BA discount Club Europe restrictions?Back to Forum
Anonymous12 Aug 2010
Has BA changed its short-haul fare rules recently? Back from holiday and BA.com appears not to offer the lead in Club (I-class) unless the stay includes a Sat night.
Or is this a web glitch?
I travel with a fair bit of kit so it’s usually a small premium for Club over economy and an extra hold bag.12 Aug 2010
Sat night stay for I class has been a requirement for over six months now, I seem to recall that rule came in with the Winter timetable 1 November 2009.
It’s R-class now, instead of I-class, but it means the same thing.12 Aug 2010
Is there a central reference point on the www where the fare code letters such as I class or R class are explained. Will the airlines sell tickets when a customer requests a specific fare code letter and are the airlines duty bound to confirm whether a cheaper ticket is available?12 Aug 2010
… which has the practical result that if I have enough notice to book a trip that would have been in I, I will book in economy and pay for the extra bag, so BA make less money not more. There’s a point where the extra for Club simply can’t be justified.12 Aug 2010
From my home market, BA and LX was the only airlines with reasonable fares in Club/Business in Europe.
I understand BA’s logic to make the I/R fares restrictive, it really was more of a Consumer UP than a Business Down product.
Futhermore, what was a €70 surcharge on LX has turned into €110 per way for the Business Upgrade. This is now borderline in my view.
I travel to ZRH and LHR mostly now from ARN. If I can plan two weeks back to back, it will be BA to LHR. If not, I may run via ZRH to conduct business for a day on both inbound and outbound.
By the way, I have discovered that LH roughly matches (about £30 more return) the BA prices ARN-LHR without the Sat night requirement. For an extra £80 I get full flex with no Sat night requirements. Found excellent, quick connection via HAM.13 Aug 2010
First thanks to VK for the explanation – my travel agent has yet to respond!
I book around a third of my trips directly. The rest are booked by clients or through third parties such as events companies (I work in the media). Often the people making the bookings are not very experienced and look at the lead in fares online. If the difference between econ and CE is small, I could often persuade them to buy the CE ticket. The restrictions in I/R effectively stop that.
Also for an event in Berlin in October, without the I/R option, it is actually cheaper for me to book two econ tickets and take an assistant (who can carry the extra equipment) than pay the cheapest CE fare for the same dates.
For some reason I feel more comfortable making day trips in CE (priority baggage, etc). In economy, I’ll go the night before, so BA loses revenue in favour of the local airport hotel.13 Aug 2010
You have to remember that CE is now much lower margin than was the case in the past.
The imposition of class-of-travel based Air Passenger Duty (due to double AGAIN from Novermber 1 2010, before morphing into a per plane charge) has seriously impacted the profitability of CE, and most corporate travel policies refuse to contemplate premium class for shorthaul travel.
I am a fan of CE – the lounge access, Tie Point and Mileage bonuses, increased baggage allowance, priority boarding (from some ports), first off the plane, proper meals and a snifter of ‘poo at the end of a long working day are appreciated, as is the space between you and other passengers, the hanging of the jacket, extra space for hand baggage and more personal attention are all worth a modest premium.
It is still very good value if you can get it under €300 rtn and if UK based and you make regular trips on the same route just book exEU so you get the Saturday night stay “at home” and that way you save and still get the increased comfort of CE.
I would suggest it likely to be phased out soon, especially at LGW on leisure routes, but of course the more people say they won’t fly it the less likey it is to do so – so if you like the cabin, it’s very much a “use iot or lose it” situation.13 Aug 2010
For all the above reasons you have given, I to am a big fan of CE, I and my wife do about 5 or 6 trips a year, BOD-LGW-BOD, always CE and always include a Saturday night, excellent value.
Would be very upset if the CE cabin was phased out, but would be first to admit, it is not an over used cabin.13 Aug 2010
I have found Club Europe to be of increasingly poor value for the following reasons:
– As silver cardholder most of the main benefits are available any way
– Priority boarding is rarely offered, not least at Terminal 3 where all flights are from remote stands
– Small touches such as hot towels have gone
– The catering is increasingly poor. The Extended Breakfast which is barely more than a few slices of cold meat and cheese is a joke. Whatever time of day I fly, I should get a decent meal.
I would be prepared to pay for CE, but for silver/gold passengers the differential over EuroTraveller just isn’t worth it.13 Aug 2010
I find CE to be of very good value
If I did not travel CE I would not attain silver status ( perfectly understand that you may be able to travel ET and still retain silver status).
From BOD and LGW I can not ever remember not being offered priority boarding.
Yes I regret hot towels gone.
Yes I agree the catering is not upto the standard of which we have come to expect, but I still find it acceptable on a short haul flight, and when coupled with the excellent drinks service makes a 90 minutes flight fly by.
For my own situation their is no contest, CE has to win everytime.13 Aug 2010