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NEW YORK, May 22, 2013—British Airways today revealed a selection of industry leaders and change agents set to take part in UnGrounded, the company’s inaugural Innovation Lab in the Sky. The group will work on global challenges at 30,000 feet, aboard a private British Airways flight from San Francisco to London on June 12, 2013. Confirmed participants include California Lieutenant Governor and entrepreneur Gavin Newsom, Gina Bianchini CEO of Mightybell, and Craig Newmark founder, craigslist and craigconnects.
All participants have been hand-selected to participate based on their experience and passion for driving the acceleration of innovation within developed and emerging communities across the world. The ideas and solutions created on the flight will be received by the United Nations ITU Secretary General at the DNA (Decide Now Act) Summit in London.
Additional innovators confirmed to participate include:
• Andrew D’Souza, COO, Top Hat
• Claudia Fan Munce, VP Corporate Strategy, Managing Director, IBM Venture Capital Group
• Will Young, Director of Zappos Labs, Zappos; General Partner, Vegas Tech Fund
• Alexis Ringwald, CEO and Cofounder, LearnUp
• David Raskino, CTO, Microsoft Global Start-Up
• Anthony Goldbloom, Founder and CEO, Kaggle
• Penny Abeywardena, Head of Girls and Women, Associate Director, Commitments, Clinton Global Initiative
• James Beshara, CEO, CrowdTilt
• Tiffany Shlain, Filmmaker & Founder, The Webby Awards
The group will be joined by like-minded pioneers from the UK and entrepreneurs representing emerging entrepreneurial communities in India and throughout Africa.
In addition, Mashable, a leading source for news, information and resources for the connected generation selected ten flight participants as part of its “Best Idea” contest. The contest asked readers to share information about how they came up with their best idea. Mashable selected the following winners based on who they felt best embodied the spirit of the flight based on their answers:
• Jen Padgett, Executive Director, CTA
• Derek Shanahan, Director of Marketing, Playerize
• Brian Doll, VP of Marketing, GitHub
• Keren Douek, Recruitment Solutions, jobdreaming
• Sheel Tyle, Associate, New Enterprise Associates
• Kimberlie Cerrone, CEO, Tiatros, Inc.
• Kristen Christian, Founder, Bank Transfer Day
• Kofi Frimpong, Founder, Meal Tics
• Peter Sheehan, Regional Sales Director, TeraMedica
• Kelly Hoey, Co-founder, Women Innovate Mobile
More details on the Mashable winners and their entries can be found here.
“As we’re approaching the launch of UnGrounded on June 12, we’re excited to see visionaries and leaders from Silicon Valley bring their distinct perspectives and skills together to tackle the critical global challenge around the STEM skills gap,” said Simon Talling-Smith, EVP of the Americas for British Airways. “Face-to-face connection ignites the exchange of amazing ideas, and by bringing these bright minds together, British Airways and our partners, the United Nation and DNA Summit, look to spark and accelerate innovation to affect global change.”
About the UnGrounded Innovation Lab in the Sky
Taking place at 30,000 feet in the air aboard a private British Airways flight from San Francisco to London in June, the UnGrounded Innovation Lab in the Sky will address the misalignment between where science and technology talent is emerging and where opportunity exists. Developing solutions will be for the purpose of accelerating global innovation. Upon arrival in London, the group will present their approach to delegates from the United Nations during the DNA Summit. For more information visit www.ungroundedthinking.com, like us on Facebook, or follow us @British¬Airways and join the #BAInnovate conversation.
Key Facts: The UnGrounded Flight
• The inaugural UnGrounded flight will travel from San Francisco to London on June 12, 2013.
• British Airways has chosen to launch the UnGrounded flight from Silicon Valley, the global hub for technology and the de-facto model for how amazing ideas can be cultivated when people are together.
• Participants on the UnGrounded flight will include some of Silicon Valley’s most prominent thinkers – from budding entrepreneurs to seasoned business leaders, VCs and scholars.
• UnGrounded brings together talent from diverse backgrounds to disrupt and co-create to affect change within the global innovation community
• Upon touching down in London, flight participants will attend the DNA Summit, a meeting that connects the best minds in the world to progress talk into action.
