British Airways London Heathrow Summer Schedule

Here are details of BA’s London Heathrow summer schedule from Sunday 31 March 2019.

London Air Travel » British Airways

BA Airbus A319 aircraft at London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)
BA Airbus A319 aircraft at London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has pretty much firmed up its schedule for the summer travel season, which officially starts on Sunday 31 March 2019.

Here are details of known schedule changes. Please note these are indicative and subject to change, particularly in the case of seasonal routes around the shoulder season.

Long-Haul Changes

BA will reinstate three former long-haul routes this summer:

Osaka, four times weekly from Sunday 31 March.

Pittsburgh, four times weekly, from Tuesday 2 April.

Islamabad, three times weekly from Sunday 2 June.

In terms of seasonal long-haul changes:

BA will fly to Charleston twice a week from Thursday 4 April until Thursday 24 October.

Calgary returns for summer from Sunday 31 March until Friday 25 October.

Muscat is suspended for the summer from Sunday 31 March until Wednesday 30 October.

In terms of long-haul frequency changes:

Nashville increases to daily from Monday 22 April.

Phoenix decreases from 10 flights a week to a daily service from Sunday 31 March.

New Short-Haul Route

Valencia transfers from Gatwick to Heathrow from Sunday 31 March.

Short-Haul Route Suspensions

Bilabo transfers to Gatwick from Sunday 31 March.

Milan Linate is suspended from Sunday 28 July to Saturday 26 October due to the closure of the airport.

Tallinn is suspended from Friday 29 March.

New Summer Seasonal Short-Haul Routes

Bastia once a week on Saturdays from 25 May to 28 September.

Preveza on Wednesdays and Sundays from Sunday 26 May to Sunday 28 September.

Ljubljana in Slovenia and Montpellier from Monday 15 July to Monday 2 September.

Continue reading “British Airways London Heathrow Summer Schedule”

BA Launches New World Traveller Plus Catering

British Airways is introducing a new catering service in World Traveller Plus from February 2019.

London Air Travel » British Airways

British Airways World Traveller Plus Meal
British Airways World Traveller Plus Meal (Image Credit: British Airways)

It’s almost 20 years since British Airways introduced its premium economy cabin, World Traveller Plus.

It has become increasingly popular in recent years, partly due to greater awareness, proactive upselling to economy passengers, and companies revising their corporate travel policies.

Whilst the cabin design has changed radically since its original inception (though you will still find the original seat on Boeing 747 and many Boeing 777-200 aircraft), the service itself has always been a slight variant of World Traveller economy.

Initially, partly due to cabin crew industrial relations, there was barely any difference. Over time, extra items such as pre-departure drinks, hot towels and a main course from the Club World menu have been added.

BA is this year launching an entirely new catering service with a dedicated menu for World Traveller Plus from February 2019.

In terms of the first meal service, the main changes appear to be largely presentational. There are new larger printed menus, a dedicated starter and dessert, all served on china.

The biggest, and most needed improvement, is to the second meal service. BA is now guaranteeing a hot option on all flights. This will be a snack on shorter flights and a meal on longer range flights. This will be welcome, particularly on shorter night flights, where the existing offering can be quite limited.

Further changes to in-flight amenities are expected later this year.
Continue reading “BA Launches New World Traveller Plus Catering”

BA New York JFK Concorde Room Partial Closure

The Concorde Room at New York JFK will open from 15:00 until late March 2019.

London Air Travel » British Airways

British Airways Concorde Room, New York JFK
British Airways Concorde Room, New York JFK (Image Credit: Oneworld Alliance)

Work continues on BA’s renovation of New York JFK Terminal 7.

The new First lounge opened late last year. The Club lounge is currently being refurbished. The Elemis travel spa and showers are currently closed.

The third departure lounge, the Concorde Room and arguably the best lounge on the network, is not being fully refurbished.

However, due to repair work on its kitchens, it will not open for BA’s sole morning departure from New York JFK, BA178, until the end of March this year. The lounge will now open from 15:00 to 23:00 daily.

Passengers travelling on BA from New York JFK in First Class can of course use the First lounge as an alternative.

BA’s 10 Abreast Economy Boeing 777 2019 Update

An update on the progress of the refurbishment of British Airways Boeing 777 fleet at Gatwick.

