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British Airways rejigs its A350 launch route

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British Airways announced a major change last night which will impact anyone hoping to catch the new A350 – and the new Club Suite – in action.

The original plan was that Toronto would see the first flight on 1st October, although there was always a view that this date would come forward if the plane was delivered on time and in working order.  Dubai was due to follow from 8th October.

BA has now torn up this plan.

The first A350 flight will now be to Dubai on Monday 2nd September.  As the A350 has no First Class, passengers booked on the affected Dubai service will offered a downgrade to Club Suite:

First British Airways A350 route

…… which is not a bad alternative.

ba.com does not yet reflect this but it has been announced on the BA Travel Trade website.  It will be the day flight out and the overnight flight back.

BA A350 first route

This also means that the plans for training flights to Madrid have been changed.  A draft schedule has been circulating on Flyertalk for a few weeks but we didn’t publish it here because we were told that it was a draft which would see considerable changes – it seems this was true.

Don’t worry – as soon as the Madrid training flights appear in the timetable we will let you know.

In terms of timing, there is a special arrival event for the media at Heathrow on Friday 26th July.  This is followed on Monday 5th August by a media / VIP flight to Madrid, for which the Club Suite cabin has been blocked, followed by a party.  We will be at both events.

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Comments (107)

  • jason says:

    OT looking at family holiday in Singapore and Malaysia any sweet spots i should be looking at out of Europe, iIhave BA and virgin miles not sure in the when KLM will be bookable
    thanks

    • BJ says:

      Helsinki would have been but not so much now given increases in partner flight redemptions. If avios and/or money is tight then consider flying out to BKK (zone 7 exUK, KUL and SIN are zone 8) from INV and using Air Asia from DMK to SIN or any place you might want to go in Malaysia. Air Asia back from there to HK for cheap one way redemption back to UK if BA and Virgin are still doing that cheap at time of booking. Doubletree Penang is only 10k Honors points per night, or 5 nights for 40k. If time permits and this is a first visit to Asia you could do a lot worse than a couple of nights each in Bangkok, KL, Singapore and HK with 5 to 7 nights at the beach some place. Or if you are really adventurous take the train journey from Bangkok to Singapore with stop in Penang and KL.

    • QatarFan says:

      You should look at Qatar deals. We just got back from Singapore having paid £1300 return in business from Stockholm. Qsuites on the Doha to Singapore leg too. No point wasting points when those kind of prices are frequently available.

  • BlueHorizonuk says:

    OT –
    INV airport will be closed this Sunday 21st July due to industrial action
    No flights will operate to/from the airport for any carrier
    BA’s LHR-INV operation will now be cancelled including the night-stop for Saturday and the early morning departure on Monday

  • Nav says:

    Hi all

    I am avid follower of this site and post occasionally. I’m after some advice please..

    For the first time I bit the bullet and booked a Club World flight to NY from LGW (BA2273). The flight experience on the whole was good except that on our approach to NY we were told there were storms and the flight was diverted to Boston. We were advised that the plane needed refuelling and we would be on our way ASAP. Unfortunately then the inevitable happened and the flight crew went beyond their restricted hours so we were all turfed out. It was 1030pm. Despite being told there would be help airside there was no assistance with hotels or onward travel. Many passengers spent the night in the terminal with a belated message being sent the next morning apologising and asking us all to make our own way to NY. I had to get a $215 Amtrak train the next morning to be in NY on time. BA have said they will provide ‘reasonable’ expenses though this seems to be a maximum of £150 for transportation.

    What would be the best approach here? I feel BA attitude and communication have been atrocious and want to take whatever action available to recover my costs and compensation available?

    Thanks in advance

    • Shoestring says:

      Covered fully by EC261 law.

      Duty of care – hotel, food & communications – you could have got these (about £200 budget per person for the hotel) and charged it to BA.

      And of course they must pay your reasonable expenses until you get to booked destination.

      • Nav says:

        Thanks Rob and Shoestring.

        A very kind family member (who I had not spoken to for a few years) helped me out for accommodation. Does EU261 mean that they also need to pay additional compensation above reasonable expenses?

        • Shoestring says:

          Bad weather would indicate no compo is payable

          • Nav says:

            Duty of care covers expenses only? I’m consistently shocked at the lack of care supposedly premium airlines have for their customers when things don’t go right..

            I reckon BA will try to wriggle out of as many ‘reasonable’ expenses as possible..

