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British Airways A380 Will Fly LAX-LHR Starting in October With Special Discount Fares

by on March 6, 2013 · 11 comments

in British Airways

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British Airways announced that the first route to be serviced by its new A380 aircraft will be Los Angeles (LAX) – London Heathrow (LHR) beginning October 15, 2013. The second destination, Hong Kong, will be added on November 15, 2013. British Airways will be the first UK-based airline (not there are that many) to fly the A380.

Business class seats aboard BA's new A380.

Business class seats aboard BA’s new A380.

To celebrate the new London route, British Airways is offering introductory roundtrip fares on all flights starting at $830 all-inclusive in World Traveller (economy), up to $1,380 for World Traveller Plus (premium economy), and $3,800 (Club World). These fares are available now through March 13, 2013 for dates starting October 15. Those World Traveller Plus fares are decent- plus it’s pretty cheap to upgrade to business class using Avios.

An economy ticket in October will cost you just $830 roundtrip.

An economy ticket in October will cost you just $830 roundtrip.

$830 still isn’t that cheap, but as you can see, the fare itself is only about $150 and it’s the taxes and fees that add up to $630! Still, compared to what fares are like this spring, it’s something of a bargain since it’s $175 cheaper than the lowest fares I could find in April:

BAEconomy

Back in September, I mentioned that BA’s order of 12 A380s had been pushed back to late 2013, but that I was hoarding Avios points in anticipation and was excited to see what the airline would have to offer. At the time, I expected that New York would likely be the first U.S. destination, so Los Angeles comes as a bit of a surprise but no less of an exciting one. British Airways sent us this video to give folks a feel for what passengers could expect from the double-decker superjumbo – check it out:

“This will be a very special premiere,” said Keith Williams, British Airways’ chief executive. “The A380 is a great aircraft that has been developed with huge amounts of British engineering ingenuity. London and Los Angeles are two world-leading cities, and we are proud to be the first airline to connect them with the A380.”

British Airways will begin A380 flights to Los Angeles on October 15, 2013 with roundtrip fares starting at $830.

British Airways will begin A380 flights to Los Angeles on October 15, 2013 with roundtrip fares starting at $830.

A couple of additional things to note:

  • Flights on sale now are unlikely to be the inaugural or very first flights of the new aircraft. Details for the inaugural flights will be announced at a later date, once the planes have arrived and training is complete. Full interior details will be unveiled this summer (likely July).
  • Introductory LAX fares apply to the route and are not aircraft specific – so when you book your flight be sure it’s on the A380!

Just out of curiosity, I looked on AA.com to see if you could book award tickets on the new aircraft already and found tons of availability in economy, business and first class on various dates in November including this itinerary for the outbound on Monday, November 4 and returning on Wednesday, November 13 in business class aboard the A380 for 100,000 miles and $1,226 in taxes and fees (sheesh!):

There is plenty of award availability aboard the A380 on AA.com.

There is plenty of award availability aboard the A380 on AA.com.

The award ticket includes British Airways’ typically hefty taxes and fuel surcharges for flying in and out of London, but it’s still about $2,500 cheaper than buying it outright via AA.com:

BA 3792If you’re interested in booking an award ticket on the new route for yourself, you have several options. Though the 100,000-Avios bonus on the British Airways Visa is gone for now, the card still currently comes with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Avios when you spend $1,000 in the first three months – enough for a one-way business class award.

The business class cabin looks pretty swanky.

The first class cabin looks pretty swanky.

If you got in on either the current limited-time 75,000-point offer on the Amex Business Gold Rewards card or the 50,000-point sign-up bonus on the Amex Premier Rewards cards, you could consider waiting until there’s a British Airways transfer bonus on Membership Rewards points so that you can get to London using even fewer Avios than usual (you would need 50,000 for economy and 100,000 for business class). Fingers crossed there’s another 50% transfer bonus in the near future, which would mean you would only need 67,000 Amex points to fly business class to London!

Another option, if you’re thinking of applying for a round of credit cards at the moment, would be to get both the Ink Bold and Ink Plus from Chase since both accrue Ultimate Rewards points, which are a transfer partner of British Airways as well. Each comes with a 50,000-point sign-up bonus when you spend $5,000 within 3 months, so with those two cards alone you’d have enough points for a roundtrip business class award ticket.

Coach doesn't look too bad either.

Coach doesn’t look too bad either.

I’m going to wait a while before booking my flight on the new aircraft, but do any of you have plans to fly it soon after it starts service? If so, be sure to share your experiences once you do!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.carey.3701 Michael Carey

    If you buy the $830 fare, how many Avios to world traveler plus and are there taxes and fees involved? Same question is you buy world traveler plus and want to upgrade to club world? Thanks!

  • John

    I’m pretty sure that picture is first class not business. BA already announced Club World will be a very tight 2-3-2 configuration, so there is a middle seat is in the center section. Check out this recently released video for another look http://www.businesstraveller.com/news/video-ba-unveils-glimpse-inside-our-a380

  • Guest

    Things included in this post: credit card offers. Things not included in this post: Helpful information on reducing the amount of taxes re a BA A380 redemption, such as starting one’s return journey from a non-UK airport.

  • John K

    I tried booking at the $830 fare, but no way to upgrade with avios. Tried to book as pay with cash and upgrade, and is asking 25,000 avios + 1,866.52 all in. This is for LAX-LHR RT during thanksgiving. Does this make sense? So in order to upgrade, gotta shell out extra $1000 and 25,000 avios? Am I missing something here?

  • thepointsguy

    If you want to upgrade to business you need to buy premium economy- 830 is the economy fare

  • Michael

    So it’s $1380 plus how many Avios (and fees?) to upgrade to business? And is that a great deal in Nov/Dec?

  • Hlm3

    So, if I’m using a travel together ticket (BA Chase Visa), what would the taxes/fees be on an award ticket of this sort?

  • Hlm3

    I’m talking for a LAX-Hong Kong roundtrip,what would the fees be for a travel together award ticket.

  • Bdfromsd

    I am surprised BA is not launching an all new Business class for this aircraft

  • Pingback: Are we off? Would you classify 10% availability as good? - FlyerTalk Forums

  • Jhine

    I must be doing something wrong. I found the promo on BA’s website for Premium Economy flights from LAX to LHR for $1380 (including taxes, fees and carrier charges), but when I try to book the flight on the dates and times the promo mentions, the best fare I can find is $2809.
    Any suggestions ?
    John H

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