Coronavirus: British Airways Catering Changes

BA has reduced the quantity of food & beverage offered on short and long-haul flights in response to Coronavirus.

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British Airways Airbus A350-1000 Club World Service
British Airways Airbus A350-1000 Club World Service (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has made changes to in-flight catering on short and long-haul flights in response to Coronavirus.

Some of the changes are quite vague in their description, but part of the aim seems to be to avoid the need to prepare food on board aircraft.

This will mean substantially less, and ambient only, food will be available on flights. These changes will be particularly noticeable in Club World and First Class.

All Flights

BA will no longer cater for any special dietary requirements or allergies.

So passengers who would ordinarily order special meals will have to make their own provisions.

Short-Haul Flights

In short-haul economy, M&S Buy On Board has been withdrawn.

Buy On Board will be replaced with a light refreshment, water and, on request, hot drinks.

Long-Haul Flights

Hot and soft drinks will continue to be offered as well as a light refreshment.

Meals will be prepared and packaged before each flight. So dishes will not be plated on board the aircraft as they usually are in First Class and Club World.

Pre-paid meals will not be offered in World Traveller.

Passengers can bring their own food on their flights, provided it does not need to be chilled or heated on board the aircraft.

The overall message seems to be expect less food and make your own provisions if possible.

As airlines are now operating an extremely limited schedule and are only carrying passengers who are returning to home, this arrangement is likely to continue until the situation with Coronavirus returns to normal.

Pre-Flight Dining

In terms of pre-flight dining options, it should be borne in mind that a large number of lounges operated by BA and its partner airlines are closed.

This includes the Concorde Room at London Heathrow and New York JFK, and BA lounges at UK regional airports.

Lounges at US airports where pre-flight dining is ordinarily offered to passengers, such as Boston, Chicago, Newark, Philadelphia and Washington Dulles, are also closed.

For the latest information on lounges check the Oneworld alliance website before your flight.

BA Transfers All Flights From Heathrow Terminal 3 To 5

British Airways is to temporarily transfer all short and long-haul flights currently scheduled to operate from London Heathrow Terminal 3 to Terminal 5 from Sunday 29 March 2020.

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London Heathrow Terminal 5
London Heathrow Terminal 5 (Image Credit: Heathrow)

British Airways is to temporarily transfer all short and long-haul flights currently scheduled to operate from London Heathrow Terminal 3 to Terminal 5 from Sunday 29 March 2020.

This follows a substantial reduction in BA’s schedules during April and May.

The transfer will take effect until mid-April at the earliest.  

Given disruption to air travel from Coronavirus is likely to continue into the autumn, the transfer may well become prolonged, if not permanent.

Passengers with connections to / from BA and its partner airlines should bear in mind that the Minimum Connection Times for intra and inter-terminal transfers are different.  

The Minimum Connection Time for T3-T5 connections is 90 minutes and for T5-T5 connections is 60 minutes.  

These changes are showing on ba.com as of Monday 23 March. Passengers with connections should check their bookings to see they are compliant. There may also be some slight changes to flight times.

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British Airways Suspends Flights At London City Airport

British Airways is to temporarily suspend all flights from London City airport from Monday 23 March 2020.

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British Airways Embraer E170, Airbus A318 aircraft, London City airport
British Airways Embraer E170, Airbus A318 aircraft, London City airport (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways is to temporarily suspended operations at London City airport.

BA has previously suspended its all business class service to New York JFK until September 2020.

The airline has also suspended all short-haul flights operated by its subsidiary BA CityFlyer from Monday 23 March to Saturday 4 April 2020.

Passengers whose flights have been cancelled will be re-accommodated on alternative services from London Gatwick and Heathrow.

Passengers should receive an e-mail to advise that they have been automatically rebooked.

In theory, passengers are also entitled to a refund as their original flight has been cancelled. However, if you try to do this on ba.com you will be offered a voucher for redemption against a future booking.

Passengers can check the status of their booking using the Manage My Booking tool on ba.com. If you need to contact BA, telephone numbers are on this page of ba.com

All airlines are asking passengers not to contact them unless they are due to travel within the next 72 hours.

A very large number of BA short-haul flights have been cancelled outside of the dates above, and this is likely to continue until June at the earliest.

Given how fast moving events are with Coronavirus, further cancellations, and indeed airport closures, are possible.

Update Wednesday 25 March

London City Airport plans to temporarily close to commercial and private flights until the end of April 2020.

British Airways Cuts North America Flights

British Airways is to operate a substantially reduced schedule from London to the United States following an extension of a travel ban to the UK & Ireland.

