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 released an additional 50,000 Club World reward seats for members of its Executive Club programme.
The additional 50,000 seats are available for travel on direct one-way and return flights from Gatwick and Heathrow from Sunday 16 December 2018 to Sunday 31 March 2019. They must be booked by Sunday 2 December 2018.
To put this into context, BA ordinarily guarantees at least 2 Club World reward seats on every flight. It also operates in excess of 1,000 Club World seats a day between London and New York.
Members can book using their Avios balances at ba.com
The following routes are included:
Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, Las Vegas, San Jose (Costa Rica), New York JFK and Mauritius.
Abuja, Accra, Amman, Atlanta, Austin, Bahrain, Baltimore, Bangalore, Beijing, Beirut, Boston, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Calgary, Cape Town, Chicago, Dallas Fort-Worth, Denver, Dubai, Durban, Houston, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Lagos, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, Montreal, Moscow, Nairobi, Nashville, New Orleans, New York JFK, Newark, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Rio de Janeiro, Riyadh, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose California, Santiago, Sao Paulo, Seattle, Seoul, Seychelles, Shanghai, Singapore, Tel Aviv, Tokyo Narita, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington.
The principal exclusions are routes to The Caribbean, Hong Kong, India (except Bangalore) and Sydney.
British Airways has changed its designated lounge for eligible passengers flying from Tampa International Airport to London Gatwick.
BA has previously used a third party lounge on Concourse F of the terminal. However, from 31 October 2018 the designated lounge for BA Club World and Silver and Gold members of the Executive Club is the American Airlines Admirals Club.
Under Oneworld alliance lounge access rules, eligible BA passengers have always had access to this lounge in any event. The lounge is located near to Gate 85 on Concourse F. The lounge is open until 19:15, 10 minutes before BA’s daily flight to Gatwick is currently scheduled to depart.
The lounge offers standard American Airlines Admirals Club fare with complimentary soft drinks and light snack foods. BA passengers should be offered a chit on reception for a “premium beverage” from the bar. There is also a food menu which, in the absence of any information to the contrary, has to be paid for.
On a tangential note, Norwegian has now started flying from London Gatwick to Tampa twice weekly on Wednesday and Saturdays.
“Have you been offered a small glass of orange juice and complimentary browse of the Daily Mail?”
There’s now no excuse for complaining about the range of newspapers offered on board British Airways aircraft and in lounges.
BA is offering selected passengers free access to the PressReader digital reading service.
The new service has soft launched on a trial basis in the past few days.
PressReader offers users access to over 7,000 publications in more than 60 languages from over 120 countries. Available publications include The Guardian, The Washington Post, Vogue, GQ, and Bloomberg Businessweek. These are downloaded to the PressReader smartphone and tablet app for reading offline.
Full details of how the service works are on ba.com
BA passengers can access content from PressReader in one of two ways:
1. If you have booked a flight directly through BA you can obtain access to PressReader through a dedicated link when you receive an “It’s Time To Fly” e-mail 24 hours before your outbound flight.
You can then browse and download an unlimited number of titles for three days, and these can be kept on your device for as long as you wish.
Note you will not receive a further e-mail when you take your return flight. Also, if you have booked a flight through a travel agent, you will not receive an e-mail but this may be expanded in the future.
2. When you connect at any time to the WiFi network of a BA operated lounge, such as London Heathrow.
BA does not appear to be offering free access to passengers who connect to its paid-for in-flight WiFi service at the moment.
BA is offering this on a trial basis. It has given warning it may be withdrawn at any time. This suggests that PressReader is allowing BA to test take-up before committing to a long-term contract. Therefore, if you do value this service do make your views known in post-flight surveys.
2019 is going to be the year of the long-haul business class war.
Both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are going to introduce new long-haul business class seats with the Airbus A350-1000 aircraft.
For BA, this will be just before it officially celebrates its centenary. And Virgin Atlantic never does anything quietly.
This will be the first radical reconfiguration of their business class cabins in 15-20 years. Whilst both airlines have introduced new seats since they first introduced fully flat beds in business class near the turn of the century, the fundamental layout of the cabin has remained the same.
In the case of BA, this is its “yin-yang” 2-3/4-2 layout with backward and forward facing seats. For Virgin Atlantic, this is its reverse herringbone configuration with window seats facing into the cabin.
