Posts in the “London” category...

British Airways Reveals First Class Wing at London Heathrow Terminal 5

by Continental Club on March 22, 2017  |  Leave a comment • Tagged as: , , , , , , ,

British Airways has released the first official details of  ‘The First Wing‘ at its London Heathrow home. The First Wing will encompass and enlarge the existing First Class check in area at the South end of Terminal 5, linking through to new security channels which, for the first time, will allow eligible passengers direct access to the carrier’s Galleries First Lounge.

The First Wing will be open to members of the British Airways Executive Club at the Gold tier and above, as well as to Emerald cardholders of oneworld alliance frequent flyer programmes and, of course, to all those travelling in British Airways’ First Class. The latter will also enjoy direct access to The Concorde Room.

The check-in area is 250% larger than the original First Class zone, and The First Wing is defined by a three metre high and 29 metre long curved wall,  which serves to guide passengers through to the lounge complex.

The First Wing is slated to open in early April 2017. For more information, visit ba.com.

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15% Off British Airways Flights From Sydney, 10% Off From Middle East

by Continental Club on April 18, 2013  |  Leave a comment • Tagged as: , ,

British Airways LogoBritish Airways is offering Australian Gourmet Traveller readers a 15% discount when booking a British Airways airfare from Sydney to the UK and Europe at ba.com.

BA has recently relaunched its Sydney route, with the service now operating to and from the airline’s Terminal 5 home at London Heathrow. British Airways’ newest Boeing 777-300ER aircraft are rostered onto the flights, offering their latest World Traveller & World Traveller Plus, Club World & First Class cabins.

BA 777

The Australian Gourmet Traveller offer is valid in all cabins with the exception of First Class, and the ‘GOURMETBA’ code reduces the price of the lowest Club World return fare by over $1000 to $6158.92.

Australian Gourmet

The offer is valid for tickets purchased at ba.com from 1st April to 30th May 2013 and applies to travel from 1st April to 30th November 2013. Enter the promotional code ‘GOURMETBA’ into the promotion code box on ba.com to receive the discount.

Meanwhile, American Express Cardmembers can benefit from 10% off British Airways World Traveller, World Traveller Plus and Club World fares, for journeys originating from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Bahrain, Muscat, Kuwait, and KSA routes to selected destinations in the UK, USA, Canada and Europe. Bookings must be made and travel must commence by 30th September 2013:

BA Amex Table

To book, click the special ba.com/BA_Offer.AxCMS link and enter the password ‘amexme2011’ when prompted.

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British Airways: Be Part Of The London 2012 Social Symphony

by Continental Club on July 30, 2012  |  Leave a comment

There may be five million bicycles in Beijing but, in 2008, there were only one million more Twitter users than that worldwide. As London 2012 gets into full-swing though, 140 million people are now registered to tweet, and 100 million Facebook users in 2008 have ‘liked’ another 800 million of their ‘friends’ into joining.

London 2012 airline partner British Airways is hoping to get as many Team GB supporters as possible posting their support across all their favourite social media platforms, building on the age-old concept of ‘Home Advantage’.

And, to see just how loud those cheers from the virtual stands are, BA is converting every message with the #HomeAdvantage hashtag into a note in a constantly-changing piece of music – the Social Symphony.

To listen to today’s, and every day of the Olympic’s composition, click here.

You can then post your own message of support to your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Google+ or other account, followed by #HomeAdvantage and mentioning @TeamGB, @ParalympicsGB and @London2012.

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Fly Home For London 2012 With British Airways & See A Boeing 777 Taxi Down Your Street

by Continental Club on June 19, 2012  |  Leave a comment

Now live on UK television is British Airways‘ London 2012 #HomeAdvantage Olympic advert, which explains why a Boeing 777 was seen taxiing through Richmond Park last week:

And here’s the story behind the ad:

And here’s probably the niftiest bit:

See A British Airways Boeing 777 Taxi Down Your Street

Enter a United Kingdom postcode and see what your home looks like from on board a British Airways aircraft.

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There’s A Plane In Richmond Park

by Continental Club on June 16, 2012  |  One comment

It seems that something’s afoot with the next British Airways ad campaign:

CC has no idea where this particular flight was heading to!

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British Airways Welcomes The Boeing 787 Dreamliner To Heathrow

by Continental Club on May 16, 2012  |  Leave a comment

April 30th 2012 saw the Boeing 787 Dream Tour land at London’s Heathrow Airport, and aircraft number N787BX was formally welcomed into one of British Airways‘ gargantuan hangars at the Eastern end of the airfield.

The event also marked the official re-opening of the hangar following its conversion to handle all the aircraft types in British Airways future fleet programme, including the Airbus A380.

