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gilesdavies
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British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:50 pm

When looking for flights today on Expedia from London to Washington, the search threw up flights with BA to Baltimore, as well as their other flights to Washington Dullas...

I have just been looking into it a bit further (as was curious) and noticed BA are the only trans-atlantic carrier operating from BWI to Europe.

I know very little about the city of Baltimore and probably one of those lessor known cities in the US to many of us Brits.

I notice the airport has only a handful of flights with AA, so connections through BWI off a BA flight is very limited with OneWorld. No other long haul carriers fly to Europe from the airport, so would imagine the market is rather limited. What's the reason for BA serving Baltimore, and not focussing their Washington ops just out of IAD?

Does BA have a large contract with a local company or is there close business links between London and Baltimore, in a similar way that AA operates LHR-RDU?
 
by738
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:13 pm

Its a marginal route supported by Baltimore route funding. Infact there has just recently been a 16M Dollar extension to the supported funding program, how it do without the subsidy is anyones guess...
 
bchandl
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:24 pm

I think the proximity of Baltimore to Washington DC is one of the few reasons this flight exists. Maybe instead of adding another IAD flight they opted to serve a wider catchment area? I don't know, it's just speculation. But if Baltimore was in the middle of Penn or somewhere not near DC and the other large cities it wouldn't have BA service.

Baltimore plays second fiddle to the larger cities of the NE corridor (NYC, BOS, DC, PHL) but is still very relevant and near many Federal Government employees and offices.

bchandl
 
SpaceshipDC10
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:26 pm

Quoting gilesdavies (Thread starter):
noticed BA are the only trans-atlantic carrier operating from BWI to Europe.

Some years ago, EI used to serve BWI. Per Wikipedia, DE has a seasonal service to FRA. The fact is that airport is 32 miles from Washington D.C. while IAD is 26 miles west. I remember seeing ads in Air Transport World some fifteen years ago to lure new airlines. For that matter they invested some money to extend their main runway.
 
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SFOA380
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:33 pm

I believe Icelandair served BWI previously as well.
 
lpdal
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:40 pm

DE (Condor) operates a seasonal BWI-FRA-BWI turn on 763s as well.

-LPDAL
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vhtje
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:40 pm

I flew LHR to BWI a fortnight ago. Nice flight, terrific crew on a refurbished 767-336. The nice thing about the flight was that when we arrived into BWI, we were the only international arrival at that time of day, around 20:30 local time, so the immigration and customs were a breeze.

My only complaint was that the OCW seat on the 767 was not as comfortable as NCW seat - no recline 'z' position, and the cushions were hard. Nevertheless, for the hassle-free experience, I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
I only turn left when boarding aircraft. Well, mostly. All right, sometimes. OH OKAY - rarely.
 
bchandl
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:10 pm

Quoting vhtje (Reply 6):
a fortnight ago

From an American, what is a fortnight?

Sorry!

bchandl
 
smokeybandit
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:20 pm

Quoting bchandl (Reply 7):
From an American, what is a fortnight?

Fortnight, derived from "fourteen nights", so, two weeks.


BWI just had a $125 million expansion project approved, largely to expand and modernize its international gates. I'm sure some of this is spawned from WN, but it can't hurt with Europe either
 
eastern747
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:15 am

I was born and raised in Baltimore, but moved on after college, Univ. of Maryland, College Park. There is a great deal of Washington's suburbs that are closer to BWI then IAD. There is also many people who would rather fly from BWI to Europe then go to NYC or PHL. (YUK). I believe that the city gives BA money to stay there, but not sure. I was upset once when I heard the inflight service is not the same as IAD/NYC/PHL to LHR, and the food service is a downgrade I also read once the inflight staff find the passengers much easier to deal with those those further north. By the way, greatest seafood in the states. Crab cakes anyone?
 
DCA-ROCguy
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:15 am

Baltimore is a former industrial city. Today it has a large container port, large research university (Johns Hopkins) and UMD medical school, some financial services, and as noted above, some large gov't offices (e.g. Social Security Administration). It has a much more blue-collar feel than neighboring Washington, and is grittier. But it also has some terrific cultural features such as the Walters Art Gallery and the Inner Harbor with US National Aquarium. Baltimore in city and MSA is comparable in size to Cleveland or Pittsburgh.

