Short haul Club Europe bargains from £175 in the British Airways sale

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(EDIT:  BA has pushed up some fares since this article was written.  So much for a sale  …..!)

The launch of the British Airways Winter Sale was overshadowed by the Air Traffic Control meltdown which occurred on the same day.  Aviation is always a tricky business to manage at the best of times.

The long haul part of the sale is ‘average’ as far as I’m concerned.  What IS of potential interest is that the ‘ex-Europe’ sale has also now launched, so you may want to check your target destination for prices out of Copenhagen, Brussels, Dublin, Amsterdam and Oslo.  These have all offered aggressive prices over the past year.  I will pick out some of the best deals next week.

I was taking a look at short-haul prices out of the UK yesterday.  The easiest way to do this is to look at the Low Fare Finder tool on which is one of the cleverest wheezes that BA has launched in recent years.

I spotted was some decent deals in Club Europe.  These will be of special interest to anyone who is close to requalifying for Silver or Gold status and would like 80 cheap tier points to top up their balance.

BA Luxury World

If you set a cap of £225, the following routes look interesting.  Note that you can get tickets at these prices for most of the 2015:

  • Gatwick to Alicante £174 return
  • City to Amsterdam £198 return
  • City to Angers £199 return
  • Gatwick to Barcelona £175 return
  • Heathrow to Bilbao £175 return
  • Gatwick to Bordeaux £219 return
  • City to Dublin £199 return
  • Gatwick to Geneva £219 return
  • Gatwick to Ibiza £224 return
  • Gatwick to Malaga £174 return
  • Gatwick to Nice £220 return
  • Gatwick to Pisa £219 return
  • City to Quimper £195 return
  • Gatwick to Rome £219 return
  • Gatwick to Seville £175 return
  • Gatwick to Turin £219 return
  • Gatwick to Venice £219 return
  • Gatwick to Verona £220 return
  • City to Zurich £199 return

If you look at short-haul economy, there is a LOT available for under £100 per person.  Bilbao starts at a laughable £66 return.  Again, the Low Fare Finder tool is your friend.

All of these fares need to be booked by 27th January at  They are, in general, valid for almost all of 2015.

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  1. Useful list there.

    I hope you’ll forgive me for making the point that they’re much less attractive to those of us who don’t live within reasonable travelling distance of those departing airports. That’s particularly so for LCY & LGW departures where there aren’t any regional connections into those airports.

    Not a criticism just an observation – Merry Christmas!

  2. I am not seeing all of those offers on the BA web site. For example cheapest Alicante is £219, Barcelona £220, … unless you are using an additional trick which I’m missing.

    • I wrote that article on Thursday for publication on Friday but it got pushed back, Mark. Hands up – I did not double-check the fares again last night before it ran.

  3. Quimper. How on earth do you find out that BA flies there. I didn’t even realise it had an airport.

    • Nick Burch says:

      It’s a very pleasant if short flight from city! Airport is just outside of town, there is a bus which leaves from by the mini roundabout at the entrance to the airport, but timings are a bit sporadic. Hire cars available. Airport is very small, with the plane only just fitting, but quite friendly all the same, eg if you’re waiting an hour for the bus… Works well for seeing a nice bit of Brittany!

      • Would have been exceptionally handy when I used to work for my previous employer and I had to go to Quimper for audits. But I think the extremely adorable Finance Manager has moved to another location, so no point in a quick trip!

    • Very useful for those of us that want to get to Brittany quickly…..

  4. poincianakings says:

    It would appear that since Rob wrote the article all the fares have jumped up slightly.

    Bilbao in CE is, for example, now £220.00 return and £73.00 for ET.

    There, of course, is no getting away from the fact that the prices are very competitive. Either the fare rises are just a bit of bad luck combined with the timing of this article, or BA revenue management saw the article and raised prices (highly doubtful!).

    • That is a bit tight – you either have a sale or you don’t. I actually wrote that piece on Thursday based on the rates showing then, it ended up getting pushed back a few days.

  5. Cheshire Pete says:

    The Alicante route in CE has been cheap for some time since their last luxury sale. I already have 2 sets of flights books for February and September both at £98 each way. You’ll get that back in champagne if nothing else!

