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Update 11/2/16: BA’s new FLL nonstop is currently available for just $519 round-trip:
On July 6, 2017, British Airways will launch a new route between London’s Gatwick airport (LGW) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL). The 4x weekly flight will be operated by a 283-seat Boeing 777-200 with three classes: World Traveller (219 seats), World Traveller Plus (24 seats) and Club World (40 seats).
Currently, only Norwegian Airlines offers nonstop options between Fort Lauderdale and Europe, with flights to Copenhagen (CPH), Stockholm (ARN), Oslo (OSL), and London’s Gatwick (LGW). However, South Florida has no lack of airlines flying to Europe from Miami (MIA) — just 21 miles to the south of FLL. British Airways and partner American Airlines already have four daily nonstops between MIA and London’s Heathrow (LHR). But, this new route will be the first nonstop flight from South Florida to London’s lower-cost Gatwick airport.
Here’s the schedule, which will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays:
- BA 2168 — Fort Lauderdale (FLL) 5:00pm Departure ⇒ London (LGW) 6:30am (+1) Arrival
- BA 2169 — London (LGW) 9:25am Departure ⇒ Fort Lauderdale (FLL) 1:45pm Arrival
The 4,420-mile journey will take 9:20 hours from LGW to FLL and just 8:30 hours on the return thanks to the Gulf Stream. With British Airways’ mileage- and segment-based Avios program, this route will cost the following from FLL:
- Economy (World Traveller): 50,000 Avios + $694 taxes/surcharges
- Premium Economy (World Traveller Plus): 100,000 Avios + unknown taxes/surcharges (no current award availability)
- Business (Club World): 150,000 Avios + $1,102 taxes/surcharges
Since the BA fuel surcharges are astronomical, you might be better off just buying a flight — especially at the current rates. You can fly on the inaugural from FLL to LGW from just $764 round-trip in economy, $1,106 round-trip in premium economy or $3,668 round-trip in business class. Or, if you’re in London, you can fly on the LGW to FLL inaugural for just $675 round-trip in economy, $1,412 round-trip in premium economy or $2,518 round-trip in business class. Currently, there’s not a single seat reserved on that inaugural flight, so you’ll have your choice of any non-blocked seat.
After the recent cost-cutting British Airways has done, it’s interesting to see the airline announce two new transatlantic routes in the past week — especially as new routes usually require a substantial capital investment. Whatever British Airways’ reason for doing so, we’re excited to see yet another route from the US to a now much-cheaper London.
H/T: USA Today
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