Coronavirus – a guide to the latest travel and medical advice

For the latest updates on the Coronavirus situation, make sure you are following the GTM Twitter account – details here: http://ow.ly/QYmh50yghXK

UPDATE: 7 FEBRUARY 13:30

Virgin Atlantic has issued the following advice:

Due to the ongoing situation with the Coronavirus the following Governments have made the decision to restrict entry for foreign visitors who have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau).

Customers due to travel to:

  • Antigua or Barbuda who have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 28 days, will not be allowed to travel

Antiguan nationals are exempt from the restriction however will be subject to quarantine for 14 days on arrival if they have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 28 days 

  • Montego Bay Jamaica who have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days, will not be allowed to travel

Jamaican nationals are exempt from the restriction however will be subject to quarantine for 14 days on arrival if they have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days

  • Tel Aviv Israel who have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days, will not be allowed to travel

Israeli nationals are exempt from the restriction however may be subject to quarantine on arrival if they have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days

  • Mumbai, Delhi India who have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days, will not be allowed to travel

Indian nationals are exempt from the restriction however may be subject to quarantine on arrival if they have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days

  • St. Lucia who have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days, will not be allowed to travel

St Lucia nationals are exempt from the restriction however will be subject to quarantine for 14 days on arrival if they have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days

  • Grenada who have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days, will not be allowed to travel

Grenada nationals are exempt from the restriction however will be subject to quarantine for 14 days on arrival if they have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days

  • Trinidad and Tobago who have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days, will not be allowed to travel

Trinidad and Tobago nationals are exempt from the restriction however may be subject to quarantine on arrival if they have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days.

Contact your GTM Account Manager for details of any refunds due on flights booked.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office continues to offer the following advice:

1. The FCO advise against all travel to Hubei Province due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak.

2. The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao). The British Consulates-General in Wuhan and Chongqing are currently closed. If you’re in China and able to leave, you should do so. The elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be at heightened risk.

3. The Chinese government continues to impose further restrictions on movement within China in response to the coronavirus outbreak. These restrictions include the closure of some provincial highways and inter-city high speed rail, tight control on entry and exit to villages and townships across the country, and restrictions on movement within some provinces, cities and municipalities including Chongqing, Zhejiang and Anhui. Some airlines, including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, have announced a suspension of flights to and from mainland China. Other commercial airlines are still operating, but it may become harder to access departure options over the coming weeks.

4. A number of countries have announced restrictions on entry by travellers from China in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Given the fast-changing situation, you should check the latest FCO travel advice (including entry requirements) for your destination and anywhere you are transiting through, and check with your airline before you travel.

UPDATE: 30 JANUARY 16:10

British Airways has issued a customer update confirming the planned end date of their current cancellations, in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The airline confirms that Shanghai and Beijing flights will be cancelled for all dates up to and including 29 February 2020. Flights to Hong Kong are unaffected.


British Airways issued a customer statement on 30 January, providing confirmation of the dates during which flights to mainland China will be cancelled.

UPDATE: 29 JANUARY 14:30

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has issued the following, additional information for travellers to China:

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all travel to Hubei Province due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak. If you’re in this area and able to leave, you should do so.

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao). The Chinese government continue to impose further restrictions on movement within China in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Some airlines, including British Airways, have suspended flights to and from mainland China. Other commercial airlines are still operating, but it may become harder over the coming weeks for those who wish to leave China to do so. If you feel that you may want to leave China soon, you should consider making plans to do so before any further restrictions may be imposed.

Due to increasing travel restrictions and difficulty accessing medical assistance, the FCO is working to make an option available for British nationals to leave Hubei Province. This may happen quickly and with short notice. If you’re a British national in Hubei Province and need assistance, contact our 24/7 number +86 (0) 10 8529 6600 or the FCO in London on (+44) (0)207 008 1500. If you have registered your desire to leave, you will be contacted once arrangements are confirmed.

The FCO has published the following PDF document, setting out the advised travel restrictions in place across China (opens in external site)
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5e306fbe40f0b62c4b0f0aba/FCO_440_-_China_Travel_Advice_Ed3__WEB__pdf_200128.pdf

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has issued detailed travel advice for China. Please visit the FCO website for full details.

UPDATE: 27 JANUARY 20:45

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has issued the following, additional information for travellers to China:

The latest information is available on the FCO website, here:
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/china

UPDATE: 27 JANUARY 09:28

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has issued update travel advice:

We are working to make available an option for British nationals to leave Hubei province. If you are a British national in Hubei Province and require assistance, please contact:

· our 24/7 number +86 (0) 10 8529 6600
· or the FCO (+44) (0)207 008 1500

We continue to monitor developments closely and are in close touch with the Chinese authorities. The safety and security of British nationals is always our primary concern.