• During the DNA Summit, passengers will present their solution to the challenge to a group of like-minded, global innovators. The outcome will be received by the Secretary General of the ITU – the UN agency for information and communication technologies.
$2699 Club World business class from New York to London
New York, May 8 – - British Airways has launched a business class ticket sale to give people the chance to travel in style to the UK and beyond.
Roundtrip Club World business class fares begin at $2699 from New York (JFK or Newark) to London Heathrow. Fares include all taxes, fees and charges. Comparable fares are available from all 20 British Airways’ gateways to London, as well as on British Airways codeshare services operated by American Airlines, Iberia and OpenSkies.
The New York JFK to London City service is also included in this promotion.
Discount fares to Europe are also available to select destinations including Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam and Rome.
The sale starts on Wednesday, May 8 and runs until Tuesday, May 14, 2013 with travel from June 28 through September 5.
Customers flying in Club World will experience the airline’s award-winning business class product and premium service. As well as 6ft. fully flat beds the business class pods have separator screens for extra privacy. There is also extra storage space, multi-channel on demand in-flight entertainment and excellent dining and wine selections, including a ‘help yourself’ kitchen that is open throughout the flight.
Visit www.ba.com/summerluxe for more information.
MEDIA CONTACT: Americas Communications 212 716 0477
Notes to editors:
Fares quoted are roundtrip and include taxes, fees and charges
All flights are subject to availability
Book at www.ba.com/summerluxe or by calling 1-800 AIRWAYS
Passengers jetting off on their half-term holidays were treated to an eye-opening surprise when a barrage of zoo animals attempted to blend in whilst checking-in to board a British Airways flight.
To celebrate the film’s release on Blu-ray & DVD, the characters from DreamWorks Animation’s hilariously funny global smash Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted greeted families at the airport whilst checking-in to board their flight to take them back home to Central Park Zoo, New York!
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is currently playing on British Airways’ in-flight entertainment throughout the month of February. Featuring a sensational, all-star cast of voice talent including Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, Martin Short and Jessica Chastain, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted delivers hysterical entertainment that the whole family can enjoy this half-term.
British Airways and VisitBritain have sent out their “Big British Invite” today, offering deals and experiences in the UK, including two nights free accommodation in select UK hotels.
The two free nights offer is available when customers purchase a roundtrip airfare between the US and the UK. The offer is valid through Sunday midnight (EST), Mar. 31, 2013. The free hotel stay is valid for travel from Jan. 9, 2013 through May 31, 2013.
Participating hotels in London include Royal National, President, Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum, Holiday Inn London Stratford City, Aloft London Excel and Rembrandt. In Edinburgh, Holiday Inn Edinburgh and Thistle Glasgow are offered.
Hotels offered in Glasgow include the Premier Inn Glasgow Charing Cross and Argyll Hotel Glasgow. Jurys Inn Newcastle is offered and in Manchester the Premier Inn Manchester Portland Street and the Holiday Inn Manchester West are offered.
The two free hotel nights are based on double occupancy; single occupants are offered one free hotel night.
British Airways and VisitBritain have also partnered for a “Big British Invite”, inviting travellers looking for a Great Britain island adventure – all 60 million acres. As part of the campaign, customers booking the two free nights offer will also receive a “Better Island Band”, offering customers exclusive experiences including: two for one scotch tastings at Glengoyne; two for one admission at Tower of London; premium upgrade at Cardiff Castle and more exciting offers during the campaign.
Hotel accommodation can be booked and purchased with British Airways published roundtrip airfares that originate in the US during the promotional period. Restrictions apply.
Further information on this promotion and other British Airways offers are available by visiting the airline’s website, www.ba.com/bigbritishinvite
* * *
Notes to editors:
- British Airways began flying to 20 new routes this winter season, including Zagreb, Monrovia, Belfast, Bergen, Amman and Seoul. Great offers are now available for travel through Mar. 15, 2013; fares from New York (JFK or EWR) to Johannesburg begin from $990 and fares from New York (JFK or EWR) to Amman begin from $799. Visit www.ba.com/europe-offer for more details
- Free hotel offers must be booked with roundtrip transatlantic published British Airways or British Airways codeshare operated by American Airlines or Iberia airfare
- All flights must originate from US gateways only
- Terms and conditions apply and are available on ba.com
- Seats and hotel rooms are subject to availability
ABOUT BRITISH AIRWAYS
British Airways is the UK’s largest international scheduled airline. It flies its customers at convenient times to the best located airports across the world.
