Bits: Etihad 30% discount codes, BA stalks Norwegian, T5 Aspire lounge & Lounge Club

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.

Etihad A380

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 …..

Aspire Lounge Heathrow Terminal 5

Odd things happening with the Terminal 5 Aspire Lounge

When the Aspire Lounge opened in Terminal 5 at Heathrow, 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 HFP article compares the UK lounge networks of Priority Pass and 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 websitesee 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.

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  1. Cumulative seems to be the consensus.

  2. OT:

    A friend is looking to use avios to buy a pair of BOSE headphones? I have looked and can’t think of anyways of doing it. Any ideas? Gift cards etc? I know it wouldn’t be the best use but he has 95K and just wants to save cash. Many thanks

  3. It amazes me how Alex Cruz destroys BA – clearly a wrong person for the position! His mindset is to compete with Norwegian, easyJet and Ryanair, while he should be looking at what more traditional airlines are still offering. BA is no longer a premium airline.

    • the real harry says:

      I think you are perhaps looking at the situation very narrowly as a ‘bum on a seat’

      Cruz’s focus will be driven by shareholders and the requirements of the pension fund trustees

      so he is all about increasing contribution & of course that includes increasing turnover & reducing costs

      whether you like his methods of getting those business results & how he is structuring short term vs longer term tactics/ strategy is a matter of opinion 🙂

      • BA wants to be a premium airline, people used to choose BA because everything was included, I did recommend BA to my friends bribing them with “and you’ll get g&t completely free”… if BA wants to stay premium, they should keep offering a premium service. If BA wants to go the LCC route then they’re on the loosing as Norwegian has better offering in Y already – newer planes, lower rates, and soon same narrow seat as BA.

        • the real harry says:

          Norwegian don’t fly from Heathrow – as a first objection

          ask me if I want BA HBO from Heathrow – no F&B – for the same price as LCC from Luton/ Gatwick etc – then often I would say BA – as it happens my Avios make Plus ticket the same price as LCC, so I still just about prefer BA, booze or no booze

          especially as I can get exit seats for free instead of £18 🙂

        • BA has something norweigen will never have.

          All the slots at LHR. Without them it is nothing, with them it’s a license to print money.

        • so all those aircraft from other airlines that we see flying in and out of Heathrow; do they not need slots?

        • Exactly. And Heathrow landing fees are so high, BA could not compete with a Gatwick flight by Norwegian. So what happens …. will BA move long hauls to LGW?!

        • They’ll do what we’d all do. Push up prices from LHR and move the most price elastic routes to LGW if they think they have more profitable inelelastic routes from LHR.

          AA, JAL and now Qatar flights from LHR are revenue share with BA so yes I’m saying it’s absolutely shocking how many effective revenue slots IAG has.

          Any BA, IB, Aer lingus, AA, JAL or Qatar flight out of LHR is IAG group revenue.

          Someone must be able to do the maths there, what % the above airlines account for with respect to LHR slots.

  4. Brian W says:

    I’ve arrived home this evening to a letter re my BAPP – Changes to Terms and Conditions coming into effect 26th Jan 17. All boring stuff that means little except one term that worries me:

    “If you use third party services (such as Paypal), we are not able to identify where you have made the purchase, which means we are unable to provide any merchant or industry specific rewards which are linked to the underlying purchase”

    I seriously hope that doesn’t mean you won’t collect Avios on payments charged to the card via PayPal. Hopefully it just means the shopping protection etc won’t cover you if the purchase goes wrong!

    • I would take that to mean that you will not get a statement credit where offered if the card is used directly e.g. on £500 spent at BA at present.
      You get Avios wherever you spend so Paypal should be alright.

    • I think that refers to category specific bonus points, although these are more common in the US.

      E.g. if you were to pay for a BA flight using Paypal (funded with your BAPP), Amex wouldn’t know that the spend was with BA as it would appear as a payment to Paypal. So you would only get the standard 1.5 Avios per £, rather than the 3 Avios per £ that you would normally get for spend with BA.

      But your point about shopping protection is also true.

  5. Simon Schus says:

    Where are they popping the new seating in the Aspire T5? Is it an expansion or are they replacing something (i.e. the ‘bedding’ area).

  6. TravellerFrequently says:

    Thought FutureLab participation involved not disclosing what is discussed……?