BA adjusts Boeing 787 schedules following FAA Directive

London Air Travel » British Airways

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (Image Credit: British Airways)
Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (Image Credit: British Airways)

As has widely been reported, operators of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner are required to comply with an Air Worthiness Directive issued by the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States.

The FAA Directive

The FAA Directive applies to operators of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with certain engine models manufactured by Rolls Royce.

It limits the scope of the ETOPS (“Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standard”). ETOPS allows twin-engined aircraft like the Boeing 787 to operate between 60 and 330 minutes’ away from the nearest airport that can handle a diversion of the aircraft. This Directive may be modified subject to remedial action by Rolls Royce.

Rolls Royce issued a statement on 13 April 2018 outlining which engines are affected. This has been acknowleged by Boeing.

The requirement for additional maintenance to Rolls Royce engines has been going on for some time and has impacted a number of airlines, notably Air New Zealand, Norwegian and Virgin Atlantic. All have leased in aircraft to cover some flights. BA has also cancelled its flight to Doha for an extended period of time to release aircraft for other routes.

BA has made no official statement on the impact of this directive on the airline. As such, it is not known how many of its aircraft are affected. However, as BA currently operates the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on a number of long-range routes to Asia and Latin America, it will inevitably have an impact on the airline’s operations.

BA may choose to substitute aircraft at short notice, or cancel flights as aircraft undergo maintenance.
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BA reveals its new lounge concept at Rome Fiumicino airport

British Airways has opened its new lounge at Terminal 3 of Rome Fiumicino airport, showcasing a new design concept for the airline.

London Air Travel » British Airways

British Airways Lounge, Rome Fiumicino Airport (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Lounge, Rome Fiumicino Airport (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has today, Monday 16 April 2018, opened its new lounge at Terminal 3 of Rome Fiumicino airport.

The lounge is 460m2 in size with capacity for nearly 140 customers.

The lounge features a granite topped bar as its centre piece. In peak times, the bar will be staffed by a mixologist. At other times, it will operate as a self-pour bar.

Whilst there is clearly ample table seating in the lounge it’s not clear from the BA press images and release what is on offer in terms of food.

The lounge also features artwork from artist Patrick Caulfield and a number of pieces from his series of 22 screen prints from 1973 entitled “Some Poems of Jules Laforgue”.

This lounge is a radical departure from recent BA lounge developments such as London Gatwick and the “Galleries” lounges developed by both Davies & Baron and Graven. Indeed, with its relatively muted tones and clean lines, at first sight you would be forgiven for thinking this lounge belonged to SAS Scandinavian Airlines or SWISS. This lounge would certainly not look out of place on the pages of Wallpaper* magazine.

The lounge may also provide some clues to what to expect for future BA lounge developments. BA is also due to open refurbished lounges in Aberdeen and New York JFK Terminal 7. Please see here for BA’s lounge refurbishment plans for the coming years.

BA flies to Rome from London Gatwick and Heathrow. Passengers travelling in Club Europe and British Airways Silver and Gold Executive Club cardholders (and Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald equivalents) are eligible to use the lounge.
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Your children can fly free on BA domestic flights this summer

Your children can fly for free on selected BA flights between London and Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds-Bradford & Newcastle this summer.

London Air Travel » British Airways

British Airways “Kids Fly Free” Summer Promotion

Your children can fly for free on BA between London Heathrow and select UK domestic short-haul this summer.

BA is once again running its summer “Kids Fly Free” promotion. Children up to the age of twelve can fly for free with at least one adult on flights between London Heathrow and Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds-Bradford and Newcastle. Unlike previous years, no destinations in mainland Europe are included in the promotion.

The promotion only applies to flights to/from London Heathrow and bookings in EuroTraveller economy. It does not apply to flights to/from London Gatwick or London City.

The offer is valid for travel from Friday 1 June 2018 to Monday 5 November 2018. with no blackout dates.

Flights must be booked by Sunday 13 May 2018, as per the attached PDF issued by BA.

It is also worth noting that children can travel for free on the Heathrow Express.

