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.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways Disruption » Page 2

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Note, this guidance may also be rescinded at any time.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 Disruption » Page 2

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 Disruption » Page 2

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 » British Airways Disruption » Page 2

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 Coronavirus Cancellations – March 2020

British Airways is cancelling flights to regions around the world affected by Coronavirus.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways Disruption » Page 2

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

British Airways is continuing to cancel flights to regions around the world affected by Coronavirus.

The number of routes subject to cancellation is accelerating very significantly as counties impose entry restrictions. Given how very fluid the current situation is both in the UK and around the world it is not possible to have any clear visibility on flight cancellations more than 24-48 hours ahead.

During April and May 2020, BA is expected to cut its flight schedules by at least 75%. This will mean very many aircraft will be grounded and there will be a very limited skeleton service.

Given the increasing rate of border closures and entry restrictions, it is plausible that could at most be a limited skeleton service in April and May.

All passengers due to travel up to Sunday 31 May 2020 also have the option to change their booking without any fees, or exchange their ticket for a (non-physical) “voucher” for future travel. More details are at ba.com

At present, full cash refunds are only permitted if your flight is cancelled, or if BA has a specific policy in place for the region you are flying to / from, such as Italy.

If you are due to travel within the next 30 days to a region that is subject to travel restrictions, you do also have the option of changing your arrival / departure airport. However, any consequential costs such as ground transportation will be at your expense.

Passengers can check the status of their booking using the Manage My Booking tool on ba.com and should, if necessary, contact BA or their travel agent.

There is currently an extremely high volume of calls to BA’s call centres and, taking into account how quickly things are changing, unless the matter is very urgent (eg for travel within 72 hours), it is better to see how events unfold.

London City Airport

BA will suspend all flights at London City airport from Monday 23 March to Saturday 4 April 2020.

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

Argentina

BA’s daily flight from London Heathrow to Buenos Aires is cancelled from Monday 16 March 2020.

Cyprus

Flights to Larnaca and Paphos are currently suspended.

Czech Republic

As of Saturday 14 March 2020, flights from London Heathrow to Prague are continuing to operate, but with some cancellations, in spite of local entry restrictions.

China

BA’s flights from London Heathrow to Beijing and Shanghai are suspended.

BA had planned to resume a limited service in April. This is now very unlikely.

Denmark

Flights from London Heathrow to Copenhagen are continuing to operate, but with very significant cancellations due to local entry restrictions.

Germany

Flights to Germany are currently operating, but with extensive cancellations.

Hong Kong

BA continues to fly to Hong Kong, but with a reduced frequency of one flight a day.

Flights BA27 & BA28 continue to operate. Flights BA31 & BA32 are cancelled.

India

Flights from London Heathrow to India are currently suspended.

Israel

Flights from London Heathrow to Israel have been reduced from twice to once daily following entry restrictions by local authorities.

Flights BA165 & BA164 continue to operate. Flights BA163 & BA162 have been cancelled.

Italy

BA flights to all of Italy are cancelled until Saturday 4 April 2020 at the earliest.

Regardless of whether your flight is cancelled you are entitled to a refund or to rebook to up to and including Sunday 31 May 2020.

Passengers looking to leave / return to Italy can change their flight to / from the following airports: Geneva, Grenoble, Innsbruck, Lyon, Munich, Nice, Salzburg, Zagreb and Zurich. This is subject to local authorities allowing cross-border transit. BA has also secured a rebooking agreement with Alitalia for passengers looking to leave urgently.

Kuwait

Flights from London Heathrow to Kuwait have been cancelled from Thursday 12 March 2020 due to the temporary closure of the airport.

Norway

Flights from London Heathrow to Oslo are costing to operate, but with some cancellations, in spite of entry restrictions by local authorities.

Poland

Flights from London Heathrow to Krakow and Warsaw are suspended from Sunday 15 March 2020 due to border restrictions.

Saudi Arabia

Flights from London Heathrow to Jeddah and Riyadh, and between Abu Dhabi and Dammam are cancelled from Saturday 14 March 2020.

This is due to restrictions on international flights.

Seoul

BA continues to fly from London Heathrow to Seoul.

However, it has cancelled the outbound flight, BA17, from London Heathrow on 8 occasions on 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25 and 27 March 2020. The inbound flight, BA18, is cancelled on the following day.

Again, if your flight is cancelled you are entitled to a refund. There are no other flexible rebooking policies in place for Seoul.

Continue reading “British Airways Coronavirus Cancellations – March 2020”

British Airways Flexible Rebooking Policy For Italy

British Airways has introduced a flexible rebooking policy for passengers due to fly to Northern Italy following the Coronavirus outbreak.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways Disruption » Page 2

BA Airbus A319 aircraft at London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)
BA Airbus A319 aircraft at London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)

Following reports of an outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Northern Italy, British Airways has introduced a flexible rebooking policy for passengers due to fly between any London airport and the airports below in Italy.

