Bits: photos of the new BA Lounge in Boston, Flybe lands at Heathrow

News in brief:

Photos of the new British Airways lounge in Boston

Two days ago we wrote about the new British Airways lounge at Boston Logan Airport.  Reader Angel who flew out of Boston yesterday kindly sent us a few photographs and some text, and reader Ryan also sent a couple.  Here is what Angel said about the new lounge – you can see the corridor decked in balloons for the opening here: (click on any photo to enlarge)

rsz_ba_boston_lounge_corridor

Generally, the new lounge is much better than the old dark lounge.

New BA lounge Boston food

It has got a lot of open space and natural light, overlooking the airfield. There’s a main dining area and a little separate area for First Class passengers (they call it the Concorde Dining Area) where you get served by someone but I don’t think there is an a la carte menu.

New BA lounge Boston bar

There is a bar area where you get served cocktails, wine and spirits.  There is no self service apart from beer and wine.

New BA lounge Boston seating

The biggest disappointment is that they no longer serve champagne – it is only prosecco now. However, being able to board directly from the lounge (via the doors in the photo below) is a big plus.’

rsz_ba_boston_lounge_boarding

Thank you to Angel and Ryan for sending the photos.

New BA lounge Boston A380

Flybe lands in Heathrow for the first time

As announced in December, Flybe is now operating services from Edinburgh and Aberdeen to Heathrow Terminal 2.

Yesterday morning the first Flybe Dash 8 Q400 landed in Heathrow.

Heathrow Operations Director Derek Provan said:

More airlines flying routes to Scottish airports means more flights, more choice for families and more visitors to Scotland. With Flybe operating from the award-winning Terminal 2, Scottish passengers and businesses now have direct access from Heathrow to over 180 global destinations including some of the fastest growing export markets around the world. We’re delighted to welcome them to the Heathrow family.

Flybe fly from heathrow

Here is the full article Rob wrote about the Flybe launch back in December – and how Flybe got the landing slots to do it.

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Comments

  1. Just came off BA32 and into Galleries South before heading to Glasgow.
    The breakfast offering is just a mass of Carbs and Cold Bacon on part baked French rolls! Such a disappointment after such a great flight.
    Crew in CW as per usual where really attentive. First time on the a380 seat 50J ! Won’t be choosing that one again.
    Cathay Pacific’s Bridge and Wing along with Qantas’ Lounge at HKG put BA Galleries to shame.

  2. Curve – Council Tax

    Has anyone used curve to pay council tax, if so; is it treated as credit card or debit card?

    • Each council has its own system.

    • If curve is treated as debit, you may find that your regular credit card also gets ttreated as debit

      • the real harry1 says:

        Amex —> Paypoint still working fine in Cornwall, paid £600 towards my council tax bill just last week

        • wally1976 says:

          I used this too last week for Dudley council paid at a Co-op outside of the area.

      • Odd development in my neck of the woods this year. RBKC used to just accept debit cards, but many credit cards also worked. This year they have started taking credit cards for a fee. However, if you click the debit card option most still go through without a fee.

  3. OT: Have never used priority pass before, but was wondering if I could give my priority pass to OH for her 7 hour connection in Muscat? She is travelling alone. Do they match ID with the card or just swipe the card blindly?

    • Usually match it.

      • Indeed, if they didn’t then PP wouldn’t get as many folk paying for membership so I’d imagine they emphasise to lounges the need to check names match.

    • Peter K says:

      Usually match with boarding pass or passport.

    • I was using my OH PP card for a spell last year and it never got checked at reception.

      When you get a new Amex choose just to have your initials printed on the card without titles.

      • roberto says:

        I “lend” my card to my son and his wife. They have the same surname as me and have a system.. He offers my card for him plus guest and when the lounge dragon askes for his boarding pass he delves in his bag looking for it. After a few moments his wife tuts and produces hers and apologises to the dragon saying that he always loses everything and that they are on the same flight.. Its never failed..

        Not strictly within the sprit of the scheme but evens out the times i have been refused entry when BA nested in the number one lounge at gatwick last year and it was full..

  4. James67 says:

    OT bit: probably one of the most interesting bits of travel news this week, note that the agreement extends to FFPs. Cathay press release:

    Cathay Pacific and Lufthansa Group sign co-operation agreement

    27 Mar 2017

    New partnership will see Cathay Pacific expand its network to more continental European destinations through codeshare arrangements with Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines

    Cathay Pacific today signed a co-operation agreement with the Lufthansa Group that will see the airline codeshare on flights operated by Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines to a number of destinations in continental Europe. Reciprocally, the Lufthansa Group will codeshare on Cathay Pacific services to four of the airline’s most popular destinations in Southwest Pacific.

