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Bits: Emirates makes Manchester ‘all A380’, Priority Pass deal, HfP in the Express

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News in brief:

Emirates to make Manchester ‘all A380’ whilst Birmingham gets a switch

Emirates announced last week that all three of its daily Manchester services will be operated by A380 aircraft from 1st January 2017.

At the same time, the A380 service to Birmingham will be switched to the overnight flight which leaves Birmingham at 20.45.  The plan is apparently to maximise connection opportunities in the morning ‘bank’ of international departures from Dubai and offer ‘a seamless A380 to A380 experience’.

Birmingham will continue to have one of the ‘two class’ A380 aircraft which contains a whopping 615 seats.

More details on both changes can be found on the Emirates site here.

Emirates A380 Manchester

Priority Pass – 15 months for the price of 12 AND 20% off

Ages ago I wrote about a special Priority Pass airport lounge access deal for Marriott Rewards members.  Via this special deal, you receive 20% off the usual membership fee AND three additional months membership for free.

I had forgotten that the deal ever existed but a reader dropped me a note this week to say that it is still working.  It takes ’10 free visits’ membership level down to £127 and you’d have 15 months to use your 10 visits.  The basic card is reduced to £55 for 15 months plus £15 per visit.

The link to buy is here.

The recent Groupon ‘50% off a Priority Pass’ offer I promoted is also still running – you should take a look here and compare the two offers.

Priority Pass

HfP in the Express …..

I’m not sure what you normally do by your hotel pool, but I spent yesterday morning putting together a few quotes for the Daily Express which ended up here.

BA is not having the greatest PR week at the moment, but in some way they were lucky to get away with the current in-flight service cuts for a month – by the time it started to cause a stink, everyone had gone away ….

Comments (84)

  • Callum says:

    While I’d expect nothing less from such a vile rag, the standard of English in that article (the Express, not here!) is shockingly poor… I hope you got a good fee/good publicity!

    • Alan says:

      Totally agree – they’ve also clearly bought into the ‘clickbait’ style of journalism judging by the majority of their headlines!

    • Russell says:

      Yes indeed. I did like the “Soon-to-be-implicated plans” though!

      I assume that they are trying to outdo the Daily Mail…

  • Sideysid says:

    Is it me or has it got worse over the years? With UFO and conspiracy articles and its tendency to change opinion from one day to the next, I don’t think anyone relys on it as a news source anymore.

  • Emily says:

    I’ve noticed a few people on both the express and DM articles talk about the ‘snacks laid out during the flight’, however the last time I flew to NY those had gone too (the little boxes of chocolate bars in gallery). I was told they were only on the west coast routes now. Was that an official change or just a quiet one?!

  • Mr(s) Entitled says:

    That is 1,800 seats a day from MAN. Anyone have any experience of how full these flights are? I wish them all the success in the world and only hope that Qatar up their game and so I have a good use of Avios from MAN.

    • Dylan says:

      Last year I flew regularly between DXB and MAN, and always on a 380. Can’t vouch for first, but certainly economy and business were usually at or near to full capacity.
      I had one flight last year where it was about half full in business, even the crew found it strange. It was the only flight where the service was well below the usual standard. Pleased hear it’s now all 380, it will make the overnight/early morning flight just that little bit better. 777 at the moment.

  • Jason Hindle says:

    I was surprised to read elsewhere that one of the MAN services will have three cabins. There isn’t really much in the way of ground services, at MAN, to support First.

    • Alex says:

      A first check in, priority security and shared business/first Emirates lounge. No different from the vast majority of outstations?

      • Jason Hindle says:

        The lack of any kind of premium arrivals facility stands out. Though Emirates comes with the benefit that a first class passenger can scrub up on the plane.

  • Ian says:

    These cuts happen every month and yet we all still fly with them and they know it. They have a monopoly at heathrow and as we all know, they have the best loyalty system.

    I think the new CEO will keep cutting prices and lowering the cost base because people will always fly with them and if they can lower prices, even more will fly. Ryanair shows us this!

