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British Airways drops flights to Portland – before it even launches

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The new British Airways route to Portland, Oregon has been dropped before it even began.

The route was originally due to launch at the beginning of June.  This was later pushed back to the start of September.

It was removed entirely from the schedules yesterday, however, and anyone booked on the service – even for trips in 2021 – has received a cancellation email.

Whilst disappointing, this is not surprising.  New routes are typically loss-making for a couple of years as awareness builds, and absorbing such losses is not a luxury that British Airways has at the moment.


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Comments (47)

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

  • Ben says:

    I was in the AC hotel Innsbruck last week (obviously before this new policy), but there was very limited mask wearing by all, even by staff at the buffet breakfast. At one point, an employee from behind reception shouted across the lobby that I do not need to wear a mask in the lift (as I was wearing my mask), and that there was nothing to worry about there.

    • HAM76 says:

      How different that is from Germany. Masks are mandatory in all hotels I‘ve been to and are worn by everyone.

    • Nick_C says:

      The fact they were even offering a buffet breakfast shows they are not taking infection control seriously.

      As for shouting, like singing it should not be happening as it spreads aerosols further.

      New cases per capita in Austria are currently one third higher than the UK.

      • Chris says:

        Unsurprisingly, as countries are conducting more tests, they are finding more cases of the virus. Yet, most people, if they contract the virus, exhibit mild to no symptoms. The death rate in the UK peaked in early April and has been going down ever since, and let’s remember that this is a disease which has, in the UK, only killed (as of beginning of July) 1,300 people who were either not very old or had a lease one underlying health condition.

        I’m glad that some people in the AC Hotel in Innsbruck had some sense and haven’t given into mass fearmongering and disproportionate panic.

        • Stanley says:

          And pneumonia and influenza killed 3 times as many people as Covid in the UK last week……

        • Nick_C says:

          I appreciate that the number of cases detected will depend on the level of testing carried out. But Austria has carried out 89 thousand tests per million population. The UK has carried out 200 thousands tests per million.

          The high levels of infection in Austria compared with the UK are not attributable to better testing on their part.

          I agree that for most people, Covid 19 will be a short mild illness with no long lasting effects. Personally, I would have been happy for the Government to stick to its herd immunity policy. I think the long term damage we have caused to our economy is far worse than half a million people dying. But we have severely damaged the economy to try to minimise deaths. If we don’t stick to the plan of attempting to minimise the fatalies, then the damage to the economy will have been in vain.

          • Yolo says:

            Let’s play a game: you’re given the choice of lockdown or herd immunity with 500k deaths.

            The latter comes with one condition: your wife, kids, all your relatives and your friends must be among those 500k deaths.

            Do you still choose herd immunity?

          • Chris says:

            It’s deaths which matter, not the overall number of cases.

            The Government panicked and unnecessarily shuttered large portions of the economy, mainly on the basis of guesswork by Imperial College – predictions which have now been proven to be wild overestimates. There was no “plan” as you put it, just the wild, disproportionate flailing of a Government which didn’t have the faintest clue what it was doing.

            There is no evidence that locking everyone in their homes and destroying the economy has or will save lives, and increasing evidence to suggest it has and will lead to increased deaths due to people not having access to medical treatment for other serious illnesses (e.g. cancer, heart attacks).

            I struggle to believe you favoured the path of herd immunity if you are prepared to write fearmongering comments against a hotel offering breakfast and people shouting. Please, try to get things in proportion.

          • Chrisasaurus says:

            Sweden attempted to shield their economy at the expense of public health – here we are at the end of July and their economy is worse than Norway’s and their death rate is horrific.

            Part of that may be that only the insane will freely go out into public when their country is not taking CV 19 seriously so discretionary spend tanks regardless. There are of course some who will insist they wont gk out if they must wear a mask (well leave that one for now) but I’ll wager there are more than stay indoors to be safe if they perceive that it is less safe that it should be outside

          • Chris says:

            Chrisasaurus, countries who locked their population at home did so without any evidence that it would protect or save lives. As has happened in this country, many have consequently died because the NHS didn’t provide them with the medical care they needed to treat their illnesses.