Over the decades, Baltimore has had on-and-off international transatlantic service. The longest lasting was the Icelandair service, which dates at least to the 80's (I remember seeing a Loftleidr DC-8 stretch at BWI in 1986), and recently was moved to IAD. KLM briefly served BWI in the early 80's, and Aer Lingus was at BWI on and off from late 80's to a few years ago, when they went to Dulles. I remember the Washington Post referring to Aer Lingus as "BWI's busiest international airline" early-to-mid 00's. BWI also had a botique Ghana Airways scheduled service to Accra for a while in the last decade. It was really neat to see the DC-10 with green/ yellow/ red tail on my regular visits!

As noted above, the DC area has a much wealthier, tech-ier, and gov't / diplomatic economy, as well as being about twice the Baltimore MSA. This is part of why Dulles so completely dominates transatlantic service for the seven-million population area of the two contiguous MSA's. I think the BWI BA flight subsidy is from the State of Maryland, which operates the airport, not from Baltimore. Sometimes in summers in the last decade, I'd see BA 777's, not sure if they were substitutions or seasonal upgrades.

Jim

[Edited 2014-07-29 17:17:24]
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lawair
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:16 am

Before 9/11 BWI had three daily scheduled flights to Europe (EI/BA/FI) and two weekly flights to Africa (GH). EI ended in 2004 when it never really recovered traffic after 9/11. FI ended in early 2008 and eventually switched to IAD, and GH went bankrupt.

The BA flight started when BWI was a US hub, with US partnering with BA. The route switched from LGW-BWI to LHR-BWI(-CLT) following 9/11. CLT was then dropped. The flight has always operated with a 767 with the exception of one or two summers when it was operated by a 777. Since 9/11 the state of Maryland has provided an operating margin guarantee of 8% for BA to keep the flight. At times the full guarantee has been paid; and at other times the flight has done well enough on its own to not require the full amount.

DE operates a twice weekly flight to BWI during the summer months. The flight is operated by a 767, had over 90% average load factor during 2013, and does not require a guarantee or subsidy.
 
BoeingGuy
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:36 am

Pan Am used to serve BWI with 707s. Did they ever fly Transatlantic from there? I don't recall.
 
dia77
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:50 am

Ghana Airways used to fly to Baltimore as well (starting in 2000) from Accra. KLM flew to BWI for many years. Baltimore plays second fiddle to the nation's capital but is an important destination in its own right and a large population base (~2.7M in the area).

https://www.airliners.net/photo/Ghana...d=3c86934757ee599f183ab5dee91eb4fb

[Edited 2014-07-29 17:53:20]
 
PITrules
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:52 am

Quoting sfoa380 (Reply 4):
I believe Icelandair served BWI previously as well.

As well as KLM, Air Greenland, Martinair, Aer Lingus, Ghana Airways, LADECO, Air Jamaica, Cayman Airways, World, and even El Al via a unique arrangement with North American Airlines, who operated a 737 and/or MD-80 to JFK solely to transfer passengers to the Israeli carrier. I'm probably missing a couple carriers as well.

The current BA service began with the 1993 Alliance with USAir, who previously operated the route after acquiring it from TWA.

However, can anyone shed any light on BA at BWI in the mid 1980's? The November 1985 Piedmont timetable has this ad:



The airport diagram stated flights departed from the Piedmont concourse.



Strangely enough, there is no mention at all in the schedule portion of the timetable of a BA London flight. Was this flight announced but never started? It would have to be a one-stop to LHR due to bilaterals at the time; it was before the BA/B.Cal merger so doubtful to LGW.

Baltimore was also on BA's predecessor's schedule during their flying boat days. Not sure when that ended or if BOAC ever served Friendship.

[Edited 2014-07-29 17:58:11]
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Viscount724
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:56 am

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 12):
Pan Am used to serve BWI with 707s. Did they ever fly Transatlantic from there? I don't recall.

Pan Am had to use Baltimore until IAD opened. In their August 1961 timetable they had 7 transatlantic flights a week from BAL (the airport code then) but all flights stopped at PHL. Four operated BAL-PHL-LHR and 3 BAL-PHL-ORY.

By August 1963 those flights had moved to IAD but in that timetable they still had one transatlantic flight from BAL operating BAL-BOS-ORY 3 x week.

