The delayed BA lounges at Gatwick are now open

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways London Gatwick

British Airways Lounge, South Terminal, London Gatwick (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Lounge, South Terminal, London Gatwick (Image Credit: British Airways)

There has been a lot of interest in the planned new British Airways lounges at London Gatwick’s South Terminal which, from today, is BA’s new home at Gatwick.

The lounges were planned to open today, Wednesday 25 January 2017. However, this has been delayed.

It is understood that construction work is complete and the official line from BA is that it is hoped that the lounges will open “soon”.

In the interim, passengers travelling in First Class on any flight and Gold Executive Club cardholders can use the third party operated No 1 Clubrooms.

In addition, all passengers travelling to Jersey, New York JFK and Bermuda who are eligible for lounge access can use this lounge.  However, this will be subject to capacity constraints.

All other passengers who are eligible to access lounges (e.g. Club Europe, Club World and Silver Executive Club cardholders) can use a temporary “Speedbird” lounge operated by BA.

If you are flying BA from Gatwick you should be handed a letter at check-in explaining these options.

It is obviously disappointing that the new lounges are not open today. However, the problems associated with its opening do not seem insurmountable.

Update 7 February 2017

It is understood that the new lounges have undergone a “soft” opening ahead of a formal launch.  However, not all facilities may be available at all times.

The new Club lounge is open from 05:15 until the last flight has departed.  Passengers travelling in Club World on any long-haul flight and Club Europe to Jersey, and all British Airways Executive Club Silver cardholders travelling on long-haul flights or to Jersey are eligible to use the lounge.

The new First lounge is open from 07:00 until 20:00 and all passengers travelling in First Class and all British Airways Executive Club Gold cardholders are eligible to use the lounge.  If there capacity constraints passengers will be invited to use the No 1 Club rooms.

All other passengers, e.g. those travelling in Club Europe to other than Jersey and on Business U.K. tickets and British Airways Executive Club Silver cardholders travelling on short-haul flights other than Jersey will be invited to use the temporary Speedbird lounge.

Update 20 February 2017

It is understood that the new lounges are now fully operational and all other temporary lounge arrangements have been withdrawn.

British Airways Lounge, South Terminal, London Gatwick (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Lounge, South Terminal, London Gatwick (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Lounge, South Terminal, London Gatwick (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Lounge, South Terminal, London Gatwick (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Lounge, South Terminal, London Gatwick (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Lounge, South Terminal, London Gatwick (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Lounge, South Terminal, London Gatwick (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Lounge, South Terminal, London Gatwick (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Lounge, South Terminal, London Gatwick (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Lounge, South Terminal, London Gatwick (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Lounge, South Terminal, London Gatwick (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Lounge, South Terminal, London Gatwick (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Lounge, South Terminal, London Gatwick (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Lounge, South Terminal, London Gatwick (Image Credit: British Airways)

BA to open new lounges in Gatwick’s South Terminal on 25 January 2017

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways London Gatwick

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

In January 2017 there will be a significant re-organisation at London Gatwick. easyJet will consolidate all of its operations in London Gatwick’s North Terminal. In order to faciliate this move both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic will swap terminals. BA will move the from North to South terminal, and Virgin Atlantic vice versa.

BA’s lounges in the North Terminal have long been closed due to construction work with passengers being required to use the No 1 lounges as an interim measure.

Details of what BA lounge arrangements there will be in the South Terminal for business and first class passengers and Silver and Gold Executive Club cardholders have long been anticipated.

BA has now confirmed some initial information, short of releasing final images of the lounge, for both check-in and lounge facilities.

Check-in and security

  • There will be dedicated premium check- in area in Zone A of the terminal for Club Europe, Club World, First Class and Silver & Gold Executive Cardholders.  This will feature dedicated seating, power outlets and bespoke furnishing.
  • There will be a dedicated premium security facility on Level 3 of the South terminal.

