Category Archives: British Airways

British Airways flagship U.S. lounge reopens

Picture by: Stuart Bailey / British Airways

JFK New York – Club World Lounge

British Airways’ flagship US lounge at JFK’s Terminal 7 will reopen its doors on Sunday 1 August, following a 16-month closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The news comes in time for the UK Government’s announcement that double vaccinated travelers from the US will be exempt from quarantine on arrival into the UK from 2nd August.

The opening of the Galleries Club lounge also marks the next step in the airline’s phased lounge reopening plan and will be available for customers traveling in First, Club World and eligible card holders, ahead of their flight to London Heathrow.

Those flying from JFK in First and Club World can enjoy an enhanced check-in experience at the exclusive Premium Zone.  The First Wing and First check in are also open to ensure a smooth start to the journey.

British Airways’ customers will now also be able to use the airline’s innovative new digital app ‘Your Menu’ to order food directly from their mobile device to their seat after scanning a QR code. The app will be available throughout the lounge, meaning that customers can select from a wide range of complimentary food and beverages, to any seat.

At Heathrow on their return to the US, customers will have access to the Club and First lounges from Terminal 5, which also boasts a new sleep zone ‘Forty Winks’, allowing travelers to rest ahead of their flight.

Elsewhere the airline recently reopened three domestic lounges in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

A walk-through of the lounge can be viewed below.

 

 

 

British Airways adds extra seats between the USA, EU and UK as bookings surge by 95%

British Airways made this announcement:

787 landing at Heathrow

  • New bookings from the US surged by 95% within hours of the UK Government announcement
  • British Airways is adding extra seats from US cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago and European cities including Berlin, Geneva and Hamburg
  • Additional flights will allow US and EU citizens to easily connect to a range of UK destinations such as Newquay, Edinburgh, and Belfast

British Airways is adding thousands of extra seats on key routes to the UK from the USA and EU, following a huge increase in interest in travel to London since the UK Government announced that quarantine restrictions would be lifted for fully-vaccinated US and EU customers when traveling to the UK.

Within a couple of hours British Airways saw bookings from the US surging by 95%, following the recent UK Government announcement mainly from cities such as New York and Los Angeles in the USA, and European cities such as Berlin, Geneva and Hamburg. The additional flights will play a key part in kickstarting the British economy by welcoming much-needed tourism back to cities all over Britain.

Flights between New York-JFK and London Heathrow will increase to 21 services per week (up from 17 per week), Los Angeles and Chicago will increase to 10 per week (up from 7 per week), starting from 16 August 2021. From 23 August 2021, flights between Seattle and London Heathrow will increase to 7 services per week (up from 4 per week), and Los Angeles will further increase to 14 per week. BA also plans to continue to broaden its schedule between the USA and UK throughout September.

Customers from the US will be able to take advantage of the increased timetable, as well as services to the UK with American Airlines. Our partnership with AA allows for seamless connections across American’s key hubs in the US, providing one-stop connections from most US cities into London. British Airways and American Airlines operate more flights between the US and London than any other transatlantic partnership, offering regular direct services to/from 12 airports.

In addition, passengers can connect to British Airways’ extensive UK domestic network to cities throughout the rest of the UK, such as Newquay, Edinburgh, and Belfast, and to a range of destinations across Europe, where entry requirements allow.

Additional flights will also be added from European cities such as Berlin, Geneva and Hamburg, and the schedules will be continually reviewed to ensure the number of seats available matches customer interest. Customers flying in the Euro Traveller cabin can also enjoy the newly launched Speedbird Café at-seat ordering system, recently launched in addition to the existing pre-order service as well as complimentary water and snacks served on all routes.

The news comes after a successful trial was conducted between British Airways, Heathrow Airport and Virgin Atlantic, which showed that the Government’s amber policy for fully vaccinated travelers could be rapidly expanded for US and EU citizens. As part of the 10-day trial, fully vaccinated customers on selected flights from Los Angeles, New York, Montego Bay and Athens agreed to share their vaccination status at their departure airport, showing the industry is ready to rapidly adapt and operationalize further vaccination checks, to support a safe reopening of the skies at scale.

