British Airways updates Avios prices for partner airlines
From 30 May 2019, British Airways will be changing its Avios prices on reward flights with the following partner airlines: Alaska Airlines, Air Italy, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines, LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, S7, Sri Lankan and Royal Jordanian Airlines. The price of Avios upgrades on American Airlines only will also be changing from 30 May 2019. You will pay the difference between the Avios prices of your booked cabin and your upgraded cabin. Read more.
Etihad boosts London services
As of 27 May, Etihad Airways has commenced an additional 14 flights per week between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow. This brings the total weekly flights from 21 flights to 35 flights weekly. The additional flights are: EY12 London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi 0935-1955 B787 aircraft, EY16 London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi 2120-0730 (following day) A380 aircraft and: EY9 Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow 0210-0645 A380 aircraft, EY25 Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow 1315-1755 B787 aircraft.
BA unveils business lounge at JFK
British Airways has officially opened its newly-renovated Club lounge at New York’s JFK Airport, Terminal 7. The 2,000 sqm business class facility includes work stations, brasserie-style dining room and an entertainment room with Sony technology. Guests can unwind at the Elemis Spa, or enjoy a beverage at one of the two bars, a self-service Quaich Bar or a new Brewdog craft beer room.
American Airlines Flagship Experience now at DFW
American Airlines’ newest Flagship™ Lounge, Flagship™ First Dining and renovated Admirals Club lounge are now open in Terminal D at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). The Flagship™ Lounge is available to travellers who are flying in Flagship™ First and Flagship™ Business and eligible American Airlines AAdvantage® elite members.
Virgin Atlantic resumes service to Mumbai
Virgin Atlantic is relaunching flights between London Heathrow and Mumbai, India, with flights on sale from Tuesday, 28th May. The first service is set to commence on 27th October 2019 and will complement the airline’s long-established route between London and Delhi.
Air Canada B737 changes
Air Canada has been forced to make a number of changes to its network due to the ongoing grounding of the B737 Max. Flights from Halifax and St John’s to London Heathrow have been suspended until July 31, as “alternative aircraft are not presently available”.
British Airways new partner lounge access
British Airways Club Europe passengers will gain access to a range of new partner airline lounges this summer. Lounges in the following destinations will allow Gold and Silver card holders and OneWorld, Emerald and Sapphire members travelling on British Airways guest access: Thessaloniki, Paphos, Heraklion, Dalaman, Olbia, Palermo, Rhodes, Split.
Etihad updates online check-in policy
As of 14 May, passengers travelling with Etihad Airways can now check in to their flight via the EY app or website, 30 hours before the scheduled flight time instead of 48 hours. Furthermore, Economy Standard Seats will be available to reserve for free as soon as online check-in opens.
British Airways to launch Club suite on Toronto and Dubai
This October, British Airways will be flying its new state-of-art Airbus A350 aircraft to Toronto and Dubai. Fly to either of these two destinations and you’re first on the list to enjoy all the luxuries of the new Club Suite. More than just a seat, Club Suite offers personal space to sit, sleep, work or relax. It includes direct aisle access; a suite door plus 1-2-1 configuration and a flat-bed option.
Virgin Twilight Check In for Manchester is here to stay
Virgin Atlantic’s Twilight check in for Manchester passengers is here to stay, available between 4:00pm and 8:00pm the day before they fly. If they have used Online Check In, they should then drop off their bags at the Twilight desks. The next day, all they have to do is arrive 90 minutes before boarding the next day with their boarding pass and passport.
Qatar Airways ‘Quisine’
A newly branded ‘Quisine’ meal service has been released by Qatar Airways, as part of an enhancement of the airline’s economy experience. The service will include larger food portions (between 25 and 50 percent) and a wider variety of in-flight snacks, with flights over five hours receiving a pre-dinner sparkling wine and cocktail snack. Routes to Brussels, Cardiff, Gothenburg, Moscow and St Petersburg are the first to introduce the new menu.
