News in brief:
United Airlines to launch Heathrow to Boston
United Airlines is launching a new non-stop service between London Heathrow and Boston Logan International Airport. This is a bit of a surprise, because I assumed United already operated on the route!
It is also, of course, one of the routes that JetBlue intends to launch this year, albeit not to Heathrow. United may simply be doing its best to spoil JetBlue’s launch.
United intends to operate the premium heavy Boeing 767-300ER on the route. This has 46 Polaris business class seats and 22 premium economy seats.
Whilst we have yet to try out Polaris on a real flight (Covid-19 saw to that!) we did get a preview during a grounded press event in 2019.
The flight times are currently scheduled as:
- Departing Heathrow at 5pm and arriving in Boston at 7.30pm
- Departing Boston at 10pm and arriving in Heathrow at 9.35am the next day.
The Heathrow departure is unusually late for a transatlantic flight – most leave in the morning for a mid afternoon arrival in the United States.
Tickets will go on sale in the coming weeks. The exact launch date is still to be confirmed.
Virgin Atlantic improves its ticket flexibility
Virgin Atlantic has made some additional changes to ticket flexibility. This is presumably an attempt to give passengers the confidence to book in the face of continued Government attempts to put people off.
The key points are:
- New bookings from 6th February will be allowed UNLIMITED free date, origin and/or destination changes, albeit you will need to pay any fare difference
- In addition, you will be allowed to make one free name change
- You will be allowed to push out your flight as far out as 30th April 2023, giving you full confidence that you will be able to take any rescheduled flight
- If you have a booking for the next three months, you can change your travel date to any day up to 31st May 2021 with nothing extra to pay, irrespective of the price being charged to new bookers
The full policy can be found on Virgin Atlantic’s covid page here.
Remember that all Virgin Atlantic tickets for travel by 30th April 2021 continue to come with free coronavirus travel insurance, which kicks in if your main travel insurance policy refuses to cover Covid-19 issues.