Is ‘The Big British Airways Take Off’ sale worth a look?

I have done quite a bit of coverage of the Qatar business class fares out of Europe, the Finnair business class fares out of the UK and the British Airways business class fares out of Ireland in the last two weeks.

All of these offered business class flights to the USA, Middle East and Asia, complete with Avios and tier points as these are all oneworld alliance airlines, for little more than £1,000.

These deals have overshadowed the new UK British Airways sale somewhat.  I thought it was time to take a look at the deals on offer there.

The home page for the new sale is here.

It is called ‘The Big British Airways Take Off’ and runs until 22nd September.

British Airways Take Off

Here are the summary terms:

Book before 22nd September 2015

Travel dates usually vary considerably and – impressively – I can’t find them on ba.com at all!

The easiest way to check out the best prices to a specific destination is with the British Airways Low Fare Finder tool on ba.com. This will show you the cheapest price on any route, in any class, on month by month basis.

If you can be flexible with dates, there are some decent fares available.   Here are some major destinations, priced as World Traveller / World Traveller Plus / Club World / First:

New York £352 / £799 / £1,695 / £3,200

Miami £432 / £869 / £2,068 / £2,874

Abu Dhabi £415 / £957 / £1,546 / £2,546

Mumbai £443 / £744 / £1,831 / £2,831

Bangkok £529 / £1,112 / £2,659 / na

Tokyo £549 / £1,119 / £2,481 / £4,598

There are also some deals on European short-haul flights with some destinations under £200 return for 80 tier points.  I spotted Amsterdam, Angers, Dublin, Geneva and Quimper.  There are plenty more under £225 return as long as you stay away over a Saturday night.

In general, the Club World sale fares are about £200 more expensive than the last major sale back in May.  This does not apply to all destinations but it is a decent generalisation, presumably down to improving flight loads in premium cabins.

One route that caught my eye is Cape Town at £1,554 in Club World.  That fare is available in November, January and February.

Chengdu in China continues to be the cheapest Asian option at £1,794 in Club World.  That fare is beaten considerably by some of the Qatar and Finnair deals currently available, however.

There continue to be interesting anomalies.  Abu Dhabi, for example, is substantial cheaper than Dubai – even though the two airports are only a short taxi ride apart.  This is presumably due to Etihad picking up a lot of premium traffic.  It is worth noting that the Abu Dhabi flight is usually better timed for a day flight than the Dubai options.

The best thing to do if you are interested is to pop over to ba.com and have a look around.

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Comments

  1. JoshBosh says:

    Not strictly a sale fare, potentially another cock up on BA’s part, but 7500 zloty (about 1300 pounds) Warsaw to Saint Lucia in first is worth a mention I’d of thought. Managed to snag mine at around 2am. Only issue is the LHR to LGW treck, but that makes it pretty good on the way back for people to drop the last leg (if that way inclined).

    Oslo to Melbourne, then straight off to the Caribbean the day after…. My supercard is earning its space in my wallet this week!

  2. when looking at BA prices i think its worth factoring in the cost of seat selection (if you don’t have one world status), its free with most other carriers when flying in business however BA said recently they offer it in response to customer demand and that its very popular?! £55 per person per flight!

    • JoshBosh says:

      You are not forced to pay for selection so long as its not a HBO ticket, and at OLCI i’ve never been disappointed when putting family members in seats.
      Last week i quite happily got 63J&K (747) at OLCI, and 64A (my favourite seat) was available too.
      Two days ago i got 1F DUB-LHR at 90 minutes before take off, after i took an airport upgrade for the tier points.

      • I think the point being made is unless you’re Silver or Gold then nothing is guaranteed unless you pay the fees for seat selection. My partner and I are travelling to KL next year in Club and at present the fees are £70 per person each way. So we either are faced with paying £280 to guarantee the seats we want or taking the risk at OLCI. Therefore in my opinion the flights are effectively £140 extra per person.

      • in terms of seat 1F, the first 6 rows are reserved for gold status holders who can reserve in the first 6 rows at anytime. at T – 72 hrs these seats are then released to other status holders – but they will have generally picked a seat anyway by then in the other rows. So what happens is that the first 6 rows are a mixture of Golds and non status holders at (OLCI). Personally though i don’t like Row 1, Row 3 is better – more storage and served at the same time as Row 1.

        But my point is that if you want to compare like for like and the cost of a BA CW seat versus most other airlines business class products then you need to factor in that you won’t get free seat selection, which is a stupid situation. Even in Emirates economy i can choose my seat as soon as i have made the booking. Being charged £70 per seat per sector is an outrageous and unjustifiable charge.

    • Lady London says:

      Just to upset you, IME corporates and the corporate clients of the major business travel agents get it for free available immediately on booking.

  3. Bariummeal says:

    DUS – HKG rtn for £1200 start Dec looks look, but I decided to try Qatar AMS-HKG (Qatar 787 then Cathay 777) and return BKK-AMS (Qatar a380 and 787) for 1600 euros instead!

