British Airways cancels the planned 100th anniversary Boeing 747 domestic flights

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Last week we reported that British Airways was sending its three ‘retro’ repainted Boeing 747s in BOAC, Landor and Negus heritage livery to Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow on 25th August.

These flights are now cancelled.

Once these planes had been spotted in the timetable, people piled in to book.  Tickets were soon selling for many times the amount you would usually pay for a flight from London – in some cases as much as £400 for an Economy return which is, frankly, absurd for a thirty minute flight.

The general assumption was that, since the August bank holiday marks British Airway’s ‘official’ 100th birthday, these flights would be involved in some sort of celebration event.

British Airways put out a statement yesterday saying there would be no ‘celebrations’ on these flights, and that passengers could have refunds if they wanted.  The flights were then switched back to the usual short haul aircraft to ram home the point!

In its statement, BA said that it is “still considering our options for that weekend and will release details in due course”.  This suggests that something will happen over the late August Bank Holiday weekend, but these Boeing 747 flights will no longer be part of it.

(BA may also have been stung by criticism from some quarters that this was an environmentally unsound move, although as the flights were virtually sold out this seems a little unfair.)

The actual position here is clouded by the fact that BA’s travel trade announcement blames:

“Some aviation websites [which] made a guess at what we were planning, but we were very clear that this was speculation.”

However, a Flyertalk moderator and uber-heavy BA flyer claims that advance notice of the flights was given to some top customers – including himself – so that they could book straight away if they wished ……

HFP was not promising anyone a great spectacle.  Rob wrote:

“I am confused by the enthusiasm. These are all very old Boeing 747 aircraft which are, literally, on the way to the scrapheap.  They look good in the new liveries but inside there is nothing special about them.  I doubt British Airways can do anything creative on-board in such a short flying time – I doubt there is time to serve anything at all.

If you are SO keen to fly a British Airways long-haul plane on a short-haul route, remember that you can fly a Boeing 777 to Madrid every day of the week.  During August, although it is not yet in the timetable, you will be able to fly to Madrid on the brand new A350 with Club Suite in Business Class.  Now that is worth doing ….”

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  1. Thomas Howard says:

    1. Any easy way of stopping United miles expiring in the next 3 weeks. I was planning to buy some points via e-rewards but it looks like they’ve quietly closed my account and pilfered my points. IHG transfers seem a bit of a waste.
    2. Does opening a HSBC Premier Credit Card prevent you earning the signup points on the Premier World Elite card in future?

    • Use the United shopping portal and buy an ebook from Barnes and Noble for a $1 or $2, these credit very quickly.

      • But do these shopping portal miles credit if your United address is outside the US?

    • Memesweeper says:

      1. No idea
      2. I upgraded from Standard to World Elite and got the bonus

      • Yes they do credit usually within a week. They don’t know or care which country you are from.

        • Works for AA as well.

          • There is a page where you have to says you are not a resident of the EU or UK, then it goes through to the portal. I do have my account set to my US office address at the moment – it is possible you might need to change you account to have any US address.

          • There are looks of books for $.99 and $1.99. I usually go for a $1.99 one just to be sure it is over $1.

          • I think you have to put a US address in B&N as well, but as it is an ebook it doesn’t matter, then pay with paypal.

    • Thomas Howard says:

      Thank you all!

  2. David says:

    Miles & More related: do I remember correctly seeing something about adding the Miles & More Mastercard to Curve, and it now working? My apartment service charge only accepts debit cards…

  3. Andrew says:

    Quote:- “Tickets were soon selling for many times the amount you would usually pay for a flight from London – in some cases as much as £400 for an Economy return which is, frankly, absurd for a thirty minute flight.”

    You’re not a regular on the domestic flights at BH weekends then Rob!

    £400 is quite common for hand-luggage only economy on any weekend, £700 for Business.

    This coming August BH Weekend, will have the prices ramp up very quickly with the ECML closed for the weekend around Newark and falling relatively early in the Festival.

    • This is especially true for services to and from MAN on Sundays where the service has been cut to 4 flights per day (always full). £300-£400 quite normal.

    • Thanks for info on ECML, we were planning to travel then and hadn’t heard that.

    • As well as quoting a return fare but with the one way timing…

      I’d like to have been on a celebration flight, even on an older aircraft.

  4. tilly says:

    What is the best way to search comments on Amex Green to Platinum upgrade?
    Manually browsing through each article comment page and doing a browser search?

    • Answer you are probably looking for is that it now seems impossible to avoid the platinum fee hitting the next statement regardless of whether we upgrade before or after the green fee hits our account.

      • tilly says:

        good to know, but I assume if I upgrade my green card now (still no first fees is charged), I will still only be charged the £450 fees and not £575, of course the cards might be delivered after 11th of June and the first statement (for either green or platinum) will likely be after 11st of June

        • Not sure…
          My greet –> plat took several weeks to process. You may well be able to ring up and complain if they charge you £575, given you signed up at £450. Worth saving some screen shots.

        • I’m undecided as only two reports on platinum fee hitting after green fee being paid. Not sure that’s enough evidence as it was always the case some on the gold to platinum upgrade were hit with fees on the next statement…decisions, decisions, I’ll put mine off until tomorrow 🙂

          • Harpo says:

            I had years of the gold – plat trick working x 2 in our house.
            This year green to plat took a while as stated before. When green changed to plat in the app, the pro rata refund for the green hit straight away. For me the £450 hit on the last day of the first month, so just in time for first bill. Bonus posted v soon after the 1k spend.

