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

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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 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 ….

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2022)

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.

Until 18th July 2022 there is an astonishing special offer on these cards. You get 50,000 Avios on the Avios Plus Mastercard and 10,000 Avios on the free Avios Mastercard. You can apply here. We strongly recommend getting the Avios Plus card whilst this offer is running.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

50,000 Avios for signing up (A CRAZY SPECIAL OFFER!) and an upgrade voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) 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 BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

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.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of 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 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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 card

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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus 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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (44)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • 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 🙂

  • RT says:

    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!

    • RT says:

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

      • Liz says:

        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.

    • mikeact says:

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

    • Rob says:

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

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

      • RT says:

        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).

  • high end hobo says:

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

    • Rob says:

      Told you 🙂

      • mark2 says:

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

        • Lambs says:

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

          • mark2 says:

            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

        • Rob says:

          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.

  • Nick says:

    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.

  • Henry says:

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

    • Paul says:

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

    • Rob says:

      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.

      • CV3V says:

        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.

  • Liz says:

    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?

    • Scott says:

      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.

      • Liz says:

        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.

  • yanky says:


    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?

    • Rob says:

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

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

  • Fraggle says:

    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.

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