The Pan Am 707-121 (the 3rd 707 built) that exploded and crashed near Elkton, MD after being struck by lightning on December 8, 1963, killing all 81 aboard, was operating the short BAL-PHL sector of a flight originating at SJU.
http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19631208-0

Going back a few years, Pan Am took delivery of their first 707-121 at DCA in October 1958, probably one of the only if not THE only large 4-engine jet to have landed at DCA. After the christening ceremony by the First Lady, Mamie Eisenhower, the 707 was ferried to Baltimore and then operated a special flight to Brussels for invited guests and the media.

[Edited 2014-07-29 17:59:45]
 
smokeybandit
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:59 am

BWI is closer to Baltimore than Dulles is to DC (yes, I know DCA is right there).

And it's often overlooked that BWI is the busiest DC-area airport (though not by much)
 
AWACSooner
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:29 am

Quoting gilesdavies (Thread starter):
I have just been looking into it a bit further (as was curious) and noticed BA are the only trans-atlantic carrier operating from BWI to Europe.

Then I must have hallucinated my DE flight from FRA-BWI two weeks ago  
 
ChinaClipper40
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:31 am

There are a lot of U.S. federal government employees who live in the Maryland suburbs of DC, and who are therefore closer to BWI than to IAD. And, if one factors in the horrible and totally unpredictable traffic snarls on the DC Beltway, it is usually a far shorter drive to BWI than to IAD, time-wise. Also, as noted above, there are significant federal government installations - both military and civilian - in the Baltimore metropolitan statistical area. Fort Meade, Fort Detrick, Aberdeen Proving Ground, and several research establishments of the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute on Aging) come quickly to mind. The fact that the BA flight is a code-share with AA means that federal government employees on foreign assignment can book the AA code-share flight number at the negotiated General Services Administration city-pair ticket price and fly BA metal nonstop to London. I use that BA BWI-LHR flight myself a LOT, and it frequently departs BWI either fully booked or fairly close. As noted above, the State of Maryland provides an operating margin guarantee to BA for keeping the flight. Often the flight does well enough that the guarantee is not needed. Compared to the other options (driving to IAD or PHL; taking Amtrak to EWR; connecting via JFK, BOS, CLT, or YYZ), that nightly nonstop from BWI to LHR is an extremely pleasant alternative. It departs on time, usually arrives early into LHR, and the food and cabin service beat the hell out of the nonstop options available out of IAD (BA, UA or VS; one can book via other airlines, but because of code-sharing you are on BA, UA, or VS metal when you fly nonstop IAD-LHR). Finally, the fact that the BA BWI-LHR flight is a 767 is a distinct plus. Less cramped seating in economy class than on the 747s and 777s out of IAD.

The year-round BA nonstop to London is now supplemented by a new seasonal nonstop BWI to FRA. I've not yet flown it, so I can't comment on it.

The Maryland Aviation Administration (a division of the Maryland Department of Transportation) has publicly announced that it is actively seeking additional nonstops to Europe from BWI, and they plan to expand the International Pier at BWI for such an eventuality I personally feel that the drive to IAD from the Maryland suburbs is so onerous that one or two additional nonstops out of BWI to European hubs (Paris? Amsterdam? Milan?) would find significant usage by passengers from the northeasterly suburbs of DC and from the Baltimore metropolitan area. BWI supported multiple nonstops to Europe before, and I think it can do it again. Of course, only time and the willingness of additional airlines to try the route will tell.
 
us330
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:10 am

Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 10):
As noted above, the DC area has a much wealthier, tech-ier, and gov't / diplomatic economy, as well as being about twice the Baltimore MSA.

BWI is also closer to the northern suburbs than Dulles, and is competitive with IAD public transit wise from downtown DC (at least during the week).

For the those not familiar with the Baltimore/DC geography, BWI is located between Baltimore and Washington, whereas Dulles is located to the southwest of DC.
 
Viscount724
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:23 am

Quoting us330 (Reply 19):
whereas Dulles is located to the southwest of DC.

IAD is more northwest than southwest of DC.
 
tymnbalewne
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:36 am

I want to say (and I don't know why...) that BA/BOAC served BAL, then when IAD opened moved there, and then moved back to BAL(BWI) before moving back again to IAD.

BA had MSY - BWI - LON, then BWI - BDA - LON before pulling off the route. I think EA ground handled the flights at this time.

