British Airways Club Europe Review 2019

British Airways Club Europe Review 2019



This was our first time flying on British airways Club Europe Business Class in 2019, so we had high expectations for this flight.

During our Review we will cover the BA Business class dedicated check-in zone, fast track security, BA club europe lounges, priority boarding, Catering, menu inc breakfast & lunch, seats, luggage & hand baggage allowance.

Using the Google Flights search facility, we found London to Tenerife at the lowest point on the price graph with availability was coming in at £330 each, a whopping £660 for the two of us. Time to switch to using avios points instead, availability in early March – 68k avios plus £98.00 Taxes, clicked and booked.

British Airways Club Europe flights in the regular BA Sales can be bagged for as little as £200 Return, per person. When you find a Club Europe flight that cheap we strongly recommend booking immediately as these sale fares sell out fast.

Another advantage of paying cash for Club Europe flights are you will be credited avios points for all flights and earn Tier Points from BA which after only two cash flights and earnt 300 x tier points will automatically gain your Bronze membership.

Gatwick to Tenerife flight map
Gatwick to Tenerife South flight map

Gatwick to Tenerife South is the only direct BA flights available in March from London taking approximately 4 hours, 20 mins consisting of 1,572 nautical miles using the Airbus A320 aircraft. Tenerife North is available from both Gatwick & Heathrow also but stops in Barcelona for 1.5 hours and the shortest flight takes approx 6 hours, 30 minutes.

BA Club Europe Dedicated Check-in Zones

BA Gatwick Dedicated Check-in
BA Gatwick Dedicated Check-in

When flying BA Business class in Europe, you receive as part of your flight package the use of the BA dedicated check-in zone.

From the main BA check in area,  we entered via an entrance signed as above. As we walked through we found ourselves in a queue awaiting service. Many Business Class luggage drop off booths were open and staffed but still some long queues.

We were directed to the First Class check-in booth on this occasion. The staff member was very attentive and chatty and attached a yellow First Class luggage label to our suitcases. Normally in Business Class you get an Orange luggage label which means your luggage receives priority within the baggage system.

BA Club Europe Fast Track Security

After our luggage drop off, we headed our way to the fast track security which is also part of your package if you fly BA Club Europe.

To find the fast track security lanes, you enter through the normal security area but then keep to the left through a dedicated fast track lane. There was one conveyor system for checking your hand baggage but the system worked efficiently and after only a few short minutes, we found ourselves already through. 

Normally, the security gate system at Gatwick can at times be long and a frustrating wait. Fast track security is definitely a benefit in our opinion and highly recommended.

Once through fast track security, we made our way to the BA Business Galleries Lounge, our full Review found by clicking here BA Gatwick Lounge

British Airways Club Europe Baggage Allowance



Checked in luggage allowance is 2 x 32kg baggage allowance per person. The hand baggage allowance is 1 x laptop bag of 23kg and 1 x cabin bag of 23kg.

Extra baggage in size & weight can be booked in but will incur additional charges.

Please refer to the BA Baggage allowance dedicated page below:

https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/baggage-essentials

Does BA Club Europe have lounge access?

All British Airways Club Europe flights automatically provide all passengers lounge access to any BA Business Class Lounge throughout Europe. These lounges will be either run by BA or by another airline in the One World Alliance.

Access to all BA Business Class Lounges Will have certain restrictions such as opening & closing times, some lounges will have restrictions on the amount of time can be spent in the lounges also.

BA Club Europe Priority Boarding

Also part of the Club Europe package is Priority boarding of the plane.

By the time we had reached our boarding gate we just caught a Tannoy message requesting that all Business class passengers to board the plane now. 

BA a320 priority boarding
BA CE A320 Priority Boarding

It appears that Short haul boarding is a lot quicker process than in Long haul.

Priority boarding is definitely a benefit in our opinion, just to be able to board the plane first gives you enough time to place your hand baggage away and be seated and settled before the bulk of passengers enter the same aisle.

British Airways Club Europe Cabin & Seats

As we entered the plane we were warmly greeted by the Cabin Crew who checked our tickets and directed us to our seat location/s in the front section of the plane.

