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A tale of two flights. Club Europe compared to Economy

A tale of two flights. Club Europe compared to Economy

Old Nov 19, 17, 1:48 pm
  #1  
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A tale of two flights. Club Europe compared to Economy

Not long ago I had a club europe ticket from LHR to FRA booked as an award and I had an economy flight from CDG to LHR which I paid myself (was annoyed about not being able to through check my luggage but that's been beaten to death in this forum).

For the economy flight, I'm silver, so I had access to the lounge, priority checkin (which took 2 minutes), access to the priority security lane and, more importantly, I was able to chose the exit row for the economy flight, . It was quite nice and I had space for the legs.

For the club europe flight, the priority checking in LHR was quite slow and took more than 30 minutes and since I wasn't gold I couldn't chose a seat on the first row so I had much less space for the legs than I had before on the economy flight. I did get food, but it was quite bad.
Apart from that, having business class didn't give me a single advantage over what I'd usually get with silver.

So, honestly, what's the point of flying in club europe? The club europe cabin was full so some people must be booking it but why? Is it only for the tier points if the employer pays?

I fly a lot in asia and there, there's definitely a reason to book business class but I really don't understand how the cabin could be full on BA when you don't actually get anything extra when flying club europe.

Last edited by milgom; Nov 19, 17 at 1:55 pm
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Old Nov 19, 17, 2:04 pm
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Originally Posted by milgom View Post
So, honestly, what's the point of flying in club europe? The club europe cabin was full so some people must be booking it but why? Is it only for the tier points if the employer pays?
Because they are connecting to or from long haul business?
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Old Nov 19, 17, 2:12 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by milgom View Post
So, honestly, what's the point of flying in club europe? The club europe cabin was full so some people must be booking it but why? Is it only for the tier points if the employer pays?
You certainly are not alone in challenging this, and many FTers have voted with their wallets by staying clear of Club Europe. It's an entirely reasonable point of view, and there are plenty of recent threads on this very topic. But to get the ball rolling:
- extra TPs and Avios
- empty middle seat, so more personal space
- use of the side table (tablets)
- first off on arrival
- more overhead luggage space
- food (which at breakfast, Longs and Shorts is reasonable and tasty in my view).
- drink service
- hot towel service
- extra snacks / biscuits / nuts
- higher personal service from cabin crew
- potential T5-T3 transfer service (though not guaranteed)
- extra baggage allowance
- row 1 leg room
- better Same Day Change availability (generally)
- lounge access, fast track and priority boarding for those without status

Row 1 isn't reserved for Golds, by the way, but they do get first dibs.

Now the above list won't work for everyone, I fully concede as someone who generally does fly CE - but at least you have a choice. And the extra cost of Club is sometimes fairly modest.
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Old Nov 19, 17, 2:46 pm
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Everything that CWS says. I book it for the extra service from crew (normally you get looked after much better) in particular. This is an oft overlooked benefit of business class.
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Old Nov 19, 17, 3:03 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
You certainly are not alone in challenging this, and many FTers have voted with their wallets by staying clear of Club Europe. It's an entirely reasonable point of view, and there are plenty of recent threads on this very topic ...
I get the impression some of those asking this question do so to try and justify themselves or to make themselves feel better for choosing to fly in economy. Since Club was introduced on domestics I have flown more short haul sectors with BA than I would have otherwise. At the current price point, it is one of the most welcome changes of the year in the Tobias-UK household.
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Old Nov 19, 17, 3:07 pm
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CWS quote: higher personal service from cabin crew

???

As a Silver and flying always CE for holidays I just want to add that the crew only seem to look after the Gold's or is it just me thinking that ???? for example topping up their glasses constantly, giving them better service etc etc, hoping to receive a 'Golden ticket' !!
This is my experience, and feeling.... they just check on the tablet who is gold, treat them like Kings and queens, and sot the rest as there is nothing to get from them.

On a different note,
Just been checking options for my next holiday, it will be the first time but we will go economy.. only 1000 quid cheaper compared to CE!! for 2 adult and 1 toddler on a package holiday to Greece in June.
Will buy my own wine at the airport and food, not really fussed to pay 1000 extra and getting a prawn salade (one prawn) starter and maybe an extra glass of wine if I'm lucky and ask for it, as they are to busy with the 'golds'.
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Old Nov 19, 17, 3:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Jordi14 View Post
Silver and flying always CE for holidays I just want to add that the crew only seem to look after the Gold's or is it just me thinking that ???? for example topping up their glasses constantly, giving them better service etc etc, hoping to receive a 'Golden ticket' !!
This is my experience, and feeling.... they just check on the tablet who is gold, treat them like Kings and queens, and sot the rest as there is nothing to get from them.
Gold envy much? I hardly think the cabin crew even has the time to care about status on a CE flight. Also I think a golden ticket has zero value for the CC except maybe a pat on the back or some random event invite.
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Old Nov 19, 17, 3:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Jordi14 View Post
CWS quote: higher personal service from cabin crew

???

