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BA A350-1000 training flights meet-ups thread

Old Mar 12, 18, 6:03 am
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Last edit by: george77300
26 Nov (Tues) to 29 Nov (Fri) on BA456/457 and BA464/465 (Total 16 Flights)
Ding Ding, The next A350 training flight with FTers in NOV. will be:
26 Nov:
457: george77300
The Oct. A350 familiarisation/training flights dates to MAD (Madrid, Spain) from London Heathrow (LHR) are below; The Aug. training flights are now complete and the calendar for dates the A350 flew in Aug. is in the First post below as an archive.


Ding Ding, The next A350 training flight with FTers in Oct. will be:

2 Oct:

465: courtster, george77300

5 Oct.
456: plunet +1, Thomas PL +1
464: MrMutton, WoodleyBeacon
465: MrMutton, WoodleyBeacon

6 Oct:

464: Pack
465: Pack, plunet +1

7 Oct:

457: davm666


If you wish to join in, please post your name directly into the wiki or in the thread and someone will add you. Format for new days or flights:

There is quite a bit of information in post 1 where a FAQ has been written to answer most questions you may have, please read that first! If you notice something missing or an error, please post and this will be added or corrected.

Updated to Post #1394
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BA A350-1000 training flights meet-ups thread

Old Mar 11, 18, 4:26 pm
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BA A350-1000 training flights meet-ups thread

BA will be implementing some new aircraft into the fleet in 2019 (the A350-1000) and will need to do some short haul training flights. The route is LHR - MAD in Aug. 2019 and the training will mainly occur on the BA464/465 last flights of the day slots, however, on some days (not confirmed which days yet) the first morning run of 456/457 will also be used but dates have not been provided so this is still riskier than the more certain (but still prone to some last minute change) evening rotation mentioned. Please see the wiki or post 207 (link in the wiki) for the calendar of the evening rotation. I have left the morning rotation out until we get more info or a bit of empirical evidence of what days it will be (after the first week we can then hopefully consider that it will carry on that way <it may not be a repeating cycle though> and I'll update the calendar then). Latest information from BA to third party blogs/websites suggests that there will be no training in Sept.

This thread is for those looking to catch one of those short haul training flights while they last and to see who else is potentially going that same day / flight in the hopes it promotes some meet-ups and informal DOs. The thread focus has changed since I started it so the next several pages are potentially confusing, hopefully this reworded first post helps. All relevant info (on who is flying when) is in the wiki.

For those looking to find out more about the A350 itself or news relating to it (but not meet-ups) please see this thread

I should also point out that the credit for the schedule and changes over the last few months belongs to several people, RDWRER (thank you! ^^ ) in this post and this post. along with some detective work on gate timings by myself and later to Head for Points for getting BA to provide the latest revision to a changing situation. Special thanks to Raffles from HfP as well for the info about the press flight timings. WVFM also added the important info that the Dubai (DXB) route is being moved forward 5 weeks from the original start date of 8th Oct. to 2nd Sept now, thereby removing the complete MAD Sept. training flights.

Any questions regarding the thread or the meet-ups, schedule for the training flights please post in the thread and someone will help!

Below is a FAQ for those wanting to book but still uncertain or unfamiliar with how this will work (hope it is of use):

Training Flights to MAD FAQ

What dates did the A350 fly in Aug. 2019:
Previously, the A350 flew in Aug. on the following dates (2019):

Technical or Other Issues that occurred during that month:

1) Due to technical issues with the A350, it did not fly the evening rotation on the 10th Aug., nor the morning rotation of the 11th Aug. It was back in service for the evening rotation on the 11th.
2) Due to weather (thunderstorms) at MAD, the 464 was diverted on 26th Aug. to BCN, then eventually flew on to MAD in the early morning of the 27th Aug. There was no 26th 465 return flight, the A350 (465) returned as BAW46XD on the 27th to LHR and is expected to resume operations normally today the 28th Aug.
3) The 464/465 run on the 27th did not use the A350, rather a 777 was substituted in its place until the A350 could return to LHR.
4) The 29th evening rotation of 464/465 is showing a '359' aircraft instead of the 351 it should if the A350 from BA was going to be used so as a precaution I have shown this as a 'potential' flight only until further info becomes available. It may still be the A350 but it may be substituted for another aircraft.

Are the A350 flights published/guaranteed yet? The Oct. dates are officially scheduled and published but there are rumours that they may get cancelled and the A350 used elsewhere. For this reason, it is best to be cautious and only book the flights and dates mentioned in the wiki if you need to travel anyway and the A350 would be a bonus, or if you can book using Avios, so could cancel if needed should the rumours prove true. The Aug. dates and flights were never officially published, they came out piecemeal and only with time did the full schedule become apparent.

Will the service be CE or CW on the training flights? CE. You will not get CW food or drink and the IFE (from previous training flights at least) will not be working.

