British Airways is the largest airline at London City and London Heathrow airports. It also has a substantial presence at London Gatwick.
It is a subsidiary of International Airlines Group which also owns Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling who all have a presence in London.
BA is also a member of the Oneworld alliance and many of its fellow members such as American Airlines and Cathay Pacific have a substantial presence in London. BA therefore features very heavily on this site.
British Airways has advised that the planned launch of Airbus A350-1000 flights from London Heathrow to Dubai has been brought forward.
Flights BA106 and BA107 between London Heathrow and Dubai were due to be operated with the Airbus A350-1000 from Tuesday 8 October 2019.
This has now been brought forward to Monday 2 September 2019.
The Airbus A350 will not operate BA107 on 7 & 8 September, nor BA106 on 8 & 9 September.
As the Airbus A350-1000 does not have a First Class cabin, passengers booked into First Class will be downgraded to Club World if they remain on these flights.
This also means that Toronto will no longer be the first BA long-haul route to be served by the A350 from Tuesday 1 October 2019.
If you did book a flight to Toronto to specifically fly on an early Airbus A350 flight, BA has in the past exercised discretion when there are changes to schedules for new aircraft, but this cannot be guaranteed.
Schedules for new aircraft do of course remain subject to changes at very short notice.
BA’s first Airbus A350-1000, G-XWBA, is due to arrive at London Heathrow next week and will operate passenger flights between Heathrow and Madrid for crew familiarisation purposes.
British Airways has confirmed that it will switch its daily service from London Heathrow to Beijing to Beijing Daxing International Airport from Sunday 27 October 2019.
Currently, BA flies daily to Beijing Capital International airport (airport code PEK). From Sunday 27 October 2019, BA’s entire operation to Beijing will transfer to Beijing Daxing International airport (airport code PKX).
The new airport opens on Monday 30 September 2019. BA’s Oneworld alliance partner Finnair has also advised that it will operate three flights a week to Beijing Daxing from Sunday 3 November 2019, in addition to Beijing Capital.
Currently, BA codeshares with China Southern on a number of domestic routes from Beijing. China Southern will be operating from the new airport, and passengers with connections should check their itinerary carefully.
British Airways has reopened its lounge at San Francisco International airport following a six month refurbishment.
The lounge remains in its current location near Gates A4 and A6 on Concourse A, which benefits from floor to ceiling windows and good views of the airport apron.
The new lounge has combined the old Club and First lounges into one. Whilst First Class passengers and Gold Executive Club cardholders no longer have a separate lounge, First Class passengers do benefit from a new dedicated pre-flight dining area.
The lounge follows a similar design brief to BA lounges in Aberdeen, New York and Rome. The centrepiece of the lounge is granite topped bar.
You can also take a 360 degree tour of the lounge on a dedicated microsite.
Although the lounge has not increased in size, first impressions are that the new lounge is a significantly better use of the space and it has a much more open feel than the old lounge. There is also a vastly better range of seating choices.
Access to the lounge is available to British Airways First and Club World (business class) customers, British Airways Executive Gold and Silver members, and oneworld frequent flyers with Emerald and Sapphire status.
In terms of other BA lounge refurbishments, the Geneva and Johannesburg lounges are currently closed for refurbishment. Hopefully in the next few months, we will have a timescale for a refurbishment of the BA lounges at London Heathrow.
The British Airline Pilots Association, BALPA, which represents the vast majority of British Airways pilots, is currently balloting its members for industrial action at BA.
This dispute follows a breakdown in negotiations on an annual pay deal. The ballot closes on Monday 22 July 2019. For the past two days BALPA has been holding talks with BA at the conciliation service ACAS.
BALPA has issued a statement this evening, Tuesday 9 July 2019, to advise that talks have broken down without agreement:
It is bitterly disappointing that despite two full days at ACAS we are still no further forward. BALPA tabled options for resolution but BA was not prepared to negotiate so there was no progress at all and no point continuing. Until BA changes its attitude there is little prospect of talks resuming.
It is inevitable that the strike ballot will produce a strong mandate for industrial action. BALPA is required by law to give two weeks’ notice of industrial action, meaning that a strike could theoretically take place in the week beginning Monday 5 August 2019.
Any strike would cause very significant disruption at Heathrow and Gatwick. BA’s options to mitigate against the impact such as wet leasing aircraft and rebooking passengers on other IAG airlines and joint-venture partners are relatively limited in the summer.
In previous incidents of industrial action BA has adopted a conservative approach to scheduling and would only publish a strike schedule it would be confident of operating. BA is unlikely to say very much publicly until it has to announce contingency plans, other than it remains open for talks with BALPA.
The current impasse does not preclude further talks between BA and BALPA. Ultimately, both sides know they need to reach an agreement on this issue and pay negotiations can go right up to the wire. Unfortunately, this does mean a month of uncertainty for passengers.
More to read on British Airways Disruption
Here are our latest posts on disruption affecting British Airways:
British Airways is to transfer its route to Gran Canaria from London Heathrow to Gatwick from late October 2019.
This route has quite a bit of history. BA launched a winter seasonal service from Heathrow in 2013 and moved it to a year-round operation last year. BA did also plan to launch a service from Gatwick in 2015, but this got pulled before launch. Iberia Express did also launch the route from Heathrow in 2015, but this was since suspended.
