Bits: BA drops Kos, good BA luxury European deals, upstairs on a BA 747

News in brief:

British Airways drop Kos

British Airways has decided to cancel the Kos route next year.  This is unfortunate, because tickets have been on sale for 5 months ….

The service was due to run between 5th May and 29th September 2018.

Cash passengers will be offered a re-route via Vienna, changing onto the Austrian Airlines service to Kos.  There is also an option to fly to Athens and then change to an Aegean service.  In both cases, business class passengers will be downgraded to economy for the second leg as they are ‘one class’ flights.

Note that Vienna is an 80 tier points route and Athens – like Kos – is a 160 tier points route.  If you have booked in Club Europe then it is easier to go via Athens if you want to be sure of your tier points.  BA should ‘make you square’ if you go via Vienna but it is likely to require a few emails back and forth.

Avios passengers will not be re-routed.  Your Avios will be refunded and you will have to make other arrangements at your own cost.

Passengers who are on a codeshare and not travelling on BA-issued tickets (ie a ticket number which does not start 125-) will also not be re-routed and will have to claim a refund from the airline with which they booked.

British Airways launches short haul Club Europe holidays sale

If you are planning a short break over the Winter, BA Holidays has launched a ‘Club Europe holidays’ short break promotion.

The special deals are listed here on ba.com.

These offer excellent value for money compared to the cost of booking flights on their own.  You will also get at least 80 tier points each – more for longer routes – which makes this a cheap way to help your plans to earn or retain your British Airways Executive Club status.

(This article lists the BA Club Europe routes which earn 160 tier points return.)

You need to:

book by midnight on Monday 23rd October

travel between 1st November 2017 and 18th March 2018

These are the headline prices being promoted by British Airways Holidays, although there is no guarantee this price will be available on the dates you want.  All hotels are four or five star.

  • Bilbao business class flights + 3 nights hotel £272 pp
  • Paris business class flights + 3 nights hotel £284 pp
  • Amsterdam business class flights + 3 nights hotel £286 pp
  • Istanbul business class flights + 3 nights hotel £299 pp
  • Athens business class flights + 3 nights hotel £420 pp
  • Palermo business class flights + 7 nights hotel from £308 pp
  • Larnaca business class flights + 7 nights hotel from £585 pp
  • All inclusive Malaga business class flights + 7 nights hotel from £421 pp
  • Palermo business class flights + 7 nights hotel £308 pp
  • Malaga business class flights + 7 nights hotel £370 pp
  • Mallorca (Palma) business class flights + 7 nights hotel £374 pp
  • Larnaca business class flights + 7 nights hotel £585 pp
  • Krakow business class flights + 3 nights hotel £311 pp
  • Berlin business class flights + 3 nights hotel £340 pp
  • Prague business class flights + 3 nights hotel £345 pp
  • Vienna business class flights + 3 nights hotel £353 pp
  • Budapest business class flights + 3 nights hotel £383 pp

Take a look at BA Holidays here for more details.

British Airways 747 stairs

Upstairs on a British Airways Boeing 747

Finally, a random personal picture.  We flew down to Dubai on a Boeing 747 last week and sat on the upper deck.

If you have been flying BA for as long as me then this may not be a novelty, but younger readers may never have experienced it.  Whilst BA remains the biggest global operator of the Boeing 747, they are being shuffled towards the retirement home one by one.

If you get a chance to try a 747 in Club World, on the upper deck, you should.

There is no doubt that some of the planes are well past their prime, and the cabin environment is not as classy as the new Boeing 787 Club World cabin.  However, as you can see from the photo below and the picture above of the stairs, it is a unique experience with such a small cabin.  The only BA experience that compares is the BA1 service on an A318 from London City to New York.

British Airways Boeing 747 upper deck

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Comments

  1. Regarding KOS cancellation:
    Please see: https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/legal/british-airways/general-conditions-of-carriage and https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/legal/flight-cancellation-compensation (Right to re-routing or refund of part(s) of the journey not flown).
    Don’t allow BA to fob you off if you are on a reward ticket. It still is an eligible ticket!
    The only caution is if you are from the regions and your ticket was LBA-LHR-KGS return. If they offer you rerouting from MAN or any other airport, they will not reimburse you for train fare to/from Leeds. I found that the hard way, when missed our connection flight from ATH-LHR-LBA and had to verbally fight with customer relations for them to pay for the train fare. I was advised that in future I should instead accept the hotel rooms + meals (dinner & breakfast) in LHR, which I did on 3 subsequent occasions (many missed connections to LBA). Every time I tell their BA (missed connections assistance) staff at LHR, they seem shocked at the advice and cannot understand how that is cheaper for BA!

