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Bits: Luxury Travel Diary auctions, American arrivals lounge closes, new Qantas lounge for T3

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News in brief:

More Luxury Travel Diary auctions closing

The Luxury Travel Diary site dropped me a line about another wave of its luxury auctions closing this week.  These are often worth a look as there are often deals to be had.

Packages closing soon include two Maldives deals and packages in Portugal, Tuscany, Playa del Carmen, Qatar, Bali, Singapore and Greece.

As usual, it is worth having a look to see if anything takes your fancy.

American Airlines arrivals lounge at Terminal 3 closed

As part of a major global lounge overhaul, American Airlines has temporarily closed its arrivals lounge in Heathrow Terminal 3.

It will re-open in the Summer.  Until then, any eligible passengers arriving in Terminal 3 on a BA, Qantas, Cathay Pacific or American flight can use the British Airways arrivals lounge in Terminal 5.  Whether you would want to go to all that trouble is a different question.

The BA arrivals lounge is open until 2.30pm daily.

Qantas London Lounge

Qantas building a new lounge in Heathrow Terminal 3

Qantas has decided to build a dedicated lounge in Heathrow Terminal 3.  This will offer yet another option for eligible British Airways passengers flying from T3.  They can already choose from the BA lounge, the AA lounge, the Cathay Pacific lounge (currently closed for refurbishment) and, if they have access, two Priority Pass options.

The specifications sound excellent and the drawing above looks good.  It will be a large space, seating 230, occupying the area previously used by SAS.  Opening is pencilled in for early 2017.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (November 2021)

As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here

You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with two free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here

Additional lounge visits are charged at £20.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.

The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer.  Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (21)

  • chris says:

    any idea how long the CX lounge is closed for?

  • harry says:

    OT: what happened to Daniel from Propeller Travel

    I’m not a particularly frequent FT reader, so I guess many of you will have seen it already

    • Waribai says:

      Yes, I came across that story a couple of weeks ago. Not quite sure what to make of it all really. I mean we all do ex-eu but booking those as a travel agent for people in the UK seems slightly naive.

      • harry says:

        No point regurgitating the thread I guess but it’s 100% obvious BA will definitely NOT start chasing individual customers for the difference between a fare priced ex-UK vs a flight priced ex-EU when they miss the last leg of the ex-EU flight.

        You might get chased by your travel agent, though! (If he chases you to make up the amount he’s been fined by BA.)

        So just book direct with BA.

        • Waribai says:

          As you say, no point regurgitating but in theory could they not close down your BA exc account?

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