On first impressions, the Club Europe Cabin looks exactly the same as in Economy.

There are no notable differences to us with the decor inside this Cabin unlike the differences between long haul Business & Economy class.

The real differences became apparent when we arrived at our seats.

The seat layout in Club Europe are the same as in economy consisting of three seats either side of the main aisle. However, the notable difference is that the centre seat is not used for a passenger, but utilised instead as a tray table.

This tray table in the centre seat enables passengers both sides to enjoy more width to stretch out and place cups / glasses or personal items on the table.

For a single traveller, this set up would also provide more privacy.

Club europe seats
BA Business Class Seats A320

We purposely choose seats as close to the front of the plane in the CE cabin as possible and managed to secure row 5, seats D/F.

This was due to us experiencing on our last BA Club World flight an unsatisfactory level of service by being unfortunately seated in the last row. It is common for meals to run out by the time the cabin crew have reached passengers in the last rows on BA.

If you’re not already aware, seat selection is not free even for Club Europe passengers.

To read our New article on whether you should pay or not to reserve BA Seats click here – BA Seat Selection. 

The legroom of the seats in Club Europe are 30 inches with a seat width of 17 inches. This according to the official information provided by British airways is the same as an economy class seat.

Club Europe cabins do not supply any in-Flight entertainment of any kind. We were a little surprised to discover this as we were on a flight lasting nearly 4.5 hours. 

Do you get food on BA Club Europe?

Yes, all BA Club Europe passengers receive a complimentary three course meal as part of their flight package. Meals will vary depending on the time of day at departure and the flights duration. 

Breakfast dining service can include hot, cooked food, cold selections and muesli or pastries. All breakfast servings come with tea or coffee or Champagne / Wines.

Usually all meals will be accompanied by fresh bread rolls & butter / fruit juices. Most flights will also serve Tea or Coffee separate servings with a snack.

British Airways Club Europe Menu

Our outbound flight departed Gatwick at 9.20am to Tenerife so was within the time slot of the Breakfast serving.

I had already indulged in a cooked breakfast that morning at the Hampton by Hilton hotel – Gatwick North review found here – Hampton Hilton Gatwick North so decided against the full English again and opted for a lighter breakfast of continental meats and cheeses.

This dish came with meats, egg, olives & selection of different cheese’s such as Brie & Mozzarella. Also accompanying the main dish was a fresh fruit salad and a shortcake style dessert with the usual Bread roll, butter & jam. We were also handed hot towels to clean and refresh our hands. 

BA CE Breakfast

My wife choose the Omelette which came with mushrooms, a cooked tomato and potato style Rosti.

This was also accompanied by the same fruit salad and a cheesecake style dessert. My wife enjoyed the Omelette, I tasted some and was impressed.

Both our breakfasts were served with either fresh coffee or Twinings tea.

BA Club Europe Omelete breakfast

On our return flights from TFS, we were on the afternoon service so had the opportunity to experience the Club Europe lunch menu.

On this occasion, I opted for the Beef Massaman curry and my wife choose the macaroni cheese.

British Airways Club lunch

I found the Massaman Beef curry actually quite good and tasty. It used a creamy style, mild curry sauce with braising style beef chunks and a Khichdi rice with vegetables.

This dish also came with antipasti including stuffed peppers with feta, olives and Sun dried tomatoes. A dish of a selection of cheese which were delicious including Somerset brie and coastal cheddar, black grapes & crackers then for dessert an Orchard fruit crisp.

BA Europe Business Class lunch

My wife enjoyed the macaroni cheese pasta dish. I also sampled some and was impressed for a pasta style dish on a plane, not dry and chewy.

Her meal also came with the antipasti, cheese selection and Orchard fruit crisp dessert, all accompanied by a bread roll and butter.

All meals were served up on Bone China crockery and accompanied by steel BA branded cutlery with Dining menus provided to all passengers in this Cabin.

Club Europe Drinks & Refreshments

Before departure, drinks were offered to all passengers by the Cabin Crew. This included any soft drink, spirits, still wine or Champagne. All drinks are served in BA branded glassware. 

