British Airways Offers 19 Reasons To Fly With It In 2019 – Does It Have A Point?

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British Airways has published a list of 19 reasons it believes travelers should be booking with it over the coming year so, as BA is a major player in oneworld and in the transatlantic market, I thought I’d take a look at why BA thinks we should choose it in 2019 and check out if it has a point.

The first thing I’m going to say is that reasons 11 – 19 are scraping the barrel so hard that I’m not even going to bother to address them (you can see the full list here) so I’m just going to look at the first 10 reasons BA thinks we should be choosing to fly with it in 2019.

1. January Sale

a dock over water with a straw roof

British Airways has a big sale running right now and it genuinely has some very good deals in it (there were some amazing First Class fares on offer at one point….I’m not sure if they’re there any more) but it’s only a sale for departures from the UK – that may be good if you’re based in the UK but it’s not much good for the rest of us!

2. New Routes

British Airways is launching a number of new routes this year including routes from London to  Charleston (April 2019), Pittsburgh (April 2019) and Osaka (March 2019) on its long-haul network and Kos, Corsica, Ljubljana and on its short-haul network.

I’m not going to pretend that I’m excited about new routes to the Mediterranean but a couple of the other routes will be good news for US flyers.

BA will soon be offering the only non-stop service between Charleston and Europe (per the Charleston Airport webpage) and one of only two yearly services between Pittsburgh and Europe (the other service is offered by WOW Air and there’s no guarantee that this will still be around in a month’s time).

If you live in Charleston or Pittsburgh these are certainly good reasons to fly with BA if you’re heading to Europe in 2019 and if you’re based in the UK the new non-stop flight to Osaka is a good reason to fly with BA (no one else operates that route) but I’d check prices with the likes of easyJet before booking any short-haul fares.

3. New Aircraft

a plane flying in the sky
Image courtesy of Airbus

British Airways will be taking delivery of 15 new aircraft in 2019 but only 4 of them are actually interesting.

The airline will be receiving its first four Airbus A350 aircraft in the second half of 2019 and these may offer a genuine reason to try out British Airways thanks to the new cabins being installed onboard (more on these below).

I’m currently holding off making any major travel plans for travel from October 2019 onwards as I’m very keen to try out these new A350s (as well as the new cabins Virgin Atlantic will be bringing on line later in the year).

4. New Club World Seat


British Airways will be launching a new Club World (Business Class) seat onboard its new A350 aircraft and it is rumored to be a big improvement on the current disappointment that passes for Business Class on British Airways.

a plane with seats and people in the background
The less than impressive Business Class cabin on a BA A380

There’s more good news too.

As well as the new A350s two British Airways 777 aircraft will be fitted with the new Club World seat by the end of the year and this could be very good news for travelers on the airline’s more premium routes.

The incoming A350s will not be equipped with a First Class cabin so that suggests that they won’t be employed on BA’s more prestigious routes where First Class is a big money earner for the airline (NYC, LA etc..)….but that’s not the case with some of the airline’s 777s.

British Airways has a number of 777 aircraft which offer a First Class cabin and if it is two of these aircraft that get the refit we may see the new Club World seat on offer to destinations like New York, Hong Kong and Singapore before the year is out and that’s not something I was expecting.

5. In-Flight WiFi

a close up of a computer

One of the biggest downsides to flying with British Airways (if you’re someone who likes to stay connected) is that the airline doesn’t offer WiFi on the majority of its aircraft and that’s simply unacceptable as we near the end of the second decade of the millennium.

British Airways has said that it offer “[t]he best, live streaming WiFi on all short-haul flights and the vast majority of long-haul flights” by the end of this year and that will be a big positive for a lot of BA flyers.

Having said that I’m not sure this is so much as reason to actively book with BA as it is a reason not to have to consciously avoid booking with BA going forward.

6. New Look First Class

a seat in a plane
British Airways A380 First Class

Don’t get too excited – this isn’t a new cabin that BA is introducing – this is just a few upgrades that passengers can expect.

Upgrades like new dining options, new bedding and new amenity kits “from one of the UK’s best-loved designers” will appear in BA First Class in 2019….but I’m not sure that’s going to matter all that much.

BA First Class has long been considered a very good Business Class offering and there’s nothing that the airline has announced that makes me think that this will change. Outside of a fantastic sale I can’t ever see myself paying the premium BA demands for its First Class product when I can get a better seat in any number of Business Class cabins offered by other airlines.

