Flying BA this Christmas? It is meant to be almost but not quite entirely unlike BA!

Christmas in the UK always seems to bring up images of travel chaos in the media, with a sprinkling of snow shutting down roads and disruption on the railways due to engineering works making things difficult. A week or so ago was no exception, with a particularly cold spell hitting London leading to long delays at the airport due to a lack of deicing facilities which lead to back logs and diversions. One friend was on the way back from Croatia and ended up landing in Cardiff before getting a bus back along the M4. Not all bad, though, as she was contacted quickly by the airline and given a £300 voucher to use against another flight which was a surprisingly generous and quick response which took many by surprise. And this is just the start for what looks like a concerted effort to up their game in terms of customer relations and experience.

Things started with an email last Friday.

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Anyone with a flight booked between 22-27th December has been given 2,000 Avios. This applies to paid and redemption flights, one way or returns and for everyone on a booking, but it is only given once no matter how many flights are taken. Whilst it is not a huge amount, it is enough for 2 double G&Ts and 2 bags of crisps which, given that it would cost you over £14, it is a nice gesture.

Another gesture over the same period was reported on HeadforPoints the other day. For people sitting in seat 25D, and their travelling companions, there will be a free glass of champagne to help celebrate the festive season.

The give-away doesn’t stop there. Another email came through offering extended lounge access when travelling.

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There’s nothing like being together for Christmas. That’s why this year we’re making a proper celebration of it.

To make your festive flight even more special we’re delighted to extend lounge access at London Heathrow and London Gatwick to up to five of your guests when you travel with us until 13 January 2018.

We look forward to welcoming you and your additional guests in our Galleries Club Lounges. At London Heathrow Terminal 5, experience The First Wing, which offers an enhanced, private check-in area, before making your way through security using North or South facilities.

On the face of it this is a great offer, presumable aimed at those people who travel a long for work and gain status, but then cannot take the family into the lounge as they are only able to guest one person in.

Finally, and not strictly a freebie or a give-away, but the introduction of boarding by group is planned for introduction. Whilst this is already meant to be in place in some respects, it is usually poorly enforced. American Airlines do a great job, with boarding groups clearly indicated on the boarding passes and staff at the gate willing to turn people away who should not be in the line, but I am yet to see this consistency from BA.

There is a lot of promise about the experience of flying with BA over this festive period being better than normal, with #BAtogether being used to promote it on social media. With a couple of flights coming up, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. With bonus Avios, extra lounge access, proper boarding and free champagne, it is BA, but not as you know it!

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