Very aggressive BA Club World Christmas sale – £1,000 return to various destinations

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This is one of the rare middle-of-the-day posts that I run when something crops up which I don’t necessarily expect to be around for long.

Something odd is happening with British Airways Club World pricing to various destinations over Christmas.  It is not clear if this is a fare mistake or if BA is just very keen to sell space on what will be fairly empty flights (in the pointy end, anyway).

British Airways

The following destinations are currently bookable on from £1,000 return in Club World:

Bombay (£1,400, an outlier)

Delhi (£1,400)

Calgary (£1,006)

Mexico City (£1,008)

Montreal (£1,006)

Rio (£1,008)

Sao Paulo (£1,008)

Toronto (£1,006)

Vancouver (£1,006)

Remember that you would a slug of Avios points back as well – plus tier points – making the effective cost well under £1,000.

The fare rules are:

Outbound travel 22nd December to 1st January

Must return by 12th January

It is possible that other destinations are available as well although the good people of Flyertalk haven’t tracked any others down.  Availability varies from good (Sao Paulo) to pretty poor, depending on route.

I would assume that these fares could also be upgraded to First Class, Avios availability permitting, but don’t quote me on that!

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  1. Came across it by chance early this morning, booked GRU at 5am, took no chances on that price dissapearing!

  2. Doesn’t look like a mistake – just a very aggressive three-day sale. Maybe it was intended to be a CyberMonday thing but they forgot to announce it? 🙂

    ON 12JAN 14.

    05DEC 13.

  3. Totally gutted – am off to Brazil for Xmas and booked back in Jan to get a decent price (which it was by normal standards) of around £900ea economy. Ho-hum……

    • Craig – is that economy price on a flexible / refundable ticket? In which case, book Club now and cancel the Y ticket!

      • FromTheRail says:

        exactly what i was thinking

      • Looks like I can pay Opodo £100 per transaction to cancel (presumably a single charge then) but I paid £2619 for TAM flights to Curitiba 20/12 to 6/1. Whilst internal flights in Brazil are pretty cheap (v.little tax at all) – it looks like I can get ones for £273 on top of LHR-GRU for £2,900 for 3 of us – the hassle of changing carriers and paying c.670 extra in all for what would be 3 less days holiday (22/12-5/1) as well as inconveniencing our family there is just a little too much for it to work this time. Just a little irritating given it’s normally c.£4,000 to go business.
        Will watch out for a similar sale next winter though, just in case.

        • Be careful with Opodo cancellation rules. It probably says that Opodo will charge you £100 ON TOP of the airline cancellation charge, which would be 100% anyway if it is discounted economy.

  4. Eastwood says:

    To bring friends together. To share in person, rather than just online. This is why we’ve created a Facebook app that helps bring you together with friends around the world.

    My Flying Network™ pinpoints your friends’ nearest airports, calculates how many Avios you need to visit, then shows you available reward flights to make booking to see your friends easier.

    And to bring you closer even sooner, the first 100 Members who log in to the Facebook app will receive 1,000 Avios.

  5. Eastwood says:

    Got the email above and logged in, thought I would post if people are quick enough. I am sure Raffles will be along shortly to tidy it up

  6. No special fares for Sydney not that I was expecting any lol

  7. Scottnothing says:

    I will be raising a glass to you Raffles when I fly LHR to GIG on 22 Dec (and again on the return leg). Thanks so much.

  8. Raffles, do you not ever pinch yourself in the bottom and think ‘reality’. £100 would be worthy of a post. £1,000??? Who ever pays that????

    You are probably bored of my lectures on how to obtain real hotel value.

    I have not yet met in my life a person who has or would ever stay at these hotel chains of yours.

    I always report from the hotels I stay in. The next, as some others have already commented on, will be ‘The Colours West’ in four week’s time. This is £7.90 per night for sole occupancy on an all-inclusive basis.


    • Janeyferr says:

      When i first saw this post I did chuckle to myself about how I live in a different world to the target demographic of this blog. Reading the details makes it even more amusing, as if I did have a spare months wages to spend on a flight I can just imagine trying to get last minute cover over the holiday period at work.

    • You should set up a separate budget blog, would be fun to read. If you read some of the comments on here you will see that in this case, with this offer, there is a drastically reduced difference between economy and business. Although its possible to get a cheap ticket to Turkey trying to get one for long haul is nigh on impossible, but when they do appear it’s on here i can read about them e.g. Norwegian Air.

      Its always good to write reviews about hotel experiences, i do it too to share with others – good and bad. I see you have already written a comprehensive review of Colours West on Tripadvisor after a brief visit, and yet before staying there – that’s a novel and inventive approach.

    • Tim, I think you might be being a tad harsh! Thanks to raffles I bagged a night in the melia grand (madrid) for free, now I am on the way to 250,000!

      Would you care to point me to some of your links on hotel value I’d be interested to save a few quid !


    • Well, as of the time stamp of this comment, about 2,260 people have voluntarily chosen to read that post (ie clicked on it from the home page) plus the 1,600 who had it emailed to them regardless …

      Given that this site logged 69,000 unique visitors in November, it appears that there is a market!

      If you look at the Quantcast profile of Head for Points ( you will see that, compared to the UK average, a HFP reader is substantially more likely to earn £70,000+ and a lot more likely to earn £50,000-£70,000.

