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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BA Doha Cancellations March – July 2018

British Airways has cancelled its daily flight between London Heathrow to Doha from late March through to July. Here are options for affected passengers.

London Air Travel » British Airways

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

Cancellation of London Heathrow – Doha

In what will feel like Groundhog Day for many readers, British Airways is to cancel its daily flight between London Heathrow and Doha from late March to early July for “operational reasons”.

BA123 is cancelled from London Heathrow to Doha from Sunday 25 March 2018 to Saturday 30 June 2018.

BA122 is also cancelled from Doha to London Heathrow from Monday 26 March 2018 to Sunday 1 July 2018.

No specific reason has been given for the cancellations other than “operational reasons”. It is understood that the likely reason is that the Boeing 777 which operates this route is being released to cover other routes which use the Boeing 787 fleet which is currently undergoing maintenance to their engines.

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BA offering 2 Club World tickets for £2,018 to Beijing and Shanghai

British Airways is offering 2 Club World tickets for £2,018 on flights from London Heathrow to Beijing and Shanghai to mark Chinese New Year. The promotion ends on Wednesday 21 February 2018.

London Air Travel » British Airways

Gifts to be handed out to British Airways customers to mark Chinese New Year (Image Credit: Nick Morrish/British Airways)

British Airways is running a special promotion on flights to Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong to mark Chinese New Year.

The sale applies across all cabins. What is particularly of note is that BA is offering two Club World tickets for £2,018 on flights from London Heathrow to Beijing and Shanghai. Whilst, at £1,009 per person for two, this is not the lowest Club World fare we have ever seen, it is very good value. Solo fares can also be purchased for £1,318 for Beijing and £1,298 for Shanghai.

There are some restrictions. These include the requirement to travel midweek and stay a Saturday night. The special Club World fare applies for travel from Sunday 1 April 2018 to Thursday 6 December 2018. However, blackout dates do apply.

There are also promotional fares in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus with similar restrictions. World Traveller fares are available from £418 for Beijing, £393 for Shanghai and £458 for Hong Kong. World Traveller Plus fares are available from £708 for Beijing and Shanghai and £873 for Hong Kong. There are no Club World special fares for Hong Kong.

The sale ends on Wednesday 21 February 2018 and flights are on sale now at ba.com

Changes affecting children flying alone on BA

British Airways has introduced important policy changes affecting all children flying alone from Tuesday 1 May 2018.

London Air Travel » British Airways

Image Credit: British Airways

British Airways has introduced two important policy changes regarding children flying alone on the airline which apply from Tuesday 1 May 2018.

1. Minimum age for unaccompanied children

BA has, with effect from Tuesday 1 May 2018, increased the minimum age at which a child is allowed to fly alone from 12 to 14 years.

No bookings for children under 14 years flying alone can be made after Tuesday 1 May 2018. Bookings can continue to be made before this date and will be honoured.

BA withdrew its “Skyflyer Solo” service which provided a chaperone for unaccompanied minors on 31 January 2017.

2. New procedures affecting all unaccompanied children under the age of 16

In addition, all children under 16 and travelling alone from Tuesday 1 May 2018 must have a completed parental/guardian consent form prior to travel. This change applies regardless of when the booking was made.

The form will be available on ba.com from early April 2018. Parents/guardians will need to download, print and complete the form prior to travel. Unaccompanied children must ensure they bring the form with them and carry it at all times.

Based on guidance provided by BA to the travel trade, this change is driven by BA requiring a consent form in order to provide children with assistance during unexpected disruption, such as the diversion of an aircraft or cancellation of a flight.

There’s more guidance on children flying alone on ba.com

Update April 2018: The form referred to above is now available on ba.com

BA Airbus A380 flights from London Heathrow in 2018

Where will BA’s fleet of Airbus A380 aircraft fly to in 2019? Here’s our guide to when the Airbus 380 will fly to Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Singapore and Vancouver.

London Air Travel » British Airways

BA Airbus A380 (Image Credit: British Airways)
BA Airbus A380 (Image Credit: British Airways)

BA’s fleet of 12 Airbus A380 aircraft may be a minnow compared to Emirates’ fleet of 101 aircraft. They may also not have the on board bars and showers of Emirates. However, BA is the only operator of the Airbus A380 direct from London across to North America. It is by far the best aircraft to fly across the Atlantic, compared to the quartet of Boeing 747, 767, 777, and 787 widebodies that ply across the Atlantic daily.

So here’s our guide to where you can fly the BA Airbus A380 throughout 2018.

Please note that schedules are subject to change due to operational requirements. Aircraft can also be substituted at very short notice due to unexpected maintenance requirements. Flights are now on sale at ba.com
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BA adds new Club World catering to more routes

From Thursday 1 February 2018, BA is to extend its new Club World catering to Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, New York Newark, Philadelphia, Washington Dulles, Montreal, Toronto, Dubai and Hong Kong.

