Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

British Airways adds four new European routes for Summer

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British Airways has announced four new European routes this morning. All are bookable now with Avios, so if you want to take advantage of the guaranteed Avios availability you may want to jump in.

The choice of destinations is a little eclectic, and gives the impression that BA wants to put some pressure on Wizz Air. There is also a distinct focus on the ‘visiting friends and family’ market rather than the holiday market, although there are definitely good weekend break opporunities here.

The new routes are:

  • Wroclaw, Poland
  • Gdansk, Poland
  • Riga, Latvia
  • Cluj-Napoca, Romania

All flights will operate from Heathrow, potentially from Terminal 3.

The frequencies are:

  • Wroclaw – twice per week (Thu, Sun) from 1st July
  • Gdansk – three times per week (Wed, Fri, Sun) from 2nd July
  • Riga – three times per week (Wed, Fri, Sun) from 2nd July
  • Cluj-Napoca – three times per week (Wed, Fri, Sun) from 2nd July

All appear to be 40 tier point routes, one way, in Club Europe so are unlikely to work as cheap tier point runs. Although personally I’d rather pay more per tier point and visit places I actually want to see ….

To quote BA:

“Wroclaw is known for its beautiful architecture and array of stunning bridges and islands that cross the Odra River.

Gdansk, on the Baltic Sea, offers fine museums, a dominating church building and a beautiful old city.

Riga, the largest of all three Baltic capital cities, houses a UNESCO World Heritage site, and is known for its Art Nouveau style buildings.

Cluj-Napoca, or simply Cluj, is Romania’s second largest city and often described as a cultural hub.

British Airways last operated flights to Riga in 2007, and flew briefly to Gdansk between 1999 and the early-2000s. The airline has never served the other two airports.”

And Perugia is definitely starting this year …..

British Airways announced flights to Perugia in Umbria for Summer 2020. For obvious reasons, the route never launched.

It is now happening for Summer 2021, hopefully, with the first flight on 28th June.

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 or via BA Holidays

You do not get double Avios if you book with the free British Airways American Express card, the free Barclaycard Avios Mastercard or the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard.

Another option is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers double points – 2 per £1 – when you book flight tickets directly with an airline.

Tickets are bookable now over at

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 2024)

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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £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. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

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

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable 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.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) 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 (49)

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

  • Richie says:

    Btw Air Baltic’s RIX-LGW flights did have BA codes and operated by A220 aircraft.

    • Andrew says:

      My old boss’s wife was incredibly fussy about which airline he flew on. I needed to get him from Riga to Brussels, “Baltic Air” or “BA” was a useful little white lie.

  • Jon says:

    Sounds tempting. I haven’t been to Wroclaw since the short-lived operations of Air Polonia but thought it was wonderful. I absolutely loved Riga too but a four day stay was far too short to see everything. Terrific mix of sights in Riga too from the art nouveau buildings to the haunting traces of the Soviet world.

    • Copywriter Ben says:

      Wrocław is an amazing hidden gem – but not for much longer apparently.

  • Tim says:

    Wroclaw is a good destination. Also, the DoubleTree is a superb hotel in a good location and has a very good lounge if you are Hilton Diamond. Two other DoubleTrees in Poland – Krakow and Warsaw also both have good lounges with good food, though their locations are not central. If you have Star Gold, the Warsaw lounge is excellent for food and champagne if a bit small. Of course, all that was from numerous stays before Covid. There are fast trains into Warsaw from Krakow, but LOT has good inexpensive domestics from Wroclaw, Katowice, Krakow and the other major cities. I often [used to] find myself in the Moxy at Katowice airport, simply because I could get to most other cities in Poland with 2x 30 minute flights – Warsaw airport superb for internal connections and if you have to wait for 30 minutes or so, LOT Gold lounge a nice place to be when not busy.

  • Rob Collins says:

    When we went to Wroclaw (recommended) we stayed in the Radisson Blu, and returned to hotel one day to find the entrance surrounded by hordes of people. When we entered the hotel we found that the Brazilian National football team and associates had moved in! Neymar, Kaka and their pals had a friendly match arranged there in the run up to the 2014 World Cup.

  • Andrew says:

    > British Airways last operated flights to Riga in 2007, and flew briefly to Gdansk between 1999 and the early-2000s. The airline has never served the other two airports.

    The funny thing is when I was first in Cluj almost 15 years ago they had a BA logo proudly displayed in the middle of the terminal. They’ve since rebuilt the terminal but at the time I was wondering if BA previously served the airport or it was just there to make the airport look more “prestigious” (while surrounded by a cloud of cigarette smoke at the time), seems the latter.

  • David Chapman says:

    We’ve not been to Wroclaw but the other 3 cities are well worth a visit

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

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