BA knows the way to San Jose ….. (new California route)

British Airways announced yesterday that it will start services to San Jose in California from 4th May 2016.

This will utilise one of the brand new Boeing 787-9 aircraft – so new that British Airways hasn’t even received its first one yet! – which means that it will be a four class service.

(I actually had an article about the new 787-9 fleet ready to go today before this news was released.  I will run it tomorrow instead and it will tell you all you need to know about these new aircraft.)

San Jose

The flights will operate seven days a week.

The outbound will leave Terminal 5 at 15.15 (arrives 18.05) with the return leaving San Jose at 20.00 to arrive at 14.05.

This is, fundamentally, the ‘silicon valley’ flight.  Expect it to be full of Google and Apple employees shuttling back and forth.  Amazingly, it is the first direct flight from anywhere in Europe to San Jose.

This announcement should open up some excellent Avios availability for next Summer.

Remember that BA guarantees to open up four World Traveller and two Club World seats on every flight.  In theory, this new service should see these seats open up immediately from May 4th to mid August 2016.  If you have struggled to find Avios seats to California for next Summer, this could be your chance.  A quick connecting flight will get you to anywhere else in the region.

Flights were not due to be loaded on ba.com until this morning, so I can’t tell you at the time of writing if Avios redemption seats have already been loaded or not.  Someone has probably posted in the Comments section by the time you read this!

PS.  Remember that BA has also just announced flights to San Jose in Costa Rica.  Don’t book the wrong one ….

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your points and click here to see our list of current Avios promotions.)

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Comments

  1. Seems an odd choice given they fly to SFO and you think of the alternate cities they could possibly have chosen in States. However, good for avios as you say. I am not sure the aircraft makes much difference, same old BA on board.

    • Yep same old dayed products though there is a rumour about a new F. Won’t get me off AA J which is as good as BA F. Have two QR sectors this weekend on A350 and 787 and very much looking forward to QR stellar service.

    • Why? It’s not like those at Waterside have woken up and just decided to start this new route on a whim. Months of research, meetings, lobbying will have taken place.

      This route is no different to other routes that are heavily influenced by business (think RDU and the CAmbridge Gothenburg route which are both, on the whole, due to the pharmaceutical industry).

      • Don’t have a problem with it. Would have used it myself in my Ca commuter days. In back of my mund BA or some other airline flew direct to San Jose many years ago.

        • American launched SJC-CDG many moons ago, it failed due to 9/11 shortly afterwards.

  2. The_Real_A says:

    Great new for me. San Jose is very easy to drive to and from

  3. The is just 37 miles from SFO to San Jose so this is an interesting development. Wonder where the got the slot from… Perhaps a further cut in the domestic operation.

    • The consolidation of Vancouver flights probably helps, plus it is likely that BA will be getting the Virgin Little Red slots back, unless there are any other takers for the limited destinations to which they can be used. There is also the cessation of routes to Entebbe and Almaty, so overall a few slots being freed up.

  4. Nothing showing on the site as yet. Saying that BA doesn’t fly the route.

  5. Bet you it’s been sponsored by google and apple together!. They just can’t be bothered with a 27min drive to SFO to depart. Bit like that other sponsored BA flight out of Cambridge to Gothenburg they launched last year …? V weird choice of location, but another option to mid California for us seat hunters…

  6. cpdc1030 says:

    This flight is a dream come true for me as I fly to San Jose every six weeks or so, usually via DFW. It’s a much nicer airport than SFO and you can get in and out very quickly. For me it is less than a 7 minute drive up to I-880 to the office. That’s compared to 45 mins + from SFO, plus the faffing on the train to get a hire car, and the long queues at immigration. I’m sure this flight will be successful.

    Remember AA has flights from San Jose to Los Angeles so this could be a good option for some.

    • Lady London says:

      I was just about to say all that! Except for the bit about having to fly to San Jose every six weeks or so, lucky you. SFO is a p in the a especially that long train and all the pfaff around the hire car location there.

  7. Redkitty says:

    Well as of 0738 hours this morning, not loaded as search for flight using Avios rewards turned up no availability for this flight random dates for May, June, July 2016. Tried with booking paid for flights also no joy for this route yet.

  8. About time BA extended the opening times of the arrivals lounge with lots of the Cslufornia flights arriving around 14.00

  9. Oh! Matron! says:

    This is not a strange choice at all. SFO continues to be popular for the valley, but immigration can be hideous there. SJC is a sensible choice. Not everyone that flys to SF stays there! And there’s more than just Apple and Google. Cisco are based not 8 miles from SJC. Not only that, the San Jose Sharks are a good hockey team :-)

  10. Has anyone else noticed that avios flights availability are completely different when searching on BA vs Avios??? There seems to be a lot more availability when searching with BA than through the Avios site.

    Making my upgrade voucher almost pointless and unusable!

    • Wait… or does the search results correlate to how many points you have in your account?

      • If you use the Avios map explorer you can move the Avios slider along to a higher amount of avios and that will show you more availability in different places. I am monitoring availability for flights to Houston next year as I want to use my Lloyds voucher in a couple of weeks time for next Sept.

    • It’s been that way since the beginning,and was picked up on here years ago.

    • Are you BA Gold? If so, you would see far more economy seats via ba.com as you get access to more availability.

      If you are not Gold or looking at premium classes, it is just an IT error with avios.com running a bit behind. The call centre should be able to see any BA seat that ba.com shows unless ba.com is throwing up ‘phantom’ (mistake) availability.

      • Nope not BA Gold. This is odd. I think the Avios website only shows availability based on the number of Avios you have in your account… As so far I have checked a few other destinations and the only availability that’s really showing up for me are flights where I have enough Avios for.

