25 arrives: 07:25

With no Air Passenger Duty to pay out of Dublin, there are likely to be some excellent opportunities here for good deals for UK residents.

Qatar 787 350 business class

Plaza Premium re-confirms Heathrow Terminal 5 Priority Pass lounge

Back in February I ran an exclusive HFP story about the planned Plaza Premium lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5.  This was an exciting project because:

a) the two existing Plaza Premium departure lounges in Terminal 2 and Terminal 4 are excellent

b) they participate in Priority Pass and Lounge Club

c) the only existing independent lounge in Terminal 5, Aspire, is woefully small

The story then went quiet.  This was not surprising since projects at Heathrow have a habit of slipping massively behind schedule as the Cathay Pacific lounge relaunch showed.

In a recent interview with Business Traveller, the Plaza Premium CEO shone some light on the project.  The Terminal 5 is now due to open in the second half of 2017 with 156 seats, lower than originally planned.  I still have no idea where it is meant to be!

Before that we can expect a Terminal 3 arrivals lounge (January) and a Terminal 4 arrivals lounge (Q1 2017) although I would take these timings with a pinch of salt.

party-time

The Head for Points Christmas party!

Thank you to everyone who attended the HFP Christmas Party last night.  It went well, I think!

Hopefully we can get some photos up on Thursday morning.  Thanks to the Melia White House hotel for their substantial (I’ve seen the drinks bill …..) support.

Good Asia sale on Finnair (earns Avios) from London, Edinburgh, Manchester and Dublin
Do you need travel insurance to cover your redemption ticket?
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Comments

  1. Johnnycl says:

    Thanks Rob and Anika (and Melia Hotel too), it was a good party last night. Great to meet some fellow-HFPers!

  2. Many congrats to Rob and Anika for putting the party together last night. For me, it was well worth the trip from Derbyshire and great to meet similar-minded people. Many thanks to Melia too, I can only imagine the size of that bill. Cheers, guys!

  3. Thanks Rob and Anika. Great to swap experiences with others who have this crazy hobby. And my raffle prize will get me to the airport for my next trip in style.

  4. OT, but Qatar-related – I’ve just noticed that the email from Accor about their new partnership with Qatar says you can convert Qatar miles INTO Accor points, which might be of interest to some…

  5. Great do. Definitely one to repeat. Thanks.

  6. Mark LLL says:

    QR Qmiles conversions to Accor. That’s Interesting.
    Thank you for posting that, Brian.

    Glad to hear the HfP party went well. Fingers crossed I will be able to attend next time.

  7. The QR B787 doesn’t have the latest version of the business class seat – that is on the A350.

    • It is virtually the same seat….

      • I thought the seats were good, but I actually preferred the seats on the 777 (complete with massage/vibrate function).

        When I flew OSL to BKK last week they ran out of champagne, Rose champagne and Chardonnay… I complained and got an apology but nothing else… not the experience I expected from my first business class flight with QR!

        • The business class offering seems to have been subject to some cuts in the last 6 months. The business lounge in Doha no longer offers a la carte dining – just buffet; and overnights to Europe ex-DOH only offer a light 2 course meal and not a full 3 course on board.

          • The QR business lounge in Doha was offering a la carte as recently as 15th November when we went through so if that’s changed it must have been in the last 2-3 weeks? The restaurant upstairs doesn’t do it but the one downstairs at the back does.

  8. Nate1309 says:

    O/T I have my email from AerClub today. I have registered. But I did have to log in to Avios.com first to change my password to contain a capital letter. One it is all set up your login for avios.com and Aerclub are exactly the same – ie username and password, and all your avios balance+statement shows in aerclub.

    • We had the invites to. Not sure we should be giving out passwords so easily so leaving it for a while.

      • That’s a good point – I signed up but ever thought of that and am a bit concerned now I gave my password out. That seems a fairly strong security flaw

    • I clicked through on the link in the email, and signed up, but haven’t received the 250 points. Hopefully they will appear at some point.

  9. OT – does anyone know if close my BAPP should I wait until all avios have been transferred to my BAEC? Or can I close the BAPP and then the avios will just transfer over whenever the final statement is issued?

    • T&Cs not too clear. I always wait for them to transfer before closing.

    • I would defo wait if u have a lot of Avios to transfer. When I cancelled I had 10k Avios and they didn’t automatically transfer. I had to keep chasing them. Was a hassle but I eventually got them 2 months later.

      • Thanks both, I think I’ll wait for them to transfer

      • We are in this boat – phoned to cancel hubbys account and was told they would transfer automatically as our normal transfer date was within 30 days – transfer date been and gone and no points transferred – phoned Amex to be told BAEC rejected the transfer and the pts are in limbo – request to transfer has been done again but still not received – will need to keep chasing – we were told we would definitely get the points. Nothing is ever straightforward in this game!

  10. the real harry says:

    O/T Tesco points
    TDXR-FVGR gives you 500 points on a Direct order – generic code – demonstrated – but doesn’t work on all a/cs
    = 1200 Avios

  11. OT: whats the deal with all these shops listed on the Amex Shop Small promo, simply not accepting amex at all.

    Do amex have an official response or reason for this? Its incredibly frustrating

    • the real harry says:

      They probably theoretically can accept Amex – though shop may not have set the till/ payment parameters to accept it – or they may have a mgt policy of not accepting Amex (the old high fees) even though the till can handle it.

      I guess Amex have a list of shops where they think Amex is accepted and have included them in Shop Small, presumably without the shop knowing anything about it.

      OTOH I have been buying my stamps in shops I used LY, even though they are not on the map this year – all working fine so far.

      • the real harry says:

        oh and the official Amex response is: sorry about that, here’s your £5 :)

  12. It was a fantastic night – Rob & Anika you did a superb job of everything. Melia Hotel: definitely on my list as a venue 😀

    • the real harry says:

      What was it like with the introductions?

      I imagine: Hi, my name’s Rodney Patterson-Smythe-FitzPatrick – er, Genghis!

  13. Well done Anika for arranging such a great get together. Thanks to Rob and Melia for the drinks.