Bits: New BA Corsica route bookable, photos and access rules for Plaza Premium T5 lounge

News in brief:

New BA route to Figari, Corsica now bookable

I mentioned yesterday that Alex Cruz, BA CEO, announced a new route to Figari in Corsica (picture below) in his speech at World Travel Market on Monday.

This flight is now bookable on ba.com, either for cash or Avios.

Flights will operate once per week, on Sundays, from 25th March to 21st October.

Flights depart Heathrow at 12.05, arriving at 15.30.  The return flight leaves Figari at 16.15, arriving in Heathrow at 17.40.

British Airways Figari Corsica

Access information for new Plaza Premium Terminal 5 lounge

Yesterday I wrote about the opening of the new Plaza Premium lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5 which promises to massively improve the British Airways travelling experience for anyone travelling in Economy who has no BA status.

I wasn’t sure yesterday if the lounge was accepting Priority Pass or Lounge Club.  Historically there has been a lag of a few weeks between the opening of a Plaza Premium lounge and its acceptance of these cards.

Reader feedback yesterday is that neither Priority Pass or Lounge Club are accepted at the moment.

American Express Platinum IS accepted, due to the exclusive Plaza Premium deal with Amex.  This includes a guest.

Dragon Pass is accepted – see their website here.  You are only likely to have one of these if you are a Barclays current account holder opted into the travel pack add-on.

Lounge Key (issued with World Elite MasterCards) does not yet list it on their website.  As Lounge Key is owned by Priority Pass, I am guessing it will not yet get you in.

And, of course, you can use good old money on the door.

Here are some publicity photographs for the lounge.  There is an official press event at the end of the month and we will do a full review at that point.

Plaza Premium Lounge Heathrow Terminal 5

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Plaza Premium Lounge Heathrow Terminal 5

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Plaza Premium Lounge Heathrow Terminal 5

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Plaza Premium Lounge Heathrow Terminal 5

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Plaza Premium Lounge Heathrow Terminal 5

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BA or Virgin (or Uber?) - comparing the Clubcard conversion incentives this quarter
What Alex Cruz had to say at World Travel Market yesterday
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Comments

  1. OT but related. Really strange anomaly at LGW (flew easy jet to BOD) and BA home. Our lounge key was not accepted at no 1 traveller, but our Priority pass was. Despite PP owning lounge key. This is something l must take up with LK actually. As we don’t have our PP now and will rely on LK or BA card for access.

  2. OT. Took advantage of a Swiss sale I read about on HFP and am now sitting next to a beach in Goa. All great and many thanks. Still, on my return I will have approx 10k Miles and More points and very rarely use Swiss, Lufthansa et al. Looking at redemption rates on flights and hotels they are not very tempting to use there either.
    Are there any other options? They have ”Partner” hotels mentioned but I cannot see if you can use M&M for a hotel points swap at all. Reductions in cost are there but these appear weak and for high end hotels a basic amount far higher than the 10k.

    • I see you have trouble switching off too…

      • Indeed Andrew, but I find 30-45 minutes each day, even when on holiday, cuts down on an awful lot of catching up and a lot less work problems on my return. Not all work though, since I posted this I have been to the beach, had lunch, organised a Goan cookery lesson with the hotel chef and am preparing for cocktails. Hardly a martyr 🙂

  3. Hmm go to Edinburgh tomorrow. Just got my gold card so which lounge? First or Plaza premium? Might try both as I should be able to decent breakfast BA First.

    I have noticed some improvement in BA lounges since the opening of these competitors.

    • Chris Bird says:

      Hi Paul, worth bearing in mind that it is not your gold card that grants you access. Around two weeks after receipt of the gold card, you should receive your lounge club card, this has two free lounge access passes.

      • Crowtravel says:

        It reads like he’s just got his BA Gold card, as no Amex card gets you in the BA First lounge where Paul is planning to enjoy breakfast.

    • WhiteManVan says:

      The breakfast in the gold lounge is a step down from the bacon rolls in the silver lounge

  4. Those individual both seats look very narrow. They’ve even had the case moved to the side partially blocking the other booth.