When BA and US had their relationship, the US BWI-LGW flight was turned over to BA 'though the operation was handled under a wetlease arrangement with US, ("Y'all welcome on board this British Air flight to Gatwick!"  )

When BA and US split, BA operated the BWI-LGW with its own aircraft and crew. The flight suffered from terrible punctuality as it was the last 767 to leave LGW so, if an earlier 767 went "tech" then the BWI 767 would be taken.

Eventually the flight moved to LHR where it remains today.
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izbtmnhd
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:37 am

The state of Maryland wasted alot of their taxpayers dollars building a multigate international pier that sits almost vacant now. As the region expands, Dulles is showing to be the prefered international gateway. I don't see BWI gaining a lot of international service when IAD is still underutilized.
 
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RyanairGuru
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:48 am

Quoting izbtmnhd (Reply 22):
As the region expands, Dulles is showing to be the prefered international gateway. I don't see BWI gaining a lot of international service when IAD is still underutilized.

Where BWI will have a niche is to low-yield international destinations.

While the premium dollar prefers IAD, IAD has some of the highest passenger movement charges in the nation. If you can sell J/F on a reliable basis it makes sense to serve IAD as the revenue gained by flying to the "preferred" airport will cover this. If, however, you won't be taking much high yield traffic it makes much more sense to serve the (lower cost) BWI. See Condor, Ghana etc for evidence of this.

What surprises me is that BWI never grew into a full-fledged airline hub like EWR did. The comparison between JFK/EWR and IAD/BWI is actually quite appropriate, given that in both cases there is a primary airport that attracts the lions share of the premium traffic (and foreign carriers), although the "second" airport is only marginally further away from the city centre. Also, both Newark and Baltimore are relatively large and important cities in their own right, notwithstanding the traffic they draw from the broader metropolitan region. I know that US had a hub there, and were annihilated by WN, but had a stronger carrier (even CO or DL) had a hub at BWI in the 1990s could history have turned out differently?
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izbtmnhd
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:06 am

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 23):

The comparison is flawed because DC/Balt is about 8 million in population while the NYC area is about 24 million. Balt only makes up 2.5 mil of the 8 mil in the DC area. Also the fastest growing parts of the region are near Dulles and almost 60 miles (100km) from Baltimore.

I agree that BWI has the role of catering to the low yield market. It's why BWI's international pier is very lightly used

[Edited 2014-07-29 21:08:00]
 
ajs123uk
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:53 am

I was born and raised in Baltimore, but moved on after college, Univ. of Maryland, College Park. There is a great deal of Washington's suburbs that are closer to BWI then IAD. There is also many people who would rather fly from BWI to Europe then go to NYC or PHL. (YUK). I believe that the city gives BA money to stay there, but not sure. I was upset once when I heard the inflight service is not the same as IAD/NYC/PHL to LHR, and the food service is a downgrade I also read once the inflight staff find the passengers much easier to deal with those those further north. By the way, greatest seafood in the states. Crab cakes anyone?


Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 9):



The inflight service, food, drinks etc is no different from any other East Coast flight, there's no reason why it should be.
The only difference being the 767 club world seats are not the latest generation club world (still lie flat though). Until they recently changed from the 767 to the 787, Newark, Philadelphia and Toronto have had these 767 club seats too, so bwi hasn't been the poor relation!

[Edited 2014-07-30 04:53:50]
 
dtw2hyd
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:47 pm

Quoting izbtmnhd (Reply 22):
I don't see BWI gaining a lot of international service when IAD is still underutilized.

Depends on which airport offers better incentives to airlines. Airlines can always partner with WN, just like ME3 partner with B6.
All posts are just opinions.
 
czek6
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:18 pm

It may be helpful to remember that BWI was a USAir hub with codeshare service on British Airways. Once USAir dehubbed BWI, and Metrojet came and went, the state decided that it was worth a subsidy to keep BA as a year round carrier. The subisdy covers a 2-3 month period in the dead of winter when traffic lags. There is no trouble with the flight the rest of the year.

Condor which operates the season FRA-BWI route has already expressed its interest to partner with Southwest. But who knows if Southwest will jump at their offer. I will be interesting to see how Southwest will work their transatlantic partnerships.

And yes, while the international terminal sat underused for many years, it was hardly the white elephant Dulles was. If you go to BWI in the evening all the gates are used due to Southwest's international expansion.