It is one of the world’s leading global premium airlines and its principal place of business is London with significant presence at Heathrow, Gatwick and London City Airports. The airline flies approximately 32 million customers a year to more than 150 cities in 75 countries around the world.
British Airways is a full service airline offering a range of flights to UK domestic, shorthaul and longhaul destinations. Over the next five years British Airways will be investing more than £5bn in new aircraft, smarter cabins, elegant lounges and new technologies to make life more comfortable in the air and on the ground.
In 2010 British Airways formed a joint business with American Airlines and Iberia which provides customers with greater access to discounted fares, more convenient connections and better access to a global network of more than 500 destinations.
British Airways is a founding member of oneworld, the alliance of airlines around the globe, which serves some 700 destinations, and offers the best connections.
Whether customers are in the air or on the ground, British Airways takes pride in providing a full service experience.
More information is available at www.ba.com.
- Americans made 2.8 million visits to the UK in 2011 and spent US $3.8 billion – placing them in the UK’s top three most important markets for visitors. The US remains top spot in terms of market value for inbound tourism.
- VisitBritain, the national tourism agency, is responsible for inspiring the world to explore Britain and for developing the UK’s visitor economy.
- Visitors traveling to Britain can find out more information from visitbritain.us plus purchase money and time saving local transport, sightseeing, attraction, theatre and tour tickets from visitbritainshop.us.
MEDIA CONTACT: Americas Communications 212 716 0477
Mar. 5, New York – - British Airways’ first Airbus A380 will fly from Los Angeles to London Heathrow, with tickets going on sale today.
Los Angeles will be the inaugural destination for the first A380 to be operated by a UK airline. The double-decker superjumbo is due to be delivered to British Airways in July and seats are now on sale for flights from Oct. 15, 2013.
In celebration, the airline is launching an offer from Los Angeles. Fares in World Traveller economy start at $830 roundtrip. World Traveller Plus, the airline’s premium economy, begins from $1380 roundtrip.
Continuing the celebrations, Club World business class fares begin from $3,800 roundtrip. All fares include taxes, fees and carrier charges.
A380 enthusiasts eager to be on the very first commercial services should note that dates for these will be announced once plans for training flights are completed.
The second A380 route will be to Hong Kong and customers can book flights now for travel from November 15, 2013.
The airline’s website, www.ba.com, will feature information on the new aircraft, including computer generated imagery (CGI), and a short film will be available via youtube to give customers a feel for the aircraft. Customers can book via ba.com, by calling 800 AIRWAYS or by visiting a local travel agent.
The A380 will be the largest aircraft in the British Airways fleet, accommodating 469 customers across four cabins. Customers in First will be seated at the front of the main deck. The cabin will offer 14 seats and is evolved from the current First class. Club World (business class) customers can choose from 44 seats on the main deck, or 53 seats on the upper deck. These upper deck seats will feature a new 2:3:2 configuration across the cabin. The 55 World Traveller Plus (premier economy) seats will be located on the upper deck while World Traveller (economy) customers can choose seats on both the main and upper deck. Both cabins will feature the airline’s current design, which is now flying on the new B777-300ER fleet.
The aircraft’s innovative design makes it much quieter during take-off and landing and more fuel efficient than its predecessors. British Airways has ordered 12 for delivery by 2016 as part of a £5bn investment over five years in new aircraft, smarter cabins, elegant lounges, and new technologies to make life more comfortable in the air and on the ground.
Keith Williams, British Airways’ chief executive, said: “This will be a very special premiere. The A380 is a great aircraft that has been developed with huge amounts of British engineering ingenuity. London and Los Angeles are two world-leading cities, and we are proud to be the first airline to connect them with the A380.”