    I think economy will slowly become more like easyjet while club europe will be what we all remember old economy to be like.

    world traveller will go the way of norwegian and world traveller plus will be how we remember economy to be

    club world will be competitively priced and first class will be their premium product they can charge what they like for

    I think they are betting on a totally different flying experience in the future where the lowest cost base wins and those who want luxury will fly with the gulf airlines via dubai, doha etc

    The thing with cuts is that they can cut 100 things until people are outraged and then bring 1 or 2 back publicly as a publicity stunt and the majority of people are happy and they get the free publicity.

    • John says:

      People keep talking about lower cost, but has the price of BA flights actually dropped?

      • Andrew says:

        Depends on where you fly from…

        I travelled with a mate to West Coast USA this May by BA. My journey started at LHR. His journey started at EDI.

        His ticket was £419, a staggering £190 less than mine.

        • Transgender says:

          Shhh! Don’t say that, otherwise all the people in the regions who complain about BA giving preferential treatment to Londoners won’t know what to think…

  • Andy says:

    The likes of EK must be laughing at all of BA’s penny pinching! If you compare the food in economy and business between EK and BA, EK wins all the time. IFE is the same.

    There is a reason why EK are all A380 from LHR and now Manchester, an A380 from Birmingham and they are even thinking about an A380 from Glasgow!

    People would much rather use EK and connect via Dubai than connect via LHR on Penny Pinching BA. It’s the little things that matter to passengers that add preceded value to passengers.

    • Callum says:


      Firstly, many more fly BA than fly Emirates from the UK (though that’s largely for obvious reasons).

      Secondly, I’m willing to wager that when comparing like-with-like (I.e. MAN-LHR-XXX and MAN-DXB-XXX) people are mostly choosing Emirates on price or convenience. Most people in the “real world” don’t have the slightest idea what the catering difference between BA and EK is!

      • Graeme says:

        I must agree with Callum. Looking at pricing EK from Newcastle always proves the best value compared to connecting to other hubs via other airlines. The majority of people couldn’t give a toss about whether they have an amuse bouche or not and can survive the flight length without starving to death on one meal. I appreciate the priorities on this site are somewhat different. Travel economy stay luxury is a mantra quite a few follow.

      • Leo says:


      • James67 says:

        Tend to agree too, I doubt food plays any significant part in choice, likewise other factors like perception of service. However, I do think the seat and pitch do play a part, as does the desire to fly an a380. Therefore, once EK gets people onboard an a380 and they experience better seats, IFE and a more pleasant cabin ambiance then they know they very likely have a repeat customer because passengers remember those things whilst they remember 777s for the same things but negative reasons. There is also the Heathrow dimension, many regional passengers avoid it like the plague although I personally prefer a longhaul direct overnight flight departing LHR than a middle of the night transit in the ME. What is interesting is that the totally horrid 10 accross 777s EK has operated for years has obviously not been a deterent for cutomers so at the end of the day price and opportunity to fly a380 are likely key drivers for EK exLHR, with the same plus avoidance of LHR exRegions. Where it gets interesting is if we ignore BA and compare factors influencing choice between ME3. EK clearly continues to be the dominant player here despite having what would appear (to me at least) the highest fares of the three so it is clearly not just about price. I think it is most likely a combination of competitive pricing, a380 brand association and the regions-DXB-regions opportunities that underpin their success whith your average 1-3 timesca year economy traveller. I get the impression to that TAs push EK big time so perhaps they make more money from EK than from other airlines

  • Andy says:

    For what’s it’s worth and just for the reply I will get I did send a quick one line complaint to BA about the tiny packet of crisps on my recent flight to Krakow.

    I then got one of the email surveys and rated anything to do with catering as the lowest rating possible and then copied and pasted my one line complaint into the comments boxes!

    • Genghis says:

      And the response: “we’re sorry about your delayed flight from Kraków… We really value you as a [insert status level] BAEC member…” 🙂

      • Modern Day Sinbad says:

        lol! I have JUST received that email from BAEC in response to my complaint about catering!

    • Lord Snooty says:

      I just got back from Nice in economy. What sort of image does BA try to present with pinstriped waist coat attired flight attendants handing out crisps? To Fly to Serve : CRISPS! Easyjet will offer me something for a few quid. Free but poor quality just doesn’t say “customer service ” it says “mug”. BA need my bum to fill up their planes so they can demand price upwards faster but it’s just too mean and restricted now.

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