How I recreated BA Club Europe on easyJet for £107 one-way!

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I was in Gatwick’s North Terminal last Thursday reviewing the new Club Aspire lounge – that report will follow soon once we’ve edited the accompanying video.

Rather than go through the hassle of getting a Gatwick North airside pass, I decided to tie in my visit with a planned trip to Paris.  This meant that I would need to fly easyJet for the first time in about 18 months as it is the dominant airline in the North Terminal.

I thought I would see if it was possible to recreate the British Airways Club Europe experience on easyJet and how much it would cost if I did.  No particular reason why, but it seemed a good idea at the time.

In the end, it came out at £92 for the one way trip, although that would have increased to £107 if I didn’t have lounge access via Priority Pass.  The base fare for the flight could have been a little cheaper had I booked further out than 16 days in advance.

This is how I did it.


The cost broke down as:

£5 for use of the Priority Security lane at Gatwick

£63 base fare

£17 additional payment for a Row 1 seat, which includes Speedy Boarding, two cabin bags and a dedicated bag drop desk

£15 notional cost for the Club Aspire lounge, although I got in for nothing using my Priority Pass from my American Express Platinum card

£7 for a meal deal snack, comprising a bacon baguette, coffee and a Kit-Kat (prosecco would have added an extra £7 but it was 8am ….)

This replicates, almost perfectly, the British Airways Club Europe package with the following exceptions:

DOWNSIDE – easyJet sells the middle seat; easyJet won’t pay for air bridges so getting on and off the aircraft is a pain; no wardrobes; no checked baggage allowance

UPSIDE – far wider food selection on easyJet; seat selection is included in the prices I quoted; Row 1 is not restricted (as long as you pay up) as it is on BA

Let’s look at how each part of the package performed in practice:

Priority security

Here is a very handy tip.  Premium Security – bookable here – costs £5 per person at Gatwick North.  However, for the same price of £5 you can pre-book your slot in the No 1 Lounge at Gatwick North via this link and this comes with premium security for free.

If you have a Priority Pass or other lounge access card, it is pointless booking Premium Security on its own.  Reserve your No 1 Lounge visit for the same £5 price and forget any concerns about the lounge being full.

If you don’t want or need to pre-book your lounge visit, you can get £1 off Premium Security most of the time by registering for MyGatwick and searching through your tailored offers.

The lounge

We’ll talk about the Club Aspire lounge later in the week, but it was OK.  The No 1 Lounge on the floor above is better but busier.

Club Aspire clearly isn’t the same scale as the British Airways lounges in Gatwick South which we reviewed here, which are arguably better than those at Heathrow.  The No 1 Lounge comes close though.

Subject to capacity I could also have used my Priority Pass at My Lounge, reviewed here.

Speedy Boarding

On British Airways I would have boarded in Group 1.

easyJet gave me Speedy Boarding.  There was a dedicated Speedy Boarding line and it was well policed.

On landing I was first off the plane but the use of buses to get us into the terminal in Paris meant that I ended up about 20th in the passport queue.


I was in 1C.  On British Airways I target 1C or 1D.

The difference here is that 1B was filled, so there was the usual jostling over the armrest.  Because easyJet charge a chunky premium to sit on the front row, you probably won’t get this on a non-peak flight.  As it happened, my flight was TOTALLY full and easyJet was asking for volunteers to take €500 plus a free taxi to get the 4pm flight from Luton (8 hours later!).

They found two takers.  I did check to see if I could get a last minute Avios redemption on BA around noon but there was nothing bookable and I wasn’t prepared to lose eight hours of a short trip.

Food and drink

The upside of easyJet is that you get a far wider variety of food and drink than you would get on British Airways.

If you go for the £7 meal deal, you can choose from the following main course options:  hot bacon baguette, hot toasted ham and cheese, hot margherita mini calzone, Southern Fried Chicken sub roll, feta and rocket sandwich, mezze snack box or a tapas snack box.  You also get a non-alcoholic drink and a chocolate / crisps / olives snack

I have to say that the bacon baguette was pretty good.  It is only a shame that the crew don’t remove it from the plastic wrapper for you.

It would have cost £7 to add a 200ml BA-sized bottle of prosecco.  Champagne is also available but only in large 375ml bottles (£16).


What have we learned from this important state-of-the-nation experiment?  Not much, obviously.  If there is a lesson, it is that the low cost carrier experience does not need to be low quality if you, erm, spend more money so that it isn’t so low cost any longer ….

