There is clearly a super-hot salesman at the O2 Arena in Greenwich who knows exactly what to say to make the big travel companies sign on the dotted line!
First we had the American Express Invites lounge at the O2. This is a private bar which must be pre-booked and which is restricted to American Express customers. The drinks and snacks are not free but it is a superior environment to the main concourse at the arena.
Secondly we had the launch of the Starwood Preferred Guest suite which I reviewed here. You can now redeem 20,000 SPG points from your hotel stays at Sheraton, Westin, W, Le Meridien etc (or from the Starwood American Express card or from Amex Membership Rewards points) for two hospitality tickets for a major concert. I am there again later this month.
Virgin Atlantic and their joint venture partner, and 49% shareholder, Delta Air Lines have joined the party.
A 300-seat bar called NY-LON is opening at the O2 in July. It is meant to be ‘a celebration of our transatlantic network’ and to ‘showcase our airlines world class service’.
Virgin has announced that Virgin Flying Club members will ‘benefit from a range of discounts and special offers’. We will need to see exactly how this works in practice – given the scale of the bar it is unlikely that it will be exclusively for Delta and Virgin frequent flyers or it will be fairly empty a lot of the time!
It is worth noting that Virgin and Delta also have a hospitality suite in the arena although I have never seen seats offered up as a redemption option.