What strategy should I use to book the training flights? A question with many answers depending on many factors; consider the following when trying to book the training flights and find a compromise that suits you best:

-cost (cash or avios) and your budget / desire / availability to get on one...

-time available (back to back or longer, even overnight/weekend?) back to back will be the quickest, least time intensive method, two well separated flights (time wise) on the same day is also possible, or a weekend trip with flights on separate days.

-must fly it factor a back to back is riskier, should it get substituted you’ll not get it either way, consider spacing the flights over two different rotations during that day (especially a day with two A350 rotations planned) or a weekend to ensure a better chance of securing an A350 flight and minimising the risk of substitution

-reason for flying (enjoyment, need to be in MAD, want to meet other like minded people and enjoy a unpublished quirk, wanting to try new types of planes (to you)…there is a great choice flying to MAD from LHR with OW as you can get the usual short haul aircraft (A319/320/321) or 777 or A340 (with IB) so you could actively decide to book a non-A350 flight one way as an avios booking with IB one way using the A340 to enjoy another long haul configured aircraft (IB allows you to use their full IFE on the A340 as well) on a short haul route as well as hopefully catching one of the A350 BA flights the other way with better luck in getting the avios availability. Equally, if you are a fan of another type of plane and want to try the 777 short haul or similar mixes. It will be quite hard to find back to back availability with avios now for the A350 slots so be creative! One can also try to do an open jaw with the LATAM MAD FRA run as well so trying yet another long haul aircraft on the short haul leg.

-risk factor how risk adverse are you? Do you need to be back in LHR without exception at a certain time? Do you want the return flights on one itinerary (for duty of care issues should IRROPS occur, or other reasons?) A B2B is usually only possible by booking two one way itineraries so there is a risk associated with that approach compared to having both flights on one booking. It is always wise to have thought about the risk factors and ensure you have a back up strategy should something change during the trip.

Is there a guide for those looking to do a back to back run (returning on the same plane one flew in on, aka B2B) for MAD? Yes, also linked to in the wiki, CWS wrote this excellent guide (and it is still valid): link to post.

When will the seat map show up for the A350? As the A350 is scheduled currently for Oct. the seat maps should show up already. The Aug. flights did not until 3 days before at 11 AM until the first week or two of flying was complete at which time they opened up the seat maps for all the remaining A350 flights in Aug.

How will the seating be allocated? (as there is CW, WT+ and WT seating)? Typically, as BA wants the flexibility to substitute another smaller aircraft in should some issue develop with the A350 for your flight, you will only see CE and ET seat availability and choice until a few days before your flight, even if you book at fairly last minute the loads will be capped. WT+ cabin was used for crew to rest and do their paperwork so was not opened up to pax (except the very first press flight in Aug. as an exception). There have been cases where Gold card holders were moved up to CW as a nice gesture for free once boarding was complete but this is not to be expected or guaranteed if the Oct. dates do go ahead. BA may limit which seats they make available for the training flights.

How will the seating loads be done? (A350 loads or otherwise)? the seat loads will be capped at typical short haul loads of A319/320/321 so that BA can substitute another plane at last minute notice if needed without issue. For the same reason they will not use the 777 flights as BA do not want to affect the cargo loads going between the two destinations.

What does the seat map for the A350 look like? The best seat map so far is this one, kindly posted by TCX69: link to post. Or go to the A350 seating guide thread (link in the main forum sticky).

Are certain flights or dates more suspect than others during the training flight schedule? For the Oct. flights, no. They will likely all occur or none.

For the Aug. the following was the situation: BA stated that they will fly between the 5th and the 30th Aug, you should be fine if you choose one of the dates published in the calendar. Please do be aware that nothing is fixed though so if any issues come up BA is under no obligation to fly the A350 on that day or time. Flights will not happen from the 31st Aug. onwards so grab a date while you can. Equally, if BA finishes training early they may suspend the flights earlier and move it to long haul earlier so flights on the 29th or 30th should be booked with avios unless you are having to fly anyway and don't mind if you are on a 319/320/321 instead.

BA had originally planned to fly training flights in Sept. What happened? Did they get cancelled? Yes, unfortunately BA decided to move the A350 forward to do the DXB route early so there were/are no flights in Sept. on this training route. The flights start to DXB on the 2nd Sept. as things currently stand. Strangely, BA is currently showing training flights for the first week of Oct., likely when the 'B' and/or 'C' reg become available and needs to train more crew.

Will/Was there any fanfare or special event for the A350 first flight to MAD or return? There were a few special touches (see the review thread for details of what was provided and done). Don't expect anything on the rest of the days though, it is simply a different plane on that route...enjoy the seat and enthusiasm of the crew training on it. Nothing is expected for the Oct. return to the MAD route.

Will the possible strikes (BA and separately at Heathrow) affect the training flights and if so, how and how much? As this is a fluid situation, it is best to please see the relevant threads for the current situation update and any new developments (one thread each for the BA strike and Unite Union strikes). There were no strike effects to the MAD training flights in Aug. although many flights elsewhere were / will be affected in Sept. It is not known if this will continue into Oct. but one hopes not.

