News in brief:
Delta to launch Glasgow to New York for Summer 2017
Delta, the 49% shareholder of Virgin Atlantic, has announced a new Glasgow to New York service for Summer 2017. This will complement the existing Edinburgh to New York service and the existing Virgin Atlantic service to Orlando.
Flights will start on 26th May using a Boeing 757 with just 164 seats. You can book Delta flights using Virgin Atlantic miles although one way redemptions are not allowed.
Amex drops Tripflex, replaces it with statement credit
American Express has removed TripFlex as a redemption option for your Membership Rewards points.
I wrote about TripFlex back in 2014. It let you use your Membership Rewards points to pay off any items of travel expenditure on your statement at a rate of 0.45p per point.
It has been replaced by a new option called ‘Use Points Towards Purchases’. This is identical to the old option of redeeming points for general statement credit, which got you just 0.4p per point.
Both 0.45p and 0.4p are pretty terrible deals for your Membership Rewards points, of course, but removing TripFlex is a very small devaluation of the MR scheme.
Gatwick Express punctuality problems
Reader Andy got in touch to point me towards the recent punctuality standards for the Gatwick Express rail service. If you were taking this train you would, at the very least, expect that you would have a relatively trouble free trip out to the airport.
The numbers are appalling, however. Over recent 4-week periods, the ‘on time’ performance has been as low as 56% and generally hovers around 70%.
Remember that ‘on time’ is a train which arrives within 5 minutes of the stated time, so you can be 4 minutes 59 seconds late on the 35 minutes trip and still be ‘on time’.
The % of trips which arrived EXACTLY on time has been as low as 26% and hovers around 35%! It has never got above 38% for any four-week period over the last 40 weeks.
Reliability – ie the % of trains which actually operate – has been as low as 86% and now seems to be hovering in the low 90’s.
You can download the numbers from the Gatwick Express website here. Whilst the long-term numbers only go up until the end of March, you can see from the ‘daily performance report’ for this Saturday that nothing has improved – just 38% of Gatwick Express services actually arrived on time.