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British Airways further expands its US network

British Airways is ramping up its US route network this summer, taking its direct US routes to London to 26. 

BA 267: Portland, Oregon International Airport welcomes British Airways and the only direct route between London (Heathrow) and Oregon.

Portland, Oregon has become the newest destination on the British Airways route map, providing the city’s only direct route to the UK.

Neil Chernoff, British Airways’ Director of Networks and Alliances said: 

This summer British Airways will be flying from 26 US cities to London and we’re very excited to be adding Portland to our list of transatlantic destinations. Not only are we the only airline to offer direct flights from Portland to London, but this new route also opens a wide variety of connections for our customers. Through Alaska Airlines, our oneworld partner, British Airways will offer codeshare connections to several destinations operated by Alaska Airlines from Portland.

British Airways has also relaunched its direct route from Pittsburgh to London.  It remains the only airline to offer a direct flight from the Pennsylvanian city to London.

The airline will resume a year-round four-per-week service – Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

On 6 June, the airline launched a new, daytime flight from Newark Liberty International Airport to London Heathrow – its third daily flight from Newark to London, to support the return of business travel.

The daytime flight will depart at 7.55am from Newark – a convenient option for travellers wishing to spend an extra night in the New York area before departing, or for those who wish to arrive just in time for an evening in London. 

With this additional flight time, British Airways along with its joint business partner, American Airlines will offer ‘the most extensive network from the New York area to London’ with fifteen daily departures this summer, including eleven daily flights from JFK to Heathrow and one daily flight from JFK to Gatwick.

This summer also marks the return of daily direct flights from San Jose, California, to London on 13 June; and the return of A380 aircraft to more North American airports.

Chicago and Vancouver were the latest cities to welcome home the Airbus.

Meanwhile, Dallas Fort Worth is preparing to welcome the A380 for the first time on 1 July. 

The aircraft, which is British Airways’ and the airline industry’s largest, offers a choice of First, Club World, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller cabins and has a total of 469 seats. 

There are twelve A380s in the British Airways fleet. Image shows a British Airways Airbus flying over the cliffs at Dover, taken by Wing Commander Neil Frazer from the backseat of Red 10, one of the Red Arrows jets flown by Squadron Leader Mike Ling.

Virgin Atlantic celebrates the Platinum Jubilee with treats at 38,000 feet

Virgin Atlantic is marking the momentous occasion that is The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next weekend.

Customers flying to the US and Caribbean over the bank holiday weekend will be treated to extra special delicacies to celebrate Her Majesty’s historic 70-year reign.

Those travelling in Virgin Atlantic’s Economy class will be greeted with a milk chocolate crown lolly wrapped and tied with a festive red ribbon.

Virgin Atlantic is celebrating Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Premium and Upper Class customers will be offered a delicious Platinum Jubilee Mile High Tea, including a duo of finger sandwiches and a selection of mini patisseries.

The delectable cakes will be a Victoria sponge financier, a chocolate and tonka macaron, and a delicious vanilla and strawberry Battenberg with Virgin Atlantic purple-coloured marzipan.

A quintessentially English cocktail will accompany the bespoke Mile High Tea, using Hambledon English Sparkling Wine and Fever-Tree sweet British Rhubarb and Raspberry tonic.

The personalised beverage will also be available in the Virgin Atlantic London Heathrow Clubhouse, which will be wonderfully decorated to commemorate the occasion. 

Pratt Standard’s Earl Grey Vanilla Syrup, available only seasonally, is inspired by the London Fog

The celebrations are also stretching to the United States, with Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses across America also honouring the Platinum Jubilee.

Customers stopping by in San Francisco, JFK and Washington DC Clubhouses will have the chance to try out a special ‘Earl Grey Jubi-Tea’ cocktail, created with the Pratt Standard Cocktail Company’s Earl Grey Vanilla Syrup.

Pratt Standard are a woman-owned business based in Washington DC that prides itself on responsibly sourced ingredients and quality, perfectly aligning with the Virgin Atlantic five-star experience. 

