Bits: New InterContinental opens in Ljubljana, Primera Air and the £60 fish dish

News in brief:

New InterContinental in Ljubljana now bookable

InterContinental has confirmed the opening of a brand new hotel in Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana at the end of the month.

Looking at the pictures on the hotel website the interior looks amazing.

intercontinental ljubljana

This will probably turn out to be a smart move from InterContinental as Ljubljana lacks major international hotel chains at present.  The hotel is located close to the train station and a 10 – 15 minute walk from the old town (photo below).

The InterContinental Ljubljana looks like a very good points redemption.  Superior Rooms cost around €225 per night for cash or just 35,000 points.  An IHG hotel with £200 rooms would normally be around 50,000 points per night.

Rooms can be booked now for stays from 31st August 2017. The booking page is here.

Ljubjiana old town

Primera Air food menu – a joke?

A couple of days ago Rob wrote about the upcoming Primera Air service from Birmingham and London to New York and Boston. The primarily economy service is set to launch in April 2018 and the cheapest tickets include nothing but your seat and 10kg of hand baggage.

As the flight time will require you to eat at some point, you can pre-book one of 11 meal options…

… and pay a fortune.

I’ve never seen a ‘buy on board’ price list that looked anything like this one (click to enlarge):

PrimeraAir meal menu

Let’s just hope that the Premium Fish Meal at £60 looks something like this:

fish feast

I can’t even begin to imagine what a £30 ‘infant / baby meal’ looks like.  The page with all the charges is here.

(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.)

ALL GONE: 73 AwardWallet upgrade codes available below!
73 AwardWallet 6-month upgrade vouchers (worth $15 each) to give away today
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  1. Two words… Packed lunch haha

  2. BA Sucks says:

    Alex has already put his hands together to power his brain cell…

  3. David S says:

    Suddenly BA BOB doesn’t seem so bad

    • BigDave says:

      Not at all –
      though last time I BOB’ed they had 1 sandwich left when they got to my row, used my avios
      but still waiting for them to take them off my balance…. so not so bad in the end

  4. Barry cutters says:

    Sorry to say it but these flights will fail. If you want a cheap advanced economy fare to NYC or Boston -they are already available with ba and virgin for sub £400 inc everything.
    Even Norwegians long hail rout s are bi Profitable

    • Barry cutters says:

      *even Norwegians long haul routes are not profitable

    • You pressure that getting to Heathrow or Manchester to access those Virgin/BA flights make them a viable option!

      Primera are obviously operating out or airports where they have monopolies on those routes!

      I personally think it’s pretty genius!

      If bargain basesment is what you’re after, then £220 RTN to both EWR/BOS is great. Go to Boots, get a meal-deal and knock ya socks off!

      If you expect meals, baggage, seat selection, then you just choose their comfort package (the same as Norwegians Lite+ fares) which includes all of the above for £50 a flt or £100 RTN which boosts prices to £320 RTN, still a good deal! Still cheaper that both Virgin/BA even before you add the cost of trains/parking/hotels of getting to MAN/LHR if you live in the likes of the Midlands, Wales, southwest or east anglia!

      The reality is, there is ZERO need for ANYONE to spend £60 on a meal, the airline is just making profit off those dumb enough not to realise!

      • Andrew says:

        For some reason your ASCII character 46 is mapping to character 33.

        You can over-ride this by holding down the alt-key and keying “046” on the numeric keypad then releasing the alt-key.

      • Barry cutters says:

        I just booked a Newcastle-Boston return , changing in Heathrow (1h 20m change ) for £340 with BA for a couple of family members .
        Reality is when going to NYC or Boston 75% of people or even more will need a checked bag. I would also think a high % of people value seat selection, free drinks , some food, the security of multiple flights per day, connections to other places in the USA , and on a carrier you have actually heard of. All in all this puts these flights in the same price bracket as ba/virgin/aa/delta/etc.

        I’m confident these new flights will fail within a year , and don’t see the need for additional competition on one of the busiest routes in the world. It’s a known fact that economy in these two routes is subsided by the high number of j seats each day.

