BA Sale

Excellent 2-4-1 First and Business deals from the UK, from £1100, with SWISS

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SWISS and Lufthansa seem to have launched some EXCELLENT First Class and Business Class ‘2-4-1’ deals.  Unlike some fare deals we write about, these are for departures from the UK so you don’t need to position yourself somewhere in Europe first.

Availability is very good on most routes from May onwards (admittedly it is patchy before that) and you can travel until 10th December 2020.  A six day minimum stay is required.

Even better for those who live outside London, you can also book these deals in Business Class from UK regional airports.

This offer ran last year and was hugely popular with HFP readers.  You won’t earn Avios or BA tier points but you WILL get a very classy travel experience at a fantastic price.  You will also earn a pile of Miles & More or other Star Alliance miles which can be a handy alternative to Avios.

If you have Avios tickets booked to any of these destinations, you should do the maths on whether you should cancel (£35 per person fee, all Avios and cash returned) and book one of these deals instead.

An important note

This sale is unofficial at the moment.  The seats are bookable but neither SWISS or Lufthansa is promoting it.  It MIGHT launch on Monday, or might not.

In this article I am focusing on SWISS because there is a VERY easy way of finding the dates you can travel.  It is also worth searching at lufthansa.com but at the moment there is no quick method of finding seats.  The pricing would be the same but Lufthansa has a broader route network.

Business Class deals

Here are the Business Class deals.  These are return prices per person from London BUT based on two or more people travelling.

Swiss 2-4-1 UK sale

Here are your options flying in SWISS Business Class, photo above.  You can see an availability calendar here from London on the SWISS website and availability is very good from May.  Before May it is tighter but not impossible.  All flights require a transfer in Zurich or Geneva.

SOME ROUTES MAY SHOW NO AVAILABILITY.  I have not manually gone through the full list below.  Male / Maldives seems dead, for example – I can get outbound seats in April but no returns.  Most routes I have checked were fine though.

  • Addis Ababa £1,100
  • Bahrain £1,200
  • Bangkok £1,200
  • Buenos Aires £1,500
  • Cairo £530
  • Cape Town £1,500
  • Colombo £1,100
  • Dar es Salaam £1,100
  • Delhi £1,100
  • Denpasar £1,500
  • Dubai £1,100
  • Ho Chi Minh City £1,200
  • Hong Kong £1,100
  • Johannesburg £1,500
  • Kuwait £1,100
  • Lagos £1,100
  • Luanda £1,500
  • Mahe / Seychelles £1,300
  • Male / Maldives £1,300
  • Manila £1,500
  • Mauritius £1,300
  • Mumbai £1,100
  • Muscat £1,150
  • Nairobi £1,100
  • Phuket £1,200
  • Rio de Janeiro £1,300
  • Riyadh £1,100
  • Sao Paulo £1,400
  • Shanghai £1,350
  • Singapore £1,300
  • Tel Aviv £500
  • Windhoek £1,300

For clarity … it is a doddle to find days with availabilityGo to this page of the SWISS website and look at the calendar at the bottom for your selected route.  The fare is bookable on days in yellow.

This method only works for London departures.  For departures from:

  • Birmingham
  • Manchester
  • Edinburgh

…. you need to use the main SWISS booking page here.

Remember that 2+ people must be booked together.  You won’t see the special price if you are only booking for one person.

Swiss business class

First Class deals

Here are the SWISS First Class deals – see London departures on the SWISS website here.

It is the same basis as before – look for dates in yellow using the link above.  These are London dates – if you can find availability – and I struggled – Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh departures must be booked here.

Swiss First Class

Again, note that SOME ROUTES LISTED BELOW MAY HAVE NO AVAILABILITY.  Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore have very, very little.  Other routes have lots, at least from London.  It isn’t clear if this will improve when the sale launches ‘officially’, if it ever does.

  • Bangkok £1,800
  • Buenos Aires £2,000
  • Cape Town £2,300
  • Dar es Salaam £1,500
  • Delhi £1,500
  • Dubai £1,500
  • Ho Chi Minh City £1,800
  • Hong Kong £2,000
  • Johannesburg £2,300
  • Manila £2,100
  • Mumbai £1,500
  • Muscat £1,600
  • Nairobi £1,500
  • Phuket £1,800
  • Rio de Janeiro £2,000
  • Sao Paulo £2,000
  • Singapore £2,000

Here is a typical Dubai deal – £2,965 for two people in SWISS First Class for a week in September:

SWISS First Class deals

Lufthansa is, perhaps, the most civilised First Class experience there is.   Here is the review of my Lufthansa First Class flight from 2017.  And, of course, the First Class Terminal – yes, a whole terminal – in Frankfurt where you get driven to the steps of your plane is something everyone should try once.  If you are keen to book in First Class, I would look at the Lufthansa website here and compare pricing for your dates before booking SWISS.