Corneel Koster, Chief Customer & Operating Officer, Virgin Atlantic said:

We’re delighted to take part in the celebrations for the momentous occasion that is The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next weekend. The Jubilee weekend marks a significant moment in history and we look forward to celebrating this memorable moment with our customers.

At Virgin Atlantic, creating personalised experiences and magical moments for our customers is what we do best, from the moment they arrive at the airport to when they land at their destination. From enhancing our already delicious inflight

British Airways and American Airlines unveil plans for enhancements to JFK

British Airways and American Airlines announced more details regarding plans to co-locate operations at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 8 beginning 1 December 2022.

Enabled by a $400 million investment to redevelop, expand and enhance the terminal, the move will bring the Atlantic Joint Business partners closer together. Jointly, the terminal investments and co-location will offer a more seamless customer experience while supporting the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s ambitious plan to transform JFK into a leading global airport.

American is eager to welcome British Airways to their new home at JFK. Their move to Terminal 8 further deepens our longstanding partnership and makes it easier than ever for customers traveling between New York and London or onward across our global networks.

Alison Taylor, American’s Chief Customer Officer

British Airways and American were the first carriers to begin redevelopment efforts at JFK, breaking ground in January 2020 on five new widebody gates, four new widebody hardstand parking positions, an enhanced baggage handling system, new customer amenities and expanded premium guest offerings — including approximately 130,000 square feet of new and renovated terminal space.

New York holds a special place in our heart as one of our most well-loved and important destinations. Our move to the redeveloped and expanded Terminal 8 will bring a range of benefits for our customers, including a better transfer experience, enabling them to travel to more than 30 destinations across the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America with American Airlines.

British Airways will remain in Terminal 7 until 1 December, and we have continued to invest in the experience for our customers, including our check-in area, concessions and lounges.

Tom Stevens, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience

When complete later this year, premium customers traveling on both airlines and other oneworld partners will have access to a reimagined journey through JFK depicted by newly released artist illustrations.

As customers arrive at Terminal 8, a co-branded premium check-in area providing personalised, concierge-style service for top-tier guests will replace American’s former Flagship First Check-In space. Thoughtfully designed architectural elements will also define an exclusive new check-in space for eligible business customers.

Once through security, three distinctive custom lounges combining the best of both brands will provide a refined, welcoming preflight experience for select guests based on cabin of travel and loyalty program status. The expanded premium lounge offerings will incorporate seating for approximately 1,000 of American and British Airways’ most loyal customers.  Each lounge has been designed with original high-end finishes — evoking a unique sense of space while elevating the experience and service offered to every guest.

The most exclusive lounge will have an all-new champagne bar, fireside lounge and a la carte dining room, which ‘reimagines American’s Flagship First Dining into a fully immersive experience’.
Adjacent, another premium lounge — with sweeping airside views, a wine bar, cocktail lounge, library and buffet — will offer ‘an elevated, lively experience’.

American’s Flagship Lounge and Concourse B Admirals Club will be repurposed into a contiguous lounge for eligible business class customers.

While disruptions to the customer journey remain limited, American’s Flagship First Check-in at JFK is expected to close from 1 February for construction. Premium customers traveling on eligible itineraries will be directed to temporary check-in counters located nearby. All lounge spaces will remain open and operational through the duration of the redevelopment project. Following completion, the Concourse B Admirals Club will close. The Concourse C Admirals Club will continue to serve members, qualifying elite customers and those traveling on eligible itineraries.

As Atlantic Joint Business partners, American and British Airways offer the most flights and the most competitive schedule for customers traveling between New York and London compared to any other partnership — with up to fourteen peak daily departures scheduled to operate between JFK and London Heathrow Airport this summer.

When co-located, American and British Airways customers will be able to realize even more value from established reciprocal benefits while enjoying unprecedented flexibility and a truly seamless connecting experience when traveling across airlines. Until operations are fully transitioned to Terminal 8 in December, British Airways will continue to provide a world-class experience for their customers at JFK’s Terminal 7.


United is Back at JFK

United Airlines has announced it will be returning service to New York City’s John F. Kennedy Airport next year.