BA’s New Club World cabin
BA has today, Friday 2 November 2018, confirmed the following details of its new Club World cabin:
– The new larger seat will feature direct aisle access for all passengers.
– Personal storage and privacy will be improved.
– Gate to gate in-flight entertainment will be introduced for the first time, meaning that the TV monitor will be fixed into place, rather than adjustable as at present.
– BA has not given anything anyway at all regarding the look of the actual seat and cabin.
BA’s New Club World cabin on the Airbus A350-1000
The new seat will arrive when the first Airbus A350-1000 aircraft is delivered to BA in July 2019:
– Four Airbus A350-1000 will be in service by the end of 2019.
– BA will take delivery of 16 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft in total.
– BA will also take delivery of 12 Boeing 787-10 aircraft between 2020 and 2023 which will be fitted with the new cabin. The first six aircraft are due to arrive in 2020.
Retrofitting the new seat on existing aircraft
Over 100 aircraft will be fitted with the new seat:
– Two Boeing 777 aircraft will be retrofitted with the new seat by the end of 2019.
– The retrofitting of existing aircraft will continue in 2020 and will be completed by 2023.
– Given that many of BA’s competitors have experienced delays in retrofitting aircraft with new seats due to late deliveries from seat manufacturers, there may be a degree of expectations management at play here.
– It’s a safe assumption it won’t be retrofitted to Boeing 747 aircraft as most will be retired by 2023.
– Based on historical practice, Heathrow aircraft with the highest premium seating configurations, such as 4 class Boeing 777s, will be retrofitted first.
International Airlines Group, the parent company of BA, is holding its annual Capital Markets Day today, Friday 2 November 2018.
This is one event where we learn of BA’s plans for the next 12 months. Here are the major BA headlines from the day so far. Please see here for a more broader update from IAG.
New Club World Seat
As has been widely been expected, BA will introduce a new Club World set with the Airbus A350-1000.
The first Airbus A350-1000 aircraft will arrive in July 2019. There will be four Airbus A350-1000 in service by the end of 2019. The new seat will also be retrofitted to two Boeing 777 aircraft by the end of 2019. The retrofitting of the new seat will continue from 2020. It will be fitted to over 100 long-haul aircraft and the retrofit will be completed in 2023.
BA promises an entirely new seat with direct aisle access to all and improved personal storage and privacy. There will also to be gate-to-gate in-flight entertainment for the first time, meaning that the monitor will be set in position, unlike at present.
The first Airbus A350-1000 routes should be confirmed by the end of the year. It is intended to replace the 52 Club World seat Boeing 747 which is heavily deployed on North American routes such as Las Vegas, Miami and Phoenix. There will be no First Class on the Airbus A350-1000. However, there will be more Club World seats and significantly more World Traveller Plus seats on the Airbus A350-1000 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. By comparison, an Iberia A350-900 has 348 seats.
BA has been trialling new First Class catering internally this year. It will introduce new First Class bedding, catering and amenities from May 2019.
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 will reduce the size of the First Class cabin from 14 to 8 seats on some Heathrow Boeing 777 aircraft as part of a full refurbishment of these aircraft.
World Traveller Plus
New World Traveller Plus catering and amenities will be introduced from early 2019. At the moment World Traveller Plus catering is a sort of hybrid with a World Traveller meal tray and a main course from the Club World menu.
As part of the Boeing 777 refurbishment programme at Gatwick and, from next year, at Heathrow, BA will continue to introduce a new seat and enlarge these cabins.
BA has said there will be “improvements” to EuroTraveller. No details have been given. However, it is highly unlikely that Buy-On-Board catering will be withdrawn.
The roll out of WiFi will be complete on short-haul aircraft by the second quarter of 2019. 80% of long-haul aircraft will have WiFi by the end of 2019.
BA will finish its refurbishment of the Club lounge in New York JFK in 2019. Lounges in Geneva, Johannesburg and San Francisco will be refurbished in 2019. Catering will also be improved at major BA operated lounges on the network. No timescale has been given for the refurbishment of the BA lounges at Heathrow Terminals 3 and 5. Lounges in Chicago, Manchester and Miami have also been previously earmarked refurbishment, but no dates have been given.
Heathrow Ground Services
As was announced recently, all Heathrow customer facing staff are to be equipped with iPads to enable customer service issues such as lost baggage to be resolved on first point-of-contact.
