Tuesday 3rd March 2020
- 48 Hour Flash Sale at Jurys Inn
- New Flying Blue Promo Awards
- BA First / Club World / Club Europe sale book by 17th March
- Buy 1 get 1 half price at Aspire lounges Edinburgh Airport ends 31st March
- Stay twice, get a free night with Wyndham Rewards book by 26th April
- £12 fares from London Euston to BHX with Train to Plane Saver
Deals ending soon:
- Up to 6000 bonus Accor points from 3x 2 night stays ends 6th March
- 50% bonus buying Marriott Bonvoy points until 25th March
- Radisson Rewards new year promotion until 31st March
Price rises and a new premium lounge at LBA
Prices for the lounges at Leeds Bradford Airport will increase on 1st April. The prices will be:
- Yorkshire Lounge £30
- White Rose Lounge £36
- 1432 Runway Club £40
In May, a new “First Class” lounge will open, priced at £50.
Called Aero Club, it promises a similar offering to the 1432 Runway Club, namely runway views, premium spirits and Prosecco, and hot food.
It will also have a bathroom, like the 1432 Runway Club but unlike the cheaper two lounges.
Where the 1432 Runway Club offers “hot and cold food”, the Aero Club will offer “made-to-order seasonal food“.
It’s that “made to order” aspect which seems to be the biggest difference compared to the 1432 Runway Club. It suggests that although the seating, views, drinks, and facilities will be broadly similar to the 1432, Aero Club will have a higher standard of service and quality.
48 hour flash sale at Jurys Inn
Full details in this article. Sale starts 9am Wednesday 6th and ends 9am Friday 8th. 30% off flexible bed & breakfast rates for stays between 18th March and 30Th December.
Jurys Rewards members get an additional 10% off the sale rate. See our guide to Jurys Rewards for details of generous perks and how to get a status match.
BA to waive change fees
BA has announced that it will waive change fees for any new bookings made between 3rd March and 16th March. No refunds, just no change fees.
Fare differences due to changing the dates of a flight will still apply.
BA claims to be the first UK airline to do this.
Doesn’t seem like they’re offering to do anything more than the absolute minimum that all airlines should be doing anyway, so boasting about being first doesn’t sit well.
Premium cabin sales from BA and Qatar
BA launched a sale on First, Club World, and Club Europe, and released 200,000 seats priced at £29 one way. Book by 17th March for travel until the end of the year.
Not to be outdone, Qatar Airways also launched their own first and business class sale. Book by 4th March for travel before 10th December using code PREM2020.
Lufthansa suspends China flights until 24th April
Lufthansa announced a suspension of all flights to mainland China until 24th April.
Flights to Tehran are suspended until 30th April. Italy, Seoul, and Hong Kong will have greatly reduced frequency.
Flights from Munich to Hong Kong will be suspended from 6th March to 24th April.
To further illustrate the deepening effects of the virus on air travel, even domestic flights in Germany will have reduced frequency on some routes.
Lufthansa’s operations are down by about 25%, with 23 long-haul aircraft now idle.
Swiss, Austrian, Eurowings, and Brussels are also similarly affected by reductions and suspension to China and Italy.
New Wyndham Rewards promo - Free night from 2 stays
The Make Your Break sale offers 5500 bonus points after two stays.
That’s not quite enough for a free night because free nights start at 7500 (and go up to 30,000), but you will receive at least 2000 points for the 2 qualifying stays.
You must register before booking (direct bookings only) and complete your second stay by 21st May.
Train to Plane saver means £12 fares to Birmingham Airport from London
Train to Plane Saver is now offering train travel between London Euston and Birmingham International, the station for BHX airport, at just £12 one way, every day, on any train.
You have to book online and can then take any train on the day for the flat fare. You can travel from BHX into Birmingham New Street for just £2 with the same scheme.
Coronavirus suspensions and changes - Check before you travel
Even if your flight is still operating, remember to check up on any lounges and other services you intend to use.
Particularly across Asia, lounges have been closed or have reduced operating hours and restricted service.
For example, here is the latest news from Plaza Premium lounges.
Faroe Islands gets a new direct flight from London
Atlantic Airways fly direct to Vagar from Edinburgh. The arrival into Vagar airport is spectacular, and the Faroe islands are a relatively under-visited gem.
Considering how close we are to them, it surprised me when I was planning my visit that nearly everyone I mentioned it to said “where’s that then?”.
