BAís Belfast Operations this Winter

Old Sep 17, 20, 4:50 pm
  #1  
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BAís Belfast Operations this Winter

Does anyone else find the schedule this winter for Belfast pretty appalling?

They have reduced LHR flights (as expected), but LCY still shows 3x day, I assume this will be reduced too? BA havenít really altered many LCY frequencies for this winter so I have no idea whether to expect big cuts or a slight trim. Going by IAGs Q2 results and the drop in business demand, I expect BACF to take a big hit so may book the LHR flights in hope they stick.

The schedule from Belfast to London on BA is:

6:45 - LCY
7:10 - LHR
8:30 - LHR
10:55 - LCY
15:05 - LHR
17:05 - LCY

Having 4 morning flights but no evening ones is an odd decision. I guess the traffic is mostly aimed at those heading TO London for a day trip and not the other way round. Even EIís schedule isnít great for us London based travellers.
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Old Sep 18, 20, 1:53 am
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Iím not travelling a lot at present so this doesnít affect me like it would normally (feels like I shouldnít criticise because Iím part of the problem!). That said, I agree the schedule is poor in terms of trying to encourage travel.

If you are a day tripper from Heathrow, essentially you need to go home on Aer Lingus. And, if you want to fly Club on that day trip forget it basically. From a connections perspective, the important services are there though - early morning/early afternoon Northbound and early morning/afternoon Southbound.

I have expressed my views about this codeshare a number of times, both here and to BA.

For the arrangement to persist long term and be successful IAG need to bring Aer Lingus into OneWorld or at least enforce Oneworld benefits for customers on BA tickets. BA also need to be able to sell AerSpace fares. The whole arrangement is very inconsistent from a product perspective but then, inconsistency seems to be expected from BA.
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Last edited by SHT88T; Sep 18, 20 at 8:13 am
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Old Sep 18, 20, 7:11 am
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The proposal compares well to the actual timetable of recent times. I was booked a few weeks ago and my flight ended up getting cancelled twice - leaving the grand total of one BA and two EI flights from BHD - LON..... combined with the lack of CE check-in, lounge, and priority boarding (all of which I understand) it's a pretty poor service...
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Old Sep 18, 20, 8:08 am
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I agree it is poor, but is just a reflection of a lack of anticipated demand at the moment. Other domestic routes have suffered similarly. Looking randomly at a few dates from October to December, at Newcastle there is no late flight back to London, and Manchester doesn't have a late flight back on some days.

The schedules from Belfast from January onwards shows a later flight so hopefully things will start to get more back to normal soon.

The addition of the London City flights is certainly very welcome. I'm surprised they didn't try it earlier when Flybe seemed to be doing well on the route

As LondonAddy says it does compare well to the recent timetable. At one point a few months back it went as low as zero BA flights and one EI flight per day (I'm not even sure if it was every day).

Overall I think the acquisition of Aer Lingus has been bad news for those flying to or from Belfast City. At the time they took them over I think there were six or seven daily BA flights and three EI flights to Heathrow, as well as three EI flights to Gatwick. IAG had to make available slots for competition and of course these were largely provided by ending the Belfast to Gatwick flights.

BA have reduced the number of their own flights to a 'normal' of four a day, relying on the three EI flights to plug the gaps. The unfortunate thing for anyone who wants to fly BA is that their BA status will get them very little on EI. There is no business class on EI, and to book EI under a BA codeshare in economy usually involves paying a lot more than for an EI coded flight or the BA own metal flights. EI are also poor for connections to other BA flights at Heathrow as EI land in Terminal 2. Avios redemptions on Aer Lingus between Belfast and London are poor value due to high tax and charges and the lack of Reward Flight Saver.
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Old Sep 18, 20, 9:18 am
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Angry

I have a BA booking from Buenos Aires to Belfast in December.

When I made the (reward) booking the flight from Buenos Aires landed at 6 35am and connected to the BA 1416 ,departing at 12 45pm to Belfast arriving at 14 10pm.

A couple of weeks ago I got an email to say the BA1416 has been cancelled and we have been rebooked on BA1422 to Belfast departing at 18 45pm arriving at 20 10pm, so a connection time of 12 hours and 15 minutes !!!
Totally unthinkable after a long haul 13 1/2 hour overnight flight.

I think this will affect a lot of people coming in on Long Haul flights with a connection to Belfast.
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Old Sep 18, 20, 10:01 am
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Originally Posted by sentosa View Post
I have a BA booking from Buenos Aires to Belfast in December.

