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British Airways (re-)launches flights to Portland and Pittsburgh

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British Airways has announced that it is launching flights to Portland, Oregon in 2022.

This is the second time BA has announced the route. It first announced it would fly to Portland in December 2019, with flights starting in June 2020.

That – obviously – never happened, and the flights were pulled from schedules entirely last year.

Pittsburgh is also returning …. but let’s look at Portland first. Both routes should have good Avios availability as the routes have just been added.

British Airways Portland

The good news is that BA still has its sights set on the Pacific North West and will launch Portland on 3rd June 2022.

It will operate five days per week, all year round. Here is the timetable:

  • BA267 departs Heathrow at 15:15, arrives in Portland at 17:04
  • BA266 departs Portland at 18:50 and arrives in London at 12:15 the following day

Flight times are almost identical to the original plans, although the flight numbers have changed. It will depart from Heathrow Terminal 5.

The re-launch suggests BA is confident of travel picking up more broadly in 2022, despite the current Omicron menace.

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. The 787-8 fleet is not yet outfitted with BA’s new Club Suite business class so you have to make do with the older yin-yang style seating. Our guide to the best seats on BA’s 787-8 is here.

By the time you read this flights should be bookable for cash or Avios on the BA website here, with the guaranteed two World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and four 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.

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:

multnomah falls oregon

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.

oregon coast

If you’re driving towards Northern California you 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.

crater lake oregon

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.

British Airways also returns to Pittsburgh

British Airways has also announced the return of flights to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This route also returns on the 3rd June 2022 and will operate four times a week – Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday:

  • BA171 departs Heathrow at 16:45 and arrives in Pittsburgh at 19:50
  • BA170 departs Pittsburgh at 21:50 and arrives at Heathrow at 10:10 the following morning

These flights will also be operated by a Boeing 787-8. Unfortunately I have never been to Pittsburgh so I can’t recommend any activities ….

You can book both routes on here.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (November 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

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 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus 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 (32)

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

  • TMG says:

    Portland is a good start/end point for an Oregon round trip. Mt Hood, Bend , Crater Lake and the coast (Newport) are all well worth visiting.

  • Nick says:

    If anyone wants to offer me a job in Portland, I’m there, instantly. It’s my favourite city in the US… agree entirely with Rhys on his comments here.

    • Max says:

      Have you been since the BurnLootMurder-‘activists’ seized control of the city in summer 2020?

      Since then Portland has deteriorated quickly.

  • Mike says:

    I was in Portland two weeks ago – it has been largely destroyed by protestors. Many many businesses have closed down, most of the city is deserted and you will be looking forward to getting out of there as soon as you arrive. A huge shame.

  • Lilly says:

    I did Pittsburgh when BA did there £100 promotion (thanks of course to HFP for the tip off) . It was a great trip. We went up to Niagara Falls and back and were pleasantly surprised with how much there was to do in the city. Also, as it’s not so touristy, people were so pleased to see us!

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

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