British Airways: Customers love to join the Club on domestic flights

Courtesy: British Airways.

British Airways’ new business class cabin on domestic UK flights is proving a real hit with nearly 70,000 customers choosing the premium service in the first six weeks of its operation.

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ chairman and CEO, said: “Club Europe is proving incredibly popular with our customers on domestic services. In just a month-and-a-half we’ve had nearly 70,000 take to the skies with us and the feedback we’re getting is great.

“Customers are telling us that they love the new consistency throughout their travels with us. They are getting the smooth, easy experience they want, particularly for those transferring on to our European and long-haul networks. They’re also enjoying the additional benefits, and the improved catering and service that we launched across all our Club Europe services at the same time.”

Customers can take advantage of all the benefits related to the cabin, including lounge access, more personal space to work or relax, complimentary food and drink, dedicated check-in desks and priority boarding and a generous baggage allowance of two cabin bags and two checked bags.

The cabin features a 2:2 configuration with the middle seat free. The seats are bridged with a stylish ‘central console’ table, providing Club customers with a broad, functional space for drinks, snacks and personal devices, freeing up the main table for work or a meal.

The airline has also enhanced the catering for all Club Europe services across its short-haul network, including a new service style, a new crockery design and improved menus more closely tailored to the length of flight and time of day.

The airline’s domestic services around the UK and Ireland with Club Europe include flights between:

  • London Heathrow – Aberdeen, Inverness, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Newcastle
  • London Heathrow/Gatwick – Belfast
  • London Heathrow/Gatwick/London City – Edinburgh and Glasgow
  • London City – Isle of Man

Prices start from £199 return.

Four hundred million pounds will be spent on Club World with an emphasis on improved catering and sleep, and a new seat in the future. At Heathrow a First Wing check-in area with direct security and lounge access has launched, and lounges around the airline’s network are to be revamped and improved. The Club Europe cabin has also been introduced on UK domestic services and all customers can look forward to the latest generation Wi-Fi across British Airways’ long-haul and short-haul fleets over the next two years.

Source: British Airways.

British Airways: The “Appy way to pay”

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

Customers on the move with an iPhone can now pay for their British Airways flights using Apple Pay through the airline’s hugely popular app.

Apple Pay automatically stores any payment card details to make it quicker and easier than ever to pay for flights with just a swipe of the finger*.

Entering card payment details every time to book a flight becomes a thing of the past thanks to Apple Pay’s added payment safety and security features.

As well as providing an additional way to pay for flights, the latest update to the British Airways app also has a new upgrade offers feature – for both Apple and Android phone users – which enables customers to take advantage of promotional upgrade offers, through their smartphone.

Sara Dunham, British Airways’ head of marketing and direct, said: “Adding Apple Pay to the British Airways app means more than ever customers can take control of their booking and travel experience.

“Apple Pay gives customers the simplicity and flexibility to pay how they want with absolute peace of mind and it also puts Apple and Android smartphone users in the best position possible to take advantage of any promotional upgrade offers.

“These new features are proof of our continuing investment to innovate in digital and online to make the British Airways app, and ba.com, the best mobile booking tools for our customers on the go.”

Apple Pay and upgrade offers are part of the latest upgrade for iPhone users, which are now available for download from the Apple App Store and on Google Play for Android phones.

Earlier this year British Airways introduced a new bespoke app specially designed for iPad users with exclusive features, such as a new 3D globe to discover British Airways’ destinations and prices and a way for customers to create their own viewing plan for their flight’s movies, TV shows and music.

The airline also launched a new multiple boarding pass feature which allows up to eight individual mobile boarding passes to be viewed on one phone, providing everyone travelling together is on the same booking reference number.

ba.com is also being revamped with beta testing of new technology to deliver an even smoother and simpler booking experience, and make it seamless to use whether on a computer, tablet or smartphone

ba.com is viewed by over half a million unique users every day, using it to inspire, plan, and manage their trips around the world while use of British Airways’ Mobile Boarding Pass has grown by more than 650 per cent in the last three years.

Editor’s Note:

*: Apple Pay is currently available for UK billed cards and for British Airways flights departing from all UK airports. It will be rolled out to include customers departing from other airports flying to the UK over the coming months.

Source: British Airways.

The First Wing to land with British Airways

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

British Airways’ First and Gold Executive Club customers travelling from Heathrow will soon have access to a new ‘First Wing’, creating a dedicated walkway from check-in to the lounges in Terminal 5.

The First Wing, set to open in April, will be located next to the airlines First check-in area.  It will create an enhanced private check-in zone where customers will be guided to two new dedicated security lanes, designed to speed up the process of passing through the airport.

Once through security, customers will have dedicated access to British Airways’ Galleries First lounge and through to the airline’s flagship Concorde Room, where they can relax before their flight, making the journey seamless for those premium customers.

