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Norwegian to launch London Heathrow flights from March 2020, it seems

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Well, here’s an interesting one.  Norwegian has been awarded six weekly slots at Heathrow Airport for the Summer 2020 season.

Starting from late March and running to late October, Norwegian will be in a position to launch three flights per week, given that a take-off and landing requires two slots.

At the moment there are no clues as to what route Norwegian will launch, although as it is a Summer slot it may be targeting Florida.  There is no guarantee that Norwegian will gain Winter 2020 slots, and without the potential for operating year-round it would be trickier to target business routes.

This came to light in the Summer 2020 Heathrow slot report, published by Airport Coordination, the company which handles slot trades on behalf of airlines.

Norwegian gains slots at Heathrow

This is a very interesting document if you have 10 minutes spare and have avgeek tendencies!   It seems that there were 9,658 allocated weekly slots last Summer.  Ten were surrendered – eight by Tunisair and two by Turkmenistan Airlines.  This left 9,648 slots already allocated.  The airport seems to have squeezed out an extra three flights (not daily, three in total over the week!), because the total allocation for Summer 2020 is 9,664 slots.

This means 16 additional weekly slots (ie 8 flights).  Six went to Norwegian, two to Virgin Atlantic, two to Tunisair (partly offsetting the eight they gave up), two to Shenzhen Airlines and four to China Southern.

JetBlue asked for 70 slots – enough for five daily flights to the US – and got nothing.  Virgin Atlantic asked for an extra 114 slots which must have caused a few giggles at Heathrow, given that it ended up with a grand total of two, allowing it to add just a single additional departure per week.

Comments (151)

  • Jane D says:

    OT: Anyone waiting a long time for a BA avios refund or points deposit at the moment? I am waiting 6 weeks for the avios and tier points from a BA flight and over a month for the avios, voucher and taxes back from a cancelled avios booking (cancelled online), despite multiple calls to customer service. Is there any way to force them to refund things more quickly?

    • Anna says:

      Taxes can take a while to come back, but avios and voucher usually re-appear pretty much straight away – I would escalate this as a formal complaint if I were you. You should have got a notification at the time you cancelled of exactly what should be refunded.

      I’ve found tier points and avios for flights taken normally credit within a week or so, I don’t know whether this is typical.

      • BJ says:

        +1, ask for goodwill gesture too as they have prevented you from using your avios for so long.

        • Jane D says:

          Thanks both. I have received nothing so far, not even a confirmation of the amount to be refunded.
          By escalate, do you mean fill in the complaints form online, or should I lodge a compliant via the call centre?

          • BJ says:

            Complaint form Jane, you need to get it in writing.

          • Anna says:

            Have you checked that your booking was actually cancelled?

          • Shoestring says:

            My Easter OUTWARD flight has been cancelled and we’ve been put on the flight 2hrs 25mins later.

            Over the magic 2hrs duty of care guide/ limit – you reckon I can charge lounge entry (well, 4 lounge entries) to BA?, it’d only be 4x £15 if I keep my Barclays Dragonpass going.

          • Lady London says:

            @Shoestring I would

          • Shoestring says:

            I’ll definitely be submitting a claim, nothing to lose

            I guess I didn’t want to mess up travel arrangements prepaid/ getting to the airport, which is why I arrived so early

    • Tom Cook says:

      Took us 3months to get a compo payment of 15k avios for a rubbish flight.

  • rams1981 says:

    OT thanks for the comments on Boston/Intercontinental. I am on 9th floor in a corner room so decent size with water view. Not sure if that’s a suite but big enough for me.
    Was given club access without asking. I’m a Spire Ambassador so that’s free breakfast throughout though same items available each day other than weekends when they have an omelette station (I’m with work so that just increases my lunch and dinner budget!). Looking forward to snacks/drinks this evening which changes every day.

    Need to ask about my 20 usd bar credit. Think that should be all my perks covered.

    • Kai says:

      Out of curiosity what room did you book?

      • Anon says:

        Would also like to know – I’ve got a stay coming up at Intercontinental LA (using Ambassador night + points + free IHG card night on separate stays that I’ve linked) and want to know if the room upgrades given for status will get you lounge access or not if you originally booked a basic room.

        • Simon says:

          I’ve booked a stay at the IC LA using a similar mix of separate bookings for the same room type. Should I contact the hotel to ensure that the bookings are all linked, or will their systems do this?

        • Steve-B says:

          Room upgrades not guaranteed on reward bookings, but usually honoured if AMB. Likely to get lounge, although have noticed a growing trend where F&B credit being offered in lieu of lounge.

      • rams1981 says:

        It’s through work. They booked king bed with water view

  • riku2 says:

    I suppose Norwegian will have some spare planes soon because they have cancelled all long haul routes from Sweden and Denmark.

  • Liam says:

    OT — I moved to the US recently and got myself a US Amex last month, but I still have a couple of UK Amex cards for the time being. I noticed today on my UK Platinum that one of my offers is for £25 off spend of £100+ at Bloomingdale’s. I wondered at first whether this was an online offer or whether they had a store in London I wasn’t aware of, but no: it’s eligible at “participating US stores” and the map shows nine of them near me, in and around L.A. Very surprising.

    Has anyone else got any experience of US offers appearing on UK cards for people in my situation?

  • Voltron says:

    OT – Anyone tried buying a physical gift card from harrods online for the AMEX offer?

  • rams1981 says:

    OT I tried to add groupon bought via Aer Lingus to my Aer Club account. I had read on here it was very quick. 24 hours have passed, did anyone else purchase and it take a while? It says there’s a 100k limit and one voucher type per account, is that enforced? I’ve tried putting through 2x35k so not sure if that’s the issue.

  • Harry T says:

    OT:
    Another questions, apologies.

    I’m trying to get flights from Melbourne to Sydney after the F1 race on 15th March. Latest flights I can get are 18.30. Race this year finished at 18.10, so this isn’t ideal.

    Does anyone have experience booking these Avios redemptions? Are Avios flights likely to open up later or should I pull the trigger and pay the expensive cash prices now before they get worse?

    • Callum says:

      While I’ve never checked Avios flights to Sydney at that time, every year Melbourne is PACKED during F1 – I don’t believe for a second Avios (or any other) availability will ever open up on the final evening!

      All things considered, I don’t think £120 is really that bad. (Especially as, if you value an Avios at 1p, the redemption would cost £80 anyway).

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      I did the overnight bus and went back to work the next day. Grim.