News in brief:
Etihad opening up business class availability to London
One of the promises which accompanied the Etihad Guest devaluation announcement was that more business class seats would be available on some routes.
I have never – ever – seeb Etihad offer more than two seats in business class on any plane. It is my biggest problem with the programme.
Yesterday, however, I saw this for the middle Saturday of half term in October, assuming your school has a two week half term:
Whilst the screenshot is a little tricky to read, you need to trust me when I say that there are SIX A380 Business Class Suites available on one service. Another service has four seats.
These extra seats only seem to have been added to selected periods. If you look at next Easter, for example, you are back to the usual ‘2 per plane’. If they are becoming more flexible, though, it would be a major benefit for families.
Ford rolling out go!drive in London
The big car companies have been sniffing around the ‘car by the hour’ sector recently, seeing it as an ideal way to get potential future customers familiar with their vehicles.
I have written about Zipcar (now owned by Avis) before. You can even earn Avios points now as a Zipcar member. We are members in London and, together with Uber and Gett / GetTaxi, they cover all of our driving needs for a fraction of the cost of running a car.
Ford is now rolling out its own service, go!drive, following a trial last year. The cars used are Ford Focus Electric and Ford Fiesta models.
One of the downsides of Zipcar is the £59.50 annual fee. In order to encourage you to try go!drive, Ford is not charging an annual fee.
It is also giving out £20 of free driving credit for signing up. At 17p per minute – which is more than Zipcar costs – that gets you almost two hours of driving. go!drive allows you to make a one-way trip as long as it ends at a go!drive location.
Note that only automatic cars are available. The go!drive app is only available on iOS at the present time so Android owners cannot take part.
The big downside compared to Zipcar is location. Because Zipcar has hundreds of locations, almost all on-street, there is usually one close to you in London. go!drive is currently only operating out of a handful of car parks which makes it less likely that you live within walking distance of one. The company is planning to have 20 sites up and running within a few months.
That said, as there is no membership fee and you will receive a £20 driving credit for joining, London-based readers may be interested in giving it a try.