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An amazing deal when you use DragonPass at the DIH Ahlan First Class lounge in Dubai

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Reader Greg dropped me a note to highlight a great deal he found in Dubai.

The new Concourse D, used by British Airways and most other long-haul airlines not called Emirates, has a lot of lounges, including the DIH Ahlan First Class Lounge.

As the name suggests, the DIH Ahlan First Class Lounge is aimed at First Class passengers on airlines who do not have their own Dubai lounge.  Air France and Singapore Airlines use it for their First Class customers.  For some odd reason, it also accepts the DragonPass lounge card – but not Priority Pass or Lounge Club.

This is not your typical 3rd party lounge as you imagine, being aimed at First Class passengers.  It has a la carte restaurant dining, it has free-flow Moet & Chandon champagne and it has (reportedly) an amazing whisky collection.  If you are into aviation you will also be obsessed by the 6-screen FlightRadar24 display.

A full review of the lounge can be found here (external link).

If you don’t have DragonPass via your Barclays current account, this HFP article shows ways of buying a one-off DragonPass access voucher cheaply.

Getting airport lounge access via a UK credit card

As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:

The Platinum Card from American Express

Two free Priority Pass cards (one for you, one for your supplementary Platinum cardholder, each admitting two – so a family of four gets in free) giving access to every lounge in the Priority Pass network – search it here.  You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

You get a Lounge Club card loaded with two free visits to any Lounge Club network lounge – see the list here.  The list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list, but not by much.  Additional visits are charged at £20 per person.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  No annual fee in Year 1.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

You get a free LoungeKey card allowing you access to any property in the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £20 although regular travellers will find it cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card (adults only, of course).  The card has an annual fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer.  Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.

Comments (118)

  • Lumma says:

    Best thing about those new a320s with the tiny toilets and crap seats after row 12. No TV screens so no safety video

  • the real harry1 says:

    IB 90K news – unsourced – that they really aren’t transferable to BAEC.

    • ScienceTeacher says:

      Has anybody received them yet? I jumped in on Thursday before it was put out on the blogs and am still at 0 avios!

      • the real harry1 says:

        no reliable reports yet but today WAS meant to be the first day

        none for me

        • BJ says:

          The rules of FF and hotel loyalty schemes allow them to suspend or close the accounts of those suspected of fraud or abusing the scheme. I am sure there has been a lot of that in this promo and Iberia are likely working through it at the moment and that this might cause a delay. I expect they will sort it and everybody else will still get the avios due to them but I also expect a sting in the tail preventing the free for all that most seemed to be hoping for. I am sure that sting will be comfortably within the rules which they are entitled to change at any time without notice.

        • Rob says:

          Since when was Monday 10 days after Sunday?

        • the real harry1 says:

          it was in one of IB’s (incredibly unreliable) tweets

        • callum says:

          Rob – The promo started 10 days ago so today IS the first day people should be receiving their Avios…

          • Rob says:

            Almost certainly meant 10 days from the closing date as I would expect one big drop. But let’s see.

        • Callum says:

          It may have meant that, but it specifically stated ten days after purchase…

    • the real harry1 says:

      …but that could just be because new IB a/cs have to wait 90 days before they can transfer out points

    • CV3V says:

      I wonder if we could have our own version of [email protected]!t bingo for the comments when the points do land and we found out the reality i.e. ‘I am going to sue Iberia’, ‘I am going to sue Willie Walsh’, ‘I am reporting them to FSA/CIA/BBC’, or ‘Thanks Rob, i never thought it would work’, ‘I cant find how to redeem them’, ‘How do i transfer them from my dog’s account?’

  • Paul says:

    The safety video is not funny! It’s not even amusing. Flying BA is painful enough without this torture at the start of the flight.

    • Chabuddy says:

      Muppet 🙂

    • Martin Seebach says:

      I found it mildy amusing, but that’s unlikely to last beyond the first ~3 viewings. Happy to hear they are making it shorter.