Aer Lingus operated successfuly at BWI for many years, but after leaving for Dulles, they left there too. Hopefully, thery'll come back once thet've got their airline ship shape.

As for going to DC via BWI, it's a pleasant journey and certainly a shorter wait at customs.
 
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mats
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:54 pm

I flew on BA from Baltimore to London/Gatwick in 1999. I was using Executive Club points, and Baltimore was the only East Coast gateway with available seats at the time. Since I lived in New York City, I took the train to BWI and flew from there. At that time, BA had a stronger presence at Gatwick, so there were a lot of easy connections. Likewise, the train was quick into the City (this was before Heathrow Express.)

For years, I said that if I was going to build an airline, I was use BWI. But my views have changed. The rail link isn't good. Like Oakland, among others, the train doesn't really go to the airport. There is a train to a shuttle bus. It's just not the same.

Although there have been facility upgrades, it's still a place with low ceilings, and a bit dark in the concourses (excluding the international section.)

There have been so many failed efforts to make BWI a bigger hub: Piedmont, USAir/Metrojet, and then Southwest set up a marketing agreement with Icelandair. None of these panned out. It's a big facility, plenty of room, but it never caught on. Dulles is no gem; in fact, it's a total pain. But it has flights to far more places, and--at least for now--maintains the United domestic hub.

BWI is closer to many options from the DC metropolitan area, but it's just not considered a viable choice. National is unparalleled in terms of convenience and access for US/Canada flights, and Dulles has the benefit of so many options to Asia, the Gulf, and Europe.

For those who live in Baltimore itself, there is always the option of a nonstop from Philadelphia. Also not my favorite airport, but it's a little more than an hour from Baltimore, and US Airways (soon to be American) offer nonstops to major European cities and to Tel Aviv without the burden of a connection.

If BWI and British Airways want to build up the Baltimore option, they need an aggressive marketing plan: show how much easier and nicer it is than Dulles. It would be too expensive, but they need to fix the rail connection so it actually goes to the terminal, or has something more akin to the AirTrain at Newark (that's not great, but it's a lot better than a shuttle bus). Somehow a shuttle bus kills the experience. Perhaps BA is just relying on its subsidy, and it is immaterial to them.

I imagine that BA is already working to become a PreCheck participant. They may not build a PreCheck line at such a small checkpoint in BWI, but this is a marketing disadvantage for them at BWI. Once BA becomes a PreCheck partner, passengers can speed through security at Dulles, making BA more competitive with US carriers.

I've never been to the Chesapeake Club at BWI, so I do not know how it compares to other BA lounges.

Someone will have to check, but didn't TWA fly transatlantic from BWI? I'm pretty sure it was to London, but I think there was a tag to Paris or Frankfurt. Or perhaps it was just to Paris.
 
Andy33
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:56 pm

The 767s will be off the BWI-LHR route by the end of 2015/early 2016 at the latest, maybe sooner, as all the remaining long-haul examples are due to be withdrawn by then. Replacements are nominally 787s but a fair amount of reallocating aircraft types to flights is and will continue to be going on. I doubt if an A380 will turn up, though!
 
commavia
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:05 pm

Quoting gilesdavies (Thread starter):
I know very little about the city of Baltimore and probably one of those lessor known cities in the US to many of us Brits.

It's not just Brits - I think even most Americans know relatively little about Baltimore compared to some other major cities, and those that do know about it likely have a pretty disproportionately negative view ("The Wire" didn't help  ). It's ironic, because Baltimore is actually among the most historically and strategically significant cities in the United States, and to this day it remains one of the nation's most important seaports. Personally, I found Baltimore very similar to Detroit - the immediate "downtown" area (the "Inner Harbor" in the case of Baltimore) is extremely nice, with lots of very safe and interesting things to see and do, places to stay and eat, etc. But stray a few blocks in the wrong direction - and things get far less safe very fast.

That being said, relative to most other U.S. international gateways, BWI is still a pretty small market. And as others have mentioned, BWI suffers from the fact that IAD pulls most of the metro WAS region's international O&D, and also from the fact that PHL is relatively so close by and offers vastly more nonstop international service than BWI can ever hope for.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 23):
What surprises me is that BWI never grew into a full-fledged airline hub like EWR did.

