It’s incredible how much growth we’ve seen from British Airways the past few years, especially on transatlantic flights. Rather than just increasing frequencies in major markets, we’ve seen them add service to all kinds of destinations that previously had limited transatlantic flights, including Austin, Nashville, Pittsburgh, San Diego, and San Jose, just to name a few. British Airways has now announced their latest transatlantic flight.
British Airways will be launching a 2x weekly summer seasonal service between London Heathrow and Charleston, South Carolina. The flight will operate between April 4 and October 24, 2019.
The route will be flown with a Boeing 787-8, featuring 35 business class seats, 25 premium economy seats, and 154 economy seats.
British Airways’ 787 business class
The new route will operate with the following schedule on Thursdays and Sundays:
BA220 London to Charleston departing 5:20PM arriving 9:20PM
BA221 Charleston to London departing 10:50PM arriving 11:50AM (+1 day)
The 4,065 mile flight is blocked at 9hr westbound and 8hr eastbound.
I find this to be a fascinating route. On one hand, Charleston is home to a big Boeing factory, where the 787 is produced, so I imagine there’s some business demand. However, the fact that this is a 2x weekly summer seasonal flight suggests that the target with the route is leisure travelers. Regardless, this is a unique route, so I continue to commend British Airways for their expansion into new markets.
As you’d expect, award availability on the route is excellent, given that it was just loaded into the system. Unlike other programs, British Airways Executive Club promises that they release at least two business class award seats and four economy class award seats per flight.
If you were to redeem American AAdvantage miles for this flight, you’d pay 30,000 miles one-way in economy, or 57,500 miles one-way in business class, plus taxes and carrier imposed surcharges.
Meanwhile if you redeemed British Airways Avios for the flight you’d pay the following amounts one-way:
- Economy: 16,250 Avios off-peak, 25,000 Avios peak
- Premium economy: 32,500 Avios off-peak, 50,000 Avios peak
- Business: 62,500 Avios off-peak, 75,000 Avios peak
That doesn’t include British Airways’ hefty surcharges, which can be $500+ one-way for a premium cabin ticket. For example, a roundtrip business class peak ticket between Charleston and London Heathrow costs an outrageous 150,000 Avios plus $1,465.56 in taxes, fees, and carrier imposed surcharges.
What do you make of British Airways launching flights to Charleston?