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British Airways is improving its food for customers travelling to Delhi and Mumbai from London Heathrow on both outbound and inbound flights, including the introduction of a full second hot meals across all cabins, which is good news. In Club World (business class), there will also be chilled snacks in the Club Kitchen as well as ambient snacks like crisps and chocolate.
From the 9 August, BA is also changing the snack in Euro Traveller (economy), with the new choice of banana cake or a sultana flapjack available on all flights from London Heathrow and London Gatwick. Personally, I am not that happy about this. Although the pretzels are absolutely tiny (41 calories!) they at least provided something that wasn’t sweet. If you don’t have a sweet tooth or are trying to avoid sugar, now there is no choice but two sugary options.
On the ground, British Airways has also changed its menus across its lounges, including an enhanced selection of hot breakfasts, afternoon tea and Great British Picnic treats in its Galleries lounges at London Heathrow and London Gatwick. Elsewhere, the airline has updated its à la carte First Dining with local specialities and a British Original offering across its US lounges, with a selection of new cocktails, locally crafted beers and other beverages now available.
I visited the T5B Galleries Club lounge on Monday and was impressed with the selection of food there, which was very similar to what they have in Galleries First. This begs the question, will they then improve Galleries First food? They do now have a make-your-own soup such as hot and sour soup in Galleries First, where you can add your own choice of veg and herbs, which I really like. But my view was that there were now only minor differences between T5B and T5 Galleries First in terms of food.
I’ll be bringing a full review of the newly refurbished T5B lounge this week and the Whispering Angel bar.
It is rumoured that there will be a First section at the T5B gates, and there is a large section currently boarded off behind the desks, so they are certainly doing some sort of change.
British Airways said in a press release that they have doubled the content available in their inflight entertainment system since the start of the year, with 75+ complete boxsets and 20 classic franchises now available on board for August. If you haven’t seen it yet, there is a range of exclusive content for British Airways through its Paramount+ partnership, such as Rabbit Hole: The Algorithms of Control, The Flatshare and Grease: Rise of The Pink Ladies. Movie boxsets include the complete Harry Potter series, Indiana Jones and Mission Impossible.
As we are approaching Fringe season, BA has a range of British Original content, including highlights from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2022, such as The Fringe, Fame and Me and Just for Laughs.
British Airways’ Chief Customer Officer, Calum Laming, said: “We know just how important it is to provide a great range of entertainment for our customers to enjoy during their journeys, and it’s one of the things they look forward to most when they fly with us, so we’ve been working hard to source new content, doubling the amount available at our customers’ fingertips.
‘We’ve partnered with brilliant brands like Paramount+ and even created a dedicated British Original channel. From a newly released blockbuster film to the latest podcast, there’s something for everyone to enjoy during their flight this summer.”
New Heathrow routes for winter and winter schedule changes
BA is in the process of firming up its winter schedules which you may have seen by the change notifications coming through. Inverness services will be cut back with no night-stop flights. Previously, Inverness was a great starting point due to a lack of APD tax, but I have not seen any decent fares from there for over six months.
Route changes and new routes
The new routes from Heathrow for winter 23/24 are:
- Belgrade (3x per week) starts 31 October
- Cologne (12x per week) starts 30 October
- Turin (1 x per week) 10 December
- Riga, Latvia (3x per week) A320/321 from 30 October
Tier points are not confirmed yet, but they are likely to all be 40 TP each way in Club Europe. At the time of writing, BA were quoting fares such as £73 return to Riga, but I can’t see anything close to that price, so it may be worth trying at a later time if you are seeing the same. You can find full details of the new routes at the end of the article.
Routes that will be extended into winter are:
- Ljubljana, Slovenia – four times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
- Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW) will become a year-round (four-times weekly)
BA will also extend the season of their Heathrow to Faro route to run between February and November, and will only be paused during December/January. During the winter season, there will be two flights a week.
Gatwick to Venice will finish with the final flight is due to depart on 28 October 2023. Obviously, they could decide to bring this back next summer, but there are currently no flights available in the system.