  4. Is there any point booking a BA sale fare these days when you have no idea if BA are going to honour your ticket or simply cancel it and call it a mistake 2 days later !!

  5. ‘One route that caught my eye is Cape Town at £1,554 in Club World. That fare is available in November, January and February.’ I wish!

    Clicking on your low fare link produces lowest fares of £2,961 for those months and most of the European winter. Availability at £1,554 must have dried up quickly.

    • £1554 still showing for November on the monthly planner, but click through to the next stage of booking process and the price doubles, or is this another ‘obvious’ error?

      • Oo er! I think I’ve found the discrepancy. I was looking for a 14 night stay, the longest that the dropdown box allows. These returned the £2,961 ‘lowest’ fares.

        Using the default 7 days, I found ONE departure in October at £1,825 and ONE in March for the same price, also a New Year’s Day departure at £1,872.

        Harrumph! 😀 When I go to CT, I need to be there for more than 7 nights. 🙂 Crazy calculator! I’ll fiddle around on the booking page in case lower prices appear.

  6. I’ve been an eclectic flyer, Virgin, BA, AA, First Choice but I made the decision to commit to BA and go for silver this year and gold next. I have to say everything I have seen so far in terms of BA has been a bit of a let down. I had my first ex-eu planned out of Dublin, waited for my new BAPP card to arrive. It arrived on Tuesday and when I came to book the fare had increased by nearly 200e, pp! The trip I was also going to book for HNL and LAS in June had increased by nearly 600e pp. So as I stand at the moment I have nothing booked. Reading flyertalk all of the really good fares (BA errors) get cancelled and the issues with prices expected vs prices charged to credit cards is off putting. Surely if BA make an error it’s on them, but that clearly isn’t the case. My ex-eu DUB-MCO is now £1200 pp and when I factor in the positioning flight it is still cheaper than a direct flight, but it’s hundreds not thousands and reading all of the deals that people have found previously I’m underwhelmed. Adrian

    • I had exactly the same problem ex-Dub to JFK. It went up £150 overnight earlier in the week. Still went for it as with the positioning flight – cityjet to LCY – it was still £750 cheaper. The trip effectively takes an extra day which means losing a day’s pay on top….I’m still releatively pleased with a £1250 flight (including £50 o/n in a HIX at DUB).

    • I hardly see how you can complain that a flight you saw days ago has changed in price…. That’s not remotely a BA thing, it’s an airline thing.

      BA also don’t cancel all good fares. They’ve cancelled a couple – one of which was blindingly obviously a mistake. Again, BA isn’t unique in cancelling error fares.

      That being said, it makes no sense whatsoever to me for a leisure traveller to choose one airline and stick with them. Lounge access etc may be nice, but it’s certainly not free as you’ll inevitably spend several hundred pounds extra to earn it.

  7. £2068 for Club World to Miami!?

    Wow, I genuinely didn’t realise how expensive CW was (or is the general consensus that its a good price?)

    Never travelled in Club World (but will likely fly it next year)

    • PS – Raffles – I used my Lloyds 2 for 1 voucher. One thing of note is that you cannot buy 2 x 1-ways online. The system doesn’t let you and you have to phone up – other than that, really easy process and a good saving (probably wouldn’t have been if we needed to come back, but we have plenty of AAdvantage for the return journey and as you know, the fee’s with them are low and only £7.20 for 2 x Business / First flights 🙂 )

      • Did they charge you the booking fee for phoning – I’m about to use my Lloyds voucher in a couple of weeks time.

        • No, they seemed well aware of the issue and there was no charge 🙂

          (you may be aware, but you are able do 2 x 1 ways on-line if you wish to also buy the return element) 🙂

          • I will need to phone as I want an open jaw ticket and also flying from Edinburgh which also doesn’t show up when trying to get CW flights.

          • I was wondering if someone could clarify this for me? I was wonering if using the upgrade voucher, what tax/fees am I supposed to be paying? (sorry without the voucher I am unable to do a dummy booking)

            For example, if using the voucher for RFS flight, am I supposed to be paying the fees of the economy class or the business class?
            Thank you.

          • You pay the fees for BOTH tickets. So, to Amsterdam, two tickets would be 9,000 Avios (instead of 18,000) plus £70 (2 x £35) of Reward Flight Saver tax return.

      • Thanks Andy, good to know

        • Thank you Rob,
          I think I have just found the T&C, it looks like passanger has to pay for the cabin that he or she is flying on.
          10. Customers who upgrade their journey using the upgrade voucher will have to pay the increase in airline taxes, fees and charges or increased Reward Flight Saver cost applicable to the cabin that the customer upgrades to.

  8. BA flies to Quimper, in Brittany? The website doesn’t seem to bring up any flights on any dates I tried.