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Orlando: British Airways cancelling Heathrow service, adding extra Gatwick flights

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British Airways has announced a shake-up of its services to Orlando in Florida.

The Heathrow service is being scrapped from December until April 2023 with extra Gatwick services launched instead. The two will overlap for a few weeks.

These changes were not reflected at ba.com last night but may be there this morning. It isn’t clear if we will see the usual 14 Avios seats per flight opened up on the additional Gatwick services but it seems likely.

British Airways Orlando flights move to Gatwick Airport

What is happening with British Airways flights to Orlando?

British Airways has decided to terminate the Heathrow to Orlando service from 2nd December for the rest of the Winter season.

Flights from 2nd December onwards are still bookable on ba.com at the time of writing, but by the time you read this they may have been pulled. It is due to return in April.

Additional Gatwick to Orlando services will operate for the Winter season.

The extra services starts on 30th October at six flights per week, with Tuesday flights added from 15th November.

There will be a crossover period during November when both the Heathrow and Gatwick services are operating on the same days. From 2nd December, Orlando will only be served from Gatwick.

What are the flight times?

The existing Heathrow service departs at 12.05, arriving in Florida at 16.55. The return flight leaves at 18.55, landing in Heathrow at 08.00.

The extra Gatwick flights will depart earlier at 11.25, arriving at 16.15. The return flight leaves at 18.15, arriving into Gatwick at 07.20.

The only exception is Tuesday, when it will depart at 13.00 and arrive at 17.50 from 29th November. The return will leave at 20.05, landing at 09.10.

British Airways Gatwick Airport Orlando flights

Will passengers be moved automatically from Heathrow to Gatwick flights?

It is very likely, yes, if you are booked for travel from 2nd December. You may be allowed some flexibility to change your dates which could be helpful if your original dates were not exactly what you wanted.

Will Avios seats open up on the extra Gatwick flights?

By the time you read this the answer might be clear, but I would suspect that they will.

This is NOT a straight swap of a flight from Heathrow to Gatwick, and as a new service British Airways would be obliged to open up 14 Avios seats per flight.

The fact that the flight numbers are different (BA205/BA204 become BA2037/BA2036) and, for a few weeks in November, both services operate simultaneously, are good reasons to argue that this is a ‘new’ service and not a transfer between airports.

If you keen to redeem your Avios for an Orlando trip this Winter then you may find Avios seats wide open today, even for Christmas, New Year and February half term.

Remember that British Airways guarantees to release 4 x Club World business class, 2 x World Traveller Plus and 8 x World Traveller seats per flight. You won’t get the new Club Suite seat in Business Class as this is not available from London Gatwick.

Note that, if the additional Gatwick flights are not bookable by the time you read this, I would expect them to open up during Wednesday.


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Comments (95)

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

  • merlin90 says:

    When did BA last stop running Gatwick to Orlando? I flew that route on BA in late 2018 (I remember it well because one of our checked bags didn’t make it onto the plane) and, frankly, assumed it was still running.

    • Bob says:

      They didn’t. It is already operating and some days there are even two flights from LGW/MCO already.

      • Bob says:

        Just a quick check and both BA2037 and BA2039 have been operating all days from LGW since May 23rd. The BA2037 appears to have operated most days since March (at least).

        • Rob says:

          But not in Winter.

          • Bob says:

            So, in other words, all they have really done is returned to previous schedules by having LGW/MCO running year round and are removing the LHR/MCO service a little later into the winter season. Not exactly huge or unexpected news.

          • Rob says:

            That’s why we win all the awards and you don’t 🙂

            First, if you are booked on the Heathrow flight from Dec to March you are about to be kicked off – that’s news.

            Second, if you thought it was impossible to get Orlando Avios seats over Christmas or Feb half term, today is your lucky day.

