I have already detailed the disaster that Virgin is having with it’s Dreamliners. The British Airways B787 Dreamliner fleet is also facing difficulty and disruption, because of problems with their Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines
Virgin has leased Air Berlin A330s to take over some of it’s routes, to counteract these problems as their B787’s are taken out of service. British Airways is also going to lease in planes. Their choice is Qatar Airways with three A330 planes being brought in over the summer to cover the period during which their B787s will be taken out of service. It is specifically their B787-9s and not the B787-8s that will be investigated. British Airways will need to carry out detailed precautionary inspections on Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines on these planes following concerns over blade durability.
This engine problem is industry-wide and passengers booked on the affected these long-haul BA planes this summer need to keep an eye on their seating and their allocated planes, since it is not yet clear which routes will be affected.
What Happens If My Plane Is Substituted
The Qatar Airways aircraft which British Airways is leasing have a different configuration to the British Airways B787-9 aircraft, specifically, they do not have Premium Economy seating and their Business Class will be in Qatar Business Class seats.
Qatar Airways long-haul Business Class flights offer some of the best seats in the world, but the Qatar Busines Class is not consistent across it’s fleet. Qatar actually offers several types of Business Class products on its A330 fleet, with some aircraft featuring the old Business seats (that don’t fully recline) and some other featuring the updated product (with fully flat-bed seats). I have reviewed my last flight on Qatar’s A330 featuring the newer product. Although quite comfortable, QA’s A330 Business Class product is inferior to the one it offers on its A350, B787 and A380 planes.
Bottom line, if you are a British Airways passenger who is moved to a Qatar plane, you may be allocated a Business Class seat that reclines but that is not flatbed on your Business Class flight this summer. We don’t yet know the cabin layout of these leased in planes, although it is fair to say that the Qatar A330 product is one of Qatar’s least appealing Business Class offerings. What I can tell you is that your substituted plane will not be sporting the magnificent new Qatar QSuite!
What Do I Do If I Am Booked On A British Airways Dreamliner?
It is specifically their B787-9s and not the B787-8s that will be investigated. If you are flying on a B787-8, you should be fine. If your flight is booked on a B787-9 you may be on one of the routes that will be on the Qatar A330.
The good news is that you can do something about this. Keep an eye on your flights online and if your aircraft is altered, you have the right to request a different flight. You can also ask for a refund and then book with another airline.
If you are booked into Premium Economy, you will almost definitely want to amend your flight as there is no Premium Economy on the Qatar A330 planes.
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