        The new London city flights in business only -without the stop in Shannon- is interesting tho. I love ba001 and feel it is one of the most special routes in the world. but as someone with global entry I don’t need the immigration stop in Ireland. Might give this new lcy -JFK flight a go if the seat looks decent and the price is reasonable

        • I doubt that. Seat selection for most is limited to either seating together or having an aisle or window seat. Even for that they won’t pay. Multiple flights are irrelevant as most people rightly assume that their booked flight will get them their at roughly the announced time. The airline needs to feel secure, so better not be from a country that itself has stability issues or is small. British Airways sounds better than Andorra Airways, even if that has nothing to do with actual safety records.

          Food and drinks, yes, but that is about to change now. You don’t get food on taxis, busses, trains, ships, etc. anymore unless you are in First class.

  5. With the combined pitfalls of long/delayed flights, running out of BOB and a faddy child I always travel with a small cooler bag full of ham and smoked salmon sandwiches which have never gone to waste so far. Though on Primera Air presumably I’d need to know how much they weighed!

  6. Michael says:

    Does anybody know how long it’s supposed to take BOB avios purchases to post?

    • BigDave says:

      Hopefully never,
      As I have still not been deducted for ones I used in June
      what if you had a zero balance and they deduct 6 months later?

      • You probably get a negative balance. Have seen this on other reward systems where you return a purchase but after you spent the points you earned from buying it.

    • Completely random from my experience. Have had purchases deduct in a couple of days, and one from 23 June not deduct until 30 July

  7. There is an excellent Radisson Blu in Ljubljana. It was formerly a great independent, the Plaza.

  8. Alex W says:

    Slovenia – pretty country. Boring, unfriendly locals. That’s my sweeping generalisation after a short visit.

  9. Tim Millea says:

    When travelling hand luggage only, I always order my toiletries from Boots online for collection at the airside Boots in the terminal. Having developed a reluctance to pay silly money for awful airline food over many years, I also pick up sandwiches and drink from Boots at the same time. I have a weakness for milk so it is a usually couple of pints and a couple of 99p sandwiches – chicken, tuna or egg-mayo. If everyone did like me, Primera and many other BOB airlines would be unviable.

    • Tim, might you be kind enough to post your itineraries in advance please? I suspect others may wish to avoid sharing your airspace.

  10. Blowfish says:

    We should take a leaf out of Hanibal Lectors book when he brings a Dean & DeLuca lunch box on board his flight.(minus the bit of brain though!)

  11. Sussex bantam says:

    Ah. Lovely llujbiana. Very pretty place for a weekend away. Shame it is such a faff to get to

    • Adria from Gatwick?

      • Sussex bantam says:

        Thanks but I can’t find any record of that on either the Adria website or in Expedia. Maybe it has stopped ? Only london option appears to be easyJet from stansted

        • Sam Goss says:

          Easyjet Gatwick or Stansted, Wizz from Luton or Adria from Manchester seems to be the offering – the Easyjet options seem pretty well timed for a slightly longer weekend

  12. You would think on that menu they simply missed out a decimal point…

    Don’t think LCC long-distance travel will ever work; otherwise Ryanair would have cleaned up a long time ago. The perceptions of amenities that even BA supply (both hard and soft product) increase disproportionately to the length of time of flight.

    • Michael Jennings says:

      I’ve seen similar BOB menus where the numbers were in that range, and the currencies were NOK, DKK, and SEK, too, so that’s another theory, given that these guys are Scandinavian.

      It must be a mistake of some kind.

  13. Mark Bates says:

    Interesting business model [that no one will purchase?] However as a cheap as chips way to over the pond it is an interesting prospect for me [I can get a direct train to BHX in 20 mins from home] Just shows to do your homework.
    However they are “only” charging £25 for a 23kg bag, that is £5 less than Ryanair charge for a 20kg bag for a sub-1 hour flight to DUB!