It currently operates weekly under flight numbers BA489 and BA488 from London Heathrow on Saturdays in the summer and twice weekly on Saturday and Sunday in the winter.
When the route transfers to Gatwick, it will initially operate three times weekly in the winter season on Monday, Friday and Saturday under flight numbers BA2600 and BA2601. Days of operation and frequencies are likely to change in the summer season.
Based on current timetables, the last BA flight operates from Heathrow on Sunday 3 November and the first flights from Gatwick will operate on Friday 25 October.
Existing bookings from Heathrow will be cancelled. Affected passengers have the option of rebooking from Gatwick or flying from Heathrow to Madrid and taking a connecting flight on Iberia.
British Airways has announced it has suspended its winter seasonal route from London Gatwick to Friedrichshafen.
The route has previously operated on Saturdays from late December to late April. It was due to return this year on Saturday 22 December 2019, but has now been suspended.
There are no alternative BA services from London to Friedrichshafen. Passengers whose flights have been cancelled are entitled to a full refund. BA may offer affected passengers a flight to an alternative BA destination nearby. However, any consequential costs such as ground transportation will be at passengers’ expense.
BA flights from Miami depart from the Central Terminal.
The BA check-in desks do move around a lot. If you’ve flown out of Miami before, don’t assume they’ll be in the same place next time! Miami is of course a huge American Airlines hub. Security queues, even the priority lines, can be quite long.
The designated lounge for BA passengers is the Premium lounge which is located after security. This is on level 5 of Concourse E and can only be accessed by lift. This often results in queues to leave the lounge when boarding is called in the lounge.
It’s an expansive lounge but the decor is a little dated. There are shower rooms. If you want to use these you need to ask at reception. There has been talk of a refurbishment for some time, but no firm plans have been announced yet.
How the busy the lounge is depends on whether Finnair and Qatar Airways flights are also operating. Finnair flies from Miami three times weekly in the winter. Qatar Airways operates daily in winter and five times weekly in summer.
The Central Terminal is connected to the North Terminal used by American Airlines. If you don’t mind the walk you’re better off using the American Airlines Flagship lounge near Gate 30 on Concourse D. It has significantly more modern decor and, more importantly, better catering with hot food.
BA departures tend to use Gates E23-E25 and, regardless of which lounge you use, you do need to take a shuttle train to access these gates, as per the terminal map.
To boarding, and it was the familiar scene at Gate E24 with a large crowd gathering at the start of the boarding lines.
Boarding procedures are a perennial battle between airlines setting procedures, and passengers being willing and able to follow them.
All it took was for just one passenger to move towards the front of the boarding line, and then everyone else followed. Chaos ensued as BA ground staff battled to get Group 1 passengers through the lane.
Miami was, until the last season, served by a daily Airbus A380 in the winter. BA used two adjacent gates for A380 departures and boarding was far more orderly as passengers queued correctly in the designated lanes well before boarding started.
The Cabin & Take Off
On to the aircraft and it’s upstairs to one of the most coveted seats in Club World, 64K on the Upper Deck of the Boeing 747.
This seats benefits from direct access to the aisle, complete privacy with no passengers in your line of sight, and plenty of storage space in the side bins.
On take off you do get good views of Miami Beach. Though, they are better if you sit on the port side of the aircraft.
A little late with these competitions as they have been running for over a month, but there’s still plenty of time to enter!
Win BA Club World flights to Rio de Janeiro
Union Roasted Coffee, who make coffee for BA’s Club World and First Class cabins and its UK lounges, is offering the chance to win a pair of return flights to Rio de Janeiro in BA Club World.
Simply enter your details here before Thursday 31 October 2019. Full terms and conditions are here.
The competition is open only to UK residents and flights must be taken between Sunday 1 December 2019 and Tuesday 1 December 2020. Flights must also be booked by no later than Friday 30 January 2020 and are subject to availability.
(The T&Cs say the flights are from Gatwick, but it is assumed they meant Heathrow!)
BA Centenary Hampers
British Airways is also giving away two hampers each day until Sunday 25 August 2019.
The Centenary Hamper contains products from brands and designers such as Argentum, Bering, Carolina Herrera, Dr Levy, Eve Lom and Perricone. BA claims each hamper contains products worth over £1,000.
The Centenary Food Hamper contains products such as Heidsieck Dry Monopole champagne, Jimmy’s Iced coffee, Love Cocoa milk chocolate truffles, Loveau Sparkling water, Pinkster gin and Tea Pigs packs.
To be in with a chance of winning, simply enter your details at the links above, where you’ll also find the terms and conditions. Winners will be chosen throughout the week.
British Airways is rolling out new amenity kits, quilts and cushions to its premium economy cabin, World Traveller Plus, from Monday 1 July 2019.
There’s a new amenity kit, with a bag made from recycled plastic bottles. It includes a new lip balm, eye shades, pen, socks, toothbrush and toothpaste.
One negative change is that it doesn’t include ear plugs – probably the most important item on night flights – which are now available on request only.
There’s also a new and much improved cushion and quilt, as per the pictures below:
The new amenities will be available on all flights from London Heathrow from 1 July. Only the new amenity kit will be available at London Gatwick from 1 July, with the rest to follow from Thursday 1 August 2019.
More details on World Traveller Plus are available at ba.com