London Air Travel » British Airways

British Airways Coat Of Arms
British Airways Coat Of Arms (Image Credit: British Airways)

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.

Continue reading “British Airways Cuts North America Flights”

British Airways One-Way Fares To / From The USA

British Airways has filed a special one-way fare for passengers looking to travel urgently to / from the USA up to Sunday 22 March 2020.

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British Airways Boeing 747 Heathrow
British Airways Boeing 747 Heathrow (Image Credit: Heathrow)

British Airways has filed a one way fare for travel to / from the United States up to Sunday 22 March 2020.

This is intended for anyone who needs to travel urgently to / from the United States.

It applies to the World Traveller economy cabin only. It’s not a deeply discounted fare, but it is relatively low for booking this close the date of travel.

A one-way economy flight to Boston or New York up to Sunday 22 March 2020 will cost approximately £500. By contrast, it would cost £1,500 to book an economy ticket to Dubai this close to departure.

From Monday 23 March 2020, BA is only selling full fares to / from the US. This is likely due to the imminent extension by the US Government of restrictions on travel to the US on foreign nationals who have been in the UK within the previous 14 days.

British Airways Special One Way Fares To The US
British Airways Special One Way Fares To The US
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British Airways Extends Flexible Rebooking Policy

British Airways has updated its flexible rebooking policy for all passengers due to travel up to Sunday 31 May 2020.

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London Heathrow Terminal 5 Check-In Concourse
London Heathrow Terminal 5 Check-In Concourse (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways, has from approximately 16:00 GMT Friday 13 March 2020, extended its flexible rebooking policy following the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

To date, BA has only agreed to waive change fees for new bookings made from Tuesday 3 March to Monday 31 March 2020.

Bookings made prior to this date are subject to existing fare rules, unless BA has put in place special policies for certain regions such as Italy, India and the USA.

BA has now updated its guidance on its website to include all existing bookings for travel up to Sunday 31 May 2020 which now advises:

You can now change your travel dates and destination without incurring a charge. If you’re travelling with us between 14 March to 31 May, you can change your plans and receive a voucher of the same value.

Full details of how to obtain a “voucher” (this is not a physical voucher), including terms and conditions, are on this page of ba.com. It is strongly recommended that you fully appraise yourself of these terms and conditions before selecting this option.

Note, this guidance may also be rescinded at any time.

It is also clear given the gravity of the situation now facing airlines, and the relaxation of “use it or lose it” airport slot rules until 30 June 2020, that there will be very substantial reductions to BA schedules in April and May. If your flight is cancelled you will be entitled to a full refund.

Also, given the very high volume of calls to BA’s call centres, if you are not due to travel within the next few days, it may be best to wait and see how the situation unfolds.

Passengers can check the status of their booking using the Manage My Booking tool on ba.com. If you need to contact BA, telephone numbers are on this page of ba.com

A number of airlines have also extended their flexible booking policies including Aer Lingus and Lufthansa Group Airlines.

Update Saturday 14 March 2020

Following the decision by the Trump Administration to extend restrictions on travel from the Schengen area to the US to the UK & Ireland from 00:00 ET / 04:00 GMT on Tuesday 17 March, BA is allowing passengers who are mid-journey and want to return home early to rebook. You can contact BA by telephone to rebook. However, your chances of getting through on the phone are very slim.

British Airways Flexible Rebooking Policy For The USA

British Airways has put in place a flexible rebooking policy for passengers due to fly to the USA up to 11 April 2020.

London Air Travel » British Airways

British Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
British Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (Image Credit: Heathrow)

British Airways has put in place a flexible rebooking policy for all passengers due to fly to / from the USA up to and including Saturday 11 April 2020.

This follows a decision by the Trump Administration to place travel restrictions on travellers from countries which are members of the Schengen travel area. This applies to all flights departing for the USA after 23:59 ET on Friday 13 March.

Passengers can rebook on to alternative BA flights to the USA up to Saturday 1 August 2020. Passengers can also change their departure, stopover and arrival airport. However, any consequential costs will be at passengers’ expense.

At the time of publication, refunds are not permitted. However, passengers can exchange their ticket for a voucher for future travel.

This policy also includes flights booked through BA on its codeshare partners American Airlines, Finnair and Iberia.  Finnair has also announced it is cancelling all flights to the USA from 14 March to 12 April.

Also, at this time, BA flights to the USA are scheduled to operate. In the event your flight is cancelled, you will be entitled to a full refund.

Passengers can check the status of their booking using the Manage My Booking tool on ba.com. You can also contact BA by telephone to rebook . However, call volumes are very high. Unless you need to rebook urgently, it is best to wait.

