BA news & offers: Group boarding, new Club World, Hong Kong & Shanghai from £1245 and more

A380

BA Group Boarding

I wrote about the rather controversial new BA boarding policy in this article back in November. It was originally due to start on 12 December but got delayed until the new year. Over the last 10 days BA have been trialling the group boarding from various airports. I thought it was worth clarifying the current situation:

Heathrow

BA automated boarding gates

BA automated boarding gates at Heathrow

T5A departures are now all using Group Boarding.

T5B and T3 should start this week

Gatwick

Group Boarding is being trialled on JFK flights and some short haul flights and a decision about full implementation is expected this week.

Other airports

These are being introduced gradually with trials already starting in several outstations.

Have you experienced the new boarding process? Do you think it is any better than the current process? Let me know in the comments below or on social media.

New Club World changes

I reported recently that BA were planning to launch new routes in January for the new Club World catering. BA have now decided to change the launch dates and routes as follows. The next set of new routes to get Club World catering will not launch until some point in February.

The routes due to get the new catering in February are:

  • Baltimore
  • New York Newark
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Washington
  • Philadelphia
  • Dubai
  • Hong Kong
  • Montreal
  • Toronto

If you have preordered a meal for one of these routes in January or February, be aware you may not get this now if it was one of the new Club World meals.

 

BA to buy more A380s?

BA A380 Club World review upper deck

Club World A380

It has been revealed that BA are in talks with Airbus over the potential purchase of more A380s. BA currently has 12 A380s in their fleet. You can read my review of my recent A380 flights with BA in my Flight Review section here. Previously BA had been looking at buying older A380s from airlines such as Malaysian and Singapore Airlines but had ruled this out due to the costs of refurbishing them. The A380s are one of the answers to Heathrow’s congestion issues as it allows BA to increase passenger number on routes without needing additional slots.

Airbus had been talking recently of axing the A380 program altogether until Emirates agreed to a further order of up to 16 A380s.

Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai in Club World from £1245

cheap flights shanghai and beijing

Shanghai skyline

Another interesting ex EU deal has popped up on British Airways, this time departing from Luxembourg. It does mean backtracking to Heathrow but with Luxembourg only being a short 1 hour 30 minute flight, it’s no worse than an ex Dublin to the US. It would, of course, mean an extra 80 tier points for this part, plus any positioning flights as well. With the unlimited stopovers (for a fee) and 5 transfers in each direction, this could make an interesting tier point run.

The key rules of the fare are:

  • You must stay a Saturday night
  • Booking must be made at least 14 days prior to departure
  • unlimited stopovers are permitted in each direction with up to 2 at €100.00 each or unlimited at €200.00 each.
  • a stopover may not exceed 6 months.
  • 5 transfers are permitted in each direction free
    • 2 free transfers in Europe in each direction
    • 3 free in Japan/Korea,
    • 1 free in China in each direction

The fare must be booked by 4 February 2018. You can make your booking direct on British Airways website.

 

 

Discount on some Manchester Club Europe flights

BA E190 Club Europe

Row 1 of the E190 (Club Europe)

If you are planning any holiday flights with British Airways on City Flyer operated routes from Manchester you will want to use the discount code BAMAN15. The code gives a discount of 15% on all Cityflyer operated routes in Club Europe from Manchester when booked by 25 January. These use E190 aircraft with a 2-2 configuration which obviously means you lose one of the benefits of Club Europe by no longer having a free seat next to you.

BA CityFlyer routes operate from 19 May to 27 October. The routes are:

  • Alicante
  • Nice
  • Florence
  • Malaga
  • Mykonos (160 tier points return)
  • Palma
  • Ibiza

 

You must enter the discount code BAMAN15 when booking on britishairways.com

6 Comments on "BA news & offers: Group boarding, new Club World, Hong Kong & Shanghai from £1245 and more"

  1. Derek Holdrup | 22 January 2018 at 6:11 am | Reply

    Flew to Johannesburg about 10 days ago in F and ticket was printed with Group 1 boarding. Major problem was trying to get to the desk due to hundreds of other passengers queuing at the ticket desk long before their grpup numbers were called. The BA girl who checked my ticket did apologise for the “scrum”!!

    • I think the whole success of the new process will be down to how the staff manage it -or not. It works in the US with most airlines so should work here in theory!

  2. Flew to Bkk from LHR in Club, given Group 2 boarding. Lot of confusion at the gate due to next gate boarding at the same time, sounded like it was coming from BKK gate. Staff were very rude to the passengers when it wasn’t their fault. On boarding BA did not call Group 2 just called all Gold, Silver and Club Passengers that makes more sense in all honesty.

    • Hopefully once everyone gets used to it, it will go more smoothly but no excuse for being rude. If it works in the US surely we can manage it here!?

  3. I travelled from Heathrow T5 on Sunday to Glasgow from the A gates. Group sections were cordoned off and clearly signposted. There was a line for group 1, then 2-3 and finally 4-5. Passengers requiring extra time to board were still called forward first. The electronic boarding gates were in operation, but there were still gate staff present.
    I’m pleased BA adopted this process. I found it worked well (even on a completely full flight) and was so much better than the old system. I fly a lot domestically and it was always a challenge trying to get past crowds without priority, but not queue jump other priority boarders in the process!

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