British Airways has partnerships with a range of testing providers and has teamed up with mobile travel health app VeriFly to make customers’ journeys through the airport as smooth as possible. Once a customer has had their travel documentation certified through the app they will be able to check-in through either ba.com or the British Airways app and download their boarding pass before arriving at the airport.

 

British Airways and partners shortlisted for UK government funding to decarbonize aviation

British Airways made this announcement:

Airbus A350

  • Eight projects have been shortlisted for funding by the Department for Transport’s Green Fuels, Green Skies competition – part of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, announced in November 2020
  • The grants will drive meaningful progress towards the development of sustainable aviation fuel plants in the UK and the decarbonization of the aviation industry
  • Projects British Airways has invested in include turning household waste and wood waste into sustainable aviation fuel and capturing carbon from the atmosphere and form part of the airline’s plans to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050

Four aviation decarbonization projects supported by British Airways and designed to help the industry achieve its targets of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, have been shortlisted for Government funding.

The Department of Transport’s Green Fuels, Green Skies (GFGS) competition has awarded the funding to develop the UK’s first sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production facility. In total the Government shortlisted eight projects to potentially receive a share of £15 million in its competition, all of which have a clear potential to produce SAF capable of reducing emissions by more than 70% on a lifecycle basis when used in place of conventional fossil jet fuel.

British Airways is directly involved in four of those projects which, pending the completion of grant agreements, can all press ahead with developing their feasibility and engineering plans.

The airline is partnering with technology company Velocys on the Altalto project to build a commercial waste-to-SAF plant in Immingham, Lincolnshire. Altalto will take more than half a million tonnes per year of household and commercial waste and produce up to 80 million litres of cleaner burning SAF and naphtha. The project has already received planning consent from North East Lincolnshire Council and is in the final stages of preparation for Front End Engineering Design.

Project Speedbird is a collaboration between British Airways, LanzaJet and Nova Pangaea, with a goal of producing 100 million litres of sustainable fuel a year from 2025, sufficient to power 2,000 flights from London to New York operated by an A350 aircraft. The technology is based on Nova Pangaea’s REFNOVA® process of converting waste wood into alcohol. LanzaJet’s alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) technology, which was developed by LanzaTech and the Pacific Northwest National Lab, then converts the alcohol to produce sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel.

British Airways is also working on two further decarbonization projects with LanzaTech and LanzaJet that, if successful, could each produce more than 100 million litres a year of SAF. The first would involve capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and converting it into SAF. The second would support the development of a SAF plant in Port Talbot, South Wales that would produce SAF from waste and industrial gases, with the potential to support significant jobs in the area.

British Airways new digital “heat map” helps Britons plan for travel

British Airways has made this announcement:

Sherpa Map

British Airways customers can now check the travel restrictions and entry requirements of any destination the airline flies to on a new interactive map on ba.com.

The new page is in partnership with global tech company Sherpa, who has developed an online tool that provides travelers with the latest travel rules for inbound and outbound destinations. This tool brings together the latest information for over 100 countries, providing thousands of sources, and using millions of data points to stay up to date. The map, that the airline plans to further integrate into ba.com, will also help customers understand what is needed for their return the UK.

Visitors to the page will be able to explore the globe to see what travel restrictions each country has in place before booking a trip, searching visually by traffic light color or by typing in their choice of destination. There is also a tab which allows customers to indicate whether or not they are vaccinated, which will adjust the results.

On announcing the partnership, Max Tremaine, CEO Sherpa said, “Supporting the return to travel, we’re honored to be working with the team at British Airways. Together, we are providing their customers with the information they need to make informed booking decisions and travel confidently again.”

British Airways’ existing online Covid hub includes information on flexible bookings, testing, how to use a voucher and what the British Airways flying experience looks like for those that haven’t travelled for some time.

British Airways has also introduced a number of measures at the airport and on board to look after the safety and wellbeing of its customers and crew. These include social distancing measures, the wearing of face masks (which remain in place) and hand sanitiser stations. Prior to travel customers will also receive details of how they can prepare for their journey, including information on discounted testing providers.