I still like to take every opportunity to have a glass or two of Champagne either in the Lounge, pre-departure or during the flight.

During lunch I decided to try the White Chardonnay which I found pleasantly drinkable.

Tea by Twinings and Union roast coffee was regularly offered by the cabin crew to all the Club Europe passengers.

BA Club Europe drinks menu

BA Club Europe In-Flight Cabin Crew Service

BA cabin crew service in our experience is unpredictable.

On one flight you can experience a great cabin crew, then on another flight can be not so good which we feel is a real shame and does not portray we feel the correct customer service level to all BA passengers.

On our outbound flight the cabin crew were just ok, they completed the basics of their job and nothing else.

On our return flight,we experienced a much more customer focused crew with an on-board cabin crew manager present. The cabin crew manager made conversation with every passenger on our flight whilst serving customers with a smile.

We struck up a conversation with the Cabin crew manager during our flight on a few occasions and he shook my hand and wished me an onward pleasant journey when we departed the plane.

BA Club Europe Benefits vs BA Economy Class

Flying on British Airways Club Europe does certainly come with some Perks.

In comparison to Economy class on the same flight we received a better seat in our opinion. This was due to the layout of our seats with the middle seat reserved by a tray table. Just having the tray table located in the middle seat provided us both extra space to relax, spread out a bit rather than almost rub shoulders with a stranger if were seated in Economy class.

The Club Europe Dining options were in our opinion actually quite good including a 3 Course Meal & Drinks inc Champagne.

In Economy you have to buy your food which includes sandwiches, snacks & drinks and that is if your lucky and your sandwich or snack has not run out.

Club Europe providing Business Lounge access at Gatwick on British Airways Airways is definitely a big bonus.

You gain complimentary access to the prestigious BA Galleries South Lounge, economy class receives no lounge access unless you pay £25.00 each and with paying you do not get access to BA Gatwick South lounge, but a lounge nearby and not as good in our opinion.

Club Europe passengers receive priority boarding, economy class passengers have to wait until Business class passengers have boarded and settled.

Flying BA Club Europe can cost as little as £200 per person, Return.

This Business class flight will also come with extra Tier Points & additional BA Avios Points.

After only 2 Club Europe flights at 80 TP’s each way on the longer european routes, you will receive automatic British airways executive club Bronze membership which provides free seat selection 7 days before departure and an increased avios point earning level.

When you take into consideration all the extras associated with BA Business Class,Club Europe including free BA Lounge access &  Priority Boarding, dedicated check-in, additional luggage allowances at 2 x 32kg each, 3 Course Meals, Free drinks and more room in your seat allocation you can start to see why it is worth paying extra.

In our opinion there are not a lot of difference in the prices between Economy & Business Class.

Our Verdict / Recommendations on Club Europe

British airways Club Europe is “as good as it gets” for BA short-haul European flights unless your lucky enough to be flying on one of the very few, long haul aircraft used on some European routes in which case you would be lucky enough to be sitting instead in a Club World cabin.

The cabin & seats are the same as in Economy except for the middle seat being reserved & used for a tray table. The real difference is the meal & drinks selection served and being seated in the front cabin of the plane, fast track security, priority boarding & the extra baggage allowances and don’t forget access to the Premium Business Class Lounges throughout Europe.

Is it worth paying extra?

This all depends on how much you place a value on those extra benefits you receive in Business Class towards Economy.

We will always go out of our way to fly Club Europe now if flying short-haul but would always research the cheapest way possible. Remember we only paid 68k avios points plus £98.00 in taxes towards a cash fare price of £660, this makes 68k avios valued at £562 in our eyes.

If you would like to learn how to earn almost 50% of the avios points required to fly direct to Tenerife just by signing up for a UK credit card, please click the link provided here Amex Preferred Rewards Gold Card

Our other recommendations would be to keep an eye on the regular BA Flight sales for discounted business class flights as some bargains can be found.

Another option would be to always try a “Dummy Run” booking using BA Holidays. The dedicated holiday package site regularly displays packages potentially making the Club Europe flights cheaper than purchasing your basic flight & hotel separately.

