BA offers the chance to win free flights at London Victoria

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British Airways London Victoria
British Airways London Victoria

British Airways is once again offering the chance to win free flights to destinations from London Gatwick to the Caribbean at London Victoria railway station this week.

25 pairs of tickets are available each day.

The BA stand is located towards platforms 15-19 and is open from 8am to 8pm. As you can see from the above picture flights to Barbados were on offer on Tuesday.  

Flights to St Kitts were on offer yesterday (Wednesday) and flights to Grenada are on offer today (Thursday). The stand is likely to be very busy at peak commuter times, so be prepared for queues.

Full details of BA’s network at London Gatwick are available here.

BA launches London Heathrow – Reykjavik & Salzburg

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Iceland (Image Credit: British Airways)
Iceland (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways is to launch two new routes from London Heathrow to Reykjavik in Iceland, and Salzburg in Austria.

BA will fly to Reykjavik three times a week from Sunday 25 October 2015 and to Salzberg twice weekly from Saturday 5 December 2015.

In the case of Reykjavik this marks a return by the airline to Iceland after a hiatus of over seven years. The Heathrow – Salzburg route will complement an existing BA service from London Gatwick.

Flights will be operated by two class Airbus A320 aircraft and are on sale now on ba.com.
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BA to introduce paid-for economy meal options on long-haul flights

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BA World Traveller Paid For "Gourmet" Meals
BA World Traveller Paid For “Gourmet” Meals (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has announced that passengers travelling on selected flights in its World Traveller long-haul economy cabin from 12 May 2015 will have the option of purchasing an alternative three course meal tray, in lieu of the standard “Chicken Or Beef?” meal offered to all passengers.

The alternative meals will cost from £15 to £18 and will be available for passengers to pre-order in advance. The trays on offer are “Gourmet Dining”, “Taste of Britain”, “Great British Breakfast”, “Healthy Choice” and “Vegetarian Kitchen”.

Passengers will be able to purchase a meal between 30 days and 24 hours before departure. Full details are on the BA website.

BA has also published a PDF list of frequently asked questions.
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BA to increase Club World seats on some Boeing 747 aircraft

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

Some time ago, we wrote of British Airways’ plans to refurbish 18 of its 40-odd fleet Boeing 747 aircraft. Full details of the refurbishment programme are here.

As part of this refurbishment programme, BA is to also reconfigure the capacity of its Club World business class cabin on these aircraft.

Currently, BA has two Club World configurations on the Boeing 747, with either 52 or 70 business class seats.

The former is a relatively unusual arrangement introduced just under ten years ago whereby World Traveller Plus premium economy is located between first and business class. Although many bawked at the idea at the time, it did allow BA to increase its business class capacity by 8%, which was roughly the entire business class capacity of Virgin Atlantic.

On 6 Boeing 747 aircraft the number of business class seats will be reduced from 70 to 52.

On the 18 aircraft earmarked for refurbishment the number of business class seats will increase from 70 to 86, with an additional two rows of Club World seats.

This means there will be 66 business class seats on the main deck (with the remaining 20 seats on the upper deck). This will make for a very large cabin, so it will be interesting to see how this works in practice.

The number of World Traveller economy seats will be reduced to accommodate the extra seats. The number of First class and World Traveller Plus premium economy seats will remain the same.

The new larger cabin is expected to operate on routes with high business class demand such as New York, Boston, Chicago and Lagos.

NB. We should add we receive a lot of search enquiries about the condition of BA’s Boeing 747 aircraft, so it’s clearly a very live issue for passengers.

“Better By Design – Shaping The British Airways Brand”

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Better By Design - Shaping The British Airways Brand
Better By Design – Shaping The British Airways Brand

We’ve long been fans of aviation branding and advertising so we’re really pleased to see another title from Paul Jarvis, curator of the British Airways Heritage Collection.

Paul has followed up his illustrated history of British Airways (published last year) with “Better By Design – Shaping The British Airways Brand”.

