June 2013

Does this grab you? British Airways is to trial a brand new, electronic baggage tag which, it is hoped, could soon replace the need for paper tags.

The new luggage tags have been designed by Designworks and simply require that the passenger scan the new baggage tag with their smartphone after checking-in; this then updates the baggage tag with the relevant flight details and an easy-to-read description.

Lewis Freeman, Designworks lead designer for the project, said: “This step into digital tagging of luggage is a huge leap forward enabling your luggage to become a connected object, providing a seamless experience for frequent travellers with British Airways.”

Thousands of bags are lost or delayed every year, often because existing paper baggage tags can become smudged or ripped, making the bar codes impossible to read.

 

lost luggage mountain

Lost luggage anyone?
Image courtesy of the BBC

As one of the biggest problems that airlines face, anything that can resolve, or least reduce, this problem will be eagerly anticipated.

British Airways bag tag

 

 

 

 

To celebrate the arrival of their first 787 Dreamliner, British Airways have launched introductory fares to both Toronto & Newark.

british airways 787Flights to Toronto commence on 1st September with lead-in fares starting at £619 in World Traveller, £1028 in World Traveller Plus and £2857 in Club World. Flights to Newark follow, commencing on 1st October, with lead-in fares starting at £444 in World Traveller, £787 in World Traveller Plus and £2505 in Club World.

Travel dates for these spaecial offer fares are from 21st October to 13th December and 25th December to 27th March. Fares are subject to availability and must be booked by midnight on 16th July.

Launching these new special offer fares for British Airways was Kim Cattrall, star of ‘Sex & The City’, who was born in the UK, grew up in Canada and lives in the US (although currently appearing on stage in London). “I fly regularly between London, Canada and the USA with British Airways and I love their service” commented the actress. “I need to be ready to work when I land, so to know that I can fly on their 787s and arrive feeling really rested and refreshed is a definite bonus for me.”

Cabin noise on the 787 is much less than on older aircraft types. Different pressurisation means the internal cabin altitude is the equivalent of 6,000ft, which is 2,000ft lower than on other aircraft. This leads to greater humidity, reducing the drying effect of the cabin air, so customers arrive feeling more refreshed. The aircraft’s smooth ride technology also provides extra comfort during any turbulence.

The bespoke lighting in every cabin can be set to reflect the time of day, helping to lull travellers to sleep at night and to wake them in the morning. Customers can also enjoy much larger windows, offering views of the horizon from every seat.

Mitch Preston is British Airways’ first 787 pilot to fly the aircraft from Boeing’s Seattle home to London. Preston said: “It was a real pleasure to fly the 787 home to Heathrow today – it’s a joy to operate, and a really smooth ride. It’s exceptionally quiet and the cabin environment, combined with the service customers would expect from British Airways, will make for a great experience. I for one can’t wait to welcome our customers on board.”

British Airways today welcomed the first of its 42 Boeing 787 Dreamliners to its home base at Heathrow.

K65936The 787-8 series aircraft departed Paine Field in USA last night and arrived at Heathrow this morning where it was met, amongst others, by Willie Walsh, CEO of British Airways parent company IAG. Commenting on the new arrival Mr Walsh stated: “The 787 is a tremendous, innovative aircraft which sets new standards for environmental performance and operating efficiency and I’m sure British Airways’ customers will love it. The 787 will become a mainstay of the British Airways fleet over the next few years.”

As we reported yesterday, the first two destinations to receive the new aircraft will be Toronto (from 1st September) and Newark (from 1st October). Flights onboard the new aircraft are now on general sale to both destinations.

The seating layout on a British Airways 787

British Airways has a total of 8 787-8 series aircraft on order, all of which will be configured in a 3 class cabin. The new aircraft is set to replace the airline’s ageing fleet of 767s, a mainstay of flights to the east coast of the USA and Canada.

With British Airways soon to take delivery of both its brand new 787s and A380s, we look at the ‘forgotten’ addition to the airline’s fleet, the 777-300.

british airways 747For the last decade plus, British Airways long-haul fleet has been split between the 747-400 (just over 50 still in operational service), the 777-200 (just under 50 still in service) and 767-300 (21 in service). The 747s & 767s operate exclusively out of Heathrow while the 777-200 flies from both Heathrow & Gatwick and is split between 3 & 4 class configurations.

Many of these long-haul aircraft, but especially the 747 & 767, have been showing their age for some time now and are in need of replacement. British Airways placed orders for 24 Dreamliner 787s and 12 A380s in the mid noughties but delays to the introduction of both new models left the airline (like many others) having to alter their plans. Step forward the 777-300.

The Boeing 777-300 is a whole 10 metres longer than the 777-200 (longer even than the 747-400) and British Airways already has 6 aircraft operational with a further 6 on order. The existing 6 operational aircraft are set up in a 4 class configuration with 14 seats in First, 56 in Club World, 44 in World Traveller Plus and 185 in World Traveller; a total of 299 seats, the same as the airline’s low density 747-400. To the best of our knowledge, the next 6 aircraft will also have the same configuration.

Sating in Britsh Airways new World Traveller cabinThe 777-300 operates exclusively out of Heathrow and tends to be used on the airline’s most important routes (ie routes which can support First class) such as to Singapore, Sydney, Dubai, Hong Kong and selected US destinations. All 777-300s are equipped with the airline’s most up to date product across all 4 cabins. Passengers travelling in World Traveller & World Traveller Plus in particular will notice a significant difference between the seating and in-flight entertainment in the airline’s older aircraft with that provided on the 777-300. This new product will also be fitted on all British Airways new 787s and A380s as well as being retro-fitted to some of the airline’s 777-200s (but not those operating out of Gatwick).

British Airways A350 on order for 2017So will British Airways order any further 777-300s to add to its planned fleet of 12? The airline has some 120 747s, 767s and 777-200s to replace in the coming years and, so far, has ‘only’ placed orders for 78 replacement aircraft to be delivered by 2023 (42 787 Dreamliners, 6 777-300s, 18 Airbus A350s and 12 A380s). Even the largest Dreamliner, the 787-10 series, which British Airways ordered last week in Paris, doesn’t have the capacity of a 777-300; nor does the Airbus A350. British Airways could order additional A380s but we don’t feel that they will. With the failure of its extended 747-800 to win-over airlines, we feel that Boeing will soon proceed with a new, even larger version of the 777-300 (already known as the 777-x) and that British Airways will come-a-knocking.

777-300

 

 

British Airways is to launch flights between London City airport and Dusseldorf in Germany from 1st September.

Although British Airways have increasingly been promoting leisure flights out of London City (such as their new service to Granada in Spain), the airport is primarily used for business and Dusseldorf is one of Germany’s most important business centres.

Flights will operate up to 3 times a day (less at the weekend) using a Saab 2000.

Commenting on the new route, Luke Hayhoe, British Airways general manager at London City stated: “We have launched a number of new leisure routes from London City in the past couple of years. Now we are very excited to be going to a great business city like Dusseldorf which offers significant trade links with the city of London.”

British Airways A318 London City Airport