Flights can be booked now on ba.com

BA “Basic Economy” long-haul fares now on sale on selected routes

British Airways has started selling basic economy fares on selected dates on some long-haul routes.

London Air Travel » British Airways

BA World Traveller Cabin, Boeing 777-300 aircraft (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has today, Tuesday 11 April 2018, started selling “basic economy” fares on selected long-haul routes on ba.com

These fares were first announced in March of this year. A basic economy fare does not entitle a passenger to a checked luggage allowance or free seat selection at check-in. However, these can be purchased at any time after booking for a fee. It is also possible to combine basic and standard fares in the same booking.

Once on board the aircraft, all economy passengers will be entitled to the same in-flight amenities and catering service.

BA’s IAG sibling Iberia and their transatlantic joint-venture partners, American Airlines and Finnair, have also introduced basic economy on selected routes.

At the outset, it’s important to note:

1. The implementation of basic economy currently varies by point of sale

For passengers travelling from the UK and the rest of the European Union, basic economy is currently available on the following routes:

London Heathrow to Austin, Boston, Denver, Philadelphia
London Heathrow to Delhi, Dubai, Hong Kong, Lagos, Singapore
London Gatwick to Oakland
London Gatwick to Punta Cana

Helsinki to New York
Madrid to Boston, Chicago, Dallas Fort Worth

All routes from France, Italy, The Netherlands and Malta to the United States & Canada

For passengers travelling from the United States, basic economy is currently available on the following routes:

Boston, Dallas Fort Worth, Philadelphia and Pheonix to London Heathrow
Oakland to London Gatwick

New York to Helsinki
Boston, Chicago and Dallas Fort Worth to Madrid

There are some surprising omissions, notably London to New York. Also, there are many other routes where BA competes directly against Norwegian and it has not yet launched basic economy fares. However, it is reasonable assumption that these fares will be available on many more routes in the coming months.
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BA suspends London Gatwick – Oakland

British Airways has suspended its route from London Gatwick to Oakland from Monday 22 October 2018.

London Air Travel » British Airways

British Airways Boeing 777 at London Gatwick
British Airways Boeing 777 at London Gatwick

British Airways has confirmed it has suspended its route from London Gatwick to Oakland, California from Monday 22 October 2018.

The last flight will operate on Saturday 20 October 2018. The route launched in March 2017. Like the launch of Fort Lauderdale and New York JFK, it was a clear competitive response to the growth of Norwegian at London Gatwick. Norwegian will continue to fly to Oakland at Gatwick.

BA has not yet published any official guidance in response to the cancellation. However, if your flight is cancelled you are entitled to a full refund. Passengers are also likely to be offered the opportunity to change their flight to one of BA’s twice daily services from London Heathrow to San Francisco. Note that in this instance any consequential costs such as additional ground transportation would be at your own expense.

BA appears to be using the spare capacity arising from the suspension to make its summer seasonal route to Las Vegas year round.

Affected passengers should contact either BA or their travel agent.

Update: BA has since stated that the route will resume in Summer 2019 and the route is currently showing as scheduled to resume on Monday 1 April 2019.

BA Club World Catering: New York JFK – London Heathrow

A review of BA’s new Club World catering & bedding on New York JFK – London Heathrow.

London Air Travel » British Airways

BA Club World Catering - New York JFK - London Heathrow Day flight
BA Club World Catering – New York JFK – London Heathrow Day flight (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

A week after our first review of BA’s new Club World catering and bedding on London Heathrow – Philadelphia, here’s our second take on the new catering service.

Why a second review?

Well, BA uses a different catering company, Do & Co, on New York JFK from all other long-haul routes.

This review is also conducted on one of a handful of transatlantic day flights from the US to London Heathrow. Whilst these flights do necessitate an early start and a short day is lost to flying, it is infinitely more pleasant and relaxed than a red eye.

There’s no rush to get the seat fully flat after take-off. Nor any need for the crew to have to navigate the sometimes visible tension between those passengers who want to maximise every moment for sleep and those who want to sit back and enjoy the service.

