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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 Jul 16, 19, 8:23 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: RG1X
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The calendar(s) of the dates the A350 is currently expected to do training flights to MAD (Madrid, Spain) from London Heathrow (LHR) are in this post (or #207 if you want to look in the thread for it yourself!)

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.

Back to back details for MAD from our very own CWS can be found here. The post is from 2016, but the information is still accurate.

Those that have provisionally booked with avios (or at more risk with cash) flights on these dates and are interested in meeting up/sharing the experience of the training flights on the A350 are:

Date

Flight No.: FT Handle (and any extra info in brackets if desired)

5 Aug (BA Press Flight A350)

460 (A350 Press Flight): Alex Cruz (official media / VIP flight in Club, Y available for general sale, timetable deliberately shows 777) FTers: Raffles (CW)
461 (unknown if A350 or not)

6 Aug

464: Chris1979, Teledude
465: Teledude

7 Aug

465: Chris1979

8 Aug

456: inkiboo, Msm2000uk, Workie Ticket
457: inkiboo, itripreport, Workie Ticket
465: Msm2000uk

9 Aug

460 (not A350): victairinternational
465: george77300, victairinternational

10 Aug

464: gustavmahler, megaloman
465: gustavmahler, megaloman, flylikelinz, flylikelinz+1, beardie, beardie+1 PARTY PLANE (6 FTers so far)

11 Aug

464: george77300

15 Aug

456: jfallesen
461 (not A350): dombo17uk
464: peter h
465: jfallesen

16 Aug

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

17 Aug

456: bhbloke
464: KARFA, Deanog1976
465: KARFA, Deanog1976

18 Aug

457: armouredant
464: neilyork

19 Aug

456: RG1X

20 Aug

464: Baggageinhall

21 Aug

465: Baggageinhall

22 Aug

456: rjhcambs
465: rjhcambs
457: RG1X

24 Aug

457: george77300
464: jwils642, SteveWhite88

25 Aug

457: jwils642, SteveWhite88
464: george77300

27 Aug

456 (not A350): rjhcambs
461 (777): rjhcambs

28 Aug

460 (not A350): dombo17uk
464: LavaJava

29 Aug

457: LavaJava

7 Sep

457 (potentially not A350): george77300

10 Sep

456 (not A350): george77300
457 (not A350): george77300

11 Sep

460 (not A350): weebo15
464: vintagepilot, adfg, dakaix
465: weebo15

12 Sep

457: vintagepilot
461: (777) adfg

14 Sep

456: NoTiersForMe
458 (not A350): tilal6991
464: Cymro, Steve ZA, Jed
465: NoTiersForMe, tilal6991

15 Sep

457: Steve ZA, Jed
460 (not A350): george77300

18 Sep

464: davm666

19 Sep

456: RG1X

21 Sep

457: george77300
464: george77300, Pack
465: Pack

22 Sep

465: dakaix
467: RG1X

24 Sep

464: atcanobbio

26 Sep

456: cbyrne92
465: cbyrne92

Updated to Post #318
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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 seems to be confirmed as LHR - MAD in Aug. and Sept. 2019.

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 while I had taken various bits of info shared on the forum over the last year to come to my own conclusions about which flights were going to be used for the training flights (which turned out to be correct and I can say I simply was lucky in my guesses) the real credit for the schedule and importantly which days were rest days as well as which days only some rotations were using the A350 goes to RDWRER (thank you! ) in this post and this post. (should they wish me to remove this info, please let me know and I will do so!). Special thanks to Raffles as well for the info about the press flight timings.

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? No, outside of the BA Press flight on the 5th Aug. (BA460 LHR to MAD), nothing is yet confirmed. BA has made no official confirmation regarding the dates it will do the training runs, nor any specific flight numbers it will be substituted in for.

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? A few days before the flight the A350 seatmap should start to appear.

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.

When are the training flights operating? The route is LHR to MAD and return. The dates are in Aug. and Sept. The exact dates and flights for training/familiarisation are not officially confirmed by BA (however the Press event is <5th Aug.> with ET seats bookable for that if you must be on the very, very first A350 paying pax flight) otherwise, the calendar and info provided is at your own risk and without any liability if it is wrong! The calendars for Aug. and Sept. are linked to in the wiki post of this thread as well but are here: link to post. (credit to RDWRER, see above links at the start of this post to see the info they posted, I have converted that info into calendars for ease of viewing.)

Are certain flights or dates more suspect than others during the training flight schedule? Yes, there is a high likelihood that the second day (6th Aug.) or days may be cancelled or pushed back as they are not as critical as the press event which will likely go ahead no matter what...so these 'normal' training flights at the beginning from the 6th Aug. are extra risky but equally, if you do get on one, it may be the inaugural commercial flight of the A350 in CW with the new CW suite...so risk and reward are both very high. Dates from the 10th onwards should be fairly 'safe' but there is no guarantee. Equally, the end dates are not known yet, so any date in the last week of Sept. is risky as BA will likely need a day or two to get it ready and set-up for the upcoming LHR YYZ long haul run starting in Oct. so likely best to avoid dates after the 28th Sept. (current thinking at least).

Will there be any fanfare or special event for the A350 first flight to MAD or return? No one knows, but likely not. Remember that BA are going to do a press day flight on the 5th Aug. (which you can also join in ET and potentially on the return in CE if they allow it and open up CE seats) and some or all of these may get some fanfare but the training flights will be functional, not marketing exercises generally.

Will the possible strikes (BA and separately at Heathrow) affect the training flights and if so, how and how much? No one really knows until it happens but current thinking is that generally measures will be taken to limit any disruption or effects from strike action (should it occur). Both have stated they will ensure additional measures are in place to stop or reduce the strikes from affecting the passengers so hopefully disruption will be limited (at least as far as LHR and the training flights are concerned), Unite union strikes may mostly be felt in delays getting through security or getting your bag (but not stop these two actions taking place) but otherwise be less noticeable (as they affect other areas of flight operations) This is the subjective current summary from also watching the two threads on the topic as of 18/7, 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). BA will want to get the training done so they can start flying the plane long haul in Oct. so they are limited in time and will get the training done.

What is the difference between the BA press event on the 26th July, the BA press flight on the 5th Aug and the training flights? The 26th July event is a 'come and check out our plane in person (but not fly in it yet) and then hopefully write good things about it to help our marketing of the new aircraft and routes' before it goes on sale to the general public...and of course a chance to photograph the plane personally rather than just the current BA press release photos/renderings. The 5th Aug. flight is exactly that, a chance for the same or a variation of the press to experience a flight in the new aircraft in a carefully controlled marketing exercise to further promote the plane and routes but this time having actually flown in it (in CW of course). The training flights after that date are simply familiarising crew and pilots with the new equipment and differences in processes/timings but allowing them to do so on a commercial basis and getting some more 'hype' for the product to the masses from those lucky enough to experience it.

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!

Last edited by BotB; Today at 10:03 am Reason: added strike info and press events note on 18/7
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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 11, 18, 11:46 pm
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Interested
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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, 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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