Pay for BA upgrades in Club Europe?Back to Forum
Anonymous7 Jun 2011
I am a regular BA FF in Europe and on 90% of all flights I have booked in the last 12 months, I have been offered a paid upgrade to Club Europe for anything between £60 and CHF200 single. (the offer only appears when I have paid for my economy ticket and usually remains available right up to my check in 24 hours before take off via my Executive account.
There have been times when I paid for the upgrade (usually when it was £60 but never when it was CHF200). The difference in price at the initial booking stage is usually £300-400 !!
In the main however (given I can select my seat in advance being a Silver member) I struggle to see why I would pay the difference just for the meal on board?
What bugs me is that BA seem to be ‘economising’ on the club product by giving out the same wine (in 1/4 bottles) in Club as in Economy. I can see why they would do this since it means that they have no wastage but other carriers like Swiss would never do this. Ther have proper and better quality wine in the business cabin. The only difference is that champagne is served.
Surely for the premium that is the Club product, BA should do the decent thing and serve proper wine from a bottle?7 Jun 2011
@SwissExPat, I have to agree with you for the most part. I do hate splits of wine and Champagne, and wish there was a more diverse offering. That said, however, I have flown Swiss in Business on 14 sectors in Europe last month, and with only 2 sectors (ZRH-FCO and back) did they serve Champagne from a full size bottle, all other flights were splits as well. Likewise, the meal offered on Swiss pales in comparison to that of BA on short haul. The value for CE I guess for me is the Tier points, and the fact that I will always have a seat (or space) between me and the next passenger which isn’t always true on Swiss when you are on their dreaded Avro RJ/BAE 146’s, two seat side. I have yet to fly BA CE out of LCY, which I guess would have the same issue.7 Jun 2011
Interesting that both of you bring up the two airlines I predominantly use for Club/Business in Europe these days. I fly BA on ARN-LHR and LX on LHR-ZRH-ARN.
My personal opinion is that BA and LX both have made clever moves here. They are enticing a sell up for “Luxury Consumers” rather than a down sell for “Bargain Corporates”.
I see what BA is trying to do: grab another £60 from a consumer. Hard to state the extra cost; meal, beverages, and perhaps a pop into the lounge for F&B. I suspect the incremental margin is good.
LX work the same way at time of booking; surcharge on top of the Econ fare. It used to be around £60 each direction including both legs if you connected in ZRH. At that point it was well worth it. Now, it is a lot more expensive therefore, less enticing. LX does offer stellar “normal” business fares (somewhat flexible) in Europe ex.LHR/LCY. LX seem to offer very different fares for the UK market compared to Switzerland and Sweden.
When it comes to the Fizz and wine, I get both served from large bottles on LX most of the time. I have noticed that on shorter flights, LX may send me a small bottle rather than popping the large one. Either way, I still see it as a privilege to ask for a glass of champagne after a long day’s work rather than an entitlement, so come you big and small bottles of Champagne, I will enjoy you either way! 🙂7 Jun 2011
BA currently have a promotion (on some flights) to upgrade to Club Europe from LGW for just £59 (previously it was always £80 when offered). Just upgraded 2 flights to IBZ for next year.
Promotion seems to be offered just after booking until availability runs out then appears again in the 6 days before departure (this happened with some June 11 bookings) when I presume they look at cabin loadings. Availability always disappears during other Club Europe promotions.24 Jun 2011
t is a very clever move by BA to upsell like this and for the reasons stated above it does provide a bit more space and a glass of bubbly. It is also clever in that by doing so they will reduce the number fo free upgrades to Gold and Slver cards and the best deals will always be when they have, or plan to, overbook M class. At the end of the day £60 for lounge access, a bit more space and glass of bubbly may be good value but the fact remains CE is broken product in dire need of a major overhaul particularly to ATH SVO LCA and anything above 2.5 hrs.24 Jun 2011