British Airways is to temporarily cut the number of transatlantic routes and flights it operates from London Gatwick and Heathrow to the US.
This follows the decision by the US Government to ban foreign nationals from entering the US if they have been in the UK in the past 14 days. The Foreign Office has also advised against non-essential travel to the US.
US citizens and lawful US permanent residents may still travel from the UK to the US. However, they must do so through a designated airport. At the time of publication, these are:
- Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta (ATL)
- Boston Logan (BOS)
- Chicago O’Hare (ORD)
- Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)
- Detroit Metropolitan (DTW)
- Daniel K Inouye International Airport, Honolulu (HNL)
- Los Angeles (LAX)
- Miami (MIA)
- New York John F Kennedy (JFK)
- Newark Liberty (EWR)
- San Francisco International (SFO)
- Seattle Tacoma (SEA)
- Washington Dulles (IAD)
The ban takes effect in respect of flights departing for the US from 00:00 ET / 04:00 GMT Tuesday 17 March 2020.
As a consequence of this, the following routes are now suspended from Tuesday 17 March:
London Gatwick: Las Vegas, Orlando, Tampa
London Heathrow: Austin, Baltimore, Charleston, Denver, Houston, Nashville, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Jose
London City – New York JFK has already been suspended.
At the time of publication, flights to Atlanta, Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas / Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York JFK, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington Dulles are showing as operating, but with some frequency reductions.
This may change imminently. It is implausible that BA will maintain its current schedules as demand falls. The status of aviation all over the world is also changing very rapidly and BA’s parent company IAG plans to reduce capacity by in excess of 75% in April and May.
Flights to Canada are currently expected to operate as scheduled.
If your flight is cancelled you are entitled to a full refund. You are also eligible to be rerouted via an alternative US airport, connecting to / from BA’s transatlantic joint-business partner American Airlines. If you are travelling to the US, you must of course be able to comply with its entry restrictions.
If your flight is still operating, you are still allowed to either change the date of your flight or use the ticket value of your flight towards a future booking. There are more details of this policy at ba.com
You can also choose an alternative departure / arrival airport. However, any consequential costs such as ground transportation will be at your expense.
BA’s transatlantic joint-business partner American Airlines will also operate a significantly reduced schedule.
American Airlines will operate one flight a day from London Heathrow to Dallas Fort / Worth and Miami.
American will wind-down its own operated services from London Heathrow to Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles and New York JFK.
American will also suspend flights from London Heathrow to Charlotte, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Raleigh / Durham.
It goes without saying that this latest development, whilst expected, is hugely significant for the airline given its dependence on transatlantic routes. Whilst BA should ultimately survive this, nothing is now off the table as far as its fleet and route network is concerned.