British Airways Will Begin Flying To Fort Lauderdale In 2017

A week ago British Airways announced that they’ll be launching flights between London Heathrow and New Orleans as of March 2017.

Well, today British Airways has revealed their next destination, which will be their 24th in the US (they operate more routes to the US than any other European airline). Starting July 6, 2017, British Airways will launch flights between London Gatwick and Fort Lauderdale. The flights will operate 3x weekly (4x weekly during the peak summer travel season) with the following schedule:

BA2169 London to Fort Lauderdale departing 9:25AM arriving 1:45PM
BA2168 Fort Lauderdale to London departing 5:00PM arriving 6:30AM (+1 day)

The flight will be operated by a Boeing 777-200 aircraft, featuring 40 business class seats, 24 premium economy seats, and 219 economy seats.

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British Airways 777 business class

The new Fort Lauderdale service complements British Airways’ existing routes to Florida, including 2x daily flights to Miami, 2x daily flights to Orlando, and daily flights to Tampa. The routes to Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Tampa, are all being operated out of Gatwick Airport, suggesting British Airways has more of a leisure focus on those routes. Meanwhile the flight to Miami is operated out of Heathrow Airport, suggesting there’s more of a business focus on the route (though obviously there’s still a good amount of leisure traffic).

If you’re interested in booking this flight, keep in mind that British Airways has a policy where they make two business class award seats available as soon as a route becomes bookable, so you should have no trouble snagging award seats on this flight. It’s already bookable, and I do indeed see two business class seats per flight.

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The catch, however, is that British Airways’ business class product isn’t great, and there are also hefty carrier imposed surcharges of $800+ roundtrip on award tickets, so it won’t be cheap.

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British Airways 777-200

Fort Lauderdale Airport sure is on a roll lately. Just a couple of weeks ago Emirates announced that they’ll be launching daily flights between Dubai and Fort Lauderdale as of this December, which represents the airport’s longest flight yet.

Bottom line

While Fort Lauderdale and Miami aren’t far apart, they are distinct markets (just as Tampa and Orlando are different markets). Also keep in mind that low cost carrier Norwegian is growing their network out of Fort Lauderdale, so I imagine this route is sort of British Airways trying to hold their ground a bit in the market.

Still, color me a bit surprised by this route announcement, if for no other reason than that they already operate 5x daily flights between London and Florida.

What do you make of British Airways’ new route between London and Fort Lauderdale?

Comments

  1. While BA has most US destinations than any other European airline, do you know which foreign airline has the most US destinations? Air Canada?

  2. @Tonco why is that? I leave in a Florida and flight to either the U.K. Or to anywhere in Europe on BA are definitely not cheap for a “leisure” market and they seem to do very well, flights are always full. And many large companies are setting up HQs in the Tampa-Orlando area, so definitely not strictly Leisure market only

  3. @Tonco. This route is a very popular destination for UK Holiday makers who want sunshine. I’m sure BA will make an ok profit on this route.

  4. The comparison of FLL/MIA to MCO/TPA is very strange. MCO and TPA are *not* alternate airports of each other (a 92 mile drive). (for MCO the alternate is SFB, for TPA the alternates are PIE and SRQ)

    On the other hand, for a good chunk of flyers, particularly the leisure ones, FLL and MIA are quite interchangeable.

  5. @ henry LAX – I disagree, I live in TPA and frequently defer to MCO for ease of routing or cost. For example, recently I booked a VS flight out of MCO vs BA out of TPA…The flight was $500 cheaper x 3 tickets. Worth driving or hiring a car for me!

  6. Most Floridians would MUCH rather fly out of FLL than MIA, so this makes a lot of sense. Nowhere near the mess & hassle of MIA. Even the staff at FLL have a better attitude than those at MIA.

    Now, if you’re connecting, MCO or MIA make far more sense.

  7. Could this portend some sort of agreement with JetBlue? Would be easy to transfer to the Carribbean, although that already exists at MIA with AA. Interesting.

  8. Two reasons for the route:

    1. Cruise passages in winter months- no doubt BA have the data on the number of cruise passengers using their MIA services and have also seen how the DY route has performed;

    2. BA have data on the number of passengers (especially those using BA holidays) that are two centring their holiday with MCO and FLL area. Having the FLL route will appear- it means you don’t have to park your car at LGW and fly back into LHR (or other way round) when u you fly back in from MIA and then have to transfer round to LGW by car.

    Of course, BA havent just opened the route on a whim. They have a lot more “professional” people than us arm chair CEOs look at the routes and the data. In fact BA are currently advertising for a “Finance Analyst-Routes” whose job will be to decide on new routes etc. Lucky maybe you would like to apply!!!

  9. interesting that the summer is described as peak season. Florida is too hot and bug-ridden in the summer for most people, but you know what they say about mad dogs and Englishmen

  10. Ft. Lauderdale and Broward County are much more popular than Miami for British Companies and also the British Chamber of Commerce is in Broward County and not in Miami. The Port of Everglades which is right next to Ft. Lauderdale International Airport is the largest transhipment port in the USA for exports to Latin America and the Caribbean more than PortMiami. Ft. Lauderdale is much better located to access business across the whole of Florida than Miami and also the airport has direct flights to every major city in Latin America and the Caribbean. I would say it is a very very good move of British Airways to commence this new air route between Ft. Lauderdale and London Gatwick as not only is it a great area to business and but also a much better region to live in that Miami. Logistically for business trade and a good quality of life, Ft. Lauderdale and Broward county are the places to be.

  11. What I find interesting is the aircraft choice – a huge B777 to fill up, rather than the B787, but that is probably because the B777 is part of the Gatwick fleet, crewing setup etc.

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