If you are booked to fly with BA to / from the USA on a codeshare booking through another airline, such as American Airlines, you will need to contact the airline that issued your ticket to be rebooked.

If you are due to travel on a transatlantic flight operated by American Airlines please see this guidance issued by American Airlines.

Update Saturday 14 March 2020

Following the decision by the Trump Administration to extend restrictions on travel from the Schengen area to the US to the UK & Ireland from 00:00 ET / 04:00 GMT on Tuesday 17 March, BA is allowing passengers who are mid-journey and want to return home early to rebook. You can contact BA by telephone to rebook. However, your chances of getting through on the phone are very slim.

British Airways Flexible Rebooking Policy For India

British Airways has implemented a flexible rebooking policy for passengers due to fly to / from India up to 14 April 2020.

London Air Travel » British Airways

British Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
British Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (Image Credit: Heathrow)

British Airways has put in place a flexible rebooking policy for all passengers due to fly to / from India up to and including Tuesday 14 April 2020.

This follows a decision by the Government Of India to withdraw tourist visas from Friday 13 March until Wednesday 15 April 2020. Travellers of all nationalities from certain countries must also enter quarantine for a period of 14 days.

Passengers can rebook on to alternative BA flights to India up to Saturday 1 August 2020.

At the time of publication, refunds are not permitted. Nor are changes of departure airport / destination. However, if you have not yet started your journey, you can use the value of your ticket as part-payment for a future booking within 12 months of your original intended date of travel.

Also, at this time, bar frequency reductions between Heathrow and Mumbai, BA flights to India are scheduled to operate. In the event your flight is cancelled, you will be entitled to a full refund.

Passengers can check the status of their booking using the Manage My Booking tool on ba.com. You can also contact BA by telephone to rebook. However, call volumes are very high. Unless you need to rebook urgently, it is best to wait.

If you are booked to fly with BA to / from India on a codeshare booking through another airline, such as American Airlines, you will need to contact the airline that issued your ticket to be rebooked.

British Airways Extends Italy Rebooking Policies

British Airways is now offering refunds for passengers due to fly to all airports in Italy up to 4 April 2020.

London Air Travel » British Airways

London Heathrow Terminal 5
London Heathrow Terminal 5 (Image Credit: Heathrow)

British Airways has cancelled virtually all flights to and from Italy up and until Saturday 4 April 2020.

All BA flights to and from Bologna, Milan Linate, Milan Malpensa and Venice are cancelled. As are many flights to other airports such as Rome.

This follows news that Italy has been placed into quarantine to control the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Any BA passenger due to fly to and from Italy up to 4 April is entitled to a full refund, regardless of whether your flights is cancelled.

BA is also allowing passengers due to fly to and from any airport in Italy to fly to / from alternative BA airports in Europe. These include Geneva, Grenoble, Innsbruck, Lyon, Munich, Nice, Salzburg, Zagreb and Zurich. Passengers will be required to make their own way to / from the airport.

Affected passengers can check the status of their booking using the Manage My Booking tool on ba.com and should contact BA or their travel agent.

Note if you are booked to fly with BA on a codeshare booking made through another airline, such as American Airlines, you will need to contact the airline that issued your ticket for advice.

As this is a fluid situation the above guidance may be amended at any time.

British Airways Transfers Male Flight To London Heathrow

British Airways will transfer its winter seasonal route to Male in The Maldives from London Gatwick to Heathrow from Sunday 25 October 2020.

London Air Travel » British Airways

British Airways First Class Cabin (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways First Class Cabin (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has transferred its winter seasonal route to Male, Maldives from London Gatwick to London Heathrow from the start of the winter season in October 2020.

The route will operate from Sunday 25 October 2020 to Friday 26 March 2021. Flights continue to operate three times weekly, with broadly similar flight times.

The route will be operated with a larger Boeing 777-300 aircraft, with the addition of a First Class cabin.

As the route will operate under a new flight number any passengers with an existing booking will be notified that their flight has been cancelled and they have been rebooked on to the flight from Heathrow.

BA does also codeshare with Qatar Airways to Male via Doha and it is possible to passengers to combine direct and indirect routings if that is more convenient.

Any passengers with existing bookings can check the status of their booking using the Manage My Booking tool on ba.com and should contact BA or their travel agent.

London Heathrow – Male

Flight BA61 Depart London Heathrow 18:15 – Arrive Male 09:40 (Wednesday, Friday & Sunday)
Flight BA60 Depart Male 11:45 – Arrive London Heathrow 18:10 (Monday, Thursday & Saturday)