          • AndyGWP says:

            Fee paid on green, Green -> Plat upgrade performed, green refunded pro-rata automatically, month gone by, plat fee charged yesterday… another confirmation that it’s no good this time folks 🙁

          • Steve-B says:

            Upgraded about six weeks ago and same experience as AndyGWP

        • Roger says:

          This is stated clearly on upgrade link:

          “Press the button below to request an upgrade to The Platinum Card®. The annual fee of £450 will be charged to your next statement and you will receive a pro rata refund on your existing Card fee”.

          But with screenshot, hopefully it will only be £450 for first year.

  5. 19 miles down, 7 miles and 7 sisters to go…

    • You can do it Cat!

      • Shoestring says:

        should have got in 5pm or so….has she gone missing?! 🙂

        • I hobbled the last 7 miles at the speed of a snail! I was practically crawling when I got to Beachy Head!
          Are you going to make the summer party BTW Anna and Harry?

          • Shoestring says:

            unlikely – 3 kids (+1 damn black cat) to sort out plus 4hrs up, 4hrs back at a busy time of year

          • Shoestring says:

            plus need to take evasive action from some swinging fists

          • Which is more of a threat – the swinging fists, or the damn black cat?

          • Shoestring says:

            the good news is: 2 of my kids are in fierce competition to take possession of that cat once they finish university – the end is in sight, even though it might be 5-7 years away

          • I’d love to but no chance of going to London on a school night!

    • Lady London says:

      Go Cat !

      • Thanks Lady London! Are you going to try to make the summer party again?

        I may not move for a week!

  6. OT:
    Applied for a card to see if I would get the initial bonus, even though I wasn’t eligible for it.

    I didn’t get the bonus 🙁 so shows amex IT works. I called amex to cancel the card, stating it was because of the lack of sign-up bonus (but it was my fault for not reading T&Cs). They immediately gave me a bonus equal to the sign-up bonus.

    • Great result, the strategy will be dead before the end of the week now 🙂 I think some reported they were still getting gbd bonus long the nectar card unless that has since been fixed.

      • Peter K says:

        I applied for Nectar and no bonus on it. I’ve kept it a bit to show willing however.

        • David says:

          Might have worked as a one-off “strategy”, but the agents might have got suspicious if you rang up every 6 months for PRG, BA and SPG…

  7. If there are any HFP’ers in the LHR area there’s a demo A350-1000 stretch version coming in now. Get your avios ready 🙂

    • Roger says:

      I am definitely excited for it.
      Will need to check the flight timing.
      First flight on the day out and last flight coming back from MAD to LHR will work for me!

      • Indeed! If BA can get their soft product up to scratch then they may become a contender again.

  8. Roger says:
  9. Shoestring says:

    Sun Bingo – 2500 Avios for £10!

    • prune says:

      From the site that shall not be named?

      • Shoestring says:

        tbh you stand a decent chance of getting your stake back as they offer roulette as well = free Avios

        • Shoestring says:

          you just need a decent roulette strategy, plenty online

          in simple terms, easiest to follow is red or black, doubling up on the same colour on consecutive bets, starting with the lowest stake, until you win – when you win, start again on the lowest stake and do doubling up again until you win – don’t worry about choosing colours, that’s irrelevant – once you bet through the minimum betting requirement, stop and withdraw any remaining money.

          • Thanks, deposited £10, won £53 on bingo, and will hopefully get 2500 Avios!

          • Shoestring says:

            nice one, I’ll collect that drink later

            yep – on my roulette strategy you’ll never win big, I must have done it 60 or 70 times on these sites the last few years and I’m maybe a few quid ahead at best – but that’s the point, come out even & get the incentive on top for free, esp in Avios

          • I couldn’t get the roulette to work… kept saying unavailable

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      I don’t buy the S** or have anything to do with it. Ever.

      • Andrew Lea says:

        +1 looking forward to a “total eclipse of the S*n”

        • Shoestring says:

          I don’t buy into the Sun-hating logic. I fully accept that Liverpudlians found that reporting of Hillsborough completely reprehensible.

          BUT: it was effectively the responsibility of the then reporter and editorial team – not the newspaper going forward. The people responsible have apologised and are no longer with the paper.

          Blaming the Sun now & forever more is like blaming modern day Germans for stuff Hitler and the Nazis did in 1930-45 – totally illogical.

          • I think the fact that it’s an awful newspaper written and read by awful people is a good reason regardless of the Hillsborough stuff

  10. ADUNNIT!
    Could somebody please bring me a bottle of Bordeaux, open it and upend it into my Camelbak? I can’t move.

    • Shoestring says:

      nice one – my boy & I did 12 miles in the rain yesterday and that was bad enough, you sure trumped us 🙂

      • 12 miles is hard work too, especially in the rain!

        • Shoestring says:

          we chalked up another 6 miles today…mostly sunny, just a 10 minute shower 🙂

    • Wonderwoman…awesome effort, great cause, well done Cat 🙂

      • Thanks BJ, I’m totally wiped. I have aching muscles that I didn’t even know existed, and my feet belong in a horror film.

        My OH just made me a whisky sour to have in the bath. All is right with the world now!

  11. Thanks Lady London and Simon!
    Are you going to make the summer party?

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