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Goldcardsaplenty, your price experience comparing BA to AirFrance/KLM is my experience. Let me first say before I’m accused of being a BA basher …. I have been a loyal BA flyer for over 20 yrs (when I joined BA Exec club there was only one level and you paid to join, about £70 I recall). Over that period I have been either Gold or Silver. Sadly it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to justify or even want to fly BA. I am a Platinum with Air France/KLM and the service is generally very good. All my bookings are via company travel agent and it is ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM TO UPGRADE. Their platinum help desk is brilliant. On one recent trip I even upgraded a close friend to join me in business on a short haul trip and they were brilliant. Fixing seats together even though the initial bookings were made separately and we were only on one leg together.
I also have to say that the service in AirFrance business class is very good. Food and wine better than BA club world, the only downside is not fully flat seat. Unless your company has a corporate deal with BA, then long haul with KLM / Air France is the best bet. Air France still have First on some flights and the cost to upgrade is about 50,000 points.
VintageKrug – sorry but I think we must have different tastes or you had bad luck with AirFrance. It really gives me no pleasure to say this BUT, the service, food and wine is much better on AirFrance long haul than BA Club World. I also fly BA First once or twice a year and the food/wine is only marginally better than Air France business. Just my humble opinion