Nutmeg Avios

BA launches Nashville – Avios seats now available – and adds other US flights

The rumours I reported on Sunday were correct.  British Airways announced a new route to Nashville in Tennessee yesterday.

The service will start in May 2018 and will, amazingly, be the only direct flight from anywhere in Europe to Nashville.

The flights will operate five days per week, with departures on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.  It will be a Heathrow Terminal 5 service.

The aircraft will be a new Boeing 787-8.  This means that it will be a three-class flight with no First Class available (none of the British Airways 787-8 aircraft have First Class).

Nashville British Airways

These flights are already bookable, for cash or Avios, on  British Airways has loaded the standard two Club World and four World Traveller seats for each flight, so if you are looking for US redemption flights for next Summer then you might want to jump in now.

Further Avios availability is likely to be added in time, but BA will want to wait to see how well the flights are selling.

And extra US flights added ….

British Airways also added two other services yesterday:

Philadelphia gains an additional three flights per week on top of the existing daily flight.  These will operate on Tuesday and Friday (from 27th March 2018) and Sunday (from 6th May 2018).

Phoenix gains an additional three flights per week on top of the existing daily flight.  These will operate on Monday, Friday and Sunday from 9th April 2018.

These flights are also available now at and have the standard initial Avios allocation showing.  Again, this is an opportunity to pick up flights to the US on dates when you might previously have given up trying to find Avios availability.

In one final announcement, the morning flight to Chicago will switch from a Boeing 747 to an Airbus A380 from 8th May.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Update on the Amex / Amazon deal - points showing, gift cards OK, Prime OK, so jump in!
How to book a low cost 'day room' at a Hilton
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  1. 2 questions
    – where is BA reducing services to free up 13 slot pairs for the new US services
    – which destination is losing an A380 rotation to enable the Chicago service?

    • pauldb says:

      Shorthaul is not going to match up with longhaul slots directly, but we know BA are dropping BGO and SVG.
      And it looks like the afternoon MIA flight switches from a A380 down to a 747 on, coincidentally, 1st May.

  2. cleanshoes says:

    Any news on points required for redemption to Nashville? It’s not on the calculator yet…

  3. Barry cutters says:

    Off topic but I got the 20% bonus on virgin miles conversion from Tesco. I only did £10 as a trial so got 2500 plus 500 bonus

    • Same here. An initial transfer on Monday and 20% bonus on miles in account by Tuesday. I did another transfer on Tuesday and same again today. Nothing showing on Tesco or Virgin sites offering the bonus. Not sure if it makes a difference but first time I’ve transferred Tesco to Virgin.

    • Catalan says:

      Thanks for that. I’ll try £10 today to check.

    • Decent bonus but the Tesco/Uber deal is making it trickier for me to justify transferring to VS miles!

  4. Alex W says:

    OT, here as no bits. Q4 IHG Accelerate targets are out. Hat tip to TPG.

    • Genghis says:

      Cheers. I should easily do 6/7 for around 40k.

    • Concerto says:

      Have got a link for checking this?

      • Genghis says:
        • Russell says:

          Good spot! Thanks – I’d been checking the link /q4accelerate2017/ without success. Silly old me, thinking that would be the page for a Q4 promotion!

        • It’s more like the 3rd Third given they run for 4 months and this one runs until December…

        • Crafty says:

          I have a very odd set, including one which stipulates a F&B spend target for a grand total of… 600 points…!

        • Dave Barron says:

          Disappointing Q4 offers for me – such as Apply for IHG Card and Use App etc. Shame as I was hoping for similar offers to Q3 which ironically I couldn’t then take advantage of. For example for Q3 I had an offer for 30k points for 1 stay in North America. No trips over the pond were going to happen for me in Q3 but sods law I’m flying there in Q4 with no such offers!

      • As expected – after hitting my target last time – mine are rubbish. Wants me to do 18 nights, with bonus points after every 3 nights.
        I could stay once in September to get 5000 but as I have no travel planned I don’t think that’s worth it.