The hangar, built in the 1950s and now Grade II listed by English Heritage, features unsupported internal arches specially-designed by the late Sir Evan Owen Williams, whose other projects included London’s original Wembley Stadium and The Dorchester Hotel, the Daily Express buildings in London and Manchester and even the M1 Motorway.

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Glitterballs & Glamour – W London Leicester Square

by Continental Club on March 5, 2011  |  Leave a comment

Continental Club’s capital excursions tend to be bound at both ends by swift rides aboard the iron horse, or else brief blasts skywards in pressurised aluminium tubes, with nary a sunset ‘twixt travels. It’s something rather out-of-the-ordinary, then, for CC’s head to rest on a London bed.

W Hotel London Leicester Square, which opened on Valentine’s Day 2011 barely an arrow’s flight from the bow of Eros in Piccadilly Circus is, according to parent Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc., something out-of-the-ordinary too. So, in the manner of a latter-day Dick Whittington, CC struck out for the metropolis with Samsonite and iPad in place of spotted hanky and stick, to test whether this third Euro-outpost of design-pioneers W Hotels brings woeful or wonderful to the West End.

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Sofitel Terminal Five – Update

by Continental Club on May 28, 2009  |  Leave a comment

At the very moment that BA1337 was scheduled to touch-down from Newcastle, I’d already made it off the aircraft, through the baggage hall (hand luggage only), past Arrivals, along the link to the Sofitel, checked in, been upgraded and found my room. To quote the short-lived campaign that British Airways hoped to be able to run beyond their new terminal’s opening in 2008, I just flowed through. It’s a great shame, therefore, that the majority of the travelling public are still of the opinion that the building resembles a refugee camp of fractious passengers, an opinion that BA have done little to successfully change. Indeed, their one attempt – the curious T5 is Working effort – probably did more harm than good.

The late evening arrival, coupled with an early onward departure to Zurich the next morning, made the Sofitel once again and for the third time, the obvious overnight choice of accommodation. Nine months on from my first visit, it would be interesting to see if and how standards had been maintained.

The initial signs were good; a warm welcome at the end of the link from the terminal, followed by a friendly and efficient check-in. As that was happening, the ‘phone beeped with a slightly curious inbound message, which proved to be a Bluetoothed entreaty to shell out for pay-to-view films once checked in. Presumably, the hotel expects most guests to queue for attention at the desk, and this will not interrupt the check-in process. As it was, I ignored it until later, but I can see how it might annoy the staff in their attempt to expedite matters as quickly as possible. It wasn’t even very useful information – there are, I’m sure, far more helpful snippets that this technology could be employed to impart.

The upgrade to a Superior Room from the booked Classic Room was advised but the catalyst for it not really explained, so I have no idea if it was a loyalty reward or an operational necessity. The basic specifications of the room are identical to those of the entry-level accommodation, and very nice they are too. The only obvious difference is the addition of 2 square metres (13sqft) of floor space. Do, I beg of you, calm your excitement.

The beds and linens are supremely comfortable, as is the Stressless-style easy chair. The TV is large and has a slick user-interface but, and I don’t think I’d noticed this before, not one of the radio channel pre-sets is for any station broadcasting classical or relaxing music. Instead, every single option was for talk or some kind of pop – hardly the stuff to reflect the calm, zen-like style of the hotel as a whole. Odd.

The selection of magazines included British Airways’ in-flight publication HighLife, in a sensible bit of cross-promotion.

There were a couple of other things to note, relevant to the passing of time since opening and that first visit in August 2008. Firstly, the toiletries have been downgraded from the former Hermes selection, to the distinctly unspectacular Gilchrist annd Soames.

The bathroom was also showing slight signs of wear and tear which, given the great attention-to-detail shown in the initial design, such as low-level night-lighting, was disappointing.

Probably worst of the faults was that the air conditioning panel was inoperative, although the temperature of the room was itself perfectly fine. I mentioned it on checkout and was surprised that not even an apology was offered; merely a business-like acknowledgment.

The rate included breakfast but, unhelpfully, the restaurant doesn’t open until 6am. Contrast this with, say, the Crowne Plaza at Manchester Airport which kicks off at 4am. Room service is little better, with the earliest service at 5.30am. With an 07:10 take-off, room service was ordered in the hope that it would be prompt.

Which it was, and what a spread. In fact, it really was a crying shame that the hotel’s inability to serve it at a sensible time meant that I could do little but rush a rapid sampling of each of the components before dashing back towards the terminal building. Superb in both quality, quantity and presentation, though disappointing also that Sofitel loads on a further penal charge for taking the room service option that their lack of restaurant opening renders necessary.

Final result for the Sofitel Terminal 5: 8/10. It’s still a great airport hotel with super staff and an excellent room service breakfast, but cost-cutting and a lack of attention to detail in maintenance and housekeeping standards showed through. Recommended, but with slight reservations that didn’t exist 7 and 9 months ago.

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