Airline News In Brief: New Cathay Lounges, Lufthansa Cancels a Winter Service & AA Realises It Needs To Improve Its Food

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A round-up of some of the recent bits of Airline News that don’t really warrant a whole post of their own:

Australian Business Traveller (AUBT) is reporting that Cathay Pacific’s lounge at London Heathrow’s Terminal 3 is set for a “much-needed make over” next year.

When the lounge reopens it will have separate business class and first class zones and will “take its design cues from the warm residential vibe already seen in CX lounges” elsewhere. The new lounge will also be, approximately, 30% larger than the current lounge thanks to a take-over of space from what used to be Singapore’s SilverKris lounge (now in Terminal 2 at Heathrow).

Cathay Pacific Noodles Heathrow T3

Cathay Pacific’s lounge exec Toby Smith (I had no idea such a title existed!) told AUBT that the new lounge is expected to open “in the first quarter of next year“. He went on to say:

“[The lounge] will have a first class section which will borrow some elements of The Pier First Class, although obviously on a smaller scale, while the business class lounge will follow the template you’re seeing throughout our other lounges.”

The template will include a Noodle Bar as rolled out through other Cathay Pacific lounges world-wide.

This puts a small spanner in the works of my plan to visit the Cathay Lounge at T3 on my next trip through there – it seems pointless to check out a lounge that’s not going to be around any more!

Yesterday, Gary Leff of the View From the Wing blog had the dubious pleasure of getting a sneak preview of the catering changes that American Airlines are putting though.

Before we go any further with this it’s important to put this into context:

Airline food on US carriers has never been anything to write home about – not even in premium classes. But, for the last year or so, the quality of the catering on American Airlines has nose-dived. Some of the ‘food’ served, up front, domestic flights has been nothing short of inedible and the quality of the food in business class on their long-haul flights has been hit and miss at best!

American Airlines 777-300

I couldn’t bring myself to post a photo of the food so a plane will have to do!

Anyway, back to Gary’s visit:

We’re told that “there are new meals coming for domestic first class and premium transcon first class, plus they’re changing up wines and adding some improvement to the lounges.

Notice there’s no mention of international flight meals – presumably “hit and miss” is good enough for American.

Gary’s got pictures of the meals he tasted on his blog and, to be honest, they look and sound ok – and apparently they tasted ok too. But then they’re hardly going to serve swill at AA HQ are they? It will be interesting to see how these new meals taste at 30,000ft and, almost as importantly, how they’re served and presented when they’re in the hands of an AA cabin crew and not trained caterers (who I’m sure would have presented the meals in Dallas).

Lastly, is carrying a story that Lufthansa is dropping its Düsseldorf – Chicago winter service this year. The schedule had allowed for the service to run five times a week but will now stop on 25 October before resuming at the end of March next year.

Lufthansa SignThe schedule had been set as:

LH436 DUS 12:30 – 15:10 ORD
LH437 ORD 17:50 – 09:10+1 DUS

So, if you we’re booked on either of those flights this winter, you should probably get in touch with the airline (if they haven’t already contacted you) or whichever travel agency you used to book your flights. Don’t delay too long or the other options open to you may disappear as others who were booked on these flights change their plans.