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/china

The TravelHealthPro website has further information on the spread of the Coronavirus outbreak https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/country/49/china#CIoutBreaks


Following media reports of an outbreak of a new virus, we have compiled a number of resources that provide the latest advice for business travellers.

About Wuhan novel coronavirus


Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses with some causing less-severe disease, such as the common cold, and others causing more severe disease such as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronaviruses.

The source of the Wuhan novel coronavirus (WN-CoV) outbreak has yet to be determined. Preliminary investigations identified environmental samples positive for WN-CoV in Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan City.

Although evidence is still emerging, information to date indicates human-to-human transmission is occurring. 

Further information: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-background-information/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-epidemiology-virology-and-clinical-features (Public Health England website).

Travel advice

On 22 January 2020, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office issued advice against all but essential travel to Wuhan city, Hubei Province.

The FCO advice on travel to China can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/china.

Coronavirus outbreak updates

Travel Health Pro continues to monitor coronavirus from its initial reports on 31 December 2019 and continues to do so as the virus evolves.

The latest information from Travel Health Pro is available here: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/updates.php?base=2896.

Enhanced monitoring

Enhanced monitoring has been put in place from all direct flights from Wuhan to the UK. The enhanced monitoring package includes a number of measures that will help to provide advice to travellers if they feel unwell.

For further information and the latest advice on travel to China, see the Public Health England page, here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-and-avian-flu-advice-for-travel-to-china.

Dr Nick Phin, Deputy Director, National Infection Service, Public Health England, said:

This is a new and rapidly evolving situation where information on cases and the virus is being gathered and assessed daily.  Based on the available evidence, the current risk to the UK is considered low. We are working with the WHO and other international partners, have issued advice to the NHS and are keeping the situation under constant review.

The risk to visitors to Wuhan is moderate reflecting an increase in the number of cases being identified in China and evidence that the virus has limited spread from person to person. If you are travelling to the area, you should maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene and should avoid visiting animal and bird markets or people who are ill with respiratory symptoms. Individuals should seek medical attention if they develop respiratory symptoms within 14 days of visiting Wuhan, either in China or on their return to the UK. They should phone ahead before attending any health services and mention their recent travel to the city.

A Foreign & Commonwealth Office spokesperson said:

In light of the latest medical information, including reports of some person-to-person transmission, and the Chinese authorities’ own advice, we are now advising against all but essential travel to Wuhan.

The safety and security of British nationals is always our primary concern, and we advise British nationals travelling to China to remain vigilant and check our travel advice on gov.uk.

“SAA continues operations as normal”

MONDAY, 20 JANUARY 2020: Following media reports that South African Airways will cease operations, the airline has issued a media release.

The media release states the following:

South African Airways (SAA) wishes to assure its customers and stakeholders that flights to all its destinations continue as normal.
The airline is aware of media reports suggesting that it will cease operations. SAA is always committed to transparently communicate with all stakeholders, including customers, about any material or significant operational changes that may have an impact on flight schedules.
Where there may be flight schedule amendments, such operational changes will be managed and communicated in accordance with the industry norms and practices.

SAA released a statement to the media on Monday, 20 January

Global Travel Management continues to support clients with bookings on SAA or wishing to travel on any of the airlines’ routes.

We will update our website if the information in this story changes.

Important advice for Flybe passengers

UPDATE: 11:25 15 January 2019

Following an intervention by Cabinet ministers Grant Shapps (Transport Secretary), Andrea Leadsom (Business Secretary) and Sajid Javid (Chancellor), the Government has confirmed a package of measures aimed at ensuring the continued service of all Flybe routes and flights.

As a result of this deal, Global Travel Management can confirm that all customers will continue to be able to book Flybe services, either online (using GTM Online) or offline (via GTM’s teams of travel consultants). 