    • SteveB says:

      Thanks for early heads up. My offer is very consistent to the last few campaigns – easy 30-40k

      • Already booked stays don’t help? I’ve got several nights booked in early September on behalf of inlaws!

        • Should be okay, for most targets.

        • OK unless you have an app booking target – historically those do not count if booked early.

        • Thanks. I’m not actually staying on either of the nights, but my name is in the booking. I guess the problem will be having multiple rooms booked on the same night. Moot point as my miserly target gives my bonuses for every chunk of 3 nights booked!

      • One of my “targets” is to stay two nights at any IHG hotel in New York to get me 4000 points. I have never had a target specifying a particular city.

        • Me too, but I was searching for NYC stays, thought that was maybe why I got it….

        • But it’s an extra bonus, isn’t it? At least it is on my account, so not doing it won’t affect my normal targets.

        • mine is an additional bonus plus another additional 5k bonus for a september stay

        • Ruth Grint says:

          From what I have read elsewhere the New York stay is a common target. I got it too.

        • One of mine is to stay in a Holiday Inn Resort AND a Holiday Inn Vacations for 8000 pts. We don’t use these type of hotels on our road trips!

    • Not tried to meet all the targets before, I have a couple of q’s, hoping someone can help me
      1. Does a your rate bonus points booking count as a bonus points booking?
      2. If I book a reward night, will this count as one of my nights? Can I combine this with a paid night and still get the 2 nights in NYC bonus?
      3. Can I meet multiple targets with one booking? Eg a stay in September combined with 2 above if both nights are in September?
      4. I already have 3 nights booked for December, will these bookings count? They were done in app in June….
      Thanks, will hopefully net myself 49k points with a 2 night booking in NYC.

      • Genghis says:

        1. Yes
        2. No. Cash only unless redemption target
        3. Yes
        4. On my target, only the redemption target says ‘make the redemption’ and ‘consume’. Even the app stay this time just says ‘consume’. In short, check the T&Cs of your offer carefully.

        • thank you genghis, font of all knowlegde 😉

        • AHHHH… this is too complicated for my simple brain. My weekend stay target is a book and consume target, as I have already booked it, it won’t count. Will the 2 nights I have already booked count towards my stay 5 nights target if that is just a consume target?

        • Genghis says:


    • I have avoided the last few accelerate promos, this time however it looks like i can scoop up over 100k in points for 5 well planned out stays.

      • Alex W says:

        Nice! No chance I can do mine as I need 3 different countries excluding the UK!

      • RussellH says:

        Mine looks easier than the current one, but my partner’s is harder – and her current one was harder than mine…

        Half my nights so far this year have been reward nights, and given that three have been just 10000 and one 5000 I am dooing OK. Are they trying to encourage people who book a lot of reward nights??

    • Last accelerate question I promise 🙂 Do stays booked using the Mastercard 30% discount qualify?

      • Lady London says:

        Does the mastercard require a code? or just a mastercard to be loaded as the payment card to guarantee the booking and then use it to pay as well

        • Its via a special page I’ve been using from an earlier HFP post. No code. I’ve made one advance booking through the link so far, paid by mastercard, discount was applied albeit 30% off flexible rate not the cheapest available rate, stayed, points posted fine. Just wanted to double check it would qualify for accelerate….

        • Genghis says:

          I believe so. Points are awarded (take a screen print of booking page / look on the app).

      • Yes, those are qualifying.

    • Michael Jennings says:

      One of the targets I have is “2000 points to get an IHG credit card”. The terms and conditions include

      This bonus points Offer is only available to first-time successful credit card applicants who take out the card between 29 May 2017 to 31 December 2017 and go on to make an initial purchase of any value (excluding balance transfers and cash withdrawals) between 1 September 2017 and 31 December 2017 (both dates inclusive). For the avoidance of doubt, there shall be only one award of 2,000 additional points per credit card account through the Accelerate promotion, regardless of the number of additional cardholders, and an initial purchase made outside of the specified dates will not attract the bonus points. This offer may be used in conjunction with the existing IHG® Rewards Club sign up bonus available for either card (10,000 points and Gold Elite status for the IHG® Rewards Club Credit Card, or 20,000 points and Platinum status available for the IHG® Rewards Club Premium Credit Card).

