British Airways continues to restore domestic connectivity for winter season
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British Airways‘ domestic schedule is continuing to return to service, improving connectivity across the U.K. Beginning in October, the U.K.’s flag carrier is resuming service to some cities at near pre-coronavirus levels.
The carrier’s continued relaunch of domestic service is great news for those living in Northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, as passengers will now have more choice when travelling to the capital or making connections to European or long-haul flights.
After returning to domestic flying in July, routes from Heathrow (LHR) to cities across the domestic network were reduced to as few as one return flight per day, with Newcastle seeing only five return flights per week. The carrier’s domestic routes from Heathrow have continued to grow out of Terminal 5.
October is traditionally when airlines switch schedules from summer to winter, and BA’s change-up has a provided a nice surprise for those who’ve been frustrated with the infrequencies (and often expense) of domestic flights over the course of the summer.
Let’s take a look at the situation at five of the main domestic routes in the U.K from 1 October, all according to flight schedules loaded on the carrier’s website.
On average, over the course of the summer, there was at least one flight per day from London Heathrow and London City to Belfast. From 1 October, this will increase to as many as five flights per day to Heathrow and two to London City during the week, according to the flight schedules loaded on BA.com. Weekends will see three daily return flights to Heathrow but only one to London City on Sundays.
Those who needed to travel from the Scottish capital to the English capital this summer only had, on average, two return flights per day to choose from to both Heathrow and London City airports. As of 1 October, this will ramp up to as many as 12 return flights to Heathrow and two dailies to City.
It was a similar situation in Scotland’s second city, which suffered a reduced service to a maximum of three daily return flights to Heathrow and one to City. Again, the number of daily return flights significantly increases in October to up to nine to Heathrow and two to City.
Manchester welcomed, on average, just two daily return flights to and from London since domestic flying restarted in July. This will increase to as many as six daily frequencies from 1 October.
And finally, Newcastle, the city whose BA service was reduced down to as few as five arrivals and departures per week, will return to as many as five return flights daily to London.
As it stands, British Airways’ regional airport lounges are closed until further notice. It’s worth checking at your particular airport whether you will have access to other, non-BA lounges if you’re travelling in BA’s Club Europe or if you’re a Silver or Gold card member. This is because at some airports, Newcastle being one of them, BA doesn’t partner with other lounges, meaning your ticket or status won’t grant you access. There are even rumours that Newcastle’s lounge may remain permanently closed. TPG U.K. reached out to British Airways to find out more about the situation regarding regional lounges but received no response.
For now, if you’ve got a lot of domestic travel coming up and could use lounge access, it might be the time to consider a Priority Pass if you don’t have one already. A Priority Pass membership comes as a benefit of the Platinum Card by American Express — it’s an excellent perk for frequent flyers.
Featured image by NurPhoto/Getty
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