All usual forms of payment are accepted for Flybe flights booked through Global Travel Management.  And, of course, all trips will be managed and associated services such as additional flights, hotel bookings, taxis, car parking, rail journeys, etc, continue to be provided.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid said:

I welcome Flybe’s confirmation that they will continue to operate as normal, safeguarding jobs in UK and ensuring flights continue to serve communities across the whole of the UK. The reviews we are announcing today will help level up our economy. They will ensure that regional connections not only continue but flourish in the years to come – so that every nation and region can fulfil its potential.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said:

I am delighted that we have managed to reach an agreement with Flybe shareholders to keep the company in operation, ensuring that regions across the country can continue to be connected. My department and others across government have worked tirelessly in an incredibly short timeframe. This will be welcome news for Flybe, their customers and dedicated employees, as well as those in the supply chain. We will continue to work with Flybe and regional operators to find a sustainable long term future.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

I am delighted that we have been able to work closely with Flybe to ensure Europe’s largest regional airline is able to continue providing their valued services, connecting communities across the UK. The Department for Transport will undertake an urgent review into how we can level up the country by strengthening regional connectivity and will look at all the options that we have to make sure our airports can continue to play an important role in driving economic growth, creating jobs and greening aviation, across the country.

Mark Anderson, CEO of Flybe said:

Flybe is made up of an incredible team of people, serving millions of loyal customers who rely on the vital regional connectivity that we provide. This is a positive outcome for the UK and will allow us to focus on delivering for our customers and planning for the future.

Lucien Farrell, Chairman Connect Airways said:

We are very encouraged with recent developments, especially the Government’s recognition of the importance of Flybe to communities and businesses across the UK and the desire to strengthen regional connectivity.   As a result, the shareholder consortium has committed to keep Flybe flying with additional funding alongside Government initiatives. 

If you have any questions with regards to booking on Flybe, please contact your GTM Account Manager.


UPDATE: 10:35 14 January 2019

Flybe continues to operate all of its services, domestically and internationally. Flights can be booked on all routes, through Global Travel Management. However, passengers may choose to pay for their flights using credit cards, in order to benefit from the provisions of section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act should the airline fail.

The Government is holding meetings today in which a package of measures will be discussed, designed to help the airline.

The Prime Minister has confirmed:

We see the importance of Flybe in delivering connectivity across the whole of the United Kingdom.

Flybe has tweeted to confirm that it “continues to provide great service”. You can follow Flybe on Twitter

Original article, posted 13 January:

Due to the current uncertainty of Flybe’s future viability as a company, GTM recommends that, with immediate effect, customers should only purchase their tickets using a credit card which offers protection from airline failures.

Should Flybe cease operations – and we have no inside knowledge that this will be the case – any passenger whose ticket is purchased by cash or invoice, is unlikely to see a full refund of their ticket (as they will become an unsecured creditor). Hence, our recommendation that with immediate effect, tickets are purchased using a valid credit card.

We will, of course, endeavour to keep all customers updated as soon as we know more.

Luis Gallego to succeed retiring Willie Walsh as CEO of IAG in March

International Airlines Group (IAG) has announced that Willie Walsh has decided to retire as chief executive. He will stand down from the role and from the Board of IAG on 26 March 2020 and will retire on 30 June 2020. Luis Gallego, currently Iberia chief executive, will succeed Walsh.

Antonio Vázquez, IAG chairman, said:

Willie has led the merger and successful integration of British Airways and Iberia to form IAG.  Under Willie’s leadership IAG has become one of the leading global airline groups.

Willie has been the main driver of this unique idea that is IAG. I hugely admire his commitment, strong leadership and clear vision, always ready to take on whatever challenges lay ahead of him. I am deeply respectful of what he has achieved as CEO of this Group, of his sense of fairness, his transparency and his capacity to integrate people regardless of nationalities or backgrounds.

Willie has established a strong management team and I am delighted that Luis will be promoted from this team to succeed Willie as CEO. The Board is confident that Luis is the right person to lead IAG in the next stage of its development and we look forward to working closely with Luis in his new role.

Willie Walsh said:

It has been a privilege to have been instrumental in the creation and development of IAG. I have had the pleasure of working with many exceptional people over the past 15 years at British Airways and at IAG. Luis has been a core member of the team and has shown true leadership over the years and I have no doubt he will be a great CEO of IAG.

Luis Gallego has been CEO of Iberia since March 2013 and Chairman of the airline since 2014. He will take over as CEO of IAG in March 2020.

Luis Gallego said:

It has been a great pleasure to work with Willie over the last seven years. It is a huge honour to lead this great company. It is an exciting time at IAG and I am confident that we can build on the strong foundations created by Willie.

IAG has not yet named Gallego’s successor at Iberia.

If you need to book flights on any of IAG’s airlines – Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, LEVEL or Vueling – contact your GTM Account Manager.

