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British Airways launches flights to San Sebastián from London City, now bookable on Avios

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Slightly closer to home after the big news that British Airways is launching Portland, Oregon is the announcement that BA is also launching San Sebastián next year.

The flights are set to take place over the peak summer season from July to September, twice weekly. Here is the schedule:

BA7335 Monday and Friday, departing London at 9:10am and arriving at 12:10.

BA7334 Monday and Friday, departing San Sabastian 13:13 and arriving in London at 14:25.

BA E190

The flights will be from London City with BA CityFlyer. The aircraft used is an Embraer E190, with a 2-2 configuration in both Club Europe and Euro Traveller (there is no blocked seat in Club Europe).

Unfortunately – unlike my Portland piece yesterday – I cannot give any personal recommendations for San Sebastián. Do leave a comment if you have any particular recommendations.

The city is nestled in the Basque region of Spain, in the crook of the arm where France and Spain meet. It is just over an hour from Bilbao (home of the Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum) and just under an hour from the French border.

San Sebastián is famous for its high concentration of bars. Peter Downes, the Aviation Director at London City writes that “As well as the beaches and bars, San Sebastián is a food and cultural capital – home to pintxo delicacies, a multitude of Michelin-starred restaurants and an international film festival. It will also serve as the perfect gateway to popular tourist spots such as the Basque region, Cantabria, Pamplona and the Pyrenees.”

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, San Sebastián is also home to the Hotel Maria Cristina, which is part of Marriott’s Luxury Collection. For a week night in July you are looking at over €500. A redemption is 70,000 per night, so you are getting 0.7p+ per point.

This flight is now bookable on here – just make sure that you enter either a Monday or a Friday to see availability! Redemption availability should also be good as these flights have just been loaded into the timetable. Here are the Avios pricing options in economy one-way:

  • 6250 Avios + £10.50
  • 4500 Avios + £15.50
  • 3300 Avios + £35.50
  • 2800 Avios + £40.50
  • 2500 Avios + £45.50

The ‘traditional’ Reward Flight Saver fare is highlighted in bold and is the best value option of the five if you value an Avios at 1p. This compares with a hand baggage-only fare of £90 one way, or a return for about £120.

This article in our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series looks at how Avios Reward Flight Saver works on short-haul British Airways flights.

You can see more on the British Airways website.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (March 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.

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 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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel 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.

Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) 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 (52)

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

  • marcw says:

    Basque country is all about food food food FOOD food FOOD.

  • Jimmy says:

    Visited both Bilbao and San Sebastian – I found San Sebastian extremely charming.

    Apart from the usual restaurant hopping, it’s really nice to take a walk on the poncha promenade.

    • pauldb says:


      It’s also a really nice beach for kids with the Atlantic unusually shallow, calm and clear inside the bay.

      The airport is actually at the French border, so it’s a replacement for BIQ in many ways. Just a shame for me that it’s LCY not LHR.

  • Lady London says:

    Tapas crawls. Ganbara, and innumerable others. Reasonably priced simple accommodation available.

    If you’re not coing at thé wealthy London-based Spanish bankers time of year, as BA is, San Sebastian (Donostia) is very easy to reach on a very nice quite luxurious bus that goes daily from Biarritz, which is another happy-feeling break place. IIRC train is better back due to bus timings.

    I remember cycling past the Maria Christina hotel in the picture on a Sunday morning after a tapas crawl Saturday night, on my Brompton bicycle with my roller suitcase hitched up as a trailer on my way to the station for the train back to Biarritz. Ah, luxury travel…!

  • Shoestring says:

    Looks like Glasgow-Palma de Mallorca also launches from end-May (Saturdays)

    • Scott says:

      Interesting, for me at least. Think this will be BA’s only direct flight from Glasgow to Europe.
      Still not sure it’s worth doing a RFS though – 17k pts + £35 = £205 (using the 1p valuation, which is admittedly higher than I value them at.) I’m sure a budget airline could get me there for less, with better flight times.

    • Andrew says:

      Doesn’t it run every summer as a BA charter by Barrhead Travel using capacity released due to London City’s weekend quiet times?

      2019’s flights were:-

      Glasgow – Majorca
      Glasgow – Costa Dorada
      Edinburgh – Majorca
      Glasgow – Barcelona
      Glasgow – Genoa

      Barrhead do regular InStore offers.

      • Scott says:

        I didn’t know about this, will keep it in mind for future.

        • Sandra Brown says:

          If Barrhead Travel have the aircraft it’s not possible to book with Avios. They have Edinburgh too but we use the non Barrhead one every year with Avios. Fingers crossed it’s an additional BA flight from Glasgow. Packed and ready!

          • Scott says:

            I was able to make a dummy booking with Avios, so I guess this means it’s not a Barrhead travel charter after all?

  • Graham says:

    So, this will be San Sebastian’s first direct route from the UK since Air Nostrum/Iberia Regional’s frankly bizarre offering from San Sebastian to Luton back in 2016!

  • Dr. Jazz says:

    2020 will be my 21st year attending the San Sebastian Jazz Festival (Jazzaldia). Next year’s Fest is July 21-26. San Sebastian is my favorite city in the world. It has more Michelin stars per square meter than any other city in the world (16 stars and counting). Three beautiful crescent shaped beaches, Basque wine, pintxos galore…what’s not to love!!

    • Shoestring says:

      don’t know!

      Average amount of rain and snow a year
      Days Place Milli­metres
      128 Bilbao 1195
      67 Logroño 399
      95 Pamplona 721
      140 San Sebastián 1738
      50 Saragossa (Zaragoza) 318
      103 Vitoria-Gasteiz 779

      • Lady London says:

        That’s why you spend your time there in tapas bars Shoestring ! 🙂

        • Stu N says:

          They don’t call it green Spain for nothing. San Seb is beautiful and the food!!! Man… the food!

          • Shoestring says:

            yep I drove around the bit of Spain you get to when going to La/ A Coruña/ Santiago de Compostela – further west/ top left of Spain – very green & pleasant – more like Wales than the semi-desert feel of the more arid parts of Spain in summer

  • Netxu says:

    Hi all, I read Hfp daily and I’m from San Sebastian (also called Donostia in Basque language). In case any of you is coming, some advices:
    EAS airport is about 25km away from S. Sebastian, in Hondarribia, a nice fishermen village just in front of France. Hendaye is the nearest French town, with a great big beach.
    Near San Sebastian you can visit some lovely coastal villages such as Pasajes San Juan, Orio, Zarautz or Zumaia. I recommend using public transportation (buses or Euskotren trains) because these places are crowded on summer.
    You should try a Sidrería (cider house), where you can eat some local starters, Txuleta (bone steak) and drink unlimited cider for 30-40£ each. Not all the sidrerias open on summer, my favourite opens all year round and is easily reachable by bus (15min) or taxi (sorry guys, there’s no Uber here!).

  • Graham says:

    Rhys – what’s with the £15.50 pricing? Always thought it was £17.50 ex-UK but sometimes (depending on the country) it can be lower on the return leg? Is £15.50 the new standard charge ex-UK?

    Apologies if this has been covered months ago!

    • Rob says:

      This is the new BA pricing structure if you book via Old pricing still on

      • Scott says:

        Do you know if there is any logic to the revised fee element (for the price that is closest to the old RFS structure)? I’ve seen £15.50, £17.00, £17.50, perhaps there are other variants too?

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