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British Airways launches new ‘Visit California’ campaign in run up to San Jose launch

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British Airways announced a new route yesterday – to Tehran.  I will cover this later in the week, but for most people the highlights of the expanded BA route network in 2016 will be Lima, Costa Rica and, from 4th May, San Jose in California.

San Jose will utilise one of the new Boeing 787-9 aircraft which means that it will be a four class service, including the latest version of the British Airways First Class seat.

Operating daily, 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.

If you are looking for Avios availability to California or Nevada, it is another option to add to the existing choices of Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix or Las Vegas.

‘Visit California’ promotion now on

Until 14th February, British Airways is running a special California promotion with discounts on flights and holidays to Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.  Details can be found on this special BA webpage.

As part of this promotion, Head for Points will be running three extra articles over the next week to highlight interesting new tourist opportunities in the area.  These articles are on top of the usual three HfP stories each day and are being underwritten by British Airways (but written by us) as it wanted to support the site.  I hope you find them interesting.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 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.

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 £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. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) 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

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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points 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 (11)

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

  • Globetrotter7 says:

    Well this is an intresting tie-up. But trust BA to always wan to have control of anything with its name on it! Not surprised they had to ‘underwrite’ the articles…

  • mark says:

    Hoping that the visa restrictions to Iran are reduced as british people need a guide…

    Cannot wait to go back!

  • ralphb says:

    Slight correction raffles ref BA’s SJC-LHR flight being the airports first scheduled non-stop service to Europe…back in 2001, AA operated SJC-CDG on a B767-300 for a year or so but it did’nt last.

  • Mr Bridge says:

    I wonder if they will launch Visit Iran campaign?

    released with yesterdays traffic stats:

    “British Airways will resume direct flights to Tehran in Iran from 14 July onward.
    The route will launch as a six-per-week service before moving to daily flights from winter 2016”

  • Lee says:

    Visiting Tehran will mean no more visa waiver for the USA.

    I guess flight crews are not keen on flying this route for this reason.

    • r says:

      Does not apply if you visit on a business visa though

    • David says:

      Wonder who BA’s target market is for the Tehran flight? I can’t imagine too many people would want to risk getting blocked from the US visa waiver program — and from BA’s perspective it doesn’t make a lot of sense to be starting this flight at the same time as they aggressively market US flights to the same group of customers.

      On a personal level, I’ve been wanting to visit Iran for ages, and as a dual citizen of the US and UK, I still have to put up with the annoying Iranian visa requirements but the US can’t keep me out. So I’m glad to see the Tehran flight starting!

  • Henk says:

    LHR to San Jose was going to be the second destination for SJC as Lufthansa was planning to launch service to Frankfurt the week before, but that has now been postponed two months.

  • bsuije says:

    OT: SPG Hot Escapes are currently showing 179 offers in North America! This is by far the most I have ever seen in the last 6 months or so I have been following the promotion.

    The promotion is valid for stays over the next 6 weeks or so (showing until 15 March for me).


  • r says:

    What does it mean “being underwritten” by BA? I know how to underwrite an IPO or a HY bond issue, but somehow fail to grasp the concept of “underwriting” post on a blog?

    I may be isolated in my view, but while I don’t mind advertising on the blog, I’m not a fan of sponsored articles featuring here.

    • harry says:

      We are the real underwriters 🙂

      Lots of tips posted first by the underwriters…

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

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