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British Airways covid updates: terminal and airport moves, catering cuts, cargo-only flights

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There have been a few British Airways coronavirus developments in recent days which are worth mentioning.  We didn’t rush out an article at the time as very few of you are currently flying, but it is worth being up to speed with what is going on.

British Airways pulling out of London Gatwick

British Airways has moved all flights from London Gatwick to London Heathrow Terminal 5 with immediate effect.

The move was probably inevitable when Gatwick decide to restrict its opening hours to 2pm to 10pm.  The North Terminal closed last night – easyJet had already grounded its flights – and all remaining flights are now consolidated into the South Terminal.

Officially, this is due to run until 1st May.  Unofficially, the move could last a lot longer.  If British Airways resumes a ‘full’ flight programme at relatively low levels of capacity – and it is unthinkable that all destinations will reopen to passenger traffic at the same time – then I can imagine the entire operation remaining at Heathrow.

The same goes for Virgin Atlantic, which has consolidated its few remaining services at Heathrow.

BA’s Gatwick flights will all move to Heathrow Terminal 5 because ….

British Airways pulling out of London Gatwick

British Airways has moved out of Heathrow Terminal 3

The last British Airways flights from Heathrow Terminal 3 were due to take place on Sunday.

All future services to cities including (this is not a full list) Cape Town, Miami, Las Vegas, Barcelona, Lisbon and Prague will now be from Terminal 5.

British Airways has also decided to permanently end flights to Helsinki.  This was another Terminal 3 route.  BA’s oneworld partner Finnair will now be the sole operator from Heathrow.  This is unfortunate as British Airways often ran good Club Europe deals to Helsinki for £250 or less, whilst Finnair is substantially more expensive in Business Class.

Finnair is continuing to run two daily flights between Helsinki and Heathrow during the current crisis.

Heathrow Terminal 3 forecourt

Changes to British Airways catering

If you are travelling soon, you will notice substantial changes to in-flight catering.  Basically, there isn’t any.

On short-haul, you will receive a bottle of water and a pack of pretzels in Euro Traveller.  (Buy On Board is no more.)  Hot drinks are described as available ‘on request’.  In Club Europe, you get a biscuit instead of the pretzels.

On long-haul, you will not receive anything more adventurous than a sandwich, irrespective of which class you are flying.  Passengers are being encouraged to bring their own food although, due to security restrictions and the fact that most airside restaurants are closed, this isn’t always practical.  BA will not reheat any food you bring yourself.

All special meal options are suspended.

No alcoholic drinks will be provided.

Menu cards, newspapers, magazines, ice etc have been removed from aircraft.

IAG launches cargo-only flights

IAG launches cargo-only flights

In order to keep a few aircraft busy, IAG Cargo has launched a series of new ‘cargo only’ routes.

Full details are on the IAG Cargo website here.  British Airways will be flying three to seven days per week to:

  • Atlanta
  • Dallas Fort Worth
  • Washington Dulles
  • New York JFK
  • Los Angeles
  • Chicago
  • Philadelphia
  • San Francisco
  • Toronto
  • Tel Aviv

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

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Run your own business?

We recommend Capital on Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

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Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (106)

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

  • Fred Hopkins says:

    So BA temporarily laying off 36k staff. Are you and your band of blood sucking loyalty “experts” happy now Rob? Hope HfP sinks and doesn’t recover.

    • will says:

      BA laying off staff is probably more to do with not being able to fly any passengers around than HfP.

      Lots of people on here would love to be able to pay BA to fly them somewhere right now.

      • Kev 85 says:

        Are you saying that HFP isn’t responsible for the global which has grounded flights and closed many borders?

    • ADS says:

      No they’re not temporarily laying them off – they are “furloughing” them – in order to be eligible for the government’s 80% salary grant.

      • Rob says:

        It’s not clear how it works for cabin crew though. Office staff will actually be better off, I reckon, once commuting costs are stripped out. However crew have a low base salary topped up by lots of odd extra payments based on number of nights away etc. I get a feeling the 80% will be off base pay which for Mixed Fleet could be as low as £12k.

        • Lady London says:

          Yup. Commuting, lunches, coffees (in my case, multiple coffees of !!), takeaways after long days and long computed due to exhaustion… Yes I guess you’re right there is a chance of quite a bit of expense not being incurred.

          Gonna be hard to keep kids at home over Easter though.

    • Grant says:

      Yawn – haven’t you got another drum to beat, Fred?

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

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