The First Wing, is part of an investment agreed with Heathrow Airport, designed to improve Fast Track entry in Terminal 5.

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

The new dedicated security lanes will also reduce the number of customers using the current North and South security, speeding up the journey for all customers, especially those travelling in Club World, through Terminal 5.

Troy Warfield, British Airways’ director of customer experience, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Heathrow Airport to deliver a new dedicated security entrance, direct from check-in to our lounges.

“Terminal 5 is our flagship home and The First Wing will significantly improve the airport experience for our premium customers.”

Mark Jennings, Heathrow Airports’ head of premium services and fast track, said “We are excited by the prospect of extending our Fast Track product in Terminal 5, which underpins our commitment to improving the experience of our premium passengers and supports our vision of providing the world’s best airport service.”

The First Wing will open in April 2017, when it will be assessable for the airline’s First customers, eligible Gold Executive Club customers and oneworld Emerald members.

Source: British Airways.

British Airways: ParalympicsGB arrive home “victorious”

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

It was another morning of celebration at Heathrow Terminal 5 today (September 20), as ParalympicsGB arrived home from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on British Airways flight “BA2016”.

Arriving home in style, the 300 athletes and support staff travelled on “victoRIOus” – the same gold-nosed aircraft that brought Team GB home last month.

As the athletes disembarked flight “BA2016” a number of medallists, including Sarah Storey, Will Bayley, Lee Pearson and Hannah Cockroft, proudly posed for a photo with their medals.

Upon entering arrivals, athletes were greeted to an emotional and rapturous reception with a VIP zone for “friends and family” welcoming them home, including Paralympic superfan Stephen Mangan.

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

Alex Cruz, Chairman and CEO of British Airways, said: “We are honoured to be part of such a special moment of national pride and celebration. It has been a privilege to fly the athletes home from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

“I’d also like thank everyone across the airline who worked tirelessly for months to deliver a truly memorable homecoming that Team GB and ParalympicsGB so rightly deserve.”

Fans and athletes have been using #BAckSupercharged on social media to share their messages of celebration – the hashtag also features on the aircraft livery.

Tim Hollingsworth, British Paralympic Association CEO, said: “The performance of ParalympicsGB at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games has surpassed our expectations. It is right that our athletes return to the UK proud of their achievements and are celebrated by our partner British Airways, flying them home in style. It is the perfect ending to an incredible two weeks.”

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

On her 11 hour 15 minute journey from Rio de Janeiro, “victoRIOus” carried 585 items of equipment, some of which included; archery tackle, racing chairs, tennis chairs, throwing frames, leg bags, prosthetic bags, running blades, fencing foils, paddle tubes, solo bikes and tandem bikes. The heaviest piece of kit is a hand bike weighing 32kg.

Extra water, champagne, snacks and treats were loaded on board and passengers were treated to a three-course menu and full English breakfast before landing. Some of the dishes available to choose from include; Gaucho-style beef tenderloin with kale and tomato, Grilled salmon and ginger-infused noodle salad, chicken in a white wine sauce, thai fish curry and chicken with polenta au gratin.

Over  1,300 hours of films, top TV shows and audio programmes were available to enjoy on the flight, including a ‘swimming with dolphins’ documentary with Paralympic athlete Ellie Simmonds, classic sporting movie ‘Chariots of Fire’ and a number of new movies including; The Jungle Book, Dad’s Army, Hail Caesar, Me Before You, Love & Friendship and The Nice Guys.

Source: British Airways.

British Airways offers free upgrades to First

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

British Airways’ ever popular free upgrade to First promotion is back.

Customers who book a Club World (business class) seat for travel between September 7 and December 11, 2016 will have the opportunity to upgrade to First one-way for free.

Customers who would like to take up the offer can do so by contacting their travel agent, or calling the British Airways contact centre on 0344 493 0787.

Sara Dunham, British Airways’ head of marketing, retail and direct, said: “We always get a great reaction from customers to our upgrade to First promotions. For no additional cost, travellers receive all the extra benefits of First, from the bespoke lounges to the comfortable suites on-board and personalised service. It’s a really nice way for us to recognise our customers and give them something back as a thank-you for their booking and their loyalty.”

Customers booking can expect to be whisked through fast-track before making their way to the First lounge or Concorde Room (outbound from Heathrow Terminal 5). Once on-board the sophisticated cabin they can settle in to their suite with its 6ft 6inch bed, personal blinds and wardrobe and  experience a personalised service, complete with an a la carte menu, fine wines and champagne.

Customers flying on one of British Airways’ new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners will experience the airline’s very latest First class, introduced in late 2015. The cabin is a very private eight-suite space, with four additional storage areas around each seat, including an ottoman, a personal suiter, a locker for small personal effects and a device stowage space complete with device powering capability. In-flight entertainment is shown on a 23-inch fixed screen and a smart ‘jog-dial’, manages the seat’s recline, headrest and lumbar inflate and a ‘global’ lighting control to set both ambient and reading lighting.

