Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

British Airways scraps Chengdu, to launch New Orleans?

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

British Airways announced yesterday that it is closing its route to Chengdu in China after three years.

I have been calling out this route since it launched.  I was told by a BA employee that the plug was very nearly pulled before a single flight had departed, so poor were forward bookings.  I am not sure how it has limped on for three years, although I am sure that cargo must have played a part.

The last flight to Chengdu will depart on 12th January.

British Airways BA A380 flying

If you were far more cynical than me, you may link this news to reports that the Government was due to finally decide on Heathrow expansion today although the decision has now been delayed a few days longer.

British Airways is very keen for the third runway plans to be scrapped.  The chance of BA being given additional slots equal to its current % of slot control at Heathrow is somewhat lower than nil.  It faces both a massive increase in landing fees and a sharp increase in competition.  Is BA sending a message to the Government?  If we cannot make flights to China pay (along with all the routes to India launched and closed during the last decade) then where are the extra flights from a third runway going to go?

This is all speculation, of course.

As – it must be said – is the rumour that New Orleans will be the beneficiary of the slots and aircraft freed up from closing Chengdu.

There have been local press reports of a major airline announcement so this would make some sense, as would BA dropping back to a ‘safe’ US destination.

Have a think about whether you would be interested in a New Orleans holiday next year.  If the route is announced – and I stress that it isn’t certain – there will be two Club World seats immediately available on EVERY service.  You would have little trouble getting your preferred dates if you moved quickly.


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 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

We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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 (51)

  • Rob says:

    Chengdu rebooking rules:

    Option 1 – move your trip forward to before 12 January

    Option 2 – fly BA to HK, Beijing, Shanghai and then buy your own connection (seriously)

    Option 3 – fly BA to Abu Dhabi and connect to Etihad, this is subject to Etihad having specific cheapo fare buckets available in whatever class applies

    More options may be available on Friday if you want to wait.

    • James A says:

      Option 2 doesn’t exactly satisfy their obligations surely?! Don’t CX/Dragonair fly to Chengdu?!

      • EdC says:

        Buy Your Own Connection, and have the convenience of accessing your bag at the transfer point because BA won’t through-check it. It’s the next enhancement after Buy on Board.

      • HAM76 says:

        It’s too far in the future for BA to be required to get anyone to the original destination. A further option is obviously returning the ticket for a refund.

  • AVConsultant says:

    New Orleans route is going ahead for BA – subsidized by the tourist board of New Orleans to the tune of a few million. Launch to come soon with a Mardi Gras theme.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.