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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)

  • Sussex Bantam says:

    OT – Tesco sent me an email offering me 50CC points for changing my contact preferences to online rather than post. No link – just had to change them via the web-site – so I guess not targetted in any way.

    • Andy says:

      I rec’d the same email as well, for 50 CC / 120 Avios points I changed to online clubcard statements as well.

  • krys_k says:

    OT – when did / or do the credit interchange fee caps come into play? I ask, as just bought a car and going to pick it up but the garage wants 1.2% and says that their account department confirms that they are paying 1.2% (the car will get me my Lloyds upgrade voucher in one tasty transaction). Cheers.

    • Rob says:


    • The_Real_A says:

      The interchange cap is not the processing fee the business pays. On top of this they must also pay fee for the equipment + service, which is usually bundled into the % per £ amount the business pays to its payment processor.

      • krys_k says:

        Is that December 2015 or 16 i.e. past or future?
        Any idea what % the equipment and service is?

        • Rob says:

          Past. However, small businesses have to rent terminals etc and that jacks up the total cost. The interchange fee is often not broken out to the shop.

          In reality, only Tesco etc can demand 0.3%.

          Look at the recent list I published of HMRC charges. They want 0.386% on most personal cards which is interchange and handling combined.

          • krys_k says:

            Thanks for that. I’ll get that upgrade voucher, so OK to pay a bit more.

      • Russell says:

        Merchant Acquirers also take a view on the risk of the business collapsing, particularly given that they will be liable under section 75 for customer’s losses.

        When I wanted to change merchant acquirer several years ago, I quickly discovered that most of the new ones then starting up had an absolute ban on dealing with any firms in the travel business.They had no interest in looking at the books or how the business was run. I am out of the business now, but would not be surprised to learn that some merchant acquirers may be trying to drop travel businesses follwing the Lowcostholidays debacle.

        I believe that this is a purely UK thing. If US merchant acquirers are not liable in this way, this would also contribute to why they are able to offers more points and better sign-up offers than they do here.

        On the subject of motor dealers, my local dealer introduced a 3% charge for Visa/M’Card at the beginning of the year. The service manager who I know pretty well keeps telling me that until then, card firms did not make any charge to the motor trade at all, which I find very hard to believe.

        • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

          I don’t believe acquiring banks have any S75 liability. They may have other liabilities though.

        • Fenny says:

          When I bought my car last year, they told me there would be a 3% fee for paying by CC. I was splitting it across 2 cards, so had to take account of this due to different credit limits. In the end, they never charged me the card fee, which saved me over £120.

    • Alan says:

      Amazed you managed to get a garage willing to take a credit card for more than just a deposit! Given the other costs the small business will incur that sounds like a fairly reasonable level of charge to me.

      • Mr(s) Entitled says:

        Whenever I buy a car I always, once the price agreed, confirm that I can use my card for no fee before saying done. It’s an unsual dealer who will let a sale walk out the door for the sake of 1% after all the hard work in getting so close.

        • Alan says:

          Interesting. Always managed to get deposit on card before (which covers you for the whole sale under Section 75) but not the full thing – you make a good point though 😛

      • John says:

        If the garage is passing on the full card fee to the customer then I don’t see why they wouldn’t take it.

        • Alan says:

          Yes, although I’ve seen one garage that just flat-out refused for anything above 500 – didn’t go as far as Mr(s) Entitled though in pushing the point!

      • CV3V says:

        My partner managed to put a huge chunk of a car purchase through on an amex! This was done at the stage of working out the best finance option (silently we were calculating what was best in terms of points!), eventually the salesman got tired and put it through without the fee.

        • Doug says:

          Well when I purchased mine last month, the posh Surrey garage asked me 2% for the benefit of using a credit card. Sadly I don’t get 2p from my avios so I just paid with debit.

          • Wally1976 says:

            Garage I just bought a car from had a 1% fee for credit card transactions over £1k. I got them to take £999 deposit on Lloyds Amex (currently 2.5 avios/£) then when it came to paying the balance I put a further £999 on the Amex and the remainder on Tesco debit 🙂

  • n says:

    OT – Need to top up my Accor account with ~2k points. I have a load of Amex MR points, Virgin Atlantic FC points and Avios. Any way to do this? Thanks!

