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A roundup of some of the news I’ve noticed over the past few days which didn’t really merit a whole post of their own but that may well be of interest. Includes news that Etihad is now selling premium cabin amenities in Economy Class, details of Asiana’s latest new routes to Europe and information on how to access the “secret” champagne at the new Qantas lounge in London.
Asiana Adds Year-Round Routes To Venice & Barcelona
Asiana is South Korea’s second airline (I reviewed one of its lounges in Seoul earlier this year) and it gets pretty good reviews from people I’ve met who have tried out the airline’s products.
Asiana’s latest Business Class seat
From 2018 Asiana is adding routes from Seoul to Barcelona and Venice as permanent fixtures to its network (the airline has operated charter flights to these cities in the past) and, with the airline operating these routes with aircraft featuring its latest cabins, these routes should offer up another good set of options of Europeans looking to head east.
From 1 May 2018 Asiana will operate a 3x weekly service to Venice on the following schedule:
OZ531 ICN 09:15 – 15:05 VCE (Tue, Wed & Fri)
OZ532 VCE 16:45 – 10:50+1 day ICN (Tue, Wed & Fri)
From 30 August 2018 Asiana will operate a 4x weekly service to Barcelona on the following schedule:
OZ511 ICN 13:30 – 20:50 BCN (Tue, Thu, Sat & Sun)
OZ512 BCN 22:20 – 17:55+1 day ICN (Tue, Thu, Sat & Sun)
The Boeing 777-200 aircraft that will be operating this route will offer true lie-flat 24 Business Class seats set out in a 1-2-1 layout…..
Screenshot courtesy of SeatGuru.com
….but, more importantly, the Economy Class cabin offers seats with at least 33″ of seat pitch and 18″ of seat width making this one of the most comfortable Economy Class cabins around.
[HT: Business Traveller]
Etihad Will Now Sell You Premium Cabin Amenities
Etihad hasn’t been looking like the healthiest of airlines over recent months and the losses suffered attempting to prop up both airBerlin and Alitalia have clearly taken their toll.
We’ve seen the airline cut service to Los Angeles, it has dropped its routes to Dallas and San Francisco completely, it has devalued the Etihad Guest program and it has eliminated its chauffeur service in most areas. Finances are clearly tight.
Now the airline has announced that it has introduced a “selection of inflight products aimed at enhancing the travel experience and providing more choice for its guests in Economy Class“.
In plain English that means that the airline will now sell Economy Class passengers items that premium cabin passengers get included in their fare.
Here’s what Etihad will be selling:
Paris, London and all Australian sectors in Economy Class:
- Cold brewed coffee from Coffee Planet: USD 4 / AED 15 a glass
All long haul and ultra-long haul (except US) sectors in Economy Class:
- Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut NV champagne: USD 8 / AED 30 per glass
All ULH sectors (except US routes) in all cabins:
- Christian Lacroix male and female branded amenity kits with Omorovicza products: USD 22 / AED 80
- Christian Lacroix branded sleepwear: USD 35 / AED 130
- In January 2018, a Snack Box featuring both sweet and healthy snacks to suit guests’ differing tastes and cravings will be introduced.
$8 isn’t terrible for a glass of Champagne (although Piper is definitely at the budget end of the champagne range) but I know that I wouldn’t buy the amenity kits for $22 or the pajamas for $35.
Still, as people appear to buy amenity kits on eBay for a lot of money (I suspect prices will crash now) there’s clearly a demand for these items….so perhaps Etihad can actually make some much needed cash out of its new market in the sky.
How To Access The Secret Champagne Qantas Offers In Its New London Lounge
I visited the new Qantas Lounge at London Heathrow the day before it officially opened and while I got a very good look at the lounge facilities I didn’t pay too much attention to the alcohol that was on offer (I drove to the event so my interest in the drinks was low!) Apparently the lounge doesn’t officially offer a champagne to its guests which, considering it’s both a First and Business Class lounge, isn’t all that surprising.
Apparently some travelers were less than impressed by this and Qantas has moved to appease the massing hordes.
According to AUBT Qantas now offers Perrier Jouet in its new London lounge….but you won’t find it on any menu or in view.
If you’re traveling in First Class, are a member of the Chairman’s Lounge or are a Platinum One status holder you simply need to make this known to a member of bar staff and a glass of Perrier Jouet will be discreetly poured.
It’s not clear if the champagne will be offered to top-tier status holders of other oneworld airlines (I’ll try this out the next time I get a chance) but, considering how many American Airlines and British Airways flyers I expect to visit the new Qantas lounge, I’d be surprised if Qantas plans on being that free with its “not-so-secret-anymore” champagne.