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British Airways launches flights from Stansted – and it gets even more bizarre

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When I was sent a link to by a reader yesterday morning, I was more than a little surprised by what I read.

British Airways had announced that it was launching flights from Stansted.

This made no sense at all – until I saw the details.

British Airways is launching flights to Faro, Malaga, Ibiza and Palma

There is a grand total of one flight per week, per route

All of these flights will take place on a Saturday or Sunday

All of these flights will use tiny Embraer 190 aircraft

British Airways Embraer 190 London City

Alert readers will have worked out what is going on now.  London City Airport is closed between lunchtime on Saturday and lunchtime on Sunday.  This means that British Airways has a few planes hanging around with not much to do.

Until now.

Just look at these flight times:

Ibiza – departs 06.45 (lands 10.15), returns at 11.00 (lands 12.30), Saturday only

Malaga – departs 13.15 (lands 17.15), returns at 18.00 (lands 19.50), Saturday only

Palma – departs 20.45 (lands 00.15), returns at 01.00 (lands 02.30!), Saturday (back Sunday) only

Faro – departs 05.40 (lands 08.30), returns at 09.05 (lands 10.00), Sunday only

Basically, the same plane will be flying all of these services.

The good news is that there is a new ‘Escape’ lounge at Stansted – although whether it is open for a 5.40am departure is another matter.

Flights are now available for booking, for cash or Avios, at

The services run from 28th May to 30th October.

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Comments (61)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • xcalx says:

    OT I received my Air Berlin Gold card from the status match this morning VERY VERY happy to see the status is valid until 02/2017 as my Qantas Gold card expires at the end of this month.

    Not so lucky with the Freccia alata status match as that expires 03/2016, still it is the Oneworld status that is a real benefit.

    • The_Real_A says:

      Lets hope the is another status match opportunity in early 2017. I never thought the CX card i got in 2013 with AMEX would help with status through 2017 🙂

      • Fenny says:

        I never managed to match my CX to AirBerlin and they wanted proof of my “residence” in Germany when I tried to match to Alitalia.

  • Aeronaut says:

    “The good news is that there is a new ‘Escape’ lounge at Stansted – although whether it is open for a 5.40am departure is another matter!”

    Of course it is – this is Stansted, departure point of the crack-of-dawn mass migration of LCC flying tubes dispersing across Europe! The Escape Lounge opens at 4am.

  • A says:

    How do you even get to Stansted in time for a 5.40am flight?

  • Alex says:

    A new low for BA just confirming that it is on the verge to converting to a low-cost carrier (at least in Europe)…

    • Callum says:

      On the verge?

      Not that there’s any logic behind the idea that flying from Stansted automatically pushes you towards being a LCC. Are SAS the same?

    • harry says:

      Why do you call it a low?

    • Genghis says:

      I’d say there’s been a convergence in the quality of LC and legacy carriers. Easyjet for example actually now actually provide a decent offering despite still being branded a LCC while BA introduced HBO fares (to compete) and charge for seat reservations if you do not have status. I therefore think BA are certainly not a true full service carrier.

      • harry says:

        Not being a true full service carrier is a long way from providing a poor offering, which is what Alex seems to be saying. The European offering is absolutely excellent value for us, giving us various options on seat cost/ checked luggage/ great RFS availability etc. And always as many free/included drinks on board as we fancy plus a snack.

        I managed to book 5 of us to return after the Xmas/ New Year hols 2016-17 – on the perfect time, perfect day (ie lunchtime 2/1/17 with school to start next day), 4x HBOs, 1x RFS [for the checked luggage plus I usually grab an exit window seat]…for under £250.

        I can’t see these new STN routes offer anything but added options for convenience and good value for money…

        • Genghis says:

          “always as many free/included drinks on board as we fancy”,
          A few years ago, cabin crew weren’t too happy about serving us G&Ts just before landing (after we’d already had 3 beers each) on a lads weekend on the short hop to Hamburg…

          • harry says:

            You can tell when the plane has started to descend. That gives you nearly 30 mins before arrival and loads of time to order last drinks. My advice is to wander down the back (or front if CE, probably no problem there anyway!) and just ask for your last drinks. They are always more than happy to oblige, doubles if that’s what you fancy.

            Sure, once you’ve pressed the bell for service more than twice, you’re not exactly their favourite passenger. So why not save them a journey by going to them instead – & they’re all smiles.

        • Alex says:

          It’s pathetic for when you get your seat assigned to you automatically if you are on a cheap booking class – I can’t think of any legacy carrier in Europe doing this (even SAS!), correct me if I am wrong.

          And it’s even more pathetic when on a BA flight to Moscow which still qualifies as World Traveller – for a minute! – you are served with an egg sandwich (“It’s actually quite nice”, says a crew member but very few people believe her)…

          To Fly. To Serve.

          Sorry, it’s now off-topic, so let’s stop at this, please. You do not need to reply to this message.

          • Felix Flyer says:

            +1 Had shorter BA flights and had the full meal. 1 wrap out and return from Moscow was a joke.

          • harry says:

            ‘Joke’ [ie your judgement = ‘useless’] surely depends on what you paid for the flight & what you get vs other alternatives.

            If I pay £45 for a HBO European flight, I know what I’m doing, ie getting cheaper seats than I can buy on EJ, Ryanair, Norwegian or Wizz @ T-355 days —> certainty, hols sorted, great prices. And on a better service with free food & drinks. For that sort of price, I’m happy to sit anywhere as that’s part of the deal with HBO.

            Moscow route might be better served with a hot meal – but then it also squeezes into the crazy European sale prices from time to time & I guess you wouldn’t be complaining then at the zone used by BA.

            What I find hard to see as logical (because it’s not, it’s stupid) is complaining at a low price flight because it happens to be operated by BA but doesn’t offer the same benefits as a higher price flight offered by the same carrier. Your choice: if you want better food, fly in CE or buy a quality food bag from Gordon Ramsey etc. If you want to select your seat, pay for it in advance or choose an ET class flight & get it free T-24 hrs. It simply comes down to what you are prepared to pay for.

  • Amtexfly says:

    Are there CE seats on these flights?

    Excellent news, at least 2 of those places are where I would choose to go for a short break and Stansted is far more convenient.

    • Rob says:

      There should be, but the plane is 2×2 so the only benefit would be the meal and lounge access (which you get via Priority Pass anyway).

      • mark2 says:

        Interesting: in similar Air Canada Express aircraft Business is 2 + 1 with leather seats.

  • Genghis says:

    Where did you send to Harry? Any way to make this easily work without opening foreign bank accounts?

    • harry says:

      We already had the account abroad.

      You could possibly send it to a friend’s a/c abroad, they can repay you via PayPal for a very small fee.

  • harry says:

    What were you saying, Raffles ? 🙂

    1000 Bonus Clubcard Points with Orders Over £100 at Tesco Wine By The Case
    1. eCoupon is for 1000 Clubcard points when you spend £100 or more on Wine by the case.
    2. There is a maximum of 3000 redemptions available or the coupon will expire on Sunday 14th February 2016, whichever is first.

    • harry says:

      If you really went for plonk/ give it to your student offspring you could get 24 bottles = £2.86/ bottle 🙂

    • Rob says:

      I was saying that my discussions with Tesco led me to believe there would be no sub £100 codes in the short term. Which appears correct 🙂

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