REVIEW – Cathay Pacific : Business Class Lounge, London Heathrow T3 (post-refurb)December 9, 2016
REVIEW – British Airways : Concorde Room First Class Lounge, LHR T5December 19, 2016
- Part 1:
- British Airways : Concorde Room – London Heathrow T5
- Part 2:
- Radisson Blu Oslo Airport – Business Class Room
- Part 3:
- OSL Lounge – Oslo Airport
- Part 4:
- British Airways : Club Europe (Business Class) – Oslo to London Heathrow
- Part 5:
- British Airways : Club World (Business Class) – London Heathrow to Newark
- Part 6:
- Three places in NJ and NY
- Part 7:
- American Airlines : Business Class – New York JFK to London Heathrow
There are always good deals available in premium cabins. Provided you are flexible with your destination and don’t mind hopping on a quick flight to reach the outbound airport, you can find genuine value almost every day of the year.
Every now and then something special happens though. A fare so good that you drop everything, your hands start to sweat, you enter a state of manic focus, adrenaline races through your body. Ordinary logic goes out of the window and only one thought prevails: “I need to book this now and I need to book it more than once”.
A deal so good that it seems like all your Christmases have come at once.
These are the days that we frequent flyers live for. The back and forth can carry on for days or weeks after: will the fare be honoured? Will the deal be so good that all local hotels become inundated, with room rates skyrocketing? Will all feeder flights sell out, meaning you can’t get to the origin airport? Worst of all: will all tickets be cancelled, as the airline decides that honouring advertised fares is less important than defending their bottom line?
On August 6th 2015 a ludicrously cheap fare was loaded into the Global Distribution System, ready to be booked via all the usual airlines and travel agencies. British Airways, Finnair and American Airlines business class round trips were available to anywhere in the continental USA from Oslo, Bergen or Stavanger for between £350 and £400.
A name for this phenomenon soon emerged : The Viking Fare.
These weren’t fares that were 25% or even 50% off. These were fares that looked like they were missing a final zero. Given the amount of miles earned when flying them, you were even looking at making half the paid fare price back, with your haul of AA miles or BA Avios.
The best part? BA and AA sent out emails within a few days of the fare being taken down, stating that despite these fares being the result of a pricing error, the prices were going to be honoured. This meant that everybody was able to go ahead and book their hotels and positioning flights without having to worry at all!
I ended up booking quite a few of these. I planned the first two around bank holidays in the UK, in order to maximise my time away. Then I decided that for this price it was even worth flying out on a Friday evening and heading straight to work from a Sunday night return redeye, if nothing else it would help me to hit the top tier Emerald status with OneWorld. People ask how I fly so often and how I seemingly have so much holiday time. The answer is: Because I can fly to a different continent and back over a weekend, never missing a day in the office – if the price is right.
This is the first of my Viking trip reports…