      I am, however, baffled by how flippant they are towards the (purported) seriousness of the security briefing. EITHER it is a very important briefing that may differ from any aircraft I may have flown on previously (although clearly not enough that BA bothers to even remove the part about being seated backwards in First, on a short haul), and it’s too important to dilute with cutesy celebrity jokes and charity appeals, OR it’s redundant, and should be either removed or cut down to the absolute minimum. This weird schizophrenic mess is, well, a weird mess (they can do a charity appeal separately if they want, I’ve always found it pretty tasteless for a hard-core for-profit ruthlessly costcutting business I’ve just spend hundreds, sometimes thousands, of pounds with to beg me for spare change because poor kids).

      • callum says:

        Well it’s not tasteless, and if you have money to spend thousands on a flight then I’d say you’re exactly the kind of person who should be giving your spare change to poor kids…

        (Maybe you do already – it’s irrefutable however that many need to be pushed into doing so with advertising like this)

        • Martin Seebach says:

          The tastelessness is in the sender of the appeal. This has very, very little to do with poor children, and everything to do with with branding BA as a fluffy do-gooder (and to get a bunch of celebrities to show up to do a safety video that conveniently will serve to brand and market BA for free). Flying Start has raised “$12m since 2010”, so lets be generous and make it $2m/yr. BA revenue is $16B in 2017, so they could raise ticket prices by a whopping 0.0125% and give the money to charity if they felt it was important to give back to the communities, it feels rather hollow that it should be more effective to “pause inflight entertainment for an important message” to lecture the passengers on their charity on every single flight.

          For the record, I think the envelope for spare change is a great idea (well, was, spare change is rapidly a thing of the past), and I use it on the few occasions I happen to have some, it’s the lecturing I find tasteless.

      • RussellH says:

        I was puzzled by the – typically anglocentric – attitude to non-English speakers. I recall French subtitles LHR-NCE, which just translated the relevant bits, ignoring all the witty asides (all of which quickly stop being witty after a couple of viewings), but no subtitles LHR-MAD (and this on LH 777s, which, arguably, are in greater need of subtitling).

        By contrast, I recall LH always speaking both German and English during saftey demos on UK-DE flights (though German only on internal flights).

      • Rob says:

        You need to check out the old Virgin America one https://youtu.be/DtyfiPIHsIg which I do rate.

        Air New Zealand has a very big collecting including Hobbit-themed ones. Qatar has one done by the Barcelona squad which is good.

        • Yuff says:

          I love the Qatar and BA video.
          On a trip to Male on Qatar I looked forward to the video every time. I also enjoy the BA video but not as much as Qatar

        • The Jetset Boyz says:

          The FC Barcelona safety video is sadly no more, it was retired after Qatar Airways’ sponsorship came to an end. They now sponsor AS Roma.

    • Londonbus says:

      Utterly tedious. Probably ok the first time but rapidly wears thin.

      I travel quite a bit and the least worse one I’ve seen is the current Gulf Air one which has a degree of charm.

  • ScienceTeacher says:

    You like calling people names? What are you, five?

    Frankly, you are the fraudster (Definition: ‘an act which results from the dishonest practice of one party’) and the outrageous one for setting up 10 accounts and claiming 900,000 avios.

    I genuinely hope you get nothing and Iberia throw the book at you. In fact, I hope they enact their general terms and conditions which state you can only have one account at a time; and they use your ‘childish phone calls’ against you where you would have no doubt confirmed you have more than one account.

    And yes, YOU NEED HELP.

    • Toby says:

      I think they were being sarcastic…

      • Toby says:

        Taking the mick out of the American’s who have been banging on about suing Iberia if their dog doesn’t get the points etc.

    • Alan says:

      I’m no expert but I believe that he/she was using irony.

  • Marcw says:

    BTW, some interesting FlyingBlue Promo awards out there. Asia in Premium Economy about 36k each direction. Mumbai, 27k also in Premium Economy.
    Seychelles in J, some interesting values. Dubai and Abu Dhabi also included.
    Some interesting economy redemptions to North America.
    Worth having a look if you have MR banked, or some Flying Blue Miles. Remember that now you can pay only 75% of the required miles and the 25% un cash (exactly 1 Eurocent per mile).