BWI is a "full-fledged airline hub" - for Southwest.
 
thegman
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:16 pm

Quoting PEK777 (Reply 28):

Aren't there a lot of black people in Baltimore though? Wouldnt the majority of International travelers prefer to land at Dulles? What is the capacity/frequency of Dulles flights vs. BWI? If they are essentially the same distance from Washington, why not consolidate ops at Dulles? Especially considering the subway line will extend there very soon.

That has to be the most racist comment I have ever seen on this forum. Like seriously, it came out of nowhere.

As for the BWI vs. IAD argument things BWI has going for it:

-Easier public transport into DC, (during the week via MARC train).
 
ChinaClipper40
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:30 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 20):
IAD is more northwest than southwest of DC.

West would probably be more accurate than either northwest or southwest. IAD is almost exactly on the same north-south latitude as American University, the Chain Bridge, the Van Ness/UDC Metro station, the cluster of foreign embassies around the intersection of Van Ness and Connecticut Avenue, Howard University Law School, Grant Circle, and Catholic University. In terms of distance, it's pretty much equal. Distance from the U.S. Capitol to IAD is roughly 29 miles; to BWI roughly 32 miles. In terms of time, IAD is a shorter drive for folks living in the western and southern DC suburbs; BWI is a shorter drive for those living in the northern and eastern DC suburbs. Depending, of course, on the vagaries of traffic on the DC Beltway, the Dulles Access Road, I-95, and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

In terms of ease of use and passenger-friendliness, BWI beats IAD quite substantially. Closer parking, shorter security lines, shorter walk to boarding gates, etc. Despite BWI serving more passengers per year than IAD (but, as noted above, those numbers are close; approximately 22.5 million passengers per year for each).
 
PEK777
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:58 pm

Quoting thegman (Reply 32):
As for the BWI vs. IAD argument things BWI has going for it:

-Easier public transport into DC, (during the week via MARC train).

I am not familiar with the MARC train. does it serve central DC, or is a transfer required? I heard the silver line from Dulles will take nearly an hour to reach the city. DCA is still the most convenient airport in the world.
 
N716
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:26 pm

Quoting thegman (Reply 32):
-Easier public transport into DC, (during the week via MARC train).
Quoting PEK777 (Reply 34):

I am not familiar with the MARC train. does it serve central DC, or is a transfer required

There is an Amtrak/MARC shuttle from baggage claim at BWI to the rail station. It takes about 10 minutes. From there, the MARC is $6 each way to Washington Union Station and takes about 30 minutes with a couple stops in-between. Amtrak also has regular service via Northweast Regional or Acela Express for a bit more $.

MARC also has regularly scheduled WEEKEND service to DC on the Penn line.
"Kids, You Tried Your Best and You Failed Miserably. The Lesson Is, Never Try."~ Homer Simpson
 
ChinaClipper40
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:29 pm

Quoting PEK777 (Reply 34):
I am not familiar with the MARC train. does it serve central DC, or is a transfer required?

The MARC (Maryland Area Regional Commuter) trains are commuter trains fanning out from DC's Union Station to serve various suburban areas in Maryland. There are 3 lines - Penn Line, Camden Line, Brunswick Line. MARC operates approximately 100 commuter trains per day. The Penn Line connects DC's Union Station with the BWI Rail Station. Since the MARC Penn Line operates on the same tracks as Amtrak's Northeast Corridor service, the MARC trains run at high speeds - up to 125 mph. No transfers are required, but the MARC trains do make intermediate station stops. Travel time between DC Union Station and the BWI Rail Station is approximately 35 minutes. One can purchase tickets from ticket machines within DC Union Station. A shuttle bus service connects the BWI Rail Station with the BWI Airport terminal.
 
cgnnrw
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:26 pm

BWI is also attractive to people living in SE Pennsylvania, mainly York and Lancaster counties. Getting to BWI takes about the same amount of time as to PHL. In the late 80's I flew FI to Europe twice. FI had the reputation of being a budget airline and back then all the printed travel guides listed it as a cheap way to get to Europe. Plus the stop in KEF was kinda fun too. I flew KLM two or three times to BWI in the early to mid 90s. I chose the flight especially because KLM put a B747 on the flight. I haven't been through BWI for at least 20 years now.