London Air Travel » British Airways

New Club World Catering (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways is to add its new Club World catering to an additional 10 routes from London Heathrow from Thursday 1 February 2018.

The new catering involves radical changes to the presentation of meals, with starters and desserts chosen from a cart in the aisle. Currently, the new catering is only available on London Heathrow – New York JFK, where it debuted last September.

By region, the new routes are:

North America

Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, New York Newark, Philadelphia, Washington Dulles, Montreal and Toronto.

Middle East

Dubai

Asia

Hong Kong

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Aer Lingus to operate BA flights to Dublin and Hamburg

Aer Lingus is to operate selected British Airways flights between London Heathrow Terminal 5 and Dublin and Hamburg. However, Aer Lingus will offer an economy-only service on this route, with no business class cabin.

London Air Travel » British Airways

Aer Lingus Airbus A320
Aer Lingus Airbus A320 (By BriYYZ via Wikimedia Commons)

As we reported earlier this month, BA has recently acquired a portfolio of slots at London Gatwick from the airline Monarch which suspended operations late last year. As BA is required to make use of the slots to avoid forfeiting them, its fleet of Airbus short-haul aircraft is going to quite stretched over the coming months as it scrambles to fill the slots.

A consequence of this is that BA has called on Aer Lingus, which is a fellow subsidiary of BA’s parent company International Airlines Group, to operate selected flights between London Heathrow Terminal 5 and Dublin and Hamburg from early Feburary 2018.

At the outset, we should mention that this should not be confused with BA’s existing codeshare arrangement with Aer Lingus. BA has long codeshared on Aer Lingus operated flights from London Heathrow Terminal 2 to Dublin. These flights have the numbers BA59**.

BA flights between London Heathrow Terminal 5 and Dublin to be operated by Aer Lingus

BA0824 London Heathrow – Dublin
BA0826 London Heathrow – Dublin
BA0828 London Heathrow – Dublin (certain days only)

BA0827 Dublin – London Heathrow
BA0831 Dublin – London Heathrow
BA0833 Dublin – London Heathrow (certain days only)

This typically represents two of up to eight daily return BA flights between London Heathrow and Dublin.

BA flights between London Heathrow Terminal 5 and Hamburg to be operated by Aer Lingus

BA0962 London Heathrow – Hamburg
BA0969 Hamburg – London Heathrow

This represents one of up to five daily return BA flights between London Heathrow and Hamburg.
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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

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 adds new routes and frequencies at London Gatwick

British Airways has increased frequencies on routes from Gatwick to Alicante, Faro, Lanzarote, Madeira, Malaga and Tenerife for summer 2018. It has also added new routes at Gatwick to Gibraltar, Mahon Menorca, and Palma Mallorca.

London Air Travel » British Airways

British Airways
British Airways “The hub without the hubbub” TV ad 1993

BA has started to firm up its new schedules at London Gatwick after the acquisition of more than 20 daily pairs of slots from the former airline Monarch.  This is equivalent to an extra 150 flights a week.

BA has had to move quickly as it is required to use the slots 80% of the time or risk forfeiting them.

In terms of immediate actions, BA has added extra frequencies on winter ski routes like Grenoble and Turin in February and March as well as Tenerife South in the February half-term.  It has also chartered aircraft and crews from Germania and Titan Airways to operate certain flights.  These are now showing as “Operated by ST” or “Operated by ZT” in timetables on ba.com  If you have an existing booking it should be clear in the Manage My Booking tool which airline is operating your flight.

Frequency increases on existing Gatwick routes:

In the peak summer schedule (late May to late September), BA has increased frequencies on a number of existing Gatwick routes compared to the previous year:

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What are BA’s plans to replace and refurbish its fleet? (2018)

Updated for 2018. the latest on BA’s plans to replace and refurbish its short-haul and long-haul fleet.

London Air Travel » British Airways

A British Airways Airbus A380 aircraft takes off at London Heathrow airport.
British Airways Airbus A380 at take off, London Heathrow (Image Credit: Heathrow)

Welcome to our updated guide on BA’s plans to replace and refurbish its short and long-haul fleet.

The information below is based on the latest plans published by BA’s parent company, International Airlines Group, in late 2017.  Much of it based on announcements at the last Capital Markets Day. It may be subject to change as these predate the acquisition of a large number of slots at London Gatwick. A revised fleet plan is usually published once a year. Of course, in the medium term, fleet plans can be heavily influenced by geopolitical and economic events.

This article has been modified slightly after its original date of publication (4 January 2018) following publication of IAG and BA’s annual reports on 28 February 2018.

Here’s a run through of recent and forthcoming deliveries and refurbishments by aircraft type:

Airbus A380

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