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British Airways adds new Alicante flights from Southampton Airport

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We were, to put it mildly, a little surprised when British Airways announced that it was opening 11 routes from Southampton Airport this Summer.

Southampton was, as the picture below shows, a major Flybe base before the airline collapsed last year. The services will be a welcome respite for the airport which lost virtually all of its scheduled services.

The BA flights will use Embraer aircraft which serve London City Airport during the week but have nothing to do when City is closed over the weekend.

The original block of routes were:

Berlin, Bergerac, Edinburgh, Faro, Florence, Ibiza, Limoges, Malaga, Mykonos, Nice, Palma

Yesterday, BA added a 12th route – Alicante. This will launch on 26th June with flights every Saturday until October. Cash and Avios seats are available now.

The start of the other routes has been pushed back from 1st May to no earlier than 29th May.

And, yes, there is a lounge. Here is our review of the Spitfire Lounge at Southampton Airport.


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

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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

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

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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The Platinum Card from American Express

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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.

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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.

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

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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 (25)

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

  • ChrisC says:

    The AA presentation is interesting.

    The $7.5bn they are raising via this means they don’t have to draw down $7bn of US treasury CARES Act (corona relief) loans and can pay back $.5bn of drawn down loans. The rate was 3.5% above LIBOR.

    Some the conditions of the treasury loans is that AA couldn’t pay executive bonuses, pay dividends or buy back stock.

    Once the treasury loan is repaid AA will be able to do all of those should is so wish.

    • Track says:

      above LIBOR or US Prime Rate?

      Very interesting to see US Treasury extending a loan to 2025 all linked to LIBOR, while Federal Reserve says that 2022 is last last time to refer to LIBOR rates.

      • ChrisC says:

        The US Treasury document I linked to clearly says LIBOR.

        If it had said US Prime Rate I would have written that. But it didn’t.

      • Toppcat says:

        The two things probably aren’t mutually exclusive. I presume that the Treasury loans will have benchmark fallback provisions which contemplate the cessation of LIBOR? Maybe not though!

        • mr_jetlag says:

          Aha there’s something in my anorak…
          Most syndicated loans will have a main spread and an alt spread accrual option (contract). Sometimes PRIME is the main spread and LIBOR the alt spread, and sometimes vice versa.

          • mr_jetlag says:

            For each accrual period only one contract is valid so you wouldn’t get two accrued interest calculations for that period. LIBOR cessation is not something that should affect existing loan agreements, a risk free rate like SOFR will only kick in at a predefined date or on refinance; until then a notional LIBOR or swap rate is usually defined… I can go on… wait where are you going?

          • Track says:

            Amazing comments.

            Above piece is evidence the Treasury and Commerce think in terms of “LIBOR” rates still.

            Whereas banks are actively ushered away from using LIBOR anywhere, and fallback RFRs and recalculation measures already established.

  • TimM says:

    “We were, to put it mildly, a little surprised when British Airways announced that it was opening 11 routes from Southampton Airport this Summer.”

    Much like the Government’s claim of building 40 new hospitals when they don’t mention how many they are closing/have closed, including Huddersfield’s General Infirmary and last of 12 we used to have, 12 new routes from Southampton comes at the cost of the loss of the same number of routes from Manchester and the mess of tens of thousands of cancellations of existing bookings. Tread lightly Rob.

    • Rob Collins says:

      Yes, you have to wonder why British Airways don’t go the whole hog and just rebrand themselves as South Eastern Airways

    • bafan says:

      If there isn’t enough money in operating up the North, what are they meant to do? Jet2 and Easyjet can eat their heart out.

  • John says:

    I think you’re exaggerating some of the intricacies of miles valuation.

    Sure, valuation prior to redemption is difficult and potentially open to manipulation. But you can only tweak so much. Redemption rates, breakage and so on. Outside the special covid-19 situation, these probabilities are stable and fairly well-known.

    Once the miles are redeemed (or expired), you can pin down your profit/loss accurately.

  • flyforfun says:

    I’d just be happy if American Airlines opened up some simpler ways of keeping my miles alive. Since the loss of the RBA and then MBNA credit card, UK residents are limited to travel options like hotels, car hire and flights. My travel patterns (and corporate travel policy!) aren’t taking me to places to earn AA miles. I was close to having to buy miles but thankfully they had that games promo and we all got 100 miles and the clock reset 18 months down the track.

    • RussellH says:

      Do the 5 miles you get from Award Wallet if you comment there extend validity?

      • Rob says:

        Apparently so

        • Blindman says:

          Yes they do.

          Have been using that perk to keep the three house accounts open.

          • Dawn says:

            @Blindman – please educate me on this! It’s new to me and will prove very useful 🙂

          • RussellH says:

            You need to have signed up to Award Wallet. Lots of info on that here. Make sure that your AAdvantage a/c is registered with AW.

            Click on “Blog” at the top of the screen. There be a short article, possibly on some new credit card offer in the US. Scroll to the bottom where there are comments.
            Make a comment.
            [I have never done it myself, not having any AA miles to protect, but if I had...]

          • Blindman says:

            Can’t seem to reply.

          • Blindman says:

            With a link to Award Wallet Blog

            But RusselH has it down.

  • Sam G says:

    There will be 7 BA E190s on the ground at Southampton on a Saturday night that all go back out on Sunday morning – could get a little cosy in the terminal first thing!

    The schedule is now balanced in terms of inbound / outbound rotations but quite a few flights come in on a Saturday (as LCY – xxx – SOU) flights and then back out on Sunday as SOU – xxx – LCY flights) – Ibiza, Mykonos, Bergerac, Malaga and Palma which leaves you with a 6 or 13 night holiday potentially

    Made a bit more sense out of Manchester or Stansted where you could mix and match with another airline if you wanted.

    Very Spanish focused operation so time will tell if holidays there will open up enough for it to be viable. Wouldn’t have surprised me to see them put a frame in all week to run a Greek islands series whilst business demand out of London will still be so weak.

    • Dubious says:

      There’s probably an element of people from the southern part of the UK who now live in Spain or have second homes there.

    • Erico1875 says:

      I dont see it Spanish focused.
      Alicante, Palma,Malaga and Ibiza – 4 out of 12.
      Bergerac, Limoges and Nice 3 out of 12

      • Sam G says:

        Multiple rotations to/from Spain and a lot of the aircraft cycle through Spain to reach Southampton in the first place to operate the other routes. No Spain operation then it’d be a lot smaller than planned. But from what I’ve read in the last day or two seems like Spain would be happy to receive tourists, just depends how the UK policy is in reciprocation.

        @Dubious that is my understanding of the lure of operating these routes, plenty of retirees with second homes in France & Spain with family visiting etc, they were popular for FlyBe but their leases on the E195s were too expensive to make them viable. This also lends itself to odd durations vs someone shopping for a “traditional” weeks holiday

        Interestingly Eastern are basing a E190 at Southampton and operating Gibraltar. But they have dabbled with Spain out of Teeside so they might run Spain on the other days which would compliment BA nicely.

  • TimM says:

    The Cityflyer weekend choices of destination have been, at best, questionable from the start. They were all very 1970’s. The pandemic complicates matters.

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

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