British Airways, popularly known as simply BA, is the United Kingdom's national air carrier. It was originally nationally owned but was privatized in 1987. Nearly 300 Airbus, Avro and Boeing aircraft make up the company's fleet. The two main hubs for BA flights are London Heathrow Airport and London Gatwick Airport. British Airways flights travel to more than 160 destinations and cover every continent except Antarctica. Some of its most popular routes include Los Angeles, New York and Miami in America and Dubai and Shanghai in Asia.
The airline has a large number of codeshare partners, with some of those being with FlyBe, Cathay Pacific and Qantas Airways. The company is part of the Oneworld alliance, of which it is a founding member. The other founding members are American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and Canadian Airlines (which is no longer in business). It also operates four subsidiary airlines called BA Connect, BA Cityflyer, Comair and Sun-Air of Scandinavia.
BA passengers can check in via both desktop and mobile starting from 24 hours before their flight. After online check-in, passengers can either print their boarding pass or store it on their mobile phone. British Airways passengers may also check in at the airport, either by using the kiosks provided or by going to the check-in counter. Regardless of how a passenger checks in, they will need their booking reference number. Seat selection on BA flights is made at the time of booking. Seat selection and checked baggage cost extra for passengers with a Basic ticket but are included for passengers with other fare types.
Passengers on British Airways flights are allowed 2 pieces of hand luggage, with the first piece having maximum dimensions of 45 x 30 x 15 cm (or 45 x 36 x 20 cm on flights to Brazil) and the other with maximum dimensions of 56 x 45 x 25 cm. The maximum weight for each item of cabin baggage on a British Airways flight is 23 kg. Infants only have an allowance of a single item of up to 56 x 45 x 25 cm. Musical instruments may be carried as part of hand luggage allowance. Cabin baggage exceeding these allowances will be checked into the aircraft's hold and will therefore count as part of the passenger's checked baggage allowance. If this means their checked baggage allowance is exceeded, a fee may be charged.
All of BA's fares, with the exception of Basic fares, include a checked baggage allowance. The official size limit for checked baggage on a BA flight is 90 x 75 x 43 cm, including wheels, handles and protruding pockets. BA will also accept oversized items up 190 x 75 x 65 cm without an extra charge. Items larger than this need to be sent as cargo. Although it varies, for most destinations the allowance guidelines stipulate that Economy and Premium economy passengers may bring 2 items of up to 23 kg each, while Club class passengers can bring 2 items of up to 32 kg each. First class passengers may bring 3 items of up to 32 kg each.
In addition, some members of the Executive Club and Oneworld frequent flyer programs may receive additional allowances on their British airways flight. Sporting equipment can be carried as part of a passenger's checked baggage allowance. There is a fee for taking overweight or extra items of checked baggage on a BA flight.