AMAZING British Airways First Class Fares From New York To London

Filed Under: British Airways, Flight Deals

Wow! We often see discounted first and business class fares, but rarely are they available in business markets. As a general rule of thumb it’s much more common to see cheap transatlantic fares out of Europe than out of the US, and it’s also rare to see cheap transatlantic fares in a market where an airline flies nonstop.

With that in mind, at the moment British Airways has some incredibly low first class fares from New York and Chicago to London.

These fares are available over limited dates through March 2020, and you can easily search availability on Google Flights.

Roundtrip first class fares start at $2,245. But it gets even better than that. If you join AARP for $16 per year then you can score a $200 discount, bringing down the cost to $2,045.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a first class fare that low from New York or Chicago to London.

For what it’s worth, British Airways participates in the Amex International Airline Program, and the tickets booked through that are a bit over $2,100, so booking through AARP is the better value.

For a few hundred dollars more there are fares available from some other US markets, including Boston and Washington.

As far as earning miles go, you can expect to earn the following miles with some partner programs:

  • With American AAdvantage: 200% elite qualifying miles, 150% redeemable miles, elite qualifying dollars for 30% of the distance flown (plus elite bonuses)
  • Alaska Mileage Plan: 250% elite qualifying miles, 450% redeemable miles (plus elite bonuses)

You’re flying just over 7,000 miles roundtrip, so through Alaska you’d earn 31,500 Mileage Plan miles, and that’s before factoring in any elite bonuses. That’s incredible.

If you’re interested I’d recommend booking now, because this fare won’t last.

No, British Airways first class isn’t the world’s best product, but at this price it’s a steal, especially when you consider the high UK Air Passenger Duty for a flight that returns from London.

(Tip of the hat to Santander)

Comments
  1. 1) It’s the daytime flight which a lot of people don’t like since you “waste” a day travelling. Also, there’s less value in premium cabins on a daytime flight since you’re not sleeping, IMO.

    2) Economy fares are $440. I wouldn’t pay that premium for a relatively (by international standards) short flight.

  2. Daniel – IMO, the daytime flight (regardless of class) is much preferrable on this route. Significantly reduces jetlag. Would love to see many more NYC or BOS to Europe flights leaving at 7 AM or so.

  3. @Ben – Not that I saw. Everything I see has ~$2,000 with the day flight.

    @Anthony – Maybe for you, and not saying I personally disagree, but business travelers generally prefer an overnight flight.

  4. @ abey — Well they don’t fly the A380 or 787 to JFK, so I’d say the 777 (ideally the one with Club Suites, which has only eight first class seats), followed by the 747.

  5. @abey – only the 747s are showing the fare and that on weekends….. meh, no desire to visit London in the winter.. it’s depressing as it is..

  6. @ Ben — I would have sworn that the AARP discount didn’t work for First. Obviously from your screenshot, I am wrong. Did this change? I am confused.

  7. @ Gene — Nope, it hasn’t changed. The amount has been reduced over the years, but it still works.

  8. @ Abidjan — Nope, you earn miles per the partner earnings chart when it’s BA operated and coded. If it were an AA codeshare (booked through AA) you’d earn miles at a different rate.

  9. ORD and JFK have the best availability for using Avios awards to Lndon, compared with other US cities, especially on the west coast.

    So it can make sense to offer these cheap fares in the winter from just those two cities, rather than give them away for miles. You can be pretty sure that BA figures these flights would otherwise be half full in F.

  10. The deal has expired, but F from JFK continues to be available at under 3k, which I think isnt bad. From SFO under 4k.

  11. Why does everyone think that $2K for a 6hr flight is a great deal? It’s barely enough time to sleep, if you fall asleep right away. Nobody makes a big deal about $2K transcon flights which is nearly the same flight time.

  12. @westcoastflyer I was thinking the same thing. At first I was tempted. Then I thought: Would I jump at the chance to fly JetBlue mint from CA to MIA for $2k r/t? Not really.

  13. Agree with WestCoastFlyer – if this was a 9-10 hr flight and considering how much one can earn with Alaska, this would be a good option. I booked a SFO-LHR-DEL RT in BA First Class for ~$4350. Now that’s something I’d call a deal considering Business Class RT flights were in the same price range (+/- $500) for the dates I’m traveling.

  14. Just booked for the family and I but couldnt find where to put the aarp discount? (And no issues finding the redeye flights from JFK)

  15. Daniel – as a business traveler, I would much rather take a Sunday morning flight at 7 AM, land, get a full nights sleep, then go to meetings on Monday (I have in fact done this as a business traveler!) rather than fuss with any kind of redeye

  16. These fares are available to other destinations in Europe, too. I just booked ORD-ZRH in F for $2043 roundtrip!!!

  17. @UAPremierGuy That seems like an even better tip here. ORD-ZRH plus AARP discount is $1843 RT in F. Might be even better city combinations out there.

