Bits: BA San Francisco lounge closure, Virgin Atlantic launching Tel Aviv?

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News in brief:

British Airways lounge in San Francisco to close next week

British Airways has announced that its lounge in San Francisco will close on 2nd January ahead of some construction work.

It isn’t entirely clear what is happening or when the lounge will reopen.  ba.com talks of “working to bring you a brand new British Airways lounge in San Francisco”.

A few years ago there were plans, eventually shelved on cost grounds, to add a new floor to the lounge.  It isn’t clear if this is back on the agenda or if we will simply see some new furniture.  The latter would do nothing to solve the chronic overcrowding seen when A380 departures are scheduled.

BA will be sending passengers to the China Airlines Dynasty Lounge during the closure.  This is situated in International Terminal A on the second floor.

You don’t need to go there, however.  Cathay Pacific and JAL have their own lounges in San Francisco – albeit JAL is only open for three hours per day – and you are welcome to use those by virtue of their oneworld alliance membership.  Many regular BA San Francisco passengers were already choosing to use the Cathay Pacific lounge due to BA overcrowding.

Virgin Atlantic to launch Tel Aviv?

Reports in some Israeli newspapers in recent days, eg here, have suggested that Virgin Atlantic is planning to launch flights to Tel Aviv in September.

The only logic quoted is that Shai Weiss, the new CEO, is Israeli.  However, there are a couple of other potential reasons:

the Dubai flight terminates at the end of the March, freeing up a pair of landing slots which would presumably work OK for an overnight Tel Aviv flight (EDIT: apparently these slots are being used for the additional Boston flight)

alternatively, a day flight could presumably be fitted around existing North America services (it would be a 12-hour round trip)

the arrival of the A350 fleet from mid 2019 will give Virgin Atlantic extra capacity, especially when coupled with the four ex-Air Berlin A330 planes leased in 2018

If this is true, it would be an interesting strategic move for Virgin which has been focusing very heavily on North America for growth in recent years.

How to earn Virgin Atlantic miles from UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Flying Club miles from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Flying Club miles.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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Comments

  1. OT: Re. hotel status via Amex Platinum (e.g. Hilton Gold) – is the start date for the status based on the card start date or date of status request on the Amex website? I’m considering whether to upgrade PRG (charge) card today or wait until Jan. I understand that status gained in Jan 2019 may then apply through until end March 2021 – is that correct? Thanks.

    • It’s when you link from Amex, I’ve just upgraded so I can have the plat card by Jan and upgraded statuses then.

    • Depends … it might work, you might also only get a year. Sometimes if you do the upgrade after July you get the rest of the current year and then the whole next year. In your case, nothing to lose by waiting until January.

  2. I recently upgRaded my free BA card to the BAPP after spending £10k. The 2-4-1 voucher has now posted but it is only showing a one year expiry. Is this a common problem? Thanks in advance!

    • My data point is old (March 2017), but I called both BA and Amex and they sorted it out. It took about a month or so for it to be processed and a few phone calls. However, some reported here that they haven’t had any luck.

    • Yes. You should have upgraded before spending the 10k for the two year expiry

  3. OT – RE: Lloyds Avios duo pack and getting a 2nd upgrade voucher… I’m a couple of grand off £14k spend on this…am tempted to take it over the £14k mark to see if I’ll get a 2nd upg voucher, as I believe a number of folks did recently… Has anyone pushed it over the £14k mark in the past few weeks and, if so, did you get an extra voucher? Thanks in advance for any data…

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I thought the ‘extra’ voucher was an admin mistake rather than after hitting £14k spend

    • Duo cards are 1 x 241 voucher per card anniversary. I’ve had these cards (the £50 premium ones) for 10+ years and have tried before to get two vouchers within 12
      months……no success. Better channeling your spend elsewhere after getting your voucher. Ps, the Lloyds ‘Rewards’ cards give an upgrade voucher after £7k spend, the Duo cards you refer to earn a 241 voucher after £10k for premium and £15k for standard
      (I think?).

  4. Nick

    I once got to the BA SFO lounge very early. They let me in but it was being used by Korean Airlines. So there is at least one other airline using it other than OW airlines.

    Cathay is the best though and I have never had a problem getting in (BA Gold)

  5. Rob you’d be lucky to get into the CX longe on BA metal. BA check in staff now encourage people not to visit it. I have tried three times in the last three months and on arrival at the CX lounge, despite it being empty, we were turned away on the basis that QF x 2 (day depenedent) and CX later in the evening use the lounge.

    The 380 is currently operating a reduced scheduled into SFO for the winter months in any event. My last two flights have been on the 77W. At least BA have picked a quieter time of year to close the lounge. I guess the big question is how long it will be closed for.

  6. How much will the TLV tickets cost, and will it be LHR?

  7. Will,

    Twice in 2018 I have used the CX lounge. Once when flying BA and once when flying JL.

    It might depend what time you visit in relation to the CX flight, however.

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