Something To Declare: Terminal confusion at Heathrow; San Diego; Hawaii

The column that gives the global picture
Click to follow
The Independent Travel

Warning of the week: terminal confusion at Heathrow

Britain's busiest airport is, as you know, bursting at the seams. Heathrow's newest terminal, 4, is mainly devoted to British Airways long-haul flights and is extremely congested even without Concorde.

To relieve the pressure, from tomorrow the airline (0870 850 9 850, www.ba.com) is to shift some key long-haul flights from Terminal 4 to Terminal 1.

The destinations chosen to make the switch are Tokyo and Johannesburg services; BA has calculated that these are the flights with the highest proportion of passengers connecting from European and domestic cities served from Terminal 1. A bonus, if you are transferring from Edinburgh to the Japanese capital or from Manchester to South Africa's largest city, is that minimum connecting times will be reduced.

The airline is also stepping up the number of BA-coded flights at Terminal 2. "Code-share" arrangements with Iberia and Swiss mean that increasingly many services show BA flight numbers, but are actually operated by its partner airlines from Terminal 2. These include all departures to Basel, and some services to Barcelona, Madrid and (from tomorrow) Zurich.

To complete BA's omnipresence at Heathrow, services to Miami remain at Terminal 3.

Six months from now, when the summer 2004 timetable is introduced, life for travellers will get even more complicated. Another dozen long-haul and 35 short-haul flights are to be switched from 4 to 1.

Destination of the week: San Diego

One British Airways flight destined for terminal oblivion is BA 275 to San Diego. The last direct flight from Heathrow to the southern Californian city takes off today; tomorrow, BA scraps the route after a second vain attempt to make it pay. But plenty of cheap options remain. Through discount agents, you should be able to find a fare from Gatwick to San Diego for less than £300 return; possible routings include via Houston on Continental, via Dallas on American Airlines or via Charlotte on US Airways.

Bargain of the week: all over Hawaii

Unlimited-travel airpasses are thin on the ground these days, but in the state of Hawaii you can cram in up to 28 flights within a week. The Aloha Airlines Seven-Day Island Pass costs $336 (£224), and allows you to fly a maximum of four times a day between all the major Hawaiian isles. The average fare for individual tickets is around $80 (£53) each, so you have to make more than four journeys to show a "profit" on the pass. See the website www.alohaairlines.com for more information.

Comments