      And, of course, as per the top comment, you would have paid £900 for a Christmas flight to Brazil in Economy if you booked a year in advance, so £1000 for business seems a decent deal.

      • Raffles i have thought a few times that you should do an article and let everyone post what they have achieved/accrued this year in reading your blog, perhaps the year end would be a good excuse?

        What i have gained this year, and more importantly, what is planned ahead makes me a happy man! I would struggle to remember it all as its a diverse list (i.e. Achica free stuff, Redspotted hanky vouchers, as well as the 250,000 avios and 180,000 IHG points)!

        • I like the idea of the achievements article. It could be a nice opportunity to say thank you to Raffles as well. I am not (yet) one of Britain’s top earners, but thanks to Raffles I sit in the same lounges and premium cabins and sleep in the same suites like many of them.

    • Tim, I think you’re being a bit harsh too! You may not have met anyone who stays in these hotel chains but that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there. I work away. I stay in them regularly. So do lots of my colleagues. Presumably too so do the thousands of people reading Raffle’s blog. There’s lots of different groups in the world different to the one we’re in!

    • Calchas says:

      Hi Tim, not to lay into you for your dismissal of the value of Raffle’s blog(!), but a quick look at your profile suggests you were or are an academic? If so, surely you are often staying at Marriotts, Crowne Plazas and so on on research trips and conferences—certainly I stayed at more than a few during my PhD. Plus I’m sure you are aware that if your travel dates are inflexible you can pay a lot more than £1000 even for a deep discount restricted economy ticket. 🙂

      • Calchas, whilst I strongly believe that Tim was incorrect I am gobsmacked at your suggestion that academics regularly stay in Marriots and Crowne Plazas – and as for PhD students! Perhaps you are in a discipline with lots of dosh (medicine, civ eng?) but my experience of UK academe (humanities) is that cheap B&Bs and the odd travellodge (more often student halls of residence) is the lot of me and my colleagues. Hence why I love HfP so that, just occasionally, I can de-slum and travel in the pointy end!

        • Calchas says:

          I was in the physical sciences, which does seem to attract a little more funding than humanities, and my particular project involved a lot of travel to work on particular facilities with international collaborators. Also my advisor had begun to hate travelling by this point so he preferred to send his students to represent him at conferences and international meetings rather than go himself.
          I had more than my fair share of down-in-the-dump hotels and guest houses but the big American science conferences were usually hosted in very upmarket places. Always economy class flights though.

    • Mummy55 says:

      I guess that’s not your boat your on in the picture???

    • £1,000 rtn to get to Brazil is fantastic value – it’s normally £4,000 rtn to go business class. This price puts it around the same price as economy class.

  9. The MBNA / BMI credit card 10% discount also seems to work with these fares! It knocks 10% off the base fare, so about another £40 off the ticket.

  10. James67 says:

    Raffles has to post according to his own experience and interest, and personally I am happy with that. It would be unreasonable for us to expect him to cover every angle and devote time to developing new expertise in different areas such as budget hotels that have little interest to him. That said, I feel it is unfair to suggest that he needs a reality check or fails to address topics of lower earners. Raffles has frequently posted on good options and strategies for beginner point collectors to enable them to get otherwise unattainable tastes of vetter flights or hotels. He has posted on getting free, virtually free, abd heavily discounted hotels fro budget through premium chains. Likewise, he has posted on discounts and promos for economy flights as well a premium flights. He has posted also on how to save money on standard rail fares. Postas have also addressed saving a few.quid here and there on FX and high street spening, and on best use of credit cards to save cash or collect points and miles. All of this is relevant across the whole income spectrum. It is true there is emphasis on business class reward flight but reason for this is largely because that is where the best value with redemptions.are found. For example longhaul economy or short haul redemptions.are often more expensive than their revenue equivalents. I now am able to work only part time and have income under £30pa, however, thanks first to FT friends including Raffles on BMI forum, and latterly to HFP on avios I have flew all my longhaul flights in business or first class since 2001. Currently I am in Hong Kong staying in HIE that usually vosts around £100/night but it cost me £100 for 7 nights – £100 for black visa and the other 35k points were free from the picture game last year. Next year I will stay in Japan for 6 nights for free in £300+/night hotels for nothing except meeting target spend on spg and gold cards. So all I can say to Raffles and others like him is thanks a million for making it all possible for me.

    • Couldn’t have put it better myself James 🙂

      • Ditto! If not of interest then no need to follow the blog – personally I really appreciate all the effort Raffles puts into the site.

    • Well said James. I enjoy all of Raffles posts even when many are not directly relevant to me….. My friends might benefit if I tell them or I might find the post helpful at a later date, more likely though it will inspire me to think differently about my travel, spending and collecting habits. Again thank you Raffles.

      • I can’t imagine life without HFP

      • Even the ones which don’t directly help me I enjoy as it’s very pleasing to think that other HfP readers (and Raffles himself) are getting some benefit.

        • Agree Susan, it seems we belong to a decent community of HfPers who value others…. Here’s hoping the growing community continue to value each,other eh?

          • Janeyferr says:

            I love HfP, I read it every day, but I’ll always be a 20 clubcard points on cabbage than a £20k credit card spending threshold kinda person.

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