When I made the (reward) booking the flight from Buenos Aires landed at 6 35am and connected to the BA 1416 ,departing at 12 45pm to Belfast arriving at 14 10pm.

A couple of weeks ago I got an email to say the BA1416 has been cancelled and we have been rebooked on BA1422 to Belfast departing at 18 45pm arriving at 20 10pm, so a connection time of 12 hours and 15 minutes !!!
Totally unthinkable after a long haul 13 1/2 hour overnight flight.

I think this will affect a lot of people coming in on Long Haul flights with a connection to Belfast.
I'm not sure when your booking is for, but looking at a random date in October the BA1416 still exists but has been pushed back in the timetable to 14.30pm. The earlier BA1414 which used to leave leave LHR first thing in the morning has been pushed back to 9.45am.

Have you checked on the BA website to see if there are any flights running on the day that you need that are better timed for you, and if so contacting BA to see if they will move you. The other alternative might be to see if there is a better timed flight from Heathrow to Dublin that they would move you to. Not great having a two hour journey on a bus to get back to Belfast, but might be preferable to 12 hours in Heathrow.

Last edited by ECR; Sep 18, 20 at 10:07 am
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Old Sep 18, 20, 10:12 am
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Originally Posted by sentosa View Post
I have a BA booking from Buenos Aires to Belfast in December.

When I made the (reward) booking the flight from Buenos Aires landed at 6 35am and connected to the BA 1416 ,departing at 12 45pm to Belfast arriving at 14 10pm.

A couple of weeks ago I got an email to say the BA1416 has been cancelled and we have been rebooked on BA1422 to Belfast departing at 18 45pm arriving at 20 10pm, so a connection time of 12 hours and 15 minutes !!!
Totally unthinkable after a long haul 13 1/2 hour overnight flight.

I think this will affect a lot of people coming in on Long Haul flights with a connection to Belfast.
There might also be an option to transfer to EI at around 11am if no BA option? It means trekking to T2 but its better than waiting an awfully long time. I had to do this in December last year when my inbound for KUL put me 5 mins outside MCT for a retimed LHR to BHD. The only option for us that day was a 12 hour wait or downgrade to Y on EI.
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Old Sep 18, 20, 10:38 am
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Originally Posted by ECR View Post
I'm not sure when your booking is for, but looking at a random date in October the BA1416 still exists but has been pushed back in the timetable to 14.30pm. The earlier BA1414 which used to leave leave LHR first thing in the morning has been pushed back to 9.45am.

Have you checked on the BA website to see if there are any flights running on the day that you need that are better timed for you, and if so contacting BA to see if they will move you. The other alternative might be to see if there is a better timed flight from Heathrow to Dublin that they would move you to. Not great having a two hour journey on a bus to get back to Belfast, but might be preferable to 12 hours in Heathrow.
Thank you for taking the time the reply.
The flight is for a Tuesday in December and I did check the BA website and there are only two flights to Belfast that day, BA 1414 at 6 45am and BA1422 at 18 45pm.
I can see other options on other days. I was considering changing to Dublin .
These flights were to return home from a Cruise, which has now been cancelled, so I am hoping BA actually cancel the flight from Buenos Aires and I can then rebook for next year as we have moved the cruise to next year.
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Old Sep 18, 20, 10:44 am
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Originally Posted by SHT88T View Post
There might also be an option to transfer to EI at around 11am if no BA option? It means trekking to T2 but its better than waiting an awfully long time. I had to do this in December last year when my inbound for KUL put me 5 mins outside MCT for a retimed LHR to BHD. The only option for us that day was a 12 hour wait or downgrade to Y on EI.
Thank you for taking the time to reply.

That was another option I was considering, a downgrade to Y is a better option than a 12 hour wait.
As I explained to the above poster, keeping my fingers crossed that BA cancel the flight from Buenos Aires and I will rebook, hopefully with better timing for next year. I would probably stay an extra day in Buenos Aires and hopefully pick a day to come back with more connections to Belfast.
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Old Sep 18, 20, 11:31 am
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Originally Posted by sentosa View Post
Thank you for taking the time the reply.
The flight is for a Tuesday in December and I did check the BA website and there are only two flights to Belfast that day, BA 1414 at 6 45am and BA1422 at 18 45pm.
I can see other options on other days. I was considering changing to Dublin .
These flights were to return home from a Cruise, which has now been cancelled, so I am hoping BA actually cancel the flight from Buenos Aires and I can then rebook for next year as we have moved the cruise to next year.
I have had many BA flights cancelled on this route and in every instance have asked to be rebooked onto the shortest connection Aer Lingus flight with 100% success. Yes, it means a schlep over to T2 and no lounge access but infinitely preferable to the long, long wait for the evening BA flight or a diversion to DUB for me.
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Old Sep 18, 20, 1:23 pm
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Itís not a bad timetable if it all runs, and the LCY flights are very welcome.

