BA Sale

Free First Class upgrade on Heathrow Express for BAEC members

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(EDIT:  This offer has been extended to September 30th)

British Airways and Heathrow Express have joined up to offer a FREE upgrade to First Class if you book a Heathrow Express ticket before August 31st.  You can travel at any time until the end of November.

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 (Heathrow Express does this quite often these days with special offers).  You need to visit this page on 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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  1. Johnny5a says:

    looks like you can’t get a railcard discount

  2. andy stock says:

    No network rail gold card discount – 33%.

    • John Seto says:

      I’m not sure why they don’t allow railcard discounts online or at the machines, it’s a real PITA to buy them at the airport long queues

      there is no technical reason why they can’t offer it

      • At Paddington, you can buy a HEx ticket with a railcard via a standard train booking site like redspottedhanky and then collect it from a National Rail ticket machine (not a HEx one) at Paddington. Doesn’t help at Heathrow ….

        • andystock says:

          I plan to use my redspotted hanky world cup winings for an HX ticket with a gold railcard discount.

  3. I’ll stick with the tube. £5 return Vs. £34 return on the HEX (+tube fares to/from Paddington)

    • Correct, it should be £5 each way on HEx, disgusting monopolistic service. A representation of everything that is wrong with heathrow.

      • agreed, And it will be a spanner in the works of Crossrail. £15billion of public money has been sunk into that project and it would make sense to integrate HEx into the Crossrail services. But they intend to keep it as a separate, overpriced operation using up valuable paths on the mainline which could be put to better use either by crossrail or mainline services.

      • Lady London says:

        …and the pricing is a representation of everything that is wrong with UK rail overall and the idea that all transport to airports should be a “gouge” price with the exception of the Tube and very slow buses.

    • andystock says:

      One major advantage of Heathrow Express and Connect v the pic line at this time of year is air conditioning! Remember the circle, Hammersmith, and District lines (edgware road branch) from Paddington have air conditioning

  4. Julie Whitton says:

    Why would anyone want to travel First on the HEX? Surely it’s a complete waste of money.

    • I think (could be wrong) that you only got Wi-Fi in First which kept a lot of the bankers and consultants happy.

      • India Man says:

        No, I travelled HEx last week and there’s definitely Wi-Fi available to the lower classes.

      • Planet says:

        WiFi is available across all classes. but you can get individual seat for first class. that’s it.

      • Dominic says:

        It is meant to be throughout the train, but it almost always is not working in either class!

    • To have a seat in a calm, quiet carriage. If I’ve spent some thousands on business flights, I’m not going to care about an extra £10 for a train ride.

      Occasionally it’s even more worth it, such as when they have a reduced service and you have the entire platform trying to cram in to two standard carriages.

  5. How much does it cost to use other airport train services around the world? Makes an interesting comparison, in a lot of cases they aren’t dedicated airport services but mainline trains, but even then they are the equivalent of HEX (as opposed to the London Tube).

    • I think I paid about £5 in Amsterdam earlier this year. That is slightly different though as the trains pass through Schiphol on their way south anyway so it is similar to Gatwick.

      You need to remember that Heathrow paid for tunnelling and the spur itself in the first place.

      • AndyGWP says:

        I think when I’m in Copenhagen in a few weeks, it will cost ~£4 for the train from the airport into the centre… or, I can pay ~£8 for a 24 hour pass that will allow me to use all public transport (useful as I want to go back to CPH that evening) –> presumably these prices are similar to Oyster / Underground travel to LHR, however I can’t comment on the standard of the travel yet

        • Lady London says:

          Oslo is very similar about £9 for a 1-day ticket. You can buy this at the airport. It covers your journey from and to the airport and all forms of transport in Oslo for the day.

        • It’s quick and efficient, no issues with it when I used it at the end of last year 🙂

    • Andrew S says:

      Was in Geneva last week… Free public transport from the airport 🙂

    • Andrew says:

      The Arlanda Express in Stockholm costs around £22 each way so almost the same as Heathrow. Having said that it covers almost twice the distance in about the same time so is a genuine ‘express’ as opposed to the Heathrow Express. They’ll even give you a refund if the train is 2 minutes late. HEx won’t do so until a full 15 minutes. Embarrassing really.

    • 170 NOK (£15-17 depending on exchange rates) each way from Oslo to airport. Fast and efficient, although we did have an unexpected short delay en route. Much easier to use, as you can just swipe your CC at each end rather than have to get a ticket from a machine.

  6. Possibly worth pointing out the duo deal if there are 2 people travelling – personally I think a discount on an expensive journey is better than an upgrade on something so short. Good for singles though

  7. oyster says:

    Unless you live or work very close to Paddington then the cost of HEX is not worth it as the time savings are tiny for the extra cost.

  8. There’s always the Heathrow Connect, too. About £9 single and the journey is half an hour. It’s almost never full – most tourists who don’t use the tube seem to go for the HEx. Of course, if you are going anywhere other than Paddington, the tube is infinitely better, particularly if your station happens to be on the Piccadilly line anyway.
    Also, given that the HEx journey is only 15-20 minutes, WIFI access and a slightly more comfortable seat are definitely NOT worth paying extra for!

    • Richard Gadsden says:

      Do bear in mind that Heathrow Connect will become part of Crossrail when that finally opens.

      Direct to Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, or Canary Wharf is going to make Heathrow Express look a bit pathetic.

      Especially when the Heathrow Express passenger arrives at Paddington to work out how to get to their destination and the helpful staffer suggest that they get onto Crossrail.

  9. Imagine you’re a tourist, you fall for the Heathrow Express ticket touts as you come out from arrivals and pay the exorbitant fare … and when you arrive at the platform you see a Heathrow Connect about to leave and only taking 3 minutes longer in journey time and at a fraction of the cost. Welcome to Britain?!
    What’s worse is that the electronic departure boards are placed at platform level after the ticket office thus making it difficult for even those in the know to make a proper choice …

  10. Roger Wilco says:

    Just a note – the booking page said 400 Avios for a 1st class r/t ticket.

    Thanks for the tip, a free upgrade is always better than a fist in the eye 🙂

  11. ComeFlyWithMe123 says:

    Extended to 30th Sept 2014

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