Lounges

  • Capacity for 477 passengers, which BA say is 40% larger than the former North terminal lounge
  • A separate First Class lounge with upgraded seating, finishes and lighting. It is assumed that Gold cardholders will have access to this lounge as some recent BA lounge developments in Dubai and Singapore feature a “Concorde Bar” for passengers ticketed in First Class only
  • Floor to ceiling windows with views of the runway
  • A “beautifully curved” staircase overlooking the main lounge
  • Full kitchen facilities in both lounges giving an upgraded food & beverage offering. Details of menus are to confirmed
  • A ‘kidszone’ room for children
  • Shower facilities

We will post images of the lounges as soon as they are released.

It is also worth mentioning that prior to the formal switch of flights on 25 January 2017 some flights will move in advance on a trial basis.

Update 25 January 2017

Whilst the Terminal switch has taken place today, 25 January, the opening of the lounges has been delayed.  In the interim, passengers travelling in Club Europe, Club World and Silver Executive Club card holders can use s temporary “Speedbird” lounge. Passengers travelling in First Class and Gold Executive Club cardholders can use the third party No 1 lounges.

Update 7 February 2017

It is understood that both of the lounges have now undergone a “soft” opening. However, not all facilities and amenities may be available at all times.

The new Club lounge is open from 05:15 until the last flight has departed. Passengers travelling in Club World on any long-haul flight and Club Europe to Jersey, and all British Airways Executive Club Silver cardholders travelling on long-haul flights or to Jersey are eligible to use the lounge.

The new First lounge is open from 07:00 until 20:00 and all passengers travelling in First Class and all British Airways Executive Club Gold cardholders are eligible to use the lounge. If there capacity constraints passengers will be invited to use the No 1 Club rooms.

All other passengers, e.g. those travelling in Club Europe to other than Jersey and on Business U.K. tickets and British Airways Executive Club Silver cardholders travelling on short-haul flights other than Jersey will be invited to use the temporary Speedbird lounge.

Update 20 February

It is understood that the new lounges are now fully open and operational and therefore the temporary lounge arrangements have been withdrawn.

BA prepares for move to Gatwick’s South Terminal with trial flights

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways London Gatwick

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

In 2017, there will be a significant reorganisation at London Gatwick. easyJet will consolidate its operations into a single terminal at the airport, with all flights operating from the North Terminal.

In order to facilitate this move, British Airways from the North Terminal to the South Terminal. Virgin Atlantic will move from the South Terminal to the North Terminal. BA will move to the South Terminal on Wednesday 25 January 2017.

BA has of course learned the hard way that terminal moves can be fraught with difficulty. It is for this reason the airline has already begun trial flights from the South Terminal.

In advance of the full move the following routes will move to the South Terminal on a permanent basis in January 2017:

London Gatwick – New York JFK

Flight BA2273 London Gatwick – New York JFK (from Wednesday 11 January 2017)
Flight BA2272 New York JFK – London Gatwick (from Thursday 12 January 2017)

London Gatwick – Naples

Flight BA2612 London Gatwick – Naples (from Thursday 19 January 2017)
Flight BA2613 Naples – London (from Thursday 19 January 2017)
Continue reading “BA prepares for move to Gatwick’s South Terminal with trial flights”

BA launches seasonal London Gatwick – Limoges from May 2017

British Airways will fly from London Gatwick to Limoges up to four times weekly from May 2017.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways London Gatwick

British Airways Short Haul Economy Cabin (Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has launched a new summer seasonal route from London Gatwick to Limoges, France from May 2017.

Officially, the route from London Gatwick to Limoges (Limoges Airport) launches on 28 May 2017. However, we have found flights operating earlier in May.

The route will operate up to four times weekly with flights on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

As is par the course for BA short-haul routes from London Gatwick, the timing of the flights varies widely by day with departure times ranging from very early in the morning to late evening.

The route is scheduled to operate until early September 2017. It will then resume on Friday 25 May 2018 and operate until Sunday 2 September 2017.

The frequency and duration of this route may be varied at short notice depending on its commercial performance. Again, this is par the course for BA at Gatwick.

