Bits: no families in T5 First Wing?, new Virgin route to Oz, 30% off Millennium Hotels

News in brief:

Are families and groups banned from the new First Wing?

I ran some new pictures yesterday of the dedicated ‘First Wing’ about to open in Terminal 5.  This will feed Gold and First Passengers directly into Galleries First.

One of the comments to the article posed a question so obvious that I hadn’t thought about it.  Because the First Wing takes you directly into the Galleries First lounge, Galleries First entry rules must apply.  One guest only.

This means that, as a Gold, I cannot use the First Wing when travelling on a non-First Class ticket with my family as my wife is only Silver.  I’m sure they’d let us use the First Wing check-in desks but we would be forced to use the main security lines (and double back on ourselves to get to them) as we would not be allowed into Galleries First, even if we promised to walk straight out again and head into Galleries Club.  Unless I’ve missed something?

First Wing British Airways Terminal 5 4

Virgin Australia to launch Hong Kong to Australia

Virgin Australia is planning to launch new services from Hong Kong to an unnamed Australian city later in 2017.   The slots at Hong Kong are reportedly already agreed although the destination city is not fixed.

It isn’t all good new for Virgin Australia though.  A planned Abu Dhabi to Perth flight, due to start in June, was cancelled this week before it even launched.  The Abu Dhabi to Sydney service was closed last month.

With Virgin Atlantic still flying from London to Hong Kong, this opens up an option to get to Australia with a plane change in Hong Kong.  It would require two separate redemptions, and Virgin Australia redemptions need to be return flights, but it opens up a glimmer of hope for anyone annoyed when Virgin Atlantic scrapped its own Australia flights.

Millennium Copthorne

30% off at Millennium Hotels

Millennium Hotels, which runs a range of 5-star properties with a strong London focus, including The Chelsea Harbour Hotel, emailed me about their new early booking offer.

Until 30th March, you will receive a 30% discount on flexible rates when booking direct at least 14 days in advance.  You need to be a My Millennium member to get this, but signing up is free.

Full details are on their website here.  The offer is good for stays until 31st December.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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Exclusive: New images of the British Airways 'First Wing' in T5
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Comments

  1. Lewis Watson says:

    Banned is a bit of an exaggeration. Presumably families and groups booked in first can still use it.

  2. Hi, was wondering if people had experience on being moved to a different airline because of a fault/ delay. Could you still claim for airmiles on the original airline that delayed even if you didnt take that segment?

    • Yes. Once had it on a Cathay flight where I was moved to Thai Airways due to a delay with the Cathay plane. I claimed the miles and point to BA Exec. Needed to send in original e-ticket, boarding passes, etc. Also took 2 phone calls, but eventually got them.

  3. I don’t really see the issue here – it’s an expedited entry to Galleries First for those with Gold. For First if the existing direct access door remains you may be as quick going through that. For Silver or Club World you’d need to get to Galleries Club North or South so an entrance to Galleries First isn’t going to help. BA could of course instead planned a route into the central area between GF and the CCR to allow access for all, but that would mean disrupting the Elemis Spa (that I presume they get some revenue from) and also wouldn’t provide a differentiator for Gold & First vs Silver & Club. If arriving by HEX you’re going to have to walk the full length of the concourse anyway so it’s not that big an issue to go through North security and walk along airside – the new Fast Track route seems to be working quite well at that end.

    • gumshoe says:

      “If the direct access door remains” … that’s a very big if.

      True, they’ve not confirmed it’s closing but somehow I can’t see Alex Cruz’s BA spending lots of money on a shiny new F wing that’s not going to be used by F passengers.

      • Even if it doesn’t remain it isn’t going to take long to walk straight out the Flounge and across to the CCR – this small extra walk should be made up for by the queue for security in the new lane hopefully also being quicker if only First or Gold (and above) are allowed to use it…