British Airways Launching Flights To Portland

Filed Under: British Airways
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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

See this post for the best credit cards for earning American AAdvantage 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

See this post for the best credit cards for earning British Airways Avios.

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.

Bottom Line

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?

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  1. PDX is a hub for BA’s partner Alaska so this should work well.

    Seems like Delta’s seasonal PDX-LHR may go away since it has limited connectivity on both ends.

  2. I love this. While I would rarely if ever use that flight these secondary markets help to ease the award availability issues out of a lot of cities.

  3. Don’t you think that this is just to show Virgin Atlantic that even after Heathrow expansion BA will still have the monopoly on slots in LHR.
    In my experience it’s always cheaper to book two one ways when you book with points on BA then a return flight with points.
    Also, a one-way paid ticket to London is not always expensive as an ex London one-way ticket.
    Example a one-way ticket from LHR to TLV will be 850 GBP starting price and a one way from TLV to LHR will be around 250 USD.

  4. In other BA news, they just announced a JV with China Southern, who continue to be wrapped closer and closer into Oneworld!

  5. I hope the Delta LHR flight does not go away. That flight (along with the PDX-AMS route) are good for global upgrade certificates and award tickets.

  6. How long before this schedule is loaded into AA’s database? Would love to book this with AAVacations, but it’s not available yet.

  7. @Guy I’m guessing the Alaska Lounge.

    I’m always curious what BA pulls when they add a new route to LHR. Something has to go.

  8. Awesome news and has been highly anticipated for some time. This is great for Portland and with their partnership with Alaska, will add huge value to PNW flyers.

  9. BA has been launching seasonal shorthaul summer routes for the past few years. It’s very easy to move that to a longhaul route when longhaul aircraft are available.

  10. Can’t wait! Another opportunity for AA to try and route me MIA-West Coast City BA serves-LHR for a J class award!

  11. @Icarus
    maybe Mark meant “pulled” as in where are the slots for these flights coming from – there are no available slots at LHR

  12. Lucky, what do you think about this?

    From the article:

    “In the short-haul table, BA only beat Vueling, which is also part of International Airlines Group, and Ryanair, which once again came last.

    On long haul, only American Airlines – BA’s code-share partner on transatlantic routes – fared worse.”

    Granted, it’s a survey of people living in the UK, but still interesting.

  13. SJC isn’t 744 at all. It is only 789 service and not surprising it can support a daily LHR service given the size of the Bay Area and amount of traffic to London.

    Your article would have been much better pointing out places like MSY and BNA which have been a huge success for BA as secondary markets. BNA being the shining example. BA, as they always do with secondary US markets, asked the local authorities for an incentive to fly the route. The way those incentives are structured are such that if bookings are good the local authority gets the incentive back. At BNA the bookings were so good that from day 1 BA gave the incentive back. Might I suggest you read FT for decent BA insight and analysis before posting articles?

  14. Yes! I’m excited for my home city. PDX is one of the best upcoming foodie destinations in America – of course it is not as refined as NYC or SFO (former stomping grounds) but you will taste a lot of interesting things. Willamette Valley is not Burgundy – but there is really great terroir/climate and some interesting Pinot Noir grown and made 45 min from downtown, and its beautiful.

    The Oregon coast an hour away (look up Haystack Rock), same for Mt. Hood – hot toddy at Timberline Lodge… it can be a very fun place to spend a long weekend. Bend (central Oregon) has world class skiing, fly fishing and golf (you hit the ball a mile due to elevation) and is visually stunning.

    I sound like the tourist board. Like former Oregon Governor Tom McCall said on CBS once upon a time: “Come visit us again and again. This is a state of excitement. But for heaven’s sake, don’t come here to live.” 😉

  15. As a PDX based flyer this is huge! Having another trans-Atlantic flight with connections into virtually all of Europe is super useful. The AMS flight held the monopoly for too long, as the only year-round option.

    Yay Portland! Thank you BA! I just wish they were offering a plane with first class…

  16. @ADS. he didn’t say that. He implied the flight operates via the Atlantic No flights are being suspended ex LHR and it’s an increase in capacity. If so , do let us know

  17. $1,564 + 125,000 Avios for an award seat in J?
    If Avios is worth 1.3cents each, then the cost is $1564 + $1,625 = $3,189!!!!
    Which is WAY more than the cash price of $2,597! = $592 more!
    The extra fees have totally killed the J class award seats. It makes no sense whatsoever to use BA Avios for an award seat from the US West Coast to LHR.

  18. CC Blogger,

    That isn’t true. There are BA 747 flights to/from SJC.

    I was surprised myself. I booked SJC-LHR on April 5th and it’s a 747.

    Normally a 787-9 though, you’re right.

  19. @CC Blogger “SJC isn’t 744 at all. It is only 789 service”

    SJC flight changes to 744 on 29 March (same day SEA changes from 744 to 772 before changing again to 78J on 1 July).

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