British Airways Starting Flights Between London And San Jose

Filed Under: British Airways

British Airways has just announced their latest US route, which is one that most of us probably weren’t expecting.

British Airways will be launching flights between London Heathrow and San Jose, California, as of May 4, 2016.

The new route will go on sale starting tomorrow, Thursday, August 27, 2015. The London to San Jose flight will operate daily with the following schedule:

BA278 San Jose to London departing 8:00PM arriving 2:05PM (+1 day)
BA279 London to San Jose departing 3:15PM arriving 6:05PM

This will be British Airways’ fourth route to California, complementing their existing flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego.


The new London to San Jose route will be operated by one of British Airways’ brand new Boeing 787-9s, which will be in a four cabin configuration, including British Airways’ new first class.

For what it’s worth, the British Airways Boeing 787-9 will feature a total of 216 seats spread across four cabins, as follows:

  • 8 first class seats
  • 42 business class seats
  • 39 premium economy seats
  • 127 economy seats

Here’s what the first & business class seatmap looks like on the 787-9:


Hopefully these flights have a good amount of award space. When British Airways devalued their award chart in April, they promised to make at least two business/first and four economy seats available per flight. So I wouldn’t be surprised if we see those become available tomorrow (in which case I’ll be sure to post about it).

There are quite a few mileage currencies you could redeem for these flights, though in all cases you’d be paying fuel surcharges. They might still be worth paying for the convenience of a nonstop transatlantic flight direct from California, though.

Bottom line

This is an exciting new route, and represents San Jose’s first nonstop flight to Europe. San Jose already has two flights to Asia — to Tokyo Narita on ANA and Beijing on Hainan Airlines — but this will be the first route between San Jose and Europe in over 10 years (American Airlines used to have a nonstop to Paris when it had a hub at San Jose), which is exciting.

Given the tech industry’s presence in San Jose, this new route seems like a no brainer, especially on a plane as efficient as the 787-9.

Are you surprised by British Airways’ new flight between San Jose and London?

  1. Living in SJC, I wish my recent ACC-SFO-ACC flights were booked via SJC instead. I wonder if I can get this changed. Unlikely though.

  2. I don’t really see the need, but I guess it will save some people some time and hopefully help in lowering prices from SFO.

  3. Good news as competition is always to be encouraged. However, these new planes will still have the sub-par ying-yang J seats, which are really not reflective of what J should be these days. BA has been left behind with their hard product decisions.

  4. When I first read the headline, I thought you were talking about the San Jose, Costa Rica service that BA announced recently as well.

  5. Now that BA is flying to both San Jose de Costa Rica and San Jose, California, it gives passengers more opportunity to accidentally fly to the wrong San Jose, just as one BA passenger already accidentally flew to Grenada in the Caribbean when he was trying to get to Granada, Spain.

  6. This is great news for SJC, although I’m unlikely to use the service.

    One thing, I don’t think the statement “This is an exciting new route, and represents San Jose’s first nonstop flight to Europe” is accurate. As I recall, AA had a very short-lived flight from SJC to CDG in 2001, cancelled almost immediately following 9/11 (along with Taipei).


  7. Thanks for posting this. If it sticks around, I’ll use this flight. What’s surprising is the current lack of transatlantic / transcon flights from SJC. Given the tech scene and that San Jose is the 10th largest city in the U.S. shouldn’t we have more long haul air traffic?

    Maybe it’s a reputation thing? When I tell people I live here they’ll say “Oh, I have a friend in Los Angeles” or “Now where is that?” etc. So when I’m abroad I usually just say I’m from SF.

    Maybe I learned this from you: Supposedly the reason United and other carriers don’t have a lot of transcons / transoceanic flights out of SJC is that the bay area is a zero sum game. That is, if you add an SJC-JFK flight, you’ll get some traction but you’ll mostly just lose SFO-JFK customers. So they focus on one airport for large scale operations.

  8. Finally all that lobbying of BA has paid off! No more stressful Friday night dashes up the jammed 101 to get the 284 or 286. Great news!!!

  9. This is great news as I was planning a trip to the UK next summer! Those trips up the 101 can be a drag….

  10. Really not understanding who they plan to sell F to on this route, but hoping it means it will be a decent source of award seats to Europe and beyond.

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