Brexit does not seem to be having much impact on British Airways’ plans for the booming San Francisco Bay Area.
Today the airline launches nonstops from Oakland to London-Gatwick. The new flights are in addition to BA’s recently deployed daily 787 Dreamliner nonstop between San Jose International and Heathrow, as well as its two dailies between SFO and Heathrow using an Airbus A380 or Boeing 777.
This means that you can now fly BA to London from all three Bay Area airports- no other carrier offers that. It also means that British Airways now flies about 1,250 seats per day, each way, between the San Francisco Bay Area and London.
The new Oakland flight allows BA to tap into the populous and wealthy East Bay suburbs full of travelers who don’t (or won’t) cross the Bay for a flight out of the more congested SFO. BA is the only carrier at OAK offering lie-flat business class seats to Europe— essential if you want to hit the ground running after an overnight flight!
See a slideshow of BA’s inaugural flight event at Oakland International!
Checking fares for April and May, British Airways has OAK-LGW for about $500 round trip in economy. Premium economy is running about $1,200. Business class is about $4,000 round trip. Unlike other carriers flying to Europe from Oakland, British Airways does not charge a fee for the first checked bag in any class of service.
The new Oakland-Gatwick flights will operate four days a week using a Boeing 777-200ER that seats 275 passengers: 203 in economy, 24 in premium economy and 48 in business class. That’s a lot of room for upgrades or award flights! British Airways’ premium economy (aka World Traveller Plus) is in a separate cabin, bigger seats with 38-inch pitch, in-seat power, and choice of meals from the business class menu.
BA Club World (business class) travelers flying out of Oakland receive up to five days of free parking in OAK’s Premier Lot, an added value of $190. They also get complimentary access to a new Escape lounge located in Terminal 1 near BA gates. One-time passes to the lounge go for $45.
On Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays the flight departs London Gatwick’s South Terminal at 10:20am and arrives into Oakland at 1:15 pm. From Oakland, the flight departs at 2:45 pm and arrives London Gatwick at 9:25 am the next morning. On Tuesdays, the flight departs at 11:25 am from London Gatwick and arrives Oakland at 2:20 pm, returning at 3:50 pm with an arrival into London at 10:30am the next morning.
At Gatwick, BA uses the recently renovated South Terminal — recent improvements include a brand new business class lounge, and upgraded check in area, and easier access to the Gatwick Express.
Gatwick Airport (LGW) is 28 miles south of central London but still convenient and even preferred by many travelers. Why? Because the easy 30-minute, approximately $25 Gatwick Express train can whisk you from the airport to Victoria Station in the heart of the city every 15 minutes. London’s Heathrow Express, while speedier, drops you off at Paddington Station, which may not be as convenient. On the flip side, those traveling into Oakland from London can now get to downtown San Francisco via a new BART spur that connects the the airport to the city in about 30 minutes for about $10 each way.
BA seems to be on something of a roll recently. In addition to the new Oakland flight, British Airways is adding new nonstops to Ft Lauderdale and New Orleans from London this spring.
Do you have plans to fly to Europe this spring or summer? Where will you go and how will you get there? Please leave your comments below!
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