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British Airways rosters A350 training flights to Madrid in October – bookable with Avios

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British Airways has added a new wave of A350 training flights to ba.com for October.

This is interesting because, for the current August wave of training flights, BA has been very cautious about publicising the dates.  The aircraft only appear in the timetable a few days before departure.

It looks like it is more confident about the 2nd aircraft because the flights are ‘official’ and bookable as A350 services.

British Airways A350 training flights to Madrid in October

When can I fly the British Airways A350 to Madrid?

The aircraft – which is presumably the 2nd one to be delivered – will fly to Madrid between Tuesday 1st October and Monday 7th October inclusive.

It will be doing TWO rotations per day:

06.20 Heathrow – 09.20 Madrid (BA456)

10.55 Madrid – 12.15 Heathrow (BA457)

16.45 Heathrow – 20.05 Madrid (BA464)

21.20 Madrid – 22.25 Heathrow (BA465)

If you are tempted to book one of these purely to try out the new Club Suite, PLEASE use Avios and not cash.  There is a chance that the aircraft is switched out. 

You could get advance notice – if the aircraft is delivered late by Airbus it will be cancelled in advance – but it could also be pulled at short notice, since it would presumably be switched for the first A350 on the Dubai route if that aircraft developed any issues.  The 2nd aircraft itself could also have problems as well of course.

British Airways A350 training flights to Madrid in October

If the times do not work, remember that the following services also use long haul aircraft and have flat beds in business class.  You could mix and match these services with an A350 flight:

13.20 Heathrow – 16.45 Madrid (BA460 on a Boeing 777)

15.55 Madrid – 17.15 Heathrow (BA7058, Iberia codeshare on an A330)

18.15 Madrid – 19.40 Heathrow (BA461 on a Boeing 777)

18.45 Heathrow – 22.05 Madrid (BA7059, Iberia codeshare on an A330)


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Comments (53)

  • Roger says:

    Rob,

    I have flown Iberia long haul aircraft and can confirm it is A340 and not A330 as mentioned.

    • Shoestring says:

      roger that

      • Stu_N says:

        I’ve had both A330 and A340.

        • Shoestring says:

          surely we’re talking about the A350, ie a different plane/ rotation to the one one you guys are referring to?

          sorry, just not Av-geekish enough, I guess

          • Shoestring says:

            just a public transport bus in the sky, in any case

            and yes: kids can go scream/ cry in Business Class if their parents paid for the seat

          • Stu N says:

            Iberia A330 is long metal tube with two engines, Iberia A340 is longer metal tube with four engines. They are the same inside apart from a few rows of seats. Same seats and same service (mmm mini tapas and the cheeky Navarra red).

          • Lumma says:

            I’d say the a330 is slightly preferable to the a340 as business is 2 small cabins rather than one big one, but if you’re just flying London to Madrid I don’t think if really matters

      • The Original Nick says:

        Brilliant humour once again Harry. I love it!

    • Rob says:

      Timetable says A330!

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Anecdotally (what I could see from taxing around) Iberia have a billion a340s so the odds of getting one seems high if they need an equipment swap

    • marcw says:

      It varies. Sometimes it’s an 330, sometimes an 340.

  • Vaughan says:

    Thanks for this update. Got it booked with Avios.

    • Sean says:

      I haven’t been to Madrid airport before but is it possible to return back to LHR on the same aircraft without going through immigration ?

      • Stu N says:

        I think so, you’ll arrive in T4S – all the widebody flights do – and from memory immigration is after you get off the shuttle ride in T4. Have a look on Flyertalk, it will give you a definite answer.

        • Andreas says:

          I landed in T4S yesterday and we got shuffled straight to immigration and then on to the train. I expect you have to clear passport control out and then back in. Whether you have to take the train back and forth to T4… I’m not sure.

      • Marcw says:

        You have to go through security. Arr and Dep pax are not mixed. T4S-T4S connections only involve security.

        • CF says:

          B2b managed this weekend by one group travelling. Very doable esp as the turnaround is slightly longer than average. You should Not advisable (although was doable by one intrepid passenger) to try and fit in a cigarette break. Otherwise it’s easy enough to find a reasonable hotel and enjoy a nice day in Madrid. I’d advise getting the BA461 back if you do an overnight and don’t want a late return on a school night.

      • @mkcol says:

        Yes – I landed in T4S yesterday from the BA460. As you walk along away from the gate just head to “flight connections” which is a small 2 lane security screening area. They check your BP & passport, screen you then it’s downstairs into the duty free shop within which is the magic door to the IB lounge….or get spat out into the terminal if you don’t have access…and it’s back on board the plane in a very few steps.

  • Andrew says:

    BA seem also confident about the August training flights now – these are all in the timetable when you book as A350 and they are not allocating them last minute.