  14. Andrew says:

    Similar pricing model to Club Europe – a meal for £60, same seat.

  15. ankomonkey says:

    OT: Has anyone been able to get Le Club Platinum benefits (particularly room upgrades) at a Fairmont hotel since they were purchased by Accor? Are they even integrated to that level yet?

    • Not tried yet, although do have the upgrade vouchers sitting in my account.

      Also received Accor Plat gift through the post of a Moleskin notebook, rather unexpectedly! Anyone else had that?

      • Yep – x2 arrived in the post over the last week. I thought they may have extended my Plat validity but no luck there…

        • Indeed, would have much preferred they extend validity than send me that notebook. Can feel like I’m on Dragon’s Den now though… 😉

        • Genghis says:

          Just checked my account and I still have LCAH Plat but no moleskin for me…

        • Interestingly the Plat card that was in the pack also says ‘MEETING PLANNER’ on it (as I signed up for that deal too, albeit not expecting I’ll get anything from it) – had you signed up for that or just have Plat. Not sure it makes a difference but did wonder…

        • Genghis says:

          I signed up for the meeting planner thing too when that came out but didn’t get anything from it as didn’t use it. Alas.

        • Ah well, bang goes that theory 😀

        • Alex W says:

          Wife and I received those Accor packs recently. Weirdly, they were each addressed to our respective Ltd companies. Don’t remember ever giving that information to Accor?!

      • ankomonkey says:

        Not had the moleskin notebook, but read about it on LL and desperate to receive one. I do love airline/hotel loyalty scheme bling!

        • I got one and my wife got one. Nice enough but I’m not short of notebooks – you tend to collect them in this line of work, companies always think media people want free notebooks.

        • Wally1976 says:

          Ah thanks Genghis, wondered why mine said “Meeting Planer” (sic) – now I remember!

      • I got the moleskin notebook the other day, and like most people would have preferred them to stick to their old loyalty programme. I’m avoiding them now my platinum will be running out in Dec and sticking to Hilton.

  16. O/T: I’m a new AMEX Platinum cardholder, looking to book a car rental with Hertz. Does the Five Star benefit include a free second driver? I vaguely remember seeing this somewhere on the Hertz website but can’t find it now. I have asked AMEX, but the rep didn’t know.

  17. Simon L says:

    OT: Is it still possible to recommend someone for the Lloyds Avios Amex? I don’t find any link to do this!

  18. Good luck primera….the new IC looks fab but how the hell do you get there! Seems LTN is the only option pity really love to try it

  19. OT but just got an e-mail from Norwegian talking about a new Lounge they have called Clubrooms, I wonder will that mean premium passangers will use that one rather than the No1 Lounge.

  20. BlueHorizonUK says:

    OT – Do we know how long it takes for IHG to give the free night? My wife and I both applied at the same time and she has got hers but mine hasn’t shown up yet.


    • BlueHorizonUK says:

      Sorry, should say this is for the Creation card

    • Alex W says:

      Been waiting about 2 months for mine. IHG and Creation both saying to talk to the other one. Not sure where to go next? FOS?

      • Genghis says:

        My actual anniversary was c. 13 July. Annual statement posted 25 July. Voucher posted early morning of 30 July.

  21. Georges Pharand says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if one day these airlines start charging £25 to go to the toilet.

  22. Hedgecock says:

    Is.. is that a screenshot from Dishonored??

  23. Optimus Prime says:

    OT: Well I am an idiot and have booked two cash Economy tickets with AA from Kauai to LAX hoping I could upgrade to Business with miles later on.

    There’s no availability now so I’m stuck with 32000 useless AA miles off MBNA signup and spending.

    Should I keep the card and hope to be able to redeem them in the future via Etihad, for example?

    Yeah I know, I should’ve realised upgrades with miles are subject to reward seats availability like BA (and I guess everyone else?)

    You can use my case as the perfect opposite example to Liz’s planning skills 🙁

    • JamesB says:

      Try calling CS when it gets closer to departure because if they oversell Y you might find they are happy to take your miles for an upgrade if there is any F seats left. At the end of the day the flight’s not that long so no great hardship to sit in Y.

