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Welcome to your weekly trade round-up of UK business travel and travel loyalty news as well as our latest reviews and features.

You are receiving this as a previous subscriber to Malcolm Ginsberg’s Business Travel News, which Head for Points has acquired. If you are not a subscriber, you can sign up here to receive this free newsletter in your inbox every Monday.

Malcolm’s new monthly forward-looking Travel News Update is available at travelnewsupdate.co.uk. The December edition is now up, which includes an article by Lord (Patrick) McLoughlin, the chairman of Airlines UK.

Join our private shopping evening at Globe-Trotter:

In the market for a hand-crafted UK-made luxury suitcase? Join us for a private Head for Points shopping evening at Globe-Trotter in London’s Burlington Arcade on Thursday 15th December. Click here for ticket details.

The latest UK business travel news:

After an historic 50+ years at New York JFK Terminal 7, British Airways has moved in with American Airlines at Terminal 8. As part of the move, AA and BA have opened two brand new lounges for guests, and we were there:

The lounges set a new standard across the British Airways network. Did you ever think you’d see Krug being served in a British Airways lounge?!

British Airways leaves Terminal 7

In other news:

easyJet expands flights from Belfast. The first new route to be announced is Rhodes.

Fly Atlantic is the latest start-up airline to attempt low-cost UK to US flights. It wants to do so from a base in Belfast.

British Airways is now the second largest operator of A380s globally.

Hyatt makes another acquisition. It has bought The Dream Hotel Group, a niche luxury chain which includes The Chatwal.

Clayton Hotels has opened a new hotel in Glasgow this week.

Air India and Vistara are to merge with Singapore Airlines taking a 25% stake.

Business travel stories we recommend from other sites:

Fly Atlantic CEO gives Andrew Pyne is interviewed about his plans for the Belfast-based start-up (Aviation Source)

Four Seasons London Park Lane will open a restaurant with acclaimed French chef Yannick Alléno (Business Traveller)

Visit the retired BA Boeing 747 at Cotswold Airport for a 1-hour ‘immersive’ Christmas experience (Simple Flying)

Helen Argent – ex Etihad, Qatar Airways – is appointed Head of Marketing UK & Europe for Malaysia Airlines (press release, no link)

Daniel Edwards rejoins Heathrow Express as Business Lead (Rail Business Daily)

Manchester Airport to be the first UK airport with a hydrogen fuel pipeline (UK Aviation News)

TAP Portugal CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener

Interviews of the week:

We travelled to Lisbon to interview TAP Portugal CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener. We discuss the TAP restructuring, current trading, fleet plans and takeover rumours.

Listen to HfP editor Rob on Simon Calder’s travel podcast. Over 29 minutes they cover the appeal of Premium Economy, the best business class seats and how to square air miles with the environment.

Our latest travel reviews:

Rob reviews Air France business class from Paris to Dubai (Boeing 777). He was particularly impressed by the food.

On the same trip he also reviewed the Air France business class lounge in Paris (Terminal 2E).

Back in London, we try out the Crowne Plaza Heathrow Terminal 4 hotel. Attached to the terminal it shares a building and facilities with a Holiday Inn Express. Image below.

Crowne Plaza London Heathrow Terminal 4

The latest UK travel loyalty news:

British Airways is to offer all elite members (Bronze and up) a 1 month free trial of Paramount+. Star Trek will also appear on board.

Can you cancel the return flight of an Avios redemption if you’ve already flown the outbound? The answer is not obvious.

What are the best hotel promos for December 2022?

How to book Oman Air flights using Etihad Guest miles.

American Express Shop Small is live until 12th December. Register your Amex card and get £5 back on £15+ purchases at independent stores, up to £25 per card.

Thank you for reading

Thank you for reading.

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See you next Monday.

Rob, Rhys and Sinead @ Head for Points

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Comments (8)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    The early reviews on FlyerTalk of these new lounges (particularly Chelsea, the CCR equivalent) have not been as positive. Hopefully these issues now they’ve gone live are mostly teething issues (common complaints were they’d ran out of champagne or if they had any it was warm and also similar availability issues with food).

    A few criticised other things such as the brightness of the lights in the lounge (hard to please everyone but this can be tweaked) and others didn’t like the lack of windows in Chelsea.

    They’re currently short staffed too (again according to FlyerTalk) so that doesn’t help.

    I’m hoping they can resolve the supply and service issues and become a truly great set of lounges.

    One of the things I didn’t like when Virgin ran what is now LNER is that they overhyped anything they did. Everything was awesome so they raised expectations and it led to disappointment. I wonder if BA/AA have fallen into a similar trap and wowed the press (who were invited in just before opening) and now our expectations are too high?

    If they hadn’t made this announcement I would have been happy with LPGS in the Chelsea lounge, I think that’s what most people were expecting.

    • Andrew J says:

      The JFK lounges sound best avoided for a few months while they sort out these issues.

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      It’s clear to me that some of those posts are from people who have yet to visit the new lounges and are relying on photos (in a comment on his review page Rhys said the sofas weren’t as dark as the photos made them appear to be)

      Likely the same people who complained about club suites before they had even sat in them.

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        That could also be the case, although one person seemed to be giving a live commentary of their experience. It’s always best to make up your own mind after all. A lot of people said the Aspire lounge in Sofia was dreadful, so I went in with my expectations lowered, but I thought it was fine for what it is (a contract lounge) to me it seemed much nicer than the Aspire in Newcastle.

    • Rhys says:

      Short staffing is true at most if not all airport lounges this year, so that’s not new.

      As for lighting/windows – I think these are minor points in the grand scheme of things, and also hugely subjective!

      I have yet to see anyone genuinely dislike the lounges and think they are worse than what existed before, because they just aren’t. They are real upgrades to the JFK experience for BA and AA.

      • Chris says:

        Almost every review of lounges with good windows e.g. Qantas Sydney First even those with mediocre ones like Cathay First in T3 compliment the views.

        Those without them e.g. Qantas/ Oneworld First TBIT, BA Concord Cupboard at Changi, BA lounges in T3, emirates first in Dubai get called out for it.

        • Rhys says:

          If you read my review of the Chelsea Lounge I called it out, too. But it’s still really impressive.

          I’ve been to many, many lounges. I don’t think any of them have been perfect!

  • Simon Schus says:

    I very much like the Cotswold Airport Christmas 747!!!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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