The British Airways A318 operating London City-New York
The British Airways A318 operating London City-New York

British Airways flies many times each day between London and New York. In fact, this route alone earns British Airways more than a billion dollars in annual revenue – making it the world’s most profitable route! Most of the flights on the London-New York route are operated by wide-body Boeing 777s and Boeing 747s. But there is a unique British Airways flight from London to New York that is unlike any other on this route… or in the world.

British Airways flight BA1 operates daily from London-City Airport to New York (JFK) using an Airbus A318 with just 32 Business Class seats. There is no Economy on this plane, and no other passengers – just two pilots and three flight attendants – so it almost has the feel of flying a private jet!

The outbound BA1 has a short en-route stop in Shannon, Ireland. This stop is necessary as the Airbus A318 doesn’t quite have the range to fly non-stop from London to New York. While the aircraft refuels, passengers on BA1 can pre-clear US immigration. This means no waiting in long queues on arrival in New York!

The return flight BA2 operates direct from New York to London City Airport. Here are the schedules for these flights:

  • BA1 London City 09:40 – Shannon 11:00 / Shannon 11:50 – New York (JFK) 14:05
  • BA2 New York (JFK) 18:25 – London City 06:50 (+1 day)

Business Class is configured with 8 rows in a 2-2 layout. Each seat converts into a comfortable lie-flat bed, however there is no seat-back in-flight entertainment.

Flying from London City Airport, rather than Heathrow or Gatwick, is also advantageous. Although you’ll miss out on using airport lounges such as the new Qantas Lounge at Heathrow Airport, it’s much closer to the city.

Interested in taking this flight? Fares typically start from around $5,000 round-trip. But the good news for points collectors is that there are usually a couple of award seats available on these flights! You can book BA1/2 using Qantas points – or miles with any other Oneworld airline. It costs 53,000 Qantas points, one-way, for a seat on this flight.

Unfortunately, British Airways is notorious for its high fuel surcharges. This flight is no exception. The total fees & charges payable in addition to the points from London to New York are GBP375.14 ($653). On the return trip, you’d pay USD508.60 ($685) in additional charges.

The charges on BA1 do include the UK Air Passenger Duty. You can avoid this tax and reduce the charges payable by beginning your trip in continental Europe. Flying from Paris, Amsterdam or Berlin to New York (via London-City) costs 65,000 Qantas points and around €321 ($501) in charges.

You can book BA1 and BA2 using Qantas points on the Qantas website.

Would you like help with redeeming your frequent flyer points?

Frequent Flyer Solutions offers a personalised service that’s designed to take the hard work out of redeeming your frequent flyer points!

Award Flight Assist can help you to find the perfect flights using your points. Just let the team know how many points you have and where you would like to go, and they’ll prepare an itinerary for you.

Click here to learn more about Award Flight Assist.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]