London Air Travel » British Airways

BA World Traveller cabin on LGW based Boeing 777 aircraft
BA World Traveller cabin on LGW based Boeing 777 aircraft (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways is now more than half way through the refurbishment of its fleet of Boeing 777-200 aircraft at London Gatwick.

The main reason for the refurbishment is to increase the number of seats in the World Traveller economy cabin from 9 to 10 a row.

As at January 2019, six Boeing 777-200 aircraft, registrations G-VIIO, G-VIIP, G-VIIR, G-VIIT, G-VIIU and G-VIIX have been refurbished. A seventh aircraft, G-VIIV, is currently being refurbished in Singapore and should return shortly.

At the moment three class Boeing 777-200 aircraft are being refurbished. On these aircraft, BA has installed a new seat in a now larger World Traveller Plus premium economy cabin. It has decreased the number of Club World business class seats. The in-flight entertainment system has also been upgraded.

Four class Boeing 777-200 aircraft will also be refurbished this year, but the overall change in seating configuration is much more modest.

This year, BA will also begin refurbishing its Heathrow based Boeing 777s. Two four class aircraft will receive a full refurbishment. This will include a smaller First Class cabin with 8, rather than 14, seats and an entirely new Club World cabin.

Given BA sees the need for seating configuration in World Traveller to be “competitive”, it’s expected that many more 777s will be refurbished.

Refurbished British Airways Boeing 777 World Traveller Cabin
Refurbished British Airways Boeing 777 World Traveller Cabin (Image Credit: British Airways)

Seat maps for 3 class Boeing 777 aircraft

If you are flying on a non-refurbished 9 abreast 3 class Boeing 777 at Gatwick you should see the following seat map (pictured left below) for your flight in the Manage My Booking tool:

Club World – Rows 1 – 11 (48 seats)
World Traveller Plus – Rows 12 – 14 (24 seats)
World Traveller – Rows 16 – 40 (3-3-3 configuration)

If you are flying on a refurbished 10 abreast 3 class Boeing 777 at Gatwick you should see the following seat map (pictured right below) for your flight in the Manage My Booking tool:

Club World – Rows 1 – 4 (32 seats)
World Traveller Plus – Rows 10 – 16 (52 seats)
World Traveller – Rows 20 – 46 (3-4-3 configuration)

For passengers travelling with infants it is important to note that the refurbishment of aircraft does change the location of bassinet seats.
Continue reading “BA’s 10 Abreast Economy Boeing 777 2019 Update”

The Economist Bonus Avios Subscription Offer

You can earn up to 25,200 bonus Avios if you take up a subscription to The Economist before 31 January 2019.

London Air Travel » British Airways

British Airways Bonus Avios Economist Subscription Offer.
British Airways Bonus Avios Economist Subscription Offer.

You can earn up to 25,200 bonus Avios for your British Airways Executive Club account if you take up a subscription to The Economist.

This applies to all combinations of print and digital subscriptions in most regions of the world.

The precise number of bonus Avios, which ranges from 10,200 to 25,200, depends on for how long you take up a subscription. The most lucrative Avios earning offer is a three year print and digital subscription.

This is a regularly recurring offer and has also been offered by other frequent flyer programmes that use Avios, such as Iberia.

The offer expires on Thursday 31 January 2019. Simply visit ba.com and click the link to The Economist website to take up a subscription.

Please note that there are specific terms and conditions regarding the cancellation of subscriptions and refunds regarding this offer.

BA Airbus A380 Flights From London Heathrow In 2019

Where will BA’s fleet of Airbus A380 aircraft fly to in 2019? Here’s our guide.

London Air Travel » British Airways

BA Airbus A380 (Image Credit: British Airways)
BA Airbus A380 (Image Credit: British Airways)

BA’s fleet of 12 Airbus A380 aircraft continues to serve the airline well on major gateways from London Heathrow.

At least until BA and Virgin Atlantic take delivery of the Airbus A350, it one of the better ways to fly direct across the Atlantic from London.

Here’s our guide to where you can fly the BA Airbus A380 throughout 2019.

