Following its announcement of the launch next spring of nonstop service between London and San Diego, as an early benefit of its new transatlantic joint business agreement with American Airlines and Iberia, British Airways has provided details of the timing and schedule for the flight.
British Airways will operate the service daily from June 1 between London Heathrow Airport (LHR) and San Diego International Airport (SAN, often known as Lindbergh Field) using Boeing 777-200ERs configured to offer three classes of service.
Earlier this year, Simon Talling-Smith, British Airways’ executive vice president Americas, told www.AirlinesAndDestinations.com that British Airways saw San Diego as a prime candidate for nonstop service to and from London Heathrow with Boeing 787s when the carrier starts taking delivery of the 24 Dreamliners it has on order, in the airline’s 2012-13 financial year.
The new service will represent the third time British Airways has served San Diego, the carrier previously serving the U.S. city’s runway-constrained airport – which features a spectacular approach from the east – on a one-stop basis via Phoenix and later on a non-stop basis directly from Heathrow. The airline’s non-stop San Diego-London service ended in 2003.
“Inaugurating non-stop flights between San Diego and London is one of the first tangible benefits of the joint business operation with American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia, and we are pleased to be returning to this beautiful city,” remarks Kevin Burns, British Airways’ regional director, Western USA and Western Canada.
“Today’s route announcement is an excellent example of how working together can benefit customers. Combined selling and scheduling means that we will be able to operate routes that would not have been feasible for us to operate individually,” adds Burns. “This partnership will provide our customers in San Diego and around the world with a one-stop shop for transatlantic travel regardless of how you book, which of our airlines you fly or where you want to transfer.”
City of San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders comments, “The importance of this service cannot be overstated. It gives San Diego business and tourist travelers a direct connection to one of the world’s most majestic and important cities. And, of course, Britons now have a direct connection to the sunny skies, sandy beaches and countless cultural attractions of our magnificent city.”
British Airways flight BA272 will depart daily from SAN’s Terminal 2 to London Heathrow at 8:05 p.m. local time and will arrive in London at 2:25 p.m. the next afternoon, local time. The return flight, BA273, is scheduled to depart Heathrow at 3:05 p.m. local time and arrive in San Diego at 6:15 p.m. the same day local time.
London arrivals and departures for San Diego flights will be at Heathrow’s recently opened Terminal 5, occupied solely by British Airways and designed to handle up to 30 million passengers a year. Designed to feel light, airy and spacious, Terminal 5 offers online check-in and fast bag-drop facilities, as well as state-of-the-art security and baggage facilities. The terminal has many shops and restaurants as well as a variety of lounges for British Airways’ premium-class passengers. Terminal 5 is a 20-minute ride on the Heathrow Express, which runs to Paddington Station, but tickets to ride on the express train are quite expensive.
British Airways’ three-class configuration for its Boeing 777-200ERs includes 48 seats in Club World, 24 in World Traveller Plus and 203 in World Traveller, for a total aircraft capacity of 275. In addition to passengers and their baggage, the British Airways 777-200ERs will carry up to 18 tons of cargo between San Diego and London.
Passengers on the San Diego-London flight traveling in Club World Class and those with Executive Club Gold or Silver status will be eligible for admission to the American Airlines Admirals Club Lounge in San Diego International Airport’s Terminal 2.
The San Diego Admirals Club Lounge provides complimentary well liquors, house wine and beer, light snacks, coffee, tea, soft drinks and juices, plus food for sale from the Amora fresh food menu. The club also offers complimentary Wi-Fi, PCs with Internet access, and conference rooms available for rent. American Airlines operates more than 40 Admirals Club lounges worldwide.