SWISS offers an excellent First Class and Business Class service.   We are NOT talking Emirates or Etihad style private suites, by any means, but you get a good quality seat, good food and drink and a very attentive crew.  It is a very civilised experience.

I flew SWISS First Class in 2018, although I didn’t review it for the site, and it was as impressive as usual, albeit I put it a notch below Lufthansa First Class as the food is not as outstanding.  I also flew in SWISS Business Class to Dubai in 2018 with my family and it was similarly good, although the seats are showing their age a bit.  Here is an older review of SWISS First Class I did.

SWISS and Lufthansa are both part of Lufthansa’s Miles & More loyalty scheme, although you can of course credit your flight to any other Star Alliance programme.

If you are looking for the best credit card to pay with, American Express Preferred Rewards Gold offers double points on airline spend.  This means that you would earn 2 Membership Rewards points per £1 spent.  Our review of Amex Gold is here.

There are some genuinely excellent deals here especially if you live outside London (business class only) and especially because of the long travel period.  Take a serious look.

If the sale does launch officially on Monday then I will do an updated article and add in whatever Lufthansa information we get too.

The full SWISS website is here if you want to find out more about where and what they fly.

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Comments

  1. I booked business to Singapore a couple of days ago on this deal for about £1250 each when it was publicised elsewhere. Both the long haul flights from Zurich are actually on Singapore Airlines rather than Swiss so there are some opportunities to fly on partner airlines. As you say, can’t see much availability for Singapore left now though. Maybe they’ll add more if a sale is actually announced.

    • If you don’t mind, how did you find this? I can see it is codeshare – so LX operated on SQ metal? Is HKG to ZRH therefore using a CX 777? Thanks

      • I booked on the Swiss website. It is coded LX on SQ metal and it said ‘operated by Singapore Airlines’ under the flight number. Don’t know about Hong Kong flights though.

  2. Harry T says:

    Already booked LHR to HKG return – £1079 each with Swiss. When I was looking a couple of days ago, the availability for these prices was vanishing whilst searching on Google Flights (I wanted specific weeks in November for my partner’s birthday).

  3. Hi – I don’t think Swiss operate on their own metal to Cape Town or Buenos Aires …would this not be operated by Edelweiss, their holiday subsidiary?

  4. Simon Maberly says:

    Yeah you can get the codeshare benefit on SQ to Melb/Syd/Brisbane for circa £2320pp from London with this sale. That isn’t bad at all for SQ C from ZRH onward.

  5. booked a flight for Cairo on SWISS and turns out the business class is not a flat bed, it’s just like the business seats in BA Club Europe! called SWISS and canceled the whole thing!

  6. Is Maldives flight seasonal like BA, ie Nov-April?

  7. Does this work with children or does it have to be 2 adults?

    • Charlieface says:

      Category 13: Accompaniment restrictions

      MUST BE ACCOMPANIED ON ALL SECTORS IN SAME COMPARTMENT BY
      AT LEAST 1 ADULT IN PAXCNGB FARE CLASS.

      Normally they write ‘at least two adults’ or something. I tried it with an adult and child in ITA Matrix and it seemed to work. Note there is no child discount on this ticket. Much better than that, it worked with 1 adult and a lap infant as well.
      But Swiss.com won’t price it, so it looks like there’s some error in the GDS coding. I’d be interested to know if a travel agent could get it to price.

  8. Hi – OT could someone who has taken BA to CEDR give me a bit of guidance? I have had offers from BA on a 2-4-1 Companion Voucher redemption downgrade but I am not sure how to proceed. Thanks

    • Shoestring says:

      There are a few cases like that on the Flyertalk compo thread – what is your query? Have you been offered cash compo & are wondering if it is about right? For that we would need to know a few more details: route, nature of downgrade, Avios points + fees required for the 2-4-1, BA’s offer etc

      • We had a CW 2-4-1 with Infant from LHR-BKK return and the outbound leg was downgraded due to a malfunction in the plane causing a cascade of downgrades as CW was where seats were impacted.