  • Andrew says:

    If you want to maintain ultimate flexibility on your trip and book under the new 50p each way cancellation fee – note that this is only possible on BA metal, not IB.

  • Catalan says:

    Flew out last week and back the flowing day on the BA A350. A very nice aircraft indeed. Extremely quiet. The Club Suite itself is perhaps smaller than I had imagined but nonetheless very comfortable. It’s colour pallet is also less bland than the impression given by the publicity photos (sack the photographer). IFE is via a very responsive touch screen and storage around the seat is plentiful.
    For those planning a trip on the aircraft, enjoy.

  • Metty says:

    Nerdy data on the IB widebody service:

    1 and 2-Oct, A330-200 (5 rows of business)
    3-7 Oct, A340-600 (12 rows of business)

  • David says:

    BA – booked my first ever long haul business class yesterday using a BA 241 – so firstly thanks to this site and the comments for providing all the information and tips to help me achieve this!

    Second, I am on a B777 out to LAS and a B747 back from LAX. Only Blue tier so looking at extortionate fees for CW seat reservations. Not sure I should bother paying for 2 on the 777 as looks like I wouldn’t mind any pairing, however for the 747, 1) is it really worth the £111(!) per person to reserve upper deck seats, and 2) if I don’t pay, how likely is it that upper deck seats would still be available at T-24 check in? I am guessing not very!

    Thanks in advance.

    • Stu N says:

      I wouldn’t bother on 777 and take chances at check in. LAS will have a lot of leisure travellers and probably relatively low proportion of travellers with status who will get free seat selection so should be ok especially as all pairs are much of a muchness.

      For the 747, the upper deck is a unique and time limited experience as they will be retiring soon and everyone rates it as best Club World experience. I think you’d have very little chance of securing them at online check-in as LAX is a premium route so while £222 is a lot as an add-on, it may be worth it for the experience. It’s a 12 hour flight too. Only you can decide but I’d seriously consider it.

      • Andrew says:

        Totally agree – it’s a great experience and in a few years it will be gone. When you’re up there you forget there’s a whole 747 downstairs and it feels like you’re in a small jet. Toilet to passenger ratio is also a lot higher (although you have to share with the flight crew).

        • douggb says:

          You don’t have to share with the flight crew – the 400 has a loo within the flight deck. Crew don’t call it the “en suite fleet” for nothing…

      • Nick says:

        I have only once had a problem securing a UD seat at check-in… even using the desks. YMMV of course but I’ve never paid for seat selection and don’t intend to start now. It might be slightly trickier if you insist on two seats together (I usually travel alone, or if not will happily agree to sit apart if it’s the UD).

      • Lyn says:

        I’d agree with Stu N’s recommendation to take the chance while you can. I’ve only experienced the 747 upper deck on Qantas (with a more relaxed cabin crew who spoiled everyone) and Lufthansa (empty except my cat and I). It is a world apart up there. Enjoy it.

      • qwertyknowsbest says:

        Agree re the exclusivity of the 748 UD. However, having been on the same route (MIA) 4 times in the last month, 2 on refurbished aircraft which where fine and very enjoyable. The other 2, old dated cabin, tired and screen not working. Also my partner’s screen which was working is so small and such poor definition compared to what we are now used to.

        I appreciate that the aforementioned may well easily apply to the downstairs also. But mention this as it may influence your judgement if worth the seat reservation cost.

    • Kerry Kenton-Clarke says:

      If you opt for upper deck on 747 I’d personally avoid window seat(s) as the curvature of the cabin wall makes them feel even more cramped than they already are!

      • Andrew says:

        Although you get much more storage with the side bins (like on upper deck A380) and we all know how limited the storage in Club World is!

    • AJA says:

      I’d second Stu’s comment. Only reserve the 747 UD out of the two flights. No chance they’ll be available at T-24. I disagree with Kerry the window seats are particularly private and you get extra bin storage which also works as a shelf and a wonderful view out the window. 62A or K are great. Row 60 is slightly more cramped but only the cockpit in front of you so even more private. Enjoy!

      • David says:

        Thanks all – think I probably will stump up for UD 747 as would love to say I’ve experienced it!

        • Doug M says:

          Do it, well worth it. I don’t think paying non status people can get 62 and 64AK, although could be wrong. 63AK can still slip out without disturbing aisle mate if you’re skinny.

    • Jill (Kinkell) says:

      If it’s a’one off’ time, the UD is certainly an experience. I did pay for seats years ago when they were about £50-60. Didn’t regret it! View it all as ‘part of the holiday experience’ . As others have said, wouldn’t bother paying for the 777. Have a lovely time.

  • Charles Dempsey says:

    I have managed to book myself reward flights on the Dubai-London A350 September 17th 01:30 am flight. Is it highly likely the plane will be swapped out?

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