The airline is cleaning all key surfaces including seats, screens, seat buckles and tray tables after every flight and each aircraft is completely cleaned from nose to tail every day. The air on all British Airways flights is fully recycled once every two to three minutes through HEPA filters, which remove microscopic bacteria and virus clusters with over 99.9% efficiency, equivalent to hospital operating theatre standards.

British Airways offers its customers a new fast bag-drop before check-in to avoid queues

AirPortr

  • British Airways customers travelling from Heathrow Terminal 5 will be able to drop off and check in their luggage with partner AirPortr as soon as they step off the Heathrow Express from July 19
  • The new fast bag drop service is free of charge to customers who have already checked in at home.
  • AirPortr also offers customers the opportunity to have their luggage collected and checked in from their home or office up to 24 hours before their flight, from £19
  • Luggage can be checked in at designated fast bag drop points* as soon as customers reach the airport, or alternatively they can pre-book a collection from their home or office online if preferred
  • The airline will continue to explore options for bag drop areas at other key locations

British Airways has teamed up with AirPortr to create new convenient fast bag drop areas before heading to the departures concourse at British Airways’ London flagship Terminal 5 at Heathrow airport.

With the first drop-off point planned at the Heathrow Express train platforms, customers will be able to quickly and securely drop-off their luggage at peak times**, before traveling bag-free straight through to security. AirPortr’s team seal, secure, and check in bags for customers’ flights, before being collected from the reclaim at their destination.

Customers can also choose to book luggage collections from their home address, from £19*. This service allows travelers to check in their bags from the comfort of their own doorstep, with a vetted delivery driver. AirPortr ensures that once collected, bags are sealed and monitored throughout the delivery process.

Passengers can track their luggage online from the moment it leaves their doorstep, or at the T5 key access areas, right up to the bag being loaded onto the aircraft. Customers using the services also receive digital bag tag receipts.

Tom Stevens, British Airways’ Director of Customer Experience said: “Ahead of July 19, we have been busy investigating and trialling ways to ensure that we can offer our customers the smoothest journey through the airport possible.

We believe this contactless initiative with AirPortr allows our customers to avoid baggage check-in queues and move through the airport without the hassle of carrying luggage, as well as offering the reassurance that we are doing everything we can to ensure the safe delivery of their bags from doorstep to destination.”

Randel Darby, CEO and Founder of AirPortr Technologies said: “We’re proud to be able to play our part in helping British Airways and its customers with the restart of international travel this summer. Seamless, contact-free journeys through the airport are in everyone’s best interests and removing bags from the equation makes this possible for many more people. As the specialist in this space, we’re excited to be working with British Airways once again to lead development of innovative new baggage solutions, for the benefit of customers traveling in a post-pandemic world.”

As well as the AirPortr’s luggage service, British Airways also offers a special twilight baggage drop service the night before travel from Heathrow Terminal 5, when customers are able to deliver their bags to the airport terminal between 4 and 9pm the day before they travel.

The airline is continuing to explore how it integrates other technologies to further streamline the customer experience, including trialling digital travel apps to ensure customers meet the entry requirements for their destination before arriving at the airport. Customers can currently use VeriFLY on all flights to the US, Canada and France as well as on all inbound flights. The airline has also recently announced its involvement in IATA’s Travel Pass. The digital travel solution will begin on British Airways’ flights from Heathrow to Geneva and Zurich.

British Airways’ customers traveling to Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal, can now also upload their negative Covid-19 test result and other documentation directly into ba.com for verification before travel.

Elsewhere the airline is trialling new intelligent queuing technology from Qmatic, that enables customers to virtually queue at check-in by pre-booking their slot time in advance of arriving at the airport.

British Airways customers can now order food and drink in the air directly to their seat

In flight digital ordering system

  • British Airways has introduced a digital ordering platform for customers to purchase food and drink from its Speedbird Café menu in the air, directly to their seat on board
  • The service will initially be available on selected routes from July 19, before rolling out across the rest of the short haul network on flights from LHR*
  • Service will run alongside the airline’s pre-purchase menu, including items from its Tom Kerridge range

British Airways has today unveiled its new inflight digital ordering platform, giving customers traveling in Euro Traveller the option to order additional snacks and drinks mid-flight, directly to their seat.