Please note that schedules are subject to change in the medium term. Aircraft can also be substituted at short notice due to maintenance requirements. Flights are now on sale at ba.com

Boston

One of BA’s four daily flights from London Heathrow and Boston, flights BA213 & BA212, will be operated with the A380 for the summer season from Sunday 31 March 2019 to Saturday 26 October 2019.

Chicago O’Hare

The BA A380 will fly to Chicago O’Hare daily on flights BA213 & BA212 for the summer season from Sunday 31 March 2019 to Saturday 26 October 2019.

Dubai

Due to the closure of the Southern runway in Dubai, from Tuesday 16 April 2019 to Saturday 4 May 2019, BA will operate the A380 to Dubai for the first time, on flights BA107 and BA106.

Hong Kong

BA flies the A380 on one of its two daily flights between London Heathrow and Hong Kong, flights BA27 & BA28.

Bar occasional swaps, the remaining flight, BA31 & BA32, is operated with a Boeing 777-300 aircraft.

From Sunday 31 March 2019 until Saturday 26 October 2019, the two flights swap and BA31 & BA32 will be operated with the A380.
Continue reading “BA Airbus A380 Flights From London Heathrow In 2019”

British Airways’ Fleet Refurb & Renewal Plans (2019)

Updated for 2019, here’s our guide to BA’s plans to refurbish and renew its fleet.

London Air Travel » British Airways

British Airways Fleet Montage
British Airways Fleet Montage (Image Credits: British Airways / Heathrow)

Welcome to our updated guide to British Airways’ plans to refurbish and renew its short and long-haul fleet for 2019.

The information below is based on plans published by BA’s parent company, International Airlines Group at its Capital Markets Day in 2018.

BA’s fleet plans are under constant review and can, in the medium term, be influenced by economic and geopolitical events.

BA’s parent company International Airlines Group is also expected to place a new aircraft order with Airbus and/or Boeing in the coming months. BA doesn’t currently have enough long-haul aircraft on order to meet its retirement plans, let alone its growth ambitions, so an announcement should be imminent.

Here’s a run through of recent and forthcoming deliveries and refurbishments by aircraft type:

Airbus A350-1000

BA will take delivery of the first 4 of 16 Airbus A350-1000 this year.

The first Airbus A350s will be in a three class configuration, with no First Class. BA has not given an exact breakdown by cabin, but there will be 331 seats on the aircraft. There will be a substantial Club World cabin (more than 52 seats) and a larger World Traveller Plus cabin than on the 747.

Airbus A380

British Airways Airbus A380 Collage
British Airways Airbus A380 Collage

BA has 12 Airbus A380s in service.

It currently operates on selected flights to destinations such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Miami (winter seasonal), Boston (summer seasonal), Chicago (summer seasonal), San Francisco and Vancouver (summer seasonal). It will also operate briefly to Dubai from 16 April to 4 May 2019 due to the closure of the Southern runway.

Please see here for a detailed guide as to where the A380 will fly in 2018.

BA has options to acquire a further 7 A380s, which it has not exercised. Whilst the A380 clearly serves BA well on major gateways, IAG CEO Willie Walsh insists that the purchase price for new aircraft is too high.

There was talk some ago of BA’s leasing second-hand Airbus A380s but this has not come to anything, most likely due to the cost of reconfiguring aircraft.
Continue reading “British Airways’ Fleet Refurb & Renewal Plans (2019)”

What To Expect From British Airways In 2019

Details of British Airways’ plans for its centenary year in 2019.

London Air Travel » British Airways

BA Centenary Logo
BA Centenary Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)

2019 is going to be an extremely busy year for BA with a lot of cabin and in-flight service developments, and of course, the airline’s centenary in August.

Here’s a run through of the major aircraft, cabin, ground and in-flight service, and route changes you can expect in 2019.

New Club World Seat

BA will introduce a long anticipated new Club World seat with the Airbus A350-1000.

The first Airbus A350-1000 aircraft will arrive in July. There will be four in service by the end of the year.

The new seat will also be retrofitted to two Boeing 777 aircraft as part of a full refurbishment. The number of Club World seats on these aircraft will increase marginally by 1 from 48 to 49, with the extra space likely to come from reducing the size of First Class.

This refurbishment programme will continue from 2020, with the majority of refurbishments taking place in 2020 and 2021. It will be fitted to over 100 long-haul aircraft and be completed in 2023.

