News in brief:
Save 30% on Etihad business and economy fares
Etihad is currently running a new ‘friends and family’ promotion for bookings until 12th November. Code STFECO save 30% on the base fare of an economy ticket whilst STFBUS saves 30% on the base fare of a business class ticket.
You must travel between 15 January and 30 June 2017 and book via the Etihad website here.
Because the taxes make up a high percentage of economy ticket prices, this deal is most effective for business class seats.
The BA obsession with Norwegian continues …..
The British Airways obsession with low cost long-haul carrier Norwegian continues. In recent weeks British Airways has launched services from Gatwick to Fort Lauderdale and Oakland – fairly random destinations which just happen to be also flown by Norwegian.
BA CEO Alex Cruz has constantly referenced Norwegian in messages to staff. The move to 10-abreast economy seating on the Boeing 777 fleet was described in the investor presentation last Friday as “Gatwick’s new B777 configuration will give a lower cost/e-seat than Norwegian B787”.
Yesterday, members of the BA Future Lab programme received a questionnaire asking for any feedback on recent long-haul flights with Norwegian. Participants are asked to write a TripAdvisor-style review of their Norwegian flight before answering questions about whether it was value for money. Participants are also being asked what difference they spotted from flying BA and how they felt about the ‘bundles’ of on-board services available for purchase. One lucky questionnaire filler will receive £100!
It isn’t clear where all this will end but it is unlikely to be positive …..
Odd things happening with the Terminal 5 Aspire Lounge
When the Club Aspire Lounge opened in Terminal 5 at Heathrow (here is our latest review), there was some annoyance that, whilst it was open to Priority Pass cardholders, it was NOT available to members of sister scheme Lounge Club.
This was especially frustrating for American Express Preferred Rewards Gold cardholders, since they get two free entries to a Lounge Club airport lounge each year.
However, the Terminal 5 Aspire Lounge does now appear on the Lounge Club website – see here.
And yet the lounge is NOT accepting Lounge Club cards. A couple of HfP readers have contacted me to say that they tried to enter using Lounge Club but were turned away. The door agent knew that the lounge was on the Lounge Club website but said that it is a mistake.
My hope is that Lounge Club has jumped the gun and that there will soon be an arrangement in place. Some additional seating is currently being added to the lounge which may have encouraged the owners (who also own Lounge Club) to relax the access rules.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (August 2022)
As a reminder, here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit card:
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.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
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 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.