British Airways launches a new route to Austin, Texas (and other long-haul schedule changes)

British Airways dropped a surprise last week when it announced a new route to Austin, Texas. This is certainly not one that was on the radar for new routes.

More surprisingly, the route will be launched with a brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner (assuming it isn’t having some further emergency engineering work done!)

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Starting in March 2014, the route will run five days per week, stepping up to a full seven day service in May.

I have never been to Texas and can make no comment on whether it is a good place to burn your Avios! (Dear BA, if you’d like to invite me on your press launch flight for this one, I will come! I’m less bothered about Chengdu …. although I could be tempted ….) However, at the time of writing I was struggling find Avios seats so they may not have been loaded yet.

At the same time, BA also announced, from the end of March 2014:

Seoul – increases from five per week to seven per week

Ghana – increases to ten per week from the Winter 2013 timetable and gains a 747 (replacing a 767) from March 2014

Tel Aviv – Boeing 777 introduced to the route, and a terminal switch from T1 to T5 at Heathrow

Jeddah – Boeing 777 introduced to the route, bringing First Class for the first time

Seattle – increases from 10 to 11 flights per week

Entebbe – increases from three to four flights per week

Lusaka – flights suspended from October 27th

Some odd Moscow changes were also announced. This is now starting to look like a confusing mess:

One flight will be a four class Boeing 747

One flight will be a short-haul A321 plane, albeit fitted out Club World seats up-front

One flight will be a three class Boeing 767, except for one day a week when it will be another A321!

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Comments

  1. Great news. Went to Austin using avios and comp voucher earlier this year and had to fly to Houston then buy a connecting flight to Austin. I’d always wanted to go to Texas and it was awesome. Austin is really good fun. It also has great food, rodeo and prides itself on being the live music capital of the world. I might have to go back now….

  2. I’ve been through Austin on the train from San Antonio to Dallas, didn’t stop off due to time constraints but it’s supposed to be a great place.

  3. Austin is a great and relaxed city, albeit a tiny bit geared towards the thousands of university students there. Highly recommend a stop, excellent shopping outlets and San Antonio is a short journey away.

  4. Not tempted by Chengdu? Amazing food, the wonderful Panda Center and a bunch of great day trip opportunities.

    • whats the visa situation for us going there? (uk) always fancyed it since the route came out

      • Need to fill out a bunch of forms and send off with your passport. We’re going next month (albeit not flying into Chengdu with BA). It took less than a week to get our passports back with the visas. Not cheap though.

      • Flyersj18 says:

        Chengdu is now covered by the 72 hour TWOV regulations. If you are in the country less than 72 hours (IE heading on to Hong Kong or similar) there is no need for a visa.

        Having been to Chengdu I would say that 72 hours are all that was necessary to see the city unless you planned to do a lot of touring about outside.

  5. San Antonio – 40mins drive or so is US’s 8th most populous city, and Texas’s 2nd city.

  6. The A321s to be used on the Moscow route are ex-BMI aircraft refurbished in ‘midhaul’ configuration. In practice that means 2 classes: World Traveller and Club World sleeper seats (all forward facing) complete with the latest Thales IFE as fitted on the 777-300s, A380s and Dreamliners.

    No World Traveller Plus or First, but I’m not sure why it should be confusing.

    • I think it’s because on this route you now have 3 different club world cabins and missing classes from two of the three flights.

      The 747 has the NGCW product which is what most people think of when they think of BA Club World.

      The 767 has NCW which is the original BA flat bed with the fan dividers.

      The A321 has seats ordered by bmi which are the only ones that are all forward facing and are the same brand of seats used by LX.

      There’s also potential for the 767 and 321 to be substituted with a shorthaul variant.

  7. Americans rave about the place, mostly because of the live music and bar scene. It is a nice compact, walkable and safe downtown but thats about all it had going for it in my opinion. The sort of place where an e citing day would be a coffee at Starbucks! In short, a dull place for Europeans, there are much better cities and nature to visit in the States. Most forgot…very good for bbq restaurants :) Best go see the Pandas if you get a chance, kids would be more interested in your stories too.

    • If you go on 241 voucher you can use the money you’ve saved to hold a baby panda, works out to about £100/minute. Maybe they take amex to get some points on it though?