British Airways: New Route, New Gin & Upgrades To NYC Facilities

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There’s been a bit of British Airways news around this week and, for once, none of it is bad. The airline has announced that it will be opening up a new seasonal European route from London Gatwick from 2017, there are reports that BA will be spending a considerable sum of money to improve facilities at New York JFK’s Terminal 7 and British Airways is to introduce a new exclusive brand of Gin to be served in the Concorde Room.

British Airways New Route To Limoges

From 28 May 2017 British Airways will operate a seasonal service to Limoges from London Gatwick 4x per week.

The current schedule is different from day-to-day and varies quite considerably – on Mondays and Thursdays the flights are in the alate afternoon/evening while the flights on Fridays and Sundays are earlier in the day.

BA2792 LGW 17:50 – 20:15 LIG (Mon)
BA2792 LGW 16:25 – 18:50 LIG (Thu)
BA2792 LGW 07:10 – 09:35 LIG (Fri)
BA2792 LGW 11:35 – 14:00 LIG (Sun)

BA2793 LIG 21:00 – 21:40 LGW (Mon)
BA2793 LIG 20:30 – 21:00 LGW (Thu)
BA2793 LIG 10:25 – 10:55 LGW (Fri)
BA2793 LIG 14:50 – 15:20 LGW (Sun)

British Airways will operate its new route with Airbus A319 aircraft (reviewed here on BA’s Milan – London route) so be prepared for a seat pitch of just 30″ regardless of if you’re booked into Euro Traveller (Economy) or Club Europe (Business Class).

British Airways Euro Traveller A319Exit row seating on a British Airways A319

If at all possible you should try to book the exit rows on this aircraft as they offer the most leg room on this aircraft (by quite some distance).

Flights on this new route are already on sale and, if you choose carefully, there are some good fares to be had – currently BA is offering Plus fares from £89 roundtrip with Basic fares starting at the same price (I’ve no idea why).


British Airways Introduces It’s Own Gin

Apparently British Airways can’t afford to supply the First Class bathrooms with a single cut flower but can afford to commission its “very own exclusive brand of gin“.

As of yesterday (23 November) British Airways is serving “British Airways Gin” in the Concorde Lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 5.

Per British Airways:

[The gin] has been blended for British Airways following extensive taste tests with First customers at the Concorde Room bar in London, by the award-winning Cambridge Distillery, the world’s first ‘gin tailor’.

The main botanicals used in the exclusive herbaceous gin (aside from juniper) are basil, rosemary and thyme, which are all grown in the distillery gardens in Cambridge.

British Airways Limited Edition Gin Taken: 10th November 2016 in the British Airways Concorde Lounge at Heathrow T5 Picture by: Stuart Bailey

And according to the distiller:

We take enormous care making our gins. For British Airways we collected the basil, rosemary and thyme from our very own gardens and distilled them separately to ensure the temperature of distillation of each botanical was just right, then carefully blended them to make British Airways Gin.

We label each bottle with the British Airways Speedmarque and wax seal them by hand here in Cambridge to create a truly unique product.

Apparently British Airways customers drink more than 3 million gin & tonics a year but there’s no mention if this new blend of gin will be available in First Class onboard.

British Airways To Refurbish Facilities At JFK

Australian Business Traveller has reported that British Airways will be spending $65m+ over the next 5 years to improve/refurbish all of its facilities at New York JFK Terminal 7.

The improvements will include upgrading the check-in areas, the security lanes and the boarding gate areas in the terminal as well as refurbishing the Business and First Class lounges.

Alex Cruz is quoted as saying:

We are excited to start work on a targeted investment plan to make improvements for our customers.

We have already introduced the newest aircraft in our fleet onto many of our popular routes in the US and we want to ensure the lounge facilities match that premium experience.

No timeframe has been provided for the refurbishment works but it’s understood that they form part of the wider, $110m, plan to improves facilities at a number of US airports including Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, San francisco and Seattle.

I don’t fly BA often enough to be able to pass comment on most of those outstations but, if what was on show at San Francisco when I flew BA back in July is anything to go by, these improvements are sorely needed and should come as good news to frequent BA sufferers flyers.