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.
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.
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.
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.
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?