    Under the agreement, Cathay Pacific will offer 14 new destinations in Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Norway, Italy, Switzerland and Austria with the “CX” code placed on the following services operated by airlines in the Lufthansa Group:

    Lufthansa
    Between Frankfurt and:
    Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Dresden, Hannover, Hamburg, Munich, Nuremberg, Oslo and Stuttgart.

    Swiss
    Between Zurich and:
    Berlin, Brussels, Florence, Geneva, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Venice.

    Austrian Airlines
    Between Vienna and:
    Frankfurt, Zurich and Düsseldorf.

    The Lufthansa Group will place its airlines’ codes on services operated by Cathay Pacific between Hong Kong and Auckland as well as between Hong Kong and Cairns, Melbourne and Sydney. Under a single booking, passengers from Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Zurich will be able to check through and seamlessly transfer to their final destination in Auckland or Australia via Hong Kong International Airport.

    Today’s co-operation agreement also extends to both airlines’ frequent flyer programmes. Passengers who are members of Cathay Pacific’s travel and lifestyle rewards programme, Asia Miles and Lufthansa Group’s loyalty programme, Miles and More, will be eligible to earn and redeem miles when travelling on the above codeshare routes. Members of Cathay Pacific’s loyalty programme, Marco Polo Club, can also earn Club Points when travelling on codeshare flights marketed by Cathay Pacific and operated by Lufthansa Group.

    Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Ivan Chu said the airline is delighted to grow its relationship with the Lufthansa Group, one of world’s largest and most respected airline groups.

    “This new codeshare agreement will offer Cathay Pacific passengers enhanced connectivity to destinations in continental Europe through flights operated by Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines via our gateways in Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Zurich. At the same time, Lufthansa Group customers travelling from Europe to Southwest Pacific will have more convenient access to flights to Australia and New Zealand through our super hub in Hong Kong.”

    Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of the Lufthansa Group, said: “Cathay Pacific Airways and the Lufthansa Group, two of the world’s leading aviation groups, are forming a ground-breaking partnership. I am particularly pleased because it strengthens our global network of strategic partnerships and further improves our airlines’ offering on Asian routes in the interest of our passengers. The codeshare and frequent flyer agreement between Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines and Cathay Pacific Airways brings advantages for the passengers of all the partners, because the airlines’ route networks complement each other perfectly. The co-operation with Cathay Pacific is another key building block in our Asia strategy.”

    Tickets for the new codeshare destinations will be available for sale from 5 April 2017 for travel commencing from 26 April 2017 at http://www.cathaypacific.com.

    The Cathay Pacific Cargo and Lufthansa Cargo airfreight subsidiaries signed a co-operation agreement back in May 2016 and, since February 2017, have been jointly marketing their capacities on flights between Hong Kong and Europe. Cathay Pacific has also taken over Lufthansa’s airfreight handling operations in Hong Kong; in Frankfurt, Lufthansa has taken over those of Cathay Pacific. Joint shipments from Europe to Hong Kong are planned from 2018.

    • Yes, interesting deal given LH’s Etihad deal too. Note that you will NOT be able to use Avios for the LH flights, only Asia Miles.

      • James67 says:

        We can convert MR into Asia Miles or is it only Marco Polo? If so, another potential route into LH F if F redemptions allowed. I have only flew LH F once but would be very happy to repeat. I cannot imagine SQ and TG being very happy about this agreement.

        • You can get LH F now on Amex via SAS or SQ but only 2 weeks in advance. The key will be whether Cathay gets access to LH F 11 months in advance like Miles & More members.

          Alternatively, of course, you can go Amex to SPG to Miles & More which is how I part-funded by LH F trip for this June.

          • James67 says:

            Thanks, I’ll explore SAS and SQ routes as MR-BA no longer attractive to me. I’m applying for a PRG card after 10/4 with no current family card holders to refer me so will be happy for you to email me your link at your convenience.

  5. Concerto says:

    Looks like Cathay has decided to choose partners that provide actual service. Another step toward Avios becoming completely worthless, glad I don’t have so many!

  6. Colin JE says:

    Delighted to hear about Flybe out of Edinburgh. There were no early morning flights previously, so had to stay in hotel at Heathrow to get a Virgin flight out to Chicago. This’ll make it possible, especially as Virgin do through-ticketing now on a codeshare with Flybe, meaning if there’s a delay in the Edi flight, I don’t have to worry about missing the LHR outbound, or picking up luggage at Heathrow. Yay!
    Moving to Edinburgh has been great, generally, all except for the flights out of so-called EDI International, which don’t seem to go anywhere I want to go, so I always end up with an extra flight to Heathrow, Gatwick or Schipol.
    The Scottish Govt have been muttering about stopping/reducing the APD. Maybe that’ll do more to draw international full service airlines to operate out of EDI or GLA.

    • They also codeshare with SQ, would be even better if this was possible on redemption tickets though!

