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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.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

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 (25)

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

  • Nick says:

    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.

  • Simon says:

    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)

      • Simon says:

        Thks for the reply. Was wanting BA to use my companion voucher unfortunately.

  • 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!

    • Yuff says:

      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 🙂

        • Louise says:

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

          • Mark says:

            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!

    • mark says:

      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

    • xcalx says:

      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

    • PauloG says:

      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.

    • Will says:

      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

  • Toby says:

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

  • Howard says:

    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.

    • Nick says:

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

    • Mike says:

      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

  • Joe says:

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

  • Howard says:

    Thanks for advice on this.

  • Sara says:

    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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