News in brief:
How many flights is British Airways operating at the moment?
If you are wondering what is happening at Heathrow at the moment, I managed to get hold of the British Airways traffic figures for last Sunday.
Across the whole day, BA operated:
- 43 passenger aircraft arrivals
- 41 passenger aircraft departures
- 15 cargo-only arrivals
- 18 cargo-only departures
Long-haul departures were 33% full whilst short-haul departures were 76% full. This doesn’t account for no-shows so the actual number of people travelling will have been lower.
I have the total passenger numbers too but it may be too sensitive to publish. It is a low four-digit number in each direction.
Gatwick launching its £5 drop-off fee on 8th March
Back in October, we covered Gatwick’s announcement of a terminal drop-off fee.
Any vehicles dropping off passengers directly outside either the North or South terminals will be charged a £5 fee for the privilege.
It joins Stansted, Luton, Edinburgh, Manchester and many other regional airports in charging. London Heathrow is also planning its own drop-off fee later this year.
The airport has just announced that the fee will kick in from 8th March.
Gatwick’s £5 charge will be one of the most expensive airport drop-off fees in the country, matching Stansted’s pricing. The cost could reach a whopping £25, with the fee increasing by £1 per minute after the first 10 minutes. The maximum stay allowed will be 30 minutes.
In a slight climb down for local commuters who take the train from Gatwick, anyone living in the RH6 0, RH6 9 and RH11 0 postcodes will be allowed to buy a £50 annual pass.
If you want to park for free you can get up to two hours free parking in Gatwick’s long stay car parks, although you’ll have to hop on a (free) shuttle bus to the terminal.
Gatwick is spinning this as a sustainable initiative to reduce traffic in and around the airport. Around 15% of all passengers currently get dropped off on the kerb and Gatwick is clearly hoping it can encourage more people to take the train.
Lufthansa only halting miles expiry for credit card holders until 31st December
Lufthansa has now written to cardholders to say that their Miles & More balance will be protected from expiry – but only until 31st December 2021.
If Lufthansa does not launch a new UK card product by the end of the year, existing cardholders with no Miles & More status will see their miles starting to expire on 31st March 2022. All miles over three years old will disappear on that date, with a new batch expiring every quarter after that.
On the face of it, this is a poor offer. Lufthansa is up with Accor in the ‘we’re going to keep expiring your points during covid, we don’t care’ stakes. Even people who wanted to spend their balance before 31st December are going to struggle.
However ….. my understanding is that it is very likely that the new Cornercard-issued Visa will launch in Summer 2021.
On this basis, cardholders should have nothing to worry about. My only concern is that anyone who is currently unemployed, on furlough or self-employed will not be accepted and will therefore see their miles expire.