British Airways will monopolise Heathrow's new £4.2 billion Terminal 5 (T5) when it opens in March 2008.It had been thought that some or all the Oneworld members would have shared T5 along with BA which would have meant easier transfers. But there simply isn't the space to accommodate all the Oneworld members under one roof.
So carriers such as Aer Lingus, American, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, and Qantas will either stay put in T3 or move there from either T1 or T4. Future Oneworld members such as JAL, Malev and Royal Jordanian will also be based at T3.
It means that Oneworld passengers making transfers between BA and other member carriers will have to switch terminals. T3 is closest to T5 but bus transfers will be required with baggage moving underground along a new tunnel network.
But confusion could arise with code-share services. Currently every Qantas, Iberia and Finnair flight from Heathrow also carriers a BA flight code. So passengers will need to make absolutely sure they know which airline will be operating their flight otherwise it's all too easy to arrive at the wrong terminal.
In other news, BA Connect (BA's low-cost regional division) has announced a new route between London City (LCY) and Milan effective May 2. It will also book boost its LCY-Edinburgh service from five to seven flights a day.
But the Milan service operates only once daily (except Saturday) so day trips aren't feasible. And its timings (out of LCY at 09.30 and back from Milan at 13.40) may not suit. In addition, the flights are using Milan Malpensa (46 km from the city centre) rather than the more convenient Linate (10 km away).
For more information go to www.oneworld.com, www.ba.com
Report by Alex McWhirter