Free First Class upgrade on Heathrow Express for BAEC members extended

Heathrow Express has extended the ‘free First Class upgrade’ promotion for British Airways Executive Club members until the end of September.  It was meant to finish at the end of August.

Whilst you need to book by 30th September, you can use the tickets for three months from the date of purchase.  This effectively takes you up to the end of the year.

This offer is ONLY available if you book via the dedicated Heathrow Express / British Airways website. The good news is that you will also receive a handful of Avios points with your purchase.

The discount only shows if you click through from ba.com (Heathrow Express does this quite often these days with special offers). You need to visit this page on ba.com and then click the link to go to the Heathrow Express site.

Heathrow Express

The (minor) downside is that the upgrade is not genuinely free. You can currently save 12% on a Heathrow Express ticket by using the special MasterCard offer I outlined here.

This means that the upgrade is costing you the 12% differential in ticket price between the BA site and the MasterCard site, albeit this is offset by the 100 Avios earned.

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Comments

  1. Still the most expensive train journey in Britain which has the most expensive fares in all of Europe.
    In most cases if travelling to Central London it is quicker and cheaper to take the Tube as the train goes to Paddington only.

    • Indeed – and even if you’re going to Paddington, the Heathrow Connect is half the price of the Heathrow Express and only takes about 10 minutes longer. The Heathrow Express is really only for those claiming expenses and deluded tourists.

      • (EDITED as I can’t do sums)

        You would, on average, be waiting 7.5 minutes more for a HC than a HEx, given the 30 minute vs 15 minute frequency. Total average extra journey time will be 19 minutes.

        • True. I guess that might make a difference if you are within walking distance of Paddington and so can gauge exactly when to arrive at the station for the train. Otherwise, it’s less of a factor. I know for sure that I’ve often arrived at Heathrow station and seen Connect trains depart while I wait for my pre-booked Express train.

          Depends on how much one values the saving. I’m always slightly amused by the way that this website and its readers extol the virtues of spending time earning a couple of hundred miles, worth one or two pounds, but can be quite sniffy about a real monetary saving! :))

      • But the Connect is only every 30 minutes, no?

  2. Have to disagree with the increase of 15 minutes in average wait:
    HEx goes every 15 mins => average wait of 7.5 minutes if you turn up randomly.
    HC goes every 30 mins => average wait of 15 mins if you turn up randomly.

  3. Tube from Kings Cross for me always.
    £2.60ish with my Oyster Card and I don’t have the bother of getting the tube to Paddington and then the Hex @ £21 for a single (+tube fare) and only saving 10 mins or so by doing so.

  4. I’m pretty savvy on UK train travel, yet I was caught out by HEx a couple of years ago thanks to a bug on National Rail’s website.

    Transferring late one Friday evening from Euston by tube to Paddington, National Rail were showing a departure at a specific time to Heathrow as being a HC service (covered by my existing ticket). The electronic board on the platform at Paddington showed only the departure time and destination, and the first carriage of the train where I boarded carried absolutely no branding inside or out. It was also a tatty old train. I thought I was on the advertised HC.

    Turned out it was a HEx and we were dinged for two brand new tickets. I had screenshots of the erroneous NR web screens, and meant to follow up on this, but, after an enjoyable holiday, I wrote it off to experience.

  5. will this work for gatwick express?

  6. I’m looking forward to Crossrail taking over the Connect service – direct to LHR from Liverpool St then!

    • flyforfun says:

      Have they announced pricing for XR yet? Thought I had read that as Heathrow.com built the tracks, (the spur from the main line) there hadn’t been any agreement on whether it would be part of the TfL fares or not. Also, will it go to T4 and/or T5 or just stop at T123?

  7. This is the equivalent of getting a free seat upgrade to CE for take off on a European flight and then having to go back to your seat at 10k, which is barely any different anyway. The mind boggles.