Bits: Air New Zealand LA sale, Nobu Hotel Shoreditch opens today, my Uber milestones!

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News in brief:

Air New Zealand Premium Economy deal to LA

Air New Zealand has launched a limited time Premium Economy fare from London to Los Angeles of £815.

Air New Zealand is currently introducing a new Premium Economy product.  At the moment, you will get the Spaceseat:

Air New Zealand Premium Economy

…. but this will switch at some point – planned for September at the moment – to this new seat:

Air New Zealand premium economy

…. with a 41 inch pitch, 19 inch width and a 5 inch wide armrest.  Both look a lot better than the BA / Virgin products!

The airline is also offering Business Class at £2,132 (they use a Virgin / Air Canada style seat) and Economy Class at £381.  You need to book by 12th July.

Full details can be found on this page of the Air New Zealand website.

Nobu Shoreditch exterior

Nobu Hotel Shoreditch opens today

If you are out in London tonight and looking for somewhere different for a drink, the long anticipated Nobu Hotel Shoreditch opens today.

Here is the PR guff:

Set back from the lively hub of Great Eastern Street, Nobu Hotel Shoreditch offers a dynamic blend of Nobu’s signature east-meets-west philosophy and Shoreditch’s creative and industrial energy.

The property boasts 143 guest rooms and seven suites, meeting space, a lobby bar and 240-seat restaurant, which lies at the heart of the building, spanning almost the entire footprint of the hotel. Guests to the hotel and restaurant will be able to enjoy genre-defining Nobu signature dishes, exquisite sushi, and Shoreditch-inspired menus and cocktails.

For those wishing to witness the theatre and artistry of Nobu chefs in action there is the exclusive 10-seat sushi bar and an 18-seat chef’s table, with prime views of both the main kitchen and sushi chefs at work. Giving back to the local area, Nobu Hotel Shoreditch will also be opening a stunning pocket garden, creating a public space between the vibrant streets and the calmness of the hotel, offering an oasis in the heart of East London.

The separate Lobby Bar on the ground floor is also available to both guests and the public, offering an comfortable atmosphere. Alongside a range of Nobu dishes and award-winning cocktails, the Lobby Bar provides a sophisticated retreat in which to socialise, relax or watch the world go by.

It is on Willow Street in a very striking new Ron Arad building (photo above, click to enlarge) if you know your architects.

Uber 350

From April 2018, please use our new Uber sign-up code UBERHEADFORPOINTS via this link, or download the app and add the code via the promo code box on the ‘Payment’ tab.  This gets you £3 off your first ride.

My Uber milestones!

If you’ve ever wondered how driving around with kids can wreck your Uber score, I have the answer!

On its fifth anniversary in London, Uber has been emailing people with their ride data.  This is what I got:

1,147 rides taken

4.59 overall rating

923 five-star ratings received

If you can do your maths, then you quickly work out the following:

923 five-star rides

…. means 224 non five-star rides

Average rating of 4.59 over 1,147 rides

…. means that the other 224 rides got an average score of 2.9!

Now, many of these 1,147 Uber rides did not involve me as the passenger and were used to pick up my kids from school.  I’m pretty the bulk of the 923 five-star rides where my wife or I were passengers, as I used it heavily for a couple of years to go to and from my old office.  But, come on, an average score of 2.9 for the 224 rides which were not ranked as 5/5?! 

The Uber ranking score is meant to be logarithmic. Drivers apparently get ‘deactivated’ if their average ranking goes under 4.6.  Even if you steal the car the driver is not meant to rate you as low as a 2 …..

OK, once my little boy was sick in an Uber.  But that was only one ride …. what about the other 223?!

(PS.  Our ‘£15 first ride’ Uber sign-up code is still working.  This is worth £5 more than the standard refer a friend sign up code.  Simply download the Uber app and add ‘HEADFORPOINTS’ into the promo code box on the Payments page.)

(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.)

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  1. Adrian says:

    Wow the ANZ Spaceseat, this is/was the best PE product ever, goodbye you were great! I got the best sleep I have had on a plane in this seat using my carry on to rest my feet on, as a fat guy this offered so much space. Also as an aside still the best meal I ever had on a plane, NZ lamb shank, it was delicious, better than anything I’ve had in BA First and that was in PE!

    • Must say, I am not sure why ANZ killed it except arguably to fit in more seats.

    • Chris says:

      I absolutely loved the Spaceseat and even preferred (paying for) the Air NZ PE product to (using miles for) BA Club World. Easy to sleep, work, stretch… good service and food that you can hardly believe was prepared in the air. Very disappointed I won’t get to travel this way again. Just tried booking for October and it’s showing the new 2-4-2 configuration – but at least you can reserve one of the few seats where you still won’t get reclined into for an extra £50.

      In comparison, I just experienced Virgin PE on the 787 service LHR-LAX, which… frankly… felt like economy.

  2. OT: Has anybody received the 1000 avios from the recent Marriot signup promotion? Mine still have credited.

  3. Kathy says:

    A great reminder for me of the Uber sign-up code, as I’m planning to use it heavily in LA in a couple of weeks.

  4. AndyR says:

    Sorry OT – if I want to downgrade my BAPP to the free BA Amex is it correct that I can apply for it online and it will recognise I have a BAPP and cancel/migrate it across? Would rather not have to call. Thanks.

  5. Scallder says:

    OT but one for bits: Page 2 of The Times today had a bit about a Which? survey about airline compensation and CAA cases For 2016, 83% of complaints put to the CAA against Norweigan were found in favour of passenger (out of 205). Next 2 worst offenders were Vueling (79% on 103 cases) and Ryanair (77% on 800 cases). BA had 1,166 cases of which 48% were found in favour of passenger…

    • That could mean anything though. I would assume Norwegian tries to avoid settling valid claims whilst BA pays quickly (which it does), so the remaining claims have more ‘chancers’ who lose.

  6. RussellH says:

    More OT:

    Just off the plane at OAK after flying CW from Gatwick

    We were both impressed with the new BA CW lounge at Gatwick – wide choice of decent and interesting wines and spirits. Plus plenty of newspapers too.

    We were pleased with BA’s on-board food + drink too, again, better than expected.

    Seating not too bad, though 8 across a 777 inevitably less spacious than 1+2+1 or 2+2+2 on an A340 CPH-ORD / SFO-CPH last year. BA ambience inevitably more formal and stuffy than SAS though.

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