First class seats on a budget airline
I don’t often mention budget airlines on TLFL for less although Norwegian’s Premium product is actually pretty good for the price with bigger seat pitch and lounge access making it a good choice versus BA or Virgin Premium Economy.
However this summer thing are about to get a whole lot better. From now until 23 August 2018 Norwegian have leased a Hi Fly A380 that was formerly a Singapore Airlines aircraft. This to cover for issues with their B787 Trent 1000 engine problems that many airlines are suffering from. The leased aircraft has 60 lie flat business class seats and 12 First class suites which is quite a step up from the normal Norwegian seats!
The aircraft is likely to operate on the London Gatwick to New York service on flights
- DI7015 London Gatwick to New York JFK
- DI7016 New York JFK to London Gatwick
If you are booked on these flights already watch for a schedule change as Norwegian have been forced to change the schedule due to arrival restrictions at JFK for A380 stands. The last few days the airline will very likely have to pay out EU compensation for departing late due to the restrictions.
So if you book Premium can you select a First Class suite? Unfortunately not but you would get a business class seat at least. I flew on one of Singapore’s B777 aircraft with these old seats recently. They weren’t nearly as good as the new seats but certainly a big step up from Premium Economy. First class suites will be allocated on a random basis.
They are still selling tickets for the flights but most are quite pricey at £694 one way from London.
New American Express membership rewards partner
If you are considering a miles credit card but want to remain flexible for which airline you use them on, American Express cards that give Membership Rewards are a good option (also the SPG card). There are several choices from the Platinum American Express Card which costs £450 a year to the free Amex Rewards card. There are currently a large range of partners thar you can transfer to including BA, Cathay, Virgin, Emirates and Etihad. By leaving the points in your account you can keep maximum flexibility and only transfer them out when you need them.
A new partner has been announced which may interest Avios collectors – Aer Lingus. From later this month you will be able to transfer miles on a 1:1 ration from a minimum of 1000 points. Although you are more likely to want to transfer them to BA, it is looking like once Avios.com closes for UK customers as a stand-alone it will be a bit fiddly to transfer miles to Aer Lingus from BA and vice versa. This could be another alternative as Aer Lingus have a good business class seat and some great value redemptions with low taxes. It is worth having an Aer Lingus account as well as BA and Iberia ones since each has different promotions.
Langham Hotel London
The Langham hotel is one of my favourite London hotels and has a great location just behind Oxford Circus. They recently redid their spa area as well as opening a new pub style bar. More to my style is the Artesian bar with its innovative cocktails which has won best bar in London many times.
They are currently running a promotion for weekend stays until the 27 August when you book by 26 August 2018. The Weekend Away package starts at £360 per night for two in a Deluxe Room, for stays up to three days from Friday to Sunday and includes daily English breakfast which you can even have on room service if you wish. It also includes a Taste of Langham gift and 15% off certain London attractions.