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Bits: Etihad cancels London A380’s, British Airways terminal changes tomorrow

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News in brief:

Etihad cancelling more London A380 departures

Much as I enjoy flying on Qatar Airways, it has been a bit of a lucky dip for the last few years as to what you end up flying.  A typical day out of London can see A380, Boeing 787, Boeing 777 and Airbus A330/340 aircraft in the mix.  Until the end of October, the A319 ‘all business class’ service is also there.

This wouldn’t matter as much if it wasn’t for the huge gap in seat product across aircraft.  Even then …. it wouldn’t matter much as long as you could be sure that the plane you booked is the plane you would get.  From what I can tell, Qatar has got more reliable on this over the last year.

Etihad, on the other hand, is getting worse.  Last time I wrote about Qatar’s timetable hijinks, I praised Etihad for ‘playing it straight’.  The plan, six months ago, was for Heathrow to be operated an ‘all A380’ service this Autumn.

One of the three services was then switched over. Last week, a second batch of services got changed.  Etihad has not told passengers about these changes – I only know because I use the excellent My Flights app which notifies me as soon as any change is made to any of my flights.

On the day I am flying to Abu Dhabi in December, the original line-up of A380, A380 and A380 is now a Boeing 777, an A380 and an A340, of all things.  Having flown it, I don’t rate First Class on the Boeing 777 much higher than the Business Class Suite on the A380 so these are major changes.

When I called Etihad, they were not willing to move me onto the A380 service five hours later, despite my Etihad Gold status.  Luckily – very luckily – the A380 service the following day did have one First Class reward seat so I have pushed my trip back 24 hours.  At least Etihad does not charge you for your first date change request.

I have incurred £105 in charges because I had to change the other three flights on my itinerary which were booked using Avios.   My luck is in, though, as I could at least get Avios seats on all three flights in the cabins I originally booked, despite travelling in just six weeks.

If you have an Etihad A380 trip booked, I recommend you double check your aircraft allocation.

Heathrow Terminal 3 forecourt

British Airways terminal changes from 14th October

Finally, a reminder of some BA terminal changes which take effect tomorrow.

The following routes are moving from Terminal 5 to Terminal 3:  Accra, Cape Town, Denver, Las Vegas, Miami, Nairobi, Phoenix and Vancouver.  No more Concorde Room for First Class passengers on those routes ….

Comments (48)

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  • Mike says:

    Rob – hopefully you’re return flight wont be changed!

    Everyone else…regardless of what is showing now…Etihad (and other airlines) can change the actual airplane pretty much when they want. So do not get all excited that you will be 100% be flying on the A380….as someone said, this is a lottery.

    Just another reason I’m letting my Etihad Platinum status lapse and switching loyalty!

  • PJK says:

    Slight change of topic, I’d love to use My Flights but I’m not an iPhone user…
    Does anyone know of a similar app for Android which will log and track future flights and changes within schedule?
    I’m using TripCase which is good on flight schedule but has no aircraft info.
    Raffles, any chance your friend the app creator might look at an Android version?

    • Rob says:

      MyFlights has a web version now which can be accessed via your Android browser.

    • Alan says:

      Chris added web access earlier this summer, it’ll email you if it detects any changes to your booking.

      I spoke to him by email and unfortunately he doesn’t have the spare development time to do an Android version just now – which is a shame for me personally but I can totally understand! The web version is a great alternative though.

  • CV3V says:

    Emirates have done the same in the past, changing the A380 I deliberately waited an extra hour in DXB for onto a 777. I knew something was up when seat map changed (EK do this thing called ‘free seat selection’ go figure!). I thought it a bit sad to gripe about it to the chap sat beside me, until he complained about, he had done the same as me!.

    On the other hand, CX changed a 777 on the KUL to HKG route from a 3 class to a 4 class plane, and allowed me to take seat 1A in the First section (probably thanks to the CX Gold card from Amex) and then ran the standard business class service.

  • JP says:

    For me Etihad have launched the best First Class / Business Class product in the world, however it is a PR disaster as who knows when or where you can enjoy the product.

  • mark2 says:

    re the LHR changes.
    Where will F passengers wait in T3?

    • Rob says:

      In Galleries First, with the Gold card holders.

      On the upside, the Emirates lounge reopened this week so that is 250 fewer people a day in the BA T3 lounges!

  • Sussex Bantam says:

    O/T – I have 2 seats in CW on a reward flight booking and have just triggered a 241 voucher. Does anyone know if there is any chance of adjusting the existing booking using the 241 to get half the Avios back ?

    I guess I’m essentially cancelling and then re-booking ? I don’t want to risk losing the flights at all though as these are part of a bigger itinerary.

    Any experience ?

    • Rob says:

      Technically it can be done but only very, very rarely have I heard of someone who got an agent to do it. You should keep an eye out for redemption seats opening up and then switch over your existing booking to a new one. Do not cancel as it is very possible that the seats are not returned to redemption inventory.

      • Sussex Bantam says:

        Thanks Raffles- just to be clear – by “switch over” you mean make a new booking and then cancel the existing one if further seats become available ?

  • Richard Sage says:

    When will the awards committees start awarding on the basis of the worst experience you can get, rather than the best, for a given booking.
    Personally I find Etihad Business perfectly acceptable on any ‘plane, but the old Emirates 777s (2-3-2) are unacceptable.
    I remember Etihad redoing their first class even on very new ‘planes after Emirates introduced the Suites.
    From what I read Qatar still has some not-flat seats in Business on some aircraft.

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