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Fly British Airways Club World on short haul – or fly Titan

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As spotted by Simple Flying, British Airways is bringing its long haul Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft to selected European flights this Spring.

This is not the first time this has happened – during covid, BA operated a number of widebody flights to European destinations for cargo reasons, including to Athens.

British Airways has historically operated a widebody flight (usually a 777) to Madrid for cargo reasons, although this appears to no longer be the case. Iberia continues to operate its once-daily A350 service to London which makes it the best way to travel between the two cities.

British Airways 787

This time around the destinations and service are a bit more select, with the majority of widebody flights going to Frankfurt. However, a couple of services are also running to more tourist-focused cities – Berlin and Dublin. Simple Flying dug up the following dates:


  • February 18, 25
  • March 4, 6, 7, 11, 16, 23, 24
  • April 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12 (x2), 14, 17, 18, 19, 21, 24, 25, 26, 28


  • March 4, 25


  • March 5, 7

If you are booked on one of the widebody services you’ll either get BA’s new Club Suite on the 777s, or the older yin-yang seat on the 787s.

Whilst Club Suite is the better product, the old seat is still a massive upgrade on the Club Europe seat you’d otherwise get on an A320.

Titan Airways British Airways charter

…. or you might end up on Titan Airways

It’s not all good news for short haul flyers.

British Airways appears to be facing a shortage of aircraft and/or pilots and/or cabin crew for its short haul operation, which is why the 777 is being used on certain routes.

This doesn’t seem to be enough extra capacity. In addition, British Airways has leased various aircraft from Titan Airways, complete with crew.

Titan aircraft will be operating selected services to Athens, Barcelona, Geneva, Lisbon, Manchester, Marrakech, Nice, Rome, Vienna, Warsaw and Zurich from Heathrow. The swaps will run from 16th February to 12th March.

If you wish, you will be allowed to change your flight by +/- 2 days to another British Airways flight which is operated by BA itself. No refunds are allowed.

That said, Titan Airways and its crew have a decent reputation so I wouldn’t rush to swap. Here is Rob’s review of a Titan Airways flight.


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Comments (77)

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

  • Hardpack says:

    We flew to Amman recently on an A320 or similar and 5 hours is taking the mick even in CE on a flight that long. CE was full both ways though so if people will pay, BA will keep doing it. It badly needs a better plane; or fly 787 on RJ

    • TimM says:

      Hardpack, I have been flying 5hrs between MAN and AYT on 737s and A320s for 25 years. The current densified, no-IFE, no cushions, no blankets short-haul provision is simply unfit for such a duration. If there were a choice, a large chunk of people would pay the extra for long-haul aircraft. There is no choice.

      I mitigate with extra legroom, inflatable pouffe and neck pillow, lightweight blanket, blindfold and iPad (not together) then drinking as much red wine as time allows.

      Still, a service fit for the journey length would be far preferable.

      • Michael C says:

        Even LHR_IST: Why choose BA CE when you have TK economy with fab food and great IFE?!!

        • Hardpack says:

          We were lucky heading out of CAI just before it went “red”for covid. Both ways was a wide body but CE service which was something I suppose. I remember 747s LHR-CAI. And IST is another case in point. If people keep paying, what’s the incentive to change as the cabins are usually full. Once we got to IST and transferred to a TK 777 for the very short approx 1.5 hour hop to Izmir which had a printed menu, choice of starters and mains and flat beds. And a special business class comfy coach straight from the old IST domestic lounge right to the plane. I don’t have much choice from where I am but if I did……

      • Hardpack says:

        Yes it’s just rubbish. One lady asked cabin crew if this was really “business class” as she expected a flat bed and IFE. She wasn’t happy and appeared to have paid full fare for the pleasure of it.. RJ next time definitely

    • Jonathan says:

      I flew that route in early November, absolutely terrible flight, no seat recline or IFE for a five flight ?!

      I’m still to get round to making a complaint to BA about the flight, but will make it clear to them if I’d have known how bad it was going to have been, I’d have definitely thought about using another carrier

    • Will in SJC says:

      Is it really *that* bad though? Come to the US and there are thousands of flights of over 5 hours operated by 737 or 320 family aircraft with minimal service offered. In fact, there are hundreds over 3 hours operated on regional aircraft (look at the flights AC operate from Toronto and Montreal to the US West Coast- all A220s!). I had the pleasure of 6hr45 SFO-MIA on UA with no IFE and minimal service recently- it was not that bad.

      BA’s issue is lack of investment (/ proper competition that requires it to invest). It blows my mind that you aren’t guaranteed WiFi or in-seat power on a BA 320 family aircraft. The US carriers have this right and if BA followed suit it would make it more bearable. Heck DL is now moving to a free WiFi model.

      If it is *that* bad then, as you say, fly RJ or go the longway with QR.

      • Hardpack says:

        It’s about expectation. I’d put up with it in economy but not in business. We did San Diego to Charlotte in economy narrow body on AA and I didn’t mind because that was what I expected. It’s bad when you compare it to your expectation. I knew the AMM flight was A320 but I hadn’t realised what 5+ hours in one of those seats would be like. I do now and it will be RJ in future, and I will still get my tier points

        • Nick says:

          So what you’re saying is you could be bothered to do some research for a US domestic but not for a European hop of the same length…

          It’s all about price. If customers were willing to pay, BA would use better aircraft. Look at TLV – same length flight, still full CW/WT service. For Egypt, Jordan, etc. the LCCs are driving the market down and the only alternative for BA would be to pull out. By all means fly RJ, but if you go direct you’ll pay significantly more than BA for it.

