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.
British Airways has announced the launch of two new seasonal weekend ski routes from London Heathrow. BA will fly to Grenoble in France once a week on Saturdays from 2 December 2017. BA will also fly to Turin in Italy twice weekly on Saturdays and Sundays from 26 November 2017.
These are seasonal routes which will operate until late March 2018. Flights will operate from London Heathrow Terminal 5 and will be operated by Airbus aircraft in a two class, Club Europe and EuroTraveller configuration.
BA also serves Turin from London Gatwick and it is possible to “mix and match” different London airports, if convenient.
Your children can fly for free on BA between select short-haul destinations and London Heathrow this summer
BA first ran this promotion last year and it has relaunched it for summer 2017. Up to two children to the age of twelve can fly for free with an adult on flights between London Heathrow and Belfast, Edinburgh, Inverness, Leeds-Bradford, Newcastle in the UK and Billund in mainland Europe.
The promotion only applies to flights to/from London Heathrow and bookings in EuroTraveller economy. It does not apply to flights to/from London Gatwick or London City.
The offer is valid for travel from Thursday 1 June 2017 to Tuesday 31 October 2017 and flights must be booked by Saturday 30 September 2017.
There are no particular downsides or catches to this promotion. Other than that availability is restricted and some destinations, notably Edinburgh, have significantly more flights a day to choose from than others.
Note this offer is only open to residents of the UK, the Republic Of Ireland and Denmark. Full terms and conditions and more information is available on ba.com
Next year, BA will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the opening of London Heathrow Terminal 5. The opening itself is a day BA would rather forget.
Ever since Terminal 5 opened a perennial complaint has been the fact that in spite of the fact that three of its lounges in the South of the terminal (Galleries Club, Galleries First and The Concorde Room) are located immediately adjacent to the South security screening area, passengers are forced to take a circuitous route down a crowded escalator and past numerous shops and restaurants and back up a set of escalators to access the lounges.
The one exception is those who have access to the Concorde Room by virtue of flying First Class or holding a Concorde Room Card can enter the lounge via a special door next to the South Security screening area, which at opening was rumoured to have cost BA many millions of pounds.
All that has now changed, for some passengers at least. If you have passed through the South end of Terminal 5 over the past few months you could not have failed to have noticed a large construction area near to the Club check-in area. This is the new BA First Wing.
British Airways is to suspend its service from London Heathrow to Baku (Azerbaijan) from Friday 29 April 2016.
The airline has cited unsatisfactory commercial performance as the reason for the cancellation.
Passengers affected by the cancellation have the option of rebooking on an alternative BA flight before Friday 29 April 2016 or a full refund.
Will British Airways rebook me on to another airline between London Heathrow and Baku?
BA has now agreed rebooking options with a number of airlines which include Azerbaijan Airlines from London Heathrow, Lufthansa via Frankfurt, Air Baltic via Riga, Turkish Airlines via Istanbul and Ukraine International Airlines via Kiev Boryspil International. Note that some options are not available for tickets purchased using the Avios frequent flyer currency.
Affected passengers should contact their travel agent, or if your booking was made directly with BA, you can access your booking via the Manage My Booking on the BA website.
The London Heathrow – Baku route was one which has inherited by British Airways following its merger with bmi in 2012. It joins a long list of former bmi London Heathrow routes which have been suspended by BA and include Almaty, Damascus, Addis Ababa, Dammam, Bishkek, Khartoum, Yerevan, Amristar, Casablanca, Marrakech and Tbilisi.
British Airways is to sub-contract the operation of selected flights from London Heathrow to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Copenhagen to Danish charter airline Jet Time from Sunday 27 March 2016 until the end of October.
Although no specific reason has been given for this move, it is likely to be due to the fact that BA has gained additional slots at London Heathrow following the closure of Virgin Atlantic Little Red.
Under slot usage rules, airlines are required to use their Heathrow slots for at least 80% of the time, or risk forfeiture of the slots.
Flights operated by Jet Time will be flown with Boeing 737-700 aircraft.
The sub-contracting arrangement is known as a “wet lease” which means that the flights will also be operated by pilots and cabin crew of Jet Time.
British Airways has today announced that it is to return to Iran with the launch of a six times weekly direct flight from London Heathrow to Tehran (Imam Khomeini International Airport) from Thursday 14 July 2016.
Flights will depart from London Heathrow Terminal 5 and will be operated using a four class Boeing 777 aircraft (First Class, Club World business class, World Traveller Plus premium economy and World Traveller economy). The flight will not operate from London Heathrow on Sundays.
That BA is launching the service using a twin-aisle long haul aircraft six times a week is clearly a sign of confidence that there will be strong passenger and cargo demand.
This route is also currently operated by Iran Air on a 3x weekly basis. The last British airline to serve Tehran was bmi British Midland which operated the route until October 2012. It was suspended following the acquisition of bmi by International Airlines Group. bmi was later merged into British Airways.
London Heathrow – Tehran
Flight BA153 Depart London Heathrow 21:10 – Arrive Tehran 06:25
Tehran – London Heathrow
Flight BA152 Depart Tehran 08:35 – Arrive London Heathrow 11:10