The airline will resume flights from JFK, after a gap of five years, on 1 February, 2021 with a non-stop service to the west coast. The new service will operate out of Terminal 7.

From February, United will serve both JFK to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and JFK to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) with two round-trips for each city.

The flights will utilise the reconfigured Boeing 767-300ER aircraft on the routes offering customers an extended premium cabin featuring 16 additional United Business class seats – providing all-aisle-access seating – bringing the total premium cabin seat count to 46.

Scott Kirby: “United Airlines is back at JFK”

The aircraft will also feature 22 United Premium Plus seats, 47 Economy Plus seats and 52 Economy seats.

United claims to offer the most premium seats between the New York City area and Los Angeles and San Francisco markets. Tickets are now available for purchase on United.com.

Scott Kirby, United Airlines’ CEO said,

I have been waiting a long time to say this – United Airlines is back at JFK.

Come early next year, we will be serving all three major New York City area airports with a best-in-class product to provide our customers unmatched transcontinental service from New York City and the west coast.

United’s premium cabin will feature flat-bed seats on all flights similar to the current Newark-Los Angeles and Newark-San Francisco offerings, providing a consistent and comprehensive NYC-west coast product.

Additionally, United’s wide-body service can participate in the robust cargo market between JFK and the west coast.

If you need to fly out of JFK, contact your GTM Account Manager.

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 opens luxurious Club lounge at JFK

British Airways has opened its doors to the highly-anticipated new Club lounge at New York’s JFK airport.  It completes a £50 million investment, following the unveiling of a plush new space for First customers in autumn last year.  Customers at JFK Terminal 7 have also seen changes to the public areas and gate spaces to make them more appealing, welcoming and comfortable.

As British Airways’ flagship US lounge, the carefully curated space will play host to the hundreds of business and leisure customers that travel between New York and London on up to twelve Transatlantic flights a day.


Elemis JFK spa

Spread across 22,000 sq. ft. (spanning over half acre), the Club lounge is carefully laid out to offer designated areas that are designed to meet different customer needs. The new space includes elegant, relaxed seating areas as well as ample work stations with power outlets to maximise time in the office.  Other spots include an entertainment room with state-of-the-art entertainment and sound from Sony, and the reopened Elemis Spa offers a range of treatments to help travellers relax and recharge ahead of their journey.

For Club customers that plan to take advantage of their flat bed and luxurious White Company bedding on board, the new lounge offers the ultimate pre-flight dining experience with a brasserie-style dining room where travellers can enjoy freshly prepared dishes from an extensive menu or a range of smaller items chosen to allow customers to ‘grab and go’.


Quaich Bar

There will be a granite topped Quaich Bar, created in partnership with the Quaich bar at the Craigellachie Hotel in Speyside, Scotland. 

An experienced bartender will be on-hand at peak times to serve a full range of fine wines and cocktails such as the Broadway Copper Cup made with Copper Dog whisky, orange bitters and berries. 

An innovative new addition to the lounge is a BrewDog craft beer room, in partnership with the brand, a beer has been designed specifically for British Airways, named after its flight call sign – Speedbird 100. The beer is available on flights from tomorrow, 1 May.

JFK airport is like a second home to Heathrow so it’s great to mark the final step in our significant customer investment with the opening of our new Club and First lounges.

Every detail has been carefully designed and we’ve created a space to meet our customers’ needs – whether they want to relax and have a meal or enjoy a craft beer and catch up on the world news.


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

This is the third lounge to feature British Airways’ contemporary and luxurious design, following the lounge openings in Rome and Aberdeen last year.  It is part of the airline’s five-year £6.5 billion customer investment programme.  The airline is also bringing changes to its First, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller cabins, delivering exceptional new restaurant-style catering from Do&Co, rolling out industry-leading Wi-Fi on board.  New routes already launched this year include Charleston, Pittsburgh and Osaka.


