BA Executive Club Double Avios Promotion

Members of the British Airways Executive Club can earn double Avios on certain BA flights up to 31 December 2017.

Members of the British Airways Executive Club can earn double Avios on up to eight flights booked and flown between now and Sunday 31 December 2017.

In order to qualify you must pre-register at ba.com before booking any flights.

The offer applies to all British Airways operated flights from the U.K. as well as flights booked under a BA code and operated by American Airlines, Finnair, and Iberia between Europe, Norway, Switzerland and North America, Mexico and Puerto Rico.  It also applies to services operated by BA subsidiary OpenSkies from Paris Orly and Newark and flights operated by BA franchise partner SUNAIR of Scandinavia.

It does not apply to flights operated by other BA franchises such as Comair in South Africa, nor flights operated by other IAG airlines, Oneworld alliance partners or other BA codeshare partners.

The offer is not open to members of the Executive Club in the USA, Canada, Mexico and South Africa.

If you are not a member of the Executive Club you can sign up at ba.com

BA suspends Biarritz and Montpellier

BA’s summer seasonal routes from London Heathrow to Biarritz and Montpellier will not resume in 2018. Here are rebooking options for passengers.

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

BA has suspended two of its summer seasonal routes from London Heathrow to Biarritz and Montpellier.

These routes launched last summer. They were scheduled to resume from early May to late September 2018, but have now been cancelled.

Passengers whose flights have been cancelled are entitled to a full refund. The following rebooking options are also available:

Biarritz

Passengers can rebook on to an alternative BA operated flight from London Heathrow to Bilbao or Toulouse or from London Gatwick to Bordeaux. However, any additional consequential costs such as ground transportation will be at your expense.

Alternatively, passengers can be re-accommodated via Madrid on Air Nostrum which flies to Biarritz daily. This obviously involves an element of back-tracking. Passengers must fly to Madrid on a BA operated flight for the connection to Air Nostrum and fly between Saturday 5 May 2018 and Saturday 29 September 2018.

Passengers can also be re-accommodated on Air France services from Paris Charles de Gualle and Paris Orly to Biarritz. However, note that Air France does not operate a business class cabin on this route. Passengers must fly to Paris on a BA operated flight for the connection to Air France and fly between Saturday 5 May 2018 and Sunday 30 September 2018.

Montpellier

Passengers can be re-accommodated via Amsterdam on KLM which flies to Montpellier daily. Passengers must fly to Amsterdam on a BA operated flight for the connection to KLM and fly between Saturday 5 May 2018 and Sunday 30 September 2018.

BA has not announced any re-accommdation arrangements on airlines that fly direct from London to either Biarritz or Montpellier.

Passengers can also be re-accommodated on Air France services from Paris Charles de Gualle and Paris Orly to Montpellier. However, note that Air France does not operate a business class cabin on this route. Passengers must fly to Paris on a BA operated flight for the connection to Air France and fly between Saturday 5 May 2018 and Sunday 30 September 2018.

Note that it is quite common for BA to announce more rebooking options in the weeks after a route is cancelled. Therefore, if the above options are not satisfactory it is worth waiting a week or so to see if any alternatives emerge.

Affected passengers should contact either BA or their travel agent.

BA launches London Heathrow – Almeria

BA will fly from London Heathrow to Almeria on Tuesdays and Sundays for the summer season.

Almeria (Image Credit: British Airways / Almeria Tourist Board)
Almeria (Image Credit: British Airways / Almeria Tourist Board)

BA is to launch a new summer seasonal route from London Heathrow to Almeria in Southeast Spain. The airline will fly to Almeria from London Heathrow Terminal 5, twice a week on Tuesdays and Sundays. Flights will operate from Tuesday 27 March 2018 to Saturday 27 October 2018.

The new route is an addition to a growing portfolio of summer seasonal European routes for BA at London Heathrow which also includes Malaga and Murcia and a number of routes in France and the Greek islands. It is likely that more summer seasonal routes from all of BA’s London airports will be announced in the coming months.

