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British Airways

Wish you were here - wherever that is

Millions of holidaymakers travelling from UK airports have no idea where on the map they are flying out to, according to a new poll. For example, a quarter of Britons who holidayed in Spain did not know where it was, according to British Airways Holidays' study of 2,000 adults who travelled abroad last year.

More than half (53%) of UK tourists who visited Cyprus had no inkling where it is in reality – often mistaking it with mainland Greece. Nearly one in third (31%) people couldn’t locate Portugal’s whereabouts, confusing it with France on the map instead. The Netherlands baffled 36% of those who visited there in 2012 as they also couldn’t find it on the map, selecting Denmark as its home.

In addition, France was the most common location to be chosen in favour of Germany and Greece, which 22% and 29% couldn’t place respectively. Almost a quarter (24%) of adults who visited Ireland last year could not place where it was in Europe, thinking they were in the UK or Spain instead. Claire Bentley spokeswoman for British Airways Holidays, said: “We know that cost and temperature is often the most important factor for adults wanting to book a holiday, but 23% of our respondents admitted they would never think to look at where it is on the map before booking.”

Copyright © Press Association 2013

BA plans automatic airport check-in

Air passengers on British Airways flights could soon be able to skip the check-in desk.

BA is trialling a new system which sees passengers given the option of being automatically checked in 24 hours ahead of their flight. Travellers on selected flights in France will be invited to take part in the automatic check-in trial. Those who are automatically checked in will be assigned a seat and receive their boarding passes electronically.

The scheme is part of a £5 billion investment by BA, and will become available to more travellers early next year. If the trial is successful, they hope to introduce it as an option for all passengers by the end of next year. Holidaymakers would simply need to drop off their bags and make their way to the plane. BA claims the initiative will "change the future of airline check-in".

The airline's brands and customer experience managing director, Frank van der Post, said: “Customers have so much to think about prior to a trip, be that finishing up in the office or getting the kids’ suitcases packed. We’re aiming to give them one less thing to think about by giving them the choice to be checked in automatically and sent their boarding pass electronically."

Copyright © Press Association 2012

BA adds first class Gatwick service

British Airways has confirmed that it will soon be offering its first class service on four of its Caribbean routes from London Gatwick. The airline’s premium cabin, complete with a 60% wider seat, private wardrobes and personal electronic blinds, will be available on flights on Boeing 777-200 aircrafts to Barbados, Bermuda, St Lucia and Port of Spain in Trinidad from July 30.

The food and drink options on offer in BA’s World Traveller Plus premium economy cabin on long-haul flights from Gatwick have also been improved and Colm Lacy, BA's head of commercial at the airport, is delighted with the changes. “These are significant steps forward for our premium customers at Gatwick,” he said. “The introduction of the new First cabin means our customers can enjoy the very best travel experience British Airways has to offer.”

Passengers in World Traveller Plus premium economy also get a welcome drink prior to take-off and a selection of two entrees from the Club World menu as well as bigger seats with adjustable headrests, lumbar support and leg rests. Flights operate between Gatwick and Piarco Airport in Port of Spain, LF Wade International Airport in Bermuda, Grantley Adams International Airport in Bridgetown and Hewanorra Airport in St Lucia on most days.

Copyright © Press Association 2012

BA voted UK's favourite airline

British Airways, which flies to a number of UK airports, including Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton, has been voted the best airline in a poll of 3,000 people.

BA scooped almost a fifth (19.1%) of the votes for the best airline, while Virgin Atlantic (13.8%) finished second in the Gocompare.com survey.

Participants of the poll were asked to rate their favourite and least favourite airports in terms of cost, service and overall comfort of their journey.

Many who took part also added extra comments about their travel experiences, some complimentary and some not so complimentary.

The poll discovered that more than a third (35%) of travellers find airports stressful, while a similar number (33%) think it takes too long to check in.

A total of 11% feel that security checks are too stringent, while once they are on the plane, 40% do not want to sit near families with young children.

Meanwhile, 17% of those polled want airlines to ban the consumption of alcohol on flights.

Jeremy Cryer, Gocompare travel head, said: "Clearly some airlines will get your holiday off to a better start than others and it's interesting that even with the bucket shop pricing of the budget airlines plenty of passengers still don't consider their service good value for money.

"Our research found that while some people will put up with poor service in return for low fares many have vowed never to fly with a particular airline again."

Copyright © Press Association 2011

US and UK to run airport lounge

The British Airways Galleries Lounge at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is to be jointly run by British Airways and American Airlines.

The aim of the move is to further strengthen the joint business relationship between the two carriers.

This development means the lounge will be the second to be run by American and British Airways. The first one, the Denver Admirals Club, opened in November last year.

With the PHL lounge, which is situated at Terminal A-West, American Airlines Admirals Club customers will have a lounge within the security checkpoint. This is a big enhancement for American Airlines passengers who will be departing from Philadelphia.

The lounge co-location, which lies next to the A-East security entrance on the second level at the airport, is another instance of the two airlines' shared efforts to provide passengers with a more seamless and enhanced travel experience as a result of the joint business agreement, said Nancy Knipp, American’s president – Admirals Club.

She said that moving into the lounge brought their guests closer to American’s gates, and offered state-of-the-art amenities and relaxing lounge experience which they have come to expect and enjoy in the Admirals Clubs.

American Airlines and British Airways premium-service representatives will together staff the jointly operated lounge at Philadelphia International.

Copyright © Press Association 2011