Concorde flight numbers, private experience…

Travel is about nostalgia, and for anyone who missed Concorde, a chance to fly on Speedbird 1, or Speedbird 2 is a pretty cool nostalgic experience. The business class only flights, aboard a custom modified Airbus A318 flying between London City (LCY) and New York’s (JFK) airport are easily amongst the most unique flying experiences you’ll find these days – and for a limited time, availability using points is absolutely fantastic.

The Flight

British Airways use a custom, modified Airbus A318 for their 32 seat, business class only “baby bus” or “British Airways private jet” flights between London City and New York City. From London to New York, these planes stop at Shannon, IRELAND to refuel, where all passengers clear U.S. immigration, making arrival in NYC a total breeze. You just walk off the plane like a domestic flight. On the return leg from New York JFK, the plane flies direct to London, landing into the extremely central London City Airport at a nice hour of the morning. With just 32 seats on board, the service is phenomenal and when the plane isn’t quite full, which is often the case lately, many passengers get two seats! One for a bed, and one for relaxing! We’ve reviewed the experience, here.

Availability Is Incredible

We searched late August, September, October and beyond and found many months where you could virtually pick any date, and find more than 4 seats available. In fact, at the time of writing, you could pick any date which the flight operates in September and score at least two seats. Let that be the last time people complain about Avios availability to New York City. The flights require 60,000 points on peak (August, early September dates) and 50,000 off peak each way. Taxes and fees are the same as any other London to NYC business class flight on British Airways. Search one way at a time for best results, rather than round trip.

How To Search

Go to British Airways website, go to the usual Executive Club, “Spending My Avios” and perform a standard search. Instead of entering London to New York City, enter LCY to JFK, or vice versa for the search criteria. Sure enough, you’ll see absolutely wide open availability for this wonderfully unique “private jet” experience to NYC. Same goes for the return, where you’ll search JFK to LCY. As far as privacy, peace and quiet, you just can’t beat it. And here are 10 things to avoid once you get to New York City.

Are you going to give Speedbird 1 a try?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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15 Comments

  1. Bring back the good old days where you used to get Avios & TPs as if you were flying F on the baby bus.

    Oh, but even better just bring Concorde back 🙂

  2. Are these flights blocked from using the Lloyds upgrade voucher (possibly because there is no prem economy to upgrade from)? I can’t see any availability on Avios.com.

    1. Try searching for LON-JFK, not LCY. The flights do show up and you can use the LLoyds voucher for these flights.

      E.g. 20th Sep, 26000 Avios one way, with the voucher.

      The voucher doesn’t work on other LCY flights.

  3. I travelled JFK to LCY on BA0002 last summer. I was really excited and looking forward to it, but what could have been an amazing experience was let down by an awful family imposing their poor behaviour on others. On boarding the parents parked themselves at the back of the plane and promptly fell asleep (snoring very loudly for the duration of the flight). They left their poorly mannered children unattended at the front, who spent the entire flight running along the aisle, loud speaker on their phones, rustling, shouting and generally just being very annoying. Bear in mind this is supposed to be a sleeper service. We got little sleep. The crew were as frustrated as we were and tried to politely tell them to pack it in, but essentially said there was nothing they could do about it. So what I’m trying to say is, this could be a great experience, but the plane is small and it’s difficult to escape the noise of other passengers. Luck of the draw I suppose, but it marred what I thought was going to be a ‘luxury’ experience. Arrival at LCY was however excellent. From disembarkation to taxi in less than 10 minutes.

  4. Can’t seem to search for these at all, tried for the past 30m and the BA site just gives an error message. No wonder the flights are so empty, no one can book them!

    1. Try searching in an incognito window. But no, there’s no trick here. And every date is open, so you can always call.

  5. No immediate plans to re-visit London, but if/when I do, would love to try Freebird/Speedbird!

  6. Just checked – zero availability August or September, direct booking or using vouchers.

    1. Funny you say that… because every date is still available. In one click I picked any day from August 28th – September 20th. ANY DATE.

  7. Thanks for sharing. I was just able to find some availability in mid-October as well. New to the game, so I find it difficult speinging 60k points + over $500 YQ. for a flight that short. #firstworldproblems

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