BA’s 10 abreast economy Boeing 777 September Update

An update on the progress of the refurbishment of British Airways Boeing 777 fleet at Gatwick and the routes on which refurbished aircraft are expected to operate.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways World Traveller

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 a third of its 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.

At the moment three class Boeing 777-200 are being refurbishment. For these aircraft, BA has also installed a new World Traveller Plus premium economy seat and increased the number of seats in this 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, but the overall change in seating configuration is much more modest.

As at October 2018, five Boeing 777-200 aircraft, registrations G-VIIO, G-VIIP, G-VIIR, G-VIIT and G-VIIX have been refurbished. A sixth aircraft, G-VIIU, flew to Singapore on 7 October 2018 for refurbishment. Each refurbishment takes around four to six weeks.

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

The initial plan was that up to 25 Boeing 777s will be subject to “densification”. Given, from anecdotal evidence, there appears to be no adverse customer reaction, it is highly likely that this will be extended to many more aircraft. Heathrow based Boeing 777s are expected to be refurbished in 2019.

Seat maps for 3 class Boeing 777 aircraft

If you are flying on a non-refurbished 9 abreast 3 class Boeing 777 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 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 September Update”

BA Gatwick 10 abreast economy Boeing 777 Update

BA is progressively the number of economy seats on Boeing 777 aircraft at Gatwick from 9 to 10 seats a row. Here is an update on the progress of the refurbishment.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways World Traveller

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 a third of its way through the refurbishment of its fleet of Boeing 777-200 aircraft at London Gatwick.

The refurbishment programme includes new seats in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus, new in-flight entertainment systems and cabin interiors. Most importantly of all, the seats in World Traveller are increased from 9 to 10 a row.

Please see here for images of the first refurbished aircraft which were unveiled on Monday 5 March 2018.

At the moment only three class Boeing 777-200 aircraft are being refurbished. As at October 2018, five Boeing 777-200 aircraft, registrations G-VIIO, G-VIIP, G-VIIR, G-VIIT, G-VIIX have been refurbished. A sixth aircraft, G-VIIU, flew to Singapore on 7 October 2018 for refurbishment. Each refurbishment takes around a month. Once the Gatwick fleet is complete, BA will then refurbish some Heathrow aircraft.

Seating Plans Of Refurbished Aircraft

BA has updated the seat maps on its website to include the new cabin configuration.

If you are flying on a 9 abreast Boeing 777 you should see the following cabin configurations on the seat map for your reservation in the Manage My Booking tool:

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

If you are flying on a 10 abreast Boeing 777 you should see the following cabin configurations on the seat map for your reservation 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)
Continue reading “BA Gatwick 10 abreast economy Boeing 777 Update”

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 » British Airways World Traveller

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, at launch basic economy is 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

Update May 2018: Basic economy is now available for all flights from the UK to the United States and 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

Update May 2018: Basic economy is now available for all flights from the United States and Canada to London.

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

BA unveils its “densified” London Gatwick Boeing 777

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways World Traveller

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.
Continue reading “BA unveils its “densified” London Gatwick Boeing 777″

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 » British Airways World Traveller

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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BA upgrades World Traveller economy catering

British Airways is to introduce improvements to World Traveller economy catering on all long-haul flights to and from London Gatwick and Heathrow from Wednesday 17 January 2018.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways World Traveller

BA World Traveller Catering January 2018
BA World Traveller Catering January 2018

As was announced at the annual IAG Capital Markets Day last year, BA is to introduce improvements to catering on all World Traveller economy flights from Wednesday 17 January 2018.

In truth, much of what has been announced is a reinstatement (once again in some cases…) of items that have previously been cut.

The basic structure of the World Traveller meal service remains the same: Drinks from the bar shortly after take-off; a full meal service, and then a second meal and bar service around 90 minutes before landing.

The service in World Traveller Plus is broadly the same with the addition of pre-take off drinks and a main course from the Club World menu.

Additions to World Traveller Catering from 17 January 2018:

– BA will reinstate pretzels with the first bar service.

– The World Traveller meal tray will include a small bottle of water (rather than a cuplet) and the tray will include cheese and biscuits.

– BA will offer ice creams on day flights from London and will reinstate “tuck boxes” of snacks in the galley on overnight flights.

– Graze snack boxes will be offered on longer-range flights in excess of 10 hours (see list below).

– The second meal/snack service will be improved. Last year, there was considerable, and justified, criticism after BA cut the second meal service on flights of less than eight hours to a small chocolate bar / biscuit (see the offending item below from a flight in World Traveller Plus last year). BA will reinstate the provision of a sandwich on relatively short long-haul flights such as New York.

– A second hot meal will be offered on longer range day & night flights.

– BA will continue to tailor menus to regions, particularly Asia and the Middle East, and offer all passengers the option of pre-ordering a special meal.
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BA’s 10 abreast economy Boeing 777 at Gatwick in 2018

In 2018, BA will increase the number of economy seats on some Boeing 777 aircraft at London Gatwick from 9 to 10 seats a row. Here are details of the routes on which the reconfigured Boeing 777s will operate in 2018.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways World Traveller

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 a third of its way through the refurbishment of its fleet of Boeing 777-200 aircraft at London Gatwick.