BA promises direct aisle access for all, improved personal storage and privacy. There will also to be gate-to-gate in-flight entertainment, meaning that the TV monitor will be set in position, unlike at present.

The first Airbus A350-1000 routes should be confirmed shortly. The Airbus A350 is intended to replace the 52 Club World seat Boeing 747 which is deployed on a number of North American routes such as Las Vegas, Miami and Phoenix. There will be no First Class on the first Airbus A350-1000 aircraft. However, there will be more Club World seats and significantly more World Traveller Plus seats compared to the 52 Club World seat Boeing 747. BA has not given an exact breakdown by cabin, but there will be 331 seats on the aircraft.

In terms of other Club World developments, the new catering standard should be rolled out at Gatwick. Do & Co should also start catering more Heathrow routes as it prepares to take on the full long-haul catering contact at Heathrow.

First Class

Whilst many airlines have withdrawn international First Class altogether, there is evidently still life in the cabin at BA, albeit with fewer seats and on fewer routes.

BA will introduce new First Class bedding, catering and amenities from May. There may also be other improvements to Heathrow ground services.

As mentioned above, there will be no First Class on the Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, which means that First is likely to be removed from a number of routes.

BA also will reduce the size of the First Class cabin from 14 to 8 seats on some Heathrow Boeing 777s, with a new seat, as part of a full refurbishment of these aircraft. It is also expected that some Heathrow Boeing 777s may be converted from 4 to 3 class.
Continue reading “What To Expect From British Airways In 2019”

BA San Francisco Lounge Closes For Refurbishment

BA’s lounge at San Francisco will close for refurbishment on Wednesday 2 January 2019.

London Air Travel » British Airways

British Airways Lounge San Francisco
British Airways Lounge San Francisco (Image Credit: Oneworld Alliance)

BA’s lounge at San Francisco International Airport is to close for refurbishment on Wednesday 2 January 2019.

This is a welcome move. Whilst the lounge has always offered impressive views of the aircraft apron, the style of the lounge dates back to the “Terraces” lounge format from the late 1990s. A refurbishment has been long overdue.

At the moment the lounge is separated into a Club lounge and a small First lounge.

The new lounge is expected to open in the summer. It is not clear yet whether the First lounge will become a “Concorde Bar” as per Dubai and Singapore airports, which means it would be only available for passengers ticketed in First Class, and not BA Executive Club Gold cardholders.

Whilst the lounge is closed the designated lounge for BA passengers is the China Airlines Dynasty lounge, which is located on the 2nd floor of the international terminal, after security.

According to the China Airlines website, this lounge is closed between 16:00 and 22:00. However, it is assumed that these hours will be extended for BA passengers.

Under Oneworld alliance lounge access rules eligible passengers are also entitled to use the relatively new Cathay Pacific lounge. There is also a Japan Airlines lounge. However, this closes at 14:55.

British Airways Launches 2019 Sale

British Airways has launched its annual Christmas & New Year sale for travel in to 2019. Book by 31 January 2019.

London Air Travel » British Airways

Collage of British Airways seats and cabins
(Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has launched its annual Christmas & New Year sale for travel into 2019.

The sale applies across all short-haul and long-haul cabins when travelling from all of London City, Gatwick and Heathrow.

As is common, the best long-haul offers are on transatlantic routes. There are many transatlantic destinations at under £300 return in World Traveller. BA is also keen to emphasise relatively new routes such as Nashville, which has a Club World return fare from £1,393. There are also a limited number of First Class return fares on some routes from around £2,000.

The sale ends at 23:59 GMT on Thursday 31 January 2019.

The best way to see what is available is to use the low fare finder on ba.com and select your preferred region and class of travel.

Flights and hotel / car hire packages are also available via BA Holidays.

This also has the advantage that you need only pay an initial deposit of £150+ for your booking, with the balance paid by five weeks before departure.

The full terms and conditions, including details of advance purchase requirements, blackout periods, minimum and Saturday night stays, are detailed at ba.com

Update: January 2019

To celebrate its centenary year, BA is launching a series of special offers. The first offer, running at 12:00 GMT from Monday 21 January to Thursday 24 January, is 100 return seats to selected long-haul destinations for £200. More details on ba.com