Club Europe Disappointment

Old Aug 19, 15, 2:35 am
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The cynical will say that BA, as a business, will extract the maximum number of from CE with the minimum number of input.

They have totally eliminated extra legroom, and thus the ability to work sensibly on a laptop. They have cut back on catering. And now, when catering fails, we are being told by FTers that we should cut them some slack (and remember a good proportion of CE users get the lounge access anyway, without having to buy CE). So the only thing that is left is half an extra seat. It's fairly easy to monetise that.
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Old Aug 19, 15, 4:37 am
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Catering seems to have picked up recently in my view. As someone who likes scones, I even find afternoon tea OK - 2 bottles of champagne and 2 scones (chuck the sarnies) is all I want at 2-3pm.

Being guaranteed Row 1 (Gold, always book well in advance) helps. Have not been off Row 1 since the new seats came in.

If you have no status, I think the extra 4,500 Avios plus 7.50 to upgrade the outbound leg of a Europe redemption (well, 'near' Europe) to be a genuine bargain given that it gets you fast track, lounge access, priority boarding, seat at the front, empty middle seat and better food and drink. The cash differential on paid tickets, over a weekend, seems to have dropped as well.

Remember that Lufthansa wants 25,000 miles plus 120 tax for an economy redemption from London to Frankfurt.
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Old Aug 19, 15, 5:02 am
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Originally Posted by Raffles View Post
Catering seems to have picked up recently in my view. As someone who likes scones, I even find afternoon tea OK - 2 bottles of champagne and 2 scones (chuck the sarnies) is all I want at 2-3pm.

Being guaranteed Row 1 (Gold, always book well in advance) helps. Have not been off Row 1 since the new seats came in.

If you have no status, I think the extra 4,500 Avios plus 7.50 to upgrade the outbound leg of a Europe redemption (well, 'near' Europe) to be a genuine bargain given that it gets you fast track, lounge access, priority boarding, seat at the front, empty middle seat and better food and drink. The cash differential on paid tickets, over a weekend, seems to have dropped as well.

Remember that Lufthansa wants 25,000 miles plus 120 tax for an economy redemption from London to Frankfurt.
Honey - how do you do this? HI is in Y as he was too tight to pay the fare and I'm in C. We are on the same flight. I suppose that I must look as though I do want to sit with him! How do I organise this - if it can be organised!
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Old Aug 19, 15, 5:45 am
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BA794 to Helsinki. Departs 11.30. Arrives 16.25. Of course, no hot meal; just brunch.
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Old Aug 19, 15, 6:25 am
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Originally Posted by mlafqtv View Post
Even though the OP has responded maybe you could explain in which way this this question relevant?
The OP paid for (be it cash, Avios) and travelled CE. In-flight services are not governed by the fare paid or how much more expensive it is compared to ET, but governed by the cabin paid for
I agree that service should not be governed individually by how much someone has paid (a la "sorry sir, you are on a POUG and we don't give POUG pax a choice when it comes to meals"). I do think though that "one gets what one pays for" and by and large, CE pax do not pay a massive " premium" for CE.

As others have said, regularly, an outright CE booking can be more reasonable than a POUG offer (ranging from 69 to 99 (or sometimes higher)) and when you break down what one gets, there can be 'value for money' in CE:
- lounge access costs easily 25 per pax so that's 50 return (plus potentially a guest)
- an empty middle seat costs 50% of a normal fare (I think) so let's call that, what, 50 each way so 100 return (which I think is on the low side)
- some food - probably 15 if you bought a picnic at the airport beforehand?

if you add that together, the "value" easily exceed whatever you might have paid.

now, I am not saying that CE is good. I am not saying it's worth the money or always value for money (I think the OP didnt get a great deal with paying tens of thousands of avios plus a higher base fare) - all I am saying is that you get what you pay for. CE - often - is a relatively small premium over ET (and when a CE return ticket does cost 500, an ET ticket is also likely to be very expensive - i.e. it's the last minute booking that drives up the price, not the 400 premium of CE over ET). So let's not kid ourselves with expectations and this suggestion that the average CE pax pays a huge premium over ET. By the time you divide the difference between CE and ET by 2, i.e. a one way difference, it's not that much actually and clearly plenty of people find it worth it.

Many of my CE flights are par tof connecting flights where the amount of money that goes on that actual flight can only be very small.

I might 'treat' myself to CE on a positioning flight to SVG next year - it's 4,000 for ET one way or 7,750 for CE one way. so that's 3,750 extra which I personally value at "opportunity cost value" of 75 though one should more generally value at 37.50. is that "worth it" for 2 hours? well, it's at the end of an F ticket from SYD so probably. it's by no means extortionate.

so I come back to my 'expectations' point which I do think is linked to the amount of money I pay. When I upgrade my weekend Virgin Train ticket to "First Class" for a fiver or tenner each way, I don't expect anything (apart from a bigger seat) and am pleansatly surprised by the snack I might get even though I fully well know that a First Class ticket during peak travel during the week gets me a Full English Breafkast (at probably 150+ each way).