The arrival of the A380 has entailed a multi-million pound redevelopment of British Airways’ Heathrow engineering base to support maintenance of the world’s largest commercial aircraft type. This included two 24-ton roof ‘eyebrows’ being lifted into place in one of the hangars to raise the height of the entrance to accommodate the A380’s 24-meter tailfin.
MEDIA CONTACT: Americas Communications 212 716 0477
Notes to Editors:
• More details are available at: http://www.britishairways.com/en/information/flight-information/airbus-a380
• Customers are advised that the flights going on sale today are unlikely to be the inaugural or very first flights of the new aircraft. British Airways will finalize the dates of the inaugural flights over the next few months.
• The celebratory fares from Los Angeles apply to the route and are not aircraft specific.
• The offer runs from March 5 to March 13, 2013 for selected travel dates. Seats are limited and subject to availability.
• All prices quoted are roundtrip and include taxes, fees and carrier charges.
• Full details of the interior of the British Airways A380 will be unveiled when it arrives at Heathrow in July.
British Airways has today (March 10) set two Guinness World Record titles including the ‘Highest Harlem Shake’ and ‘Highest Concert’ in the sky, with Tony Hadley and Kim Wilde performing their hits on a red-nosed Boeing 767 aircraft at 43,000ft for Comic Relief.
Celebrating 25 years of Red Nose Day, the airline has raised over £4.5 million for Flying Start – the airline’s charity partnership with Comic Relief.
Fronted by Shane Richie, 128 lucky passengers were treated to exclusive performances from Bananarama and Go West on the ground, and Tony Hadley and Kim Wilde in the air. Passengers also danced their way into the Guinness World Record books by performing the latest internet craze – the ‘Harlem Shake’ dance.
Magic 105.4 presenter Kim Wilde, said: “I’m becoming an old hand at performing on public transport – in fact I’m getting a bit of a taste for it, so when British Airways asked me to play at 43,000ft I simply couldn’t resist! It was great fun and I’m proud to have been a part of it.”
Spandau Ballet front man Tony Hadley, said: “I’m very excited to be in the Guinness Book of Records, it’s quite an amazing feat to be part of. It’s really great that British Airways has put this event on, which has raised thousands of pounds for Flying Start.
On board the flight, Captain Mannering-Smith announced when the aircraft reached the correct altitude for the performances to begin. In order to break the previous Guinness World Record held by James Blunt at 42,080ft, the artists had to perform a 15-minute set at higher altitude, accompanied by musical instruments. The event officially lasted 22 minutes and 36 seconds at 43,000ft.
Assisted by her brother on guitar, Kim Wilde rose to the challenge singing her hits including; You came, You keep me hangin’ on and Kids in America, while Tony Hadley enthralled the crowd with acoustic renditions of True, Gold and a cover of Queen’s Crazy little thing called love.
Ahead of the flight, passengers enjoyed performances from Bananarama and Go West in the lounge. The girls sang a string of hits including Love in the first degree and Venus, while Go West performed We close our eyes and King of wishful thinking.
To keep the authenticity of the era, canapés inspired by British Airways 1988 menus were served in the lounge, and cabin crew donned original 80s Roland Klein uniforms – nicknamed ‘the deckchair’ for their fetching vertical stripes and shoulder pads!
Guinness World Record Editor-in-Chief, Craig Glenday who adjudicated the event, said: “I was on board the British Airways Highest Stand-Up Comedy Gig in 2011, when the airline set its first Guinness World Record. I didn’t think that they could top that, but having witnessed today I’m proud to say that they most certainly have. The Harlem Shake has to be one of the most amazing records I’ve ever witnessed!”
Passengers won tickets through a text competition, which donated profits to Red Nose Day. It was promoted through Magic 105.4 as well as through Twitter using #BAgiginthesky.
Keith Williams, British Airways’ chief executive, said: “I’ve visited a number of Comic Relief funded projects and know how important it is to continue to raise money for our Flying Start partnership. The 80s Gig in the Sky is just one of the great fundraising initiatives that our teams have been working on. Many congratulations to everyone involved for this fantastic achievement.”