    • cheekychappie says:

      Odd – as a year or so ago they seemed to merge identical availability more or less EXACTLY & INSTANTANEOUSLY.

      I tried to book 5 same route Avios RFS flights from both Avios & BA (ie 3 + 2) with everything lined up on different browsers. Both Avios & BA were available to buy 4 seats, I hit both buy buttons within a second of each other.

      One of them failed as availability had immediately evaporated (when I bought my first tickets).

  11. high end hobo says:

    booking with avios is live
    every flight has 4 seats in Y and 2 in J

    • Told you :-)

      • Does this vary with destination?
        Looking at Canada, they seem to start at 9 in each class, even F.

        • Where in Canada is that to? Is that through the ba or avois site? How many points do you need, does anyone know?

          • I was looking at Toronto but I have seen the same for Vancouver. Should be the same for both. Try on a few dates, 330 days in future for full choice.
            We are going to Toronto CW on 24/9 coming back from Montreal on 13/10

        • I’ve seen 9 F on Middle East routes and New York at times as well (NYC in January was wide open in F at one point).

    • cheekychappie says:

      Yep, sounds like what I said.

      They do often offer more Avios seats later on, once the initial ones have been booked.

  12. Completely off-topic, but I’m going away for the BH weekend. The primary reason for this was that it gives me the remaining 20 TP and 2 qualifying flights I need for Silver. However, the My Booking section on the BA website shows that I will only earn 15 points for this. I booked the flights well in advance of the 28 April devaluation. I don’t really understand how BA have managed this – I doubt they are awarding 7.5 TP per leg, so presumably I’m getting 10 TP for the outbound and 5 TP for the return. Very odd.

  13. Can’t see any F availability on this route – is that normal when a new route is launched?

    • Don’t forget that there are only 8 F seats on this route too (Very nice looking cabin!)

    • It is norm when seats are automatically released. F will (or will not) appear as BA starts to learn how many it can sell.

      However, the 787-9 only have 8 F seats compared to 14 on the 777’s they are replacing on most routes. This will lead to a huge reduction in Avios availability in First on these routes.

      And, with 22 787-9’s and 10 787-10’s on order, they will be flying the vast majority of long haul routes within 3-4 years.

      • The 777-200 currently in use on the KUL route has only 12 seats in F, this is to allow enough space to access the crew rest area. So in K there are only 2 seats (1K and 2K), just for this reason I though 1K better than 1A.

  14. OT – Can anyone help me with my calculations for pricing up a trip to Australia so I know how many I need to save. We are looking at EDI – LHR – Singapore on the A380 Airbus with a 4 day stop over – then Singapore – Melbourne with another 4/5 day stop over. We will need to organise an internal flight from Melbourne to Brisbane to visit family. I have Virgin miles saved so could use them.

    Returning I see there is a direct flight from Sydney to London on a BA 777 Jet so we would need to catch a connecting flight from Brisbane to Sydney although we would normally fly direct from Brisbane but that would have to be a partner flight and cost more Avios. We would have a 2-4-1 ticket by then so if my calculations are right it would cost us the following for the main flights:

    87500 – EDI-LHR- Singapore – Off Peak dates
    60000 – Singapore – Melbourne – Peak for non BA flight
    125000 – SYD – LHR – EDI Off Peak Dates

    Does the 2-4-1 ticket cover all the BA metal flights in a multi flight itinerary? Would that mean I would need to save 332500 for 2 tickets + £680 each for taxes approx for Club World.

    An alternative would be Hong Kong stopover.
    Have I worked my prices out correctly? Is there a better way?
    Thanks

    • Hi Liz

      I’m pretty sure that you would be able to book EDI-LHR-SIN : SYD-LHR-EDI on one itinerary as an open jaw ticket and this would allow the use of the 2-4-1. The issue will be finding availability in Club on the SYD-LHR route, these are notoriously hard to find.

      I have been looking at options for getting to Australia using the Amex 2-4-1 and have concluded it is not easy. An option I was looking at was flying on BA metal to HKG using the 2-4-1 and then picking up a separate pair of avios tickets on Cathay. This opens up more flexible date options but is pretty pricey in avios terms vs. using the 2-4-1 rtn to SYD.

      In the end I have given up thinking about using avios to go to Australia given the cheap fares coming out of Oslo (and other non-uk cities). Being able to pick up a return business ticket for around£1700 each (I appreciate that these fares may not allow the stop-overs you have outlines) with more flexible date options that earn tier points & avios makes me question the value of the reward tickets. Couple this with the fact that I don’t have a huge amount of avios, means on this route isn’t worth it for me.

      As ever you have to make your own value judgements. If you need expend your own time, effort and expense to acquire the avios needed, it may be worth working out the true cost of that for tickets that may prove difficult to find.

      • Thanks Scott for your comments. I will continue to look at different options. We should be able to save around 350000 avios by the time we plan our trip. I will keep an eye out for availability on the Sydney to London flight.

  15. OT

    Just got myself an error fare PRG – LON – MIA – CUN return for £500 on ba first.

    Think its dead now I’m afraid, just got in at final moment.

    I have been ticketed.

    What do you think is the likelihood it will be honoured?

    • Tiny bit higher than the other fare because this one touches the USA and consumer rules are tougher.

      If you had booked it on aa.com then it would probably be honoured. BA is different.

  16. Slim to V-E-R-Y Slim Yanky!!

    As frequents know, there have been a few of these cropping up recently but looking at the route versus bargain basement (fat finger!) fare you snagged….it’s not even remotely close to full F fare so my guess is…sorry :-(

    • cheekychappie says:

      I reckon if only a couple of people grabbed tickets, there’s a decent chance.