I donít think BA have ever really understood and tried to cater for the Belfast market properly. Aer Lingus doesnít have the slots at LHR to cater for it properly.

P2P business travellers want a flight that will get them to central London for 9ish and allow them to finish meetings at 5 (difficult with a 2130 curfew at BHD). BA mainline rarely manages this despite night stopping, leaving BHD too late in the morning and leaving LHR too early in the evening. Aer Lingus doesnít have the early morning LHR arrival slot. BACF just about pulls it off but not as well as BEís former timetable. I donít think BACFís timetable caters well for the day-trip originating in LCY.

For connecting traffic, there are a few gaps. The lack of afternoon and evening flights means a very early BHD departure to connect to late evening LHR departures (essentially canít take evening flights anywhere without taking the day off!) I hate the lack of a morning connector from the TATL arrivals that arrives in the morning in Belfast. It means a day off after a TATL flight, despite arriving in London at 6am ish!

It mostly makes me fly from DUB for Europe and long haul despite living 15mins away from BHD as the hourly Aircoach from DUB to Belfast beats the poor LHR connections. I suppose Belfast isnít that important in the context of BAís slot usage, and long gone are the 8 or 9 daily flights in the BD heyday!
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Old Sep 18, 20, 1:44 pm
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I donít really get why BA have a 06:25 flight during the winter, itís just too early. It eliminates all connections and isnít very leisure friendly at that hour. I am based near LHR but am actually considering the treck to LCY just to get a late morning flight.

By having the flight so early, you also get a few departures from BHD around the same time in the morning. The LHR nightstop leaving Belfast at 7:10 and then the other LHR service at 8:30. Plus the LCY nightstop going at 06:45.

I think a LHR departure about 08:20 would be better but thatís up to BA to decide.
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Old Sep 18, 20, 2:06 pm
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Originally Posted by sentosa View Post
Thank you for taking the time the reply.
The flight is for a Tuesday in December and I did check the BA website and there are only two flights to Belfast that day, BA 1414 at 6 45am and BA1422 at 18 45pm.
I can see other options on other days. I was considering changing to Dublin .
These flights were to return home from a Cruise, which has now been cancelled, so I am hoping BA actually cancel the flight from Buenos Aires and I can then rebook for next year as we have moved the cruise to next year.
Since your original LHR-BHD flight has been cancelled and you have been offered a rebooking >4hr later that does not suit, why not reject the offer and ask for a refund? Sounds like you no longer wish to travel so that might be the best outcome and less risky than accepting the new schedule and hoping for further cancellations to follow!
Best of luck, whatever route you take
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Old Sep 18, 20, 3:06 pm
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Originally Posted by diamond club freeloader View Post
Since your original LHR-BHD flight has been cancelled and you have been offered a rebooking >4hr later that does not suit, why not reject the offer and ask for a refund? Sounds like you no longer wish to travel so that might be the best outcome and less risky than accepting the new schedule and hoping for further cancellations to follow!
Best of luck, whatever route you take
Would I be eligible to ask for a refund?
I didn't realise that a six hour time difference would make a refund a possibility.
I think this might my best option, Thank you so much Diamond Club Freeloader for that.
Presume I would have to telephone to arrange this??
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Old Sep 18, 20, 3:51 pm
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Originally Posted by sentosa View Post
Would I be eligible to ask for a refund?
I didn't realise that a six hour time difference would make a refund a possibility.
I think this might my best option, Thank you so much Diamond Club Freeloader for that.
Presume I would have to telephone to arrange this??
There are others on this forum far better versed on the topic than I am, but assuming that you have both flights on a single ticket from EZE-LHR-BHD with BA then yes. I believe in such circumstances that you are entitled to a refund within scope of EC regulation 261/2004 because a flight on the itinerary has been cancelled and the rerouting option you have been offered is not acceptable to you.
Hopefully more knowledgeable forum members will wade in here to confirm/correct this, but I'd say this is worth a call to BA.
Good luck!
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