In short, this means that the number of seats in the World Traveller economy cabin would increase from 9 to 10 a row.

At the same time, BA will also increase the number of World Traveller Plus premium economy seats and decrease the number of Club World business class seats.

At the moment only three class Boeing 777-200 are being refurbishment. As at October 2018, five Boeing 777-200 aircraft, registrations G-VIIO, G-VIIP, G-VIIR, G-VIIT, G-VIIX, have been refurbished. A sixth aircraft, G-VIIU, flew to Singapore on 7 October 2018 for refurbishment. Each refurbishment takes four to six weeks.

Please see here for images of the refurbished aircraft which was unveiled on Monday 5 March 2018.

BA's initial plan to reconfigure London Gatwick Boeing 777s - November 2016 (Image Credit: International Airlines Group)
BA’s initial plan to reconfigure London Gatwick Boeing 777s – November 2016 (Image Credit: International Airlines Group)

Initially, up to 25 Boeing 777s will be subject to “densification”. However, you can be confident that the financial performance of refurbished aircraft and customer feedback scores will be monitored very closely.

How do I know if I will be flying on a “densified” Boeing 777?

BA has updated seat maps on its website.

If you are flying on a 9 abreast 3 class Boeing 777 you should see the following cabin configurations on the seat map for your reservation in the Manage My Booking tool:

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

If you are flying on a 10 abreast 3 class Boeing 777 you should see the following cabin configurations on the seat map for your reservation 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)
Continue reading “BA’s 10 abreast economy Boeing 777 at Gatwick in 2018”

Will BA follow Aer Lingus and launch “unbundled” transatlantic fares?

Aer Lingus is launching an unbundled “transatlantic saver’ fare. Will BA follow suit?

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways World Traveller

Aer Lingus Transatlantic Saver & Smart Fares
Aer Lingus Transatlantic Saver & Smart Fares

International Airlines Group (“IAG”), the parent company of Aer Lingus, BA, Iberia and Vueling has been paying a lot of attention to Norwegian of late.  And it has good reason to do so.  Norwegian’s rapacious growth of its low cost long-haul network has been clearly targeted at IAG airlines’ key markets of Ireland, Spain and the UK.

IAG airlines have made a number of competitive responses:  BA has matched many Norwegian routes at Gatwick by launching Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, New York JFK and Oakland.  It is also reconfiguring its Gatwick based Boeing 777s with more economy seats.   IAG also launched a new low cost long-haul airline Level at Barcelona which is expected to expand to more European cities next year.

It is true to say that many airlines have been taken by surprise at how passengers have taken to the concept of low cost long-haul and their unbundled a-la-carte fares.  Witness comments from IAG CEO Willie Walsh, who previously questioned the wisdom of charging for items such as hot meals, at its annual investor day last year:

I do not mind admitting that we looked at some things Norwegian did, and I said this publicly and I said, ‘Wow, that is interesting.’ They have actually demonstrated that consumers will accept some things that people questioned whether they would work on long-haul. Having proven this, we have let’s adopt it and we are doing that. It is not that we are trying to respond to them as a competitor. We have learned from them as a competitor and we are responding to a market opportunity.

Aer Lingus has now taken this first step.  It has repackaged its fares for direct transatlantic flights from Ireland from Saturday 1 October 2017.

Under its new “Transatlantic Saver” fare, checked luggage, seating assignments and blankets and headphones are no longer included.  However, passengers still receive complimentary catering and can make use of the in flight entertainment system.  Presumably, this is for operational simplicity as having experienced short-haul flights where only some passengers in a cabin are entitled to free food can be quite chaotic when passengers swap seats.

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Is BA going to scrap free meals in long-haul economy?

Is British Airways really going to scrap free hot meals in long-haul economy? In short, no.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways World Traveller

British Airways Economy Catering (Pre-Paid Gourmet Meal)
British Airways Economy Catering (Pre-Paid Gourmet Meal)

Another week, another BA headline in the Sunday papers!

This weekend, BA is charged with plotting to scrap free meals in long-haul economy.

Step forward The Sunday Times which notes:

The airline could start charging long-distance flyers for a menu drawn from the aisles of Mark & Spencer, Alex Cruz, BA’s boss, has revealed. The move will spark fresh claims that penny-pinching is reducing BA to “a budget airline”.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Cruz said that after “a rough start” customers now welcomed the chance to pay for M&S food on European flights. The airline’s buy-on-board system, which replaced free food on short flights in January, is “a perfect decision”, he said.

“It’s going great. Customers say to us: ‘Finally, I have good choices. No more chicken or beef’.” The service could be extended to long-haul economy. “We might do it,” he said.

But is that what is really going on?

Not quite.
Continue reading “Is BA going to scrap free meals in long-haul economy?”

BA introduces catering improvements to World Traveller & Club World

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways World Traveller

BA Club World Cabin - 2006 (Image Credit: British Airways)
BA Club World Cabin – 2006 (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has announced it is to introduce a series of improvements to in flight catering in World Traveller economy and Club World business class.

The improvements to World Traveller include an improved main meal tray with a better starter. Cheese and biscuits will also be added on most outbound flights from London Heathrow and London Gatwick (except flights to India, Japan and Korea).
Continue reading “BA introduces catering improvements to World Traveller & Club World”