For more details on the upgrade promotion, customers can visit www.ba.com/upgrade.

For more details on First class, visit: http://www.ba.com/first.

Today the airline has also launched two of its biggest ever Avios and On Business promotions, enabling travellers to earn triple points, visit ba.com/onbusiness or ba.com/tripleavios for details.

Editor’s Note:

  • The offer is only available on published fares.
  • All routes with a First cabin are included, with the exception of Bermuda.
  • Terms and conditions apply. See ba.com/upgrade for full details.
  • Bookings must be made and flown between September 6 and December 11, 2016.

Source: British Airways.

British Airways completes Boeing 747 cabin refresh

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

British Airways has completed the major makeover of 18 of the airline’s iconic Boeing 747s to give them the look and feel of their newest aircraft.

Each jumbo jet now features a refreshed interior and state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system – as well as extra seats for customers flying in Club World.

The first aircraft to be refreshed departed for New York, on the airline’s flagship transatlantic route, while the last one also goes back into commercial service tomorrow (August 4) as the BA117, flying customers from Heathrow to JFK airport.

Troy Warfield, British Airways’ director of customer experience, said: “We have recently taken delivery of our 12th A380 super jumbo and have now have 13 Dreamliners in our fleet, however the iconic Boeing 747s remain an important part of our fleet, that many of our customers love.

“We know customers who fly the revamped 747s really appreciate the improved interiors, with their mood lighting, better seating and new state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system, making their flight just fly by.

“Our engineers have made these amazing aircraft look and feel like new, with enhanced comfort, cutting edge technology and cool, clean design.”

Across all 18 aircraft the 11 month refit has involved:

  • 61 miles of wiring for the new Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment system
  • Enough new carpets to cover 34 tennis courts
  • Nearly six miles of new LED lights
  • 4,500 light fittings
  • Fabric changes to 4,950 seats
Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

The refit means the aircraft cabin interiors are similar in look and feel to the airline’s newest aircraft, with 16 additional Club World lie-flat seats.

New carpets, seat covers and mood lighting have been fitted throughout each aircraft to match the new colour pallet of the airline’s new A380 and 787s, including new seat foams and new style seat covers in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus to increase customer comfort.

All eighteen refreshed aircraft have also been fitted with Panasonic’s next generation eX3 entertainment system, which gives customers a choice of over 1,300 hours of entertainment including more than 130 movies and 400 TV programmes on larger, hi-resolution screens, capable of touch and swipe gestures, giving the system the familiar feel of using a tablet.

Lightweight in design, the system from Panasonic Avionics Corporation helps to reduce the amount of fuel used by the four-engined Boeing 747s.

As part of the upgrade, customers in World Traveller Plus now have access to a universal power socket at every seat, capable of accepting plugs from the UK, US and Europe. World Traveller customers also have their own personal USB socket to power phones and tablets.

The revamped jumbos now operate on selected flights to New York JFK, Chicago, Johannesburg, Dubai, Boston, Riyadh, Kuwait, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto and Washington DC.

British Airways has a fleet of 142 long-haul and 143 short-haul aircraft operating flights to almost 200 destinations around world.

Source: British Airways.

British Airways: Slope off to the top of the Tyrol from Heathrow

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

British Airways customers will soon be able to slope off and enjoy the best of scenic Austria with flights to Innsbruck from Heathrow starting on December 4.

Skiers will now be able to fly to the former Winter Olympic city from two UK airports as the airline already operates direct flights from Gatwick to the Tyrolean capital.

Flights will operate four-times-a-week during winter and twice-per-week during the summer season, with return fares starting from £88 in Euro Traveller and £338 in Club Europe.

Neil Cottrell, British Airways’ head of planning, said: “We’ve launched 15 new routes already this year but now it’s time to turn our attention to the ski season.

“We are sure the new route from Heathrow to Innsbruck will prove popular with those looking to hit the slopes this winter as it offers ideal access to some of the very best ski resorts in Europe, including Mayrhofen, Alpbach and Niederau.

“Innsbruck is also a popular tourist destination for non-skiers and the service will launch just in time for the picture-perfect Christmas markets.”

Flights will depart from Terminal 5 and the route will be served by a two-class cabin A320 aircraft.

Those choosing a ‘Plus’ or ‘Plus Flex’ fare can check their ski equipment in for free as part of their 23kg baggage allowance, as well as the hand luggage allowance of one cabin bag and a handbag or laptop bag per person.

Other routes the airline has launched this year include San Jose in California, Palermo, Biarritz and Kalamata from Heathrow and San Jose in Costa Rica, Lima and JFK from Gatwick.

Flights to Cape Town from Gatwick will operate from November 24 and services to Santiago from Heathrow will start from January 3, 2017.

Source: British Airways.