    • This can be avoided with a small proactive learning on your part. Have the agent at origin airport enter a note into your PNR “customer has agreed to decline hotel and meal costs on the understanding that we cover an off-peak train ticket from Manchester airport to Leeds instead”. BA’s general policy is indeed not to pay local overland travel costs if you ask for a rerouting, but common sense does prevail and if you can demonstrate in advance that you’re saving them money, they will go along with it. Note that this applies to public transport only, not taxis, which are always refused unless there is no public alternative at all, and there has to be no alternative flight to the original destination the same day.

      • Good tip re getting PNR endorsed appropriately – perhaps ask them for a printout saying as such too? (I’m assuming this is something they can do?)

        • Might work better if they can actually do what Alan mentioned. Put the note on PNR as Nick said but also give us a print out. However, I don’t know if they are able and/or willing to do so. Does anyone know?

        • I’ve no knowledge on this but would such a remark be pulled through to My Flights?

        • Was wondering the same, although comment-wise I’ve only ever seen the fare endorsements appear – would be handy if it did!

      • Thank you for the advice Nick but I know they don’t always adhere to notes on PNR’s. BA customer relations have said they would only pay out the rail fare if LHR assistance staff gave us a letter authorising such an expense. However, they (LHR assistance staff) say they cannot do so and it has to be authorised by customer relations after the end of our journey, by which point is a bit late! You cannot imagine how many times I had to plead with them (LHR assistance staff) to give us this in writing so that I can save them money but to no avail… Even customer relations has acknowledge that it’s silly that they end up paying for our accommodation and meals instead of a train fare but that’s them rules.

        • You’re asking the wrong question (or phrasing it the wrong way). I have done this before and I know it happens every day. There are conditions – e.g. if they offer any flight the same day you have to take it – but generally it works well if you’re reasonable.

          They mostly won’t have printers available, and a RM won’t go through to CMT, but it will be visible to CR when you put the claim in. An explanation of how you declined the hotel and meal offer will help when it gets to CR.

    • Absolutely – I think Rob may have simply blindly repeated what BA just hope for, suckers to walk away naively.

      Rob – I’m not having a go at you personally (honestly!) I’m just in strong agreeable with asik16, however if this viewpoint is inaccurate, please do feel free to elaborate to support your certainty or supposition. Ta

  2. Alan Cairns says:

    A note on the BA 747 article. Earlier this year we flew Business for the first time and it was a 747 to Cape Town. I specifically booked seats upstairs as I’ve always wanted to do it. Yes there may be a better cabins elsewhere, but for us the experience was well worth it. The only downside is that we didn’t get to go upstairs on the way back. If you get the chance, do it !!

  3. When I was a child I thought the upper deck was where the VIPs travelled and I am still excited about it today. I’ve already booked seats in the UD for our return from Chicago in July – including seat 64K which is my favourite. Though my children aren’t as excited as I am about it.

    Also – thanks Rob for the news about the closure of the Toronto lounge. I moved our flights from Toronto to Chicago when I heard the news. We are staying in Michigan so either airport works for us. Though I wish BA would fly to Detroit again.

  4. Our first ever CW flight last year was to Chicago on a 747 and someone here recommended we try to secure UD seats which we did! We loved it – but we didn’t have anything else to compare it to. We did the same flight again this year for our Rte 66 trip and sat in the same seats. We recently flew UC with Virgin to Atlanta and hated the individual seats that face the centre.

    • My first ever flight in CW was on the UD to Chicago, in 2001. In fact it was my first ever longhaul flight. Much as we are justifiably critical of BA from time to time, that wasn’t a bad way to get into longhaul travel 🙂

      The reason I like UD window seats (747 and A380) over any other CW seat is the extra space to spread out on the floor cabinets by the window. Of course if all CW seats had decent storage space that wouldn’t be so much of a bonus…..

  5. I’m clearly in a minority… but i quite dislike 747s… ugly creatures and the interiors are usually so tatty

    • The one we traveled on last year had just been refitted out the month before. The UC Virgin plane in August was tired and grubby. Food and service was great but much preferred the UD on the 747.