Breaking: EU ban on ALL non essential travel, BA lounges closing at T5, Heathrow T3 and 4 to close?, BA US flight cuts, more destinations lock down

BA Club LOunge T5 B GatesClub Lounge at T5 B Gates

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EU ban on all non-essential travel and more recent changes

FCO warnings

The FCO is advising against all but essential travel to:

Europe: Albania, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Madeira and Porto Santo (Portugal), Romania, Serbia

Asia: Myanmar, China, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, North Korea, Daegu, Cheongdo and Gyeongsan (South Korea), Mongolia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam

North America: US

Central America and the Caribbean: Belize, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama

South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname

Africa: South Africa, Kenya, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Malawi, Morocco, Sierra Leone

Cruise ships
The FCO is advising against all travel on cruise ships for passengers aged 70 years and over or those with high-risk conditions. Some destinations are placing bans on cruise ships docking or passengers disembarking, including Australia, Chile, Colombia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro and Portugal.

Remember the best sources of information are the FCO website here for travel warnings and the official IATA page for entry restrictions. Don’t forget to try your travel insurer for a refund in these circumstances if you want your cash back rather than a refund.

My advice is – unless you are travelling to be with your family and are prepared to be stuck for several months or go into quarantine do not start travel now unless it’s domestic. Counties and closing down and flights cut with alarming speed. If you get stranded most insurance policies only cover up to a month away although hopefully in the circumstances they would extend them. I would definitely not consider flying anywhere with an FCO advice issued against it as it invalidates most insurance policies.


BA lounges closing at T5

Galleries First Terminal 5 Heathrow

I have been surprised to see BA keeping all its lounges at T5 open with so few passengers. When I was there today, the Galleries First was almost deserted. I have now been informed that Galleries Club North and T5B lounges will close from tomorrow 17 March. The main lounge complex with the First, Club and Concorde lounges will remain open. 


Heathrow Terminals 3 and 4 to close?

Over the last 24 hours, I have heard from two completely different sources working at Heathrow that they are due to close terminals 3 and 4 shortly. This will leave all flights to operate from T2 and 5. It will take some time to reconfigure the systems and advise people but I would not be surprised to see it happening within the next week. How it will be arranged remains to be seen. Logically you would put all oneworld in T5 – AA, Cathay, Finnair, Qatar could move to T5 alongside BA and Iberia. This would leave the remaining Star Alliance and Skyteam in T2. Obviously lounge arrangements would have to change, but it wouldn’t take much if airlines cooperate.

I expect to see an announcement in the next week or so. 


British Airways US flight cuts

British Airways are not making formal announcements except internally abut specific route cuts.  We do know they are making a 75% cut across their route network fro April and May 2020. Once the flight plans are adjusted we should get a better picture.

Willie Walsh has said he expects there to be low demand until well into the summer. 

Only US citizens and permanent residents are allowed to travel from the UK to the US. This option is only available on routes to a “designated” airport where they will have health screening (which is not going well – 7 hour waits in a crowded room sounds like a breeding ground for coronavirus)

The designated airports are:

· Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta (ATL)

· Boston Logan (BOS)

· Chicago O’Hare (ORD)

· Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)

· Detroit Metropolitan (DTW)

· Daniel K Inouye International Airport, Honolulu (HNL)

· Los Angeles (LAX)

· Miami (MIA)

· New York John F Kennedy (JFK)

· Newark Liberty (EWR)

· San Francisco International (SFO)

· Seattle Tacoma (SEA)

According to London Air Travel, the non approved gateway flights have been cancelled from 18 March:

London Gatwick: Las Vegas, Orlando, Tampa

London Heathrow: Austin, Baltimore, Charleston, Denver, Houston, Nashville, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Jose

If you are affected by the route cuts or want to know more about cancelling or changing your booking, have a read of this article. 

6 Comments on "Breaking: EU ban on ALL non essential travel, BA lounges closing at T5, Heathrow T3 and 4 to close?, BA US flight cuts, more destinations lock down"

  1. Very helpful article. It’s difficult to keep track of all closures. Thank you for a great summary

  2. And we’re sitting in Zurich Airport at the moment. All lounges closed and some restaurants open for take-away only.

  3. Listening to the morning news it seems the Foreign Office advise not to travel, but not ban. Without the ban it seems insurance is not effected. It seems another example of pass the buck by the Government

  4. Should we have had acknowledgement from BA regarding a voucher we applied for on Saturday? We are still supposed to be flying on 20th, Saturday as BA sent us an update yesterday saying our flight was still operating. It is all very confusing and we don’t really want to phone at this troubled time, but nor do we want to loose our money. Can you clarify please Michelle?

    • No. It could take days or weeks as they are being processed manually. As long as you have submitted the form it is fine. You will continue to receive updates until they get round to it.

  5. Thanks Michelle. Can you clarify what ‘updates ‘ you are referring to, as we have had nothing from BA refering to vouchers. Thank you.

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