Through its Flying Start partnership, British Airways has raised money for Comic Relief, to help transform the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged children in the UK and some of the poorest countries around the world.
A video of the event is now available at: http://youtu.be/KHmwdNSzQ3k
British Airways is to extend its range of “hand baggage only” fares to all of its 32 short-haul routes at Gatwick Airport.
The new type of fare, which launched last month, is already proving popular with customers on the initial five destinations from Gatwick – Amsterdam, Dubrovnik, Jersey, Tunis and Turin.
From today (Monday March 11) customers can take advantage of the new fares on all of British Airways’ short-haul destinations from Gatwick. The fares are on sale for travel from April 2, 2013.
Additional hand baggage only routes now on offer include Genoa and Glasgow from only £39 one-way. For those wanting some summer sunshine, fares to Barcelona, Nice and Venice all start from £49 one-way.
Peter Simpson, director of Gatwick for British Airways, said: “The new fares have been very well received by customers and we have now decided to make the discounted prices much more widely available.
“We are confident that they will prove popular during the busy summer season as short-haul customers continue to take advantage of our generous two-bag hand luggage policy. Those who still want to check in a bag will simply pay the same price they do now.”
Customers choosing the “hand baggage only” fare can continue to take advantage of the airline’s hand luggage allowance and carry on a good-sized case (56cm x 45cm x 25cm), plus a handbag or laptop bag.
Children enjoy the same hand luggage allowance as adults, so families can take advantage of the new fare by combining their allowances. Families can also take buggies to the aircraft side, bring on a child seat and enjoy free seat allocation three days in advance of travel.
All British Airways’ short-haul customers will continue to receive free seat allocation within 24 hours of departure, priority boarding for families, complimentary food and drink, high levels of customer service and a frequent flyer programme that rewards them with Avios and tier points.
To make the new fare clear and easy for customers to identify, ba.com has been redesigned with a special symbol flagging the fare throughout the booking process.
IS 52C WHERE YOU WANT TO BE? AISLE OR WINDOW? BRITISH AIRWAYS UNVEILS LATEST TRENDS
New research from British Airways has uncovered some distinct patterns when it comes to where people prefer to sit on a plane.
Top findings include:
- Window pips aisle in popularity
- Twin seats 51/52B, 51/52C, 51/52H and 51/52J most sought-after economy seats
- Aisle seats more popular at the front and window seats more popular at the back
- More people prefer the right hand side of the aircraft to the left
All customers flying with the airline can choose their seats for free 24 hours in advance of their flight, and there is the option to secure a seat further in advance for a fee.
The data found that the airline receives six per cent more bookings for window seats than aisle.
The results also show that the four sets of twin-seats, 51/52B, 51/52C, 51/52H and 51/52J, in a British Airways Boeing 747 are the most popular place in economy to pre-book, with more than half of our customers travelling as a pair opting to have a row to themselves.
Those who head for the front of the economy cabin tend to choose aisle seats but those who prefer the back go for the windows.
The research also suggests an intriguing fondness for selecting a seat on the right hand side of the aircraft (facing the nose). When choosing, 54 per cent of economy customers choose to sit on the right versus 46 per cent choosing to sit on the left.
Unsurprisingly, the most popular seats in First class are the two right at the front, 1A and 1K and in Club World (business class), the upper deck is always popular, especially with regular travellers who snap up the seats at the back of each section, 62A and K and 64A and K.
Sara Dunham, British Airways’ head of retail and direct channels, said: “Most people like the idea of turning left when they get on a plane, but it looks like the majority favour the right hand side when it comes to choosing their seat.
There are lots of theories why people favour the right hand side: there are more right handed people, we automatically tend to turn right, but the truth is we don’t know for sure.
“And we’ve all got into a discussion with our travelling companions about whether the aisle or the window is best with each side as determined as the other that they are right. It would seem though that the window-lovers who are firm fans of their view slightly outnumber the aisle-hoppers who like to get out of their seats easily.”
April 3, 2013
Notes to editors:
- The information has been generated from paid for seating data in World Traveller, World Traveller Plus and Club World. The First class information comes from Executive Club data.
- First class seats are allocated at time of booking for no fee.