This should increase capacity to rebook passengers during disruption, where passengers have historically had to queue at ticketing desks, five fold. The training programme for this should be complete by 2019.
Fleet and Network Growth
Interestingly, there have been no major changes to BA’s fleet plan.
The refurbishment of Gatwick based Boeing 777-200 aircraft will continue in 2019. BA cites positive customer feedback, particularly with regard to aircraft interiors and in-flight entertainment.
Gatwick short-haul flights will be exclusively operated with Airbus A320 aircraft by 2021, with no Airbus A319 aircraft.
There are no announced plans for new long-haul routes at Gatwick yet. However, the focus will continue to be leisure based. Complementing existing Heathrow routes, such as serving Miami from Heathrow and Fort Lauderdale from Gatwick, seems to work well.
BA is targeting a higher rate of capacity growth of 3-4% in the coming years, with the largest percentage growth focused on long-haul markets outside of North America. BA has said that growth in Asia is likely to include increased capacity to existing airports in China when slots become available and possibly a new destination.
Based on the fleet plan published by IAG, there is a significant gap between the number of short and long-haul aircraft that IAG plans to have in service by 2023 and the number of aircraft in order. It is known that IAG has been in discussions with Airbus and Boeing on an aircraft order and an announcement is likely in the next few months.
BA does appear to be slowing down the planned retirement of its Boeing 747s. Last year, the plan was to have 22 aircraft in service by the end of 2020. The most recent plan published yesterday shows that 27 aircraft will be in service by the end of 2020. The retirement schedule will continue to accelerate after 2021. Continue reading “British Airways Plans For 2019”
British Airways is suspending its service from London Heathrow to Tallinn from Friday 29 March 2019.
The route currently operates twice weekly on Tuesday and Friday. BA will continue to serve Tallinn indirectly via a codeshare with Finnair from Helsinki.
Passengers whose flights have been cancelled are entitled to a refund.
BA has also secured a rebooking agreement with SAS Scandinavian Airlines. Passengers can reroute via Copenhagen or Stockholm. In all cases, passengers must connect via a BA operated service between London Heathrow and Copenhagen or Stockholm.
It should also be possible to rebook on to BA’s codeshare with Finnair from Helsinki.
Affected passengers should contact either BA or their travel agent.
British Airways’ Galleries lounge in Munich has closed today, Thursday 1 November 2018.
The reason given for the closure is a redevelopment of the airport. The lounge was refurbished relatively recently in the “Galleries” format.
Passengers travelling in Club Europe and BA Executive Club Silver and Gold cardholders can use a newly opened third party lounge “Airport Lounge World”.
Set across two levels, the lounge promises views of the airport apron, complimentary hot and cold food, soft and alcoholic drinks, and showers.
Passengers not eligible to access the lounge by virtue of cabin or frequent flyer status can also purchase access from €48 per person.
The lounge is located after security. Passengers are advised to turn left after security and walk towards a lift signposting the lounge, which will arrive directly at the lounge entrance. The lounge is open from 06:00 to 23:00 daily.
British Airways has announced a new seasonal weekend service from London Gatwick to Lyon.
The airline will fly from Gatwick to Lyon (Lyon–Saint-Exupéry airport) on Saturdays and Sundays from Saturday 15 December 2018 to Sunday 21 April 2019.
This will complement BA’s existing year round service from Heathrow to Lyon which operates up to three times daily. BA also flies from Gatwick to Grenoble three times weekly from Saturday 15 December 2018 to Sunday 31 March 2019.
It is of course possible to “mix and match” departure and arrival airports in London and France if that is convenient.
For full details of BA’s Gatwick winter schedule, please see here. Please also see here for seasonal winter ski and Christmas routes from London.
British Airways has today, Thursday 25 October 2018, issued a statement on the progress of its investigation in to the theft of customer data from its website.
The airline first advised in the early evening of Thursday 6 September 2018 that customers who booked flights over a period of nearly two weeks between 22:58 BST on Tuesday 21 August 2018 and 21:45 BST Wednesday 5 September 2018 had their personal and financial details compromised.
The airline has now advised that more customers may have had their personal financial details compromised and is in the process of contacting affected customers.
This include customers making reward bookings between Saturday 21 April 2018 and Saturday 28 July 2018.
Affected customers will be notified by Friday 26 October 2018.