In the end I spent a notional £107, and £92 of real money.  British Airways Club Europe flights seem to start at £141 one-way (Heathrow to Paris) and – given the empty middle seat, Avios, tier points and the fact that Heathrow T5 is simply a more pleasant place than Gatwick South – I would probably choose the BA route if £107 vs £141 was the option on the table.

Coming home, of course, I took Eurostar which beats the plane any day …..

PS.  By coincidence, 24 hours before I flew to Paris, Anika was in Gatwick South.  She was trying to get a Club Europe-style experience on Vueling, by paying a 300% premium for Vueling Excellence.  It all went wrong as you will find out soon …..

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  1. Sam-Aaron says:

    Hi, sorry for off-topic (and possibly stupid) question.

    Me and my wife are flying BA economy from Heathrow to Bangkok, at the end of the month. We have loungeclub passes from the Preferred Rewards Gold card so will head into the Aspire Lounge. Is there anything else we should be doing/reserving or bearing in mind before we go (such as fast track security etc)?

    • No. Prebooking No 1 Lounge doesn’t get you fast track security at T3 so that doesn’t work – Heathrow isn’t usually that bad anyway.

      • Sam-Aaron says:


        I should have said, we’re flying from T5 (not sure if that changes anything). Should we be prebooking our lounge access – or is that not possible with the LoungeClub cards?

    • the_real_a says:

      Aspire lounge operates a wait list if you ask them. They take your name and tell you to come back in say 20 minutes. Ive never had to wait very long to get in.

  2. You also forgot to mention 2x 32g checked baggage allowance per person with BA in Club Europe where as there is no mention regarding the fee charged by EZY for an equivalent baggage allowance. Also there’s the avios a BA ticket earns me which I don’t get on EZY. My primary CE routes these days are Alicante/Murcia where with a little advanced planning (plus the occasional last minute deal showing itself) I can bag long weekends away for just over £200 return.

    I suspect you realise that your exercise was always going to be received as at best subjective and dependant on whether people intend use the bundled benefits associated with Club Europe compared to the unbundled benefits of EasyJet. I guess it will always remain that way.

  3. My primary concern is legroom. The bits and pieces extra you get in CE do not mean much to me, even more so when you have status. Anyway it is generally speaking much easier to get your extra legroom on EZ.

  4. IslandDweller says:

    Leo. BA legroom is dreadful on short-haul. It’s no penalty to choose easyjet if you are tall, I find them marginally less cramped than the latest BA seats.

    • Yes that was my point – as in “it is generally speaking much easier to get your extra legroom on EZ.”

  5. Cheshire Pete says:

    Rob, you haven’t factored in you didn’t earn 40 tier points or circa 1250 to 1750 avios depending on status/class. At a modest 0.5p/avios that alone is worth circa £7.50 🙂

    • Cheshire Pete says:

      Oh and x3 times avios booking using BA Amex is £105×3 = 315 avios. Actually if EasyJet tAke Amex you’d have got x1.5 = 157!

      • Cheshire Pete says:

        Oh and if you’d asked them for a cup of hot water and a cloth to make a hot towel then guess you’d have to buy a tea & and not use the tea bag. What’s that £2.50? And you still ain’t sourced your hand towel yet! 😉

    • I do mention it in passing at the bottom, but this was more of a service-led review.

  6. stevehh says:

    The tier points! You forgot to include the tier points….

  7. Mark E says:

    Can anyone remind me if there are any lounge benefits using BA Club Europe out of London City Airport please?

  8. This would be good to try at MAN as BA CE opportunities from there are very limited; you would definitely need to pre-book the lounge though!

  9. Daniel Evans says:

    Great article, EasyJet should create an all-in-1 “Club EasyJet” experience bundle. I get all my CE flights on Avios so won’t be going down this route. EasyJet service in-flight service is good but you are sharing crew with the entire cabin. In CE you have dedicated crew serving a small number of customers = quicker service, easier top-ups etc.

  10. Chris L says:

    Interesting. I’ve done something similar a couple of times with Easyjet. What I like about the ‘pay as you go’ approach with the budget carriers is that you don’t feel almost duty-bound to make the most of all the extras you’ve paid for. For example, if you don’t feel like a glass of champagne then you don’t need to have one. If you don’t have time to relax in a lounge then you don’t have to.

    I’m trying a similar exercise on Flybe in August travelling to Milan. How different can it be from CE on BA Cityflyer?

  11. Mr Dee says:

    The food selection for BA CE at times is awful and find myself ordering the Bacon Bap in advance

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