AUSTIN, TX – There are just 25 days to go until the launch of the first transatlantic flight to London from Austin, British Airways’ 25th gateway in North America.
The new nonstop service between Austin and London Heathrow – the first regular transatlantic flight for the city of Austin – begins on March 3, 2014. It will operate on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft five days a week, increasing to daily flights in May.
The new service will have three cabins, Club World (business), World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and World Traveller (economy). The cabins feature stylish new interiors with state-of-the-art entertainment systems. British Airways provides meals, snacks and beverages, including full service bar for free. Customers can also benefit from a generous baggage allowance.
Customers travelling on the Dreamliner will enjoy new levels of comfort and reduced jet-lag on their trips to Europe thanks to improvements in air quality, mood lighting, quieter cabins, and lower air pressure.
“We are very much looking forward to connecting the Austin community with London and a choice of more than 100 cities beyond,” said Sean Doyle, EVP Americas, British Airways.
“Innovation is at the heart of our business and we are proud to be serving one of the most exciting technology hubs in the U.S., from next month.”
As recognition of the 25 days to launch, British Airways has published a list of “25 things to know”. Ranging from fun facts about the 787 to the amount of tea British Airways serves every year, the list offers interesting facts about Austin airport’s newest resident.
BRITISH AIRWAYS’ 25 THINGS TO KNOW WITH 25 DAYS TO GO
1. Austin is British Airways’ 25th North American gateway and third in the state of Texas (Houston and Dallas being the other two). This is the first transatlantic route between Austin and London.
2. The callsign for British Airways aircraft is Speedbird. The Speedbird symbol was designed by Lee-Elliott for Imperial Airways in 1932. It represents speed, flight and power – and became one of the most successful motifs of the twentieth century.
3. British Airways will operate the Austin service on its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, where customers will be able to enjoy new levels of comfort and reduced jet-lag thanks to improvements in air quality, mood lighting, quieter cabins, and lower air pressure.
4. The 787 has the largest windows of any commercial aircraft, enabling customers to enjoy the view even if they don’t have a window seat.
5. Nearly 13 million Ping-Pong balls could fit in the passenger cabin of a 787.
6. The 787 has a 60 percent smaller noise footprint compared with today’s similarly sized aircraft.
7. British Airways provides meals, snacks and beverages, including full service bar for free. Customers also benefit from a generous baggage allowance.
8. British Airways introduced the first inflight meal service on a commercial aircraft in 1927. Today British Airways’ cabin crew serves around 100,000 meals a day to customers, often with more than one meal on an individual flight.
9. At British Airways we serve 35 million cups of tea a year and we are proud to have what we believe is the best traditional British cuppa in the air, thanks to Twinings, who worked with British Airways to come up with a teabag that would taste as good in the sky as it does on the ground.
10. Up to 500,000 cases of wine are ordered by British Airways for its flights every year.
11. British Airways’ 787 Dreamliner is fitted with the airline’s new Thales entertainment system. Each seat features a television screen and customers can choose from more than 700 hours of movies, TV and music, including 230 TV programs, 70 movies and 400 music albums and interactive games.
12. British Airways has a YouTube channel offering glimpses of our new aircraft, playlists and classic advertisements.
13. Travelers can also communicate and play games with friends elsewhere on the aircraft using an in-seat chat system.
14. Rock royalty Sir Mick Jagger and Rufus Wainwright lead a pack of celebrity musicians to create their favorite world music playlists for British Airways’ in-flight entertainment.
15. Perfect Days is British Airways’ Facebook tool that allows customers to create itineraries of how they would spend their perfect 24 hours in one of the many destinations the airline flies too.
16. British Airways has free apps available for Android, Blackberry and Windows mobile phone users. Customers can check-in to flights, retrieve boarding passes and access the Executive Club through the app.
17. In January 2000 British Airways became the world’s first airline to develop and install fully flatbed seats in business class.
18. World Traveller Plus is the airline’s premium economy cabin. It is a dedicated cabin offering wider seats and greater legroom, a personal in-seat power socket, a cocktail table and additional space for stowage. There are 25 World Traveller Plus seats on the Dreamliner.
19. The flight time from Austin to London is nine hours. London is six hours ahead of Austin.
20. British Airways flights arrive into London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 which was named by Skytrax as the World’s Best Airport Terminal for the second year running, based on surveys of 12 million frequent travelers.
21. Customers can connect via London Heathrow to over 130 cities on British Airways’ global network.
22. Customers in Club World and Gold Executive Club members have access to the Arrivals Lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 5, which has 94 shower rooms, offers suit pressing, breakfast and Elemis treatments.
23. Avios is the airline’s global currency for frequent fliers and can be collected when booking flights with British Airways as well as on international hotel chains stays, holidays and car rental and on everyday purchases through partners.
24. Customers can ‘earn and burn” miles on British Airways, American Airlines, Iberia and Finnair, allowing them to collect tier points on BA, AA or Iberia on transatlantic flights on an equal basis, giving greater reward to frequent fliers.
25. Austin’s Whurley from Chaotic Moon joined British Airways’ inaugural UnGrounded Innovation Lab in the Sky, launched last year. More than 130 Silicon Valley tech leaders collaborated, ideated and created concepts and solutions to global talent challenges impacting innovation around the world.