Use Avios on the new AA Birmingham and Edinburgh to New York routes

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In a major boost for anyone looking to use Avios points for long-haul flights from regional airports, American Airlines has announced new routes from Birmingham International and Edinburgh to New York.

Flights will launch on May 8th next year and will operate daily.

American Airlines

From Birmingham, the outbound will leave Birmingham at 10am to arrive in New York at a convenient 12.55 whilst the return will be an overnight flight at 7pm, landing at 7.10am.

From Edinburgh, you will depart at 9.15am to arrive at 11.50am.  The return will depart at 7.10pm to arrive at 7.15am.

The bad news is that both flights will be operated with an older single-aisle Boeing 757.  This will have 22 business class and 160 economy class seats.

These are unlikely to be fully lie-flat seats in business, albeit for a day flight that will not be a major issue.  I am assuming it is the ‘angled’ lie flat version. I think if I lived near Birmingham or Edinburgh I would be happy to fly this 757 outbound rather than waste hours connecting at Heathrow purely to get a fully flat seat on a twin-aisle plane.  Coming back overnight is a different matter although the convenience may still outweigh the poorer product.

I ran the numbers on Birmingham.  There are plenty of economy seats at 40,000 Avios return plus £335 of tax and spurious charges.  If you have any American Airlines miles, the cost would be 60,000 AA miles plus £98.

Business class redemptions seem to be restricted to Saturdays for much of the time – the easiest way to see what is available is to search at aa.com (you don’t need to log in) and then plug the dates into ba.com.  American wants 100,000 AA miles and £169 whilst British Airways wants 80,000 Avios and £512.

It is not clear if the Edinburgh service will be a replacement for the existing US Airways flight (US has now merged with American) from Philadelphia to Edinburgh which usually runs during the Summer.

If you have Star Alliance miles, remember that United also flies from Edinburgh and Birmingham to Newark.

In other route news, American is adding a service from Frankfurt to Miami from May 14th.  This will offer another redemption option for anyone struggling to find seats on the existing BA and AA services.  American is also adding a second Los Angeles to Heathrow service from late March, taking the combined total of BA and AA services to LA to four per day.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to see our 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. AA supposedly going to change longhaul 757s with a321s but that will not be anytime soon. Would be better if they and United picked up a330neo instead. Never like flying anymore than 4 hours in narrowbody.

    IIRC United also introduced EDI to ORD this summer

  2. Raffles, did you receive East Coast’s email about their point devaluation? It’s not massive but still I will redeem my points for 4 x first class tickets before it happens in January!

  3. Just to highlight that the United option from EDI has fully flat BusinessFirst beds – redemption availability is hard to find though in my experience (plus I hate having to pay APD and tend to be more tempted by an ex-EU outbound :D)

    • Smith review on transfer of taxation to Scotland is being lobbied to include APD with a view to abolishing it alltogether. Apparently it raises only £200M in Scotland, about 1/15 of UK total so hopefully it will come to pass. Hopefully too it would have positive effect in getting this adsurd tax abolished or at least reduced UK-wide. In worst case scenario it would offer more iptions for positioning flights and would benefit those in northen England who could get to GLA and EDI as easily as LHR. Would hurt Newcastle and Manchester though so that is where pressure would come from for reform in England too. LHR focussed travel and expansion has been a thorn for many years. I don’t understand why governments have never used APD as a tool to develop regional airports at expense of London.

      • Interesting – would definitely be nice to see this 😀 Impressed with all the expansion going on at EDI.

        • Was never keen on the presecurity areas at EDI. Reminded me of old LHR T2, low ceilings, dark and dismal. Personally I would have preferred to see a new Scotland airport someplacd near Falkirk with high speed rail connections from Edinburgh and Glasgow.

          • The new area is pretty open and bright – they’re testing it on and off at times just now.

            Agree a centrally placed one with excellent transport links would have had the biggest draw for carriers too, unfortunately seems unlikely now. I always wish they’d add a train stop for trains from the North/East of Scotland at the end of the runway – would have been much cheaper than the tram 😉

          • Yes, the transport is a pain. After i move from west to Edinburgh they finally introduce bus from Glasgow to Edinburgh airport. Trams seem totally pointless to me, they take longer than bus.

  4. Great news, live in Birmingham but always favour LHR as we prefer to land in JFK over EWR due to staying in Brooklyn. This gives us more options, not fussed about the 757 for an East Coast hop either.

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