British Airways Quietly Drops Its London – Oakland Route For Winter 2018/19

a bridge over water with a cloudy sky may receive commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on are from advertisers and may impact how and where card products appear on the site. does not include all card companies or all available card offers.

Some links to products and travel providers on this website will earn Traveling For Miles a commission which helps contribute to the running of the site – I’m very grateful to anyone who uses these links but their use is entirely optional. The compensation does not impact how and where products appear on this site and does not impact reviews that are published. For more details please see the advertising disclosure found at the bottom of every page

I’d have a lot more respect for airlines if they were as good at announcing route closures as they are at announcing new routes. No airline that I know ever announces that its reducing service on a route or that it’s closing down a route completely – apparently it’s up to us to figure this out when, one day, a flight we’ve been used to seeing in the schedules isn’t there any more.

British Airways is the latest airline to cut service without letting anyone know (American did it last week when it tried to mask route cuts with a few new route announcements) and it’s interesting that the route it’s cutting is the route between London and Oakland.

British Airways announced that it would fly between London Gatwick and Oakland back in November 2016 but service to Oakland didn’t actually start until March 2017.

The announcement came at a time when BA was busy announcing a whole series of new routes (including flights to New Orleans and Ft. Lauderdale) but it was interesting because this was a legacy carrier taking on a low-cost carrier (Norwegian) head on.

Norwegian was first to offer service between London and Oakland and the low-cost carrier offers 4 flights per week on the route with no sign that those flights are about to be cut/reduced to be cut.

British Airways has also been offering 4x/week service between London and Oakland but, as of 21 October 2018, the route is closing down for the winter.

British Airways says that it will reopen the route in March 2019 (for the summer season) but, at the time of writing, there’s no sign of the service in the schedules.

Right now BA has only scheduled flights through 26 March 2019 so it’s still very possible that the service will be loaded in the next few days….but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this route quietly dropped.

With British Airways cramming more and more seats into its aircraft there’s less and less to distinguish it from its low-cost counterpart so, with Norwegian often offering lower fares on this route, there isn’t all that much incentive for regular vacationers to book with BA.

a row of seats with monitorsThe new high-density Economy Class cabin on a British Airways 777

Regular vacationers don’t generally care about Tier Points, Avios or any other airline currency for that matter so they’re primarily focused on price….and I’m now wondering if British Airways is starting to realise that it doesn’t have the structure to compete with Norwegian on routes like Gatwick to Oakland.

I’m filing this one under “one to watch” and it will be interesting to see if British Airways reduces service on any other routes on which it competes directly with Norwegian – I’m not suggesting that this is what will happen, I’m merely suggesting that it will be something to look out for 🙂