Bits: Norwegian drops lounge access in Premium, new IHG promo starts, Uber ‘clean air’ fee from tomorrow

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News in brief:

Norwegian drops lounge access for Premium customers

Norwegian has quietly removed lounge access for the majority of its Premium customers.

As posted by a HFP reader yesterday, it turns out that the rules were changed on 21st December.  From that point, only customers booking refundable PremiumFlex tickets have had lounge access included in their ticket.  This will presumably cut the number of lounge visitors by about 80%.

Here is the current list of perks by seat type from the Norwegian website (click to enlarge):

Norwegian Premium benefits

The timing is odd.  The new My Lounge at Gatwick South, which I reviewed yesterday, is heavily branded ‘The home of Norwegian’ but will now have very few Norwegian customers using it!

Norwegian is saying that anyone who booked a Premium ticket before 21st December will still get lounge access, but you will need to visit a check-in counter to pick up a paper invitation.  Hand-baggage only customers cannot simply turn up at the lounge and gain access.

Whilst this is understandable given Norwegian’s financial issues, it removes a key point of difference between Norwegian Premium, Virgin Atlantic Premium and British Airways World Traveller Plus.  I would still recommend Norwegian Premium, purely because you get a bigger and better seat, but the other perks seem to be withering away.

Norwegian Premium loses lounge access

New IHG Rewards Club promo starts today

A quick reminder is that today is the launch date for the new IHG Rewards Club promotion.  This covers any stays you may have at Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Hotel Indigo, InterContinental etc.

Called “Reward Nights. Faster.”, you will have your own personal targets.  You can find out your targets, and register, on the IHG website here.

It is valid for stays until 30th April.

In general, the targets are more generous than we have seen over the past year or so.  My wife got:

10,000 bonus points for staying five nights

28,800 bonus points for staying at three different IHG brands

8,400 bonus points for two Holiday Inn stays

10,800 bonus points for 3 x 2-night weekend stays (Saturday plus another night)

6,600 bonus points for booking two ‘Bonus Point Packages’ (this is when the reservation system offers you additional points on your stay in return for paying a slightly higher rate)

….. which is pretty good.  You can register and check your own targets on this page of

IHG Reward Nights Faster Spring promotion 2019

Uber ‘clean air’ fees launch in London tomorrow

Uber has confirmed that its ‘clean air’ fees, announced last October, will begin tomorrow in London.

The fee is a fairly chunky 15p per mile.  The money will be ring fenced and paid to Uber drivers in grants if they choose to buy an electric vehicle.

The published target is to fund a £3,000 per car grant by 2021 and a £4,500 grant by 2022.  Although, unless I’m being dim, this would appear to actively encourage drivers to hold off replacing their vehicle as long as possible whilst the money pot for grants fills up …..

Uber is aiming for an ‘all electric’ fleet in London by 2025.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. OT Rob or Anika

    Since this piece – – I’ve been happily collecting Avios when paying by MasterCard instore at Caffe Nero.

    Initially they credited to, and from late last year to BAEC shopping portal. But the Caffe Nero logo has now vanished from the BA site. Old transactions (+45 days) still being credited, but Nero says they don’t know if the offer is continuing.

    Pending reply from query to BA, does anyone know if this hassle free way of earning a few miles has gone?

  2. OT:
    I’ve got the Amex Platinum & applied for an ‘additional’ card for myself, therefore I have a supplementary card under my own name. The agent told me that this is the fee free card which is included in the fee (You get one supplementary plat free). Is this correct? It doesn’t really make sense to have the fee free supplementary in your own name in that case?

    • No, the secondary card for yourself doesn’t use up your free Amex Plat supplementary card.

      (OT sent using free onboard WiFi with Norwegian – also have exit row to myself, pretty decent for £45 positioning flight!)

      • How should I raise it up with them as they say it does? I also received a priority pass with it which I’m guessing is not supposed to happen.

        • Hmm that does sound like they’ve processed in a funny way as you shouldn’t get a 2nd PP. Did you request it online and just put relationship ‘other’ or do it some other way? If you know who you want to have the proper supp card you probably need to call them with those details and explain this one is only meant to be an Additional Card (if done properly it will have A.C. on it after your name) to help you categorise spending.

        • Yeah, I did it online, using my same full name and ‘other’ as relationship. When I tried adding it to my app account, it asked me for new phone number and all those new details, making me suspect it is supplementary rather than an A.C. The card doesn’t have A.C either on it – What does the card look like on the app? On mine it says ‘The Platinum Supplementary card’

          • Mine says “The Platinum Additional Card” so looks like something has definitely gone wrong! If you can get through to the Brighton team (I wouldn’t bother with webchat) they can hopefully resolve it for you.

        • Thanks Alan, I gave them a call and they saw the mistake immediately (unlike webchat as you said) They have requested that the card type be changed to the additional card. Should be done by next week.

  3. Yeah, I did it online, using my same full name and ‘other’ as relationship. When I tried adding it to my app account, it asked me for new phone number and all those new details, making me suspect it is supplementary rather than an A.C. The card doesn’t have A.C either on it – What does the card look like on the app? On mine it says ‘The Platinum Supplementary card’

  4. OT – if I refer the Gold credit card from a Platinum account, do I receive 9k or 18k points?

    • If you refer from Platinum, you will get 18k points for each accepted referral regardless of which card is applied for, up to your yearly 90k limit.

    • 18k – is the card referring from that counts.

  5. Virgin Money just emailed me to beta test an app for the Virgin Atlantic credit card.
    Spaces limited so check your email and sign up if you wish to take part, iOS first then Android after.

    Long overdue, lets hope Apple Pay follows this.

    • Haven’t received an invite, but would love to try it.
      Having said that, I have been using Yolt for iOS recently (an aggregator) so that somewhat makes up for the lack of Virgin app.

  6. About Uber’s price increase (aka ‘clean air fee’), Uber’s ‘London’ is the whole area within the M25!

    At least the Mayor only taxes us for the area within the Inner Ring Road (Park Lane/Euston Road/Marylebone Road-Kennington Road/Tower Bridge etc) and my car at least is exempt from the Ultra Low Emission Zone tax. Uber’s area is many, many times the size.

    OK, many journeys will be within central London. Those travelling in the leafy suburbs, or beginning/ending their journeys there, may well be surprised to see this 15p per mile price increase.

  7. o/t T5 with PP and Amex Plat.
    Seem to remember some negative reviews recently, but is Plaza Prem still better than Aspire?

  8. Way OT: does anyone know whether ‘refer a friend’ for Amex works for both parties if the ‘friend’ uses the Amex eligibility checker? Will Amex refuse the referrral bonus because the ‘friend’ has already made an enquiry? Thanks everyone!


    • its usually the last referral that counts… so as long as your friend clicks your referral link last before registering that should work.
      If you are worried, ask your friend to use Private/Incognito mode or clear cookies, then click your referral link again.

  9. Don’t they charge booking fees? They do for UK ones although appreciate may make up a larger percentage of the ticket cost in that situation.

  10. Anyone stayed at the new holiday inn on bath road?

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