BA launches new ski routes from London Heathrow to Grenoble & Turin

BA will fly from London Heathrow to Grenoble once a week from 2 December 2017 and Turin twice weekly on Saturdays and Sundays from 26 November 2017.

British Airways Short Haul Economy Cabin (Credit: British Airways)

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.

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.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

London Heathrow – Grenoble

Flight BA384 Depart London Heathrow 11:55 – Arrive Grenoble 14:45
Flight BA385 Depart Grenoble 15:40 – Arrive London Heathrow 16:30

London Heathrow – Turin

Flight BA600 Depart London Heathrow 07:05 – Arrive Turin 10:10 (Saturday)
Flight BA600 Depart London Heathrow 06:50 – Arrive Turin 09:55 (Sunday)
Flight BA601 Depart Turin 11:05 – Arrive London Heathrow 12:05 (Saturday)
Flight BA601 Depart Turin 10:45 – Arrive London Heathrow 11:45 (Sunday)

BA 123 & BA 122 London – Doha cancelled 1 – 7 July 2017

British Airways has cancelled its daily flights between London Heathrow to Doha for a period of six days between Saturday 1 July to Friday 7 2017. Here are options for affected passengers.

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

British Airways has cancelled its daily flight between London Heathrow and Doha for a period of six days between Saturday 1 July to Friday 7 2017.

The affected flight numbers are BA123 and BA122. BA123 is cancelled from London Heathrow to Doha from Saturday 1 July to Thursday 6 July. BA122 is cancelled from Doha to London Heathrow from Sunday 2 July to Friday 7 July.

It is highly likely that this is connected to planned strike action by “Mixed Fleet” London Heathrow cabin crew on these dates. As the industrial action is planned to from 1 July to 16 July, there is the possibility of 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).

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.
Continue reading “BA 123 & BA 122 London – Doha cancelled 1 – 7 July 2017”

British Airways Cabin Crew Strike: Saturday 1 July – Sunday 16 July 2017

Some British Airways London Heathrow cabin crew are due to take industrial action from Saturday 1 July to Sunday 16 July 2017.

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

Unite, the union which represents British Airways “Mixed Fleet” cabin crew at London Heathrow, has called for further industrial action over sixteen consecutive days from Saturday 1 July to Sunday 16 July 2017.

This is continuation of a dispute that led to a call for industrial action today (Friday 16 June) which was suspended to allow for talks at the conciliation service ACAS.   Talks are likely to continue between now and July.

BA has yet to its confirm its schedules during the strike. However, it does say that all customers will be able to reach their destinations during the strike, suggesting that short-haul routes with multiple flights a day are most at risk of cancellations

What can be confirmed now is:

  • All flights from London City, London Gatwick and London Stansted will operate as normal.
  • All flights from UK regional airports (apart from flights to London Heathrow) will operate as normal
  • The majority of flights from London Heathrow will operate as normal with some flights merged and short-haul flights most at risk of cancellation. There may also be some tactical long-haul cancellations
  • BA will not publish a full list of cancelled flights as it evidently keen to play down the impact of the industrial action.
  • If your flight is cancelled you will offered the opportunity to rebook to an alternative flight or a refund

The impact of the strike is likely to be low. The best advice is to check your booking using the Manage My Booking tool and ensure your e-mail and telephone contact details are up to date.  In addition, it is a good idea to download the BA app to your smartphone to receive notifications about your flight.

At present, BA is not allowing any proactive rebooking to flights outside of the strike action and any changes or cancellations to existing bookings will be made in accordance with the fare rules at the time of booking.

In terms of the risk of further industrial action, the union is required to give 14 days’ notice to BA.  So if there are no announcements two weeks before your flight you can assume it is not a risk of strike action.

Are there any indications of routes most at risk of cancellation?

BA has three cabin crew fleets at London Heathrow. These are known internally as EuroFleet, Worldwide and Mixed Fleet. Each fleet operates designated routes. Only routes operated at Mixed Fleet are at risk of cancellation.

During the last strikes by Mixed Fleet earlier this year, these routes experienced cancellations:

Short-Haul: Aberdeen, Dusseldorf, Gibraltar, Hamburg, Manchester, Marseille, Oslo, Stuttgart

Long-Haul: Doha, San Jose

There is no guarantee that routes not mentioned above are not at risk of cancellation, nor that the above routes are at risk of cancellation this time. However, in the absence of any published contingency plans, it is the best we can give.

