BA is introducing airside transfers by car for selected UK domestic passengers connecting at London Heathrow.
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 has cancelled all flights to and from Houston up to Friday 1 September 2017. Other BA and American Airlines flights to Texas are scheduled to operate normally. BA is allowing passengers booked to fly to and from Austin, Houston and New Orleans up to 7 September to rebook up to Wednesday 20 September 2017.
United Airlines has also cancelled all flights to Houston (George Bush International) until at least Thursday 31 August.
For the latest arrivals / departure information you can visit the websites of Heathrow, BA and United.
Qantas has challenged Airbus and Boeing to develop aircraft capable of flying non-stop from London to Sydney by 2022.
Qantas announced its annual financial results in Sydney today. The airline posted a healthy profit before tax of AUD$1.4bn. This is a sharp turnaround in fortunes for Qantas after it reported a record loss of AUD$2.8bn three years ago. Much of the turnaround has been achieved through a restructuring of its international network.
Qantas has also today given a firm expression of interest in launching non-stop flights between London and Sydney by 2022.
Qantas has tasked aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing to produce new aircraft under development, the Airbus A350 Ultra Long Range and the Boeing 777X respectively, with sufficient range to operate London to Sydney non-stop with no restrictions on passenger loads.
Qantas claim that a non-stop flight between London and Sydney could shave four hours off the journey time.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce commented:
“From next year we’ll be flying direct from Perth to London, which is a huge leap forward. We believe advances in technology in the next few years will make Sydney to London direct a possibility and Qantas is well placed to be the airline to do it.
“Any aircraft purchase would have to meet strict financial thresholds, but these direct flights would be revolutionary for air travel in Australia.”
Airlines do not ordinarily give away commercial decisions on route launches away years in advance, and this is a very public message aimed squarely at aircraft manufacturers to sharpen their pencils.
It is also axiomatic that the viability of non-stop flights from London to Sydney will depend on how non-stop flights to Perth are received, both in terms of cabin comfort and whether passengers, particularly those at the front of the aircraft, are willing to pay a premium for non-stop services.
Personally, we would love to see non-stop flights to Sydney and for Qantas to rebuild its presence in London back to four flights a day.
Gordon Ramsay Plane Food restaurant has reopened at London Heathrow Terminal 5 following a refurbishment.
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 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. 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 has cancelled its daily flights between London Gatwick and New York JFK during early August. Here are options for affected passengers:
British Airways is cancelling its daily flights between London Gatwick and New York JFK airport due to industrial action by cabin crew at London Heathrow.
The affected flight numbers are BA2273 and BA2272.
These flights are currently cancelled through to Tuesday 15 August 2017.
The reason for the cancellation is that whilst there is no industrial action at Gatwick, BA is using Gatwick based crews to cover some London Heathrow flights.
Given that the industrial action is due to run through until Wednesday 30 August, and may well be extended beyond this date, there could be further cancellations.
If your flight is cancelled you will have the option of rebooking on one of BA’s eight daily flights to New York JFK from London Heathrow Terminal 5.
If you have a connection on to an American Airlines domestic flight from New York JFK under the same booking it’s also worth exploring whether you can be rebooked on to an alternative direct service from London Heathrow.
Note that if you are rebooked BA may not meet any additional consequential expenses such as ground transportation to London Heathrow.
If any of the rebooking options offered to you are not satisfactory, you will have the option of a full refund.
Affected passengers should check the status of their booking at ba.com and contact either BA or their travel agent.