Uber partnership with Hyundai takes off

Uber and Hyundai Motor Company have announced a new partnership to develop Uber Air Taxis for a future aerial ride share network and unveiled a new full-scale aircraft concept at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Hyundai is the first automotive company to join the Uber Elevate initiative, bringing automotive-scale manufacturing capability and a track record of mass-producing electric vehicles. The air vehicle concept Hyundai released was created in part through Uber’s open design process, a NASA-inspired approach that jump-starts innovation by publicly releasing vehicle design concepts so any company can use them to innovate their air taxi models and engineering technologies.

In this partnership, Hyundai will produce and deploy the air vehicles, and Uber will provide airspace support services, connections to ground transportation, and customer interfaces through an aerial ride share network. Both parties are collaborating on infrastructure concepts to support take-off and landing for this new class of vehicles.

Jaiwon Shin, Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai’s Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Division said:

Our vision of Urban Air Mobility will transform the concept of urban transportation. We expect UAM to vitalise urban communities and provide more quality time to people. We are confident that Uber Elevate is the right partner to make this innovative product readily available to as many customers as possible.

Eric Allison, Head of Uber Elevate said:

Hyundai is our first vehicle partner with experience of manufacturing passenger cars on a global scale. We believe Hyundai has the potential to build Uber Air vehicles at rates unseen in the current aerospace industry, producing high quality, reliable aircraft at high volumes to drive down passenger costs per trip. Combining Hyundai’s manufacturing muscle with Uber’s technology platform represents a giant leap forward for launching a vibrant air taxi network in the coming years.

Hyundai worked with Uber Elevate to develop a PAV (Personal Air Vehicle) model, S-A1, that utilises innovative design processes to optimise electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for aerial ridesharing purposes. The Elevate initiative based this process on NASA’s historical approach of putting design concepts out publicly to inspire innovation amongst multiple companies, spurring the development of common research models to investigate novel aerodynamic concepts and catalysing industry progress in wing design, noise, aerodynamics, and simulation verification.

As a result, Hyundai’s S-A1 model unveiled at CES reflects previous eVTOL designs Uber Elevate has released in the following ways:

  • It is designed for a cruising speed up to 180 mph (290 kmph), a cruising altitude of around 1,000-2,000 feet (300 – 600m) above ground, and to fly trips up to 60 mile (100km).
  • The Hyundai vehicle will be 100% electric and, during peak hours, will require about five to seven minutes for recharging.
  • Hyundai’s electric aircraft utilises distributed electric propulsion, powering multiple rotors and propellers around the airframe to increase safety by decreasing any single point of failure. Having several, smaller rotors also reduces noise relative to large rotor helicopters.
  • The model is designed to take off vertically, transition to wing-borne lift in cruise, and then transition back to vertical flight to land.
  • The Hyundai vehicle will be piloted initially, but over time they will become autonomous.
  • The cabin is designed with four passenger seats, allowing riders to board/disembark easily and avoid the “dreaded” middle seat with enough space for a personal bag or backpack.

Paul Baker, Sales Director of Global Travel Management said:

This is an exciting, new partnership between two of the biggest names in their industries. Uber has the experience knowledge of personal, on-demand transport and Hyundai’s long-term development of electric vehicles marks them out as an expert partner for this project.

It may be a few years before electric vertical take off and landing, on-demand, ridesharing becomes commonplace, but we will be watching developments closely.

Contact your GTM Account Manager, next time you need to ensure you have a ride to or from airports or hotels.

Heathrow to finalise airport expansion proposals

Heathrow has announced it will launch an eight-week public consultation to finalise its proposals for airport expansion following the recent decision by the UK’s aviation regulator, the CAA, to cap early spending on the project.

Capping spending has prolonged the construction period of a new third runway and means Heathrow will need to undertake refreshed modelling of key aspects of the plan – including public transport to and from the airport – to evidence that Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS) targets can be met.


Heathrow has outlined its timeline for submission of expansion planning application towards the end of 2020

The consultation will run from April through to June ensuring that communities can review and feedback.

Heathrow will be writing to local authorities in the coming weeks with more information, offering them the opportunity to feedback on their approach to consultation. Responses will feed into the final planning application, to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate towards the end of 2020.

Heathrow’s submission to the Planning Inspectorate will detail how the airport will expand and connect all of Britain to global growth, whilst meeting the requirements of the ANPS. It will also restate Heathrow’s commitment to ensuring an expanded Heathrow meets strict environmental targets, delivers tens of thousands of new high-skilled jobs and honours commitments to local communities.