      As it happens, I applied for (and was approved for) an IHG credit card last week, and of course I have only seen the offer now. I guess I will get the extra points, given that I certainly applied after May 29. I don’t have the card yet, although my IHG account has been upgraded to Gold status. I guess I should leave off making the first purchase until September 1.

      • Graeme says:

        I received 2000 points back in early May after taking out this card (above and beyond the 20k bonus for the normal card ) – it was not one of my accelerate targets. It was listed as ‘Get the IHG® Rewards Club Credit Card’ on my IHG account. So I wonder if this is a matter of course regardless and would be confident you’d get the point, if it tracks as part of your accelerate is another matter…

  5. O/T

    After finally accumulating a decent amount of Avios I’m planning my first redemption. Does anyone know if there is some resource that can show historical availability/some metric of how popular routes are? I guess that I can do a full year search on the reward availability finder but that is quite time consuming (especially as I have no attachment to a particular destination yet!). It would be great if there was something that gives an overview of which routes are popular.

    Secondly, and I appreciate this is mammoth ask – is there any resource that shows all routes inc. partner airlines for which Avios can be used on (ideally with pricing)? How do partner airlines work? Are all their routes available for Avios redemptions? I searched on for JAL flights, and could see some routes (HND-KIX) but not others (PVG-FUK) which I can see they fly. Is there any reason for this?



    • Genghis says:

      You sure JAL fly to/from PVG from FUK? When I lived there you could only fly domestically on the Japanese carriers.

      • New Card says:

        I flew Beijing to Japan business class with JAL, barely any taxes, excellent value avios redemption.

      • We redeemed PVG to KIX on JAL last September, booked through BAEC site.
        Think it was 7500 avios per person, no tax.

    • Scallder says:

      David – if you use the full year availability function on the app, it’s much better than the website. It’s very quick and easy to look at regions, and then once down into a country level, it will give you the amount of days available for both inbound and outbound for each city within that country. So a little bit of work but it’s very quick to flick between countries and get an idea of which routes have best availability.

    • All partner routes are available as long as the airline itself opens up seats. BA is unique is guaranteeing some seats on every flight.

      In general there are routes widely known to be very tough, with Sydney and Cape Town top of the list. Singapore is also hard because the Sydney flight stops on the way. Other routes are a doddle, you often see 9+ CW seats on the Middle East routes for example. Some are seasonal – Barbados, Maldives, Tokyo are virtually impossible (unless you book 355 days out to get the guaranteed 2 CW seats) in peak tourist season for example.

      You can play the game though. For example, when the Gatwick Cape Town flight was added last year you suddenly had 2 CW seats available for every single day, in the same way that Nashville now has 2 CW seats for every single day, even the busiest days of the year. They will be gone within a week, but jump in now and you’ll get what you want.

      The comments above are all re BA metal only – if you’re not using a 241 and are happy to use a partner your options are far better.

    • pauldb says:

      If you can book a year out, anywhere is feasible: don’t let availability determine where you go. If not, your best resource is right here: let us know where you want to go (or some themes) and when, and you’ll get some good advice on what’s feasible/desirable.
      Any partner route should be bookable and the pricing is based on distance (per flight as flown) – i.e. I also don’t think JAL fly PVG-FUK direct so the pricing is based on the 2 legs required.
      Do you have an Amex241, or a Lloyds voucher if solo: these will generally be the best use of avios longhaul, but restrict you to BA.

    • Genghis says:
      • totaltool says:

        Genghis thanks for the link. A very interesting read. Got a couple of large trips planned next year so keen to find out the best way to get there and back but the more I look into taxes/complexity of Avios (got over 105k and planning to continue to collect them and Virgin miles) the more I think short haul to Europe is by far the easiest way to use them and on short routes economy is ok (for me at least)

    • I was looking at JAL flights yesterday from London to Tokyo with avios. There is tons of availability for next march in business (i was looking around march 9th till 13th). If that helps at all lol.