            Sweden does not have a “horrific” death rate. Belgium, with one of the most draconian shutdowns, and a country with a similar population size to Sweden, has had 846 deaths per million while Sweden only 558 per million (UK has had 669 per million by comparison). Unfortunately, like the UK, the mistake Sweden made was allowing the virus into their care homes. Had they not, their death rate would have been lower because this is a virus which affects mainly the very old and those with very unfortunate and pre-existing serious illnesses.

            The point about Sweden (along with Japan) is that they did not lock their people in their homes and yet received a similar outcome to countries which did.

          • Chris says:

            Colin’s comment (now deleted, presumably for quality of his “argument” in referring to those who have advocated herd immunity as dribbling morons…) This is for Colin’s benefit: an interview with Professor Sunetra Gupta, Theoretical Epidemiologist at Oxford University, who suggests we may already have achieved herd immunity in the UK:

          • The Savage Squirrel says:

            “Personally, I would have been happy for the Government to stick to its herd immunity policy. I think the long term damage we have caused to our economy is far worse than half a million people dying.”

            That’s got to be the most astonishing comment I’ve ever read from the supposedly intelligent HfP readership, Just to give context for the level of death that’s just been proposed, half a MILLION people dying is more than the entire UK fatality count (both service personnel and civilians) in the 6 long years of World War 2. Sorry, but if you don’t think preventing that level of death is worth considerable economic pain then that’s borderline psychopath territory. By the same logic, you’d also presumably be in favour of closing most healthcare facilities and giving up on treating any other disease that predominantly affects the over 60s (cancer for example) as they are also large net economic drains on society as a whole – in fact far worse ones as the economic effect of combatting these is never ending…?

          • Lady London says:

            Well….there is Brazil, which adopted a kind of Sweden strategy. And now completely out of control

            How can anyone aim for herd immunity when at the time Borid first looked like trying this, it was still not proven that any immunity develops at all? Even now it’s been stated recently that immunity if it can be acquired by some, only lasts about 45 days. That’s 6 weeks folks, 7 at a push.

            I am personally grateful the UK government stepped up and immediately announced business and personal support proactively for so many categories. Many other countries have not stood up with a massive support program. However on the medical side they’ve been dunces. But at least they are trying and doing their best for businesses and imdividuals in the UK.

          • Chris says:

            Lady London, your comment about Brazil being “completely out of control” is utter rubbish. Currently, they have 389 deaths per million. By regurgitating the garbage you hear from who knows where, you are just perpetuating the ignorance and fear which has gripped much of the world over COVID-19.

            I suggest you read the interview of Professor Sunetra Gupta, Theoretical Epidemiologist at Oxford University, via the link I posted above. It might set you straight about the concept of herd immunity which, based upon what you have written, you do not understand.

            The Government ruined the economy in a massive, ignorant panic. They are not desparately attempting to undo the damage, but too late – and we will all pay for this in higher taxes and diminished pensions / savings for decades to come.

        • Chris says:

          Nick C, I don’t think I can post links here, but you can search for the data. There are Excel sheets on the NHS England website. COVID-19 Daily Deaths. You can use the spreadsheet to remove all deaths for those will pre-existing medical conditions.

          • Nick_C says:

            Thanks Chris. I’ve looked at a lot of the data, but I hadn’t seen the report about Covid deaths dropping below ‘flu and pneumonia, which Stanley helpfully linked to.

            (You should be able to post links, but if you try to post two links in one reply, it goes for moderation.)

          • Stanley says:

            Didnt PHE admit that any person with a positive covid test who subsequently died (even if 3 months later and getting hit by a bus) counted in the daily fatality figures?? Crazy times

          • Charlieface says:

            Indeed PHE did admit that, but ONS figures were based on excess deaths, most of which caused by people not getting treatment for other conditions.
            Furthermore the false positive rate on the test, at 1-2% is a worry, as it means if you test an asymtomatic population most of the positives will be false.

  • Frankie says:

    Qatar still seem to be at terminal 2 (from looking at Heathrow departures today). What happened to their supposed move to T5 yesterday?

  • Richmond_Surrey says:

    I thought it was clarified, that Marriott policy applies to USA and Canada, not Worldwide. Read it on different blog.

    • Harry T says:

      I read this too, on two other blogs.

    • Rhys says:

      It isn’t at all clear, not least because it isn’t on the coronavirus advisory – only in the video!