The Faroes are one of Europe’s best drone flying destinations, have some of the most dramatic landscapes and geology outside Norway, brilliant empty roads for cycling, biking, and road trips, and superb seafood. Think New Zealand blended with Iceland, and you won’t be far off.
As well as the direct flights from Edinburgh, you can also get there with car or motorcycle by ferry from Denmark, on a service with Smyril Line which offers the chance for a week-long stop in the Faroes before continuing to Iceland.
Atlantic Airways are adding flights from Gatwick, their first London service since 2014. The service will only run during summer, from 23rd June to 11th August.
Tickets went on sale on 26th February.
Last year just 130,000 tourists visited the Faroes. That’s triple the resident population, and the islands are small with limited accommodation, so for the peak summer period you have to book well in advance.
It is one of Europes hidden gems but is on the brink of an Iceland-style explosion in visitor numbers. 2019 saw an increase of 10% over 2018’s visitor numbers.
In July, Hilton will open a Hilton Garden Inn hotel in the capital, Torshavn, which will be the first international hotel chain to set up shop in the Faroes.
Whether for hiking, biking, sailing, climbing, birding, eating, photography, or just isolation, the time to experience the Faroe islands is now.
Virgin Atlantic adds Manchester-Delhi service from October
Virgin Atlantic will begin flying an A330 to Delhi from Manchester 3 times a week from October. With the new Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in development at MAN and due to open this summer, this is a great sign for the health of UK air travel outside London.
Virgin Atlantic said:
“Increasing our presence out of Manchester is a huge focus for us. We’re delighted to announce a new service flying three times a week from Manchester to Delhi, additional capacity into Barbados from Manchester as well as a Clubhouse opening this summer.”
The Manchester-Delhi service will operate as follows:
- Outbound VS318 depart 16:40 arrive 06:05 next day
- Inbound VS319 depart 08:10 arrive 12:10
The outbound flights are Monday, Thursday, Saturday. Inbound is Tuesday, Friday Sunday.
Tickets go on sale from 3rd March.
It’s important to note that sadly the aircraft that will service is this route does not have the latest Upper Class seats.
From January 2021, there will also be a 3 times weekly flight to Barbados from Manchester, on Virgin’s 747. The flights will be Monday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Shangri-La extends tier status for members worldwide
Several airlines including Singapore Airlines and Qantas have recently announced status extensions or extra points earning opportunities for members based in Asia.
Hotel loyalty schemes including Hilton, IHG, Hyatt, and Marriott Bonvoy have given extensions for members in China.
Shangri-La are being more inclusive, perhaps due to their heavy presence in the parts of the world that are bing hit hardest by the travel slowdown. They have announced an extension until the end of 2021 for all Diamond and Jade members of Golden Circle.
BA will reduce on-board single-use plastics by 700 tonnes this year
BA aims to remove a quarter of a billion single-use plastic items from flights by the end of 2020, a significant increase over previous targets.
Plastic wraps have already been removed or swapped for paper. Plastic stirrers have been replaced with bamboo. The new target will find alternatives for plastic cutlery and cups, toothpicks, and butter packaging.
Surely nobody will really miss a toothpick?
Whereas hotels only need to consider sustainability, hygiene, and cost, airlines have to look at weight as well.
BA say it’s more complex than it might appear:
“We’ve spent a long time researching how to make sustainable changes without causing environmental impact elsewhere. For instance, we are looking at the amount of water and detergent needed to wash metal cutlery and how often it needs to be replaced versus using plastic or bamboo cutlery.”
It’s all very important and very credible and very sensible, until you get to the bit where they demonstrate how good large corporations are at wasting money on trivia:
“To mark the new target British Airways commissioned eco-artist Sarah Turner to create a giant suitcase made from a thousand pieces of waste plastic.”
Radisson will reduce single-use plastics - in 2 years
Radisson announced an end to single-use bathroom amenity containers by 2022. Replacing them with bulk dispensers will, they say, avoid the use of 500 tons of plastic per year.
I’m sure most of it does end up in landfill, but I would prefer to see responsible recycling and sustainable materials rather than bulk dispensers.
I don’t mind them too much, at least in cheap rooms, but many bulk dispensers are cheap and nasty and I worry about how sanitary they really are.
I would be much happier to see an end to pointless amenities like those miniature shoe horns, or combs. Does anyone even use combs these days?
Radisson will also ditch plastic straws and stirrers.
They will replace plastic water bottles with “in-house filtered and bottled water”, which leads me to wonder what quality and health standards will be applied to hotels doing their own in-house water filtering, as is applied to water bottling factories.