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, Charleston, Nashville, Pittsburgh, San Diego, and San Jose, just to name a few.
The airline has now announced their latest transatlantic flight.
British Airways Adds Portland To Route Network
British Airways will be launching 5x weekly year-round flights between London Heathrow and Portland, Oregon, as of June 1, 2020. These new flights will be operated with the following schedule:
BA299 London to Portland departing 3:05PM arriving 4:55PM
BA298 Portland to London departing 6:45PM arriving 12:10PM (+1 day)
The flights will operate in both directions on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. They’ll cover a distance of 4,914 miles in each direction, and the flights are blocked at 9hr50min westbound and 9hr25min eastbound.
Currently, Portland’s transatlantic service includes a year-round flight on Delta to Amsterdam, as well as seasonal flights on Delta to London, on Icelandair to Reykjavik, and on Condor to Frankfurt.
Condor flies seasonally to Portland
With this addition, British Airways will fly to 27 destinations in the US, and with the oneworld transatlantic joint venture, American and British Airways will offer 86 flights per day between London and the US.
British Airways’ 787-8s
British Airways will operate this route with the Boeing 787-8, featuring a total of 214 seats, including:
- 35 fully flat business class seats, in a 2-3-2 configuration
- 25 premium economy seats, in a 2-3-2 configuration
- 154 economy seats, in a 3-3-3 configuration
British Airways 787-8
While British Airways has great new Club Suites business class seats, unfortunately, these won’t be installed on 787-8s until 2021, so for now, you should expect British Airways’ old business class.
British Airways’ Club Suites, not yet available on the 787
British Airways’ Fares To Portland
This flight is already bookable, and British Airways has some decent introductory fares, at least for travel originating in Europe.
They have roundtrip all-in fares of £459 in economy, £758 in premium economy, and £1399 in business class.
Unfortunately fares are a bit higher if originating in the US.
Award Seats Are Wide Open As Well
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 one-way flight, you’d pay the following (plus taxes, fees, and carrier-imposed surcharges):
- Economy: 20,000 miles
- Premium economy: 30,000 miles
- Business: 57,500 miles
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 off-peak ticket between Portland and London Heathrow costs an outrageous 125,000 Avios plus $1,564.26 in taxes, fees, and carrier-imposed surcharges.
You can at least save some money on that if you have the British Airways Visa Signature® Card, as the card offers up to $600 in reward flight statement credits per year. The way this works, you can get a $100 statement credit per booking when redeeming Avios for an economy or premium economy award, and a $200 statement credit per booking when redeeming Avios for a business class award.
It really is fantastic to see the number of secondary markets that British Airways has added service to, and particularly to see how successful they’ve been, as we’ve seen almost all of these routes stick around.
While the 787 largely enabled airlines to launch these routes, the reality is that they have been more successful than anyone could have imagined. For example, over time we’ve seen service to Austin, San Diego, and San Jose, all upgraded to 747s over time, which represents a huge capacity increase.
What do you make of British Airways’ new Portland flight?