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BA Club Europe revolution – cheap one-way tickets, no ‘Saturday night’ rule and free same day changes

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With no fanfare so far, it seems that British Airways has finally decided to bite the bullet.  Club Europe tickets are now available at sensible prices on many routes without the need to buy a return or stay for a Saturday night.

Here is an example.  A one-way to Hamburg next Tuesday comes in at £190 for the prime 07.10 departure (click to enlarge):

Hamburg price

and here is a return day trip:

Hamburg day trip

You would historically have been looking at £600+ for such a flight, I think.

These tickets also now come with some flexibility. 

Time/date changes permitted at any time before each flight departure for a change fee of £100 or an upgrade fee of £100 plus any difference in fare. Free changes on the day of departure provided changes are for same date/cabin/route/airport. Changes subject to availability. Fees apply per ticket.

The downside is that these tickets book into the ‘I’ ticket bucket and there isn’t much of that around at short notice.  However, as long as you can get the fare on one flight on the day you want, making that free change to a more convenient service should be possible.

If you can book further ahead than a few days, these prices are easy to find.  Looking for a return flight to Hamburg for mid September, I can get the £305 fare on the majority of flights.

Is this a smart move by British Airways or not?  The airline is clearly going to lose some revenue from companies who would book Club Europe for their employees irrespective of cost. There are still plenty of those around, in the City hedge fund and private equity boutiques at least.

On the other hand, the gap between Club Europe and Euro Traveller is now a lot smaller.  In the Hamburg example above for next Tuesday, Euro Traveller is £181.  The Club Europe premium is ‘only’ £124.

If that becomes the typical gap, then some companies will decide that it is worth paying.  Getting their employees lounge access, fast track and free food and drink will be seen as a good use of an additional, in this case, £62 each way.

Some passengers may also decide that it is worth paying the extra themselves in order to pick up 80 tier points and additional Avios.

It remains to be seen if this is just a trial or the start of the long-awaited adjustment of Club Europe pricing to commercial reality.  I am feeling positive though.

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Comments (115)

  • Paul says:

    I have just arrived in Bali and in the last week have taken 2 domestic flights with Garuda in Y.
    The first flight was propellers the second a 737-800.
    Neither flight was more than an hour indeed today it was 48 minutes flying time. But both left on time, leg room on both exceed BA club Europe and both delivered water a snack and a towelette with charm and grace. BA club Europe from LHR to MXP 10 days ago by comparison, is a third rate shabby product that simply won’t improve just because the fares been cut.
    For BA to do this they must be hurting a succesful product simply does not need to trash fares. Same day changes should be free but they should not be subject to the fare bucket being available. Let people standby as they do in the USA. It costs nothing and provides much needed goodwill.

  • Rob MC says:

    Trying to book an Iberia flight for a friend with miles. As i go through the booking before i pay it says i cannot select seats, im assuming as i am booking into business this is incorrect? Also as a beneficiary i need to put his passport number in to register him, he is going to renew his passport before the flight date, im guessing this is something that can be amended prior to flying and wont cause any issues? TIA

    • zsalya says:

      All Business seats have direct aisle access, so to me it doesn’t matter very much.
      Do make sure he realises they serve Cava rather than champagne!

  • James R says:

    I have an economy Stockholm flight booked for November. The upgrade option hasn’t changed in price. Wonder if that will stay the same on all routes.

  • James R says:

    OT – Anybody else still waiting on their 1k Marriott Avios?

  • dicksbits says:

    Is BA still intending to further densify it’s short-haul airbus fleet to squeeze in an extra two rows? If so Club Europe won’t feel so ‘premium’s front with even less legroom.

  • HAM76 says:

    Thanks, great tip! My emerald status courtesy of airberlin until 2019 might be withdrawn any day now, so I decided to renew my BA silver status for which I’m lacking another 20 TP this year.

    Just booked a “LHR lounge discovery and Galleries First Farewell” trip for next Saturday in CE. The outbound from HAM is paid for, the return (due to LHR taxes) is on Avios.

  • Benedict says:

    As of today, BA hasn’t seen the light at Barcelona 🙁