Will I be able to use the IFE onboard during these flights: Yes. BA has now paid to allow the use of the IFE on short haul routes with the A350 and 777 to and from MAD so enjoy if that is your thing, remember the flights are fairly short though at around 2 hours so do enjoy the suite features as well!

What doors will BA use to load/disembark: BA are using both door 1 and door 2 right now so less of an issue with whatever CW cabin you sit in if you want/need a speedy time on/off.

What terminal will BA use at Terminal 5? (A, B or C): Only Terminal B or C were used so far, as the only A terminal gate the A350 can use is A18 but this is unlikely in Oct. so plan on B or C.

If you have any other questions or points (or equally, any amendments/corrections!) that should go into the FAQ, please post in the thread and I’ll add /amend them as appropriate. Thank you!

Safe travels, hope to see you on board!

Historical Archive of past training flights the A350 did in Aug. 2019:

5 Aug (BA Press Flight A350)

460 (A350 Press Flight): Alex Cruz (official media / VIP flight in Club, Y available for general sale) FTers: CE: atcer28, HFP Rhys (covering for Raffles), ET: BAEC, Kev6789

6 Aug

464: VictorSierra
465: Ubiest, VictorSierra

7 Aug

464: weebo15, theobcman, Dicksbits, BeoBus
465: Kev6789, theobcman, Dicksbits, BeoBus

8 Aug 456: (Graphic)

8th Aug 457: (Graphic)

Other flights on the 8th Aug:

461 (not A350): darloscott
464: chris1979
465: Msm2000uk, Rayeus

9th Aug 464: (Graphic)

Other flights on the 9th Aug:

465: victairinternational, Spinstorm

10th Aug 456: (Graphic)

Other flights on the 10th Aug:

457: TomcatNUE
460: tynmar

10th Aug 464 (the pre-party plane): (Graphic)

10th Aug 465 (THE PARTY PLANE): (Graphic)

11th Aug 456: (Graphic)

Other flights on the 11th Aug:

460: (not A350) Swadbus

11th Aug 464: (Graphic)

11th Aug 465: (Graphic) PARTY PLANE II

12 Aug

465: Super Toastie

13 Aug (no training planned):

457: courtster

14th Aug 464: (Graphic)

15th Aug:

456: RollsRory
457: ubiest + 1

15 Aug

461 (not A350): dombo17uk, adfg
464: peter h

15th Aug 465: (Graphic)

16 Aug

456 (not A350): BotB
461 (not A350): peter h
464: armouredant, ChocolateFactory
465: BotB

17 Aug

456: bhbloke, ELLX
457: beyondthecurtain_ , ELLX

17th Aug 460: (Graphic)

17th Aug 464: (Graphic)

17th Aug 465: (Graphic)

18 Aug

464: neilyork, rjhcambs

18th Aug 465: (Graphic)

19 Aug

456: RG1X
464: Palty, ubiest +1

Flights from the 20th Aug. Onwards are in post # 77 (here)

End of this post and archive...please see post 77 for the remainder of the historical graphics and FTers that flew on her.

Last edited by BotB; Aug 31, 19 at 4:40 am Reason: Modifying to be useful for those in Oct. but also as an archive.
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Old Mar 11, 18, 4:38 pm
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I remember you mentioning this at the recent DO, so thanks for being so organised with this BotB (and morges1). Definitely count me in!
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Old Mar 11, 18, 4:38 pm
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My guess is LHR-MAD is a likely training route.
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Old Mar 11, 18, 4:45 pm
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I will definitely be burning some Avios in J when these training flights happen. Same with the IB A350.
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Old Mar 11, 18, 5:05 pm
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Sounds like fun
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Old Mar 11, 18, 5:15 pm
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I'm in
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Old Mar 11, 18, 10:56 pm
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Originally Posted by squawk
I remember you mentioning this at the recent DO, so thanks for being so organised with this BotB (and morges1). Definitely count me in!
@BotB is Mr Organised, any event he organises is done with great efficiency and zeal. And @morges1 is one of the most pleasant FlyerTalkers you could ever wish to meet. What an excellent team, with you two chaps involved, count me in ^
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Old Mar 11, 18, 11:46 pm
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Old Mar 12, 18, 12:05 am
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I僧 interested too.
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Old Mar 12, 18, 12:24 am
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Old Mar 12, 18, 1:23 am
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Old Mar 12, 18, 1:25 am
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Put me on the interested list.

What do we actually know so far about delivery of the first plane in the fleet? Where is it in terms of build number etc?
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Old Mar 12, 18, 1:27 am
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thanks for setting this thread and the DO in motion. Put me on the interested list.
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Old Mar 12, 18, 1:38 am
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yes that sounds good to me so I'm in.
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Old Mar 12, 18, 1:55 am
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I'm up for that.
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