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It may have taken a 10 year break, but British Airways is reinstating flights to Fuerteventura from December 2014.
The flights will operate from Gatwick twice a week, all year round and start from 13th December. The route will be operated on Airbus A319 and A320 short-haul aircraft, which the airline announced would be receiving a new look in the cabin, featuring stylish new seats.
British Airways already serves the Canary Islands with flights to Lanzarote leaving twice a week and Tenerife flying seven times a week.
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Good news for British Airways, which has been ranked best airline in almost every category except value by a Skyscanner survey.
BA came first for its food and drink, onboard experience, its style and customer service in short-haul flights, but ranked third in ‘best value for money’. It was beaten by Easyjet in second place, and little-known airline, Norwegian, in first place.
Norwegian was a surprise contender and fared extremely well in the survey, biting at BA’s heels in second place for most of the categories.
Skyscanner’s Mary Porter said: “Being a Superbrand and one which Brits are very proud of, it’s perhaps not surprising that British Airways has scooped the top spot in our survey.
“However it is particularly interesting to see such strong results for a far less well-known airline, with Norwegian taking second place and goes to show that low cost does not necessarily mean an inferior product or service.”
The survey was of 4,000 British travellers, surveyed on their opinion of airlines’ short-haul flights from the UK.
British Airways has announced the site for the GreenSky fuel plant in Thurrock, Essex.
BA has joined forces with Solena Fuels for the project that will convert landfill waste into airline fuel. The airline will purchase all 50,000 tonnes of the jet fuel produced each year, for 11 years, at market competitive rates.
The airline says approximately 575,000 tonnes of post-recycled waste, normally destined for landfill or incineration, will be converted into 120,000 tonnes of fuels using Solena’s patented high temperature plasma gasification technology.
Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways’ parent company IAG, said: “The sustainable jet fuel produced each year will be enough to power our flights from London City Airport twice over with carbon savings the equivalent of taking 150,000 cars off the road.”
Due to be completed in 2017 the facility will create up to 150 permanent jobs.
Want to know how many times you’ve flown around the world? A new online tool by British Airways shows customers how many times they would have flown around the world according to the total miles they’ve flown with the airline.
‘My Flightpath’ is available to members of the British Airways Executive Club and displays a timeline of all their flights since they joined. Members can also see where they’ve flown to, where they fly to most, and how many miles they’ve travelled.
Included in the site is ‘My Passport’ which awards stamps to customers when they reach certain milestones in their travels, such as the number of countries they’ve visited or number of miles flown. The stats can also be shared via social media.
Ian Romanis, head of customer engagement, said: “We wanted to give customers something that would help them to capture the magic of flying and we’re sure they will enjoy sharing their travelling milestones with their friends.”
Anyone with a BA booking can join the club free of charge and start tracking their stats.
We’ve all wondered where a plane flying overhead might be going, what exotic location and the sort of people going there. Now those questions can be answered, at least the destination part anyway, on the new BA interactive billboards.
British Airways’ global creative technology agency, Ogilvy 12th Floor, developed the billboards for the latest ‘magic of flying campaign’ to be shown in Chiswick in west London and in London’s Piccadilly.
Aircraft flying overhead are tracked and the billboard display is interrupted as the plane flies overhead with a picture of a child pointing at it, accompanied by its flight number and departure destination. For example, it may read “It’s the BA0234 from Los Angeles,” and be followed by some other relevant information about the route or an offer.
BA head of UK and Ireland sales Richard Tams said: “Sometimes we forget how magical flying can be. The first time anyone gets on a plane is an unforgettable experience and we want to remind our customers of that feeling.
“We’ve all had conversations with friends and family wondering where the planes are going and dream of an amazing holiday or warm destination and this clever technology taps in to that and reminds people how accessible the world can be.”
Airline lost your luggage? One person was so annoyed that he paid Twitter $1,000 to promote his tweet about it across the UK and US leading it to go viral.
Hasan Syed used Twitter’s self-service ad platform to tweet about British Airways losing luggage on a flight from Chicago. The tweet received 76,000 impressions in a couple of days and was picked up by news sites including CNN in the US and ITV in the UK. Promoted tweets appear in feeds and can be retweeted by any Twitter users.
