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.

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British Airways Executive Club Cards
British Airways Executive Club Cards

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.

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 38

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.

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 38

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 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.

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)

Update October 2018

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 launches London Heathrow – The Seychelles

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

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 38

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 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.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

London – The Seychelles

Flight BA63 Depart London Heathrow 17:50 – Arrive The Seychelles 07:00 (Wednesday, Saturday)
Flight BA62 Depart The Seychelles 09:00 – Arrive London Heathrow 16:20 (Thursday, Sunday)

(Precise timings may vary by season.)

BA has also prepared a PDF briefing.

Update March 2018:

BA has since confirmed that the route will now operate year-round.

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

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

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 38

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.

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 38

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.

BA adds Las Vegas and Toronto at London Gatwick

BA is to fly from London Gatwick to Las Vegas and Toronto from summer 2018.

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 38

Toronto, Canada
Toronto (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has today announced it is to launch a new summer seasonal route from London Gatwick to Toronto and reinstate its London Gatwick – Las Vegas route next summer.

BA will fly to Las Vegas three times a week from Tuesday 27 March 2018 on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday until Friday 26 October 2018. BA will fly to Toronto three times a week from Tuesday 1 May 2018, also on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday until Friday 26 October 2018.

Both Las Vegas and Toronto are served by BA at London Heathrow up to twice daily. BA has previously flown from Gatwick to Las Vegas.  However, the service was suspended last year. 

Toronto is BA’s first route from London Gatwick to Canada.  It is something of a surprise to see BA launch the Toronto from Gatwick, as it is not one of the stronger Heathrow routes due to a lack of presence by the Oneworld alliance in Canada.

However, there can be absolutely no doubt this is a move to take on the growth of low lost long-haul at Gatwick.  Las Vegas is served by Norwegian.  Toronto is also served by both WestJet and Air Canada Rouge.

Continue reading “BA adds Las Vegas and Toronto at London Gatwick”

New BA Club World catering on London Heathrow – New York JFK

BA will introduce radical improvements to Club World catering on Friday 1 September, starting with the New York JFK route.

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 38

New Club World Food & Beverage (Credit: British Airways)

BA will introduce radical changes to the presentation and quality of meals in its Club World business class from Friday 1 September 2017.

The changes will first be introduced on London Heathrow – New York JFK and will be progressively rolled out on its network throughout 2018.

BA will also introduce further changes such as new bedding and amenity kits from The White Company later this year.   This is all part of a a £400m investment in Club World BA promised late last year.

So what has changed?

Gone are the are the post take-off packets of nuts and paper sachets of salt and pepper.  The airline will introduce entirely new menus, crockery and glassware.  

The way you choose your food will also change.  You will choose your starter and dessert from a cart displayed by the crew in the aisle.  The starter will also include a choice of hot soup, which is not presently on the main menu.

You will pre-order your main course as normal.  However, the choice of main courses has been reduced from four to three.

For dessert, you will have a choice of desserts from a cart and a cheese board.

If we were to make one criticism, it appears BA have not introduced any further choice of coffee in Club World!

Continue reading “New BA Club World catering on London Heathrow – New York JFK”

BA79 & BA80 London – Muscat cancellations August 2017

British Airways has cancelled flights between London Heathrow and Muscat in August due to cabin crew industrial action. Here are options for affected passengers.

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 38

British Airways Cabin Crew (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Cabin Crew (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has cancel its five times weekly flight between London Heathrow and Muscat due to industrial action by cabin crew.

The affected flight numbers are BA79 and BA80.

BA79 is cancelled from London Heathrow to Muscat from Wednesday 16 to Monday 21 August.

BA80 is also cancelled from Muscat to London Heathrow from Thursday 17 to Tuesday 22 August.

As the industrial action could well run into September there may well be further cancellations.

BA has a rebooking agreement with Qatar Airways (which is a fellow Oneworld alliance member and a 20% shareholder of BA’s parent company International Airlines Group) via Doha.

If your flight is cancelled you have the option of rebooking on to one of Qatar Airways’ five daily flights from London Heathrow to Doha up to three days before or after your original date of travel and connecting on to one of Qatar’s five daily flights between Doha and Muscat.
Continue reading “BA79 & BA80 London – Muscat cancellations August 2017”

Gordon Ramsay Plane Food has reopened at London Heathrow Terminal 5

Gordon Ramsay Plane Food restaurant has reopened at London Heathrow Terminal 5 following a refurbishment.

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 38

Gordon Ramsay - London Heathrow Terminal 5
Gordon Ramsay – London Heathrow Terminal 5 (Image Credit: Gordon Ramsay Restaurants)

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.

Continue reading “Gordon Ramsay Plane Food has reopened at London Heathrow Terminal 5”