American Airlines & British Airways will jointly operate up to five daily flights between London Heathrow and Miami from Sunday 27 October 2019 to Saturday 28 March 2020.
The increase has been achieved by American Airlines reinstating a second daily flight for the winter season and BA maintaining a third daily flight it added last year.
It’s a route where you can certainly adopt a “pick and mix” approach as far as aircraft are concerned.
At the time of writing, American Airlines timetables are showing a Boeing 777-300 on both of its outbound flights from London Heathrow, but a Boeing 777-200 and 777-300 on the inbound flights. However, this may change. We have recently reviewed American Airlines Boeing 777-200 and Boeing 777-300 business class.
BA will operate the Boeing 747 on two flights and one flight with the Airbus A380.
Norwegian continues to reshape its network at London Gatwick.
After suspending Singapore and launching Rio de Janeiro, it will switch its existing routes to Fort Lauderdale and Oakland to Miami and San Francisco International respectively.
The changes will take effect from Sunday 31 March 2019. Norwegian will fly to Miami daily and to San Francisco five times weekly.
Norwegian cites passenger demand and increased cargo capabilities for the decision. This is similar to low cost short-haul airlines who first started flying to secondary airports in Europe and then moved to primary airports as they reached maturity. Norwegian will continue to serve a number of cities in mainland Europe from Fort Lauderdale and Oakland.
This will leave Oakland with no direct service to London after BA suspended the route this year.
BA did also launch Fort Lauderdale after Norwegian. Its CEO Alex Cruz did say that serving Fort Lauderdale from Gatwick and Miami from Heathrow works well for passengers wanting a choice of Florida airports, so it looks like this will continue.
The Florida Keys, as the southernmost point of the US, have long been a popular escape from winter in the Northern hemisphere for those seeking a more bohemian alternative to the crowds and overt self-confidence of Miami Beach. And it has better sunsets.
You can of course drive there, but there is also the option of flying. Many US airlines, through their regional affiliates, fly to Key West International Airport with varying degrees of frequency from their respective hubs. American Airlines from Dallas Fort Worth and Miami; Delta from Atlanta; and United from Chicago O’Hare and Newark.
You’ll also see a number of private plans on the airfield at Key West. Other than that it’s largely Silver Airways flights to the Florida region, an airline we don’t know enough about to comment on – though online reviews don’t instil confidence.
It’s flying between Miami and Key West over the Florida Keys on American Eagle that we’ll cover as it is the most likely route for visitors to Florida.
American serves the route many times a day, typically using Embraer E175 aircraft operated by Republic Airlines under the American Eagle livery.
Here are details of two temporary lounge changes affecting BA passengers flying out of Miami and New York JFK in July 2018:
BA’s designated lounge at Miami airport is the Premium Lounge which it shares with other Oneworld alliance members such as Iberia, Finnair and Qatar Airways.
This is located on the fifth floor of Concourse E in the Central Terminal. This lounge is temporarily closed for repairs from Monday 2 July 2018 for approximately five weeks.
If you’ve ever visited the lounge you would know that whilst it is certainly spacious, the decor does scream “1980s office lobby”. I was told well over a year ago by a member of staff that the lounge was due to be refurbished, but there seems to be no sign of this happening yet.
Whilst the lounge is closed, BA passengers can use the American Airlines Flagship® lounge near Gate 30 of Concourse D in the North Terminal.
This is a relatively new lounge. By any measure, it will be a significant improvement with much more modern decor and a better choice of food and beverage more suited to pre-departure on an international flight. Like the Premium Lounge, it does have showers. Under Oneworld alliance lounge access rules, eligible BA passengers have access to this lounge in any event.
Whilst Concourses D and E are interlinked, it will be much longer walk from the lounge to the BA departure gates. Note that if the BA flight is departing from Gates E20-E33 there is a train to these gates on level four of Concourse E, as per this official map.
(From experience of flying into and out of Miami many times over the years, the only thing that can be said with any certainty is that each time it’s different so the best advice is just be prepared for it not to be the same as before.)
As part of this, the Elemis travel spa and showers in the Galleries Club lounge are closed from Saturday 7 July 2018 to Monday 30 July 2018 for refurbishment, so there will be no pre-flight showers available.
The Galleries First lounge appears to be still closed for refurbishment and there are no showers in the remaining BA lounge at JFK Terminal 7, the Concorde Room, which is for First Class passengers and Concorde Room cardholders only.
In response to Hurricane Irma, here are the published rebooking policies by airline. Given the very fluid situation and unknown extent of disruption both the dates of flights eligible for proactive rebooking may change and the date up to which you can rebook may change (as they have already done) in the coming days.
Please note that if you have booked a tour package via a travel agent, the options below may not apply and you should contact your travel agent directly.
It is also worth noting that if you are due to fly via Miami on BA or Virgin to another destination in the Americas it is worth exploring an alternative routing via the hubs of their partner airlines.
BA has extensive codeshares with Iberia from Madrid and American Airlines from hubs such as Dallas Forth Worth and New York JFK. Virgin also has extensive codeshares with Delta from hubs such as Atlanta and New York JFK.
If your flight is cancelled you will be entitled to a full refund and reimbursement of reasonable incidental expenses. If your flight is operating but you choose to rebook to an alternative date/destination any consequential costs may not be met by the airline.
It’s also worth noting that many smaller hotels / guest houses in Florida have already closed for business until next week. Larger properties have also waived change / cancellation fees.