British Airways customers using London Heathrow are reminded to check which terminal they are using before setting off to the airport. The advice comes as the airline embarks upon the second and final phase of its Heathrow flight switch programme at the end of March, the beginning of the summer flying season.
The switching of carefully selected flights at Heathrow will make it more convenient for many of the airline’s transfer passengers to connect between longhaul and shorthaul flights without changing terminals at the airport.
The first phase of the Heathrow flight switch programme saw the airline’s two daily Tokyo Narita and two daily Johannesburg services transfer from Terminal 4 to Terminal 1 at the end of October 2003.
From March 28, seven shorthaul services will transfer from Heathrow Terminal 1 to Terminal 4: Brussels, Copenhagen, Geneva, Lyon, Oslo, Vienna and Zurich. Moving the other way, from Heathrow Terminal 4 to Terminal 1, will be Athens, Hong Kong, Moscow (Domodedovo), Los Angeles and San Francisco.
To support the additional longhaul services at Terminal 1, British Airways has invested in a range of new facilities for its customers, including a new dedicated check-in zone for premium passengers and new arrivals and departure lounges.
Martin George, the airline’s director of marketing and commercial development, said: “This represents the most significant relocation of BA flights at Heathrow since the airline moved into Terminal 4 in 1986. More than 20 per cent of BA’s daily Heathrow departures are being switched.
“It is important that passengers check which terminal they are flying from before they set off. We’re doing everything we can to make information as widely available as possible for our customers. If anyone is unsure about which terminal, they can visit ba.com or call the airline.”
Airport staff, travel agents, BA call centres, Executive Club members, key corporates and other groups have all been advised and ba.com updated.
Leaflets have been distributed at Heathrow and other UK and overseas airports. New road signs on approaches to the airport have been erected, displaying BA’s flight arrivals and departures telephone number (0870 55 111 55) where callers will be able to check their terminal. Terminal information on the London Underground and Heathrow Express is also being updated.
Onboard announcements are being made on those flights affected by the changes. This is supported by information in the airline’s in-flight magazines. As part of a new trial, the airline will also be sending SMS text reminders to those affected passengers it has mobile phone contact details for just a few hours before their flight departs Heathrow.
The work by British Airways is part of more than £300 million worth of infrastructure improvements in Terminal 1 by airport operator BAA, which includes expansion of the terminal’s departure lounge, departure baggage system, check-in and arrivals immigration hall.
Eryl Smith, business strategy, planning and development director, BAA Heathrow said: “This project is a culmination of three years hard work and planning by BAA and British Airways and we are delighted passengers will now experience the full benefits of this investment. With better facilities and reduced connection times between long and shorthaul flights, its great news for staff, airlines and passengers. It also means that the much-improved Terminal 1 is now better equipped to meet the future growth of the airport.”