Special BA flights for 100 year anniversary – fly short haul on a B747 & how to book them

LONDON, UK: British Airways BEA, BOAC, Negus, Chatam Dockyard and Landor liveried aircraft at Engineering, London heathrow on 09 April 2019 (Picture by Nick Morrish/British Airways)

A keen-eyed aviation photographer on Twitter has spotted that BA have filed B747s to fly on domestic routes on its 100th birthday. There appear to be three operating so I would guess that these will be the three retro livery B747s which we have covered on TLFL.

The flights are on Sunday 25 August which is the actual BA centenary. British Airways can trace its origins back to the birth of civil aviation, the pioneering days following World War I. In the 99 years that have passed since the world’s first scheduled air service on 25 August 1919, air travel has changed beyond all recognition. BA has 4 retro livery aircraft for the centenary, three of which are B747s.

The flights concerned are:

  • London to Manchester – BA 1386 departs 1010 arrives  1120
  • Manchester to London- BA 1391 departs 1250 arrives 1400
  • London to Newcastle – BA 1326 departs 0920 arrives 1035
  • Newcastle to London BA 1327 departs 1240 arrives 1400
  • London to Glasgow BA 1482 departs 1200 arrives 1330
  • Glasgow to London BA 1487 departs 1500 arrives 1625

If you fancy booking on one of these flights you better be quick as they are selling out fast! So what are the ways you can secure a seat?


Hand baggage only fares are still quite reasonable at the time of going to press but Club Europe is pretty expensive. You can book them direct with British Airways. Which leads us onto the other alternatives….

AviosAvios bonus

There was little availability left but if yiu can find one they are available as Reward Flight Savers which means that you will only pay 4500 Avios and £17.50 tax one way in economy or 9000 Avios and £25 for Club Europe one way. If you are a BA gold card holder and can’t find availiblity you may want to use a….

Gold Priority RewardBA Executive club avios

These allow you to book any seat on a British Airways flight using Avios.  AS long as there is a seat available for cash on the flight, you can call the BA Gold Executive Club phone number and ask them to book you a seat with Avios. The downside is that it will cost you double the usual Avios amount and you must book at least 30 days in advance. However, if you are Gold Guest list you may want to use…

A ‘Joker’

These are given to BA Gold Guest List members and allow them to book up to 5 seats per cabin on one flight using Avios providing there is a cash ticket available (Fare classes A for first, D for CW, T for WT+). It also only costs the normal amount of Avios. You need to call the GGL line to use them.

Upper Deck and First

BA B747 club world review

Club World B747 Upper Deck

On short-haul flights operated with long haul aircraft, they will often open up the first cabin at the last minute. This will only be offered to Gold and GGL Cardholders once the Club World cabin is full. On this flight, it appears that they have done the same with the upper deck as both First and the upper deck are not available for seat selection. Obviously, there is a possibility that they may open these at a later date.


The British Airways Centenary Archive Collection

If you can’t make the flight but fancy learning a bit more about BA’s history you can check out their new online archives.

To mark British Airways’ centenary this year, the airline has opened its archive collection to the public for the first time to share never-before-seen memories of key moments from its 100-year history.

The British Airways Centenary Archive Collection explores moments from the very first international flight with its predecessor airline, Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited (AT&T) on August 25, 1919 carrying a journalist, Devonshire cream, leather and several brace of grouse, to the latest images of its brand-new Club Suite.

The collection, which will be hosted on a special centenary hub – ba.com/100/centenary-collection, showcases hundreds of historical photos and videos, as well as articles explaining how the British Airways we know today evolved from a single-engine De Havilland aircraft flying the world’s first daily international scheduled flight to Paris, to become a leading airline flying more than 45 million customers a year to more than 200 destinations across the world.

The digital collection includes images and videos of aircraft throughout the decades, close-up photographs of uniforms worn by generations of cabin crew and pilots, behind-the-scenes memorabilia from Royal and Olympic flights, and artefacts from Concorde – the most famous aircraft that ever flew.

The reveal of the Centenary Archive Collection was just a day after British Airways had the honour of hosting a visit from Her Majesty the Queen at the airline’s headquarters at Heathrow, to mark the centenary.

British Airways will continue to develop and add to the site throughout its centenary year, including adding recollections written by current and retired colleagues and carefully preserved records, documents and images from its extensive archive.

Are you tempted to book on one of these flights or have you already snagged one? Let us know in the comments below or on social media.


10 Comments on "Special BA flights for 100 year anniversary – fly short haul on a B747 & how to book them"

  1. Am i missing something here? I get the liveries are lovely and nostalgic and i would go out of my way to see one in ‘the flesh’ at an airport if I was there, but there’s nothing else different? The interior is the same, the crew are in current uniforms and there is no difference to the service, so unless you make a point of looking at the aircraft before you board, what are you getting? I only ask as its currently £758 return in club Europe for 2 to Glasgow and that a definite no no for me 🙂

  2. Funnily enough, when I was looking (about three months ago) at where I could use my 241, there was absolutely no availability on any flights on that Sunday

  3. MALCOLM REED | 31 May 2019 at 8:52 pm | Reply

    Just booked the Manchester flight for me & my nephew. Quite pricey so I hope they have something special planned!

  4. After five attempts on three different devices I eventually got onto the 1200 Glasgow, each attempt getting more expensive! Thanks for the tip off

  5. Steven Jack | 1 June 2019 at 9:45 am | Reply

    I booked to come up to Glasgow on the Friday , I’ll visit family and then get in the newly refurbed GLA lounge for some fizz before getting on the 15:00 to LHR, both legs in club so a nice 80 TP, and unique flight experience for £260 all in. I just hope the GLA lounge has stockpiled enough champagne!

  6. Matthew Chapman | 7 June 2019 at 1:59 pm | Reply

    Sadly my Glasgow flight has been switched to a A319. BA emailed to say I could have a refund but when I called they had no idea what I was talking about and refused. You’d think they would inform staff before pressing send on the email. I imagine this was something to do with the Simon Calder article in the Independent.

  7. The 747 Flights on 25 AUG 2019 have been changed to normal small Airbus equipment 🙁

  8. Mickey Gale | 9 June 2019 at 10:07 am | Reply

    I too have lost my B744 flight. Instant refund, feeble excuses (nothing speculative about it as I had seat 53J allocated) and the call centre person had no idea who Cruz was!

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