British Airways published a list of timetable changes on Tuesday which was not hugely exciting – so unexciting in fact that I was happy to wait until Thursday to publish it.
Something else seems to have slipped through the net, however, which is not listed on the document.
A new Heathrow to Johannesburg service is now available for booking on ba.com even though it has not been announced. It will operate four days per week.
It is wide open for Avios availability, in Club World and World Traveller, for at least the guaranteed two / four seats. In reality I can see up to six Club World seats on some dates. There is also a lot of World Traveller Plus availability.
(No First Class as it is a three class Boeing 787 service.)
This means that both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have launched additional Johannesburg services in response to the cancellation of one of the South African Airways daily flights. (The SAA service is very good, however, as Anika’s SAA Business Class review here shows.)
The service starts on 28th October at the start of the new timetable.
The outbound leaves Heathrow at 16.50, landing in Johannesburg at 05.50
The return is a day flight. It leaves Johannesburg at 07.40 and lands at Heathrow at 17.15.
The outbound operates on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Return flights are on the following day.
This is not just a Winter service. It is timetabled through into the Spring timetable as well, so you can book as far out as early May 2019.
Avios availability to Johannesburg is generally very hard to get. It is virtually impossible over Christmas and New Year (and, to be honest, the Club World Christmas week seats seem to have already gone – but, for eg, 19th December has 2 x Club World outbound showing, 23rd December has one).
Remember that if you want to go to Cape Town, you can book a connection on Avios on BA franchise Comair. This cannot be booked with a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher however.
Pop over to ba.com and see what you can find.
To maximise your miles when paying, your best bet is the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card which earns double Avios (3 per £1) when you book at ba.com or via BA Holidays. You do not get double Avios if you book with the free British Airways American Express card. Another option is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers double points – 2 per £1 – when you book flight tickets directly with an airline.
(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.)