        Additionally we were stuck on the bridge for 45 minutes as the malfunction was only identified once passengers started leaving the gate to the plane. The crew refused entry onto the plane and the gate was closed immediately (leaving the passengers who had already left – stuck on the gate). After 45 minutes we were all returned back to the gate and the plan left just before 3 hours delay.

        They have offered £200 cash or £300 eVoucher each (including infant), but my understanding from the various articles and how EU261 works, a 75% refund should be within my reach which I calculate as:
        Outbound leg was 90000 avios (peak pricing)
        90000 x 0.75 = 67500 avios per adult
        90000 x 0.1 = 9000 x 0.75 = 6750 avios per infant (Infants pay 10%)
        67500 x 2 = 135000 + 6750 = 141750 total downgrade avios
        141750 x 1.6p = £2268 (1.6p is the BA selling rate of Avios)

        Am i completely off the mark here? Obviously I am taking the extreme view that the regardless of the 2-4-1 that is the value of the seat.

        • Shoestring says:

          [the 3 hrs late bit isn’t departure time – but it is measured at arrival (time doors open & ready to disembark) vs scheduled arrival time]

          – you’re not too far off (imv) – it’s 75% for this LH flight https://www.caa.co.uk/Passengers/Resolving-travel-problems/Delays-cancellations/Your-rights/Your-rights-when-you-are-downgraded/
          – the 2-4-1 becomes largely irrelevant – you should not receive worse treatment because it was a 2-4-1 – except the Avios need to be given a value and yes it’s 1.6p/ point
          – you have to deduct the real taxes and fees that would have been paid for your actual fare class LHR-BKK (ie these need to be paid anyway and BA won’t refund them, ie airport tax and APD, not BA’s extra fees) – maybe you already did this? if you went down from Business to Economy, you should get a refund here as well
          – BA has an odd/ inconsistent way of calculating compo (esp with Avios/ 2-4-1 redemptions) that actually often favours the claimant, so it’s worth getting them to do the calculation though you could give your broad calculation

          I personally favour immediate MCOL – but you can do CEDR first then still go to MCOL afterwards if you lost/ were unhappy

          • Shoestring says:

            forgot to add that it’s worth a bit of to-&-fro with BA complaints online first, they tend to always knock people back a few times, each time you restate your case and say their position in unacceptable etc and eventually give notice before action – or even state this early on as it gets somebody with a legal background to look at your case

            ie don’t take the first cut & paste no for BA’s final answer and go straight to MCOL/ CEDR, but engage with them for a few weeks, it might save hassle later if they accept your position & pay the appropriate compo – it won’t take too much time as all you are doing is repeating yourself, firmly

  9. Ok thanks – I started to second guess myself after ignoring the topic over the holidays. We were downgraded from CW to WTP.

    Regarding taxes, I had excluded that from the compensation calculation and simply priced up the tax on a WTP seat on the same route which is £550.45 compared to the CW seat which was £588.92 (I have asked therefore for a refund of £76.94 for 2 adults).

    What I find confusing is that despite offering the compensation they insist the rest will be advised separately from the refunds team (who have not responded yet since the issue was raised early December 2019). Is that the team who you were referring to give their calculation? They have already seen my calculation.

    • Shoestring says:

      you should get 1) compo – the 75% – under EC/261 – this is what I was referring to in my first reply +2) refund of the fare difference – sounds good but they will work it out based on the lowest Business class vs your WTP

      you should get both

      • Do you know what happens if I dont accept and then loose with CEDR and MCOL?
        Alternatively, if I accept their comp offer as partial and clearly state I want to persue for the rest, can i claim that I am not waiving my EU261 rights?

        Thanks

  10. Thanks, Rob. We flew with Swiss on the same offer to Dubai in December. To be honest, and I await the venom of other reads, I didn’t see anything better on Swiss F than on BA (I admit it’s their A330, apparently not as good as their 777). Well, except the price. £3k for 2 pax was greatly appreciated, especially as the layovers were less than an hour in Zurich.

  11. Nothing available to phuket unfortunately – only shows a few outbound dates but nothing for the return. Also a huge layover in Zurich for these promo fares if going via BKK.

    • Andrew MS says:

      Finnair are selling business class from Stockholm to Hong Kong and Bangkok in J for £1,047 and £1,275 for travel up to the end of November , via Helsinki

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