British Airways is one of Great Britain's biggest airlines and also one of the world's oldest, having celebrated its centenary in 2019. The company flies 45 million customers a year, which breaks down to 145,000 passengers a day, with a BA flight leaving the ground every 90 seconds.
Owned by the International Airlines Group, British Airways is based in Heathrow, with another major hub in Gatwick. It has a fleet of over 290 aircraft, primarily Boeing and Airbus. One of the newest additions to their fleet is the Airbus A350-1000 which flies from Toronto. Quiet and fuel-efficient, this can carry 331 passengers and achieve speeds of over 1000 km/h. Meanwhile, their largest Boeing plane is the 777-300, which can take 290 passengers.
Part of the OneWorld alliance, British Airways flies globally to 200 destinations spread across 80 countries. From Canada, passengers can fly to New York, Miami and Los Angeles, to Cape Town and Johannesburg, to Dubai, Accra and Lagos, as well as many other cities around the world. In the decade prior to 2020, British Airways commissioned 100 new aircraft, and its skilled cabin crew has an average of 15 years' experience. It's no surprise then that the company has an exemplary safety record.
BA is at the high end of British airlines. Its current slogan is "More than a flight", its publicity materials emphasizing the "BA experience". This can be summed up as a refined British take on luxury travel, with meticulous attention to detail. By signing up for the British Airways Executive Club loyalty scheme, frequent flyers can collect points and use them for cabin upgrades, car rentals, and other extras.
To while away the time on board, British Airways passengers can watch TV and movies via the in-flight entertainment system; likewise, the company's PressReader app offers a choice of over 7000 read digital newspapers and magazines. There's free food and drink on all long haul flights, and you can make special meal requests, including kosher, halal and diabetic.
There are four cabin classes: Economy, Premium Economy, Business and First. Economy cabins provide reclining seats, adjustable headrests, blankets and eye masks. Premium Economy has broader seats and more legroom. Business ticket holders can stretch out on flat beds, and in First Class, there are spacious private suites, plus access to airport lounges where you can relax and catch up on work.
As of the end of 2019, 90 % of BA aircraft were Wi-Fi enabled, with the roll-out expected to reach 100 % in short order. If Wi-Fi is available onboard, the cabin crew will make an announcement at the start of the journey. Or just search for the BAWi-Fi network on your device once the aircraft reaches cruising height.
British Airways prides itself on the quality of its travel experience. Its cabin crew serve millions of cups of tea and thousands of bottles of champagne every year. And from designer pajamas to high thread count sheets, there's a focus on the small touches that make a difference.
Passengers can check in up to 24 hours beforehand, online or with the BA app. Check in closes 60 minutes before flights depart, whether that's long haul or domestic. BA passengers board in groups; you'll find your group number on your boarding pass.
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There's a fee for overweight baggage, which is payable in advance online. If it doesn't exceed the baggage weight, you can check in an oversized item up to 190 x 75 x 65 cm (75 x 29.5 x 25.5 in). If a piece of luggage exceeds both the weight and size limits, then it can be sent as cargo. Passengers traveling with infants are also allowed to take a push chair, travel cot or similar item. Gold Executive Club members are entitled to one extra checked bag, plus priority boarding.