This is an illustrated guide to BA’s visual identity from its predecessor airlines BOAC and BEA to the BA of today. The book explores the evolution of advertising, aircraft interiors, on-board experience and crew uniform fashions, and how these have come together to shape not only the BA brand but the way we view commercial aviation.

The 160 page paperback title is published by Amberley Publishing which has a special pre-order offer (at the time of writing) of £13.79.

For an example of more recent work for BA, we suggest visiting the website of David Davis and Stuart Brandon who have worked on the most recent brand identity for the airline.

We have also taken a look of the evolution of BA’s television advertising in our look at BA’s most memorable TV advertisements.

BA Singapore lounge is closed for refurbishment

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Gwyneth Paltrow at the Marina Bay Sands hotel Singapore
Gwyneth Paltrow at the Marina Bay Sands hotel Singapore (Image Credit: British Airways)

The BA lounge in Terminal 1 of Singapore Changi airport is currently closed for refurbishment, which is expected to be completed by late summer of this year.

In the interim, eligible passengers (eg those travelling in Club World business class, First Class, and Silver and Gold Executive Club cardholders) will be able to use the highly regarded Qantas Singapore lounge.

There was a time when BA and Qantas jointly operated a business and first class lounges in Singapore, but for reasons we do not know, the two airlines decided to move to separate lounges.

For completeness, we should add that, under Oneworld alliance lounge access rules, passengers eligible to use the BA lounge are also eligible to use the Qantas lounge in any event!

BA to close Gatwick First lounge at 3pm from Monday 13 April 2015

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

British Airways has announced that its First Class lounge at London Gatwick will close from 3pm each day from Monday 13 April 2015.

The lounge is one of two provided by BA at London Gatwick. The other being a Terraces lounge for Silver Executive Club cardholders and passengers travelling on flexible UK domestic tickets, and in Club Europe and Club World.

Patronage of the lounge has declined over a number of years. BA moved routes such as Dallas Fort Worth and Houston to London Heathrow many years ago. American Airlines withdrew from the airport after the 2008 Open Skies treaty removed restrictions on what routes BA and American could operate from London Heathrow.

Whilst the published rationale is that the last flight with a first class cabin departs from Gatwick shortly after 3pm (BA2233 to Bermuda) this moves seems driven by cost-cutting. Although it may not be the intention, coupled with other recent announcements such as removing seat selection on hand baggage only fares, this will be seen as part of a narrative of removing benefits from its frequent flyers.
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BA launches London Gatwick – Vienna from September 2015

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 31

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

British Airways is to launch a new route from London Gatwick to Vienna from 17 September 2015.

BA will fly from London Gatwick to Vienna daily, except Saturdays. The service will reduce to four weekly from the start of the winter timetable from late October 2015.

Flight BA2560 Depart London Gatwick 16:00 – Arrive Vienna 19:10
Flight BA2561 Depart Vienna 20:00 – Arrive London Gatwick 22:30
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BA removes seat selection for Executive Club members on “Hand Baggage Only” Fares

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 31

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

Two years ago, British Airways introduced “Hand Baggage Only” fares on its short-haul route network. As their name suggests, passengers purchasing these fares have to pay a separate fee if they wish to check in a bag into the hold of the aircraft.

BA has long claimed that these fares have been a success. They enable the airline to keep headline fares low when competing against low cost carriers (who have the advantage of generating considerable ancillary revenues from pasengers).

In a somewhat surprising move, BA has today announced that Silver and Gold Executive club cardholders will no longer be able to choose a seat free of charge at the time of booking when booking a hand baggage only fare from Thursday 26 March 2015.

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What are BA’s plans to refurbish & retire the Boeing 747?

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 31

BA In Flight Entertainment - Boeing 747 World Traveller
BA In Flight Entertainment – Boeing 747 World Traveller (Image Credit: British Airways)

We’ve received a lot of search enquiries of late regarding BA’s Boeing 747 fleet. We suspect this may be in part due to the condition of some of them! It’s an issue we have looked at previously and we thought we’d cover some of the most frequently asked questions:
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