Two or three pieces of good news from British Airways in the last week.
New Service from London Gatwick to New York, JFK.
BA announced that it is going to have another go at operating from Gatwick to JFK. They have done this a few times in the past and end up pulling the route when it doesn’t make money. 1 May 2016 sees the service starting – operated by a three class 777 – Club Europe, Premium Economy and Economy.
The flight leaves Gatwick at 16:40 and returns at 22:00
Although the announcement was made a few days ago there are still Avios reward seats available, so check if you are looking for JFK in 2016
100,000 Avios and £468 in taxes and fuel charges for BA Off-Peak dates.
Gatwick is a big of strange choice for BA in my view. Whilst it does have good BA infrastructure as they a lot of routes from there, they are moving terminals at Gatwick next year and the lounges are in flux. Let’s see how long it lasts this time.
BA Cuts Tier Points to Sharm El Sheik in Egypt
BA operates two services to Egypt. Their regular service to Cairo from Heathrow and a separate service to the tourist destination of Sharm El Sheik from Gatwick. The Gatwick service is operated by an A320 with, effectively, has the BA normal Club Europe service. Until now the Sharm flight earned the same number of Tier Points as the service to Cairo. The flight time is 5 hours and 20 minutes to Sharm. That is a long way with limited leg room.
Look up your flights on American Airlines using your BA booking reference
Just in the past few days, you have been able to look up your BA/AA flights on AA’s web site using your BA booking reference. This is a big step forwards. Until now you had to use the separate AA locator to pick seats on the AA web site.
Of course, AA’s web site no longer offers the chance to pre-book meals (rumours are that this is coming back, and that it CAN be done on the phone if needed), but it is still good to book seats, check flight times, add Known Traveller numbers, contact phone numbers and alerts.
The booking needs to have AA segments in it to work, but these can be booked as BA flight numbers.
This is the new AA display. (I have removed the seat numbers, which would normally appear on the right).
This will be useful when tracking mixed itineraries.
And finally, EI (Aer Lingus) is starting some new routes
And why does that matter you may ask.
Well, you can secure flights on these routes with very much less taxes/fuel surcharges than if you book from the UK.
First, the routes. Hartford (CT), Newark and LAX are all starting in 2016. LAX runs first on in May with the other destinations starting later in the year.
Ethopian runs Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays to LA with their 787. It gets leaves at 0715 in at 1015, amazingly early. You can read my review (from Feb 2014) here of their 787.
Of course you have to get to Dublin to take the flight which will reduce the saving a little. Dublin airport has US Pre-clearance, although I am not a fan of how that works at DUB for Global Entry holders.