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Bits: Is the Dubai Priority Pass / Virgin lounge better than BA?, double PPB points on Austrian

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News in brief:

Is the Dubai Priority Pass lounge better than the BA one?

I reviewed the new British Airways lounge in Dubai’s new Concourse D recently and was not hugely impressed.

Reader Alastair was in Dubai a week later and decided to visit the Marhaba lounge instead.  This is on the same level as the BA lounge and, as well as being the default Priority Pass and Lounge Club lounge in Concourse D, is also used by Virgin Atlantic.

As you can see, it is far bigger than the British Airways lounge:

Marhaba lounge Dubai 1

More importantly, it has a wide range of hot food.  The BA lounge has none for most of the day, including at lunch:

Marhaba lounge Dubai 2

The only downsides, says Alastair, are a poorer selection of alcohol and a slight leakage of smoke from the closed-off smokers room.

Marhaba lounge Dubai 3

All in all, though, it doesn’t look too bad as you would expect from a brand new facility.

Remember that the free (for the first year) American Express Gold charge card (full review here) comes with two free Lounge Club passes which would get a couple into this lounge if leaving Dubai on BA or Virgin.

Marhaba lounge Dubai 4

Double Partner Plus Benefit points with Austrian

I explained Partner Plus Benefit, the Star Alliance small business loyalty scheme, in this article.

Until the end of June, PPB is offering double points on all flights with Austrian Airlines to Vienna.  This is valid in either business or economy and from either Heathrow or Manchester.

You need to opt in for this offer via the PPB website.  Remember that PPB points are a lot more flexible than British Airways On Business points and can be redeemed for hotel vouchers, Heathrow Express tickets, airport car rides and even cash.

Comments (34)

  • Chelseafi says:

    slightly O/T we are returning from Chicago to London in summer BA in Club, plus we also have Priority Passes what lounge is the best one to use, the BA one or the ones with PP? Thanks

  • Gareth Morgan says:

    How does the lounge compare to Emirates business?

  • Simon Schus says:

    OT: I can’t remember if it has been mentioned before, and it probably won’t have a huge impact on many readers. However, there is now a Priority Pass lounge available at Doncaster Airport Lounge. Back of the net.

    • Nick says:

      Sweet mother of god my local airport (15 mins) away and I can’t use it with my lounge club next month great

  • idrive says:

    OT: urgent help! I don not remember if Cancellation fees are the same/similar for an Avios/BA booking.
    I am going to book on Avios.com, I got a pile there. I just want to make sure that if i cxl the award ticket 24hrs before departure, I will have all my avios back and pay a maximum of approx £35.
    I usually book with BA… Thanks, highly appreciated, need to book NOW!

  • harry says:

    OT BA pricing – has it hardened up after intro of Basic/ Plus/ CE in Europe?

    I’ve been having a look at how pricing is going for Easter 2017 – both out to Europe & back again. Most state schools will be using a holiday calendar close to Saturday 01 April – Monday 17 April [Easter Monday].

    As I’m expecting Easter Monday to be in very high demand for flying back to UK, as there isn’t much choice unless you are prepared to pinch a day or two at that end, naturally I am hoping to get 4 Avios redemptions but we’ll have to pay for 1 seat. (Max 4 Avios redemptions at this stage & we need the certainty.)

    Normally I could count of grabbing a £65 HBO seat, even in a peak pricing period. This time, peak pricing is exceptionally tough, with HBO seats coming out close to £150 @ T-355 days!

    My thinking will be to take the rough with the smooth, as 4 Avios redemptions + 1 x £150 still means we’ll all 5 be travelling reasonably cheaply (about £400 each way with Avios = 0.67p).

    But that IS about £80-85 more than I was expecting!

    Anybody else noticed price creep/ hardening for next year’s BA Europe flights?

    [I could murder a £50 off £150! Come on Amex!]

    Incidentally, redemptions for Monday 17th April 2017 should pop up @ midnight Wednesday.

    • harry says:

      Does this message on BA site actually mean they can book further ahead than 355 days?

      ‘The web site can only accept bookings up to 355 days in advance. Please contact your Executive Club Service Centre if you need to book for more than one year ahead.’

    • harry says:

      As I thought, people don’t really have much of a choice wrt dates in terms of flying back after Easter 2017 hols. Plenty people on my route seem to have decided to come back to UK on the Sunday (16th April) – starting flight prices are already Basic £150, Plus £180, CE £500 so that means a few seats have already been booked, ie dynamic pricing in action.

      I desperately need to get up at midnight to get the cheapest possible HBO seat + 4 Avios redemptions!