Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

British Airways launches new champagnes in First Class, ends Grand Siècle

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

British Airways has announced a major overhaul of its First Class champagnes, introducing – as it announced on social media – ‘new champagnes from around the globe’.

(This is PR exaggeration. I did some digging into the new champagnes on offer and I can exclusively reveal that they are actually all from France …..)

If you’ve flown in British Airways First Class at any point over the last 12 years, you will have seen the distinctive shape of a Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle bottle.

British Airways First Class champagne

Grand Siècle was the only genuinely premium drink that British Airways served. However deep the cost cutting, the airline knew that it had to serve a high quality champagne in First Class to retain any credibility.

Whilst many producers actively chase airline contracts as a way of getting their product (literally) into the hands of good quality prospects – and I suspect a lot of BA First Class passengers will have bought some Grand Siècle (I have a bottle at home) – Laurent-Perrier has now decided to move the product out of the travel market. The implication from BA is that no airlines will be serving it.

What new champagne is coming to British Airways First Class?

The replacements for Grand Siècle look promising.

The First Class champagnes will now rotate, with Lanson NOBLE 2005 on offer from 1st March. This is around £140 at retail.

Future options will include:

  • Duval-Leroy Femme de Champagne 2004 from July to September
  • Bollinger Grande Année in October
  • Lanson NOBLE Blanc de Blancs 2005 from November to December

If you are flying to New York JFK before December 2024, you will be able to try Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2015 which sells for around £170.

There will be a different product in the Concorde Room at Heathrow Terminal 5. Initially this will be Pommery Cuvée Louise 2006. This is surprisingly expensive for a lounge champagne at around £200 per bottle – luckily (for BA) it is not self-pour in the Concorde Room.

All in all, this seems like a decent like for like swap by British Airways, and regular First Class flyers may appreciate the ability to try different products over the coming months.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 2024)

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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

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

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.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) and free for a year 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.

Comments (149)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Andrew says:

    Champagne does not come from “around the globe”.

    It is produced in Champagne, France. Not complicated…

  • LittleNick says:

    I will miss the LPGS the few times I have been in the CCR.
    As a note I have read that the Champagne on offer in the Al Safwa Lounge, So QR’s flagship is Lanson Black Label NV. Quite a downgrade to what they have served in there, nothing wrong with it of course. I did notice when I was in there last July, it was the same offering as in the Al Mourjan Lounge i think, albeit LP at the time.

  • NorthernLass says:

    I have decided that on my quest for Gold/Emerald this year I am going to opt for English sparkling wine whenever it’s offered!

  • Joe says:

    I’m not surprised about the LPGS removal. LPGS is trying to go the way of Krug. Instead of just being a premium non-vintage brand which is mostly harmonised in flavor profile (much like most NV champagnes you’ll buy), they’re now explicitly releasing editions (an ‘iteration’). Indeed Iteration 26 just won James Suckling’s wine of the year for 2023. I have mixed views on Suckling but I think the move (and accolade) is clear. Why sell bulk and low cost to airlines vs going after the premium, full price paying segment?

    There seems to be some die hard English Sparkling Wine fans here. It can indeed be good. I’d pick it over a lot of the Grandes Marques champagne. But it’s not competitive at the level of top champagnes which is what should be in discussion when we’re talking about First class. Having one on offer is a fantastic nod to English heritage, and it should remain, but you cannot offer a first class and not pour a first class champagne. Given the role of the British in the international wine trade, you could argue there’s nothing more British than fantastic French wines.

    I personally like the idea of variety and rotating something different every few months. I hope this doesn’t slip into an excuse to just downgrade the offering. Lanson Noble _could_ easily slip into a downgrade, at least brand wise. I think it’s interesting they’ve chosen it for in the air vs, arguably, a superior champagne on the ground in terms of the Cuvee Louise. But pouring the 2005, a vintage with some significant age on it, is respectable in my view. It’ll be interesting to see what is scheduled to fly in 2025, beyond the spectacle of this announcement.

  • Andrew says:

    It is self pour in the CCR, on the balcony.

  • Michael C says:

    My (pretty inexperienced) palate really enjoyed the English sparkling rosé in CW last year!
    And, however subjective it may be, Lanson just doesn’t sound very…sexy?!

    Fin de Siècle!

  • Andye says:

    Individual tastes vary but Duval-Leroy Femme is the best champagne I’ve ever had (bought some on a price-error a few years back). I’d put it above Dom, Krug, La Grande Dame, Comtes and Churchill.

  • Firsttotheleft says:

    Anything in that price range is going to be great and better than most of us drink in the real world. It’ll be nice to try some new things as well. Wonder what the self pour will be in Concorde room. LPGS by the bucket full was pretty luxurious. Crew wanted to give me a bottle on my birthday flight but I was connecting, not going landside.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.