The airports are: Bergamo, Bologna, Milan Linate, Milan Malpensa, Turin, Venice and Verona.

Florence, Pisa and Rome are not currently included in the scope of the policy.

Passengers due to travel up to Monday 2 March 2020 can rebook up to Tuesday 31 March 2020.

Passengers can also change their flight to BA operated services to/from Geneva and Zurich airports. However, any consequential costs such as ground transportation will be at passenger’s expense.

Refunds are not currently available, unless allowed by existing fare rules.

Update: BA is now cancelling selected flights to Italy. If your flight is cancelled you are entitled to a full refund.

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.

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

As this is a fluid situation this guidance may be amended or withdrawn at any time.

Update Monday 2 March 2020:  This has been extended so passengers due to travel up to Sunday 15 March 2020 can rebook up to Friday 3 April 2020.

British Airways Cuts London Heathrow – Hong Kong Flights

British Airways is to suspend one of its twice daily flights to Hong Kong until the end of May 2020 at the earliest.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways Disruption » Page 2

British Airways Airbus A380 Heathrow
British Airways Airbus A380 Heathrow (Image Credit: Heathrow)

British Airways has cut one of its twice daily return flights from London Heathrow to Hong Kong until the end of May 2020.

This move is expected given the large fall in demand for travel to the region.

Flights BA31 & BA32, operated with a Boeing 777-300 aircraft, have been suspended until Sunday 31 May 2020.

Flights BA27 & BA28, which operate with the Airbus A380, continue to operate.

Whilst BA has said these flights are suspended until the end of May 2020, given the current situation, the period of cancellation may well be extended.

From Sunday 29 March 2020 until Saturday 24 October 2020, the two flights are supposed to swap aircraft with BA31 & BA32 operated with the A380. However, BA27 & BA28 will continue to operate with the A380 up to and including 31 May 2020.

Passengers whose flights have been cancelled should be re-accommodated on alternative BA flights.

BA also has a flexible rebooking policy in place for all passengers due to fly to Hong Kong up to 31 May 2020. All passengers can rebook onto alternative BA services to Hong Kong up to Friday 31 July 2020 or obtain a full refund.

Those passengers who have connections to/from Cathay Pacific and Qantas at Hong Kong will need to check their itinerary to confirm they meet minimum connection times.

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.

Cathay Pacific Lounge Closures

Cathay Pacific has also announced that it will temporarily close some of its departure lounges at Hong Kong international airport from Monday 17 February 2020 until further notice.

These are: The Bridge at Gate 35, The Deck at Gate 6; and The Pier First Class Lounge at Gate 63.

The Wing First Class and Business Class Lounges at Gates 1 – 4 and The Pier Business Class Lounge at Gate 65 will remain open.

British Airways Suspends Flights To Mainland China

British Airways has suspended its daily flights from London Heathrow to Beijing and Shanghai until mid-April 2020.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways Disruption » Page 2

Beijing Daxing International Airport
Beijing Daxing International Airport (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has suspended all flights from London Heathrow airport to mainland China.

This follows UK Government advice against all but essential travel to mainland China in light of the Coronavirus outbreak.

BA has suspended its daily service to Beijing Daxing International airport (flights BA39/BA38) and Shanghai Pu Dong International airport (flights BA169/BA168).

BA currently plans to resume flights from London Heathrow to Shanghai on Saturday 18 April 2019. 

Flights will initially operate three times weekly, from Heathrow on Monday, Thursday and Saturday until Sunday 31 May 2020. The return operates to Heathrow on the next day.

BA also plans to resume flights from London Heathrow to Beijing Daxing on Sunday 19 April 2019. Flights will initially operate four times weekly, from Heathrow on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday until 31 May 2020. The return operates to Heathrow on the next day.

Passengers whose flights have been cancelled are entitled to a refund, or to rebook to a later date.

BA is also re-accommodating passengers on its alliance and codeshare partners such as Finnair, China Southern Airlines and Qatar Airways. However, it should be noted that Finnair has substantially reduced its flights to China.

Hong Kong

BA will continue to fly to Hong Kong once daily up to Monday 1 June.

Passengers due to travel to Hong Kong up to Sunday 31 May 2020 can either rebook to a later date or obtain a full refund.

However, if you are due to transit through Hong Kong to an international destination, such as in Australia, you cannot re-route via another hub, such as Singapore.

Passengers who are originally booked to travel to/from mainland China can also rebook to/from Hong Kong. However, any consequential costs will be at passengers’ expense.

However, for passengers intending to travel on to mainland China, BA’s Oneworld alliance and codeshare partner Cathay Pacific has also significantly reduced flights to mainland China by in excess of 50%.

Cathay Pacific has also advised that the in-flight service on flights between Hong Kong and mainland China will be temporarily modified with a truncated meal service in all classes. Amenities such as hot towels and blankets will also not be offered.

