British Airways Will Fly To NYC From Three London Airports

Filed Under: British Airways

British Airways is bringing back an interesting route, which they discontinued in 2009.

Starting May 1, 2016, British Airways will launch daily flights between London Gatwick and New York JFK. Via, the flight will operate with the following schedule:

BA2273 London Gatwick to New York departing 4:40PM arriving 7:30PM
BA2272 New York to London Gatwick departing 10:00PM arriving 10:00AM (+1 day)

The flight will be operated by a three class 777-200, featuring 275 seats, including:

  • 48 Club World (business class) seats
  • 24 World Traveller Plus (premium economy) seats
  • 203 World Traveller (economy) seats

Virgin-Atlantic-Upper-Class - 28

Where’s that London Gatwick slot and the plane being used for the route coming from? Presently British Airways has two daily flights to Las Vegas — one out of Gatwick, and one out of Heathrow. As of May 1, 2015, British Airways will be discontinuing their Gatwick to Las Vegas flight, and instead will add a second daily Heathrow to Las Vegas flight.

Las Vegas schedule through April 30, 2016

Las Vegas schedule as of May 1, 2016

Why would British Airways add a once daily flight between New York and London Gatwick, when they have 12x daily flights between Kennedy and Heathrow between them and their joint venture partner American?

Well, there are a few reasons why this is a smart move:

  • Gatwick is significantly more convenient than Heathrow for many people originating in London, so this is a great alternative to Heathrow
  • Norwegian flies between Gatwick and Kennedy, so this allows British Airways to compete with them (that being said, it’s not like anyone can really compete with Norwegian on price)
  • British Airways serves several leisure destinations exclusively out of Gatwick, so previously you’d have to make a transfer between Heathrow and Gatwick to take such a flight, which is a real pain; this allows people to connect straight to those flights from New York
  • It gives British Airways bragging rights that they have flights between three London Airports (City, Gatwick, and Heathrow) and NYC

Bottom line

This is a bit unconventional on British Airways’ part, given their Gatwick strategy up until now. As a general rule of thumb, Gatwick has been used for leisure destinations (Cancun, Orlando, Punta Cana, Tampa, etc.), while Heathrow has been used for business destinations.

Of course that logicĀ doesn’t always add up. Just because you’re starting at a “leisure destination” doesn’t mean you want to travel to a “leisure destination,” and vice versa. Besides that, is there a bigger tourist destination in the world than NYC?

Do you plan on taking this new flight? Do you prefer Gatwick to Heathrow?

  1. BA really needs to get rights to fly their A318 flight from LGA to LCY. That would complete the double trifecta. Three airports in NYC, three airports in London! It would work because of the preclearance in SNN on the LCY-SNN-LGA route. There is just that pesky LGA radius rule.

  2. I’m not sure how Gatwick is more convenient. It’s three times as far away as Heathrow and an hour and twenty minutes drive from central London. Maybe if you live in Croydon, or next to a Thameslink station sure. Heck, even from places in the southeast chunk of central London, it’s just as convenient to get to Heathrow as it is to Gatwick. Even if it’s more convenient for the south, it’s hardly significant difference.

  3. Didn’t Oxford rebrand as London Oxford Airport and London Biggin Hill…if your adding them all in! šŸ˜‰

  4. London Oxford Airport and London Biggin Hill don’t have commercial traffic only general aviation.

    Luton has La Compagnie to Newark
    Stansted has Thomas Cook seasonally to Orlando and Cancun
    Southend is the only commercial London airport without Tatl flights.

  5. “London” Gatwick is NOT more convenient than London Heathrow (yes, that’s even considering public transport)! Gatwick have even dropped the London part of their name in their marketing.

  6. I`m confused. I don`t think there are flights leaving from LCY to New York. Am I mistaken? Actually, that airport is so small a bigger airplane wouldnt be able to take off or land in it.

  7. @Fernando

    Did you bother to google “LCY to New York” before making your post?

    Yes you are mistaken. BA fly a A318 with 32 fully flat J seats in a 2-2 config LCY to New York.

    How can a A318 have the range to do LCY to New York? Simple it’s essentially the business jet version of the A318 and not a regular Airbus narrow body.

  8. “How can a A318 have the range to do LCY to New York?”

