NEWS: BA’s New Year Resolutions – to refurbish Heathrow lounges in 2020 and more

Like many of us do, British Airways has been making a list of New Year resolutions, although strangely there is no mention of a diet, drinking less or actually using their gym membership this year!

Although many of these are not new, there are a couple of nuggets hidden in here which we did not officially know about. I have highlighted these in bold. 

  1. New destinations – the airline has already announced nine new routes for 2020 including the Kosovan and Montenegrin capitals Pristina and Podgorica, Perugia in Italy, Antalya, Dalaman and Bodrum in Turkey, San Sebastián in Spain, Rhodes in Greece and Portland, Oregon, and it’s promising even more new destinations for customers to come. 
  1. New aircraft – the airline is due to take delivery of more than 20 new aircraft in 2020, including 787-10s and A350s which are up to 40% more fuel-efficient than the aircraft they replace.  The B787-10 will have 48 new Club Suite seats and the newest BA First seat based on the B787-9. It will first appear on the Atlanta route from February, on BA226/227.

BA 787-10 layout

  1. Club Suite – more aircraft will be flying with the airline’s new business class seat, Club Suite, which offers privacy via a suite door, 40% more storage space and a 1-2-1 layout with direct aisle access for all passengers.

    Club Suite

  1. Caring for the environment – from January British Airways will be offsetting all its domestic flights, customers travelling further afield can offset their individual emissions. The airline will be making additional announcements about sustainability throughout the year. 
  1. First – customers can expect to see more aircraft fitted with the airline’s newest First seat, currently available on its 787-9 aircraft.

    BA latest First seat

  1. World Traveller comfort – in addition to enhancements made in 2019, customers travelling in the airline’s economy cabin will experience refreshed bedding. 
  1. The new BA uniforms were supposed to be ready for their centenary but got rather delayed. Designed by Savile Row tailoring expert Ozwald Boateng OBE, new uniforms for a new decade will be revealed in2020. 

    Oswald Boateng photographed by Neale Haynes 

  1. Food – the airline is introducing new menus across its network thanks to new partnerships with gourmet caterers Do&Co at Heathrow and Newrest at Gatwick.

  1. Lounges – the airline’s lounges at Heathrow, Edinburgh and Berlin will be refreshed. Heathrow has been in the running for refurbishment for a long time – my main hope is that they sort out those dreadful NHS style toilets! Rumour has it that they will be doing Galleries First initially starting in January or February. Whether this will involve closing the lounge like they did in New York, we don’t know. Further details are expected to be announced shortly. In terms of style, I would expect something similar to the New York JFK lounge as BA have a blueprint for their new lounges. You can see pictures of the new JFK First lounge here and the Club lounge here.

I can only assume when they say refreshed for the Berlin lounge, they mean that there will be a new lounge at the new Berlin Brandenburg which is due to open on 31 October 2020. The Elemis Spa at JFK will also be re-designed and re-launched.

New BA First lounge JFK

  1. Connectivity – the majority of eligible aircraft will be WiFi ready by the end of 2020.  
  1. BA.com – expect a newly re-designed Manage My Booking experience enabling customers to navigate to information and services in a more intuitive way.  
  1. App – customers using the British Airways’ app will benefit from a slicker design and additional functionality improving the experience as they make and manage their bookings. 
  1. Robots – British Airways is trialling new autonomous wayfaring robots at Heathrow to help customers navigate through the airport. 
  1. 3D printing – the airline’s tech experts will continue their trial of printing non-essential aircraft parts like tray tables, to ensure flights are able to depart on time and without seats going out of service. 
  1. Concorde – British Airways Premier Card and Gold Guest List Executive Club members will be looked after by new Concorde teams when they travel through Los Angeles, New York JFK, London Heathrow, Delhi, and Mumbai. This is good news for myself and Paul – I will make GGL for the first time this year (all being well with my next trip) and Paul has managed to maintain his. We will report back how it works in practice. 
  1. Customer service training – thousands of British Airways’ airport hosts worldwide will receive additional training to provide a service that goes above and beyond expectations.  
  1. Executive Club – the airline has committed to making continuous improvements to the Executive Club with new partners and exciting deals throughout the year. There has still been no mention of the proposed dynamic Avios pricing that has been trialled and was due to come in this year. 
  1. Flying Start – British Airways celebrates the 10-year anniversary of its Flying Start charity which has so far raised more than £24m+ for good causes in the UK and overseas.  
  1. Internships – from summer, British Airways will become the first UK airline to offer paid summer internships to future aviators. 
  1. Documentary – customers will have the chance to watch the 2019 documentary about British Airways, British Airways Access All Areas, 24/7 on board long-haul flights. (you may see a couple of familiar figures if you watch it!)

What would you have liked to see in BA’s New Year resolutions? Let us know in the comments below or on our social media. 

3 Comments on "NEWS: BA’s New Year Resolutions – to refurbish Heathrow lounges in 2020 and more"

  1. Alignment with IAG partner airlines (Vueling, Are Lingus). If you book through BA you should get BA Avios, TPs and, mostly, lounge access as if you were flying BA (at the very least in LHR).

  2. Update the truly awful iPad app. So much functionality lost and what has to be the worst score ever on the App Store!

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