Delta opens new arrivals lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

London Air Travel » Page 128

Plaza Premium Terminal 3 Arrivals Lounge Area
Former Delta Air Lines Arrivals Lounge (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

Delta Air Lines has today announced the opening of a new arrivals lounge for eligible passengers at London Heathrow Terminal 3.

This is a sign of Delta’s continued investment in the London Heathrow market.

The arrivals lounge is located in arrivals hall of Terminal 3.

Delta BusinessElite passengers and SkyMiles Diamond and Platinum Medallion members arriving from the United States have access to the lounge.

The lounge features 11 shower suites and clothes press and shoe shine services.

Breakfast includes Starbucks Coffee, fresh fruit, pastries, yoghurt and cereals and a prepared to order a la carte menu. Wi-Fi is available throughout the lounge, plus a business centre and a selection of the day’s newspapers.

The lounge is open from 6am to 2pm, daily.

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BA launches joint rail & fly tickets with GWR

London Air Travel » Page 128

Having previously travelled onward from Heathrow to UK cities by train, we are well aware what a fraught experience it can be.

Aside from the hassle and expense of travelling from Heathrow to one of the mainline railway stations in Central London, there’s the added dilemma of either buying a flexible train ticket (some times at a cost of hundreds of pounds) or an advance train ticket for a specified train which, if missed, has to be thrown away.

Whilst Lufthansa and Air France have offered Rail & Fly tickets for many years, BA has only now announced joint rail & fly tickets with First Great Western and Heathrow Express (who both serve London Paddington).

From Friday 5 December 2014, passengers will be able to buy joint tickets for BA flights from London Heathrow to/from the following railway stations served by Great Western with a connection between Paddington to Heathrow on the Heathrow Express:

Bath, Bristol Parkway, Bristol Temple Meads, Cardiff, Exeter, Oxford, St Austell, Par, Plymouth, Penzance, Swansea.

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Air Passenger Duty abolished for children from May 2015

London Air Travel » Page 128

(Image Credit: British Airways)

In today’s Autumn statement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has announced the abolition of Air Passenger Duty for children under 12 flying in economy class from 1 May 2015.

The measure will be extended to children under 16 from 1 March 2016.

The rate of duty is currently £13 for flights up to 2,000 miles, £69 for flights between 2,001 and 4,000 miles, £85 for flights between 4,001 and 6,000 miles and £97 for flights over 6,000 miles.

Whilst airlines are still lobbying for the abolition of APD entirely, the measure will be good news particularly for “holiday” leisure routes to Florida.

For the avoidance of doubt, the reduction does not apply to children in premium economy, business class and first class.

More to follow, including the response from airlines and refund arrangements for flights already booked, shortly.

Update: British Airways has confirmed it is to refund APD to affected customers and will confirm administrative arrangements in due course.

BA ends 10% shareholder discount on 31 January 2015

London Air Travel » Page 128

British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)

Before the formation of International Airlines Group (IAG) in early 2011, British Airways offered shareholders (who held shares above a certain minimum) a 10% discount on BA flights booked with the airline.

It was very popular with private shareholders and a self-funding means of acquiring substantial savings for frequent flyers.

The future of the discount has been the subject of much speculation as it was never extended to other IAG airlines Iberia and Vueling. Nor was the BA discount ever offered to former Iberia shareholders or new shareholders in IAG.

Last month IAG announced its intention to resume dividend payments to shareholders after a long hiatus.

Following this, IAG has now confirmed that the shareholder discount scheme will end on 31 January 2015.

Here is the text of the e-mail sent to shareholders.

I am writing to advise you that from midnight on 31 January 2015 the shareholder discount scheme for former British Airways shareholders will come to a close.

Since the merger in January 2011 we have been reviewing the discount scheme. It was kept open to former British Airways shareholders, but it has not been available to former Iberia holders or new IAG shareholders. It has never been available to institutional shareholders, who own the majority of our shares.

After continuing with the discount for almost four years, with the recent announcement of our intention to resume dividend payments we feel it is the right time to close the scheme. We will of course continue to offer competitive prices via ba.com and hope that you will continue to support British Airways’ business.

However, you will still have the opportunity to book flights using the shareholder discount between now and midnight on 31 January 2015. Flights can be booked 355 days in advance.

Whilst we appreciate that this will come as a disappointment to some of you, in reality the take-up of the discount was extremely low and feedback from shareholders has been that they value a dividend more. We hope that in light of the dividend announcement you will continue to support us as a valued shareholder.

Delta to launch London Heathrow – Philadelphia

London Air Travel » Page 128

Philadelphia’s Independence Hall (Image Credit: C. Smyth for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®)
Philadelphia’s Independence Hall (Image Credit: C. Smyth for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®)

Delta Air Lines continues to expand its presence at London Heathrow with the launch of a new route from the airport to Philadelphia on 8 April 2015, the airline confirmed today.

