Bits: Plaza Premium loses Cathay T3 management, LOT launches City to Vilnius, BA launching Islamabad?

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News in brief:

Plaza Premium loses management of Cathay Pacific lounge

Plaza Premium confirmed to us this week that it is no longer managing the Cathay Pacific lounge in Heathrow Terminal 3.

We had heard rumours of this from readers in the last couple of weeks, along with more worrying reports about a deterioration in food quality and service.  I don’t know who has replaced Plaza Premium – Accor manages the nearby Qantas lounge so it could be them – or who initiated the move.

The Cathay Pacific First Class lounge was, by far, the best option for a British Airways Executive Gold member flying out of Heathrow Terminal 3I reviewed it here.  You’d be a mug to use BA’s Galleries First lounge, which I reviewed here.  Let’s hope that the recent feedback reports are only a transitional blip.

(Before anyone asks, if you have a British Airways Executive Club Silver card then I tend to recommend the Qantas lounge in Terminal 3, purely on grounds of scale.  The Cathay Pacific Business lounge is smaller but quieter.  Unless you are looking for a specific drink, item of food or magazine there is no logical reason to go near the American Airlines or British Airways lounges.)

LOT launches London City to Vilnius

Polish airline LOT is launching a direct London City to Vilnius service.  There will be 12 flights per week – two on weekdays and one per day over the weekend.

Flights will launch in May 2019 and are not yet on sale.  The route is underwritten by the Lithuanian Government and will be the only service to Vilnius, pictured above, from either Heathrow, Gatwick or City.

LOT is a member of Star Alliance if you looking for earning or redeeming options.


British Airways to launch Islamabad?

There have been rumours circulating all year that British Airways is to relaunch flights to Pakistan with an Islamabad service.  It was reported in the local press back in February and nothing appeared, but posts from BA insiders on Flyertalk in recent days imply that an announcement will be made soon.

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Amex to open its first Centurion Lounge in Europe - at Heathrow Terminal 3
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  1. OT: How do people usually book Miles & More business class redemptions? I looked at US west coast redemptions online and there are barely any J seats out there on LH or other *A carriers. When I looked at comparable dates on the UA website, I can see plenty of availability in all classes. Is there a trick to this (e.g. searching on UA and then calling M&M if operators see more availability than is available online?)

    Thanks in advance for the advice.

    • Have you looked out of Munich and Dusseldorf too? Often easier than FRA.

      • Have so far looked directly out of LHR / LON, hoping to score a redemption on UA / ANZ / etc. Honestly, can’t be bothered with doing positioning for a redemption…

        • You may be lucky booking, like a few days in advance. But don’t expect anything interesting so far ahead.

        • It’s more of a question on the M&M booking site. Does it show accurate inventory or are phone agents able to access additional seats? Honestly, the M&M site makes BA’s look like a total gem…

    • Lady London says:

      Berlin has often had a lot of choice on the Meilenschnaeppchen sales. So I would guess you might find availability out of there, if anywhere.

      I’ve always found slightly higher prices and worse availability on MUC than FRA for Transatlantic when I’ve looked. Had always thought it was because MUC was always a much nicer airport than FRA to transit through.

  2. Had to change my flight home from Abu to Dubai. Unfortunately plane is a 777 200 with 17 f seats. Full choice of seating except row 1.

    Can anyone advise best First seats on this plane? Also does anyone know what is in the large space behind row 2?


  3. BSI1978 says:

    Think I know the answer to this (but trying my luck anyhow) but can anyone confirm whether I’d be able to claim a full refund if BA change my flight time by 90 minutes? I don’t think that counts as ‘significant’ but I had actually been thinking we’d need to cancel in any event and would prefer to get as much back as possible (it was a reward booking). Cheers

    • According to MSE its 2h for BA ( but no harm in calling and trying to cancel IMO, its still a fairly big shift and have certainly heard of people successfully changing flights for smaller changes than that.

      • Lady London says:

        Iberia has done a 3 and a half hour shift that I’m currently dealing with them on.

        I’ll be very interested to see how it turns out for me. Basically they forced me to cancel because it made such a mess of the booking. And it was the 90,000, so this is going to be fun… Let’s just say I’ve marked the date in 8 weeks time in my calendar for external followup.

  4. A bit of effort but you can currenty book Plaza Premium Lounge in either LHR t3 t4 or t5 for dates this month for USD10
    You have to go via the US site. Tickets are $40USD but coupon THANKYOU get $30 of a $40 spend. Need separate accounts/ emails / credit cards for multiple tickets.
    Spotted on hotukdeals.

  5. Rather O/T but managed to stack a Majestic Wines premium concierge offer, with a free bottle of Presecco and a £25 Amex credit, totalling 18 bottles of wine for just over £100.

    Probably not the best wine in the world, but good enough for the in laws over Christmas!

  6. OT: Do Iberia reward flights flown on BA and booked with a BAEC number earn tier points and avios with BA?

    • Shoestring says:

      Not reward flights.

      Let’s see if I pass the test lol

    • Lady London says:

      No. but in rare instances people have managed to get credit when the airline had an irrop on their original flight and they got put on another one instead.

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