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Our Joint Business with Qatar Airways launches on 30 October 2016 with flights open for sale from 27 October 2016. The Joint Business is an expansion to our existing codeshare agreement, providing customers with access to a larger network including up to 7 flights a day between London and Doha.
We will codeshare on one another’s non-stop flights between the UK and Doha, with the BA prefix added to connections operated by Qatar Airways to destinations in the Middle East, Asia and Africa not served by BA from London. The QR designator will be placed on services operated by BA between London and various UK and continental European cities.
As existing oneworld partners, British Airways and Qatar Airways customers already have access to a wide range of benefits including Priority Check In, Priority Boarding and Lounge Access.
The SJB now has a 4th member with Iberia officially joining British Airways, Japan Airlines and Finnair in the joint business between Europe and Japan.
Iberia’s new Madrid (MAD) - Tokyo Narita (NRT) route, which currently operates three times a week, can now be sold equally with BA, JL and AY’s flights to and from Japan. Any of these services can be sold on a ‘metal neutral’ basis as revenue on the SJB is shared between the four carriers.
Iberia CEO Luis Gallego said: “Today is a great day for the Iberia family. We are returning to Japan as a renewed airline, with our newest aircraft and product for our customers, and we do so accompanied by such wonderful partners as JAL, British Airways and Finnair.”
JAL President Yoshiharu Ueki added: “We welcome our oneworld partner Iberia to our home hub in Tokyo. Japan Airlines is striving to enhance its presence in Europe, and we believe that the start of the four carrier joint business between Europe and Japan will provide more seamless access, consistent services and more travel choices for our customers.”
From 11 January 2017, we’re upgrading our food offering on all shorthaul flights to and from London Heathrow and London Gatwick by partnering with Marks & Spencer, another great British brand. Your customers will be able to buy food from their delicious and seasonally inspired menu, ‘M&S on board’, along with a choice of drinks available to purchase from an extensive bar menu, which will replace the complimentary service currently provided in our Euro Traveller cabins, including UK domestic flights.
With a variety of M&S food, including vegetarian and healthy fresh options, this means that your customers will now be able to enjoy the flavours they love from this British high street favourite while in the air.
Executive Club Members will now have the option to spend their Avios on board. With all food on the menu priced at under £5, and branded wines, spirits and soft drinks also available to buy, payment using Avios or via a debit or credit card, will be quick and easy.
Please note that cash payments will not be accepted, so if your customers are travelling in a group, please ensure that are aware of this change.
From summer 2017, 'M&S on board' will also be available to purchase on flights to and from London City and London Stansted. Any bookings your customers have in Club Europe or on longhaul flights will be unaffected and the existing full complimentary food offering will continue to be served.
International Airlines Group (IAG) announced a joint business agreement between British Airways and Qatar Airways which will start on 30 October 2016.
The joint business will benefit customers by providing better links between the UK, continental Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa, with a greater choice of flights and enhanced frequent flyer benefits. The revenue-sharing agreement will allow the airlines to cooperate on scheduling and pricing, providing customers with more flexible options and an attractive range of fares.
Customers will be able to travel more easily on the airlines' combined route network which will serve more than 70 destinations. The joint business will see the two airlines code-sharing on all non-stop flights operated between the UK and Doha and connecting services to destinations in the UK, continental Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa. This will include British Airways' daily direct flights from London Heathrow to Doha.
This agreement will also strengthen the oneworld alliance and enable it to compete more effectively on these routes.
Exclusive to Heathrow Terminal 5, we'll be soon introducing a new premium zone to welcome customers to their First experience. Set to open in April 2017, The First Wing will provide a dedicated area that helps customers speed up the process through the airport and maximise moments of comfort, relaxation and indulgence.
Located where our First check-in area is today, The First Wing will feature an enhanced, private check-in area and two exclusive security lanes for customers travelling in First, Executive Club Gold and oneworld Emerald members. Customers will in addition be able to use a new direct walkway that will lead them seamlessly into the Galleries First Lounge and then the Concorde Room. We're doing our very best to minimise disruption while building work is taking place and look forward to welcoming customers to The First Wing.
With effect from 19 August 2016, we have introduced a change fee on our shorthaul Plus product.
For Plus tickets purchased prior to 19 August 2016, the change fee will not apply.
This change will apply to all shorthaul Plus products to and from London Heathrow, London Gatwick and London City airports for both international and domestic travel.
All other conditions remain unchanged, including free flight change on the day. The new change fee will be the same amount as we currently charge for our Basic product.
