News & offers: BA seat charges, winter changes & OW Asia & S Africa fares from £1297

New British Airways Boeing 787-8 Arriving from the Boeing Factory in Seattle to London Heathrow. Taken: 29th September 2017 Picture by: Stuart Bailey

British Airways news

BA has announced some changes for the winter schedule including an aircraft swap to one of my favourite winter sun destinations. Phoenix is a great place to get some winter sun with plenty to do nearby and temperatures in the low to mid 20s throughout the winter. There are lots of sophisticated resorts such as the Phoenician hotel by Starwood Luxury collection (review here). You can read my guide to a break in Phoenix and Scottsdale here. BA have traditionally used a rather worn out B747 on this route but for the winter period they will be using a nice modern B787-9. So if you fancy going to Phoenix this winter may be a good opportunity if you fancy flying BA! The aircraft is due to change from 27 October. For next summer it is currently showing a B777-300.

The schedule will be:

Following schedule effective 3 Nov 19 – 7 Mar 20.

  • BA289 LHR 1430 – 1830 PHX
  • BA288 PHX 2040 – 1335+1 LHR

BA is also moving Phoenix to Terminal 5 from 27 October 2019 which will make a much nicer experience if you are flying First to Phoenix as you will be able to access the Concorde Room as well as having the B787 First seats which are my favourite BA First seats. In return, San Diego will move to terminal 3. At terminal 3 you have a choice of no less than 4 oneworld lounges which you can read about in this article.

BA B787-900 Club Europe review

B787 First

One of BA’s most disliked policies for non-status holders is the charge for seat selection in business class. They have already made this pretty complicated with dynamic pricing depending on the seat selected. For example, the Upper deck of a B747 would be more expensive than the lower deck. They have now changed this policy again to make it even more complicated!

BA B747 club world review

Club World B747 Upper Deck

Not only does the price vary by aircraft type there are now six different price points of a seat on a B747 main deck! They are categorised as front side, front centre, middle side, middle centre, rear side and rear centre. Prices vary from £87 for a seat at the side of the cabin at the front to £59 for a centre seat at the rear. If you can manage to get Bronze status which only requires 300 tier points and 2 BA flights, then you can select seats for free 7 days in advance. Silver and Gold get free seats from the time of booking.

HT: London Air Travel


Oneworld Asia and South Africa from £1269

There seems to be an almost permanent sale on fares to Asia from Scandivania at the moment with Finnair and Qatar. Here are the latest fares that I have found:

  • Stockholm to Bangkok – Finnair £1269
  • Stockholm to Hong Kong – Finnair £1385
  • Stockholm to Ho Chi Minh – Qatar £1441
  • Oslo to Singapore – Qatar £1445 (often available for around £1200 in a sale)
  • Stockholm to Phuket – Qatar or Finnair £1476
  • Oslo to Cape Town – Qatar £1469

Qatar  fare rules:

  • Book by: 31 May
  • Travel: weekends
  • Minimum stay: 5 nights
  • Maximum stay: 1 month
  • Transfers: unlimited
  • Stopovers: one free
  • Refundable: for a fee
  • Changeable: for a fee

Finnair rules:

  • Book by: n/a
  • Travel: n/a
  • Minimum stay: 3 nights
  • Maximum stay: 1n/a
  • Transfers: unlimited
  • Stopovers: one free
  • Refundable: for a fee
  • Changeable: for a fee

You can book direct with Qatar Airways here, Finnair here or find the cheapest online travel agent price with Skyscanner.

You can read my guide to flying on ex EU flights from Scandinavia here. 


6 Comments on "News & offers: BA seat charges, winter changes & OW Asia & S Africa fares from £1297"

  1. Chris MOORE | 23 May 2019 at 7:51 am | Reply

    Non status holder or not, you categorically shouldn’t have to pay to choose a Business Class seat with British Airways, end of. 99% of all other major carriers (Swiss, Garuda, Qatar, Emirates, Cathay etc) do not have this ridiculous charge. It’s not even as if sitting in a particular seat (747 top deck excluded) is worth paying extra for – that is until they roll out their new “suites”, then it could, at a stretch, be ALMOST justifiable.

    • I agree they should not charge and the prices are extremely steep. actually think it will be less justified with the new seats as there will be no bad seats as all with have aisle access although I guess if you want a middle pair you may want to pay to sit together.

  2. The BA seat charges are the main reason I avoid BA Premium Economy and Business class at all costs if possible.

  3. I just don’t pay and as I often have a connection flight I get priority as i can select when the connecting flight opens.

  4. My wife and I are flying back from San Diego mid November as the return leg of our first 2-4-1 (flying out to San Francisco end of October, cruising down the PCH).

    Had an email last week saying the flight times were changed and noticed the return is now coming in to T3. I think we may end up too late for arrivals lounges, but can you advise what lounge options there are in T3, please?

    Silver status, flying Club

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