We strongly recommend to Definitely reserve your seats as close to front of the cabin as possible as this almost guarantees that you will receive your preferred meal choice. 

If you have any questions or would like to express your opinion on Club Europe, please leave a comment below.

British Airways Economy Vs Premium Economy 2019 Review

British Airways Economy vs Premium Economy 2019 Review

If your about to choose your British airways flights, but are you now wondering about BA Economy vs Premium Economy as a comparison? Our article tackles that common question, We will look at in-depth topics such as, do we fly in Economy or upgrade to Premium Economy and is an upgrade worth the extra cost.

What does premium economy mean on British Airways?

British airways Premium Economy is the next Upgraded Cabin from Economy Class or others is known as World Traveller. In Premium Economy passengers booked in this class of cabin do not receive complimentary Lounge access but Premium economy passengers do receive as standard Priority boarding, a slightly larger, reclinable seat with a footrest and a larger, flat screen IFE system.Premium economy passengers will receive also an improved dining experience, an extra meal & complimentary drinks & snacks on board and dedicated cabin crew throughout their flights.


What is the difference between premium economy and economy on British Airways?

The significant differences between British airways Premium Economy & Economy Class are in Premium economy you receive the improved wider Reclinable seats, priority boarding, improved dining options. Included also at the time of booking Premium Economy tickets receive as standard a larger baggage allowance than economy which all luggage has to be paid for, consisting of 2 x 32kg per passenger, during the flight passengers receive to use on board noise cancelling headphones, seats include laptop power supplies and a more, Intimate cabin experience from a dedicated cabin crew.

The seats in Premium Economy are more wider, comfortable and recline further so enable passenger especially on night flights an improved chance of sleeping.

What is the difference in price between BA Economy and Premium economy?

When you search and find your flights on British airways, you will always be served the cheapest fares first. These cheapest fares will always be in Economy Class or known officially on BA as World Traveller.

For many people the price is the most important factor, you still get a seat, you receive meals and you arrive in your chosen destination for the cheapest price available, what more could you want?

However, if you’re flying Long Haul on British airways then you could be seated for anything between 6 x hours to 24 x hours on a plane. Economy class is not the most comfortable, you may also not want to be seated next to strangers, you may prefer to dine on better meals, not have to pay for drinks and may prefer a larger reclining seat.

More comfort and more legroom means a better chance of sleeping if you experience an over night flight. These factors are the big decisions to make when choosing your cabin class on BA.

What is the difference between Business Class and Premium economy on British Airways?

In BA Business Class you will receive a fully flat bed seat, In-Flight Entertainment, Priority Boarding before Premium Economy passengers. You will also receive complimentary Lounge Access at both outbound and inbound destinations. Three Course meal service atleast twice, free Champagne & Spirits throughout your flight, interim meal services and use of the Club Kitchen. White Company Amenity kits at also provided to all Business class long haul passengers.

Do you pay extra to upgrade from Economy Class to Premium Economy?

When we look at the price difference between the two cabin classes, you may be surprised to know that the difference can be lower than you think. Below we have displayed a true life comparison to show you an average price difference between the two cabins – Economy – Premium Economy.

BA economy flight price

Taking a look at the screenshot above, you can see that an outbound flight from London travelling to New York in Economy can cost as little as £274 per person each way – Great Fare Price.

But wait… The BA price displayed is priced within a category called “Economy Light” which is the very cheapest price possible. This fare price does not include luggage, this is fine if you only carry hand baggage and plan to stay for only a few days. Any longer and you will want to take luggage with you on your trip.

Now lets take a look at the price with luggage included below for the same flight called BA “Economy Standard”.

Airways economy light seat price

You can see above that you would need to pay an extra £40.00 to take luggage up to 23kg with you. So now you’re at a price of £314.00 per person including luggage, one way. Still a great price to get to New York one way.

Let’s now take a look at the true price difference on the same flight between Economy Light and Premium Economy. We can see a difference of £252.00 to upgrade to the higher class of cabin and a total cost of £566.00 to fly in Premium Economy instead of £314.00 per person.

The big question, is the upgrade worth the additional cost?