    • Rob says:

      Amex to Finnair, Finnair to Accor – but you will lose value. Check minimum transfer level first.

      • n says:


        1 MR = 1 Finnair Plus point
        3,500 FP = 500 Accor

        At 2,000 Accor = 40 EUR, that’s 0.25p per MR point.

        I think I’ll pass!

        • n says:

          For ref;

          Minimum MR to FP transfer is 1000 MR points
          Minimum FP to Accor transfer is 3,500 FP points

  • M says:

    Hi guys,

    I just got my priority pass prestige. Yesterday around 2pm I got declined entry at Gatwick South Lounge No.1 (ouch. My first attempt to get inside a lounge!)
    They didn’t grant me access because “I hadn’t pre-booked (£5)”.
    First, I was quite shocked because the priority pass website doesn’t mention pre-booking.
    Secondly, why do I have to pay £5 more when the prestige membership is already quite high and gives me unlimited visits…. I am not sure the lounge was full as they only mentioned the pre booking reason.

    Is it common practice to get declined entry? What is your ratio success/fail? I feel disappointed… Maybe I am just being pessimistic! Let me know!


    • Rob says:

      No 1 lounges get very busy as a) a lot of airlines use them as official lounges and b) No 1 sell a lot of spots direct. PP just fills in the gaps.

      You can go online, pay £5 and guarantee a spot. They are the only lounge group to do this.

      • Mdhayes says:

        we just paid £7.50 for a glass of champagne instead, rather pay £7.50 than £5 and actually get something. If you purchase any of the extras you get the £5 waived.

    • Alan says:

      Gatwick is a major problem just now – never had an issue at Edinburgh (although we’re pretty well covered with BA, No 1 and an Aspire lounge!)

    • M says:

      Thanks guys for your inputs

    • Doug says:

      Which day of the week? I will be there next Wed 6pm and I wonder if I could save £10…

  • Ben says:

    I bought an unlimited visits priority pass with the previous 15 months + 20% off offer. From memory it was about £220 for the 15 months. I’ve used it at least 12 times in the past 4 months alone so it will easily be ‘worth it’. As someone with OW Sapphire and *A Gold, yes its very nice to fly with an alliance carrier with lounge access (LHR T2 is lovely) but when you’re comparing this flight at £100 compared with a £30 LCC flight its very hard to justify the extra expense just for the status benefits, and that’s where my PP membership comes in.
    I’d value each visit at about £10 and with the exception of the LHR T4 Plaza Premium lounge, there have been none I’ve wanted to spend more than about 30 minutes in (some of them are horrid). It is however nice to grab a drink, something to eat (the food varies more than anything else in these lounges), recharge devices and use a clean, quiet bathroom. The food and drink savings alone compared with buying on board easily covers the cost of the visit.
    If you take a LOT of LCC flights I’d recommend considering it but you’d want to use it at least once a month for it to be ‘worth it’.

    • The_Real_A says:

      Totally agree. have been doing this for that 10 years (private lounges rarely served food in those days!)

  • Russell says:

    Good publicity for the site, but Jesus, that article was awful.

    Are they sure they know what “implicated” means?

    • Robman says:

      O/T, I want to cancel my BAPP card when I trigger the 2-4-1 voucher. I will refer my wife before cancelling my card. Does anyone know whether she will be successful in being approved the card if she is a housewife and has no personal income, only joint income through me?

  • simon says:

    O/T Sorry if this has already been covered, but can anyone shed any light on the reason why the BA Avios Explorer Map is not working. Every time I log on it says ” temporarily unavailable” .

    • Rob says:

      BA has scrapped it

      • Worzel says:

        Any reason for this Rob? I found it a useful facility-and chased them up nearly 3 weeks ago with no reply.

        It was due to be out of order for most of May but…….?

        • Rob says:

          No idea. However, the bottom line is that it wasn’t accurate and BA may have found it was causing more trouble than it was worth.

    • Jonathan says:

      The avios flight finder app on the iPhone doesn’t show any availability on flights past November 2016. What’s the reason for this?

  • harry says:

    O/T Flash sale on WizzAir today only 20% off all flights.

    Thought you might want to send Anika somewhere, Raffles 🙂

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