    But at least it is something else to try at LHR.

    • Lady London says:

      Rob’s words The Plaza Premium lounge at T5….. “promises to massively improve the British Airways travelling experience for anyone travelling in Economy who has no BA status.”

      I have BA status, but as soon as Priority Pass or LoungeKey is accepted, I’ll be massively improving my British Airways travelling experience by dumping the BA Lounge and effectively paying for Plaza Premium instead.

      • Or, the best way is, get rid of BA – even though that’s quite hard to achieve when you’re flying from Heathrow.

    • Karen robertson says:

      Went and sat in them all – more comfortable than they look! There are also some much bigger work cubicles which are very comfy and secluded – really like them

  5. OT – anyone else seeing delays in BA Amex Avios appearing in their BAEC account? My month’s spend left Amex on 2/11 and they haven’t appeared in BAEC yet. Usually happens overnight.

    • Glad I’m not the only person having this problem! I was going to call Amex today – I will report back later.

      • Yes me too – mine was 2/11 too and I haven’t received them yet!

      • I had the same problem and called Amex earlier in the week. They claimed it was a BA problems as they had sent the Avios on the due day (2nd). Apparently they have a backlog to process. Any how, checked my BAEC this morning and the miles have come overnight.

    • Interesting, having this problem on my SPG card.

      • We have the SPG Card too with the same statement date as the BAPP – the SPG pts transferred over ok.

    • Me too, last month they posted the next day, this time still waiting after 3 days. I thought they had just realised I will be cancelling my card this month and were using delaying tactics!

      • RussellH says:

        Almost exactly the same scenario with my SPG too. But Amex were cannier with me – they left 48 points behind when they cleared out my spend points and my sign-up bonus points. The 48 were showing in my points balance too before the transfer. I had expected to have cancelled my card by now, but instead I have decided to keep spending on it until around 25 Nov.

  6. Can anyone confirm that access to the lounge is free with the Amex Platinum card

    • Yes it is, reader just sent me some real pics and got in that way. 4 customers at the time!

    • This seems to be the case.

      Can anyone confirm if an *expired* Amex Plat works?

      • Karen robertson says:

        They checked mine quite carefully . . . but maybe they’re reading this website!

        • Genghis says:

          Hi Karen. When they take the card off you on entry, what did they do? Swipe the card or just look at it?

        • Karen robertson says:

          Just looked at it and wrote some stuff on a logbook type thing. Didn’t seem to be any computerised stuff yet

        • RussellH says:

          What did work for me a few months ago was a long-expired AA card in a Moto/Costa services. previously they have just glanced at the card and given the 20% discount. This time they swiped the card through the till – still worked, even though it was a card I got about 18 months ago and never paid for.

  7. OT – does anyone have a link to the BAEC Map based reward flight finder, frustratingly I can’t locate it. I found it useful as it shows geographically the airports to which BA fly

  8. At least Jeremy Corbyn is starting to dress a little smarter.

  9. Gin and Tonic Please says:

    OT: Had a few new Amex Offers appear on my cards this morning:

    £50 off £250 at Hilton
    £100 off £250 at Royal lancaster Hotel
    £10 off £30 at Addison Lee
    5% off £30 at Addison Lee (multiple use)
    £25 off £100 at Majestic Wines (voucher code)

    • I have added the Hilton offer. Does anyone know if buying a £250 Hilton gift card would trigger this? Do gift card purchases go through as Hilton, or are they supplied by a 3rd party issuer?

      • Website ones are 3rd party

      • fivebobbill says:

        If you read the terms of the offer, there is a specific list of the hotels the offer can be applied to… AND you must settle up with the Amex Platinum at checkout!

        Not as good a deal as it first appears

        • indeed, only valid on a list of hotels in uk and europe. Was in the process of booking a hotel in Vietnam when i decided to read the terms and conditions!

        • Yes, the 3% FX is a net loss – but you’re still up and for work stays the 3% is not your problem.

