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Bits: Virgin update, 300 bonus Accor points on your next stay, Cardiff Airport pulls out of Priority Pass and Lounge Club

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News in brief:

Quick update to our Virgin Atlantic article yesterday

We did a round-up of the Virgin Atlantic route network yesterday – see this article.

We missed out the recent relaunch of Mumbai.  Due to a bizarre editing error, Tel Aviv ended up under the Americas list!  Both are now corrected.

300 bonus Le Club AccorHotels points

Get 300 bonus Le Club AccorHotels points on your next UK stay

(EDIT: there is NO ‘register now’ button on the landing page!  This is despite the fact that the rules say you must register before booking.  No idea what Accor is playing at here …..)

Accor Hotels has launched a new offer for stays in the UK and selected parts of Europe.  Stays in the UK plus Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Sweden are eligible.

You will earn 300 bonus points on your next stay in these countries at these brands: ibis, ibis Styles, Mercure, Novotel, Novotel Suites, Pullman, MGallery and Sofitel.

There are three key points to note:

300 points is OK given that each point is worth 2 Eurocents if you redeem for Accor vouchers.  You would get €6 back in total for your next stay.  300 Accor points is also worth 300 Avios if you convert them to Iberia Plus (but only 150 Avios if you convert to BA Executive Club!).

You must register and book before 27th November, and stay before 31st December.  Existing bookings made before you registered will not count

Don’t forget to register via this special page on the Accor website BEFORE you book. 

Executive Lounge Cardiff Airport food

The Cardiff Airport lounge has pulled out of Priority Pass and Lounge Club

The 51 Degrees lounge at Cardiff Airport has withdrawn from Priority Pass, Lounge Club and Mastercard’s LoungeKey – the three airport lounge schemes runs by Collinson.

This was effective as of 1st October.

DragonPass, which is not part of the Collinson empire, is not impacted.  The airport website does say, however, that “only bookings made via Cardiff Airport guarantee access to the lounge – access with Dragonpass is subject to availability.”

It isn’t clear why this happened.  One possibility is that the daily Qatar Airways service, which departs at 4pm and so requires lounge space between the usually off-peak hours of 1pm and 4pm, has led to overcrowding.  It may, of course, also have been due to a falling out with Collinson over money.

We have an updated reader review of the Cardiff Airport lounge ready to go which we will hopefully run next weekend.  It seems that fewer of you will now get a chance to try it out, however.

The airport lounge page of the Cardiff Airport website is here, although it doesn’t add much to what I wrote above.

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  1. O/T Rob, there’s a completely new Aspire Lounge to open in Edinburgh (in new location, beside new No.1 lounge) later this month (14th apparently) – anyone planning to review?

  2. Scottydogg says:

    OT , i had to book a flight out of London City airport on Avios to go to a wedding . BA to Ibiza next year .
    The only option for the outbound journey was 2 seats left but in Business class . Now i know that as it is out of London City that its not worth taking Buisness class redemptions with no lounges etc , but there was no other option as the cash amount was too much to pay .

    So i was wondering , what (if any) are the perks when fly Biz from London city , is there priority security ? i think i read that you get a meal voucher instead of the lounge ? is this true ?
    Its a morning flight so would be a breakfast . Will be staying in a Marriot hotel the night before the flight so wondering if i should just eat at the hotel ….

    • Zero perks except Priority Boarding, which is worthless at City since literally half the plane has BA status. City has no priority security.

      • Genghis says:

        And the seat exactly the same as economy unless you can get 2CD

      • Only golds get priority boarding though at city. It’s usually group 1 then everyone else.

        The meal is usually better than the Heathrow and Gatwick routes and they’re not shy with the drinks in Club.

        It does seem a waste of points but if there’s no economy and cash is too much then it gets you where you want to be…

  3. filipino_chino says:

    Damn…. I am flying on the 16th of December from Cardiff… i will have to see how much it costs to book direct…

  4. OT – I have a reward flight RIO-MAD booked on Iberia and I want to book MAD-LHR for cash as it is only £29 (so much better value than 6500 + £17.30).

    Would it be possible to merge the 2 flights onto the same PNR so I can check bags through to LHR?

    Would it be possible if MAD-LHR were an Avios flight? Thinking it might be worth doing despite the poor value to save the hassle…

    If neither of those is possible, what is the suggested connection time? The flight from Rio lands at 10.10am so would getting the 12:30 or 13:20 MAD-LHR flights be feasible?

    • Book a later flight and enjoy the Iberia lounge (make sure the flight is on BA not Iberia so you’ll be in T4s).

      Assuming the flight from Rio is business you can access the lounge when flying economy on the Madrid to London leg

      • Don’t forget, there’s also the arrivals lounge if you do need to go landside to collect bags. Not much there but a quiet place to shower

    • Shoestring says:

      short answer no, (though it may theoretically be possible eg if you bought both legs through a travel agent)

      in reality, that’s not the scenario and it doesn’t matter if MAD-LHR is an Avios flight or not, the 2 legs are simply never going to be joined onto 1 PNR after the event (after you purchased them separately), IB won’t do it

      if you have luggage to collect, you’ll need to do that in Madrid and clear security again & check it in again etc (luggage wouldn’t be interlined through to LHR)

      which all takes time plus you need to allow contingency time for delays, I would say the 13.20 isn’t realistically feasible if you have checked in luggage but if not, possibly OK if you are fully prepared to lose your booking/ money for the MAD-LHR leg if you don’t make it (you can’t normally insure this risk [a short connection] as nearly all insurance cos expect you to allow enough time for the connection)

      • 10:10 to 13:20 is ok for T4S-T4S for connection even with checked luggage. Do use lifts rather than escalators as they are much quicker. I wouldn’t do 12:30 flight with checked luggage as you need to go to T4 to check-in again. If hand luggage, it’s a very easy connection as you only need to go through security.

      • Thanks both for the info and tips.

        Unfortunately the BA flights are too early or much later so will likely be Iberia but will make sure to leave enough time.

        In hindsight I should have just booked the reward flights through to LHR and taken the small hit on value of the SH sector to save the hassle of having to collect bags etc.
        You live and learn!

        • Lady London says:

          Particularly as the lounge is reportedly very nice is it the Sala Velasquez? Personally i would not book anything leaving MAD before 4pm or even a bit later as your incoming could be late and lounge ok

          • It is not a bad lounge but certainly not worth (or any J lounge) spending 5 hours after a long-haul red-eye
            If the cash ticket is that cheap, you can book a Plus fare with 3hr+ connection time and move to an earlier flight for free after landing or baggage claim (T-1hr). I believe this is the only route where same-day change works on non-BA metal

  5. big dutch says:

    Cardiff Airport one of the worst I have ever come across from just about every angle and the lounge fitted right in with that – no loss whatsoever and really not worth directly booking!

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