If Heathrow’s plans are approved by the Secretary of State on the recommendation of the Planning Inspectorate, the third runway is expected to open between early 2028 and late 2029.

Heathrow’s Executive Director for Expansion Emma Gilthorpe, said:

This country is ready for a decade of infrastructure delivery underpinned by expansion at Heathrow. We are keen to ensure our plans continue to be supported and shaped by local people as we prepare to deliver the economic boost Britain needs.

A spokesman for the airport confirmed that, in the coming weeks, Heathrow will announce dates and locations for consultation events as it also prepares to become one of the first major international airports to operate carbon neutral infrastructure.

Contact your GTM Account Manager when you need to book flights to or from Heathrow.

American Airlines and British Airways mark the official start of the JFK redevelopment plan

American Airlines and British Airways have joined New York Govenor Andrew Cuomo and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) in announcing the start of construction on a $344 million investment at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) Terminal 8 at the Association for a Better New York luncheon in Midtown.

Robert Isom, President of American said:

Our investment will put the 14 daily flights from JFK to London that we offer in partnership with British Airways in the same terminal and give customers premium check-in space, new joint lounges and a larger variety of retail and dining options

We will be adding more than 70,000 square feet to customer and operational spaces to create a truly world-class experience at JFK.

Additionally, airline team members who power the terminal operations will also benefit from closer, faster and easier connections to American’s joint business partner British Airways by the additional co-located long-haul aircraft gates and an enhanced baggage system.

Governor Cuomo said:

As we progress with the JFK modernisation project, we are giving Terminal 8 a new look and layout in line with the modern, world-class standards that will define the airport’s ultimate transformation

When this work is completed, Terminal 8 will accommodate more passengers who will be able to enjoy a better travel experience and will make the work of airport staff more efficient and more seamless.

American and British Airways are the first airlines to mark the start of the transformation of JFK into a state-of-the-art, global hub. The upgrades and additions at Terminal 8 will bring improvements in the overall customer experience, including the addition of five widebody gates and four adjacent widebody hard stands (ramp parking where customers are transported to/from terminal via bus), enhanced baggage systems, new lounges, premium check-in space and upgraded concessions and retail options.


American and British Airways offer the most flights between JFK and London’s Heathrow Airport, a route Business Traveller calls “the most important and lucrative route for business in the world,” in addition to up to 70 flights a day to London from 26 destinations in the United States.

Additionally, customers arriving in New York will enjoy the ability to connect more conveniently onto other American Airlines flights, and customers departing New York will gain the flexibility of 14 daily flights to London all departing from the same terminal.

Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2022.

Alex Cruz, Chairman and CEO of British Airways said, “This is an exciting development in our move to Terminal 8, alongside American Airlines, our Atlantic joint-business partner. We are one step closer to offering an even better customer experience for passengers travelling to, from and through JFK. We look forward to our continued work with the Port Authority and American Airlines in order to build a world-class transatlantic travel experience”.

Paul Baker, Sales Director of Global Travel Management said:

New York is a key hub for American Airlines, with the airline serving three New York-area airports – JFK, LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport. So passengers have a great choice of airports and onward destinations when flying with American.

British Airways passengers can take advantage of the fantastic facilities at Heathrow, where First, Club World, Club Europe, Gold and Silver Executive Club members can also take advantage of the six British Airways lounges that are available for them in Terminal 5, giving them the opportunity to work or relax as they choose.

As there is a huge range of options for passengers flying between London and New York, we always work hard to ensure the best fares and the most-appropriate itineraries are put together for our customers. So it’s great to see that American and British Airways are working together to enhance the passenger experience even further, by developing JFK.

The next time you need to fly to JFK, contact your GTM Account Manager.

British Airways trials robots to guide passengers through the airport

British Airways has announced that from this year it will trial AI-powered autonomous robots at its home at Heathrow Terminal 5 to help customers navigate through the airport, freeing up the airlines’ hosts to help customers with more complex queries.

The cutting-edge robots from tech company BotsAndUs are programmed to interact with passengers  in multiple different languages using the latest translation technology to answer thousands of questions, including real-time flight information.


British Airways has announced it will trial state-of-the-art, fully autonomous robots in 2020.

Additionally, using geo-location technology and dozens of advanced sensors to constantly monitor a 360˚radius, the robots will move around the airport terminal freely and safely, escorting customers to specific locations.

To complement its investment in technology and automation, last year British Airways launched a multi-million pound investment in enhanced training for colleagues as part of its First Contact Resolution Programme at Heathrow. The programme empowers customer service agents to use their expertise, initiative and judgement to solve customer queries on the spot using a suite of specialised apps on iPads.