          • Shoestring says:

            duty of care means hotel accommodation c.£200 per night per passenger, food & drink (not alcohol), communications eg a couple of phone calls or internet cost, taxi to & from your hotel

            answering your other bit: there won’t be any compo if the cause of the disruption was outside the airline’s control, eg air traffic controllers on strike or bad weather

  • As of this week BA have finally paid for the rights to use the in-flight entertainment on B777 & A350s operating the London – Madrid route.

    • AJA says:

      I am booked on the BA461 MAD to LHR on 777 this week. Does that mean the IFE will be working? Or does it kick in in Aug?

  • BJ says:

    OT: Bonus avios have just hit my BAPP account for the amex BA and selected partners offer. Only got 500 as opposed to expected 1000 avios so check your account carefully. Unless I have another 500 avios to come my guess is the offer was not totally cummulative. My first transaction was £494 but although my second was £240 it might be that this only counted towards the £6 required to hit the first 500 bonus avios. The balance of £234 looks like it may not have counted towards my next £500 spend required to trigger a second 500 avios bonus.

    • Shoestring says:

      BJ can you just slap this old bozo on the shoulder & say well done fella. Can’t really say what went well but it’s good news all round, financially.

      • Shoestring says:

        Indeed – I’m buying the triple single malts tonight! Triples all round, on me!

      • BJ says:

        Slap, slap … well done Harry … has the damn cat got your tongue? Most unlike you; can we read anything into the malts at 18.58? Will need to have a look around your old playground 🙂

        • Shoestring says:

          nah – it’s just that 15 year gilts have gone up something rotten in the last few months, try & work out what gets measured by 15 year gilts 🙂

          • BJ says:

            Slap, slap, slap…think I’ve got you 🙂 All mine invested in Edinburgh flats atm. Btw, just had a quick look and you might just want to try ordering another couple of bottles of your usual malts to help you celebrate…same old. I’m off to try with my new tools 🙂

          • Go on... says:

            Eh?

          • Shoestring says:

            I’ll take it! 🙂

  • Claire says:

    O/T… Any decent prices/discounts on lounge access for Manchester T1 for a friend who doesn’t have any memberships/cards? Thanks!

  • C F Frost says:

    1000 miles off topic… a while back, an advertiser on this site ran an advert for their business which I seem to recall was all about getting your child into Oxbridge. A brilliant observation made by someone was that the animated young fellow in the advert appeared not only to be enjoying that prospect but possibly also something in his trouser faculty. That has always stuck and I want to find out whether the company is still going thanks to the HfP publicity. Can anyone recall the business name?

    • EwanG says:

      That’ll be Allen & Jain.
      Your memory is better than mine about remembering the excitement!!

      No idea if they are still going, but not surprising they have not returned to HFP to advertise after feedback last time.

      • Lady London says:

        Have juste had an advertisement about a cannabis loyalty program and cannabis retailing pop up on HfP.

        As cannabis is still illegal to sell in the UK and Europe as far as I know, does this put HfP in the position of living off immoral earnings?
        Whoever’s selling the advertising space
        probably technically is.

        • Sloth says:

          Probably why Rob was late logging on this morning…he was out late last night going to the 24hr garage to satisfy ‘the munchies’…😉😀

        • Roy says:

          On a serious note, I assume you are all aware that it’s _almost_ always the case that sites have no knowledge or control over the adverts. They sell the advertising space to an advertising network – often, although not always, Google – and the advertising network then displays adverts in that space – actually different adverts to each visitor.

          Websites don’t sell adverts – they sell a space on the site where adverts can appear. Blaming HfP for the adverts is like blaming the manufacturer of your TV for the fact that there was something offensive on one of the satellite channels last night….

          It sucks, but that’s the Internet. (And it’s part of why I use an ad blocker – sorry, Rob!)

          • Roy says:

            And to add, I’m pretty sure Rob isn’t breaking any laws by selling advertising space to Google (I”m pretty sure he’s said it is Google he uses for his ads). Google may well be breaking some laws if they’re advertising Cannabis products in the UK. They’ll no doubt argue they’re not responsible for the content of the adverts, either, although whether that’s legally true is up to the courts and not Google…

      • C F Frost says:

        Thank you. His endurance is admirable.

  • Steph Weller says:

    And this is the whole reason I haven’t yet booked my MAD for next month yet. I purely want the a350 flight to do a review of club suite in terms of accessibility for WCHC passengers. The one thing I’m going to love is direct aisle access and finally being able to sit in LH club by a window! (BA currently don’t allow WCHC pax in club world window seats for obvious reasons – no direct aisle access).

    • Lady London says:

      What’s WCHC?

      • Brian W says:

        WCHC – Passengers who are completely immobile and require a wheelchair to/from
        the aircraft and must be carried up/down the steps and to/from their cabin seat.