BA NEWS • June 2021
British Airways has been busy doing everything possible to make sure you feel safe when you are ready to fly again. There are changes at every step of the flying journey, with new protective measures on the ground and in the air. So if you want to know exactly what to expect when flying next, keep reading
Every key surface on the aircraft is disinfected after every flight, and the aircraft is cleaned from nose to tail every day. The cabin air is made up of fresh air drawn from outside (and heated significantly above virus-killing temperatures) and air that has passed through High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. These remove the tiniest particles, down to microscopic bacteria and virus clusters, with over 99.9 per cent efficiency. Cabin air is filtered and renewed every two to three minutes. It meets the standards for hospital operating theatres and significantly exceeds the criteria for other buildings and public spaces.
Masks at the ready
You are required to wear a face mask at all times, in the airport and on board, unless you qualify for the government exemption list – you may be asked by a British Airways colleague about this and could be asked to present supporting documentation. A face mask can last up to four hours, so please ensure you bring enough for the duration of your trip. You will be asked to remove your mask for any passport checks. (Check entry requirements and rules on face coverings at your arrival destination, as these may vary by country.)
FAQ: Can I remove my mask on the plane?
Once on board, you’ll be allowed to remove your face mask for a reasonable time so that you can eat or drink. However, when you’re not consuming food or drink, your face mask must cover your nose and mouth
Minimise contact at the airport by using the British Airways app and downloading your boarding pass ahead of departure (you can download up to eight at a time, so handy for families). And make sure to keep your details up to date on Manage My Booking in case the airline needs to contact you. It may take a little longer than expected to move through the airport, so try to keep hand baggage to a minimum and please arrive no more than three hours before your flight.
FAQ: Will The First Wing be open?
There are dedicated check-in desks for premium customers and The First Wing is open at Heathrow, Terminal 5. Please check other local airport authority's websites to see if Fast Track security is available.
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The business of boarding
A new boarding process is being trialled: customers will board from the rear of the aircraft to the front. Those travelling in First will board first, from the front row to the back row of the cabin. Families and customers who need additional time to board may use priority boarding. At the departure gate, you will be asked to scan your own boarding pass.
FAQ: Will hand sanitisers be available?
There will be sanitising stations available throughout your journey, including those next to touchpoints such as check-in kiosks and arrivals desks. On board you will receive a Dettol anti-bacterial hygiene wipe as part of your personal protection pack.
Welcome to the lounges
Far removed from the hustle and bustle of the terminal, airport lounges have their own kind of magic, but what do they look like in a post-Covid world?
Selected lounges at Heathrow Terminal 5 are open. If you are travelling in First or have a Concorde Room card, visit The Concorde Terrace which is a dedicated area within the First Lounge.
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A number of measures have been introduced to ensure the health, wellbeing and safety of British Airways’ customers and colleagues, including safe distance markers and sanitising stations throughout the lounge. From the preparation and delivery of food to cleaning the seat areas, bathrooms and communal areas, the lounges are a clean and safe environment for everyone.
FAQ: Can I still get food and drink in the lounges?
Yes, the 'Your Menu' platform allows you to order food and drink from the comfort of your seat via scannable QR codes. The lounges will be offering separate morning and afternoon menus with a choice of hot and cold food and drinks, which will be delivered directly to you.
A number of hosted bars will show your drinks being made. There are still plenty of seating areas available for you to relax in with installed glass screens throughout the lounge to separate these areas.
Once you enter the lounge, you can request a Welcome Card to make your stay more comfortable. One side of the card is blue, and the other side is red. Please place the card with the blue side showing on your seat when you leave the lounge so that the dedicated team can clean and disinfect the area for another customer. If you are temporarily moving from your seat or you do not want to be disturbed, simply place the card with the red side on display.
FAQ: Will magazines and newspapers be available in lounge?
If you would like something to read on your flight, you can enjoy free and unlimited access to a choice of more than 7,000 digital newspapers and magazines available from over 120 countries in more than 60 languages through the PressReader platform. You can also download the current issue of High Life online – your trusted source of travel inspiration – ahead of your flight.
What to expect on board
Once on board, you may remove your face mask for a reasonable time to enable you to eat or drink. Otherwise, it must cover your nose and mouth at all times. You’ll also receive a personal protection pack containing a Dettol anti-bacterial hygiene wipe, hand sanitiser gel and a sealable bag to safely dispose of any personal equipment, including face masks (please do not place these in the seat pocket or other storage areas), to be collected by cabin crew. Please try to minimise movement around the cabin as much as possible.
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First, Club World and World Traveller Plus customers receive a wash bag on all long-haul flights. Loungewear is offered in First, and individually wrapped pillows, duvets and blankets are available on long-haul flights. Wi-Fi, music and movies are still on board to enjoy.
Food and drink
The food and beverage service has been enhanced to ensure you remain safe and healthy as you travel. In Euro-Traveller, you will be offered a complimentary bottle of water and snack, with the option to pre-purchase food and drinks from the Speedbird Cafe, including an exclusive range by Tom Kerridge.
In Club Europe, cabin crew will serve a selection of meals suitable for the time of day, while in World Traveller, World Traveller Plus and Club World, there will be a bar service followed by a meal service. In First, you’ll experience British Airways’ a la carte 'Dine Anytime' menu of signature dishes made with quality British ingredients. In premium cabins and World Traveller, a choice of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks are served. The Club Kitchen offers pre-packaged snacks such as nuts, biscuits, chocolate and crisps. Special meals can be pre-ordered.
Arrivals in London
You will be asked to disembark in small groups by row number, and to not leave your seat and retrieve any personal belongings from the overhead lockers until invited to do so. When the plane lands, there will be safe distancing markers at the airport. Please follow the advice of the country's public health and airport guidelines. The baggage collection process will be the same, although you'll need to observe safe distance markers at all times. It’s recommended that only one person in your party goes to the carousel, if possible.
Ready to book?
British Airways appreciates that these are uncertain times, which is why customers are being offered greater flexibility on their travel bookings. You can change your booking date and destination for no change fee for travel up to April 2022. Or, you can even cancel it completely in exchange for a voucher.