The new inflight ordering system will complement the airline’s current ‘Buy Before You Fly’ offering, where customers are encouraged to order from the airline’s full Speedbird Café menu, including items from its Tom Kerridge range, in advance of travel.

The new digital ordering system means that customers who wish to add to an existing pre-order, or for those who did not place an order before travel, can do so at any point during their flight. The proposition will initially be available from July 19 on selected routes before rolling out across other eligible services.

To place an order, customers simply connect to the on board Wi-Fi service free of charge via shop.ba.com, click on the ‘shop’ option for their flight, and a virtual menu will display the range of drinks and snack options on offer. Orders can be made via all major credit and debit cards or through Avios. The service will be available on most short haul routes operating from LHR**.

British Airways’ Speedbird Café menu is still available to pre-purchase at highlifeshop.com for short haul flights in Euro Traveller, and the airline will also continue to offer a complimentary bottle of water and snack to all customers on board.

The introduction of in-seat ordering follows the successful launch of ‘Your Menu’ in British Airways’ Heathrow lounges, the new digital table service which requires only the scan of a QR code to enable orders to be delivered to each individual customer.

 

British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Heathrow Airport launch trials for fully vaccinated customers

British Airways made this announcement:

VeriFLY and BA

  • Later this week customers traveling on selected flights from the US, Caribbean and Europe to London Heathrow will be invited to take part in a proving trial to support the Government in lifting some of the most onerous restrictions for travelers arriving from ‘amber list’ countries
  • Fully vaccinated travelers of all nationalities will be able to present their Covid-19 credentials in digital or paper format to help prove vaccination status can be quickly and easily checked away from the border and allow safe entry to the UK
  • Anonymized data will be shared with the UK Government at the earliest opportunity, providing real-world insights to support the introduction of a scheme to exempt fully vaccinated passengers from self-isolation
  • Participants will continue to adhere to current restrictions for travelers entering from ‘amber list’ countries during the trial period
  • The proof-of-concept aims to support the Government to introduce exemptions for fully vaccinated travelers no later than 19 July, allowing the UK to catch-up with the EU and US, which have already introduced similar schemes
  • Routes including Los Angeles-LAX and New York-JFK have been chosen given Transatlantic air links between the US and UK are vital to re-start business, reunite families and allow people to go on holiday

British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Heathrow Airport have joined forces to prove it’s possible to quickly and easily verify those arriving into the UK who are fully vaccinated – an identification process already in place for outbound travel to several countries. Earlier this week, Germany became the latest country to confirm it would accept fully vaccinated UK travelers without the need to quarantine. The new UK proving trial, enabling inbound travelers to present their fully vaccinated status, will support the Government to move forward with its plans to remove quarantine for double jabbed passengers entering the UK from ‘amber list’ countries.

The initiative will see fully vaccinated volunteers traveling on selected flights from Athens, Los Angeles, Montego Bay and New York to London Heathrow showing proof of their vaccine status. The trial aims to reassure Government that airlines and airports can check vaccine status upstream and away from the Border, ensuring no further pressure in UK immigration halls. Those taking part in the trial will be able to use a dedicated arrivals lane at the border and British Airways customers will be able to access a discounted rate for the mandatory arrivals tests.

Internationally recognized vaccination credentials will be accepted in the proving trial including the NHS app, CDC card, US state-level digital certification and EU Digital Covid Credential. British Airways will also support customers’ vaccine verification through the VeriFLY app and Virgin Atlantic customers can verify their vaccine certificate through a new digital uploader tool, developed in partnership with Delta Air Lines and backed by TrustAssure™ technology. As the proof-of-concept develops, the options for customers to show vaccine status will rapidly be expanded, across physical, digital and integrated formats, including IATA Travel Pass.

The UK has led the world with its successful vaccine program, which the Government promised would lead to the end of Covid restrictions. To date, 86% of UK adults have had a first dose of a Covid vaccine, with 64% fully vaccinated. Data from Public Health England has shown two doses of the vaccines offer 79% protection against becoming ill from the Delta variant and reduces the likelihood of needing hospitalization by 96%.

