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Speculation that British Airways was planning to announce a new route to the US has been growing for some time and the range of potential new US destinations that people have been suggesting has been impressive – Indianapolis, Hartford, Detroit, Cleveland, and Salt Lake City are just a few destinations that have been mooted. The time for speculation is now over, however, as we finally know what the new route will be.
Cincinnati will be BA’s new US destination
From 5 June 2023, British Airways will offer a new year-round nonstop service between London Heathrow and Cincinnati on the following schedule:
BA121 LHR 16:05 – 19:45 CVG (Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri & Sun)
BA120 CVG 21:30 – 10:15+1 day LHR (Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri & Sun)
For the winter season (which starts at the end of October), the route will see a 4x/week service on the following schedule:
BA121 LHR 16:00 – 18:40 CVG (Mon, Wed, Fri & Sun)
BA120 CVG 20:25 – 10:10+1 day LHR (Mon, Wed, Fri & Sun)
Once this route is up and running, Cincinnati will become the 27th US destination that British Airways serves out of London Heathrow and it will be doing so using a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.
The British Airways 787-8 Dreamliner
The British Airways 787-8 Dreamliner offers the following 3-cabin configuration:
- Club World (Business Class) – 35 lie-flat seats
- World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) – 25 seats
- World Traveller (Economy Class) – 154 seats
The Club World Cabin is fitted with the incredibly outdated standard Club World seat…
…but that’s still a considerably better seat than anything you’ll find in the two cabins behind the frontmost cabin.
The World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) cabin offer seats that are 18.5″ wide and which have 38″ of pitch (legroom) and that’s pretty standard for a transatlantic Premium Economy cabin (if you want the best Premium Economy transatlantic cabin fly with Virgin Atlantic on any aircraft other than its new A350).
The World Traveller cabin (Economy Class) offers seats that are just 17.5″ wide and which have just 31″ of pitch and while this is also pretty standard for transatlantic Economy Class, it’s also quite tight. Anyone of size will not be comfortable in these seats.
Cincinnati award availability
British Airways is already selling seats on its new Cincinnati route (through 5 November 2023) and that means that awards have also been loaded.
British Airways long-haul awards always attract obnoxiously high surcharges but as its transatlantic partner (American Airlines) is increasingly unwilling to release premium cabin saver awards, they’re often the only available option for those of us holding balances with oneworld loyalty programs.
At the time of writing, the British Airways Reward Flight Finder tool doesn’t appear to recognize that Cincinnati is now on the BA flight map and SeatSpy hasn’t been updated either, but the few manual searches that I’ve performed (using the BA Avios booking page) have all shown that Business Class, Premium Economy, and Economy Class awards are currently very easy to find.
British Airways guarantees to release at least 4 Club World (Business Class) seats on all of its flights and on each of the seven searches that I performed (random dates), 4 Business Class awards were available.
Award availability may be looking good right now, but the fact remains that the cost of these awards can be painful and, for a lot of people, simply not worth it… especially for travelers originating in the US.
A round-trip, Business Class booking originating in Cincinnati will cost 100,000/120,000 Avios (off-peak/peak season) + $1,812.72 in taxes and surcharges.
While a round-trip, Business Class booking originating in London will cost 100,000/120,000 Avios (off-peak/peak season) + “just” £856.20 (~$1,015) in taxes and surcharges.
The difference in the cash element between departures from the US and departures from the UK is entirely down to BA’s horrific surcharges and for US-based flyers, that’s a pretty bitter pill to have to swallow.
British Airways has announced that it will begin to offer a new service between London and Cincinnati from 5 June 2023. The service will operate 5x/week during the summer season and 4x/week during the winter season and seats for this route are now on sale at BA.com.
Featured image courtesy of British Airways
Too bad it cost over $700 to redeem an award ticket on BA.