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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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How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

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Comments (115)

  • BlackBerryAddict says:

    I don’t think that companies who have banned C travel on short haul will bring it back as a result of this. “you can fly business class short haul, but only if it is on BA and only if it is no more than £60 more expensive than economy”? Company travel policies don’t distinguish between cheap C and expensive C.

  • Phil says:

    Definitely a positive move. A lowering of costs for customers is a really good way to show that (perhaps) they actually care about their customers. The obvious downside to the whole thing is that for anyone outside London, flying BA to the continent still makes no sense.

  • Calz says:

    If someone offered me a Club Europe ticket (which my FTSE 100 employer would never do sadly – protecting the bottom line) or gave me a euro traveller ticket and handed over £124 to spend as I pleased I know what I would do.
    As BA gold/silver its a no brainer. As BA Bronze/Blue, I would still take the money. £30 x 2 for a nice dinner either before airport or after check in. Bottle of water for the flight + Ipad with downloaded movie. Maybe even splash out on an expensive tea! Then take the remaining circa £60, fill up my convertible with petrol and go for a fun weekend drive.

  • James says:

    OT: I’ve been BA Gold for past 5 years. Last August, I decided mainly to burn through stash of Avios points this year, expecting soft landing to silver in September 2017. I’ve earned 75 tier points since then and completed 84 segments. I’ve just received complimentary gold renewal until September 2018 – I had no BA segments during the frolics of the computer meltdown weekend.

  • Grant Blackshire says:

    It’s an interesting one.

    Personally, as a family of 5 and without status, the premium on that price is something I would jump at.
    More space for the kids stuff, extra baggage we’ll inevitably need and lounge access to calmly find somewhere to get ourselves organised.
    For us it is a bit of a steal – especially if the crew are happy to remove the middle seat block so we can let the little ones veg out a bit.

  • Klaus-Peter Dudas says:

    This is such welcome news for me. I am happy to spend a few pounds (<£100) for CE for the TPs, often front row seats and having a few drinks on the flight. In the past I've had to weigh up the choice of flexibility of same-day change versus the extra TPs and front row seats. Do we know what happens when one POUGs a Plus fare to CE?

  • rams1981 says:

    OT grain store at Gatwick. Do they check the names on the priority passes?

  • Anna Tomlinson says:

    Welcome news, but I’m waiting for them to stop charging for paying by credit card – if I’m paying £000s for a long haul premium ticket the charge for using a credit card is outrageous. Same goes for the charge for booking a seat I flew Qatar to Aus in January and no extra charges. When a friend and I flew to NYC a couple of years ago on BA Club world we were asked to pay hundreds to guarantee seats together. Not on!

    • C77 says:

      ‘Accidentally’ select Ukraine as your country of residence instead of UK. Works every time. No fees

      • Jonathan says:

        Unless you can’t be logged in with your BA account, this didn’t work last time I tried it. UK was entered and greyed out.

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