- Frequency increases:
- Edinburgh: 71 to 77 per week
- Faro: 0 to 2 per week (New winter service)
- Glasgow: 64 to 75 per week
- Grenoble: 1 to 2 per week
- Istanbul: 14 to 21 per week
- Malaga: 7 to 8 per week
- Manchester: 53 to 54 per week
- Marrakesh: 5 to 6 per week
- Newcastle: 34 to 36 per week
- Amman: 6 to 7 per week
- Belfast City: 27 to 41 per week
- Gibraltar: 9 to 11 per week
- Hannover: 14 to 19 per week (addition of nightstop) Jersey: 28 to 32 per week
- Larnaca: 14 to 15 per week
- Milan Linate: 33 to 35 per week
- Reykjavik: 7 to 9 per week
- Venice: 21 to 23 per week
- Frequency decreases
- Aberdeen: 57 to 46 per week
- Athens: 27 to 20 per week – Basel 29 to 27 per week – Berlin: 54 to 47 per week
- Bologna: 21 to 20 per week
- Brussels: 45 to 34 per week (removal of nightstop) – Dublin: 54 to 51 per week
- Düsseldorf: 34 to 32 per week
- Frankfurt: 38 to 33 per week
- Geneva: 81 to 79 per week
- Hamburg: 34 to 33 per week
- Inverness: 14 to 7 per week (removal of nightstop)
- Krakow: 7 to 5 per week
- Milan Malpensa: 41 to 32 per week (removal of nightstop)
- Munich: 46 to 40 per week
- Naples: 5 to 3 per week
- Pisa: 7 to 3 per week
- Rome 45 to 40 per week
- Stockholm: 32 to 31 per week
- Tirana: 6 to 4 per week – Zagreb: 8 to 6 per week – Zurich: 45 to 44 per week
- New Route
- Milan Linate resumes from 5 November once a week on Sundays (E190 aircraft)
- San Sebastián converted from summer seasonal to year-round – Thursdays and Sundays
- Frequency increase:
- Berlin: 18 to 22 per week
- Florence: 12 to 13 per week
- Glasgow: 30 to 32 per week
- Prague: 3 to 4 per week
- Frequency decreases:
- Barcelona: 7 to 4 per week
- Edinburgh: 53 to 50 per week
- Palma: 3 to 2 per week
- Salzburg: 2 to 1 per week
You can now check prices and book on www.ba.com
Here are the full details of the new flights:
|Start date||Flight number||Departing LHR||Arriving at destination||Flight number||Departing destination||Arriving LHR|
|London Heathrow (LHR) to Riga, Latvia (RIX): Winter 2023|
|29 October 2023||BA888||Tue: 0755|
|London City (LCY) to San Sebastian (EAS) Winter 2023|
|29 October 2023||BA7335||Thu: 0945|
|London Heathrow (LHR) to Sabiha Gökçen Airport, Istanbul (SAW)|
|29 October 2023||BA602||Mon: 0800|
|London Heathrow (LHR) to Ljubljana, Slovenia (LJU)|
|29 October 2023||BA690||Mon: 1310|
|London Heathrow (LHR) to Cologne, Germany (CGN): Winter 2023|
|30 October 2023||BA996|
Sun: 0825Mon: 1620
Sun: 1055Mon: 1850
Sun: 1145Mon: 1950
Sun: 1220Mon: 2025
|London Heathrow (LHR) to Belgrade, Serbia (BEG): Winter 2023|
|31 October 2023||BA880||Tue: 1420|
|London City (LCY) to Milan Linate, Italy (LIN): Winter 2023|
|5 November 2023||BA7314||Sun: 1240||Sun: 1535||BA7315||Sun: 1615||Sun: 1710|
|London Heathrow (LHR) to Turin, Italy (TRN): Winter 2023|
|10 December 2023||BA536||Sun: 0930||Sun: 1225||BA537||Sun: 1315||Sun: 1410|
HT: To fly to travel