Given the fluid nature of the situation, the scope and length of cancellations may be extended.

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.

British Airways Boeing 787 Disruption Update

Disruption to British AIrways flights due to additional maintenance checks on the Rolls-Royce engines of Boeing 787 aircraft will continue into 2020.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways Disruption » Page 2

BA Boeing 787 at British Airways Maintenance Cardiff
BA Boeing 787 at British Airways Maintenance Cardiff (Image Credit: British Airways)

Disruption to British Airways flights due to additional checks required to the Rolls-Royce engines of its Boeing 787 fleet is to now continue well into 2020.

This means the airline will have been grappling with two years of disruption. BA has addressed this issue through wet leases of aircraft and tactical cancellations. These will now continue into the first quarter of 2020.

The latest update from Rolls-Royce in late September 2019 was that the number of “Aircraft On Ground” across all affected airlines should reach single digits by the second quarter of 2020.

Wet Leases

BA has wet leased aircraft from airlines to cover certain routes.

Air Belgium is currently operating London Heathrow – Cairo for BA (BA155 / BA154) with an Airbus A340 aircraft. This will continue until Wednesday 6 November 2019.

Titan Airways will then operate London Heathrow – Cairo from Thursday 7 November 2019 to Wednesday 12 January 2020 with a two class Airbus A321 aircraft. There is no equivalent cabin to Club World on this aircraft and Club World passengers will be downgraded to premium economy, with an appropriate refund of their fare. Club World passengers are also entitled to a full refund.

Envelop Airlines is currently operating London Gatwick – New York JFK (BA2273 / BA2272) until Sunday 12 January 2020. This is a two class Airbus A330 aircraft, with no premium economy cabin. All passengers have the option of rebooking on alternative BA services between London Heathrow and New York JFK. Also note, that American Airlines does not have regulatory approval to codeshare on BA routes operated by other airline on behalf of BA. Passengers who have booked on this route through American Airlines will need to rebook on to alternative services operated by either American or BA.

Tactical Cancellations

BA has also tactically cancelled some flights and routes. These are not flights necessarily operated with the 787 but have been cancelled to release aircraft for deployment elsewhere:

London Gatwick – New York JFK (BA2273 / BA2272) is cancelled from Tuesday 14 January 2020 to Monday 10 February 2020.

BA has also tactically cancelled selected return flights between London Heathrow and Abu Dhabi, Boston, Hong Kong, Muscat, New York JFK, Toronto Pearson and Washington Dulles.

As at Thursday 31 October 2019 around 16 return flights have been cancelled between mid January 2020 and mid March 2020. Ordinarily, we would publish a full list but the list produced for the travel trade doesn’t quite tally up to what timetables are showing on ba.com

If you are due to travel on an affected route, the best advice is to check the status of your booking using the Manage My Booking tool on ba.com. If your flight is cancelled you are entitled to a full refund or reaccomodation on alternative flights to, or near to, your intended destination.

Titan Airways To Operate London Heathrow – Cairo For BA

Titan Airways is to operate London Heathrow – Cairo for British Airways from 7 November 2019 to 12 January 2020.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways Disruption » Page 2

BA Boeing 787 at British Airways Maintenance Cardiff
BA Boeing 787 at British Airways Maintenance Cardiff (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways is currently wet leasing an Airbus A340 aircraft from Air Belgium to cover the London Heathrow – Cairo route.

This was due to end on Thursday 31 October 2019 for the outbound flight from London Heathrow (flight BA155) and Friday 1 November 2019 for the inbound flight to London Heathrow (flight BA154).

The Air Belgium wet lease has now been extended to Wednesday 6 November 2019 and Thursday 7 November 2019 respectively.

Due to ongoing maintenance requirements to the Rolls-Royce engines of BA’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet, BA will then wet lease an Airbus A321-200 aircraft from Titan Airways to cover this route.

Titan Airways will operate flight BA155 from Thursday 7 November 2019 to Wednesday 12 January 2020 and BA154 from Friday 8 November 2019 to Thursday 13 January 2020.

Given it has, much to the frustration of BA, taken longer than expected to address the issues with the Boeing 787 fleet, there is every possibility that the wet lease may be extended.

Club World Passengers

The Titan Airways Airbus A321-200 aircraft has two cabins which, for BA, will operate as economy and premium economy.

There is no equivalent cabin to Club World on this aircraft and Club World passengers will be downgraded to premium economy, with an appropriate refund of their fare.

Club World passengers will retain their original baggage allowance, lounge access privileges and Avios/tier points earning entitlements. Club World passengers are also entitled to cancel their flights with a full refund.

Titan Airways has recently refurbished its fleet of Airbus A321 aircraft and you can see pictures of the interiors from Titan Airways. From the pictures available, there appears to be no seat-back in-flight entertainment system on this aircraft.

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