Economy vs Premium Economy Check-in

When you arrive at the airport, you will not notice any difference between the two fares at the check-in stage. British airways do not currently have a dedicated check in zone for Premium economy passengers, you still have to check-in and leave your luggage at the general economy check-in zones.

As mentioned before, however at this stage you are allowed to check in one piece of baggage up to the weight of 23kg for Free with an Economy light fare ticket.

In Premium Economy you are allowed 2 x 23kg of luggage each and carry on hand baggage onto the plane with you. You could then put a value of £40.00 for this subtracting this cost off the upgrade price as your getting an additional 23kg of luggage included.

Upgrade price difference with 2 x 23kg luggage = £212.00 per person.

Lounge access

Unfortunately, you do not get any Lounge access with the upgraded Premium economy cabin class. This is only applicable when you fly in BA Business Class or otherwise known as Club World or First Class. You can however purchase airport Lounge access via various companies on the web such as from Lounge Buddy.

Priority Boarding

When purchasing an upgraded ticket, you do receive priority boarding on your flight. Depending on the cabin classes on the plane your flying, First Class and Business class passengers board first, then Premium economy, then economy passengers Economy last. 

BA Economy vs Premium Economy Seats

Pictures courtesy of BA
BA economy seat

This is where BA Premium Economy starts to show you the real difference from Economy Class.

First of all you get a larger, reclining seat with bigger pitch and extra legroom, lumbar support, a head rest and a foot rest. The difference being approximately 7″ of extra legroom between the two seats.

You also receive a comfy pillow and blanket on your seat awaiting you on boarding the plane. The Premium economy seat is 18.5 inches in width and provide 38″ in pitch. The economy seats measuring 17.5″ wide and 31″ in pitch.

The seat layout is also different between the two cabins. In economy you get a seat layout consisting of 3 x 3 x 3 seats per row. This means that if you’re flying as a couple, you will potentially have a stranger sitting next to you. 

BA premium economy seats
BA premium economy seat outer window seats

If you look at the seating layout in Premium Economy, you will notice a different layout consisting of 2 x 3 x 2. That one less seat per row allows for the larger seat and extra legroom per row.

The biggest advantage in our opinion is if you choose the window pair seats, you do not have the potential of a stranger sitting next to you for your entire flight duration. You will also notice in the BA example seat plan below that the upgraded cabin is approximately two-thirds smaller. This reduces noise and traffic within the cabin.

When you purchase your fares online, at the checkout stage you will be offered the opportunity to select your preferred seat/s for a fee. Unfortunately,  instant seat selection is still chargeable unless your flying in First Class on BA.

You can choose your preferred seats for Free 24 x hours before departure within your British airways executive club account. 

Alternatively, you can choose for Free 7 x days before departure if you are a British Airways Executive Club Bronze member. If you become a Silver / Gold member then you can select your seats for Free at the time of booking.

To read more on how to select your seats on BA click to read here > BA SEAT SELECTION <

You also receive a complimentary BA amenity kit consisting of flight socks, eye mask, ear plugs toothbrush & toothpaste, pen etc. 

BA Seat Map

The Difference between the Two Cabins Interiors

BA premium economy cabins
BA premium economy cabins

In BA Economy, the Cabin still has a modern look and feel throughout. However, due to the seating layout it does look and feel a little cramped.

Premium Economy cabins have undergone a revamp recently giving the look and feel of a more intimate cabin. With the new interiors, you get a better seat with greater recline, a 60% larger flat entertainment screen with personal in-seat power supplies, perfect for powering your laptop or smartphones during your flight time. You also get your own touch screen In-Flight entertainment system with controls and noise-cancelling headphones to enjoy a movie, watch your favourite TV episodes, documentaries or listen to music / books.

Food and Drink Comparison

The main difference in food and Drink between Economy vs Premium Economy consists of in Economy you receive complimentary drinks, snacks and a four course meal. You also receive a snack between your main meal and arriving at your destination.

You also receive a complimentary before departing a choice of refreshments including either sparkling wine, orange juice or water and a small accompanying snack.