BA Statement Thursday 25 October 2018
Since our announcement on September 6, 2018 regarding the theft of our customers’ data, British Airways has been working continuously with specialist cyber forensic investigators and the National Crime Agency to investigate fully the data theft. We are updating customers today with further information as we conclude our internal investigation.
The investigation has shown the hackers may have stolen additional personal data and we are notifying the holders of 77,000 payment cards, not previously notified, that the name, billing address, email address, card payment information, including card number, expiry date and CVV have potentially been compromised, and a further 108,000 without CVV. The potentially impacted customers were those only making reward bookings between April 21 and July 28, 2018, and who used a payment card.
While we do not have conclusive evidence that the data was removed from British Airways’ systems, we are taking a prudent approach in notifying potentially affected customers, advising them to contact their bank or card provider as a precaution. Customers who are not contacted by British Airways by Friday 26 October at 1700 GMT do not need to take any action.
In addition, from the investigation we know that fewer of the customers we originally announced were impacted. Of the 380,000 payment card details announced, 244,000 were affected. Crucially, we have had no verified cases of fraud.
We are very sorry that this criminal activity has occurred. As we have been doing, we will reimburse any customers who have suffered financial losses as a direct result of the data theft and we will be offering credit rating monitoring, provided by specialists in the field, to any affected customer who is concerned about an impact to their credit rating.
Information Commissioner’s Office Statement
In response to today’s statement the Information Commissioner’s Office has advised:
“The ICO’s investigation into a cyber attack at British Airways is ongoing. Meanwhile, we advise people who may have been affected to be vigilant when checking their financial records and to follow the advice on the ICO, National Cyber Security Centre and Action Fraud websites about how they can protect themselves and their data online.
Update: Friday 26 October 2018
Willie Walsh, CEO of BA’s parent company International Airlines Group, spoke briefly about the matter when it released its 3rd quarter financial results on Friday 26 October 2018.
Two cyber security firms have carried out a forensic investigation on the cyber attack. IAG has also been working with the National Cyber Security Centre, which is part of GCHQ, and the National Crime Agency. The identity of the individual or organisation that carried out the cyber attack is not known.
However, IAG knows that it was a single attacker doing different things over a period of time. IAG considers that it understands exactly how the attacker secured access to BA’s systems, what the attacker did, and when, and what data was viewed.
Whilst there is evidence that customer data was viewed, there is no evidence to indicate that customer data was actually extracted from BA’s systems. It appears that it was not the billing and payment systems that were specifically compromised.
IAG did not give any more detail as a criminal investigation is underway but will give a more detailed explanation about what happened when it is able to do so.
In just one month’s time British Airways is due to retire the last of its five remaining Boeing 767 aircraft.
In the absence of any official announcements to the contrary, it appears that there will be no special liveries or farewell flights. The aircraft will slip away quietly into the night when its last return flight from Larnaca will land at London Heathrow Terminal 5 at 22:35 on Sunday 25 November 2018.
Here are the final Boeing 767 flights by route. As can be seen below, the 767 will stop operating on a number of routes in the next week or so. Note that some of these flights may be operated with Airbus aircraft before their final 767 flights.
Flight BA428 London Heathrow – Amsterdam – Tuesday 6 November 2018
Flight BA429 Amsterdam – London Heathrow – Tuesday 6 November 2018
Flight BA632 London Heathrow – Athens – Friday 2 November 2018
Flight BA633 Athens – London Heathrow – Friday 2 November 2018
Flight BA1434 London Heathrow – Edinburgh – Wednesday 31 October 2018
Flight BA1441 Edinburgh – London Heathrow – Wednesday 31 October 2018
Flight BA902 London Heathrow – Frankfurt – Saturday 27 October 2018
Flight BA903 Frankfurt – London Heathrow – Saturday 27 October 2018
Flight BA662 London Heathrow – Larnaca – Sunday 25 November 2018
Flight BA663 Larnaca – London Heathrow – Sunday 25 November 2018
Flight BA456 London Heathrow – Madrid – Saturday 27 October 2018
Flight BA457 Madrid – London Heathrow – Saturday 27 October 2018
Flight BA560 London Heathrow – Rome Fiumicino – Saturday 3 November 2018
Flight BA599 Rome Fiumicino – London Heathrow – Saturday 3 November 2018
Flight BA780 London Heathrow – Stockholm – Saturday 27 October 2018
Flight BA781 Stockholm – London Heathrow – Saturday 27 October 2018