Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Orlando: British Airways cancelling Heathrow service, adding extra Gatwick flights

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

British Airways has announced a shake-up of its services to Orlando in Florida.

The Heathrow service is being scrapped from December until April 2023 with extra Gatwick services launched instead. The two will overlap for a few weeks.

These changes were not reflected at ba.com last night but may be there this morning. It isn’t clear if we will see the usual 14 Avios seats per flight opened up on the additional Gatwick services but it seems likely.

British Airways Orlando flights move to Gatwick Airport

What is happening with British Airways flights to Orlando?

British Airways has decided to terminate the Heathrow to Orlando service from 2nd December for the rest of the Winter season.

Flights from 2nd December onwards are still bookable on ba.com at the time of writing, but by the time you read this they may have been pulled. It is due to return in April.

Additional Gatwick to Orlando services will operate for the Winter season.

The extra services starts on 30th October at six flights per week, with Tuesday flights added from 15th November.

There will be a crossover period during November when both the Heathrow and Gatwick services are operating on the same days. From 2nd December, Orlando will only be served from Gatwick.

What are the flight times?

The existing Heathrow service departs at 12.05, arriving in Florida at 16.55. The return flight leaves at 18.55, landing in Heathrow at 08.00.

The extra Gatwick flights will depart earlier at 11.25, arriving at 16.15. The return flight leaves at 18.15, arriving into Gatwick at 07.20.

The only exception is Tuesday, when it will depart at 13.00 and arrive at 17.50 from 29th November. The return will leave at 20.05, landing at 09.10.

British Airways Gatwick Airport Orlando flights

Will passengers be moved automatically from Heathrow to Gatwick flights?

It is very likely, yes, if you are booked for travel from 2nd December. You may be allowed some flexibility to change your dates which could be helpful if your original dates were not exactly what you wanted.

Will Avios seats open up on the extra Gatwick flights?

By the time you read this the answer might be clear, but I would suspect that they will.

This is NOT a straight swap of a flight from Heathrow to Gatwick, and as a new service British Airways would be obliged to open up 14 Avios seats per flight.

The fact that the flight numbers are different (BA205/BA204 become BA2037/BA2036) and, for a few weeks in November, both services operate simultaneously, are good reasons to argue that this is a ‘new’ service and not a transfer between airports.

If you keen to redeem your Avios for an Orlando trip this Winter then you may find Avios seats wide open today, even for Christmas, New Year and February half term.

Remember that British Airways guarantees to release 4 x Club World business class, 2 x World Traveller Plus and 8 x World Traveller seats per flight. You won’t get the new Club Suite seat in Business Class as this is not available from London Gatwick.

Note that, if the additional Gatwick flights are not bookable by the time you read this, I would expect them to open up during Wednesday.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of 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

50,000 points bonus until 2nd October – 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 long list of travel benefits 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 (95)

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

  • David Quinn says:

    Drat! We’re booked via Amex 2-4-1 voucher in Club World/Suite GLA>LHR>EWR on 12 Dec, then returning MCO>LHR>GLA leaving Orlando on 25 Dec. Disappointed that we won’t get to try the new suite, and it looks like there will only be one flight up to GLA from LGW on Boxing day. Not looking forward to negotiating seat assignments, which I’ve already paid quite a bit for in advance.

  • meta says:

    Remember everyone that you have your UK/EU261 right to re-route and duty of care as well when BA notify you!

    • wee Paul says:

      Due to fly next may in club DUB-LHR-MCO (with avios). BA dont fly dub-LGW. Collecting baggage and bussing to LGW unlikely to make LGw same day connection. If I have to fly day before will BA pay for hotel, meals etc?

      • meta says:

        If they move you and offer it as an option then yes. If you do it because you want to, then no.

        • Nick says:

          BA will book you on EI for DUBLGW if you ask them. You even get the choice of EI prime or BA codeshare (same flight though).

      • Gery says:

        Doesn’t affect you as it’s only until April next year !

  • Jeremy B says:

    I don’t see the flights being open today – still only the LHR service – am I missing something? thanks

    • Liam says:

      I can’t see them either. Or anything on this subject elsewhere. Hopefully they hurry up and get on with it, if it’s going to happen, so we can adjust plans.

      • Rob says:

        I have the internal BA document – it was meant to happen yesterday and I’m not sure why its been delayed. It was a 2-part document and the 2nd part was the T3 to T5 switch which of course has been actioned.

  • 1nfrequent says:

    Just had an email from Amex about devaluation to the Gold card (higher fee, fewer points bonuses and higher spend targets). Any suggestions on whether to stick with it or trade it in for another Amex (and if so for what)?

    1F

    • AndyGWP says:

      Think there’s been an article recently (in the past week or so) on this one 🙂

      • 1nfrequent says:

        Ah heck – thanks, Andy! Missed this when it came out so will go and read now.

        1F

  • SamG says:

    (except Tuesday potentially?) these will meet the Glasgow and Manchester feeder flights – these are run with Heathrow crews nightstopping at the outstation specifically to feed LGW longhaul flights

    I’m surprised there isn’t an Edinburgh flight – the LHR flights are so rammed at the moment this could work well as a 2 x daily service with Gatwick crews nightstopping in the winter when their Euro schedule presumably winds down somewhat

    • SamG says:

      in the meantime if you’re booked out of Edinburgh you may find it easier to leave from Glasgow instead of doing the M25 shuffle

  • Andy says:

    Thanks for the heads up Rob, good job !

    I’m booked for MCO-LHR-GLA departing Tuesday, Jan 10th as part of an open-jaw 2-4-1 as I’m routing GLA-LHR-MIA after Christmas … the swap to LGW doesn’t provide MCT at Gatwick now, with the connection leaving only 55 mins after planned arrival.

    What’s the views on BA allowing us to return from MIA instead of the hassle of switching to MCO now ?

    • Rob says:

      The rule is 300 miles … dunno how far MIA to MCO is.

    • SamG says:

      I think it’s only Tuesday that misconnects – you could potentially shift your dates? Otherwise swapping MCO to MIA should be fine under the 300 mile change of gateway policy

      • Andy says:

        Thanks to you and Rob for replying … ‘quick call (with only a short call hold), and a no-hassle swap to MIA for the return was all sorted 👍🏻

  • PaulD says:

    I’m booked T5 to Orlando, March 16 to April 7. What would be communication protocol from BA to myself here. Email immediately or will I likely have to wait. Will it be a simple process to switch to the Gatwick flight on same day and would there be any cost changes?

    • Rob says:

      No charges. BA is likely to switch you across as the default open. They may not tell you for a few weeks about the change because the call centres are currently overwhelmed and they may prefer to wait until there is less going on.

      • PaulD says:

        Thank you Rob, hopefully will be a simple stress free process. Do you know how/when these things are announced, I can’t see anything. Something must be afoot though as there doesn’t seem to be any directs from T5 available. Interestingly though when searching Gatwick they say the don’t fly to MCO from there!
        Thanks again for your help and the article

        • Rob says:

          You need to wait for an email from BA. BA can’t mess about though, because once the new Gatwick flights go on sale they need to have moved the Heathrow people first or they risk not having enough seats left.

  • Grimz says:

    Miami is less than 300 miles. So can you ask to be rerouted ABZ-LHR-MIA-MCO and same return?

    • Rob says:

      It would be a direct swap of the MCO flight for the MIA flight, assuming you still want to go via Heathrow. You won’t be going to MCO at all.

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.