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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
If history is anything to go by, the system should be rolled out to more long-haul flights relatively quickly if the trial is successful.
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.
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.
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.