News in brief:
What is the British Airways lockdown lounge menu?
British Airways reopened its Galleries Club North lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5 yesterday, after seemingly acknowledging that there was no legal basis for keeping it closed.
The good news is that status and premium customers do now have somewhere to sit.
The bad news is that it is not a food and drink extravaganza. According to a post on Flyertalk yesterday, the food offering consists of a ‘help yourself’ selection of:
Tuna and lemon mayonnaise
Chicken and bacon
Tomato and red pepper (in a takeaway container)
Cheese and onion
Blueberry or chocolate
Oddly, there is a fairly full drinks menu available from the bar. If you want to mix your tuna sandwich with rum, tequila, brandy, whisky or vodka, you can.
For clarity, you can eat the food in the lounge – there is no obligation to sit outside in the terminal as some people had assumed would happen.
Lufthansa also continues to offer a ‘served at your seat’ or assisted buffet in its Terminal 2 lounge.
Get a 15% bonus on American Express and HSBC Premier transfers to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Last week we published an article on the best ‘sweet spots’ in the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer programme.
There are some interesting options. KrisFlyer is, I think, the cheapest way of getting business class seats from the UK to the Middle East – flying Lufthansa or SWISS – for example. You can also get a permanent transfer bonus of 30%+ on American Express transfers by routing them through an International Currency Card. More on this in our article last week.
Singapore Airlines has just launched a 15% transfer bonus with its bank partners, which includes Amex and HSBC in the UK. There is no small print, except for the fact that you must send across a minimum of 10,000 points.
You can find out more on the Singapore Airlines website here. The offer closes on 27th December.
Korean Air to buy Asiana – Asiana to leave Star Alliance?
In the first major airline merger since covid appeared, Korean Air has announced a deal to buy its South Korean rival Asiana Airlines.
Subject to regulatory approvals, which are expected to take almost a year, the new combined group – to be known as Korean Air – will be one of the 10 largest global airlines.
Korean needs to raise the money to make the deal happen – it doesn’t have enough cash on hand – so a lot could still derail the transaction. Very few countries are big enough to support more than one full service airline, however, so this is arguably a natural act of consolidation.
Korean Air is a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance. Delta Air Lines of the US, the pivotal member of SkyTeam, is also a minority shareholder in Korean.
Given that Korean is leading this transaction and it is their brand which remains, it is hard to see a scenario under which Asiana remains in Star Alliance beyond 2021.
You can find out more on Routes Online here.