    • Iv noticed Malaga used to be priced higher then Alicante but recently is about the same. I prefer Malaga for a short few rays in the sun

  6. EXCLUSIVE: Holiday flights bonanza! Ticket prices slashed by up to half

    MILLIONS of holidaymakers will be able to grab rock-bottom fares in the new year, with some flights nearly 50 per cent lower.

    Obviously I would never buy this newspaper – but fair article and the inference is surely: can we get better value by not using Avios but by simply buying a cheaper ticket? I explored this a few months ago and my 7500 + £17.50 RFS ticket was matched by BA’s £64 no hand luggage – easy – but what if other providers have even sharper deals? they will, increasingly so if oil stays sub $60.

  7. I wish the airlines would offer cheap deals for Xmas instead of the high fares they charge. That’s why we are staying in the UK, could not justify £996 for two return airfares to Spain adding in cost if a villa & car it was going to cost £2000 before anything else. One ov the low cost carriers wanted over £1000 for flights. Such a rip off!

    • You have to get in early. We fly out to Europe every Xmas, Easter, summer holidays, usually half terms in June & October as well. 5 of us and never failed yet to get either Avios RFS flights or cheapo BA or EJ/RA tickets for the required dates. But I don’t hang about.

      5 of us 😉

      I’ll be looking to book Xmas 2015 outward in about 12 or so days’ time just as soon as December gets released lol.

      Not always a brilliant idea to book ahead so far as RFS availability can often improve as time goes by. But with Xmas / school holidays you need a bit of certainty. And of course you need to avoid falling into the trap of paying through the nose by leaving it too late. Our 7500 Avios + taxes flights this Xmas are now priced at £850! Some years I’ve seen £1000+!

      • I booked this years christmas flights to Warsaw in March. Flying out on ba for £90 each in economy. And then skiing for new year I booked in feb . £290 all in for 2 people with a passsat size car hire.

        Christmas you need to book early.

      • Or, of course, befriend a BA Gold and get them to book you a Gold Priority Reward.

        We have some flights booked for half-term in February when BA wanted £500 per person in economy. (Feb half-term is horrendous because everyone wants the same few flights to the same few places, and they all want to leave on Friday night or Saturday to get a full weeks holiday in.) 18,000 Avios per person on a Gold Priority Reward was a steal.

        • Iv never done this before. Is it possible for every flight? And is there a time period? I’m guessing I cant do it 24h before? seems a very good use of avios for emergency situations. I’m In a kind of emergency situation now where have just cancelled my weeks accommodation over ny in Andorra. Cant find anywhere to stay in any of the Pyrenees major resorts close to a ski lift and for a decent price. Luckily ba changed the flight time last week by 2h 25m on the outbound which allowed me to cancel the flights and car hire today. Anyway. Now I need to find somewhere else to go however flights to Swiss, Austria and Italy are all £600pp.

  8. Singing Dwarf says:

    [Off Topic] Removal of children from Household Account

    I know this has been discussed before, but I emailed BA recently to ask what would happen if I removed the childrens accounts from the Household account. The website warned me that their accounts would be deleted if I tried this, so I emailed, asking what would happen to their Avios, earned in their own names.

    I was informed that “If you delete your children from your Household Account profile, the Avios balance lying in their respective account also will be deleted.”.

    Can anybody confirm if this is a change, as I have elsewhere (possibly FT?) that removing a childs account causes the Avios to be credited to the head of household account?

    • I can guarantee you that they (used to) go to the head of the account. The HHA rules are not clear although if the agent read 18.1.13 it would explain why they said what they said.

    • If indeed that is the case, I wouldn’t risk it. Just do what I did….Transfer their ba avios quickly into a family avios account, then separate it out again, with the kids avios being credited to your account. Just make sure each form is signed with 100% of their avios to go to the head account holder or wherever you want them. Bingo saved, not lost. It’s a faffle but works. They have to mail you the forms or print them out, send by post, very snail mail etc.. But at least in the end they are not lost. Am sure they are very hard earned too!

      • Or just use up all the Avios first, before deleting the kids.

        • Or, move Avios from your account to a personal or Iberia account. Leave just enough so that the kids plus what you left behind is exactly what you are redeeming. It will zero all the accounts and you can then move your personal points back.

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