Round Up: Delta Closing Heathrow Arrivals Lounge, American Changes 787-9 Inaugural Flights & Cathay Brings Back Fuel Surcharges

Some links to products and travel providers on this website will earn Traveling For Miles a commission which helps contribute to the running of the site – I’m very grateful to anyone who uses these links but their use is entirely optional. The compensation does not impact how and where products appear on this site and does not impact reviews that are published.

A round-up of some of the airline news that I’ve noticed over the past few days including news that Delta is to close its arrivals lounge at Heathrow, Cathay Pacific is reintroducing fuel surcharges on flights to Hong Kong and American Airlines has changed the route for its inaugural 787-9 Dreamliner flight.

Delta Closing Its Heathrow T3 Arrivals Lounge

Delta’s Arrivals lounge at Heathrow T3 is less than two years old but, as of 20 September 2016, its doors will be closed for good.

Considering Delta is in the process of moving all of its flights from Terminal 4 to Terminal 3 (to bring about closer integration with Virgin Atlantic) I’m a little surprised about this decision. Why would you close an arrivals lounge in a terminal where you’re about to have a lot more incoming passengers?

From 14 September Delta’s flights between Heathrow and Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Salt Lake City will be relocated to Heathrow’s Terminal 3 and the end-game is to have the rest of Delta’s flights moved to T3 as soon as possible….so why close the lounge? I just don’t get it.

Delta has confirmed that Delta One passengers as well as Delta Diamond and Delta Platinum status holders (traveling in any cabin) will be allowed access into Virgin Atlantic’s Revival Lounge…but there are no plans to increase the size of the Revival lounge to accommodate the increased numbers (that’s not going to please Virgin Atlantic flyers!)

Business Traveller has quoted a spokesperson as saying:

After careful analysis of the numbers going into each arrivals lounge, we are confident that the Virgin Atlantic Revivals lounge is suitable for all of our eligible customers.

I’m not so sure.

Here’s how to find the Revivals Lounge if you’re arriving in to Heathrow T3

virgin-atlantic-revivals-lounge

More details on the Virgin Atlantic Revivals lounge can be found here.

Cathay Pacific Bringing Back Fuel Surcharges

In a move that, unsurprisingly, the airline has done little to publicise, Cathay Pacific (and its Dragon Air sister airline) is reintroducing fuel surcharges for inbound flights into Hong Kong and on its 5th freedom flights like the one between New York and Vancouver.

The airline cannot impose fuel surcharges on flights originating in Hong Kong thanks to a civil aviation ruling on 1 February but there’s nothing stopping it from applying them to all their other flights.

The fuel surcharge has, for now, been set at HK$109 (around $14) for all flights into Hong Kong (with the exception of flights from the Philippines) and just HK$24 ($3) for the New York – Vancouver route.

The general consensus appears to be that Cathay Pacific has chosen to do this as a direct result of a pretty terrible set of financial results (ironically partly due to significant fuel hedging loses) but the airline is trying to pass this off as just something they’re doing to keep in line with the rest of the industry.

Cathay Pacific 777-300Prepare to pay a little more for Cathay Pacific flights into Hong Kong

In a quote to the South China Morning Post the airline said:

The decision to reintroduce the fuel surcharge overseas follows the practise currently adopted by other airlines in many of these markets

Most of Cathay’s routes will see the surcharge applied from today (8 September 2016) but flights from japan won’t see the charges appear until 1 October.

As things stand these charges may not seem high or onerous but history tells us that airlines get addicted to the additional income they get from these fees and there’s usually only one direction in which they head….and that’s upwards.

American Airlines’ 787-9 Dreamliner Inaugural Flight Has Changed

American Airlines should be receiving its first 787-9 Dreamliner any day now and the very first commercial flight the Dreamliner was due to make was between Dallas and Los Angeles on 6 October:

aa-787-9-inaugural

Not any more.

I’m not entirely sure when this happened but it look as if the new stretch Dreamliner is set to debut on the Dallas – London route (one round trip only) on 4/5 October 2016:

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 13.25.22

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 13.25.48

AA2401 between Dallas and Los Angeles will still be operated by the 787-9 on 6 October….it just won’t be the inaugural flight any more.

Clearly this will be a big disappointment for those who booked the Dallas – LA flight just to get on the first American Airlines 787-9 commercial flight but it’s a nice bonus for anyone traveling on AA50/51 on 4/5 October 2016 – if you’re on one of those flights please come back and let us know what it was like.

Why the American Airlines 787-9 is important (in brief!):

  • First American Airlines aircraft to feature the new Premium Economy cabin
  • First American Airlines aircraft to feature the new B/E Super Diamond Business Class seat
  • It’s an aircraft that should allow American Airlines to open up a whole host of new routes (if the airline wants to).

I’m scheduled to flying the new Dreamliner in November so I’ll be wring a review of the Premium Economy product and, if my upgrade clears, the Business Class product too. In the meantime you can follow this link if you want more information on the American Airlines 787-9 and the new Premium Economy product.

2 COMMENTS

Comments are closed.