We have reduced some cancellation fees following feedback from partners after the introduction of our automated refund policy in May 2016 (further to section 'Changes to refund calculations' below)
Cancellation fees have been reduced by half (50%) on the following fares and markets:
The new policy is active on the majority of:
*excluding fares originating from Japan
We expect all remaining markets for public fares and private fares to be activated by September 2016.
We're streamlining our processes and have developed new webforms for reporting Corporate and Leisure Fare Distribution issues.
Along with our oneworld partners, we have implemented a policy change on through check-in for a customer travelling on separate tickets. Only customers with separate tickets issued in the same PNR/booking will be accepted for through check-in.
Customers travelling on separate tickets issued in separate PNRs/bookings will not be accepted for through check-in, regardless of which carriers they are connecting on to, including BA or any oneworld partner.
These customers, and their baggage, will only be checked in to the destination showing in the system. No onward carriage details are to be added into the check-in system at any stage.
Where a customer has separate tickets, the Most Generous Allowance (MGA) rule for baggage does not apply and any excess baggage will apply as per the ticketed sector for that ticket.
This change means that the originating carrier is not liable for any rebooking and additional costs incurred as a result of disruption, for flights on other PNR/bookings.
Customers who have booked a through ticket will continue to receive the full benefits including through checked bags, MGA and full assistance should their journey be disrupted.
From 10 May, we have announced some changes to our refund policy, enabling you to automate refunds, using the industry standard ATPCO Category 33. The automation will lead to a reduction in the time taken to process refunds for customers.
IAG, parent company of British Airways has announced plans to install high-speed inflight connectivity across 118 of BA's long-haul aircraft from Q1 in 2017. The agreement between IAG and in-flight connectivity specialist GoGo will also see Aer Lingus and Iberia aircraft fitted with the same next generation satellite–based system, making IAG the first European airline group to use GoGo's latest technology called "2Ku".
The state of the art technology will provide greater bandwidth, faster speed and broader coverage to IAG airlines' customers. Global connectivity is something customers demand and IAG will be providing urgent details such as flight re-bookings or delayed baggage updates. This is an exciting announcement
IAG (our parent company) has announced plans to install high-speed inflight connectivity across 118 of our longhaul aircraft from Quarter 1 in 2017.
The agreement between IAG and in-flight connectivity specialist GoGo will also see Aer Lingus and Iberia aircraft fitted with the same next generation satellite–based system, making IAG the first European airline group to use GoGo's latest technology called "2Ku". The state of the art technology will provide greater bandwidth, faster speed and broader coverage to IAG airlines' customers.
The first longhaul aircraft to be equipped will be a British Airways B747-400 which will be in service early next year.
Pre-order meals are currently available on all outbound London Heathrow longhaul and midhaul routes (excluding Moscow - DME).
For flights departing from 1 May 2016, this service will be extended to include the majority of outbound longhaul services from London Gatwick.
Pre-order meals are available to customers travelling in our First, Club World and World Traveller Plus cabins and enables them to select their first choice main course from the on board a-la-carte menu. Starter and dessert choices will be taken on board. Customers choosing not to pre-order will be asked for their meal preference on board as usual.
Customers are able to pre-order their meal from 30 days before their flight departs, up to 24 hours prior to departure in Manage My Booking.
We have simplified our fare structure for customers travelling in shorthaul economy, offering Basic (previously Hand Baggage Only), Plus (previously with Checked Bag) and Plus Flex (previously Fully Flex) fares, each with increasing levels of flexibility and differing benefits.
For flights purchased (ie ticketed bookings) from 10 May 2016, the free checked baggage allowance for Club World and Biz Bed customers on Openskies will change two pieces, with each weighing a maximum of 32kg.
The existing three piece allowance will be honoured for any ticketed bookings made prior to 10 May 2016.
Gold Executive Club Members will still be entitled to an additional free bag and Club World and Biz Bed customers will be able to check in a third bag, if required, for £120/$180/€140 if pre-booked online or £140/$200/€150 when purchased at the airport, except on flights from Brazil where the charge is US$120 for each piece of luggage.
Due to a decline in demand we have taken the decision to close the unaccompanied minor (Skyflyer Solo) service for flights operated by British Airways.
We will honour all bookings that have already been made for unaccompanied minors, but new bookings will cease from 24 February 2016.
Customers travelling in premium cabins on our midhaul routes, with the exception of Moscow, are now able to enjoy pre-order meals on board. Customers can view the menu for their upcoming midhaul flight and select their main meal choice in advance. This completes the roll-out of pre-order and pre-paid meals on all longhaul and midhaul flights outbound from London Heathrow.