          • Hardpack says:

            Well, I didn’t have much option San Diego Charlotte because of weather disruption and the front was sold out or full of AA status on their upgrades that I’ve never really understood, I wasn’t testing anything. I’ve not got any reasonable Ryanair option and wouldn’t do it if i had. Beirut was great with the ex-bmi throne seats, so it’s not the A320 in itself, it’s using the seating you usually have on a 1-2 hour flight being used for 5-6 hours and being called business class CE when Amman and Cairo etc aren’t actually in Europe anyway!

        • Save East Coast Rewards says:

          Unfortunately when BA moved to a short haul product they also dropped the tier points earned on that route. It was 140 in CW but 80 in CE. They dropped the TP on RJ too

          • lumma says:

            Just go one stop on Ryanair to Amman and save hundreds. I once did Luton to Vilnius/Vilnius to Amman/Amman to Malta/Malta to Heathrow (on BA) and had a three centre holiday for under £150 for all the flights Vs usually over £500 for the direct flights on BA/RJ

      • Alex G says:

        But on a legacy carrier in the US, you have the option of Domestic “First” which is far superior to Club Europe.

        I avoid flying short haul because it is so damned uncomfortable, even in CE.

        • ianM says:

          Domestic first doesn’t even get you lounge access. At least on Delta.

        • Will in SJC says:

          Is it really that much superior? The Domestic First seats on American are, for example, the same seats they use on long haul PE. They are not a patch on what QR or GF offer in J on the 320. Food is on a par with CE. No lounge access domestically in the US (unless you are on one of the long AS routes / have status).

          First domestically is typically a fair chunk more on the longer routes hence it is often full of upgraded status holders or Brits on TP runs ;-).

    • SG says:

      I couldn’t agree more. I flew to Amman recently in CW and it was shockingly bad to use an A320 for a route that long. I came home with RJ and it was so much better than BA.

      • Jonathan says:

        There’s nothing wrong with using that type of aircraft per se, it’s how well equipped the aircraft is.

        After all, narrowbody aircraft is cheaper to fly than widebody aircraft that impacts the fares.

        Going back to there’s nothing wrong per say with the aircraft used, in 2017 I flew from DME to LHR in one BA’s A321, ex BMI (I think it was) aircraft with the throne style CW seats, the plane was fully equipped with IFE for both CW and WT, and anyone who booked in CW wouldn’t be asking the crew if it really this really was Business Class (as mentioned by someone above, who oversaw a fellow passenger going so).

        Hopefully someone in BA’s fleet management might read these comments, or even better, Sean Doyle !
        Does the HfP team know much of the comments about BA he reads at all ?
        It’s difficult I fully acknowledge that because a lot gets says by the HfP community alone !

        • Rob says:

          If people keep paying for the tickets, despite other airlines offering flat beds, they will keep doing it.

          • Jonathan says:

            The problem is that there’s people here and there who book a BA CE seat, thinking they’re getting a proper business class, lie flat seat, only to realise how poor the offering is once they get on the aircraft, no changing your mind on flight you book by that point !

          • Hardpack says:


  • Rob says:

    I see conflicting information on other blogs. OMAAT says Amex Plat will retain access via Plaza Premium to US-based clubs. Changes rescinded, as they say. Plaza Premium website does seem to show these lounges are available.

  • jennieef asid says:

    Some airlines like Qatar already limit their premium lounges to their own passengers and oneworld in business and first on non business lite.

    • Jonathan says:

      Hence is to why unless VS manages things properly, their T3 Clubhouse will be overrun with high status passengers from other SkyTeam airlines who’re flying in Economy, when of course VS formally joins the airline group.
      Although Rob has made it clear in other articles that Shai is fully aware about this, and they will make sure that not all SkyTeam passengers with status can access the lounge, after all, the highest priority for Clubhouse will always go to those in flying in VS Upper and FC Gold members (or that’s how it’s meant too be

  • Stu says:

    “It’s not all good news for short haul flyers”

    … followed by …

    “ Titan Airways and its crew have a decent reputation so I wouldn’t rush to swap”


    • Rich says:

      There is such a thing as a pedant Stu.

      BA let you change time / date if you don’t want to fly Titan so they clearly think it might be bad news for some as the flight isn’t as was marketed and sold. Rhys is simply expressing his personal view, hence using the word ‘I’ in the sentence you’ve quoted. There’s no conflict between the two sentences you’ve quoted.

  • Ned says:

    Wide bodies used to be common place on the first flights out on a Monday morning. Was it a 767? Really old plane, now retired but I’m sure many of the major short haul cities had one serving it from LHR and normally full

    • Luma says:

      They were short haul 767s though. 2-3-2 seats, so apart from the middle 3, CE was worse as you had someone next to you.

    • GL says:

      There was normally a 767 from Glasgow each day. I remember a few times these got subbed for a 747! That was a nice way of getting down to London.

  • secretsquirrel says:

    I keep seeing a350 Iberia mentioned on MAD route but it always state a330 on plane details?

    • Willmo says:

      I believe the wide-body service runs everyday except Friday and it’s fairly interchangeable between an a330 and a350

    • ADS says:

      This past week IB3175 was operated by:

      Monday A350-900
      Tue – Fri A330-300
      Sat/Sun A320neo

  • Froggitt says:

    Is there a simple chart with big green ticks and big red crosses that shows what type of card gets you into what type of lounge?

  • L says:

    The Newark Clubhouse permanently closed some time ago. Do you mean the JFK one?

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