  18. @WestCoastFlyer – agreed. I was able to pickup a SEA-EWR redeye recently in F on AS for $600 and was able to justify that to myself. Normally it’s $1K+ and I don’t see the value in that for a 5-6hr flight depending on direction. It also doesn’t hurt that I’m always upgraded to Premium and about 33% to F. But domestic F isn’t even comparable to international J closer to PE.

  19. When Kuwait Airways flew JFK LHR, they regularly price F below $1800 round-trip though it was a terribly outdated product back then.

    Yes, BA F for 2K isn’t a bad deal at all, but then again BA F is a pretty weak product these days… only the soft product has been updated whilst the F lavatories of some 744s are falling apart, not a premium experience at all.

  20. @Mike: if you access BA’s reservation page VIA the AARP website (I mean your AARP account page), then it shows you the discounted fare.

  21. Just found a fare on BA from New York to Berlin in F for only $1,700 r/t via Toronto and London (without the discount), meaning that with the discount, you can get it for only $1,500 round-trip – it doesn’t get better than this!

    https://www.google.com/flights#flt=/m/02_286./m/0156q.2020-03-30.LGAYYZ0AA3350~YYZLHR0BA92~LHRTXL1BA982*/m/0156q./m/02_286.2020-04-07.TXLLHR0BA981~LHRORD0BA295~ORDLGA0AA325;c:USD;e:1;p:180000.2.USD;sc:f;sd:1;t:b;sp:2.USD.170105*2.USD.170105

  22. @westcoastflyer Are you really comparing trasncon product and service to BA First Class? What in the World…

  23. I would prefer daytime. Get to eat and drink more, followed by a catnap. Then get a FULL nights real sleep upon arrival.

    Different strokes for different folks.

  24. @OrangeCat yes they pulled it or it got booked up pretty quick, which isn’t much of a shock. The Fare component on my ticket was $500.00USD – let that sink in, BA sold a roundtrip First Class ticket in what is probably the most lucrative premium air market for $500.00 (with $1500 in fees/taxes). That’s not something that is going to last very long!

  25. The day flight to London gets a totally bad rap.

    First of all it’s a lot more full of business travelers than you think (both the BA and AA one). As someone said – you’ll often find me on it on Sunday to avoid an overnight.

    Second, saying it’s a waste is a very O&D perspective. It’s the major feeder flight into any of a number of connections to India, Africa and the Middle East. That’s why it leaves so early in the morning. If it were pure O&D it would be timed a bit later like tha AA version which isn’t a feeder.

  26. Professionals fly the daytime departure. Jet lag is virtually non existent. Can anyone really sleep leaving the East Coast on a “redeye”? Unless you depart after 11pm, you are screwed up all the way around upon arrival at LHR. About the time one is tired, it’s landing time.

    That extra hour of flight time and extra hour in time change makes continental Europe a O & D situation. Too bad. I would love a daytime departure to CDG.

  27. @robert I fahr, did AF discontinue theirs? I’m almost positive they used to have a morning departure from JFK to CDG

  28. I’d much rather take the day flight on a Sunday and get a full nights rest on business trips. My boss insists on taking the red eye on Sunday and then spends most of Monday dozing off in meetings.

  29. @Airways and Travels- I didn’t attempt to compare the service or any other airline to BA F. My point was merely that I don’t understand why people believe this fare is “AMAZING”. It’s a trip that sounds great on paper “Transatlantic flight in F for only $2K, Hooray!”, but when you look at the flight times it’s nearly equivalent to a transcon flight. I don’t hear many people running out there screaming “ AMAZING transcon F fare for $2K”.

    For the record, I would choose JetBlue Mint transcon for $1400 over BA F for $2000 as a better value any day of the week.

  30. Interesting – I am seeing JFK or ORD to LHR in January for 2945 on Google Flights, provided it is booked via AA. Same flights booked via BA are showing 5593.

    Day flights are fantastic. You arrive in time for a proper sleep, essentially eliminating jet lag.

  31. @ Ben — After much expended time, I was able to snag ATL-LHR-ZRH roundrtip for peak summer 2020 travel for $2,109 per person + 5.1% opportunity cost of having to charge to a Chase VISA rather than AMEX Platinum, for a total cost of about $2,216. Sweet!

  32. Hi Ben- I guess I tried this an hour after your email booking NYC-LON. There were none of these fares booking through AARP or directly with BA. On Amex the fare was over 3K. I ended up booking on AA for just under 3K to LON and LON-FCO on BA for $3322 total, all flights on BA. If I tried to book NYC-FCO through LON it was $3800. Checking on Google flights indicated the same. My dates were January/February. Thanks for this as it still is a great first class fare.

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