The new British Airways service to Seoul started two days ago.
It has been, amazingly, 14 years since BA last flew to South Korea. The new service will operate six days a week using a 777. It is a four-class service (First, Club World, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller).
The next few days will see a mass influx of travellers to Seoul from the Flyertalk forum (from where I ‘borrowed’ the image above). For a few days last month, BA was selling the Club World cabin for just £777 return, all-in – a massive reduction on the normal £3-4,000 fare, which even in a sale would not drop below £1,999 or so. A massive group of 76 Flyertalk members will therefore be heading out to South Korea over the next few days!
What are the benefits of this new service for the rest of us?
Well, for a start, it is another route into Asia for redemption flights. Despite BA’s presence at Bangkok, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai etc, seats for Avios redemptions can be tricky to find.
You can, of course, also use BA partners Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines, plus Malaysia Airlines from Spring 2013 and indirect routes on Finnair and Royal Jordanian. However, if you want to use a BA Amex 2-4-1 voucher, you need to use a BA aircraft.
Reward availability is currently looking good. I looked for the number of days offering 2 Club World seats outbound, and found:
February – 12 days, March – 22 days, April – 23 days (ie every day the service runs except for one!)
So, fundamentally, if you want to go down to Asia this Spring on an Amex 2-4-1, the new Seoul route offers you a real opportunity.
After exploring Seoul, local Asian budget airlines can get you around the region fairly cheaply – although it is a long way down to Hong Kong, for example. The obvious spots for a 2-centre holiday would be Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto), Beijing and Shanghai.