Bits: 25% off No 1 Lounges, Ethiopian drops Dublin to Los Angeles, Cobalt Air closes

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News in brief:

Save 25% on No 1 Lounges

No 1 Lounges has launched a discount promotion in association with Norwegian, although you don’t have to be flying with Norwegian to take part.

Until 30th October, for flights until 31st December, you can save 25% on visits to No 1 Lounges at Gatwick, Heathrow (T3), Birmingham and Edinburgh.  You can also save 15% on lounges at Stansted, Belfast, Manchester and East Midlands which No 1 sells on behalf of other lounge operators.

The link you need is here.

You need to be a member of the Norwegian CashPoints scheme to book but you can easily sign up for free on the Norwegian website.  You will get 25 CashPoints with your booking which gets you roughly £2.50 off a future Norwegian flight.

Virgin Atlantic is still running its own No 1 Lounges offersee here.  Norwegian is cheaper for No 1 Lounges and the Gatwick Clubrooms although if you collect Virgin Flying Club miles you might still find that package better.  The Virgin deal is £3 cheaper for the Gatwick My Lounge and you get 200 miles as well!

Separate to these offers, you can also – until the end of October – save 20% on a pre-booked Priority Pass or Lounge Club visit, in order to guarantee entry, with code RESERVE20.  The page for pre-bookings is here.

Ethiopian 787

Ethiopian Airlines drops Dublin to Los Angeles

Ethiopian Airlines, however improbable it may sound, is a member of the Star Alliance network.  Based in Addis Ababa, it serves over 80 destinations – more African destinations than any other carrier – and is profitable.  Just as impressively, it was Boeing’s first customer for the 787-8 Dreamliner and was also be one of the first airlines to receive the Airbus A350.

In June 2015, it launched Los Angeles using a Boeing 787-8.  Because of the distance involved, the aircraft made a stopover in Dublin.  This made for a very interesting Star Alliance redemption between Dublin and Los Angeles.

Unfortunately the route does not appear to have worked out.  Services are due to end on 14th December.  Irish residents can still fly to Los Angeles directly courtesy of the new Aer Lingus service.

Cobalt Air Business Seat

Cobalt Air enters administration

You may have seen this in the mainstream media, but Cyprus-based airline Cobalt Air went into administration on Wednesday.

We have covered Cobalt a few times on Head for Points.  I was impressed by their business class offering – photo above – which seemed far superior to what BA offered on the 4+ hour flight to Larnaca.  Unfortunately it seems that recent rises in oil prices coupled with traditionally weaker Winter bookings tipped them over the edge.

The unfortunate truth is that you should be wary about booking with ‘secondary’ carriers at the moment.  Whilst you money is protected as long as you pay with a credit card, you will still be out of pocket since the cost of buying replacement tickets on another carrier at short notice is unlikely to be cheap.  Even established carriers such as Flybe are looking very weak, and Norwegian could still go over the edge.

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  1. Patrick says:

    One clarification: The Ethiopian airlines flight to LAX will still stop in Dublin, but it will not pick up or drop off any passengers.

    Interestingly, I recall reading that while the 787 easily has the legs to do ADD-LAX direct, the high altitude of ADD airport prevents this. Even then, the runway is very long and a fully fueled 787 could still take off, but for the fact that apparently the wheels/tyres are not rated for such speeds!

    • Patrick says:

      *correction, turns out ADD-LAX is indeed beyond the range of a 787, my bad. I think this logic applied to the Toronto service or similar.

      It would be interesting if this ultimately became ADD-LOS-LAX

      • I would imagine for fuel efficiency stopping as close to half way as possible is ideal. If your going to have to stop you may as well make it at the optimum point.

  2. My partner and I flew with ET from DUB to LAX last year and the service was very good, the plane is new and the timings of the flight perfect. And we got a very favourable booking class which allowed us to earn sizeable chunk of Star Alliance miles with A3. Though it was a bit sad to see passengers from Addis who were exhausted by a long flight and were NOT let out of the plane at Dublin (which is appalling)

  3. Kirill M says:

    Head for Points, however improbable it may sound, found out that there is more to Star Alliance than Lufthansa lounge at Heathrow Terminal 2…

    • I was in the Star Alliance lounge at T2 this morning if you there, with the gang. It’s rubbish, but I knew that. Didn’t have 2 Priority Passes to get the kids in Plaza Premium though …

  4. Kirill M says:

    Appalling in its ignorance remark, Rob! Offensive even.

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