7. An “Industry-Leading makeover” for World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy)

a row of seats in an airplane

Once again readers should temper their excitement as this isn’t really anything majorly new as British Airways announced most of the changes to its Premium Economy Cabin back in March last year and introduced the new Premium Economy seats last year too.

What BA is claiming here is that there will be new bedding and new dining introduced to its premium Economy cabin and that’s about it. Claiming that this is an “industry-leading” makeover is more than just an exaggeration, it’s actually a little deceptive.

8. New Lounges

a room with a bar and chairs
Image courtesy of British Airways

British Airways is finally starting to inject some much-needed investment into its worldwide lounge offering and we’ve already seen a considerable improvement to the Galleries First lounge at JFK (which reopened towards the end of September last year).

The Business Class lounge at JFK will be upgraded in 2019 and San Francisco (where the old Business Class lounge was a big disappointment and the First Class area was an abomination) will be getting a new lounge space in 2019 as well.

Outside of the US there will be new /refurbished lounges opened in Johannesburg and Geneva during 2019.

While all of this is undoubtably good news for BA flyers (I’ll be trying out the new JFK lounges later this year) it’s not really a reason to choose to fly British Airways – lounges are nice but I don’t know anyone (with any sense) who chooses to fly a given airline based purely on the lounge offering.

9. Better Catering

a group of desserts in small glasses

British Airways is highlighting its extended partnership with Do&Co (the airline’s new in-flight caterer) and I have to admit that this may be a very nice enhancement to premium cabin travel in 2019….or it may not.

Do&Co are undoubtably a very good caterer and the company supplies the likes of Emirates, Austrian, Etihad, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines all of which are recognised as having very good premium cabin menus…..but a caterer is only as good as the budget it is given.

I’m more than happy to wait and see how the Do&Co rollout across BA’s long-haul routes works out during 2019 (and I genuinely hope that it will be a huge success) but I’m not ready to say that the new partnership is a reason to actively choose to fly with BA – I want to see how much investment BA actually makes in its in-flight food before I make any judgements.

10. A New Homepage

a screenshot of a flight login

I actually hate the way the homepage works (or doesn’t work) and the number of bugs I encounter on it on a daily basis is tremendously frustrating.

BA calls its new homepage “more intuitive” and says that it makes booking with BA “even easier” while I think the airline should scrap its IT department and start from scratch – I can’t think of a single other major airline whose online offering is as shambolic as BA’s error-ridden nightmare.

A reason to fly with BA in 2019? No, definitely not.

Bottom Line

There are some genuine reason to give British Airways a try in 2019 but there’s no where near 19 of them.

The biggest improvement I’m hoping to see is in the Business Class cabin that will be unveiled on the airline’s A350 aircraft…..but those won’t be arriving until the second half of 2019.

The January sale may be a good reason to book with BA if you’re based in the UK and if it offers genuinely better value to you than your other options but, other than that, the other “reasons to fly with British Airways” look to be more like reasons not to actively avoid the airline rather than reasons to actively choose it.

Wi-fi onboard, better food and better lounges are all nice enhancements to the British Airways product and are definitely very welcome….but until the airline makes some serious improvements to the onboard hard product this is all just lipstick on a pig.

To genuinely make a difference to a lot of people’s perception of the airline (a mediocre cost-cutting operation that has left its best days in the distant past) it needs to offer a truly worthwhile Business Class seat across its long-haul fleet, a First Class cabin that warrants the premium charged and a Premium Economy cabin that is little more than average….but I suspect we’ll see hell freeze over before all of that happens 🙂

What do you guys think? Anything here that tempts you to book with BA in 2019?


  1. Sadly, IMO even with these mostly questionable reasons, there are usually more compelling reasons to not fly BA than to fly them. For people redeeming award tickets for BA long haul, the fuel surcharges are truly cringeworthy. But as a bonus for paying hundreds of dollars in absurd surcharges, you get to transit through… Heathrow? What more could you ask?
    For paying coach passengers, I hope the new catering will improve the meal service, but you rightfully point out that if the budget is low, there’s not much that can be improved. One thing that is conspicuously missing here is anything that will make greater physical comfort for economy passengers a reality.
    I suppose that new seats for premium customers are nice, but really this seems a rather weak and belated response to incursions by Norwegian. For an airline with such a magnificent history, BA is certainly being tepid in keeping up with the competition, and definitely not taking a lead spot in any good way.

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