    • Domestic JAL flights can only be booked 2 months in advance or something, and only in Y (but you can pay to upgrade if it’s really necessary)

  6. Aside from the Country and Western music and nightlife, how does Nashville rate on the tourist scale?
    Is it worth a good few days in its own right, or just a nice place en route to other local attractions?

    • Scallder says:

      I spent 4 nights there earlier in the year and loved it – would easily go back for a week just to Nashville. For your music, you certainly have plenty of options, but depending on time of year they also have 2 professional sports teams (NFL – Titans; NHL – Predators) if that’s your thing.

      Overall though, the vibe of the city is lovely, and massively relaxed and chilled out, so even if country music isn’t your thing (however ‘country’ now covers such a huge range of styles, that the chances are there will be something to most peoples’ liking) then I’d still recommend it as a great place to go. On top of the nightlife there are some fantastic restaurants, both within the city itself but also within the vicinity (Google 12 South which is a very nice neighbourhood on the outskirts, as is The Gulch which is in the centre). There’s also a fairly sizeable outlet mall a 10-15 minute drive from the city centre .

    • We had 4 nights there last year. Did the usual touristy stuff – Hall of Fame, Music Row, Grand Ole Oprey was great fun, got tickets to the Bluebird Cafe which was fantastic. Spent a day in Franklin just south of Nashville which is a lovely wee place where lots of famous people live and can be seen in local coffee shops! Memphis is then not too far away!

      • the real harry1 says:

        all sounds pretty awful, sorry Liz 🙂

        not my ‘thang’

        • No offence taken Harry! It was a great few days and my cousin from Canada flew in to join us for 3 days. Not huge country fans but I like a bit of the modern country rock! We just love visiting all the different parts of the USA! Going to the same place in the sun is not our thing but each to their own! 🙂

        • the real harry1 says:

          true enough

          we’d rather be in SE Asia or NZ/ Aus but not feasible with the 3 kids

          not too long until they (well, 2 of them) fly the coop…

  7. OT, Going to go travelling around South East Asia and Australia/New Zealand. I know I should keep my Amex MR until I need them but should I take advantage of the extra 20% Clubcard bonus for Virgin Atlantic? Or is Avios better for SEA and Aus/NZ? Do Virgin get a lot of availability on Air New Zealand? Also because of how cheap flights are intra SEA is it worth using points? Do any routes stand out?

    • ANZ releases very little availability to anyone, even its own members, on London – LA – NZ. I think you’re pushing your luck hoping to get that.

      Virgin is good for Beijing (the Air China redemption to Beijing at 63,000 return in Business Class is one of the most generous redemptions on any airline to anywhere) plus its own flights to Asia. Obviously BA can access more flight options but Virgin is OK. However, it is better to ignore the bonus and keep your points in Tesco until you are ready to book – you can then look for availability and transfer at that point, the points hit overnight.

      • Do you know much about availability on Sydney to Auckland on ANZ with VS? Or would that better with Avios on Qantas?

        • pauldb says:

          I would expect VS would see the same availability as other partners, which you can search on without a log-in, but it’s not guaranteed. Would be the same 10k e/w Y, but cheaper in J: 15k VS or 20k avios (although avios would get you a LA longhaul spec as well as QF.
          VS stand out more over avios on Asia-NZ, especially now they allow more oneways. 42.5k on SQ SIN-NZ or particularly 40k on NZ HKG/PVG/TYO/SIN-NZ, when BA could be more like 70k on CX. But availability and ease of booking are less transparent.

        • pauldb says:

          Actually it looks like some SIN-AKL on NZ are op’d by 787-9 with flat beds which would be a nice outcome for 15k VS.

        • pauldb says:

          Sorry that’s meant to say SYD-AKL on NZ./

        • Thanks that was really helpful. I’m having a browse on United now, but do you know about Hawaiian Airline’s availability with VS? So many questions, but it is going to be a big trip 😀

        • pauldb says:

          No real idea on that one – apparently HA would show on too but I can’t pull any up; redemption rates look quite high with NZ again looking better value.

