Bits: Sofitel leaves Priority Pass, error with BA’s 2 year status extensions?, LEVEL launched

News in brief:

Sofitel Terminal 5 lounge leaves Priority Pass

Last July, the five star Sofitel hotel at Heathrow Terminal 5 became a surprise new nember of airport lounge card Priority Pass.

Priority Pass cardholders were able to use the executive lounge on the ground floor of the hotel, Club Millesime, as well as the showers in the gym.  It was a surprisingly decent experience as I reviewed here.  A photo of the lounge is below.

(Because it was a hotel lounge, you also had the odd situation where hotel guests who had not paid for a club room could still use the lounge by showing their Priority Pass!)

Club Millesime has now withdrawn and has disappeared from the Priority Pass website.  It has also gone from the Lounge Key website, used by World Elite MasterCard holders.  The hotel is claiming that the decision is ‘terrorist related’.

Given the lack of an independent arrivals lounge in Terminal 5 – and the fact that the British Airways arrivals lounge closes at 2pm – this is a real loss.

Club Millesime Sofitel Heathrow

Is this why the 2-year status extensions aren’t happening for some?

I wrote on Saturday about the 2-year extensions to British Airways Executive Club status which are being given to people who travelled on the Saturday, Sunday or Monday during the recent IT outage.

Some people, however, did not receive an email informing them of their status extension.  This includes Anika here at HFP.

A picture is now emerging.  Whilst we cannot be 100% sure of this, it seems that some (all?) people whose flights were booked by someone else are not receiving the extension.

This explains why this problem has mainly affected couples, because one person would have booked tickets for both travellers.  In Anika’s case, I booked her flight using Avios from my account because it was a HFP business trip.

I can’t believe that BA has done this on purpose.  I hope, ironically, it is another IT screw-up.  It would be ludicrous even by BA standards to give one half of a couple extended status purely because that was the person who booked the tickets.

Level aircraft

LEVEL premium economy reviewed

LEVEL, the new long-haul budget airline owned by BA’s parent company IAG, launched last week.  It is initially flying from Barcelona to

  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco (Oakland)
  • Buenos Aires
  • Punta Cana

….. using two brand new A330 aircraft.

This is the first review I have seen of the Premium Economy offering on the aircraft, if you’re interested.  This will be the most luxurious seat available on the plane.  This is also the same Premium Economy seat being introduced by Iberia this year.  It will be interesting to compare it with Norwegian’s premium offering which we are testing out in a couple of weeks.

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

Revealed … the peak and off-peak Avios redemption calendars for 2018
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  1. Grimz says:

    OT – I didn’t want to activate my Lloyds Avios voucher (7k spend) until October but due to a delay on a refund I think I have just went over the 7k. If the voucher gets issued and I prove my spend is under 7k can I ask that it is taken back and I reissued when my 7k is spent.

    Anyone out there had this scenario? its difficult keeping tabs on your spend with the Lloyds card.

    • Unfortunately I doubt it – agree very tricky to keep track of and quite frustrating! No harm in raising it but suspect their IT won’t be able to cope with cancelling and reissuing! I’ve now tried to leave a £500 to £1k buffer to stop it being triggered, I’d almost prefer the IHG card setup where at least you know when you’ll be receiving it each year! Also costs them money as I don’t put any extra on the card as I’m waiting until as late as possible to trigger it, so lots of spend goes elsewhere.

      • Grimz says:

        I think I might have some back up with the terms and conditions ‘The £7,000 spend threshold excludes cash withdrawals, balance transfers, refunded purchases, interest, fees and other charges’.

        • Genghis says:

          But if the refund hasn’t yet been processed then you’re over the threshold and hence meet the requirements. I doubt the T&Cs mention anything on taking the voucher away should you go back below the threshold.

        • Grimz says:

          I just realised the flight only needs to be booked within 12 months. You are effectively getting 2yrs to use this voucher. ( :

          What a break that was as your right I was over the threshold.

        • Oh yes, it’s definitely a pretty decent voucher – I just like to leave myself the most flexibility possible!

      • Quite, I’ll have triggered the spend within 6 months of taking out the card (as well as the 2 4 1; I’ve now had to actively look for other reward cards to transfer my spending too as I’ve been way more successful than I anticipated!). If the voucher was triggered every time you spent £7000, I would keep on spending on the cards, however they have lost the other 6 months of my spend to another provider until the card year starts over.

  2. Robert Bongo says:

    Jolly poor show for the Sofitel to make such a lame excuse , for the reason they have given perhaps they should close the whole hotel down as every hotel guest has the potential to be a security risk.
    ..It”s obvious at the end of the day it’s been done for commercial reasons …Sofitel own up…

    • Presumably terrorists are incapable of booking rooms which would give them lounge access, should they wish to use it?

      • Geordie says:

        And presumably incapable of hiring 7.5 tonne vans, should they wish to raid the Sofitel lounge of its wares….

    • the_real_a says:

      And incapable of walking through the hotel / lobby without “signing” in at the relevant desk.

  3. The Norwegian Premium cabin looks a much better product than Level Premium Econony.