So individual cost is not relevant as it's one size fits all for everyone in the cabin. but the overall cost is.

here ends the sermon.

Happy Wednesday.
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Old Aug 19, 15, 7:35 am
  #66  
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE View Post
Honey - how do you do this? HI is in Y as he was too tight to pay the fare and I'm in C. We are on the same flight. I suppose that I must look as though I do want to sit with him! How do I organise this - if it can be organised!
Sorry Pucci - I meant the difference between a one-way Y redemption (4,500 Avios) and a one-way CE redemption (9,000 Avios) as opposed to the cost of upgrading a cash Y ticket.
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Old Aug 19, 15, 7:36 am
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Originally Posted by chris1979 View Post
I fully well know that a First Class ticket during peak travel during the week gets me a Full English Breafkast (at probably 150+ each way).
Isn't the trick with Virgin Trains to take the shoulder services which feature the full drink and food offering but are generally priced at off-peak levels?!

That was always my strategy on my occasional trips up to the NEC!
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Old Aug 19, 15, 8:23 am
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Originally Posted by Raffles View Post
Isn't the trick with Virgin Trains to take the shoulder services which feature the full drink and food offering but are generally priced at off-peak levels?!

That was always my strategy on my occasional trips up to the NEC!
not as clued up on traintalk.com as I am on Flyertalk.com ....

what's "shoulder services"?

apart from my 9 month secondment "up north" (to Brum), I avoid trains (and the North) so not au fait with such lingo (nor tricks on trains) etc. Do they have tesco tourists as well?
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Old Aug 19, 15, 8:28 am
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Originally Posted by chris1979 View Post
not as clued up on traintalk.com as I am on Flyertalk.com ....

what's "shoulder services"?

apart from my 9 month secondment "up north" (to Brum), I avoid trains (and the North) so not au fait with such lingo (nor tricks on trains) etc. Do they have tesco tourists as well?
For eg, they start serving food on the 4.30pm service but peak fares only kick in from the 5pm service (made up example but you get the idea) so the 4.30pm train gets you the full service for a cheapo fare.

Hope you know you get Virgin Flying Club miles for booking Virgin Trains on their website now? More valuable than taking Nectar points!
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Old Aug 19, 15, 9:33 am
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Originally Posted by Raffles View Post
For eg, they start serving food on the 4.30pm service but peak fares only kick in from the 5pm service (made up example but you get the idea) so the 4.30pm train gets you the full service for a cheapo fare.

Hope you know you get Virgin Flying Club miles for booking Virgin Trains on their website now? More valuable than taking Nectar points!
ah, ok, cool.

I do follow your posts on HfP and so yes, knew that there are / were sweet-spots on trains but I had to book mine via Corporate TA last year and as said, avoid trains and the north if avoidable.

I did earn Accor Platinum "the sleeping way" through the 8 month saga though (and now that it's over, look back fondly on my Alan Partridge hotel days).
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Old Aug 19, 15, 10:17 am
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Originally Posted by chris1979 View Post

I did earn Accor Platinum "the sleeping way" through the 8 month saga though (and now that it's over, look back fondly on my Alan Partridge hotel days).
Everyone knows Alan stayed at the Hilton Watford! He had class you know ?
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Old Aug 19, 15, 2:30 pm
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE View Post
Truth time. I have now been told be 3 different Pursers out of LGW (I suspect that applies to LHR) that they do not load sufficient cooked breakfasts deliberately - this is hearsay and gossip, However on three ALC flights that leave at 06.40 they only load one cooked breakfast for three passengers in CE. They are told to "sell" the cold product.
Interesting.
On recent CE flight LGW MLA I was first pax to be offered breakfast and took cold selection. My travelling companion also asked for cold selection, only to be told I had taken the only one! They were offered flight decks porridge as an alternative.
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Old Aug 19, 15, 4:24 pm
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Originally Posted by ckx2 View Post
How many people actually buy standalone CE tickets at all? I'd have thought the majority of people traveling on CE cabins are either connecting to intl longhaul flights or accepted a POUG?
I do, but not on flights which fall into the afternoon tea times.
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Old Aug 21, 15, 5:38 am
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Originally Posted by mlafqtv View Post
Interesting.
On recent CE flight LGW MLA I was first pax to be offered breakfast and took cold selection. My travelling companion also asked for cold selection, only to be told I had taken the only one! They were offered flight decks porridge as an alternative.
Really - that is interesting. I wonder if someone has been listening. That is diametrically opposite to my experience. Let us hope that this continues! That cold selection is basically the "Brunch" or whatever the marketing people call it.

Raffles - you are not the first man here to get me all hot and bothered and then tell me different

Phil the Flyer has been doing that for years.
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