Air France to add business class on domestic flights
Following a move by British Airways, Air France said it will add a business class product on its domestic flights during the first quarter of 2020. Similar to what it offers on short-haul international flights, the business class product on domestic flights will include a dedicated front cabin, blocked middle seat, and enhanced catering along with SkyPriority and lounge access. The airline said the move is aimed at creating a consistent, elevated option for its customers.
British Airways unveils new loyalty promotions
Executive Club members now have the opportunity to unlock better reward seat availability and earn bonus Avios points. Members who complete four round trip itineraries in British Airways’ First or Club World class by February 12, 2020 will be granted exclusive access to reward seats during select periods during 2020. To be eligible, members must register for this promotion.
British Airways is offering double Avios points for flights through June 30, 2020. In addition, Executive Club members can also earn 35 percent more Avios points when converting points from participating hotel loyalty programs including Marriott Bonvoy, IHG Rewards Club, Radisson Rewards, and more. Members must register by Dec. 13 to qualify for both promotions.
Heathrow Express extends discounted fares
Passengers using Heathrow Express rail service can now obtain low advance booking fares throughout the week instead of just on weekends. The cheapest 90-day advance booking ticket is just 5.50 GBP. Before the lowest price on weekdays was 12.50 GBP. Advance tickets can be purchased for day of travel instead of for a specific train. Travelers should note, that like the airlines, Heathrow Express will be offering the advance purchase tickets on a yield management basis so the lowest fare could sell out.
In other news, travelers departing from Paddington Station should note, starting Dec. 15, that Heathrow Express trains will utilize only one platform (#7) instead of two during regular weekday time periods over the next year. Travelers should prepare for increased congestion and longer wait times at ticket barriers.
New perks for Delta international coach class passengers and a new Sky Club too
Delta Air Lines is adding more niceties for its international coach class customers. Passengers will be offered a welcome drink, an enhanced choice of appetizers and entrees which can be mixed and matched along with a new menu of snacks. Instead of the old plastic tray, meals will be served on a new “placemat” along with new cutlery and dishware.
The carrier also announced that its latest Sky Club lounge is opening on Nov. 6 at the new terminal facilities at New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong International Airport. The new lounge is located at the entrance of Concourse C and boasts a regional flair with locally inspired art and regional dishes including oysters, gumbo, and muffuletta sandwiches. The lounge offers power outlets at almost every seat, along with high-speed Wi-Fi.
United expands its Connection Saver service
Officials at United Airlines said it has expanded its Connection Saver tool to all of its domestic hub locations. The Connection Saver tool uses an algorithm to determine whether a flight can be held for passengers with tight connections without causing the onward flight to arrive late (beyond the 15 minute window used for on-time status). The service also includes a messaging system for passengers, which provides directions with the fastest route to the onward aircraft. Connection Saver was first introduced this past spring and was initially expanded to seven U.S. airports.