British Airways resumed service from London Heathrow to both Austin and San Diego on October 13th, a crucial milestone for both US airports given BA is – in normal times – their primary long-haul operator. This means BA has 16 routes to the US this month.
BA returns to Austin and San Diego
While fully vaccinated US citizens can travel to most of Europe, the resumption of San Diego and Austin comes ahead of the US opening up to Europeans – including those from the UK – in November.
Next week, BA has four services to Austin and three to San Diego, with the following schedule (all times are local). The Texas route is now by B787-9s; these premium-heavy aircraft have 216 seats, with eight in first, 42 in Club World, 39 in World Traveller Plus, and just 127 in economy. Austin will operate once daily from mid-December.
San Diego, meanwhile, currently uses 272-seat B777-200ERs; these have no first class but 48 in Club World, 40 in World Traveller Plus, and 184 in World Traveller. Significantly, the route will revert to the B787-9 from November and also rise to once-daily in mid-December.
- BA191: Heathrow-Austin, 11:50-16:15
- BA190: Austin-Heathrow: 18:25-09:50+1 (the next day)
- BA273: Heathrow-San Diego, 13:45-16:55
- BA272: San Diego-Heathrow: 19:00-13:25+1 (the next day)
We're thrilled to welcome back our dear friends from across the pond, @British_Airways!
— Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) (@AUStinAirport) October 13, 2021
BA has 16 US routes in October
The relaunch of both US routes means that BA’s route map comprises 16 US destinations this October, as set out below in order of total capacity. They’ll be joined by Heathrow to Baltimore, Las Vegas, Newark, and Orlando in November.
Gatwick will welcome back Orlando and Tampa in November, while Heathrow to Nashville will come in December, New Orleans in January, and San Jose in March. Pittsburgh and Charleston have been cut.
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- San Diego
Stay aware: Sign up for my weekly new routes newsletter.
BA to San Diego
San Diego to London Heathrow resumed in 2011 and operated until March 2020. After a 19-month hiatus, San Diego is back. Currently, BA provides the California airport’s only non-stop link to Europe, with Lufthansa and Edelweiss to resume Frankfurt and Zurich in 2022.
In full-year 2019, US Department of Transportation data, obtained via Cirium, shows that BA carried 168,312 round-trip passengers to/from San Diego. Booking data suggests that over 100,000 passengers transited Heathrow, especially to Italy, across the UK, Germany, Spain, and France.
The nonstop British Airways flight between SAN and LHR is officially back! We were joined on the tarmac today by the British consulate to welcome the inaugural flight after a long COVID pause.
🇬🇧 ✈️ ☕️ pic.twitter.com/OYDCI8lGFT
— San Diego Airport (@SanDiegoAirport) October 14, 2021
And BA to Austin
Austin to London Heathrow began in March 2014, and Cirium data shows that it has been variously served by the B787-8, B787-9, B777-200ER, B777-300ER, and the B747-400. The iconic quadjet was used between April and October 2018 and from March to October 2019 to capture peak-season demand.
In 2019, DOT data shows that BA carried 186,159 round-trip passengers to/from the Texas state capital. More than 95,000 passengers transited Heathrow, with the wider UK, Germany, Ireland, India, and France seeing the most such passengers.
Have you flown BA on either route? Share your experiences in the comments.