In Premium Economy you receive a better dining experience served on China crockery and you are presented by the cabin crew a dining menu including the drinks selection menu.The meals served are using the best, locally sourced ingredients and tailored to the season’s. You also receive an additional three course meal instead of one per flight in economy class.

You also receive a second hot snack or lighter meal per flight and more complimentary drinks from the menu. On most routes, you can pre-order your preferred choice of meal for your flight within your BA Executive Club account. 

Meals served in this Cabin are more aligned with the dining experience received in Club World Business Class. 

BA World Traveller plus meals
BA World Traveller Plus Breakfast

You also receive Tea or Coffee served with all meals and at regular intervals during your flight.

Cabin Crew Service

Due to amount of passengers seated in both cabins, you do feel like you receive a slightly better service from the in-board cabin crew in World Traveller Plus. There appeared to be on our flight two dedicated cabin crew members to the Premium Economy Cabin. 

This resulted in a more attentive service and quicker delivery of the in-Flight meals & drinks. 

Our Personal Verdict / Recommendations

In Economy or better known on BA as World Traveller, you pay the lowest fare possible for the journey. When you pay for the cheapest fares, you do not usually expect much more than the basic standards of seats, meals and experience in general.

When you pay extra to upgrade to Premium Economy you do expect a certain, improved levels of food, seating and extra luggage allowance & extras for the extra money paid.

The upgraded experience is a serious step up and sits between Economy and Business Class. 

If you’ve never flown in an upgraded cabin, Premium economy is a great, first step. Our recommendations would be to ensure for comfort and privacy, definitely opt for the outer pair seats next to the windows on either side of the cabin. 

If you can preselect your seats before you fly, preferably at the time of booking. This will ensure you receive your preferred selected seats for your personal comfort & privacy.

You do get a certain amount of improved benefits in the higher cabin, larger seats, better recline and much improved leg room, improved meals served on real crockery and more complimentary drinks just adds to the experience and priority boarding. 

Using the example price difference comparison of British Airways economy vs Premium Economy fares, you’re looking at paying an extra £424.00 each way for two people or £212.00 each to fly in the upgraded cabin.

If your considering upgrading from Economy to Premium Economy, what ever you do please do not wait until you arrive at the airport. Usually, in most cases, the upgrade cost displayed in your BA account or sent to you by email will in most circumstances will always be cheaper than the price provided to you when you check-in at the airport.

Some people will potentially think that’s not good value and will always opt for the very cheapest fares first.

In our opinion, we feel that all depends on how much you value those improved enhancements to your overall flight experience in the upgraded cabin. 

Price vs Comfort – This is biggest decision every passenger takes!

To read our latest review on British Airways Club World Business Class vs Premium Economy, click the link here – https://theskinttraveller.com/2019/10/03/british-airways-club-world-vs-premium-economy-2019/

We would love to hear your experiences or opinions on the above article, please leave a comment or question below and we will always reply as quickly as possible.

British Airways Seat Selection – Do you Pay or Not??

British Airways Seat Selection – To Pay or Not?





Today, we were faced with a dilemma, do we, or do we not pay the British Airways Seat Selection fee?

As the weeks ticked down to our departure, I regularly check the seats available on our flights by logging into my British Airways Executive Club account everyday. Up until recently there were still Three sets of seats available. Then today, when I logged in,  I was faced with only Two sets of seats available and still a week to go, now the heat is on….

Background

In just a weeks time we fly British Airways in Club Europe Business Class for the very first time. As neither of us hold any status in British Airways other than Blue (entry-level status), we do not have the Privilege of confirming our seats at the time of booking. British airways seat selection 24 hours before your departure is the only option that is Free to us at this point.

British Airways do not provide Free Seat Selection to any Passengers even in Business (Club Europe / Club World).

The only Seat that British Airways currently offer free of charge to select at the point of booking is First Class.

So how do you select your seat for free if you’re not flying in BA First Class?

British Airways status levels

British Airways Tier Status Levels – A Beginners Guide

If you view the above chart, you will see that the “Blue” Tier Level which we are at present only provides a few benefits. You do collect Avios Points on all cash booked flights, collect Tier Points & you manage to Save your details in your account. Anyone joining the British Airways Executive Club gets automatic Blue level Status.

