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Bits: no families in T5 First Wing?, new Virgin route to Oz, 30% off Millennium Hotels

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News in brief:

Are families and groups banned from the new First Wing?

I ran some new pictures yesterday of the dedicated ‘First Wing’ about to open in Terminal 5.  This will feed Gold and First Passengers directly into Galleries First.

One of the comments to the article posed a question so obvious that I hadn’t thought about it.  Because the First Wing takes you directly into the Galleries First lounge, Galleries First entry rules must apply.  One guest only.

This means that, as a Gold, I cannot use the First Wing when travelling on a non-First Class ticket with my family as my wife is only Silver.  I’m sure they’d let us use the First Wing check-in desks but we would be forced to use the main security lines (and double back on ourselves to get to them) as we would not be allowed into Galleries First, even if we promised to walk straight out again and head into Galleries Club.  Unless I’ve missed something?

Virgin Australia to launch Hong Kong to Australia

Virgin Australia is planning to launch new services from Hong Kong to an unnamed Australian city later in 2017.   The slots at Hong Kong are reportedly already agreed although the destination city is not fixed.

It isn’t all good new for Virgin Australia though.  A planned Abu Dhabi to Perth flight, due to start in June, was cancelled this week before it even launched.  The Abu Dhabi to Sydney service was closed last month.

With Virgin Atlantic still flying from London to Hong Kong, this opens up an option to get to Australia with a plane change in Hong Kong.  It would require two separate redemptions, and Virgin Australia redemptions need to be return flights, but it opens up a glimmer of hope for anyone annoyed when Virgin Atlantic scrapped its own Australia flights.

Millennium Copthorne

30% off at Millennium Hotels

Millennium Hotels, which runs a range of 5-star properties with a strong London focus, including The Chelsea Harbour Hotel, emailed me about their new early booking offer.

Until 30th March, you will receive a 30% discount on flexible rates when booking direct at least 14 days in advance.  You need to be a My Millennium member to get this, but signing up is free.

Full details are on their website here.  The offer is good for stays until 31st December.

Hotel offers update – July 2021:

Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Want to buy hotel points? There is currently a special offer running with Hilton Honors (100% bonus to 29th July), IHG Rewards (75% bonus to 13th August) and World of Hyatt (25% discount to 25th August).

Comments (82)

  • Gill says:

    OT – I’ve just completed a trip that will bump me to bronze. Flying out again on Wednesday and want to take advantage of early check in. Any point calling BA or just wait for the status upgrade online?

    • Genghis says:

      Early check in?

    • Gavin says:

      You mean choosing seats 7 days in advance? You just need to be patient!

      • Gill says:

        Yes, sorry I meant seat selection. I will patiently await. Thanks.

    • Peter K says:

      As bronze you get early exit from the plane as well… Just bring a parachute. It helps cut down on claims from late arrivals.

  • DanK says:

    It has been reported to Hong Kong Airlines flight from Hong Kong to Gold Coast and Cains have a very low load factor, I wonder how will Virgin doing on this route.

    • the real harry1 says:

      Are you sure it’s Cairns / Brisbane? Those are rather small vs Perth or Sydney

      • John says:

        Yes, CNS, no, not BNE but OOL.

        HK airlines is like air transat or maybe norwegian.

    • flyforfun says:

      Isn’t Brisbane Virgins Australia/ home hub? Might make for good timing and connections to other flights.

      Any idea what aircraft they will be flying? Not the dreaded Nightmareliner or an over packed 777.

  • Waribai says:

    Quick question about those fast track barriers such as at Gatwick. How do you take a guest through as presumably their boarding pass won’t scan to open the barrier ?

    • John says:

      Wave down a person

    • Stu N says:

      Just go to a manned lane or have your +1 scan and wait for the person when while they are rejected. Both work.

      • Waribai says:

        Thanks, Yes. I’ve noticed at Gatwick North though you often have to wait a bit for someone to come over by which the time the people behind you are less than pleased!

  • Leo says:

    OT: Impressed with BA lounge at Gatwick – nicer than T5 if you ask me. Flying J on Cathay. Lounge Dragon (actually very sweet) said “Is that Oneworld?” I said yes and she waved me through.

  • Roger says:

    OT – MBNA AA card.
    The current bonus is 5k AA miles. Any ideas when do you get bonus posted to your AA account?
    I assume it will be when the first statement points gets transferred to AA account.
    IIRC, their T&Cs suggest 6 weeks or so, but as I am longing for AA points very badly for a redemption, I am hoping for this to be posted soon.

    Any feedback welcome!

    • David says:

      In my experience, they will only come with a statement related transfer, they won’t come as a credit on their own between staetments.

  • Peter K says:

    Can you use Virgin Atlantic miles on Virgin Australia? I know they each have their own FF programmes and one is owned by Delta, the other by Emirates. It would be handy if I could however.

  • Dave H says:

    O/T again, a little perk with LeClub properties I didn’t know about, complimentary press reader access, just downloaded a few magazines to keep me occupied on my trip.

    • Alan says:

      Yep, Qantas offer this too – even on domestic trips – pretty decent selection of magazines!

  • Lewis Watson says:

    Banned is a bit of an exaggeration. Presumably families and groups booked in first can still use it.

    • Rob says:

      Obviously – but Golds will outnumber F pax by, what, 5:1? 10:1?

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