    • James67 says:

      The market, especially for premium cabins, is not large enough to support direct longhaul flights except to major hubs. In this respect we now have a choice of Heathrow, Gatwick, Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Istanbul, Doha, Abu Dhabi, New York and Chicago. It beats any regional airport except Manchester which benefits from a larger catchment. In reality it’s great, going east and south east I can often get to my destinations quicker from EDI, even with one stop, than I could from LHR direct when starting my journey in Blackheatb. Great thing about EDI is that you can comfortably arrive at the airpirt no more than 75 minutes before a flight, and departing and arriving I can get to or from centrsl Edinburgh quicker than I can walk througn Heathrow. Connections via all these hubs often result in shorter overall journey times than via LHR so no complaints from me. My one wish though would be a direct flight to Asia, say Cathay to HKG three times a week or Thai or Norwegian to BKK. I doubt APD will be cut, the SNP need to keep the greens on board.

      • Totally agree re EDI.

      • There was talk of the Scottish government looking to establish a direct route to China from Scotland, but its all gone quiet.

        The success at EDI shows that the BAA sell off was the the right thing for the airport. EDI can get very congested (even trying to drive out the airport grounds) and i wonder how it will cope with anymore flights whilst they wait on another terminal building. Also, one of the worst security arrangements going (i have seen the queue stretch out the security area and past the coffee shops).

        APD cut, yes will be interesting to see if that can happen given all the politics at the moment.

        • Interesting re your security experience – I’ve found the new layout much more efficient. Even when there’s a big queue it seems to move faster – helped by the system of multiple people being able to unload their bags simultaneously.

          • Yes i know, I have had this happen a couple of times, but yet it only seems to happen to me! Immigration on a Sunday night also can be congested by all the budget flights arriving in at the same time.

            Security cab be a bit of a pain if your tray is at the back of the queue, the staff have to police the trays closely to stop people putting their trays on too early and not letting each batch go through.

        • James67 says:

          There is a large Chinese community in Edinburgh and a purely subjective assessment suggests a rapidly growing Asian tourist base too. Personally, I wish they had built a new airport someplace near Falkirk with excellent rail links and closed both Glasgow and Edinburgh. I believe that would have encouraged even greater growth and better protected Prestwicks Ryanair interests at the same time. Not sure if the drop off charge has already started and if it will make much difference, doubt it. My partner frequently had problens with BA fast track recognition but I think they have that sorted now.

          • Big Chinese and Malaysian populations in Edi and Glasgow, in part due to close university links. Likewise some of the most authentic malaysian and chinese food i can find in the the UK is in Glasgow.

            Australian friends can’t comprehend that i can drive between 2 cities in an hour, and likewise 2 international airports are so close to each other. (then there is trying to explain to them that we cover the roads in salt in the winter, they genuinely think i am making it up).

          • Haha yes, or that our summer temperatures are often lower than their winter ones! (got that a lot when I was in Melbourne)

          • James67 says:

            My Californian uncle used to say the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in Scotland!

          • Haha love it 😀 Melb was trending and average of about 3C warmer during winter than Edinburgh in the summer when I was there!

  7. wally1976 says:

    OT just wondering if anyone who WASN’T invited for the IHG card double points offer (Ihg.com/newstart) has tried it and can verify if you get the extra points or not? Thanks.

    • My wife wasn’t invited but I applied anyway as it is an Accelerate target too. Let’s see. She WAS a Barclaycard holder but we cancelled it at Christmas. The cover letter said 20k but EVERYONE is getting a cover letter saying 20k so that means nothing. Offer runs to June so we should know a lot sooner than that.

      • wally1976 says:

        Thanks Rob. I might just give it a try anyway fairly soon as I guess there’s nothing to lose. I haven’t had any version of IHG card before.

  8. Another Curve OT:

    Does anyone know if I link credit card A to Curve, can I pay off credit card B with Curve? And if so, will it count as a purchase or cash withdrawal?

    • roberto says:

      I did pay my Tesco card with my Curve/supercard (linked to virgin black) once as it allowed me to register the card as a debit card. Was nice to double dip but never worked since.

      • Thanks for the quick reply Roberto. Do you remember if it went through as a purchase (no fees)?

        • Roberto says:

          Yes, purchase and no fees….

        • rams1981 says:

          I’ve recently paid my council tax (Westminster) and flat service charge (worldpay) using curve as a debit card. Shame more places don’t see it similarly!

  9. James A says:

    I saw the inaugural Flybe dash 8 landing on 09L yesterday. Looked decidedly out of place

  10. Will be on my first Flybe from Heathrow this Thursday. It’s going to be a bit odd on a Q400 from Heathrow (used them many times from Birmingham & City).

    I’m hoping that passenger volumes will call for their Embraer jets to be used on the diagrams. 2+2 – It’ll be just like flying Club Europe. 🙂