Update 21 June: BA operated flights between London Heathrow and Doha have been cancelled.  BA123 has been cancelled from 1 July to 6 July.  BA122 has been cancelled from 2 July to 7 July.  Affected passengers will be rebooked onto Qatar Airways.

Update 23 June: BA has applied to the Civil Aviation Authority, which is the regulatory body for the sector in the UK, to “wet lease” up to nine Qatar registered short-haul Airbus aircraft and crews to cover flights during the period of industrial action. The application is on the CAA website.

BA releases 10,000 Club World reward seats for Christmas

British Airways Club World Boeing 747 (Picture by: Stuart Bailey / British Airways)

BA has made another move to curry favour from members of its Executive Club programme.

Hot on the heels of news that some members have been granted free renewal of their Executive Club cards, BA has announced that it has released an additional 10,000 reward seats in its Club World long-haul business class for Christmas 2017.

The additional 10,000 seats are available for travel over a 19 day period from Monday 18 December 2017 to Friday 5 January 2018. They are available to members of the British Airways Executive Club and the Avios programme.
Continue reading “BA releases 10,000 Club World reward seats for Christmas”

British Airways “World Images” Tailfins: 20 Years On

In 1997 BA launched its “World Images” Tailfins. It was regarded as a marketing disaster at the time. Should history be kinder?

British Airways Boeing 747
British Airways Boeing 747

It was 20 years ago this week British Airways launched what is commonly thought as one of the greatest marketing disasters of all time.

As part of a company wide rebranding exercise, the company replaced its long standing “Landor” aircraft livery with approximately 50 different tailfins featuring designs representing the many nations served by BA, such as tartan for Scotland and calligraphy for China.

The exercise was carried out with the best of intentions. At the time BA was the self-styled “World’s Favourite Airline”. This was because it carried more international airlines than any other airline. 60% of its passengers originated from outside the UK. The plan was to present BA to the world as a modern, warm and caring airline.

This seemed fitting with the times. Tony Blair had secured a landside victory for New Labour in a General Election and there was a confidence in the UK’s contemporary culture, exemplified by the rise of Britpop.

Whilst the designs we well received by BA’s international passengers, they were not so well receive back in the UK. The label “ethnic tailfins” stuck. The former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher famously took exception to the sight of a model BA aircraft at the 1997 Conservative Party conference and covered its tailfin with a handkerchief. “Maggie Puts BA Into A Tailspin” was the front page of the Daily Mail the following day. This was the death knell for the rebranding exercise. Virgin Atlantic, which at the time always seized the opportunity to joke at BA’s expense, painted the Union Jack and the decal “Britain’s Flag Carrier” on its aircraft. Continue reading “British Airways “World Images” Tailfins: 20 Years On”

BA Cabin Crew Strike Suspensed

The planned strike by BA cabin crew has been cancelled.


British Airways has confirmed this afternoon that the planned industrial action by some London Heathrow cabin crew from Friday 16 June 2017 to Monday 19 June 2017 has been cancelled.

This means that all flights from all airports are due to operate as scheduled and there will be no planned cancellations. This also means that any changes to bookings over the planned strike period can only be made in accordance with the fare rules at the time of booking.

This does not preclude the possibility of any further industrial action but Unite, the union which represents BA cabin crew, is required to give 14 days’ notice to BA.

Update 16 June: A further 16 days’ industrial action has been called for Saturday 1 July to Sunday 16 July

British Airways offers two years’ free Executive Club card renewal following IT outage

British Airways is offering frequent flyers caught in last week’s IT meltdown a free renewal of their Executive Club status for the next two years.

British Airways Executive Club Cards
British Airways Executive Club Cards

After British Airways’ worst week in nearly ten years, the airline has begun to take steps to repair the damage to its brand and restore relationships with its frequent flyers.

The airline has e-mailed members of its Executive Club frequent flyer programme who were caught up in last week’s disruption to advise that their current Executive Club card status (e.g. Bronze, Silver or Gold) will be renewed automatically for the next two years.

This means that these members of the Executuve Club do not need to earn the requisite number of tier points to renew their current status level.  

This is not the first time BA has done this.  It has previously either offered or entertained requests for automatic renewal when there has been severe disruption at London Heathrow or when there has been a downturn in the economy.

However, it is the first time BA has renewed some members’ cards automatically for two years. Continue reading “British Airways offers two years’ free Executive Club card renewal following IT outage”