This route addition does join a growing list of seasonal BA routes to France including seasonal flights from Heathrow to Biaritz, Montpellier and Nantes.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

BA launches London Gatwick – Oakland from 28 March 2017

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways London Gatwick

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

British Airways has announced its third new transatlantic route in as many weeks with the launch of a four times weekly service from London Gatwick to Oakland California (Oakland International Airport) from 28 March 2017.

This follows the launch of Fort Lauderdale from London Gatwick and New Orleans from London Heathrow.

Flights will operate four times weekly (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) in the summer season and three times weekly in the winter season.

Flights will be operated with a three class Boeing 777 aircraft featuring Club World business class, World Traveller Plus premium economy, and World Traveller economy.

Oakland is BA’s fifth destination in California after San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose.

Like Fort Lauderdale, this route is also served by Norwegian from London Gatwick and there can be no doubt this is a competitive response to Norwegian’s growing network of long-haul routes to the USA at London Gatwick.

BA’s parent company, International Airlines Group, clearly sees Norwegian as a major competitor that requires a strategic competitive response. Further announcements may be made by both BA and other IAG group airlines such as Iberia and Aer Lingus in the coming weeks.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

London Gatwick – Oakland

Flight BA2279 Depart London Gatwick 10:20 – Arrive Oakland International Airport 13:15 (Monday, Thursday, Saturday)
Flight BA2279 Depart London Gatwick 11:25 – Arrive Oakland International Airport 14:20 (Tuesday)

Flight BA2278 Depart Oakland International Airport 15:05 – Arrive London Gatwick 09:25 (Monday, Thursday, Saturday)
Flight BA2278 Depart Oakland International Airport 16:10 – Arrive London Gatwick 10:30 (Tuesday)

BA launches London Gatwick – Fort Lauderdale from 6 July 2017

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways London Gatwick

Fort Lauderdale Beach (Image Credit: London Air Travel)
Fort Lauderdale Beach (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

British Airways is to launch a new route from London Gatwick to Fort Lauderdale (Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport) from 6 July 2017.

This is the second new transatlantic route announcement in as many weeks after BA announced a new route from London Heathrow to New Orleans last week.

It is also BA’s fourth destination in Florida after Miami, Orlando and Tampa.

Flights will operate three times weekly (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) with additional flight on Sunday in the peak summer season (16 July – 3 September 2017).

Flights will be operated using a three class Boeing 777-200 aircraft with Club World business class, World Traveller Plus premium economy, and World Traveller economy.

BA is not for the first airline to fly to Fort Lauderdale from Gatwick as Norwegian have been flying the route for some time. Indeed, this is the second time BA has launched a new route to head-to-head with Norwegian at Gatwick, after reinstating flights from Gatwick to New York JFK.

This route will popular with tourists to South Florida and those taking cruises from the area.

It is also a potentially better gateway than Miami airport and should promise a smoother experience in US Customs & Immigration. 

That said, BA’s Airbus A380 operated flights from London Heathrow to Miami will offer the option of First Class, newer World Traveller Plus and World Traveller seating, a more advanced in flight entertainment system and a more pleasant cabin environment. It will of course be possible to “mix and match” flights between different airports. Flights will also be codeshared with Aer Lingus, American Airlines, Finnair and Iberia.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

Here are links to the press releases from BA and Broward County Aviation Department.

London Gatwick – Fort Lauderdale

Flight BA2169 Depart London Gatwick 09:25 – Arrive Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport 13:45 (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 16 July – 3 September 2017)

Flight BA2168 Depart Fort Lauderdale 17:00 – Arrive London Gatwick 06:30 (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 16 July – 3 September 2017)

BA to launch seasonal Gatwick – Cape Town from Thursday 24 November 2016

British Airways is operating a winter seasonal route from London Gatwick to Cape Town, to complement existing flights from Heathrow.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways London Gatwick

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

British Airways is to launch a winter seasonal service from London Gatwick to Cape Town in South Africa from Thursday 24 November 2016.