JFK Club Lounge


The First lounge at JFK opened in October last year after a complete renovation.  It offers an opulent bar and bespoke zones to provide different seating areas.  The kitchen features a boutique pre-flight dining service, and the state-of-the-art wine room offers an enomatic dispenser so that each glass of wine is served at exactly the right temperature and oxidized to the precise level.  The wine list has been expertly curated by London-based Borough Wines with a variety of wines from across the world, introducing customers to a range of new wines.

Customers flying in First and Club World can enjoy an enhanced check-in experience at the exclusive Premium Zone.  The First Wing and First check-in are also open to ensure a smooth start to the journey.

British Airways is the first UK airline to use biometric technology to board flights from the US

More than 250,000 British Airways customers have experienced a glimpse of the journey of the future by using their face as their identity to board a flight from the US in the last 18 months.

The introduction of new biometric facial recognition technology has transformed the airport experience for customers travelling from Orlando, Los Angeles and New York, JFK by streamlining the boarding process and halving the amount of time it takes to board an aircraft. 

The technology means that customers no longer need to present their passport or boarding pass at the departure gate – only when they check in and go through Security. Instead travellers simply look into a camera prior to boarding, wait for their biometric data to be verified and then walk onto the aircraft.

The commitment to this technology is part of the airline’s £6.5bn investment for customers. British Airways was the first UK airline to use biometric technology to board flights from the US, working in close partnership with the US Customs and Border Protection to implement the technology, which has enabled the airline to hugely speed up its boarding process.

At Orlando, British Airways is boarding almost 240 customers in 10 minutes – becoming the first carrier to set up permanent facial recognition gates at the airport.

British Airways was also the first UK airline to use the technology on UK domestic flights. More than 3,000,000 customers have boarded an aircraft this way – with all domestic departures from Heathrow Terminal 5 now boarded biometrically.

For international flights, self-service boarding gates have now been installed at the terminal, allowing customers to scan their own boarding cards to gain access to their flight. It’s the first step towards biometric boarding on international flights from the UK.

Raoul Cooper, British Airways’ Senior Digital Design Manager, said:

We are continuing to pioneer the use of technology and automation to enhance the airport experience and ensure that our customers’ flights depart on time.

The airport of the future will be built upon biometric technology, from check-in and baggage drops to security checks and boarding.

These days, automation is a part of everyday life, as is biometric technology via our mobile phones.

We’re working with our technology partners and the US government to explore how we can use this technology in new and innovative ways to give our customers the stress-free, easy airport experience they tell us they want, while ensuring security is always our top priority.

British Airways announces a move to Terminal 8 at JFK

British Airways has announced it is moving to a new location in Terminal 8 at John F. Kennedy airport, New York.  The airline is investing in a new, improved terminal alongside American Airlines as part of a significant reinvestment by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Over the next four years, more than £250 million will be invested to recreate and customise the terminal, making it ready to offer British Airways’ customers an exciting, world-class experience every time they fly to New York.  Changes to the terminal will include new lounges, premium check-in areas and upgraded concessions.  The airline will remain in Terminal 7 until 2022.

British Airways CEO Alex Cruz said

We’re excited to announce our move to Terminal 8, alongside American Airlines, our Atlantic joint-business partner.  Offering the best customer experience at JFK now and in the future is a top priority. We look forward to working with the Port Authority and American Airlines to continue building a world-class transatlantic travel experience in our new home from 2022.

British Airways is investing £6.5 billion for customers over five years, including new aircraft, new cabins, new catering, new lounges, WiFi, and new routes.

BA’s Terminal 7 @ JFK – Important Update.

GTM has been advised by British Airways that due to its JFK Terminal 7 transformation programme, there will be a delay for passengers passing through security at the terminal from 22 June 2017 to end January 2018.

This will affect all British Airways World Traveller and World Traveller Plus customers on flights departing after 17.00hrs. Therefore, BA is advising customers to allow an extra hour at the airport to ensure that they reach their gate on time.

This is due to the terminal improvement works which are taking place at Terminal 7, therefore, please heed the above advice and allow an extra hour at the airport to ensure that you reach your gate on time.

You can find out more about the work taking place at Terminal 7 by clicking here.