United reveals new livery design
Out with the gold, in with the blue – United Airlines has revealed a brand-new livery design featuring a blue globe instead of the current gold, and blue engines. The Boeing 737-800 will be the first to receive the new livery with a variety of narrowbody, widebody and regional aircraft to follow throughout the year. Read more.
UK opens eGates to 7 new nations
This summer, the eGates system at UK borders will expand to include citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United Sates of America. Visitors and entry clearance holders from these countries who are aged 12 or older and in possession of a biometric passport will be able to use the eGates. The landing card requirements will also be dropped for these citizens, allowing them to move seamlessly through the passport process.
Qatar boosts flights to Gatwick
Qatar Airways will increase its frequency from Gatwick to three times daily over the summer season, operated by B787 Dreamliners. Passengers will receive Qatar’s new Quisine dining service in economy.
Delta to run JFK to Edinburgh year-round
This winter, Delta Airlines will operate its flights to New York’s JFK airport on a year-round basis.The news comes as Delta launches its daily flights between Boston and Edinburgh, which will run during the summer season.
Airlines halve mishandled baggage claims
Since introducing automation and baggage tracking technologies, airlines have halved the number of mishandled baggage claims, despite passenger numbers increasing by 76%. The rate of improvement ranged between 38 per cent and 66 per cent, depending on the level of tracking introduced. Read more.
Airlines allocated terminal space at Berlin’s long-awaited new airport
Ahead of its expected opening in October 2020, the new Berlin airport has begun allocating terminal space to airlines. The first to have been announced are EasyJet and Lufthansa, who will be operating from Terminal 1.
IHG announce Hotel Indigo for Chester
The city of Chester will welcome a Hotel Indigo boutique property later this year, with Intercontinental Hotels Group now taking reservations from 1 October 2019. The 75-room hotel will feature a fine-dining restaurant owned by MasterChef 2015 winner, Simon Wood.
Leonardo Hotel LHR – NEW Executive rooms
Newly upgraded Executive rooms are now available at Leonardo Hotels’ London Heathrow property. Featuring all the benefits of Standard rooms, Executive rooms also offer a complimentary drink voucher, 10% lunch and dinner discount, early check-in from 12pm and late check out until 2pm.
The Doyle’s newly opened Pembroke restaurant receives top praise
From the marble tabletops to the playful plush salmon-colored leather sofas, The Pembroke, Washington’s newest dining sensation, is truly a feast for the senses. Designed by world-renowned interiors guru Martin Brudnizki, The Pembroke’s stunning setting is quite the backdrop for Chef Marlon Rambaran’s farm-to-table fare that draws flavors and inspiration from France, Morocco, Ireland and more. Read the review here.
Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru at Embassy ONE
Four Seasons’ second hotel in India, Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru at Embassy ONE, is now open. Set amid 5.6 acres (2.3 hectares) of landscaped gardens and water features including a 100 foot (30 metre) outdoor pool, the new Embassy ONE landmark destination, that includes Four Seasons, mirrors the city’s unique combination of modern urban architecture dotted with calming parks and gardens.
McGallery opens Kyoto Yura Hotel
MGallery Kyoto Yura Hotel has officially opened, with interiors playing homage to the traditions of Kyoto through art and heritage. Located within walking distance to the geisha district of Gion, Yasaka Shinto Shrine and downtown district of Kawaramachi, the hotel offers 144 guest rooms.
IHG rolls out next phase of brand design prototypes
Three IHG brands will be undergoing updates to their designs and food & beverage services later this year. Holiday Inn, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites will receive upgrades to their exteriors and public spaces, with a focus on open-plan living and comfortable living. Holiday Inn’s H4 Design prototype will include multiple restaurant and bar concepts, adaptable meeting space, and welcoming guest room design.
Shanghai cuts down on disposables
A new government initiative will see Shanghai hotels cut down on disposable amenity items in a bid to reduce waste within the hospitality sector. From 1 July, hotels will no longer supply toothbrushes, combs, bath sponges, shaving kits, nail files and shoe brushes. Hotels that do not comply will risk being fined up to RMB5,000 (US$725).