News: British Airways WiFi Update, Hyatt Adjusts Hotel Categories & Malaysia Airlines A380’s Will Be Back

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A roundup of some of the news doing the rounds right now with a look at the latest changes within Hyatt’s hotel categories, an update on British Airways’ wi-fi installation, and news that we haven’t seen the last of Malaysia Airlines’ A380 after all.

Hyatt Changes The Categories Of Just 9 Hotels

Ok, I wasn’t expecting this.

Hyatt recently destroyed any value I could truly get from its loyalty scheme when it turned the excellent Hyatt Gold Passport program into the woeful World of Hyatt (together with ridiculous tier names). With that in mind I was expecting the chain’s next move to be one where it either increased the costs of reward nights across the board or one where it moved all my favorite properties into higher categories.

Amazingly neither of those things has happened.

In the latest tweak to the World of Hyatt only 9 properties are affected (8 are going up at least one category while one is moving down two categories). Here are the movers:

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The bad news is that the new categories are effective from 13 December which means that Hyatt has given members of its loyalty program next to no notice at all of the changes (they were announced on the 11th).

Also, at the time of writing, I haven’t had an email from Hyatt letting me know of these changes (I found out thanks to Gary at View From The Wing) – that’s very poor communication on the part of Hyatt and doesn’t exactly give me confidence that we’ll get advance warning when meaningful changes are being made.

The good news here is that these changes could hardly have been more benign and, from a purely selfish standpoint, I’m delighted that Hyatt hasn’t changed the categories of my preferred properties.

Malaysia Airlines Isn’t Getting Rid Of Its A380s

I’ve flown in the Business Class cabin of the Malaysia Airlines A380 three times this year (review here) and, on the last occasion in November, I thought that that it would probably my last flight on Malaysia’s whale jet….but possibly not.

Malaysia Airlines A380

Malaysia Airlines has six Airbus A380’s and, rather than selling them off or using them as high-density busses for Islamic pilgrimages as was once planned, the airline has now decided to deploy them on various routes when extra capacity is needed.

The main route the Malaysia Airlines A380 currently flys is the one between Kuala Lumpur and London and, with the airline’s new A350 set to take over that route in January, it looked like that was the end for the double decker….but it isn’t.

The A350 will still be taking over the Kuala Lumpur to London route in January but the A380 is making a comeback in the summer. Between 20 July and 3 September 2018 the A380 will take back the London route from the A350 (flights MH002 & MH003) and will add significant capacity to Europe.

Other routes that are expected to get A380 service during peak-periods included the routes from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne, Seoul, Sydney and Tokyo.

British Airways Wi-Fi Update

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British Airways has offered up a brief update on its plans to finally fit Wi-Fi to its aircraft:

Customers will soon be able to connect to the internet as we aim to have 90% of our fleet installed with Hi-Speed Wi-Fi by 2019, starting with 4 of our long-haul aircraft* by the end of this year.

We will have two packages available to purchase onboard starting from £4.99:

  • BROWSE for email, messaging, browsing the web and social media (excluding streaming)
  • STREAM with faster speeds that support streaming services such as music and videos

For a limited period thanks to our partner Visa, we are offering all customers flying on a Wi-Fi enabled aircraft one hour of free browsing connectivity until the end of January. If the aircraft is enabled, an announcement will be made by the cabin crew and instructions will be available on how to register and log on by joining the ‘BA Wi-Fi’ network.

*selected 747 Super High J’s and 777-300’s

The installation of Wi-Fi on British Airways aircraft cannot come soon enough – I have a lot of intra-Europe flying I need to do next year and I’d quite like to be able to be productive on the longer flights.

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