      • haha i agree. but you’re writing this on a site where people actually pay for club europe! And i’m pretty sure there was a recent article even trying to claim it was worth it hahaha

  24. David2910 says:

    Team hfp. Can I upgrade a flight with avios which I booked into economy via amex travel? Availability showing. Any experience? Do I call BA or Amex Travel? Thank you

    • Depends which booking class it goes into – only certain sub-categories of ticket can be upgraded. Off the top of my head I don’t know the exact ones but they are on It is unlikely that a very cheap economy ticket can be upgraded and in any event you’d need World Traveller Plus availability for Avios redemption which is often tricky to find.

      Bottom line, though, is that travel agent tickets can now be upgraded as long as they are in the right booking class.

      • David2910 says:

        Thanks rob. Messages crossed. Q, O and G fares are the ones that don’t upgrade.

      • JamesB says:

        At the last BAEC devaluation I understood that one of the pluses was that much more cheap booking classes would become uogradeable later that year. Did that ever happen?

    • David2910 says:

      Ignore. I resorted to the traditional approach of reading the readily available t and cs rather than the lazy throw out query to the forum.

      (No, in my case, because of the booking class O)

  25. Julian says:

    These Primera Air meal prices are a total and utter disgrace every bit as deplorable as car hire companies that try to sell you massively expensive 200 Euro insurance policies at the rental desk late at night after the lieing UK car brokers (eg Holiday Autos) told you that the car came with zero excess cover.

    If I had my way every single MBA carrying executive who is trained in these disgusting forms of disguised pricing that leads to suckering customers in with unrealistically low prices and then hitting them with numerous unreasonable add on fees that lead to ill will from customers and brown beaten front line staff would all be stripped of their million pound yachts before being rounded up and incarcerated on on Devil’s Island for five years.

  26. Booked the IC Ljubljana last month for a visit in October so pleased to see it’s actually opening…
    The only problem is getting there from Manchester, means a trip down the motorway to the wonderful Luton airport, not sure what I’ve done to deserve it but at least the hotel will be a tonic at the end of it!

  27. I really hope the fish dish doesn’t come out like that, it looks horrific poor creature…
    And no I’m not a vegetarian.

  28. Keith A says:

    For a £60 meal, I would expect it to come with a bottle of champagne, three glasses of gin & tonic, four pints of beer, a taxi ride home afterwards and another bloody meal! When transatlantic flights to the same destinations on BA, Virgin, LH etc are actually cheaper at times and come with everything, why the hell would anyone want to fly on that new low budget carrier that will probably go bust and leave everyone stranded anyway? I don’t get it at all.

    • Sounds about right, unless you live in Birmingham – but even then, Virgin from Manchester is hardly a long way.

  29. Crafty says:

    OT: Received IHG targeted email today offering 5,000 bonus points for next stay. Clicking through to activate – “you are not eligible for this promotion”. When they emailed me in the first place – bravo.

    Textbook IHG and yet another thing telling me not to bother with their rewards club any longer. Hilton and Carlson only now I think.

    • Whiskerxx says:

      I had exactly the same! Hopeless.

      • Same here. When I click through it asks me to enter the promo code! No sign of it anywhere in the email.

    • JamesB says:

      I had the same earlier this year and followed it up with CS but they refused to budge. I share your sentiments and have recently closed my IHG account.

    • Michael Jennings says:

      Yes, this happened to me too.

      A couple of days ago I applied for the IHG (Creation) credit card. For a couple of minutes, the website told me that my application was being considered, but then this stopped, and it went back to the screen before I submitted my application. I then submitted the application again, and it again told me my application was being considered, and this time after two or three minutes I was told that my application had been declined. Today, though, the IHG website is telling me that I have just been upgraded to gold status because I have an IHG credit card.

      Will I get the credit card in the mail in a couple of days? Who knows, Neither IHG nor Creation are exactly the best at what they do, I fear.

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