Syed, Twitter handle @HVSVN, followed up the tweet with a series of posts accusing BA of allegedly losing his parent’s luggage on a trip to Paris.
It took BA four hours to respond to Syed via direct message: “Sorry for the delay in responding, our twitter feed is open 09:00-17:00 GMT. Please DM [direct message] your baggage ref and we’ll look into this.”
A BA spokesperson said: “We would like to apologise to the customer for the delay in receiving his bag. We contacted the customer and delivered his bag yesterday.”
Syed, widely admired for the bold tactic, tweeted: “I got what I wanted. I win.”
Window or aisle? Picture courtesy of British Airways
Which seats do you prefer when you get on a plane? Are you a window gazer or do you like to be closer to the refreshments trolley?
British Airways has been doing its research on which seats passengers prefer on their aircraft and have found a few noticeable patterns.
The top findings show the right hand side of the plane is preferable to the left, but people automatically want to turn left when boarding an aircraft. The view during the flight must be of much fascination to travellers as window seats pip aisle seats in popularity with six per cent more bookings overall. However, when the front and back seats of the aircraft are compared, aisle seats are more popular at the front, and window seats at the back.
Sara Dunham, British Airways’ head of retail and direct channels, said of the window/aisle seat debate: “It would seem though that the window-lovers who are firm fans of their view slightly outnumber the aisle-hoppers who like to get out of their seats easily.”
Tickets are now on sale for British Airways’ first Airbus A380 flight to Los Angeles, known as the ‘Red Carpet Route’ in aviation terms.
BA will receive the first double-decker super-jumbo in July, with its first flight from 15th October this year.
Fares start at £499 return in World Traveller (economy), with a £380 upgrade option to World Traveller Plus (premier economy). Return fares start from £3,800 for two people with Club World (business class).
The aircraft will seat 469 passengers in total. Travellers in First will be seated at the front of the main deck, Club World passengers can choose from seats on the main or the upper deck. World Traveller Plus customers will be seated on the upper deck, and World Traveller passengers can choose between seats on the main and upper deck.
British Airways has ordered a total of 12 of the super-jumbos with delivery to be completed by 2016.
The second route to be taken by the A380 will be to Hong Kong. Flights can be booked now for travel from 15th November, 2013.
A female passenger managed to smuggle a dog onto an aircraft before eventually being discovered.
The tiny Yorkshire Terrier did not alert security at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport in Israel as it was carried in the passenger’s handbag.
The British Airways aircraft, bound for Heathrow, had taxied as far as the runway when a passenger alerted cabin crew because of a squeaking noise from under a seat.
The plane returned to the terminal, where the woman was removed with her dog and luggage and taken to be questioned.
A spokesman for BA said: “We did not allow a female customer to travel on board our service from Tel Aviv to Heathrow today after it was discovered that she was carrying a small dog in her handbag.
“We apologise to our customers who experienced a delay to the departure of their flight as a result of this incident.”
Heathrow Airport has applied to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to increase charges by nearly £8 per passenger in order to fund a £3 billion investment programme.
If approved, the tariff charged to the airlines will gradually rise from the equivalent of £19.33 per passenger in 2012/13 to a maximum of £27.30 in 2018. The money will then be used to help fund the opening of the new Terminal 2 in 2014 and on improved check-in and baggage facilities, as well as the construction of new taxiways and stands so that the airport can accommodate the latest aircraft.
However, some of the airport’s largest airlines, including Virgin Atlantic and British Airways, are opposed to the price increases.
A BA spokesperson said: “Heathrow Airport’s charges have already tripled over the past 11 years. The charges must be reduced significantly over the coming years, especially when the airport is cutting investment by around 25 per cent from next year onwards.
“Any investment plans between 2014 and 2019 should be targeted and efficient. We believe Heathrow Airport can make significant savings to its inefficient cost base while still investing £3 billion in improving the overall customer experience.”
Heathrow said it believed its plans would be beneficial to passengers and offer good value. It said: “Our investment will deliver a better journey for passengers, more efficient and reliable infrastructure for airlines, and additional jobs, trade and economic activity for the UK.”
The CAA will consider the application, and develop and consult on its own proposals. It will deliver its verdict on airport charges in January next year.