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Excellent First Class reward availability to San Diego for Summer 2016

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British Airways announced yesterday that it is switching the San Diego route to a Boeing 777-300 from the start of the Summer timetable on March 27th.

The route is currently operated by a smaller Boeing 777-200.  Why is this important?  Because the 777-300 will feature First Class to San Diego for the first time.

Why is this especially important today?  Because First Class Avios redemptions to San Diego are currently wide open for Summer 2016.

If you were thinking about a California holiday for next year, you should take a serious look at this.  You are VERY unlikely to see such good availability to other parts of the region.  It is easy to pick up connecting flights in San Diego to LA, San Francisco, Los Angeles etc.

On a handful of days there are FOUR First Class seats available for redemption.  There are, admittedly, some days with none at all ….. but you won’t have any trouble finding two seats.  At the time of writing, for example, there are four First Class seats going out on Saturday 11th June and returning Sunday 26th June.

The tax is £537 per person, return.  It needs 170,000 Avios per person off-peak and 200,000 Avios per person peak.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2024)

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.

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

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £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 £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

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

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable 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

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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.

Comments (39)

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

  • Jeremy I says:

    Hi all

    I also booked ex-OSL as part of the Viking error fare. I booked via, although they are BA flights. Is there any point trying to upgrade using Avios or is the rule about booking on strictly enforced? (The booking classes means that I wont be able to upgrade via American Airlines)


  • simon says:

    Liz . We had a BA241 redemption in CW to BKK in August which was booked in Feb . Had the same concerns as yourself but not willing to pay the £60 reservation fee, No need to worry as we were seated together both ways. Thanks Rob our 1st redemption all down to HFP even bumped into a US Admiral in club lounge Sofitel Bangkok free due to Platinum status on a points run to keep his status .

    • Liz says:

      Thanks Simon! Think we will hold out till OLCI as we can check in about 6 hrs before those who fly direct from London can, as James67 mentioned earlier!

  • Diego says:

    Hello –

    Thanks for this! There are some days even with SIX First class seats availability (e.g. LHR-SAN 14th May)

    I’m tempted to use my companion voucher but I have a few questions:
    1. Can I change the name of the companion later on?
    2. If I decide to cancel the trip (I think there is a £35 penalty), would I get my companion voucher and avios back?


    • Rob says:

      1. No, 2. Yes as long as you haven’t cancelled your BA Amex (might still get it back anyway but a risk)

  • Fenny says:

    All I need now is a ticket for SDCC!

  • Simon says:

    I much preferred San Diego to LA, I would recommend it at least fo a few days there even if it isn’t your ultimate destination. You can get Amtrak Pacific Surfliner from San Diego to LA which is a great train ride it goes right along the coast most of the way.

    • Fenny says:

      I agree. It’s a lovely train ride and very well priced, even in business class. SD is a fantastic city.

  • Hayden Pronto-Hussey says:

    Well after just the weekend and all the avaliabilty seems to have dried up. I use the Executive club flight finder and it show 0 seats for all months to San Diego between now and next August (as far as they book) am I missing something as I can’t believe it all went away so quickly….

    • Rob says:

      The flight finder is rarely accurate. I looked up a date on Saturday for next July and there were 4 F seats there.

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

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