As fare as Baltimore as a travel destination, I wouldn't plan more than a weekend there before heading to either DC or up to Philly.
A330 man.
 
eastern747
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:47 pm

Baltimore has one very historic thing going for it. During the War of 1812, remember that one, the British tried to take the city with a naval bombarment. However, it didn't succeed, because a very well placed fort at the mouth of the harbor, held off the bombs, forcing the Brits to sail further south in the march to Washington. When they reached Washington, they set it on fire, however a hurricane hit that night throwing the army into disarray. Oh, and this is tongue in cheek, there was an American prisoner aboard one of the British warships watching the entire battle all night. He wrote a sort of poem about the engagement on the back of an envelope. It later became the words to our national antheum
 
AA94
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:03 pm

Quoting commavia (Reply 30):
It's not just Brits - I think even most Americans know relatively little about Baltimore compared to some other major cities, and those that do know about it likely have a pretty disproportionately negative view ("The Wire" didn't help &nbsp Wink. It's ironic, because Baltimore is actually among the most historically and strategically significant cities in the United States, and to this day it remains one of the nation's most important seaports. Personally, I found Baltimore very similar to Detroit - the immediate "downtown" area (the "Inner Harbor" in the case of Baltimore) is extremely nice, with lots of very safe and interesting things to see and do, places to stay and eat, etc. But stray a few blocks in the wrong direction - and things get far less safe very fast.

  

I believe the Port of Baltimore is the main import point for Mercedes-Benz vehicles into the USA, as well as other various vehicle types. The roll-on/roll-off facilities are quite extensive.

As a Marylander, the problem I see with Baltimore is that the tourist area is relatively compact, concentrated around the Inner Harbor. Compared to nearby Washington DC, where you could spend days visiting museums, galleries, historical sites, parks, etc., Baltimore has a much smaller tourist footprint. It may be a nice half-day or day trip if you're in DC already, but I'd be shocked if a great number of tourists came specifically to visit Baltimore.
 
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Joshu
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:33 pm

BWI also has many military charters that come in and out almost daily from international destinations.
Washington-Baltimore Spotters Group
 
Skyguy
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:35 pm

TWA flew BWI-LGW till the late 90's. They served this route with a 767 and IIRC it was started a few years after TWA sold their LHR routes to AA in 1991. I remember seeing ads in the press in the UK advertising this route as the preferred access to Washington DC from LGW.
"Those who talk, do not know, and those who know, do not talk."
 
hammerb32
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:09 pm

I used the BA service last year and have to say BWI is a great airport, easy and quick. As for the city it's a little unfair to say inner harbour is all it has to offer, I filled a long weekend easily and would always recommend it, plenty to do and some of the best food I've ever eaten.
 
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kgaiflyer
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:59 pm

Quoting gilesdavies (Thread starter):
I have just been looking into it a bit further (as was curious) and noticed BA are the only trans-atlantic carrier operating from BWI to Europe.
Quoting LPDAL (Reply 5):
DE (Condor) operates a seasonal BWI-FRA-BWI turn on 763s as well.

Interesting conversation.

Probably the busiest desk in the BWI International Pavilion up to now has been the Air Mobility Command who fly troops and military families around the globe.

BWI allows them to connect troops to domestic carriers.

http://www.facebook.com/BWIPassengerTerminal
 
SyeaphanR
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:41 pm

In fall 1992, I well remember flying LGW-BWI on a US 762, before the tie-up with BA. Nice quick passage into the States. But there was a strike on, and our neat connection onward to CLT turned into a fast taxi ride to DCA for a flight thence! Fun, if a trifle nerve-wracking! Only time I've used either airport.
 
PITrules
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:28 am

Quoting PITrules (Reply 14):
However, can anyone shed any light on BA at BWI in the mid 1980's? The November 1985 Piedmont timetable has this ad:

Anyone?
FLYi
 
ChinaClipper40
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:31 am

Quoting ChinaClipper40 (Reply 35):
The MARC (Maryland Area Regional Commuter) trains are commuter trains fanning out from DC's Union Station to serve various suburban areas in Maryland. There are 3 lines - Penn Line, Camden Line, Brunswick Line. MARC operates approximately 100 commuter trains per day. The Penn Line connects DC's Union Station with the BWI Rail Station. Since the MARC Penn Line operates on the same tracks as Amtrak's Northeast Corridor service, the MARC trains run at high speeds - up to 125 mph. No transfers are required, but the MARC trains do make intermediate station stops. Travel time between DC Union Station and the BWI Rail Station is approximately 35 minutes. One can purchase tickets from ticket machines within DC Union Station. A shuttle bus service connects the BWI Rail Station with the BWI Airport terminal.