        • Try LAN for SYD-AKL. I found paying to be cheaper than redeeming.

          For flights operated by Jetconnect (Qantas’ way of paying their staff less by basing them in NZ) you will need to check availability on QFF and phone BA to book if you want to use avios.

  8. Frankie says:

    I’ve been to PHX three times now on the BA amex 2 for 1 as an alternative to LAS where I can never get seats. They are close together and it’s meant I’ve discovered really reasonably priced yet luxurious hotels in Phoenix and Scotsdale. It’s a great place to start a Vegas/West Coast holiday.

  9. OTT the bulk head seats have just been released for my flight on Saturday however we still can’t access them because we haven’t got an infant travelling with us. Does anyone know if they get released before check in opens or even if they are available when check in opens?

    • Seats in the bulkhead row which are designated as a basinette position (mainly long haul aircraft) open at T-24hrs when online check in opens.

      Seats in the bulkhead row which don’t have a basinette position (Short haul, Club Europe) open approx at time of booking to Golds and T-72hrs to Silver/Bronze. If no status you can pay at this time via manage my booking. Otherwise opened for general assignment at T-24 when online check in opens.

      • Cheers fasted finger time it is then! Tricky with 3 different booking references…

        • Normal window, private window and a second browser should sort you out easily

          But sometimes it doesn’t open exactly at T-24h but 15mins or even 1h later

  10. Just looked for availability on this flight for next summer. It looks good for Business, but I don’t see anything in First at all. It doesn’t even have a section which says First is not available. Is First likely to get released later?

  11. Here’s a question about airline scheduling/equipment for the route.

    So BA’s 787-8 has 214 seats and they will have a flight 5x a week.

    Why not have say 3x weekly flights on a 777/747? I doubt frequency matters on this route (unlike JFK). With 2x spare slots a week they could open up new routes to Taiwan/Philippines/Bali etc or add frequency to high demand routes.

    Confused why BA ordered the 787-8 (or even -9). They seem to not be the best use of those precious LHR slots. Looking at the 787 routes, most are daily……

    • BA has no shortage of slots, neither does Virgin. Don’t believe the hype. Why for eg is Iberia Express in T5?

      • Callum says:

        How would Iberia Express being elsewhere free up a slot? Surely they aren’t tied to specific terminals?

        • Iberia Express should be in Gatwick, Stansted or Luton by rights. Vueling still has Heathrow slots too.

          And BA sold Qatar one of its 6 Heathrow slots. This was well before Qatar bought its shares in IAG …. as Willie Walsh told it, Qatar circulated a chunky offer for a slot pair at a certain time and BA thought it was stupid to turn down.

    • I suspect that the people who decide these things have all the relevant information and many years of experience.

      • True, though this is BA we’re talking about; from my recent experience it doesn’t seem to attract (or hold onto) the same level of calibre of employee that it once used to and those that are there (aimed at present management) seem to make some questionable decisions which we’re all probably aware of.

        Anyway, interesting re slots Rob, always thought those were like gold-dust at LHR.

  12. OT – I have this on my next IHG accelerate as one of the offers:

    Spend on your IHG® Rewards Club Premium Credit Card
    Book and pay for one stay at any IHG hotel using your IHG® Rewards Club Premium Credit Card and earn 1,500 bonus points.

    I dont have the black version of the IHG CC just the white one, will it still count?

  13. ankomonkey says:

    OT: For Accelerate purposes, do you think I could get away with Turkey being in the Middle East, or more likely to be considered Europe?

  14. Briandt says:

    Was just about to book an Avios Business one way back to London from Nashvile, but £388 charges are a bit annoying. I think I’ll go with Delta @ around $12 with a connection. (And I do appreciate that £388 is not bad, as such, for a Business seat…….and 75k Avios.)

  15. PauloG says:

    O/T – apologies.
    Do I have to actually fly before my BA Amex companion voucher expiry date, or do I have to make a booking before (but can fly afterwards)?