British Airways announces New Orleans ….. Avios redemptions wide open

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As I predicted the other day, British Airways has announced a new route to New Orleans.

The first flight will depart on 27th March 2017.

There will be four flights per week departing on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.


The aircraft to be used will be a new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.  It will be a three class plane so there will not be any First Class.

Avios redemption tickets (and of course cash tickets) are now bookable at

BA has opened up the usual two Club World and four World Traveller seats on every service.  If you jump in now, you should have little trouble in securing seats for Summer 2017.

As this is a new route I would expect additional seats to open up in time, especially during the first few months of operation as loads build up.  That said, it makes more sense to jump in now and get something booked whilst availability is wide open.

New Orleans is also served by American Airlines from their hubs in Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and Charlotte so you could create a two-centre holiday, using Avios to redeem on AA for an domestic onward flight.

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  1. IMHO, if travelling to New Orleans I wouldn’t want to go there in the summer months when it’s stifflingly hot & humid. Far better in the spring or autumn when the weather is much more comfortable.

  2. Don’t suppose there is any news about direct flights to cuba?!

    • Scallder says:

      Simon do you mean from the UK? Just in case you’re not already aware, Virgin already fly it (albeit only twice week), and from April are also adding a flight to Varadero so can do that using any FC miles you may have (was previously looking at this route and booking far enough ahead availability seemed decent in all classes)

  3. Anjelica says:

    Sorry if this is a litre off topic but I wonder if anyone can help….I am fairly new to this but have been collecting Virgin Airmiles for about 6 months. I’ve already booked a one-way upper class reward flight for my fiancé and I from London to San Francisco in March 2016 for our honeymoon.

    We’ve now got enough (about 70k each, give or take!) miles to book a return flight but I am finding no availability whatsoever. We’re travelling around on our honeymoon so are fairly flexible with destinations but nothing seems to be available for that week. We’re looking to fly home on Fri 14 or Sat 15 April. Does anyone know if these dates are ‘black out’ dates for some reason? Ideally we wanted to fly home from St Lucia but this seems impossible! Maybe there’s something I’m missing. And we’ll just have to book cash flights!

    • I suspect all reward availability will have been sold, by now, if any were released on the flights you are looking at.
      There is a chance they may release some more seats but it Easter, when you are looking to travel, so failrly busy.

    • Stuart_f says:

      Virgin doesn’t have blackout dates but it doesn’t guarantee availability either. You’ve left it a bit late to book to be honest. A one way cash fare will be very expensive on Virgin after they get rid of combi fares in Nov.

      Do you have any avios for a one way redemption? If not then you might think about Norwegian or similar for the cash option as they don’t put a premium on one way.

      • Anjelica says:

        Yes I collect via Clubcard so could transfer to BA!

        I had a feeling it may have been too late – I’ll keep looking for any releases but I might just have to pay. Totally my own fault but I couldn’t book earlier as had to wait for the Clubcard quarter to end 🙂

        • Keep checking daily.
          V flyer is a good forum for all things virgin.

          • try coming back to manchester, there tends to be better availability, there is availability but only on the 18th if that helps, SFO-Man

          • Amy Anderson says:

            Thanks so much!

            We’re looking to come back from another place (ideally st lucia but this seems impossible!) but I will certainly look at the availability for Manchester flights. We’re based in Scotland so that would work well.

            The BA reward seat finder doesn’t seem to be working, annoyingly!

    • It is late really, just remember depending on the booking class they might only have 2 seats per flight and if one person has booked, you cannot (as you want to travel together)…

      Do you have Avios?

      Just had a look AA has flights the otherway around…. 35,000 miles to HKG and £4.60 in tax (did LAX) or £34 with CX….

      Spend a couple of days in HKG and then virgin might have seats back to LHR?

      HKG to LHR not lots of availability – finnair was about £90 (with avios) or £20 with BA (if off peak <20k in miles)

      Just options for you…

      IF more flights available from NYC CX does a flight from across the country

    • Reward business flights for 2 people are available to Madrid with Iberia over the weekend of 14/15 April SDQ 65000 + taxes of £105 pp SJU 50000 + £53pp PTY 65000 + £105pp MIA 65000 + £76 pp ORD 50000 + £76pp

      This is for bookings made with avios at Iberia much higher taxes through BA

    • Your return dates are at the end of the UK school Easter holidays, so you are travelling back at a busy period for Brits returning from the US with kids.

    • You have to pay $10 a month, but if you subscribe to expert flyer then you can set up reward seat alerts for specific routes/dates – you get an email if spaces free up.

      I did it for BA on some First tickets to LA and did get an alert. They are like unicorns so if you have an hour free to set up the alerts it’s well worth the money.

      Just remember to cancel the subscription after if you have no further use

  4. I thought BA had previously flown to New Orleans but stopped some years ago?

  5. This is great news as we have wanted to go to NO for some time.

    Looking at a two centre holiday so I need NO to Vegas and I think only South West fly direct.

    Is there any way we can get South West points? I have over 130,000 SPG points if there is any arbitrage possibilities.

    • Howard, you could try checking this out with the WebFlyer Mileage Converter:

    • Just a bit of information for southwest, they release their seats in waves, and summer 2017 releases on 1st November.
      Book on this day and it will be very cheap (well as cheap as it gets). Remember that it includes a free bag, so the price you see is the price you pay.

    • thomas bond says:

      You can move your spg points to Marriott and then use them on flight+hotel package. You get a week in a Marriott and 120000 Southwest points using hotel+air pack 3. Its 270000 Marriott points for up to a category 5 hotel and increases in cost the higher the category

  6. Look at transferring some SPG points to Marriott. Marriott points can be transferred to southwest.

    SW award seats prices fluctuate, and are based on the cash price. SW is economy only.

  7. Thanks Rob, I booked 2 CW r/t with an amex voucher this morning for my birthday next year in September 🙂

  8. Thanks for advice on this.

  9. Thanks for this Rob, I’ve just managed to grab 2 x CW next September, I’ve always wanted to go to New Orleans 🙂

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