Another option for public transit access to BWI from DC is via express bus. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (the agency that runs the DC Metro and busses) runs express busses from the DC Greenbelt Metro Station to BWI. The service runs every 40 minutes, takes 30 minutes from Greenbelt to BWI, and costs $7.00. The busses are signed "BWI Express" and "B30." The service runs 25 times each weekday and 21 times on Saturdays and Sundays.

There are two options for inexpensive public transit access to inner-city Baltimore from BWI:

1) MARC trains from the BWI Rail Station to Penn Station in downtown Baltimore.
2) Light Rail - One branch of Baltimore's Light Rail system goes directly to the BWI terminal, immediately adjacent to BWI's International Pier. Light Rail trains run every 20 minutes into downtown Baltimore. Travel time from BWI to Camden Yards/Inner Harbor is about 20 minutes. One can then transfer to the Baltimore Metro, other Light Rail lines, regular city busses, or the free "Connector" busses that run free of charge within Baltimore's inner city. Light Rail fare is $1.60.
 
Mainland
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:10 pm

Quoting smokeybandit (Reply 8):
BWI just had a $125 million expansion project approved, largely to expand and modernize its international gates. I'm sure some of this is spawned from WN, but it can't hurt with Europe either

Apologies if this has already been linked/discussed, but here's a longer story on the international pier expansion.

http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/g...b-7db8-58c7-8932-488ab839dbe5.html

From the pictures included, it looks like gates D1, D3, and D5 will included as international gates. The article describes the addition of "two new gates that will be able to “swing” between serving domestic fliers and international travelers based on demand." I wonder if these are D3 and D5, since D1 has always had the swing ability.

Side bar, I guess this tables extending outward the existing E pier and the thought of an F pier for international gates.
You don't need a passport to know what state you're in...
 
gilesdavies
Topic Author
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:59 pm

Thanks a lot guys for the postings guys...

I thought there would be one or two postings not forty-six!

I did do some Google searches after posting this thread and not much positive came up about the city, and pleased there is so many positive posts and the media are not bringing the people of the city down.

I kept reading about high crime rates, deprivation and ghetto neighbourhoods. But I might stick two fingers up to all that negativity and book myself on the BWI flight and stay for a few days before heading into DC.
 
AviationAddict
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:54 pm

Does Lockheed Martin's presence on the field contribute in any way to this service? I would think LM employees would need easy access to London/Europe.
 
ChinaClipper40
Posts: 202
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RE: British Airways At Baltimore (BWI)

Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:21 pm

Quoting gilesdavies (Reply 47):
I did do some Google searches after posting this thread and not much positive came up about the city

Baltimore is a surprisingly nice small city. I've lived in Paris, London, Montreal, Boston, and NYC. And my work takes me to every major city on the planet on a regular basis. When I got posted to Baltimore because of my work, I thought that I was being sent to the armpit of the North American east coast. I could not have been more wrong. Baltimore has two good fine-arts museums; an excellent symphony; excellent opera; excellent small classical music productions (e.g., "Bach in Baltimore"); a good science museum; user-friendly mass transit (metro, light rail, busses); a network of free-of-charge bus routes in the inner city ("Charm City Circulator" busses); a water-bus system not unlike Venice's vaporetti (but on a much smaller scale); sailing in the Harbor or out in the Chesapeake Bay; a world-class tourist-friendly Inner Harbor area much like Boston's Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market waterfront area or Darling Harbour in Sydney, Australia; the National Aquarium; historic sites (e.g., Fort McHenry); well-preserved historic districts dating from the 1700s and early 1800s (Federal Hill, Fell's Point); excellent restaurants representing every cuisine on the planet; a very active live music scene in the many pubs of Harbor East, Fell's Point, and Canton; and more colleges and universities per square mile than anywhere else in the United States except Boston. For sports fans, there is major-league professional baseball and football, and thoroughbred horse racing at Pimlico. Yes, there is crime, poverty, and blighted areas of the city. But one finds that also in NYC, Boston, and Washington DC.

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