  • Wotsit says:

    BA are currently operating a Heathrow service AND a Gatwick service with the flight numbers exactly as quoted in the article from both airports. So does this simply mean that the Heathrow service is being pulled, leaving only the existing BA2037/BA2036 Gatwick service? PLEASE CLARIFY.

  • TB says:

    Struggle to see how this is a “new” flight we did BA2037/36 in April/May…..sounds to me like they are just scraping Heathrow and that’s it, it’s not an additional flight at all….Unless, there will be an additional flight and there’s confusion over the flight numbers here but 2037/36 has flown for ages!!!!

  • Rob says:

    I have an Orlando flight booked from Heathrow in Jan, so assuming this will now be moved. I have a connecting flight from Manchester. Does anybody know if there is still a connecting flight from Manchester to Gatwick?

    • Wotsit says:

      Your connecting flight will probably be a bus from Heathrow to Gatwick…

      • Rob says:

        I’ll just cancel the Manchester to Heathrow flight if they do that and get the train to Gatwick directly. But it’s a pain as I’m travelling with my 10 year old daughter and the connection flight is free (Avios booking)

        • Rob says:

          ‘Direct’ is an odd word to use for a train from Manchester to Gatwick!

          • Rob says:

            Hull actually, which is where I live. Admittedly, not entirely direct but very easy as you go to Kings Cross and then just walk across the road to get Thameslink

      • murraymint says:

        I have a similar LHR-MCO flight in Jan but I am connecting from LCA and only have a 1 hour connection – too late to get to LGW. I assume they’ll have to move my LCA to the day before or the MCO to the day after. Both of which, I assume will allow me to cancel for a refund. Either that or overnight stay at LHR or LGW and claim it back from BA.

    • Matt says:

      Yes, there is a daily 6:25am MAN-LGW flight (assuming doesn’t cancel). Arrives 7:40am so plenty of time for connection. Challenge is the return LGW-MAN departs at 8:30am so the 7:20am arrival from MCO might be too tight.

  • Liam says:

    These aren’t new Gatwick flights, they’re already running aren’t they? So this is a consolidation of the LHR service into the LGW one?

    I have LHR>MCO booked on 26th Nov and the return on 10th Dec. Flights still show available. I have 4 avios seats both ways on new club suite (which I was looking forward to trying Vs the aging long haul Gatwick fleet) and with the bassinet for 6-month old. Then another group in our party (5) have WTP booked on the same flight.

    After 3 failed attempts and cancellations since 2020 for this trip, I really thought this one would go smoothly. Being in the SW, LHR is so much more convenient for us – up the M5 and across the M4. And we have everything planned. Hotel night before, parking, car hire around the original flight times. Very disappointing.

    Hopefully they have enough seats on the new flights for us (and they include the bassinet).

    • Liam says:

      Ah I see now the Gatwick ones stopped for winter, but will now resume to replace these.

  • Michael C says:

    April ’23 onwards has a daily (I think) Gatwick- AND a Heathrow-Orlando for sale.
    Will they turn into 2 x Gatwick?

    • Michael C says:

      (or is that then Summer Timetable so not currently affected by the new change?)

      • Rob says:

        Correct.

        • Michael C says:

          Cheers, Rob – might be in the same vicinity at Centre Court/Amex tent this afternoon!

          • Rob says:

            Rhys and I are on Centre Court today (not playing, obviously) so do say Hi. Poor old Sinead has come down with covid and had to back out.

  • George K says:

    What is the plan for LGW based 777s? Are they ever getting Club Suite?

    • Rob says:

      No plan so far – the next call is whether to do the A380 fleet or not.

    • Rhys says:

      They will be back of the queue as they were just refurbished before Club Suite was announced.

      I imagine what will happen is that 2025 onwards they will start to be retired and replaced by BA’s older aircraft from Heathrow.

  • Lorraine A says:

    Just returned from MCO to LHR yesterday with a connection up to EDI. As BA no longer fly EDI/LGW this isn’t a good move for their customers in Scotland.

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

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