British Airways news
British Airways CEO gave an interview to Business Traveller magazine which is quite lengthy, but a few key points were reinforced which I thought would be of interest to TLFL readers:
- They chose to customise an off the shelf seat for the Club Suite as they wanted to ensure they could deliver the new seats as soon as possible rather than creating a completely bespoke design. If they had gone for completely bespoke, it could have taken up to 6 years to deliver it.
- With less densification of Club seats, they will be borrowing space from both First and economy to ensure the highest number of Club Suites when they retrofit the B777s. These will start this year. Alex Cruz revealed in this article about the new First seats, but BA had denied they would be fitted at the same time as the Club Suites are retrofitted. It seems unlikely to me they would only remove seats and not introduce the new First ones. I think it is almost certain that while being based on the B787 First seat there will have to be a door to make it comparable with Club.
- The Club Suite will be fitted on all BA’s aircraft including the A380 apart from those B747s and B777s that are due to be retired.
- Alex estimates that it will take three years for all New York flights to get the Club Suites. They will install them as fast as the manufacturers can deliver them. Most airlines take more than 3-4 years minimum to complete similar programmes.
- They are not necessarily going to charge more on routes with the Club Suites as the local market will also dictate the price, but it could be one factor that is considered.
- The new premium catering company Do & Co (that I think are very good) are currently only catering the New York JFK, Hong Kong, Tel Aviv, Moscow, Cairo, Amman and Beirut routes from Heathrow as well inbound from Seoul, JFK and Chicago. It will take another 6-9 months to get it rolled out on all routes.
British Airways duty-free
Pre-order duty-free is now available on all BA short-haul services to and from London Gatwick. It will be rolled out to Heathrow short-haul services from 1 May.
Customers can select from a wide range of goods at https://www.highlifeshop.com, which will then be delivered directly to their seat on board either their outbound or inbound flight (the customer can choose).
This new service means that short-haul customers will have access to the wide range of goods that are currently available to long-haul customers, even when the High Life Shop service is not available on board their short-haul flight. As an added bonus, you can also collect Avios when they shop – 2 Avios for every £1 you spend.
BA are due to be removing duty-free on short haul on the newer aircraft and recong=figured aircraft, so I wonder if this is a way to still offer it without having the full selection on board.
Hilton UK, Middle East & Europe flash sale
As one Hilton sale ended yesterday, today a new one begins! This sale is offering up to 25% off best available rate for weekend stays in Europe and the UK. The T &Cs say that stays must be completed on weekends between 21 March and 8 September 2019 except as otherwise indicated. A weekend is defined as Friday, Saturday and Sunday except in the Middle East where it is Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Full prepayment required at the time of booking and the rates are not refundable. This means that the discount is not truly 25% as it is a discount on the Best Available Rate and Best Available Bed & Breakfast Rate. The booking period finishes at 23.59 UK time on 25th March 2019. To get the full discount, you must be a Hilton Honors member, but it is free to join during the booking process.
You can find the Hilton sale page here.