The rumours we had heard floating around this week were true. British Airways has just announced that it is launching direct flights to Portland, Oregon in 2020.
The service will start on 1st June 2020, and is set to operate all year round. Here is the timetable:
BA299 departs Heathrow at 15:05, arrives in Portland at 16:55
BA298 departs Portland at 18:45 and arrives in London at 12:10 the following day
During the summer season (from 29th March 2020 until 25th October 2020) the flight will operate Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. During the winter season this will reduce to four weekly flights on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. It will depart from Heathrow Terminal 5.
The service will use a 787-8 aircraft, which British Airways often uses to open new US routes. It is BA’s smallest long haul aircraft with Club, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller.
By the time you read this flights should be bookable for cash or Avios on the BA website here, with the guaranteed two Club World seats per flight. As this is a new route availability should be wide open – if you were planning a trip to the US west coast next Summer but had failed to get the dates you wanted, this might be your best opportunity!
Unlike some of BA’s other recent route launches to the US it faces some direct competition. Delta Air Lines already operates a flight between Portland and London during the summer season, as well as to Amsterdam all year round.
Is Portland worth visiting?
For a start, it’s worth mentioning that Portland International Airport is itself a destination thanks to the famous airport carpet!
Portland is a fantastic place to visit. I was there in 2018 and there is plenty to do. The Pacific North West is one of my favourite parts of the US (and one of the few areas I would actually consider moving to). Portland is perfectly located for beaches, wine country, gigantic forests or even ski resorts.
Portland itself is known for its trendy vibe with craft beer breweries and fun places to eat. If you like ice cream I recommend Salt & Straw, a boutiquey Portland-based ice cream shop with some funky and fantastic flavours.
To the north, just inside the Washington border is Mount St Helens, an active volcano that had a major and tragic eruption in 1980.
Just east of Portland are the famous Multnomah Falls which are worth a look despite the mass of tourists that pilgrimage there. These photos are all my own:
To the west is the Oregon coast with Cannon Beach and its famous Haystack rock. Further down is Pacific City with an absolutely gigantic sand dune with fantastic views of the coast.
If you’re driving towards Northern California you also MUST stop at Crater Lake, an old collapsed volcano caldera that is now a large lake. It offers some of the most spectacular views you will ever see in your entire life and is well worth the beautiful drive.
If you are looking to take a trip to the US next Summer I would seriously consider flying to Portland. It is a fantastic base to start from and with wide-open availability – at least for the next few hours – you will have your choice of travel dates.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
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.
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.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.