Customers will be able to view and select their main meal choice through the Manage My Booking on ba.com, and can pre-book between 30 days and up to 24 hours before departure. The starter and dessert choice will continue to be taken on board. Those who choose not to pre-order will be asked for their meal preference onboard as usual.
As part of our ongoing commitment to punctuality, we are making some changes to our baggage allowances, as well as the order our customers board the aircraft.
Boarding the aircraft
Customers will be invited to board in order based on the cabin they are travelling and in order of Executive Club status. All of our other customers will be asked to board by seat row number. If travelling with an infant or are a customer requiring extra assistance, you will continue to be invited to board before everyone else.
Changes to hand baggage*
We have seen an increase in customers travelling with hand baggage that exceeds their allowance. We always try to accommodate our customers but to make sure the aircraft is ready to depart on time we are making the following changes:
Customers can continue to carry 2 pieces of hand baggage. One bag should be a handbag/laptop sized bag which should now be no larger than 40x30x15cm. The size of your additional cabin bag remains unchanged and should be no larger than 56x45x25cm and can weigh up to 23kgs.
Customers travelling in all cabins, except First and Club World will receive a yellow tag for handbag/laptop sized bags which are within the new dimensions. We guarantee that this bag can be taken on board and customers should have the tag visible for boarding and place the bag under the seat in front of them.
We encourage valuables or items such as medication should be carried in a handbag or laptop sized bag to ensure everything needed is in the cabin.
Customers who travel with hand baggage which is outside of their allowance will be asked to check this into the hold. On very busy flights, we may have to ask some of our customers to check bags without yellow tags into the hold if the overhead lockers are full.
*Customers travelling to and from Brazil will not be affected by the changes and original baggage allowances apply.
Changes to checked baggage
From 11 August 2015, customers purchasing a fully flexible World Traveller ticket (Y fare) will have a reduced free checked baggage allowance of one piece weighing a maximum of 23kg. This brings the allowance in line with all other World Traveller fares on British Airways. Customers who have purchased a fully flexible ticket prior to 11 August 2015 will continue to receive a free checked baggage allowance of two pieces, regardless of their date of travel.
Shorthaul and UK domestic flights to/from London Heathrow (LHR) and London City (LCY)
For second and subsequent bags with Hand Baggage Only (HBO) fare: when purchased in advance via ba.com or the contact centres the charge will increase from £40/$60/€50 to £60/$90/€70.
For all bags when Standard/Semi Flex/Flexible/Club Europe fare is purchased and for second and subsequent bags with Hand Baggage Only (HBO) fare: when purchased in advance via ba.com or the contact centres the charge will increase from £40/$60/€50 to £60/$90/€70.
Longhaul routes where the checked baggage allowance is 1 bag
When purchased in advance via ba.com or the contact centres the charge will increase from £55/$85/€64 to £60/$90/€70.
Changes to USD and EUR rates
In addition to the above changes, on some longhaul and shorthaul routes the GBP rates may stay the same, however the rates quoted in USD and EUR have been amended.
Currently, Global Distribution System (GDS) providers enable travel agents access to book flights and ancillaries offered by airlines.
IATA has examined the 25-year old industry infrastructure, and worked in collaboration with airlines, Travel Management Companies, GDS, Online Travel Agencies and corporates to launch New Distribution Capability (NDC) which uses the latest information technology to deliver enhanced information to travel agents.
NDC covers the end-to-end booking process and shows the information that ba.com or another airline’s website would display. NDC benefits British Airways as an airline, giving us improved capability to display our range of products and services in a useful and straightforward way. The end customer benefits with a more transparent booking process so they can make informed decisions about what each airline offers and who they decide to travel with.
We have been a leading player in developing the NDC standard, and are now ready to open our NDC Pilot to interested parties from across the travel industry.
Our loyalty scheme for small and medium sized businessess is changing. The new programme will better meet the flying needs of this growing and dynamic sector. These changes are being made in order for us to implement a smarter programme that offers our members more opportunities to earn and spend points across IAG carriers British Airways, Iberia and American Airlines networks.
Benefits of the new On Business programme:
Information regarding the migration to the new On Business programme:
Members will receive a new membership and account number. You should use the new membership number on new bookings.
Details on how to make new booking entries, what happens with customers’ existing bookings and contact details are all included on the link below.
Find out more
Nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand or the USA can benefit from the recently updated Registered Traveller Service offered by the UK Border Force, to give an easier and faster arrivals experience.
As a member of Registered Traveller, the UK arrivals process will be quicker. Customers will no longer need to complete a landing card and will be able to use the UK/EU lanes and the UK ePassport gates with biometric passports (where available). Later this year, 15 of the newest generation gates will be added at London Heathrow Terminal 5.
