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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.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

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:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The 30,000 points bonus on Amex Gold runs to 9th November 2021. The 60,000 points bonus on The Platinum Card runs to 2nd November 2021.

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:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

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:

    OT
    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?

    • David says:

      Nope!

    • Lev441 says:

      Yes. Shows up on my marriott account but not been posted over to my baec account (yet).

      • Wally1976 says:

        Same here and Marriott tell me it was sent to BA on (I think) 3rd August! Have given up chasing now to be honest.

  • 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 🙁

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