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News: BA adds to Accra, luxury Fairmont hotel coming to Cheshire, Lufthansa grows Glasgow

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News in brief:

British Airways launches a new Gatwick to Accra route

For reasons not obviously apparent, British Airways is launching a new route from London Gatwick to Accra in Ghana.

Accra is already served by British Airways from Heathrow with a daily flight.

From the start of the winter timetable at the end of October, BA will add flights from Gatwick on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

The new flights should be wide open for Avios availability given that seats only went on sale this week. However, as a Gatwick Boeing 777 service you won’t get Club Suite so Heathrow is a better option if possible.

British Airways launches a new Gatwick to Accra route

Accor’s Fairmont brand is coming to Cheshire

Accor’s luxury Fairmont brand – best known for its historic Canadian railway hotels – is coming to Cheshire.

It is taking over The Mere, a golf and spa resort near Knutsford in Cheshire.

The hotel was sold to a UAE group in 2022 and is about to undergo a complete renovation and extension, increasing the number of rooms from 81 to 120. It will reopen as Fairmont Cheshire The Mere in 2024.

This will be the fourth Fairmont hotel in the UK. The Savoy in London is run by Fairmont, as is Fairmont Windsor Park which opened last year. There is also Fairmont St Andrews, where I spent New Year this year, which is a golf resort.

Fairmont Cheshire The Mere

Lufthansa to launch Glasgow to Munich route

Lufthansa has added a new route from Glasgow to Munich.

This is a very limited service, operating on Saturdays only from 2nd December, and is presumably aimed at the ski market.

Looking at the Lufthansa website, it will be operated by Lufthansa CityLine using an A319 aircraft.

Comments (23)

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

  • No longer Entitled says:

    Excellent news regarding The Mere and only 15 minutes from me. This one feels like a Rob review. I look forward to meeting for a drink when it opens.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      It’s going to need a lot of work to bring it up to Fairmont standard

      • Rob says:

        Depends what you consider ‘Fairmont standard’ to be …. some of their hotels are in a pretty desperate state.

    • AL says:

      Indeed – a pleasing surprise!

  • sherlockholmes says:

    Having lived in Accra I can tell you that the Heathrow flights were always full, almost all of them doing a 1 leg journey (no connection in LHR).

  • BJ says:

    Is GLA-MUC new? I thought Lufty used to operate that route briefly pre-pandemic, EDI and NCL too. EDI-MUC is certainly still operating.

    • Rob says:

      ‘New’ is always a flexible term in this industry. Few routes which have never been tried before.

      • Jonathan says:

        I’m surprised it’s not a route they’re already doing, especially since MUC is one of two major hubs, and having connections from Scotland (I don’t know about Edinburgh) would definitely make them stronger for their long haul network

  • Ryan says:

    Is there a review of the Fairmont St Andrews anywhere?

    • Rob says:

      No, didn’t do one as it was a family holiday. Was there for 5 nights though. Got a ludicrously huge suite – probably the biggest single room suite ever – as a top tier Accor member,

      Bottom line – nowhere near as pleasant as Gleneagles or Turnberry, mainly because it is a US style conference hotel, new build, plonked on a cliffside golf course.

      However, clearly it is a totally different part of Scotland to Turnberry or Gleneagles, so if it where you want to be then its totally fine – but if you’ve been to Turnberry or Gleneagles you’ll feel a bit deflated. Price reflects this to be fair.

      • Mike says:

        Hi Rob,

        How top tier? Platinum or Diamond?


        • Rob says:

          I was Diamond at the time. I had booked a Junior Suite though, it’s not as if I got their top suite as an ugprade from a standard room. Suite had no view either 🙂

          I won’t even begin to tell you how much trouble I had getting the bill and the Accor points fixed for this stay. I tried to redeem my €100 of Accor F&B credits which went horribly wrong and then there were huge issues over the hotel trying to get out of awarding points for certain things such as the NYE dinner. Got sorted in the end and, because it was retro claimed, it all posted as 2023 despite three nights being in 2022 so I had my Platinum status locked in for 2024 by mid Jan!

          • Mike says:

            Very nice.

            I’m current trying Accor out this year, hit Platinum so far. Currently IHG Diamond, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Titanium and whatever the lowest earned tier of Hyatt (from a couple of gambling trips in MGM properties). All except Accor were from stays last year so trying to decide who I should keep my business with because I reckon I can only keep reasonably top tier with one maybe two chains per year. I’m thinking maybe time to get a AMEX again, get a couple of mid-tiers through that and earn another one.

          • Rob says:

            The general view – although I don’t do enough stays to comment – is that Accor is better for upgrades, even at lower levels, because there are fewer elites. There aren’t (as you get with Hilton, IHG and Marriott) 500,000 people globally walking around with top tier cards purely because they have the right credit card. If you’ve got Accor status then you earned it.

  • Nick says:

    Ghana flights are booming, the beautiful country is a major growth market. The daily flight is remaining at LHR for US connections (loads of them), but LGW has more spare capacity than LHR for the new one. Also benefits from appealing to the Ghanaian-heritage communities in south London, where LGW is easy to access.

  • zapato1060 says:

    Is there a reasonably affordable estate hotel like this in the UK I could visit? 150-200 pn? been telling myself I must visit but always end up abroad. Thanks

    • Rob says:

      Given you won’t find a Holiday Inn Express for £150 in the UK this summer, I imagine, the answer is likely to be no!

      Not sure what it could cost to buy World of Hyatt points for their new Scottish estate hotel, SCHLOSS Roxburghe. This may come into budget via bought points during a bonus promo.

    • Gordon says:

      I’m sure a Britannia hotel would fit that budget If you could stomach one lol.

    • tony says:

      Depends what you’re looking for but Slayley Hall in Northumberland is in that range for some dates in June (15th-17th, £128/nt incl breakfast).

      There are dozens of places like this, it’s just they’re typically independents or members of some esoteric chain you’ve never heard of. And you risk ending up captive when it comes to dinner unless you have a car.

  • dave says:

    Why aren’t Lufthansa coming back to southampton for the Munich route, I’m holding off on a job transfer as the flight times out of heathrow do not suit a 90 minute airport commute on top

  • KP says:

    Have you seen the amount of luggage people take on the Ghana flights? Its crazy. BA must be making a lot of money on excess luggage !

    • Jonathan says:

      They allow 2x 23kg bags for just about anyone who opts for checked baggage, and there’s not likely to be many on light tickets

    • zapato1060 says:

      I also feel like I’m myself the trick. When going though Addis Ababa and I was the only one without 3-4 bags of 32kg shrink wrapped.

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