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British Airways to halve flights to Leeds Bradford Airport

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British Airways is halving the number of flights to Leeds Bradford Airport from 20 per week to just 10 from the end of February.

The airline has said that this is down to “matching flights to demand”.  It does make a bit of a mockery of Heathrow’s promises to increase the number of domestic flights to the airport, although this is more of a political game as the third runway will never get built if it cannot be sold as a project to benefit the whole of the UK.

BA cuts Leeds Bradford service

The route attracted 165,000 passengers in 2016 and was up 1.6% for the first 11 months of 2017.  This implies around 80 passengers per flight although, of course, yield is more important than volume.

Leeds Bradford to Heathrow had historically been a successful bmi British Midland route until rail improvements led to the service being axed in 2009.  British Airways revived it in 2012.  With only flight per day for four days of the week, it is difficult to see it surviving much longer.

You can find out more in this Yorkshire Post article.

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Comments (71)

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

  • Paul Hickey says:

    Yes, it’s a shame about the LBA thing and we’ve already fallen victim.
    We live 15 mins from LBA and a good hour from MAN, so we’ve never mined paying a small premium or dealing with a slightly longer connection when departing from LBA.

    We have flights booked to India in April and had paid about £50 extra to go from LBA as opposed to MAN, but we recently revived notice from BA on the cancellation of our LBA-LHR leg and offered us an early morning flight with an 8 hour connection (instead of 3 as originally planned).

    So, the only alternative was to switch to MAN on the flights we could have originally taken at £50 less pp.

    I wrote to BA explaining the situation, the price difference and the fact that I now need to travel to Manchester which will involve extra time, petrol and parking, so totted up at least £200/250 inc flight price diff.

    And guess what they are going to to about it??
    Sweet FA!

    It’s a shame as it leasves a sour taste, especially when Air France premium tickets were cheaper in the first place by £80pp from MAN but went with BA for AVIOS reasons.

    I’ll tell you what it has done, it’s lead me to booking flights with Etihad yesterday instead of BA. BA were about £40pp more expensive but prior to the above I would have paid it. Oh well, more leg room and direct flights is just fine????.

    • Paul Hickey says:

      Oh, and if I was “the man at KLM” I’d be having a field day with this news!
      I’d be offering return flights to AMS with FREE baggage forwarding and FREE rescheduling should you miss your next flight with KLM/Partners. This way, us Brits can take advantage of the “next to nothing” tax out of AMS without the hassle of collecting bags and the worry of missing flights!

      • Nick says:

        If it looks like tax avoidance and smells like tax avoidance, HMRC will jump in…

  • Nick G says:

    We live in retford just south of Doncaster. MAN on a good day is at least one and a half hours in the car worst we’ve done is 3. LBA is less maybe around hour and fifteen at best depending on traffic. 3 weeks ago we drove as usual to LHR so we can stop in the Sofitel make a trip of it etc. This time the journey was five and a half hours with the M25.

    So as occasional flyers of BA the next time I’m thinking of getting the train being in KGX in 1hr20 then of course I’ve got the issue of getting to LHR. Never done it before but with the farting around of both LBA and MAN it doesn’t put me off BA so much it makes me realise you can’t have everything. I live 5 minutes from the east coast main line and I can’t believe we’ve never thought or done it before.

    Of course you can’t beat the connection and ease of no baggage and straight into the airport connecting on to a flight but as an alternative it’s more and more on my radar to try. Does any one else have much experience of KGX to Paddington to connect to the HEX. I might try it next time to see the time saved and stress of plane and car, or not. That said of course like all transport it’s subject to delays and cancellations and issues of some sort.

    • Gavin says:

      Get on the Piccadilly line from Kings Cross all the way to Heathrow

      • Nick says:

        Yep, tube is much easier. If you do want the HEx it’s really easy too – the H&C line is alongside the mainline platforms at Paddington and if you use the bridge rather than going down into the main station (i.e. make sure you have tickets already) it’s short and easy.

        Don’t forget also that there’s a direct train from St Pancras (next door to Kings Cross) to Gatwick too, which takes about the same time as getting to Heathrow.

  • xcalx says:

    The last leg of our MIA-MAD-LHR-LBA in November has been cancelled. It was the midday flight and there’s no later flight that day, not heard from Iberia as yet.
    I have used the route about 8 times a year since the offset and thought the passenger level was very good over the last 18 month.

    • xcalx says:

      Just checked MMB have been moved to 0735 flight the next day

      • Lady London says:

        Does that mean British Airways will pay for your overnight costs in London then?
        They would be really mean ******** if they didn’t/

  • KP says:

    Really pissed off at theLBA news as Ive been using this route one a weekly basis to fly to lHR and back.

