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.
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 ….