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BA A350-1000 training flights meet-ups thread

BA A350-1000 training flights meet-ups thread

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Old Aug 16, 19, 10:54 pm   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
Last edit by: peter h
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The calendar of the dates the A350 has flown/is planned to do training flights to MAD (Madrid, Spain) from London Heathrow (LHR) is below; All dates in Aug. are now known.

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.

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.

Ding Ding, next Flight with FTers will be:

17th Aug 464: (Graphic)

17th Aug 465: (Graphic)

18 Aug

464: neilyork, rjhcambs

18th Aug 465: (Graphic)

19 Aug

456: RG1X

20 Aug

464: Baggageinhall

21 Aug

464: megaloman, megaloman+1
465: Baggageinhall, megaloman

22 Aug

457: RG1X
464: Alinlondon

24 Aug (current info no op):

456: 1A or No Way
457: george77300
464: jwils642, SteveWhite88

25 Aug

456: peter h
457: jwils642, SteveWhite88
460: jay_cee87
461: Alinlondon

25th Aug 464: (Graphic)

25th Aug 465: (Graphic)

26th Aug Honeymoon Flight (MADly in love):

Other 26th Aug flights:

465: 1A or No Way

27 Aug

464: allturnleft
465: allturnleft

28 Aug

460 (not A350): dombo17uk
464: LavaJava, Starship73

29 Aug

29th Aug 464: (Graphic)

29th Aug 465: (Graphic)


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:


Flight No.: FT Handle

Updated to Post #1139
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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

Are the A350 flights published/guaranteed yet? In a word, No, outside of the BA Press flight on the 5th Aug. (BA460 LHR to MAD), nothing is confirmed/fixed in stone, however BA has provided the current information on the calendar (in the wiki) being used, no official 'fixed' confirmation is expected though as there may be issues or reasons to not fly at a given time so do not expect any further 'confirmation' regarding the dates it will do the training runs. BA have stated that in addition to the dates published on the calendar, it may also use the A350 on the 456/457 morning run as well occasionally but has not provided any dates suggesting it may not be a regular cycle each week, however, if you can't find flights on the evening 464/465 then try the 456/457 for that day and you may get lucky.

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? 3 days before the flight the A350 seatmap should appear around 11 AM.

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. It may be possible to move from ET to WT+ for some when the seat map changes to the A350, equally, it may be possible to move around the CW cabin for seat choice when the seat map changes but there is no guarantee of this. BA may limit which seats they make available for the training flights and not use the WT+ cabin at all during some flights or also only use one of the CW cabins during a flight if needed.

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.

Are certain flights or dates more suspect than others during the training flight schedule? Not really, as BA have now 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.

If I have already booked an Avios flight for Sept. should I cancel it? Yes, unfortunately it seems so as it does not look at all likely any flights will occur in Sept. on this training route. The flights start to DXB on the 2nd Sept. as things currently stand.

Will there be 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.

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).

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!

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): Terminal B or C it seems so far, as the only A terminal gate the A350 can use is A18 but this is unlikely 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)


Last edited by BotB; Today at 5:58 am Reason: adding the 17th Aug. flights
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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 View Post
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 12, 18, 12:05 am
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Im interested too.
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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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