Despite this incredible achievement the UK is failing to reap the economic and social rewards, falling behind countries like France, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus and Malta, all of which accept fully vaccinated travelers, including US residents, without the need for quarantine. The US also allows its fully vaccinated residents to avoid self-isolation. The Government’s own transparency data also continues to show very low positivity in test results from ‘green’ and ‘amber’ country arrivals, with just 0.4% testing positive, and none of them had a variant of concern.

Representatives from the travel industry have been clear about the consequences for the UK’s economy and jobs of not opening the corridor quickly enough, with hundreds taking part in a day of action on June 23. Today, Heathrow released new research from CEBR, reinforcing the importance of aviation to the Government’s ambitions for Global Britain, which could help industry deliver a £204 billion trade boost to benefit every corner of the UK. Heathrow has warned that this cannot be realized unless the UK’s aviation industry is supported by Government policies to resume flying as soon as possible. By capitalizing on the country’s vaccine dividend, ministers can help to deliver this economic stimulus for exporters across Britain, ensuring the UK retains its competitive edge as the country comes out of lockdown.

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson restated that this important step to exempt fully vaccinated travelers from self-isolation would happen ‘later this summer’, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps set to provide more detail this week. It’s hoped the proof-of-concept will encourage the Government to introduce exemptions for fully vaccinated travelers no later than 19 July, allowing the UK to catch-up with the EU and US, which have already introduced similar schemes.

 

British and Irish Lions head to South Africa on British Airways


Louis Rees-Zammit with Mascot BIL
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

British Airways welcomed the 37-strong British & Irish Lions squad on board a special charter flight on June 27, as they travelled from Edinburgh to Johannesburg for the start of their eagerly-awaited South African Tour.

Following their clash against Japan for The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup at BT Murrayfield Stadium yesterday, they were greeted with warm words of encouragement by the crew of flight BA9111, including their pilot Captain Richard Allen-Williams, British Airways’ Chief Pilot, Training.

Enjoying the safety and comfort of a British Airways’ Boeing 777-300, the players were served with a selection of hot meals and snacks during the 11-hour 30-minute flight to ensure they arrive match fit and ready to take on all-comers.

The eight-game tour of South Africa will see the best players from the UK & Ireland pitted against the World Champions, the Springboks, during three Tests. The Lions and Springboks squads will both be carried across the country during the Tour by British Airways’ franchise partner, Comair.

British Airways is also reinforcing its commitment to sport as the airline is currently the Principal Partner to Twickenham Stadium, Official Airline Partner to England Rugby and has been the Official Airline Partner to Team GB and Paralympics GB since 2008.

New British Airways services take off from Belfast to Exeter, Leeds/Bradford, Newquay and Glasgow

British Airways is launching four new domestic routes from Belfast this summer, supporting important business and tourism links between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Over the next few months, the airline will start to operate 18 flights a week between George Best Belfast City Airport and Exeter, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford and Newquay airports. The new routes will run alongside existing British Airways services between Belfast and London City and London Heathrow airports.

Full schedule:

 

Route Flight number Schedule/departure time
Belfast City (BHD)/ Exeter (EXT)

 

From 16 June 2021

 

BA7319 Monday – 12.55

Friday – 16.35

Saturday – 10.15

Sunday – 11.40

Belfast City (BHD)/ Leeds Bradford (LBA)

 

From 16 June 2021

 

BA7313 Monday – 8.40

Tuesday – 8.40

Wednesday – 8.40

Thursday – 8.40

Friday – 10.55

Sunday – 8.40

Belfast City (BHD)/ Cornwall Newquay (NQY)

 

From 3 July 2021

 

BA7331 Wednesday – 16.35

Saturday – 6.35

Belfast City (BHD)/ Glasgow (GLA)

 

From 2 August 2021

BA7327 Monday – 19.00

Tuesday – 19.00

Wednesday – 19.00

Thursday – 19.00

Friday – 19.00

Sunday – 19.00

 

  • The additional services will be operated using BA CityFlyer’s existing fleet of Embraer 190 aircraft.
  • Aer Lingus is operating services between Belfast and Edinburgh, Manchester, and Birmingham.