    The A318 service from LCY stops in Shannon for refuel and customs/immigration pre-clearance.

  9. “Maybe if you live in Croydon, or next to a Thameslink station sure”

    Ding, ding, ding give the man a cookie. Much more convenient for swaths of North and south kind and even parts of he city due to thameslink. Also much more convenient for millions of people (and wealthy people at that) who live across Kent, Sussex and Surrey.

    I used to live by farringdon station and it was often much easier to get to Gatwick.

    This is the kind of route that doesn’t work in a down turn but will work just fine when the economy is doing well. AA flew to stands read for a while, doesn’t really benefit from conecting traffic like Gatwick, but it’s very convenient to Cambridge and the east of England. I wonder if that will come back?

  10. I took this flight in 2009, economy on the way to NY and Club World on the way back… from where I live now it’s much easier to fly from Heathrow, but I do quite like Gatwick. It’s quite a large airport but still small enough that going from one terminal to the other is quite easy.
    Would you people prefer a third runway at Heathrow or a second one at Gatwick? I am worried that Heathrow is already messy enough, with a third runway and sixth terminal it would be an even less enjoyable experience…

  11. Also, another reason for the flight is probably that there are several BA flights from European cities that land in Gatwick; this allows passengers originating in several countries to fly to NY with BA with one stop only.

  12. A more interesting development from this is that it would allow you to fly JER-LGW-JFK all in one day, without the need for an overnight stop for JER-LGW/LHR-JFK.

    The significance is that JER is exempt from Air Passenger Duty, and it will cost the same in Avios as you can still tack on a domestic UK route onto a long haul for just the taxes.

  13. Historically, LGW has had service to NYC, with Laker, British Caledonian(?) Virgin, BA flew it for years with a DC10, 747 and 777s IIRC. Maybe others as well.

    This flight is being added due to Norwegian. The big boys causally glance at non daily flights….but once daily you are a huge threat and we are now seeing BA re-enter this market to shred the LCC.

    LGW is 30 mins by train from Central London, so its just as convenient as LHR from a Central London starting point and better for many South of London, huge catchment area. As others have mentioned, there are actually a lot of connection opportunities at LGW.

    BA and Co have a few surprises up their sleeves to be revealed over the next 12 months. This is not unconventional at all from an historical point of view…just a re-jiggering of their operating plan to re-enter the market from a co-terminal airport.

  14. Direct train links to Gatwick from Portsmouth and Southampton make it more convienient for large sections of the south coast too rather than going into London and paying a small
    Mortgage on the Heathrow Express

  15. “Besides that, is there a bigger tourist destination in the world than NYC?”

    Yep – Istanbul, Dubai, Paris, Bangkok and London. Although for UK travellers specifically, NYC is the most popular destination.

  16. @noname The plane is very much a regular a318, the westbound flight (by all accounts the longer one due to the wind and earth rotation) is coincidentally the one that has to stop in Shannon for 1, immigration prĆ© clearance and 2, because city Airport doesn’t have a long enough runway to accommodate a fully loaded a318

  17. Guess that’s one more nail in the coffin for their name change from “British Airways” to “Heathrow Airways”.

    Perhaps they will have to change their name to “London Airways” after all.

  18. LCY-LGA on the A318s would be brilliant.

    If/when the Port Authority finally lifts the perimeter restriction, I could see such a route beginning immediately.

  19. Sorry Lucky, but where has it been stated BA has cancelled London Gatwick to Las Vegas? It is still available for booking after the 1st May 2016. London Heathrow to Las Vegas isn’t fully twice daily but operating 10 times weekly, the second flight operating only Thursday, Friday and Sunday. The Gatwick to Las Vegas flight is only operating on days the second Heathrow flight isn’t operating.

  20. I remember flying ORD-STN on AA quite a bit in the early 90’s. Incredibly easy airport to navigate through.

  21. There is only two airport in London. Heathrow and London City.
    ALL other “London” airport actually is not in London.

  22. @Lucky & co: Can anyone attest to the interior cabins on BA’s LGW-JFK flight, for those of us likely to fly cattle class (WT, occasionally WTP)? Seat guru research indicates it’s the 777 Three-Class (old layout) and therefore I’m cautious about why these are the cheapest seats on the LON-NYC route.

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