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British Airways launches new route to Charleston, South Carolina – bookable now with Avios

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British Airways announced (yet another) new US route last night – Charleston, South Carolina.

It may prove a sound choice.  There are currently no flights, at all, between Europe and Charleston with most passengers flying to Atlanta.

This will change from 4th April when BA’s new service starts.  It is being broken in gradually with just two flights per week.  At present the service is only due to run for the Summer and will end on 24th October when the Winter timetable begins.

British Airways launches flights to Charleston

Charleston has been voted ‘best small US city’ by readers of Conde Nast Traveller and Travel + Leisure magazine for the past eight years so it must have something going for it.

The flight will operate from Heathrow Terminal 5.

It will be flown with a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner which means that it will be a three-class service.  (You will only find First Class on the longer – in both length and flight range – 787-9 version.)  By coincidence, Boeing is currently building the Boeing 787-10 in Charleston with twelve of them earmarked for delivery to BA between 2020 and 2023.

The flights will run on Thursdays and Sundays.  Flights will leave Heathrow at 5.20pm, arriving into Charleston at 9.20pm.  The return flight will depart Charleston at 10.50pm, arriving into London at 11.50am the following day.

Charleston takes the number of US destinations served by British Airways to a whopping 29, including the recently announced Pittsburgh service which also launches in April.

Tickets were due to be available from this morning at ba.com.  The guaranteed two Club World and four World Traveller seats will be available.  Whilst more seats are likely to come up as the months go by, as there are only two flights per week I suggest you move quickly if you want to guarantee an Avios redemption for Summer 2019.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2022)

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

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £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 UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

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

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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The Platinum Card from American Express

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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 10,000 Avios.

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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

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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

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American Express Business Gold

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Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (59)

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

  • clarence says:

    did that but they still wouldn’t budge

  • 1nfrequent says:

    I second the recommendations for Charleston – Fort Sumpter is a must for those interested in the US Civil War but the city itself is charming, people were friendly and there’s a lot of history there to check out including some very pretty churches.

    • Polly says:

      Yes, it’s def on our list, will try to use a 241 in J for that trip…

      • Anna says:

        +1 and not a bad drive to Charlotte, NC, which is an AA hub for connections to the rest of the states and the Caribbean/Latin America.

  • Lady London says:

    Any recommendations for accommodation in Charleston? Everyone’s comments are making me quite interesteg in going there.

  • Mark says:

    I wonder how a twice a week long haul flight works for crew rostering?

    • marcw says:

      They will probably LOVE It. 3 and 4 days layover…

      • Mark says:

        🙂

        This must surely be a toe in the water to see how well it works, with a view to either launching a more frequent service or not bring it back.

  • Will says:

    This is superb news. I’m off to Charleston next week and I’ve had to do LCY – JFK with a layover and then Delta first down to Charleston. I’m surprised they end on 24th October though as it’s still busy with golfers until the end of November.

    • Mark says:

      That’s the normal switching point from summer to winter services, though I realise that’s not universally true. I guess they have other plans for aircraft from the beginning of November. Nothing to say of course that it can’t be extended at a later date.

    • Alan says:

      LOL doing exactly the same routing myself in a few weeks – overnight Hampton Inn JFK then off DL first thing in the morning.

  • Linda Chamberlain says:

    Just tried to check ‘whole month’ of May for Avios availability to Charleston, received the following error message
    ‘Error
    Sorry, we don’t fly this route.
    Please choose another city, or try searching by country or continent.’
    BA IT gremlins strike again?

    • Mark says:

      use baredemptionfinder.com just checked and they are on there

    • Genghis says:

      It’s “well known” that new routes do not get loaded onto the searcher, only the booking part.

  • Will says:

    Lots of comments elsewhere (a.net, OMAAT, Flight Global journalists) saying that Boeing are the main driver for this route. Not clear if they have directly subsidised it (like GSK do with their RDU-LHR route) so that staff can easily be connected to Boeing in Sheffield. I doubt they have given that it’s a twice weekly at the moment but then again we have little knowledge of how many people Boeing are currently flying in and out.

    I’d imagine there is some sort of subsidiy being offered at a State level and that Boeing have given some assurances around number of seats they would want.

  • mutley says:

    Great timing BA! I have tickets for the 3rd day of the Masters next April, Charleston as a base is better than Atlanta!

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