British Airways has been one of the mainstays of Gibraltar’s flight services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Already well-established as a key operator at Gibraltar International Airport, the airline maintained its services during the lockdown at the start of the year and in June launched a new summer route from London City Airport with BA CityFlyer.
Apart from being able to avail themselves of convenient flight schedules linking Gibraltar with London, British Airways passengers can also take advantage of a series of special services and travel privileges unveiled in recent months. These include:
Digital Heat Map
British Airways customers can check travel restrictions and entry requirements for any destination the airline flies to on a new interactive map. Developed in partnership with global tech company Sherpa, the tool brings together the latest information for more than 100 countries.
Visitors to the page can check what travel restrictions each country has in place before booking a trip, searching visually by traffic light colour or by typing in their choice of destination. The page also incorporates a tab which enables customers to indicate whether or not they are vaccinated, information which subsequently adjusts the results.
British Airways has teamed up with AirPortr to create convenient fast bag-drop areas for passengers before they head to the departures concourse at the airline’s flagship Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport.
Customers are able to drop-off their luggage before travelling bag-free through security, or they can also opt to book luggage collections from their home address (for a fee), with a vetted delivery driver. According to British Airways, “AirPortr ensures that, once collected, bags are sealed and monitored throughout the delivery process.”
Passengers receive digital bag tag receipts, and they can track their luggage online from the moment it leaves their home or at T5 key access areas right up to the bag being loaded onto the aircraft.
Speedbird Café Menu
A new in-flight digital ordering platform gives customers travelling in Euro Traveller the option to order additional snacks and drinks mid-flight, delivered directly to their seat. The system complements the airline’s “Buy Before You Fly” offering, which encourages customers to order from the airline’s full Speedbird Café menu (including items from the Tom Kerridge range) in advance of travel.
Customers who want to add to an existing pre-order, or those who did not place an order before travel, can now do so at any point during their flight. The new service was initially made available on selected routes (including most short-haul routes from London Heathrow) before being rolled out across other eligible services.
Another recent initiative by British Airways, which wasn’t directly related to Gibraltar travel but is relevant in a global context, was a 10-day proving trial jointly organised by Heathrow, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. According to British Airways, the results demonstrated that the UK Government could rapidly expand its “amber list” policy and remove self-isolation for fully vaccinated US and EU citizens arriving in the UK. (Gibraltar is on the “green list” so visitors have less stringent travel requirements.)
“We are confident,” said CEO and chairman Sean Doyle, “that this proving trial provides the evidence the government needs to allow fully vaccinated customers from low-risk countries to enter the UK, knowing it’s possible to do so smoothly and safely. The UK needs to safely re-open its borders as soon as possible to ensure loved ones can reunite, business can thrive and Global Britain is able to take advantage of the UK’s world-leading vaccination programme.”