It should also be said this particular flight only operated out of sheer luck. On the day of this flight, this was the only BA flight to operate between New York and London. All other flights were cancelled due to severe weather on the US East Coast. Had this flight departed a mere one hour later it too could have been cancelled.
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BA’s new Club World catering & bedding reviewed

A review of BA’s new Club World catering & bedding on London Heathrow – Philadelphia.

London Air Travel » British Airways

BA Club World Catering London Heathrow - Philadelphia
BA Club World Catering London Heathrow – Philadelphia (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

Is there a better way to fly across the Atlantic Ocean from London Heathrow than seated on the upper deck of a BA 747?

It may not be the most modern aircraft jostling for position on the taxiways at Heathrow before take-off. However, the 20 seat cabin has long been sought after for its private jet like experience where passengers sit oblivious to whatever is happening down below.

A flight from London Heathrow to Philadelphia, which is the subject of this review, marked a return to the upper deck after many flights with its younger upstarts the Boeing 787 and Airbus A380.

And what better way to sample BA’s new Club World service for the first time.

It made its debut on London Heathrow – New JFK in September 2017. Only very recently has it been extended to more routes, so London Heathrow to Philadelphia was the author’s first opportunity to try the new service.

Would it live up to the hype? Would BA be able to resist the temptation to pare back the service after launch? What about reports of the meal service taking 3 hours?
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10 Years of London Heathrow Terminal 5

As Heathrow prepares to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Terminal 5 we look back at its opening in March 2008.

London Air Travel » British Airways

London Heathrow Terminal 5 (Image Credit: Heathrow)
London Heathrow Terminal 5 (Image Credit: Heathrow)

It was all meant to go swimmingly.

Her Majesty The Queen had officially opened London Heathrow Terminal 5 just short of two weeks before its planned opening on 27 March 2008. Hundreds of passengers had volunteered to take part in pre-opening trials. The airline was at pains to emphasise that it had learnt the lessons of teething problems at Denver and Madrid. The baggage system had been put through its paces for months.

BA promised its frequent flyers that the terminal would be “So calm, you’ll simply flow through.” Such was BA’s confidence in its promise of “no queuing” the terminal didn’t even have a dedicated business class check-in at launch. A TV ad featuring fish swimming through the terminal was ready to air.

BA was the exclusive tenant of Heathrow’s first new terminal in more than 20 years and as the home to almost all of its Heathrow flights it would transform its presence at the airport.

On opening day, the then BA CEO Willie Walsh was to greet passengers arriving on the first flight at Terminal 5 from Hong Kong and usher in a new era for the airline.

And then, it was chaos.
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BA unveils its “densified” London Gatwick Boeing 777

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 has today, Monday 5 March 2018, unveiled images of its refurbished Boeing 777s which will operate on selected long-haul routes at London Gatwick from the summer of 2018.

BA took delivery of its first refurbished aircraft last week. It features an entirely new World Traveller and World Traveller Plus cabin. The first routes to operate the new cabin are Punta Cana, Cancun and Kingston. Please see here for full details of the expected routes for 2018.

When BA first announced the plan to densify its Boeing 777 fleet it said that 12 aircraft would be refurbished. BA has said today that 6 aircraft will be refurbished by the end of October this year. The refurbishment will continue in 2019.
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BA to launch unbundled long-haul economy fares

British Airways and its partners American Airlines, Finnair and Iberia are to launch an unbundled long-haul economy fare with no checked luggage allowance from April 2018.

London Air Travel » British Airways

BA World Traveller Cabin, Boeing 777-300 aircraft (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways is to launch a new “unbundled” long-haul economy fare on selected routes from April 2018.

Following the growth of Norwegian at London Gatwick, there has long been speculation and suggestions by BA’s CEO Alex Cruz that BA would launch an unbundled long-haul economy fare.

BA’s fellow International Airlines Group (“IAG”) subsidiary Aer Lingus also launched a new unbundled transatlantic saver fare last year.

BA has not yet confirmed the exact routes on which the new fare will be available and from which dates. And BA has yet to make an official PR announcement, which will require some delicate positioning. Although the “BA scraps free checked luggage” headlines will be inevitable.
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