The Atlantic Update – Wednesday 23 May 2018

The Atlantic Update is published every Wednesday morning at 06:00 BST, providing a weekly bulletin on developments on transatlantic travel between Europe and North America.

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Robert Indiana "LOVE", Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2013
Robert Indiana “LOVE” photographed at “Beyond LOVE” at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2013 (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

Hello and welcome to the The Atlantic Update for Wednesday 23 May 2018, providing a weekly bulletin on developments on transatlantic travel between Europe and North America. The Atlantic Update is published every Wednesday morning at 06:00 BST.

United secures access to The Private Suite at Los Angeles

United has announced that it has secured access to a recently constructed private terminal known as The Private Suite for business class passengers flying between London Heathrow and Los Angeles international airport.

The Private Suite is operated at Los Angeles international airport by a third party, Gavin de Becker and Associates.

Departing passengers will have access to a dedicated private check-in, security screening channel and lounge, as well as private car transfer to their aircraft. Arriving passengers will have a private car transfer go through a private Customs and Immigration process and baggage reclaim. The food and beverage in the lounge itself actually looks quite modest.

The pricing and booking process is a little ambiguous, to say the least. The Private Suite will initially only be available through selected corporate travel booking desks and travel agents. It will eventually be able for purchase through the United website and app. Availability is also limited and on a first come first served basis.

United say they have negotiated a preferential rate with The Private Suite. However, to put this into context, the headline membership rate for The Private Suite is $4,500 per annum and the one-way fee for an international passenger is $3,000 for members and $4,000 for non-members.

It is worth adding that United is due to open a new Polaris lounge in Los Angeles airport later this year, which should impress. This service seems clearly aimed at passengers seeking privacy above all else away from the main airport terminal.

There’s more detail on the United website. London Heathrow also offers a similar service called Heathrow VIP.

Delta announces New York JFK – Orange County

Delta has announced a new direct service from New York JFK to Orange County, California.

The airline will fly to John Wayne airport six times weekly (excluding Saturdays) from Monday 15 October 2018 with a Boeing 737-700 aircraft.

On a related note, Delta is also due to launch New York JFK – San Jose from Friday 8 June 2018.

Lufthansa Group Airlines to introduce new transatlantic “Economy Light” fare

Here’s proof, not that it is required, that “basic” economy is now mainstream on transatlantic routes.

Lufthansa has announced that its group airlines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa, SWISS will introduce an “Economy Light” fare on all routes from Europe to North American from summer 2018. The fare excludes a checked luggage allowance and seat assignment. However, the on board service will remain the same. (Lufthansa)

Primera Air delays launch of Stansted – Toronto

Last week we reported the imminent launch of new routes by Primera Air to Boston and Toronto.

Boston launched as planned. However, the launch of three times weekly flights to Toronto has been delayed from Thursday 31 May 2018 to Saturday 2 June 2018.

Virgin Atlantic moves Las Vegas to Heathrow

ICYMI, Virgin Atlantic is to move its long-standing Gatwick – Las Vegas route to Heathrow from Sunday 31 March 2019.

It will also add a second flight to Boston, with a late evening departure from London Heathrow and a day flight from Boston. (London Air Travel)

Memorial Day Holiday

A quick reminder that if you’re travelling to the US this weekend, it is Memorial Day on Monday 28 May, so you can certainly expect airports to be extremely busy.

Robert Indiana 1928 – 2018

Robert Indiana who created one of the most memorable and enduring pieces of 20th century American art, the sculpture “LOVE”, has died at the age of 89.

The New York Times looks back at his life.

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