Flights to Almeria will be operated using Airbus A320 aircraft, in a two class, Club Europe business and EuroTraveller economy configuration.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

easyJet and Ryanair also fly to Almeria from London Gatwick and Stansted respectively.

London Heathrow – Almeria

Flight BA420 Depart London Heathrow 13:15 – Arrive Almeria 17:00 (Tuesday, Saturday)
Flight BA421 Depart Almeria 17:50 – Arrive London Heathrow 19:35 (Tuesday, Saturday)

BA launches new route from London Heathrow to The Seychelles

British Airways will fly direct from London Heathrow to The Seychelles twice weekly from Saturday 24 March 2018.

British Airways Boeing 787-9 First Class (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Boeing 787-9 First Class (Image Credit: British Airways)

BA has today announced a new route from London Heathrow to The Seychelles. The airline will fly to Seychelles International Airport twice weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays from Saturday 24 March 2018.

The route will be operated by a four class Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner with First Class, Club World business class, World Traveller Plus premium economy, and World Traveller economy cabins. Flights will depart from London Heathrow Terminal 5.

This will be the only direct route from London to The Seychelles. It will also be the first time BA has flown to The Seychelles in approximately 15 years. It previously flew to The Seychelles via Nairobi.

This is one of many former routes that BA has reinstated thanks to the Boeing 787. Others include Seoul, Kuala Lumpur and Santiago. BA is also due to launch Nashville in May of next year.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

London – The Seychelles

Flight BA63 Depart London Heathrow 17:50 – Arrive The Seychelles 07:00
Flight BA62 Depart The Seychelles 09:00 – Arrive London Heathrow 16:20

(Precise timings may vary by season.)

BA has also prepared a PDF briefing.

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

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

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.

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

BA introduces car transfers for UK domestic connections at Heathrow

BA is introducing airside transfers by car for selected UK domestic passengers connecting at London Heathrow.

British Airways Premium Transfer Drive (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Premium Transfer Drive (Image Credit: British Airways)

Something of an unexpected announcement by BA today.  The airline is introduce airside transfers by car for selected passengers connecting from UK domestic flights at London Heathrow.

The service is called “Premium Transfer Drive”.  It will be available for passengers transferring from UK domestic flights to a short-haul flight in Club Europe or a long-haul flight in Club World or First Class.  It will also be available to Silver and Gold members of the BA Executive Club.  There’s no mention of reciprocal recognition for Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald frequent flyers.

It will only be available to passengers who are at risk of missing their connections.  Affected passengers will be alerted via the crew on their inbound flight to London Heathrow.

This service appears to only apply to UK domestic connections. It will not apply to connections between mainland Europe short-haul flights and long-haul flights.

Clearly, this a welcome move that does make Heathrow a (little) more competitive airport for passengers in UK regions who have a choice of a number of airports in Europe and the Middle East for connections.

That said, it will also be interesting to see how reliable the service is during major operational disruption due to severe weather.

Qantas replaces London – Dubai – Sydney with Singapore stopover

Qantas will cease flying from London to Australia via Dubai next year.

Qantas Airbus A380 Sydney Harbour (Image Credit: Qantas Airways)
Qantas Airbus A380 Sydney Harbour (Image Credit: Qantas Airways)

Qantas today announced another milestone in the evolution of the “Kangaroo route” between London and Australia.

From Sunday 25 March 2018, Qantas will return to flying from London to Sydney via Singapore, replacing its existing service to Sydney via Dubai.  This, together with Qantas replacing London – Dubai – Melbourne with London – Perth – Melbourne means that Qantas will no longer fly from London to Dubai.

The changes were announced today as Qantas and Emirates are to extend their partnership for a further five years.  However, due to regulatory reasons Emirates will not be able to codeshare on Qantas operated services from London to Singapore and London to Perth.

Continue reading “Qantas replaces London – Dubai – Sydney with Singapore stopover”