Becoming a Registered Traveller is easier than ever before. Customers can apply online at https://www.gov.uk/registered-traveller. It costs £70 to apply to use the service for one year. If applications are unsuccessful, £50 will be refunded back.
Currently the service is available at London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London City, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester, and will be rolling out to more UK airports during 2015.
From 12 May 2015, customers travelling in World Traveller to selected destinations (Seattle, Houston, Miami, Dallas, Austin, Mexico City, Phoenix, San Diego, Denver, Atlanta) will be able to choose and purchase their own in-flight meal before flying with us. Pre-paid meals are available to trade bookings and should be booked on Manage my Booking on ba.com or via our contact centres.
With a World Traveller pre-paid meal, customers can select from a range of mouth-watering options on ba.com as an alternative to the complimentary in-flight meal. Menus will be available to browse and order from within 30 days of the flight’s departure, with the online service available from 23 April 2015. Drinks will be included at no extra cost, as before.
All dishes have been selected by our renowned chefs who have overseen the full design and development process to ensure every meal reaches our high ‘Height Cuisine’ standards. There are 5 dining options to choose from:
The Great British Breakfast includes freshly made omelette, Cumberland sausage, Greek yoghurt, crunchy granola and seasonal fruits
Healthy Choice is perfect for those counting calories
Vegetarian Kitchen features polenta crespelle with mascarpone, spinach, wild mushrooms and truffles
Gourmet Dining and A Taste of Britain for even the most discerning traveller to find something to whet their appetite
Each meal is made with fresh, excellent quality ingredients and is handmade on a daily basis. British provenance plays a key role in our menu choices, with smoked salmon from Loch Fyne in Scotland, pork belly from Brookfield Farm in Wiltshire and beef cheeks from Herefordshire just some of the options available.
Customers travelling First, Club World and World Traveller Plus can select their meal from the onboard menu between 30 days and 24 hours before their flight if they travelling on the following routes from London Heathrow: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Buenos Aires, Calgary, Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Mexico City, Montreal, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Rio de Janeiro, San Diego, Sao Paulo, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington DC.
AirPortr have introduced Carousel Collection at London City that picks up passenger bags on their behalf and ensures they are delivered to them on the same day.
Following a recent trial of this service to Executive Club Members on specific routes into London City, we're now extending Carousel Collection to all passengers on domestic flights arriving into the airport. This service will be complimentary for Executive Club Members.
Passengers can book the service at any time prior to their flight departing, so when they touch down at London City, they can leave the aircraft and head straight for the exit, without waiting to pick up their bags from the baggage reclaim.
Carousel Collection is free to our Executive Club Members. For all other customers, the service costs £10 per booking and the standard AirPortr booking starts from £15 for the first bag and only £5 per additional bag (regardless of weight or size). In addition to receiving a 10% discount when booking the AirPortr service, the Carousel Collection fee will continue to be waived for all Executive Club customers (all tiers) when entering their membership number when booking.
Customers can pre-book the service up until their flight departs at portr.com or by calling 0203 384 6677. There is also an AirPortr Concierge desk at London City airport.
From 26 March, all customers booking an HBO fare will be allocated a seat at check-in (24 hours before departure). HBO customers who want to choose their own seat will be able to do so for a fee, either at time of booking or when checking in online on ba.com.
Customers travelling with infants or those with additional needs will still be able to choose their seats for free at the time of booking.
All other HBO customers, including Executive Club Members, will be have the option of paying to choose their seat. The fee on a domestic flight will be £7 each way. Across the rest of the shorthaul network the fee will range from £10 to a maximum £18 depending on the flight. For all other fares, Bronze Members can continue to select their seat for free seven days before departure and Silver and Gold Members for free at the time of booking.
The keyword required for HBO fares will change to XHBT from XHBO from 26 March. Please don't use the new XHBT keyword until this date, as using the incorrect keyword may result in passengers being charged the incorrect baggage fee.
You should ensure customers are aware of the policy regarding allocated seating on HBO fares.
This key news is historic and may since have been updated - please refer to the latest information
We're introducing changes to our On Business programme from 27 May 2015. These changes will impact the way customers earn and spend points, giving greater choice across partner airlines and introduce a tier system for those spending more on flights.
Find out more about the changes at ba.com/information/onbusiness
Customers can enjoy an even smarter programme, with the option to either earn points every time they fly, or choose a cash discount instead of points on selected flights.