The flight will operate from Terminal 4, and be operated by a Boeing 757 aircraft in a two class (economy and business class) configuration.

The route will also be offered as a codeshare with its transatlantic joint-venture partner Virgin Atlantic.

Flight DL195 Depart London Heathrow 12:30 Arrive Philadelphia 16:00.
Flight DL194 Depart Philadelphia 19:04 Arrive London Heathrow 07:30.

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BA introduces pre-ordering of meals in Club World, First & WT+

London Air Travel » Page 128

British Airways Economy Catering (Pre-Paid Gourmet Meal)
British Airways Economy Catering (Pre-Paid Gourmet Meal)

British Airways is to introduce pre-ordering of main course meals for passengers travelling in World Traveller Plus, Club World and First Class on select long-haul flights departing London Heathrow from Monday 1 December 2014.

This move has been long anticipated. Indeed, it was originally announced a year ago.

At first, the option to pre-order meals will only be available on long-haul flights from London Heathrow to Dallas Fort-Worth, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Rio de Janeiro, Seattle and Vancouver.

Passengers will be able to pre-order meals from Tuesday 18 November 2014 via the Manage My Booking tool.

Update: This service has now been extended to flights from London Heathrow to Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Houston, Austin and San Diego for travel after 5 February 2015.

In addition, from 1 February 2015 pre-ordering of meals will be available on flights between London Heathrow and Atlanta, Denver, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary that depart after 1 March 2015.
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BA to fly the Airbus A380 to Miami from Sunday 25 October 2015

London Air Travel » Page 128

South Beach, Miami (Image Credit: London Air Travel)
South Beach, Miami (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

British Airways has confirmed that its London Heathrow – Miami route will be served exclusively by the Airbus A380 from Sunday 25 October 2015.

The A380 will operate twice daily, replacing up to three daily Boeing 747/777 flights.

The A380 currently operates on selected flights to Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Singapore, Washington, and, from April 2015, San Francisco.

There’s more information on BA’s A380 operations at ba.com. As this announcement has been made nearly a year in advance, we should sound a note of caution that further changes could be announced in the interim.

BA flights from London Heathrow to Miami are also due to move from London Heathrow Terminal 5 to 3 from 14 October 2015.

Update January 2018:

BA now operates one of two daily flights to Miami (BA208 / BA209) with the Airbus A380 in the winter season until Monday 30 April 2018. The route then operates with a Boeing 747 twice daily until Saturday 27 October 2018. The A380 then returns on Sunday 28 October 2018.

BA to restore long-haul flights at London Heathrow Terminal 3

London Air Travel » Page 128

British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)

As part of a wider set of terminal moves at London Heathrow and the consolidation of BA’s operations into Terminals 3 and 5, a number of long-haul BA flights are to move from Terminal 5 to 3 from Wednesday 14 October 2015.

These flights are Accra, Cape Town, Denver, Las Vegas, Miami, Nairobi, Phoenix and Vancouver.

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BA flights to Amman, Beirut, Baku & Cairo move to Terminal 5 on Tuesday 30 June 2015

London Air Travel » Page 128

British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)

The opening of Terminal 2 at London Heathrow this year has resulted in a large number of airlines moving out of Terminals 1 and 3.

As a consequence of this, Terminal 1 is due to close next year and BA will also be consolidating its operations in Terminals 3 and 5.

A series of terminal moves will be taking place next year. As part of this, from Tuesday 30 June 2015 BA’s medium haul flights to Amman, Beirut, Baku and Cairo flights will move from Terminal 1 to Terminal 5.

From this date, BA will have no further flights from Terminal 1.

With the exception of Cairo, these routes were inherited by BA following the acquisition of bmi by its parent company International Airlines Group in 2012.

BA flights to Bilbao, Hanover, Luxembourg, Lyon & Marseille move to Terminal 3 from 30 June 2015.

London Air Travel » Page 128

British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)

The opening of Terminal 2 at London Heathrow this year has resulted in a large number of airlines moving out of Terminals 1 and 3.

As a consequence of this, Terminal 1 is due to close in 2015 and BA will be consolidating its operations in Terminals 3 and 5.

A series of terminal moves will be taking place next year.

As part of this, from Tuesday 30 June 2015, BA’s short-haul flights to Bilbao (launching 29 March 2015), Hanover, Luxembourg, Lyon, Marseille will move from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3.

These routes will join existing BA short-haul routes from Terminal 3 which are Barcelona, Budapest, Gibraltar, Helsinki, Lisbon, Vienna and Warsaw.

Flights from London Heathrow to Rotterdam will not be moving as this route is being suspended from 28 March 2015.