Viva West Sussex! British Airways announced it will launch a direct flight between Gatwick Airport (LGW) and Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) as soon as next spring.
From March 26 until Oct. 28, 2023, a Boeing 777-200 service will operate three times a week (Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays) for passengers looking to reach the gambling mecca.
Flyers will depart Gatwick at 11 a.m. local time and touch down in Sin City at 1:50 p.m. there. Leaving Las Vegas will involve a 3:40 p.m. departure with an arrival of 9:40 a.m. the following day back in England.
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Tickets are on sale now, starting from a lead-in price of 426 British pounds ($491) for a round-trip ticket in the carrier’s World Traveller economy cabin.
When TPG selected the economy option leaving Sunday, March 26 and returning Tuesday, April 4, we found a round-trip fare plus taxes and fees came to 546.62 pounds ($631).
When we selected premium economy on the same dates, we saw a total price of 1,189.12 pounds ($1,371.74).
A seat in business class in the same time frame will set you back 2,340.12 pounds ($2,699.50). (This may sound like a decent chunk of change, but it’s still a whole lot cheaper than the cost of seeing Adele in residency at Caesar’s Palace the same month.)
BA economy flights LGW to LAS in March 2023. BRITISHAIRWAYS.COM
If you want to use Avios rather than cash, we found Reward Flight Saver availability for the same dates. The best economy option costs 14,450 Avios plus 615 pounds ($709.45), including taxes and fees. Based on TPG’s current Avios valuation of 1.1 points per cent, we would value this redemption at 773.95 pounds ($892.81) — so, in this instance, the sale cash price would be the much better option.
The same goes for premium economy fares: The best value is 33,000 Avios plus 873.32 pounds ($1,007.44), valued at 1,236.32 pounds ($1,426.19) for these dates, making the sale price cheaper.
At the time of writing, there was no award availability for business-class tickets.
Passengers could previously fly direct from Gatwick to Las Vegas on Virgin Atlantic, which had operated the route since the turn of the millennium. However, the carrier moved the service to Heathrow Airport (LHR) in 2018, and the Sussex airport hasn’t had a direct flight to Nevada since.
British Airways currently operates around two direct flights to Las Vegas a day between Heathrow and Las Vegas.
In August, the Nevada city saw its largest tourist numbers since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic; the city welcomed about 3.5 million visitors and saw a weekend hotel occupancy of 91%.
British Airways is likely looking forward to seeing a return to normalcy by the spring. It’s been a difficult year for the U.K.’s flagship airline, which continues to suffer from logistical issues and recently announced it will be cutting 10,000 flights this winter alone.
Related: You can now cancel British Airways bookings for free even if made before the pandemic
This equates to 4,000 seats per day at current levels, or between 1.8 and 2 million seats from late October to March 2023. On top of that, the carrier still has to meet quotas for Heathrow’s controversial flight cap, which will be in place until next March at the very least.
Gatwick, on the other hand, has just ended its own flight cap. The airport continues to gain strength following the reopening of its South Terminal which had been closed due to the COVID-19 lockdown and travel restrictions.
Will a fresh Vegas route prove to be another advantage for the airport?
You can bet on it.
Featured photo by Rebecca Ang/Getty Images.