    • Am i right in assuming its cumulative spend? I assume its any spend ie restaurant / bar etc…will count?

  10. Gavin Tiffin says:

    If any use to people, Clydesdale Bank gave me 6 free Annual Dragon Passes with my account, for no extra cost, came with free travel insurance etc as well.

  11. One thing I don’t like about the Aspire lounge in T5 is it’s ‘openess’, you get a lot of background noise from the humdrum of the airport. Seems like Plaza Prem is also quite open so it’ll be interesting to see hiw it compares.

    • Karen robertson says:

      It’s very quiet – no noise other than some of the louder planes taking off

  12. I dont know if anyone can help or has a similar problem but I am not seeing images in either posts of the email for the last week or so. Its not affecting any other websites I use and I can see ad’s on the site itself so I wondered if anyone had any tips as to what it might be? I switched ISP a couple of weeks ago so not sure if that is the issue?

    Any help greatly appreciated as want to see the pics of the new PP T5.

  13. Karen robertson says:

    Currently in the Plaza lounge – great view of end of runway, good breakfast although bread rolls a little hard as left in hot place (not stale just too hard to eat), loved the sausages which whilst cheap were very tasty. Hardly anyone in here which is great! They did take my Amex Platinum and inspect it and asked me if it was a UK issued card so I guess they would notice if you used an expired card. Will definitely be using again if not traveling business class.

    • Expired, yes. Cancelled, no 🙂

      • They dont swipe the Amex card then?

        • For what purpose? Eurostar doesn’t.

          I suppose …. as they have a payment machine (which Eurostar lounges don’t) they could swipe them to check they were valid. If they start getting suspicious about cancelled cards it might happen. I’m sure someone who has got in via this method can enlighten us to the process, as I won’t be back at Heathrow until the New Year if I’m lucky.

        • the real harry1 says:

          they need a mechanism to evidence the visit & claim payment from Amex

  14. Karen robertson says:

    Further comments
    Great selection of Twinings teas – coffee allegedly good too according to husband
    Cubicle seats look a little odd but are really very comfortable
    Four other people in lounge – all are asleep!

  15. Karen robertson says:

    Lunch buffet has just appeared and food looks really good – chicken tikka masala and rice, spaghetti and meatballs, veggie lasagne, chicken wings, Rosemary potatoes and salady stuff. All looks fresh and hot! Would eat it but too full from eating too many sausages earlier! At least I won’t need an M&S sarnie on the plane!

    • I just popped in to the Plaza Premium Lounge at T5 to check it out. Only had about 15 mins before my connecting flight so I literally went in just to have a look and a coffee.

      The staff were very friendly and attentive. They almost seemed disappointed that I didn’t want lunch and encouraged me to sit anywhere, but I explained I was just stopping for a few minutes. They showed me the different seating areas, and with all except the “restaurant style” table area having UK and USB power (why not international sockets?) this is a massive improvement on trying to find a seat with a power socket in the BA lounges.

      Nice proper bar area (again an improvement) and all looks up to their usual standard. VERY bright with the corner positioning. They don’t seem to know if/when they’ll take Priority Pass, so that’s a bonus for Amex Plat cardholders whether you have BA status (95% of T5 customers? ) or not.

      Entry is just by showing your card and they fill out a paper log book (not sure that’s great for privacy tbf), and also took a photocopy of my boarding card (how does that work with a phone?).

      They only had about 10 or 11 customers according to the chap helping me, which considering everyone else seemed to be staff, I assume meant SO FAR TODAY?! So do pop along when you can – they’ll be happy to see you!!

  16. Bits OT – had an email from Small Luxury Hotels – they seem to be now processing the transition to their new programme and have put me at ‘Inspired’ level despite no previous stays (although I think I did originally sign up via Amex Plat).

    “The Club of SLH has been transformed into a brand new loyalty programme, INVITED! We’ve moved you across to our new programme, which now makes you an Inspired member”

  17. looks better than the current BA offering.