No Free Seat Selection though. Moving on…

Bronze Tier Level:

BA BRONZE TIER LEVEL
BA BRONZE TIER LEVEL

To achieve Bronze Tier level you do however have to fulfil requirements set out by British Airways. These include needing to have booked using Cash and flown on British airways or on one of their Alliance Partner airlines a minimum of Twice and have to have earn 300 x Tier Points, or taken 25 x BA flights.

Extra benefits include 25% more avios points on bookings, Priority check-in & Boarding.

When you’re a Bronze Tier Member you can only select your Seats for Free 7 x days before your departure.

Silver Tier Level

BA Silver Card Tier Level
BA Silver Card Tier Level

To achieve Silver level you also have to fulfil requirements set out by British Airways. These include needing to have booked using Cash and flown on British airways or on an Alliance Partner airline a minimum of Four times and have to have earn 600 x Tier Points, or taken 50 x BA flights.

When you’re a Silver Tier Member you can select your Seats for Free at the time of Booking. Additional benefits include 50% more avios on bookings, Priority check-in & Boarding, access to Business class Lounges & additional baggage allowances.

Gold Tier Level

BA Gold card Tier level
BA Gold card Tier level

To achieve the Gold Tier Level you need to have booked using Cash and flown on British airways or on an Alliance Partner airline a minimum of Four times and have to have earn 1500 x Tier Points. When you’re a Gold Tier Member you can select your Seats for Free at the time of Booking.

Additional benefits include 100% more avios on bookings, First class Priority check-in & Boarding, access to Business & First class Lounges & additional baggage allowances & additional flight availability.

Outcome:

You need to be a Minimum of BA Bronze Tier Level status to even confirm your BA seat selection reservation fee for Free 7 x days before your departure.

To ensure you get the seat on BA you really want immediately, you really need to get to Silver / Gold Tier status to select and confirm your seat/s at the time of Booking.

However, to obtain even BA Silver Status Tier Level, flying 4 x times on Cash paid tickets and collecting 600 x Tier Points was just not achievable for us. Firstly, we do not have the money to pay for 4 x Return flights just to obtain BA Silver. Those 4 x flights at a Minimum would need to be in Club Europe (Business Class) to achieve 600 x Tier Points.

On average, the highest earning Tier Point Club Europe flights start at about £250 each to obtain 80 x Tier Points each way. You can however fly on Long Haul on BA or one of their Alliance Partners which does earn more than 180 x Tier Points but you still need to have flown on a Minimum of another three cash paid flights to fulfil the requirements of Silver Tier Status.

That works out if only one of us were to fly to gain BA Silver Tier Status, it would cost us a Minimum of £1000 plus in cash paid BA flights. That is not also including all the additional expenditure connected to travelling such as parking fees, food, hotel stays etc. Lots of people fly on purpose a certain amount of flights on specific routes just to obtain Silver / Gold Tier Status, this is known as Tier Point Runs. It’s basically a way of Manufacturing Tier Points just for the purpose of Status requirements.

Some people are in a very lucky position to fly regularly for either work purposes or personal travel so can pick up Silver / Gold status easily.

British Airways Seat Selection Fee – The Alternatives:

So how do you select your seats for Free?

In short, The British Airways Seat Selection Fee is in most cases is always payable unless you have Silver / Gold Status at the time of Booking or unless of course your flying in First Class. Remember the only Free option available to Blue members is to use the british airways seat selection 24 hours before departure option.

British airways Seat Selection fee

BA Seat plan selection fee

Every booking made on British Airways flights are provided the option at the time of booking to pay to select your seats otherwise known as the british airways seat reservation fee.

Our Club Europe british airways seat reservation fee stated £48.00 to Confirm both our Seats one way. That is £96.00 just to select all our seats on a return basis.

We decided against paying cash for the british airways seat reservation fee purely on principal as we feel anyone flying in BA Business Class should not have to pay to select their seats and we like to pay the minimum we can for our flights / holidays.

British Airways Seating Chart:

BA Seat map a320

All BA flights provide a seat map to assist passengers to locate and select their preferred seats.