    What are the new timings and when is the cut effective from ?

    • KP says:

      Has tbe BA timetable been updated? I can see two flights a day in March as well

      • xcalx says:

        Yes it has been updated 2 flights some days one on others.

        • xcalx says:

          For dates I am searching in November in November

        • KP says:

          Ah yea, read another article which says that the changes start from Summer.

          Hopefully it wont affect me too much as my weekly flying is till March only

        • Darren says:

          I don’t follow the logic of cutting from 20 flights a week to only 10. There are games being played here over and above removing quieter flights. The weekend timetable is particularly bad. There is an early flight out of Heathrow to pick up passengers off long haul flights arriving at around 6am, but then nothing for the rest of the day for anyone else arriving into Heathrow wanting to connect to LBA

      • Jovanna says:

        Looks as though only the summer timetable has changed (April through to the end of October). I’m sure BA will get around to changing their winter schedule a little nearer the time.

    • Rob says:

      Exact dates have not been announced, I ended up working manually through

    • barnaby100 says:

      The news came out months ago- they started rebooking flights well before Christmas.

  • Briandt says:

    So we all have to make other arrangements, annoying as that may be. When BA pulled out of Southampton, we had to make alternative arrangements. Annoying, but not the end of the world.

  • Briandt says:

    And having lived in Pool-in-Wharfedale, what would I consider doing to get back home from Heathrow ? Easy, how about a train from Kings Cross to Leeds / Harrogate etc ?

  • barnaby100 says:

    I fly LBA regularly. The new flight times don’t work. We have had to cancel/amend about 15 forward bookings-maybe more. I am working through them. Some gains when rebooking avoid as they opened up other 1st revenue but also some dire changes. Lots of night in the sofitel at a varying cost! It has cost us at last £1000 as a result so far. Just about to do my saturday task of rebooking another- I am pacing them! The change will involve 2 nights in sofitel at a cost of £320

    Re the comment-Easy, how about a train from Kings Cross to Leeds / Harrogate etc ?

    No trains from harrogate on a sunday morning. To get the train and then the tube and then the heathrow express from Harrogate (only 1 direct train a day ) would mean- leave at 7.30- kings cross at 10.30- heathrow at 12 (maybe later). So 5 hours as opposed to 1.5 from arrival at airport to arrival at LHR. With 4 large bags- cant use the tube either so need addison lee etc. The last time I got the tube all the way there was an incident and I missed the T5 conformance times. How would you the get from Poole to Harrogate- the us which is hourly each way? Taxi? Train then taxi/

    For me if I am driving to Manchester I may as well drive to LHR.

    • Briandt says:

      So,if you choose to live in Harrogate, what would you air travellers normally do?Take the hourly bus to Leeds ? I think not… I imagine you look at the options, a friendly lift from family or friend, your own transport, maybe a taxi built into your budget. Or as you say, just drive to Heathrow. I just cannot see what the problem is..we all have our local difficulties to deal with.

      • Lister says:

        I do choose to live in Harrogate. It has its charms.

        I also choose to take the hourly airport bus from the end of my street for the lovely price of £8.20 return, taking less than half an hour. So I do think so.

        We all have local difficulties I agree. BA plans to make it that little bit more difficult, that’s all.

        • Genghis says:

          My local difficulty is that there is no Betty’s close by!

        • Rob says:

          As you will see tomorrow, the Crowne Plaza in Harrogate offers suites for 20,000 points if anyone wants to visit!

        • Lister says:

          Genghis, I’m open to offers for delivery to T5 on a Monday afternoon for points.

          Fat Rascal?

    • Kip says:

      You live in Harrogate and may as well drive to LHR rather than the 30 miles to MAN?

      • barnaby100 says:

        It is 60-80 miles depending on the route. £97 each way in a taxi. The M62 is a nightmare. You have to allow 3 hours or risk missing the plan (my husband has twice only just made it with Virgin and emirates transport as they said 2 hours and wouldn’t allow 3 but were proven wrong- the last time he arrived after the final check in and they were keeping it open for him- the driver was in a panic) The train requires changing at Leeds to platform 16A which has poor access and I an unable to lift. Parking is cheaper at LHR T5 short stay than either LBA or Manchester. Manchester airport is a dump. I get the plane from LBA to avoid driving, If I am driving It might as well be 4 hours as 3.

        • Kip says:

          Fair enough about the mileage, I was visualising Halifax not Harrogate. Still not entirely convinced Middlesex is only an hour further than Cheshire though. 🙂

  • Clive says:

    Dear People of the North remember winter is coming and so be the White walkers 🙂

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