    • marcw says:

      I’m sure some of you may find this interesting. Rtrn to Abu Dhabi in Business for 45k , or 18k in economy!! (sept-october) That’s a good deal I’d say.
      Some examples:
      LON//AUH rtrn in J: 45k and about 550 eur in taxes (ouch!). You save around 100-150 departing from, let’s say, DUS (if you choose AMS your mileage will increase by 10k each way).
      LON//AUH rtrn in Y: 18k + 203 eur … you save around 50-100 dep from somewhere else in europe.

      Remember, AUH it’s a short taxi ride from Dubai!

      • Rob says:

        Krisflyer gets you London to anywhere in the Middle East for 50k miles in business, any day you want 🙂 That is clearly a decent deal for Flying Blue though, surprised it is running over peak season.

        • Lady London says:

          not peak for Middle East right now though. July-August hotter than hot.

    • marcw says:

      Sorry, you are not able to use part pay on Promo Awards. Still a very good deal.

  • Anna says:

    OT – BA’s IT is beyond a joke now. I’ve had some very limited success searching for long haul redemptions with all sorts of error messages getting thrown up but at least some availability showing (we’re flexible on destination). However, when we try and book using OH’s 2 4 1, we just get repeated “technical problem” messages. Not impressed.

    • BJ says:

      Anna, did you get your avios combined ok to use your Lloyds voucher?

      • Anna says:

        I haven’t tried yet – I can’t make that booking till the end of August! I’ve done so well with my collecting strategy this year i’ve got vouchers coming out of my ears!

    • Darren says:

      I have had a similar error message on a number of occasions, the most frustrating being the ‘stopover loop’, BA CS response is that the IT bods know about it and it should be fixed soon. 4 weeks later still the same.
      I have tried by adding the voucher to remove AA flights and starting from a regional which sometimes helps.

  • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    This reminds me of a question I had: did they change the last safety video? After Warwick Davis says to Ian McKellen ‘I bet you’ll get the part’ (or words to that effect), Ian’s response used to be ‘I usually do’ but instead he replied something insipid like ‘I hope so’ on a more recent flight. Rest of the video seemed to be identical. Am I going crazy?

    • Matt says:

      I noticed the same thing last month!

    • Quark999 says:

      I thought that was long haul v short haul video…

      • Rob says:

        It may have been cut. As I said, crew have complained that the short haul version is far too long and is causing practical issues getting aircraft away.

      • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

        All on long-haul for me (and seen it both ways on a 789, so not a version control issue between IFE systems).

    • Nick says:

      No, it’s different, but not for the reasons anyone has described! The 787 has a different type of oxygen mask, so they had to film the sequence twice and IM had a different line in each. Next time you watch it, look out for the different mask, it’s obvious when you know what you’re looking for.

  • Boi says:

    OT: my sister arrives in JNB @08:05 tomorrow and her connecting flight is not until 16:20! Any suggestions as to what she can do with that long layover? She has PP

    • marcw says:

      First, there’s no harm in asking whether she’s able to take an earlier flight, once she lands in London. Obviously, only if there are more flights – even if there’s a fee involved, it may be worth it 🙂 If T5 she will have access to the Aspire, but I’m not sure if they’ll allow her to get in with more than 3 h before flight departure.

    • Oh Matron! says:

      Brunch in Windsor?

    • Mark says:

      I think there’s some confusion as to whether the layover is in London or Johannesburg. If the latter we took a train ride to Sandton on a similar length layover, after storing our bags at one of the storage facilities at JNB.

    • Kevin says:

      You can get to Nelson Mandela Square and the mall very easily and quickly on the Gautrain. Closer to home, the Intercontinental JNB would be nice for lunch.

      There are several lounges she can access with the Priority Pass if she wants to stay airside.