The BA Seat map displays information such as Row numbers, Seat assigned numbers and other preferred seats such as the Emergency Exit Rows Seats.

The seat map also displays different seats per Cabin class such as Economy, Premium Economy, Business and First Class.

The BA Seat map is very useful in assisting passengers to enable them to select accurately where they prefer to sit on a plane. Some people do not like to sit at the back of the plane, some prefer not to sit over the wing etc.

BA Seat Selection – Using Avios Points:




Our Solution, and the best value for us were to use Avios Points to Select & Confirm our Seats.

Not many people know that you can use Avios points to select their seats at the time of booking. Strangely, when we logged in using our BA app we could not find the option to use Avios to Confirm our seats. I had to log in to my BA Executive Club via a Tablet / Desktop account and found the option under “Manage my Booking”.

To use Avios Points whilst logged into your BAEC account and not via the BA app, select your seats and confirm your selection.

Proceed to the payment stage for the seats, when you arrive at the Payment page, scroll down and you should see the option to pay with avios points.

If you do not have enough Avios Points to cover the required amount, you are given the option to part pay with avios and cash.

We have been in a very lucky position to collect our Avios points for free via the very generous Tesco Clubcard bonus point promotions in the past. We have managed to build up a sizeable amount of free avios points and some profit from this scheme which has enabled us to travel in Business Class flights to luxury destinations staying in 5 Star Resorts all for Free.

Overview / Recommendations:

You can select your seat for Free using the British airways seat selection 24 hours before departure. If you can “sweat it out” and take the chance that your preferred seats may not be available at this point, then this is the cheapest route available. The British airways seat selection reservation fee can range from £24.00 to £89 per person each way depending on if you’re flying certain cabins and short / long haul.

For us personally and after an awkward 11 hour flight seated immediately next to a complete stranger on a recent, previous British airways Club World flight, we prefer now to always complete seat selection on BA as soon as we book our flights.

If you like the idea of becoming a BA Silver / Gold Tier Status Member that provides you free seat selection at the time of booking then this is another option. Manufacturing Tier Points to gain Silver / Gold does not come cheaply. The value in becoming Silver / Gold will all depend on how often you fly using British Airways. If you travel frequently for Business or Leisure then this status should be fairly easy to acquire.

For the rest of us without BA Status, you can pay cash or use our prefered choice pay using Avios points. Once again the value needs to be looked at with this option as this all depends on how much those avios points cost you in the First place.

The Skint Travellers Cost / Recommendations:

We only had two options available to us, pay cash to a total of nearly £100 to secure our seats both ways or use Avios Points to pay to reserve our seats in full.

Avios Points in the traveller loyalty point market tend to attract a generalised value of 1p per point. In our opinion this value depends in lots of factors, being the most important to us is what you paid for those points in the first place.

If you shop in Tesco, you will be collecting Clubcard Points for Free which when converted to avios points equal 2.4x the face value of 1 x clubcard point. We had a generous pot of Avios earth for Free via previous generous bonus clubcard point promotions and a bit of buying and selling promotional items.

To us, using avios points rather than spending nearly £100 in cash out of our pocket was preferential. However, when our Avios balance starts to empty, we will be looking at other, more cost effective ways of bagging seat selection for cheaper than paying cash direct to British Airways.

It all comes down also to what you feel personally comfortable with. If your fine with taking a chance that you could potentially not be seated next to your partner during your Club Europe flight, then leave it until 24 hours before and get seat selection for Free.

If your like us and prefer to know you have confirmed seats next to each other on your flight, you need to take one of the options discussed above, pay cash or use Avios Points.

We did pay for our Club Europe tickets only using 65,000 avios points and £98.00 in taxes, the cash price from BA for these flights were £660. This equates to 65 k avios points providing a value to us of £558.00.

Remember that you can collect Avios Points for Free via the American Express Gold Card Review found here – AMEX GOLD CARD REVIEW or by collecting Tesco Clubcard Points / Purchases through the BA E-Store amongst other routes. We will be discussing how to collect Tesco Clubcard point routes in more detail soon in up and coming articles, stay tuned or sign up for our Newsletters.