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):
and here is a return 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.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 2022)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.