Her Majesty The Queen had officially opened London Heathrow Terminal 5 just short of two weeks before its planned opening on 27 March 2008. Hundreds of passengers had volunteered to take part in pre-opening trials. The airline was at pains to emphasise that it had learnt the lessons of teething problems at Denver and Madrid. The baggage system had been put through its paces for months.
BA promised its frequent flyers that the terminal would be “So calm, you’ll simply flow through.” Such was BA’s confidence in its promise of “no queuing” the terminal didn’t even have a dedicated business class check-in at launch. A TV ad featuring fish swimming through the terminal was ready to air.
BA was the exclusive tenant of Heathrow’s first new terminal in more than 20 years and as the home to almost all of its Heathrow flights it would transform its presence at the airport.
On opening day, the then BA CEO Willie Walsh was to greet passengers arriving on the first flight at Terminal 5 from Hong Kong and usher in a new era for the airline.
Aer Lingus is to operate selected British Airways flights between London Heathrow Terminal 5 and Dublin and Hamburg. However, Aer Lingus will offer an economy-only service on this route, with no business class cabin.
As we reported earlier this month, BA has recently acquired a portfolio of slots at London Gatwick from the airline Monarch which suspended operations late last year. As BA is required to make use of the slots to avoid forfeiting them, its fleet of Airbus short-haul aircraft is going to quite stretched over the coming months as it scrambles to fill the slots.
A consequence of this is that BA has called on Aer Lingus, which is a fellow subsidiary of BA’s parent company International Airlines Group, to operate selected flights between London Heathrow Terminal 5 and Dublin and Hamburg from early Feburary 2018.
At the outset, we should mention that this should not be confused with BA’s existing codeshare arrangement with Aer Lingus. BA has long codeshared on Aer Lingus operated flights from London Heathrow Terminal 2 to Dublin. These flights have the numbers BA59**.
BA flights between London Heathrow Terminal 5 and Dublin to be operated by Aer Lingus
BA0824 London Heathrow – Dublin
BA0826 London Heathrow – Dublin
BA0828 London Heathrow – Dublin (certain days only)
BA0827 Dublin – London Heathrow
BA0831 Dublin – London Heathrow
BA0833 Dublin – London Heathrow (certain days only)
This typically represents two of up to eight daily return BA flights between London Heathrow and Dublin.
BA flights between London Heathrow Terminal 5 and Hamburg to be operated by Aer Lingus
BA0962 London Heathrow – Hamburg
BA0969 Hamburg – London Heathrow
BA has undertaken, to use its lexicon, a “refresh” of its Concorde Room at London Heathrow Terminal 5.
There are no structural changes to the lounge as such. The basic layout and services in the lounge remain the same. The main changes are the reulphostering of furniture and changes to the layout of the terrace area with the addition of new sofas, day loungers and cabanas. And duck feet lamps.
A set of press images and video is below.
To quote those well known Australian cultural commentators Kath & Kim: “It’s nice. It’s different. It’s unusual.”
On related news, London Heathrow Terminal 5 has gained its second paid-for access lounge with the opening of a Plaza Premium lounge.The lounge is next to Gate A7 in the main terminal. The lounge is open from 05:00 to 22:00 daily. It promises views of the runway, showers, and a full bar and fresh food. No press pictures are available but Plaza Premium has built up a highly regarded portfolio of lounges at London Heathrow so it should impress. Continue reading “BA “refreshes” its London Heathrow Concorde Room”
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:
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.
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 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 Saturdays. 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. Please see here for our full guide to summer seasonal routes at London Heathrow.
Flights to Almeria will be operated using Airbus A320 aircraft, in a two class, Club Europe business and EuroTraveller economy configuration.
This route will return in 2019, but from Gatwick. Flights will operate four times weekly on Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday between Sunday 31 March and Saturday 26 October 2019. The new flight numbers are BA2790 and BA2791.
BA has today announced a new summer seasonal 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 until Saturday 27 October 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.
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.
Gordon Ramsay Plane Food restaurant at London Heathrow Terminal 5 has reopened today, Monday 14 August 2017, after a refurbishment.
The restaurant first opened in March 2008. It was groundbreaking in two respects. First, for raising the bar for airport dining with such a well known chef committing to an airport restaurant where there are limitations on how food can be prepared. It also introduced well publicised dedicated takeaway “picnics” for eating in-flight. Heston Blumenthal followed suit with The Perfectionists Cafe at London Heathrow Terminal 2.
The new restaurant promises a new Asian bar with dishes prepared before guests, a new cocktail bar and a newly refurbished dining area with refreshed menus which can be used for private events.
There is also a new take-on-board Picnic Menu with breakfast, vegetarian, fish and meat options.
British Airways is to fly direct from London Heathrow to Nashville, Tennessee from May 2018.
BA will fly to Nashville International Airport five times a week from Friday 4 May 2018. The route will be operated with a three class Boeing 787 Dreamliner with Club World business class, World Traveller Plus premium economy, and World Traveller economy cabins. Flights will depart from London Heathrow Terminal 5.
This is the fourth new route between London Heathrow and North America which BA has launched with the Boeing 787 after Austin,San Jose, and New Orleans.
In terms of possible future expansion in North America, there could well be another 1-2 new routes to be launched by BA. History has shown that BA prefers to launch new routes from London Heathrow where it is, at least initially, the sole operator to London and/or Europe. Therefore, new destinations are likely to North American cities without a direct link to Europe. However, whatever growth potential there may be BA is likely to continue its very steady growth of no more than one new transatlantic route a year.
London Heathrow – Nashville
Flight BA223 Depart London Heathrow 15:45 – Arrive Nashville 18:50
Flight BA222 Depart Nashville 20:20 – Arrive London Heathrow 10:30
British Airways is to transfer its route from London Heathrow to Paris Orly to London City airport from Sunday 29 October 2017.
Currently, BA flies from London Heathrow to Paris Orly up to four times daily. This will reduce to three times daily from 30 September 2017 with BA334 and BA335 cancelled from this date. The last flights will operate on Saturday 28 October 2017. BA will continue to fly from London Heathrow to Charles de Gaulle airport up to seven times daily.
BA will fly from London City to Paris Orly three times daily on weekdays and daily on weekends. This route will reinstate a link between London City and Paris after CityJet suspended this route in March of this year.