    • memesweeper says:

      Applying this policy in a Marriott in a territory with zero covid cases would be perverse. Then again, I’ve worked for merkin companies who handed down global policies which really didn’t much sense outside of Texas, never mind anywhere else.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        You worked in the pubic wig business, must’ve been interesting …

    • marcw says:

      Based on Marriott Bonvoy Twitter, it’s only applicable in the US and Canada:

      “An announcement regarding our hotels in the U.S. and Canada:”

      However, in other countries, it could be already in place, based on local/regional/national legislation.

  • Harry T says:

    I personally doubt that Marriott hotels in Europe will make their hotel guests wear masks, as it’s not required by local law or guidance in many countries. I was in Amsterdam this past weekend and you only have to wear masks on public transport, and in certain parts of Schiphol. Even the hotel staff didn’t wear masks for the most part. I would rather that the hotel didn’t enforce a mask policy on staff or guests when the government doesn’t advise it. Not every country is a car crash like the US (and the UK to a lesser extent at present).

    • Harry T says:

      For clarity, I fully support this policy being implemented in the US.

      • Anna says:

        And it will be very interesting to see how the Americans react to it.

        • Colin says:

          I’m sure they’ll respond in a level headed manner as usual

        • Harry T says:

          Can’t wait for the lawsuits against hotels for trying to prevent FREEDOM 😂

          • Anna says:

            I keep up to date with some other timeshare owners from the US via Face book. They are baffled as to why GCM won’t let them back in as the island has the virus under control! It’s impossible to make them see that THEY are the problem…

          • Colin says:


          • Lady London says:

            Or you can just.go to Wembley, aka the London Borough of Brent, and travel on public transport, on their streets, and you’ll get the same feeling as driving through a sketchy neighbourhood in the US at night. Who needs to go to Texas when people wont respect what they’re told to do in the UK.

            (Brent is top or near, of Covid case league tables consistently.)

    • sayling says:

      It’s sort of funny that some people think that a company shouldn’t exceed the national guidelines whilst others complain when they don’t – like Cheltenham happening whilst no lockdown was in place

  • Nick says:

    Amazon have sent a refund for items I purchased 3 years ago. Amex can’t see these refunds, even thought they were processed 3 weeks ago. The original Amex used was cancelled a couple years back

    Amazon have given me a transaction ID for this refund, but appears Amex don’t know how to search using these. Any tips?

    • the_real_a says:

      Raise as a complaint. It gets to someone who knows where to place these kinds of things for investigation.

  • riku2 says:

    What annoyed me at some Marriotts in the USA was not being able to use the stairs to get to reception. Even though the hotel was only three floors high the stairs all went to the outside, none to reception. So you are almost forced to use the lift even for a couple of floors. This no doubt reflects their dislike of physical exercise but is even more annoying in the current situation.

    • Nick_C says:

      I think stairs leading outside is the new norm. Staircases are mainly a route of escape. It makes sense when people mainly use the stairs to evacuate the building in an emergency. You don’t want people ending up in the lobby if there is a fire or bomb threat.

  • Michael says:

    I’m really disappointed the Portland route has been pulled. Our flights next May were cancelled yesterday. From Portland it’s about a four hour drive south to the middle of Oregon where we are staying. One option is to connect somewhere in the States and fly to Eugene which is a couple of hours away. SEA is more like 7/8 hours drive which isn’t very appealing. Another option is to fly to SFO and then fly United to OTH.

    • ChrisC says:

      You need to look up options to get you to Portland (iif you still want to get there and don’t want a refund*) and then call BA to discuss. You don’t just have to accept what they offer. It’s better if you can put your desired routings to BA – give the agent flight numbers and times for example rather than a vague ‘what about …’

      For example BA to SEA and then AA to Portland might be an option. Include other BA destinations where it might be possible to connect to AA to get to Portland such as LAX/SFO/ORD/DFW etc.

      Cast your net wide. Note I’ve not checked where AA fly to Portland from just using it as an example.

      BA is generally pretty good at rebooking onto partner airlines. Non partners not so much when the disruption is known well in advance

      *refund = obviously this would give you more flexibility on using other airlines and routing but they could cost you more than your current flights.

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