Migration to the new programme
In order for these changes to take place we will closing the current programme at 23:59 GMT on the 24 May 2015. We will then begin to migrate our system over to the new On Business programme, which will be completed on 27 May 2015. During this time neither you, your customers, nor any of the British Airways teams, including your On Business Service Centre, will be able to access the On Business account. During this time customers will only be able to change the date and time of an existing booking through Manage My Booking.
Enrolling new members into the On Business programme
From the 27 April – 27 May 2015 you will not be able to enrol new members into the current On Business programme. This will allow for us to migrate our system to the new On Business programme.
Membership Numbers and GDS entries
These will be changing when we launch the programme and we will communicate these changes closer to our launch date, 27 May 2015. If you have any further questions, please contact Trade Support or your account manager.
At the end of last year, a new longhaul pre-order catering proposition was launched to customers travelling in our First, Club World and World Traveller Plus cabins which enabled them to select their first choice main course from the on board a-la-carte menu. Pre-order meals are available to trade bookings and should be booked on Manage my Booking on ba.com or via our contact centres.
The pre-order service was originally introduced on flights between London Heathrow and Las Vegas, Phoenix, Rio de Janeiro, Vancouver, Dallas and Seattle offering customers the opportunity to pre-order their meal from 30 days before their flight departed, right up to 24 hours prior to take-off using Manage my Booking on ba.com.
Due to the success of this proposition, we're pleased to advise from 22 January 2015, this service is now available on flights between London Heathrow and Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Houston, Austin and San Diego for travel after 5 February 2015.
In addition, from 1 February 2015 pre-order catering is also be available on flights between London Heathrow and Atlanta, Denver, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary for travel after 1 March 2015.
We're making a number of changes to its loyalty programme, the Executive Club from 28 April 2015.
The changes will make it easier for your customers to spend Avios on reward flights. The scheme will also become more rewarding for those who have spent more on their flights.
Redemption seat availability
We're increasing the number of seats available for booking with Avios loyalty points and reducing the points needed for off-peak travel on some routes.
From 28 April, we're guaranteeing that a minimum of four seats in World Traveller/ Euro Traveller and two seats in Club World / Club Europe will be available for booking with Avios on every British Airways operated flight*.
Overall, more than nine million seats will be available this year to book with Avios, with more than 500,000 additional seats available for Members to book from today.
Changes to number of Avios earned
The rates at which customers earn Avios will be modified to come more into line with the type of fare bought. In general, this means the more flexible the ticket the more Avios your Customers will earn. Customers travelling in business class or First class can earn up to 300 per cent on a fully flexible, fully changeable ticket, reflecting the fact they have spent more money.
Redeeming Avios - Introduction of peak and off-peak pricing
Off-peak pricing will be introduced for approximately two thirds of the year, including many weekends and all Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This means that for your customers many seats will require fewer Avios to book than they do today.
There will be a reduction in the number of Avios required on a redemption seat for your customers travelling off-peak in economy of up to 35 per cent off. At peak times, the number of Avios required to book economy travel will remain as it is today.
Reward flights with British Airways’ airline partners will be one price all year round, with the exception of Iberia who will also offer seasonal pricing.
Greater differentiation between Gold and Silver tiers
Gold Members continue to earn a 100% tier bonus, Silver Members earn a 50% tier bonus and Bronze Members will continue to earn a 25% tier bonus.
Please see attached links below for a summary of all the changes we are making along with some Q&A’s about what the changes mean for your customers.
The changes will become effective from 28 April 2015. All bookings made before this date will be honoured under the current Terms and Conditions.
*Excluding any flights defined below:
(a) any BA Flight which is operated as a charter flight outside of the scheduled operation of BA or any of the BA Subsidiaries;
(b) any BA Flight operated from LGW as an agent specific flight where 100% of the Inventory on such scheduled flight is allocated to a specific agent or operator
The UK government announced last year that the Air Passenger Duty (APD) will no longer be charged for children between the ages of 2 and 12 years on Economy class seats for travel from 1 May 2015. Infant tickets are not charged APD.
For bookings already made for customers travelling with children after 1 May, a refund may be due:
For tickets issued by a travel agent and British Airways was not the merchant: customers will need to contact you after they have completed their journey. You should apply for refund for APD on our Refund Request webform as soon as possible after travel is completed.*
For tickets issued by a travel agent where British Airways was the merchant (i.e. cleared the payment card): we will automatically refund the APD back to the original payment card after they have flown all the sectors (departing the UK).*
For direct bookings with British Airways: APD will be automatically refunded back to the original payment card after they have flown all the sectors (departing the UK). The refund should appear on their statement by the end of the following month.
*Refunds should never take place before travel. Please do NOT undertake and refund activity if any sectors are still open as this may cause issues with the open sector also being closed for refund.