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.
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.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (March 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard
25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review
Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
British Airways American Express
5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) and free for a year Read our full review
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.