Ricardo Vidal, British Airways’ Head of Innovation, says the combination of automation and personalised customer service will define the airport of the future:

We are always looking for new and innovative ways to use automation to help our customers enjoy a faster and smoother journey through the airport and beyond. These smart robots are the latest innovation allowing us to free up our people to deal with immediate issues and offer that one-on-one service we know our customers appreciate. In the future, I envisage a fleet of robots working side-by-side with our people offering a truly seamless travel experience.

Andrei Danescu, Founder of BotsAndUs, added:

We are very excited to partner with British Airways. The trial will pave the way for other new and interesting services we can provide to improve the customer journey as we work together to re-imagine the airport experience.

Contact your GTM Account Manager next time you need to fly on British Airways.

British Airways reunites family for a very special occasion

As its centenary year drew to a close, British Airways waved its magic wand for the 100th time to take a very deserving customer on the trip of a lifetime to Australia to surprise her uncle on his wedding day.

Cheryl Lawley, 36 from Nuneaton, contacted the airline in early 2019 to share her story. In 2016 Cheryl was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer and after undergoing a 14-hour operation, Cheryl woke to find her uncle, Ben, unexpectedly by her bedside. Ben had travelled from his home in Melbourne, Australia, to nurse Cheryl and help care for her three children, aged 16, 10 and 9.

After returning to Melbourne, Ben announced that he was engaged to marry his partner of 14 years, Andrew, but given Cheryl’s circumstances she would be unable to attend. Until BA Magic stepped in!

British Airways organised for Cheryl, her partner Adrian, 31, and children Mia, Ashdon and Carson to fly to Melbourne, with lots of surprises and adventure along the way.

Departing from Heathrow Terminal 5, Cheryl was given the VIP treatment with a Heathrow Personal Shopping experience and Elemis spa treatments in preparation for the wedding, before the family embarked on their 22-hour journey to Australia in the comfort of British Airways’ business cabin, Club World.

When they arrived, the family were gifted with a suite at The Langham Melbourne, which has been named as the number one hotel in Australia. 

On the day of the wedding, Melbourne’s leading hair and make-up artist, Jemma, was on hand to pamper Cheryl before she went to surprise her uncle as he got ready for his wedding.

Cheryl said:

When I wrote to BA Magic to ask for help in getting me to Australia so I could be there for my uncle on his important day as he was for mine, I didn’t expect such an unforgettable adventure. British Airways has helped create memories for us as a family that we will always cherish and be grateful for.

Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience, said:

Cheryl’s story touched our hearts, so we wanted to do everything possible to help surprise her uncle on his big day. Throughout 2019, to say thank you to our customers, we committed to 100 acts of kindness and this marks our 100th act. We are delighted we could end the year making this special trip unforgettable for such a deserving family.

Helping to surprise Cheryl’s uncle on his big day was part of the airline’s commitment to mark its centenary year with 100 acts of kindness as part of its #BAMagic100 campaign. Following its launch in 2017, the campaign saw the airline arranging surprise proposals, reuniting loved ones, arranging money-can’t-buy experiences and creating holidays of a lifetime.

If you want to book a flight on British Airways, please contact your GTM Account Manager; and if you would like to take advantage of Heathrow’s Personal Shopper Service, please click here:
https://boutique.heathrow.com/en/contact/personal-shopper.

GTM launches third beer

Global Travel Management has produced its third in a series of limited edition, specially-crafted beers, celebrating aspects of business travel.

Route Beer is the latest ale created by independent brewery Thurstons Brewery, based in the village of Horsell, close to Global Travel Management’s headquarters in Woking, Surrey.

ROUTE BEER is Global Travel Management’s third celebratory beer, brewed by Thurstons Brewery

Route Beer has been brewed to celebrate Global Travel Management’s long-term partnership with travel commerce platform Travelport. And it commemorates the best-known road in the United States: Route 66 or “the Mother Road”, which stretches 2,448 miles from Chicago to Santa Monica.

In 2017, Global Travel Management celebrated its twentieth anniversary with its first commissioned beer, The Globe Trotter. And in 2018, the company produced Fliegerbier, in partnership with Lufthansa.

Route Beer marks completes the hat-trick of beers brewed specifically for Global Travel Management by the award-winning Thurstons Brewery and, like its predecessors is a bottle-conditioned beer, matured by secondary fermentation.

For more information on Thurstons Brewery and its beers, please visit http://www.thurstonsbrewery.co.uk.