Bits: Zipcar Flex opens at Terminal 5 – drive for £17, Flybe sale launches (EDIT: now Thu), BA’s A320neo is here

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News in brief:

Zipcar Flex opens at Heathrow Terminal 5

Most readers, at least London-based ones, will know Zipcar as a ‘pound per hour’ car hire group.  They have a few hundred cars scattered across Central London and you can book them by the half-hour via their app.

If you live in the right area – there are about 10 cars within 10 minutes walk of us, the nearest around 30 seconds away – it is a fantastic service.  You are virtually guaranteed a car when you need one and the cost is a fraction of buying and running one yourself.

Zipcar Flex, which is currently being rolled out, takes the service one step furtherYou can take the car and leave it wherever you want, within a designated zone.  Park and walk away.  You don’t need to drive it back to where it came from.  To be honest I struggle to see why I would ever want to do this, but Zipcar clearly has other ideas.

Zipcar Flex has now launched at Heathrow Terminal 5 for a 90 day trial period.  You can jump in a Zipcar Flex car anywhere in London and drive yourself to Terminal 5, where you must park in the Avis Budget area on Level 4 of the car park.  You can also do it in reverse – walk up to Level 4 of the car park, jump in a Zipcar Flex car, drive yourself home and leave it outside your door for the next user to pick up.

Zipcar estimates, to or from Central London, that you will pay £17.  This is far, far cheaper than even an UberX.

Full details are on the Zipcar website here.

If you are not already a member, my referral link – https://zipcar.mention-me.com/m/ol/ef8rk-robert-burgess-28 – gets you £25 of driving credit.

Zipcar Flex Heathrow Terminal 5

Flybe Summer Sale launches today

Flybe is due to launch its Summer Sale tomorrow.  (I originally said today, I was wrong.)  It promises 20% off 500,000 seats across its network.

Travel dates are 8th May to 19th July.  The last day to book is 25th April.

Remember that you earn Avios when you fly with Flybe.  Details of the Flybe Avios scheme are on their website here.

The home page for the sale will be here.

The first Airbus A320neo has entered service for British Airways

This week saw the first British Airways flight of the A320neo aircraft, freshly delivered from Airbus.  This is the ‘no frills’ aircraft with no centre tables in Club Europe, no video screens, the ultra-thin seats in the back half of the plane and the smaller loos built into the back wall.  On the upside, it does feature power sockets in all seats.

For Summer 2018, airlineroute reports that you will find the aircraft flying:

  • London Heathrow – Budapest
  • London Heathrow – Lisbon
  • London Heathrow – Madrid
  • London Heathrow – Warsaw

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Comments

  1. Mark 4 says:

    Zipcar Flex is fantastic, I’m not sure how you can’t see its value… I’ve been a Zipcar member for years and the lack of one-way trips was always a problem, now solved by Flex… Previously I would use the car just a couple of times in a month, now I’m driving around pretty much every weekend… The T5 addition is great as well, it will save me around £35.

    • Probably because I never go anywhere one-way!

      • That’s the thing: you don’t have to go one way, you simply don’t get charged for the time the car is parked while you’re minding your business. You pick a car, go anywhere in the Flex zone, park and stop the clock on the hire. You do whatever it is you want to do (shops, lunch, etc.) without paying Zipcar for that time in which you’re not driving. Then, when you want to go back, you either pick up the same car (if it’s still there) or you pick another one (there’s usually a few within reasonable walking distance). Boom!

  2. Waribai says:

    We arrive back into LHR T5 next Monday and I’m tempted to give Zipcar Flex a try. But with the family in tow, the last thing I want is to find that there are no cars available. It would be great if there was more than a 15 minute booking period!

    • James knox says:

      The Flexes are usually small VW golf type cars, which might be a bit of a squeeze if you have a lot of luggage – I’ve used them occasionally if its raining and I’m on school pick up, IE pick up a car near to station, go and collect kids, drop off at home (my street is in the flex-zone) which for small change is pretty useful – I can see the T5 being of use if I am flying solo (or with the Mrs, HBO) but might be a bit of a challenge if we’re with both kids. I also use the Europcar £1 one way offers to get to LHR as they always seem to be available from our local Europcar office – but never on the way back!

  3. re 320neo: “On the upside, it does feature power sockets in all seats”

    apparently not, according to reports on FT.

    • I include a USB socket in that definition (not a plug) which the seats are meant to have ….

  4. Is there an update on when the FlyBe sale will start?

  5. Bloomin’ BA. Kids go Free. Again. WHY? WHY WHY BA? Is it not punishment enough a ) putting so many extra rows in your planes b) taking away my complimentary G and T and now c) filling those extra rows with bloomin’ children? Please, at least, bring back the complimentary drink to make the flights less punishing. Madness.

  6. And it is not just ‘fly free’. But ‘kids travel free on the Heathrow Express’. Kids ‘eat free at T5’. I’m sorry but it is not free. I, and the hundreds of thousands of other single adult passengers are subsidising these shenanigans with our overpriced tickets. What about the days when adults pay full fare and kids pay half fare? Is that reasonable enough?

    • When it gets to the school holidays you’ll find kids get charged 3 times the price of tickets in term time, as do their parents, so it’s we who are subsidising the cheaper fares!

      • Sussex Bantam says:

        +1 – it is significantly more expensive to travel with kids than without on a per head basis – even after these family offers.

        • If I sound flippant towards children, I’m not. Well, apart from the obnoxious fat ones that kick the back of my seat….. (JOKE!) Flying is public transport. Why should children get a free seat when they take up nearly just as much room as an adult? Why don’t they get free seats the whole year round if that is the case? ANSWER: It is just a marketing gimmick – and this would be fine – if BA hadn’t insisted on ramming an extra 10 rows or so of seats on their short haul planes.

      • No it is not. Think about it: the ticket price on BA’s flights during this offer is the same regardless. If the ticket price is £100 per person, and four adults buy those tickets, that is £400. If two parents take their children ‘free’ that is £200. Now, if BA was increasing the price of their flights during this period to all, (let’s say £100 ticket to £200 per ticket) then individual travellers – paying full fare – are still subsidising all of the free ‘children tickets’. Which are only there because BA are having problems filling their planes on a certain subset of routes.

  7. the_real_a says:

    Its threads like this that make me glad i moved back to Yorkshire! Free parking and a drive.

  8. OT: Interesting article from WSJ re Airlines serving cheap wine in premium cabins. BA is on the list. https://www.wsj.com/articles/which-airlines-go-cheap-on-wine-1524059947

    • Jovanna says:

      BA were serving a £7 bottle of Chardonnay on my trip in Club World, week before last. I was given an unopened bottle as I left the aircraft. Too polite to decline but gave it to the taxi driver as he dropped us home.

  9. So I used the zipcar flex this morning and loved it. Normally it’s either a 1.25hour tube journey or a £50 taxi ride. Today it was £11. Parked right by the airport and just went on my merry way. There are 5 cars there currently including the one I dropped off.

    I really found this useful and I hope they continue to innovate.

    • There’s also a £5 pick up/drop off fee at LHR T5 which is added to the cost.

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