From October 28 passengers on one of BA’s two daily all-business class flights from London City to New York will no longer be able to avail of US immigration pre-clearance at Shannon airport.

The carrier launched flights between LCY and New York JFK using 32-seater Airbus A318 aircraft in 2009 (for a review of the service click here).

BA currently offers two daily all-business class flights – BA001/2 and BA003/4 – with both services routing via Shannon on the outbound journey for refueling, before returning directly from New York.

At present passengers can avail of US immigration pre-clearance at Shannon during the stop, meaning that they arrive at JFK as a domestic passenger, thus avoiding immigration queues.

But BA has confirmed on its website that from October 28 pre-clearance will only be available on flight BA001.

As discussed on our forum, the change has been forced by cutbacks at Shannon airport, which will see US officials working fewer hours. At present BA003 departs LCY at 1600, which means it will arrive at Shannon after the closure of pre-clearance facilities.

BA has provided Business Traveller with the following statement regarding the changes:

“Our business class-only service between London City and New York, which stops at Shannon, is about to enter its third year of successful operation.

“Changes in the staffing regime at Shannon Airport, by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has shortened the opening hours of their pre-clearance facility in Shannon.

“Therefore, we have made changes to the double-daily service for the Winter schedule, beginning in October 28.

“Following consultations which explored a range of different options, and feedback from our corporate customers, we have rescheduled the BA001 to depart earlier at 0950 to allow continued access to US pre-clearance facilities in Shannon.

“The BA003 remains departing at 1600, but customers will not benefit from pre-clearance in Shannon and will instead arrive in New York at International Arrivals.”

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