Flights will operate three times a week and will complement the airline’s existing twice daily service from London Heathrow. It will also compete directly against Thomas Cook’s new service to Cape Town from London Gatwick which runs from 15 December 2016 to the weekend of Saturday 25/Sunday 26 March 2017.   The seasonal service is currently scheduled to return from mid November 2017 to late March 2018.  However, this may change depending on the commercial performance of the route.

BA flights will be operated using a three class Boeing 777 aircraft which will offer Club World business class, World Traveller Plus premium economy and World Traveller economy.

This new route also adds to a growing portfolio of long-haul routes from London Gatwick which includes Norwegian’s long-haul flights to the USA and Cathay Pacific’s new service to Hong Kong from 2 September 2016.

BA itself is launching flights from London Gatwick to Costa Rica on 27 April 2016 and Peru on 4 May 2016. BA also returns to New York JFK from London Gatwick on 1 May.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

London Gatwick – Cape Town (Winter 2016)

Flight BA2065 Depart London Gatwick 18:00 – Arrive Cape Town 07:50 (Mon, Thurs, Sat)
Flight BA2064 Depart Cape Town 19:10 – Arrive London Gatwick 05:05 (Tue, Fri, Sun)

British Airways’ London Gatwick lounges have now closed

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways London Gatwick

London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)
London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)

British Airways’ Galleries Club and First lounges in the North Terminal of London Gatwick airport have now closed permanently.

This move is to allow the redevelopment of the North Terminal which will see easyJet consolidate its London Gatwick operations in the North Terminal and British Airways move to the South Terminal in November 2016.

In the interim, BA passengers will have access to the third party the No 1 lounge which is located on the 3rd floor of the terminal.

BA has assured that a new lounge complex will be built in the South terminal which it is to move into in November of this year.

BA has not released any information on the new lounges, other than to say it will be an improvement on the existing lounges with full kitchen facilities, views of the runway and there will be a dedicated area for First Class passengers and Gold Executive Club cardholders.

BA suspends London Gatwick – Las Vegas from Sunday 25 April 2016

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways London Gatwick

London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)
London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)

Launched in late 2009 when the airline was still reeling from the impact of the global financial crisis, British Airways’ daily service from London Heathrow to Las Vegas was an instant success with capacity quickly added through an aircraft upgrade and, more recently an additional three times weekly service from London Gatwick.

The service from London Gatwick has now been suspended, with the last return flight operating on Sunday 25 April 2016. BA will continue to fly to Vegas at least once a day from London Heathrow.

Ostensibly, the route suspension is to allow the airline to launch a flight from London Gatwick to New York JFK from Sunday 1 May 2016.

Affected passengers should receive a notice of cancellation shortly and passengers will be accommodated on BA’s service from London Heathrow which operates up to 11 times weekly.

BA reinstates London Gatwick – New York JFK from Sunday 1 May 2016

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways London Gatwick

New York Skyline
New York Skyline (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

British Airways is to relaunch a daily service from London Gatwick to New York JFK from Sunday 1 May 2016.

The airline last flew between the two airports for a short period in 2008-2009 and the service was then ostensibly a “slot-sitting” exercise pending the launch of BA’s London City – New York JFK service.

The route will be operated with a three class Boeing 777-200 aircraft with Club World business class, World Traveller Plus premium economy and World Traveller economy cabins.

BA will be competing head on against Norwegian Air Shuttle which has a growing transatlantic network at London Gatwick including routes such as Boston, Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles.

The flight is being accommodated by the cancellation of BA’s thrice weekly London Gatwick – Las Vegas service and frequency adjustments on other routes.

The route will also be bookable as a codeshare with American Airlines, Iberia and Finnair.

Passsengers should also be aware that from January 2016 BA will have limited lounge facilities at Gatwick as its lounges will be closed pending its move to the South terminal in November 2016.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

London Gatwick – New York JFK

Flight BA2273 Depart London Gatwick 16:40 – Arrive New York JFK 19:30

Flight BA2272 Depart New York JFK 22:00 – Arrive London Gatwick 10:00