As a Silver and flying always CE for holidays I just want to add that the crew only seem to look after the Gold's or is it just me thinking that ???? for example topping up their glasses constantly, giving them better service etc etc, hoping to receive a 'Golden ticket' !!
This is my experience, and feeling.... they just check on the tablet who is gold, treat them like Kings and queens, and sot the rest as there is nothing to get from them.

On a different note,
Just been checking options for my next holiday, it will be the first time but we will go economy.. only 1000 quid cheaper compared to CE!! for 2 adult and 1 toddler on a package holiday to Greece in June.
Will buy my own wine at the airport and food, not really fussed to pay 1000 extra and getting a prawn salade (one prawn) starter and maybe an extra glass of wine if I'm lucky and ask for it, as they are to busy with the 'golds'.
I really don't notice that. Honestly (and I don't think I'm in the 'apologist' camp for whom BA can do no wrong) - I have been Blue, Bronze, Gold. I'm currently silver. When I was Gold, not once did I get a special "hello nice to have you back", I didn't feel that I got any extra attention. I always feel I get well looked after in Club Europe whatever colour my card is (I've had a few poor CE flights but the crew treated everyone equally poorly - funnily enough the worst CE flight service wise was as a Gold on a midhaul a321 flying to Stockholm with a v v experienced Eurofleet CSD who was clearly having a really bad day with a lot of visible tension between the crew). . I think for most crew they want to look after all of their customers well. However, if you don't find the value in CE, don't book it - simple! I have put less business BA's way lately because I feel the Galleries Clubs are too full to enjoy (biggest thing about Gold I miss is the F Lounge, followed by row 1 seat selection though I still get lucky more often than not). I like the new Domestic CE - I like arriving feeling relaxed rather than scrunched up next to a stranger. I will miss wardrobes when they are removed as I often travel in a jacket and value this being hung - it's genuinely a factor that causes me to choose (for leisure flights) BA over flybe etc. For business these days it's generally LCCs mandated. Luckily I don't need to fly much for work any more. I wouldn't bother with ET unless Heathrow was my closest airport (it isn't). If I can avoid flying Y I do but I wouldn't pay silly money for CE either. But £350 ish return in my view isn't a bad deal for what you get - and I really miss things like priority check in and fast track when I don't have them. I'm also one of these people who can't cope with HBO. The CE product. Works for me.

Only times Gold helped me were unpublished benefits - checking in at Jersey a few years ago they were closing check in for the previous flight so I let a lady go ahead. When it was my turn (T-40 or thereabouts) I got asked whether I'd like to go earlier "you're a gold card holder and have a long time to wait" - I was on an inflexible ticket. The other 'soft' benefit is help from the Gold line (just general competence, efficiency and some flexibility). But you say you book BA Hols who also on the phone I findto be great - if they can get away with being flexible they will.

Last edited by IAMORGAN; Nov 19, 17 at 3:50 pm
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Old Nov 19, 17, 3:49 pm
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As a gold it's the TPs alone that would make me pay extra - and then only if not silly pirices. POUPs tempt me, but paying £500 o/w never will, especially as I pay one way or another. I suspect many like the 'feeling' (both of the service and inside but frankly the difference on a short flight really is marginal.

On the longer SH flights (I do WAW a fair bit) the service is a bit more relaxed, but shorter ones that are CE-heavy less so - NCE is pretty quotidien, service-wise. However on an early morning flight I will almost always take a lounge breakfast and an exit seat for some dozing over CE.
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Old Nov 19, 17, 3:49 pm
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As Silver, at T-72 I usually have no problem get a seat in Row 1 in CE
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Old Nov 19, 17, 3:53 pm
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Sometimes its cheaper for me to buy a discounted CE ticket than it is to buy an Economy ticket for the same flight
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Old Nov 19, 17, 4:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Jordi14 View Post
As a Silver and flying always CE for holidays I just want to add that the crew only seem to look after the Gold's or is it just me thinking that ???? for example topping up their glasses constantly, giving them better service etc etc, hoping to receive a 'Golden ticket' !!
This is my experience, and feeling.... they just check on the tablet who is gold, treat them like Kings and queens, and sot the rest as there is nothing to get from them.
I don't think this is 'Gold or not'... it depends on the crew you've got. I got it handsomely on a recent flight out of London (as a lowly Blue), but on the way back got the mediocre affair - but on both occasions so did everyone else in the cabin, it was nowhere near just me.

Back to the original question... why do I book CE? Personally, I disagree wholly with BoB. Not with the concept - it's perfectly ok for airlines where it's their bread and butter and they do it well - but I just don't think BA is or should be one of those airlines. They certainly don't have the low fares for it. And the way they've done it with lack of product and machines that are useless just doesn't work. So I book CE to go back to the 'old' BA, the one where you get served a snack and a drink and I can forget about how horrible it's become in ET. I know not everyone will agree with this, and that's entirely their right. But for me it works, and I'm happy to put my money where my mouth is (or at least where CE is a good deal anyway )
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Old Nov 19, 17, 4:12 pm
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Originally Posted by Jordi14 View Post
CWS quote: higher personal service from cabin crew

???

As a Silver and flying always CE for holidays I just want to add that the crew only seem to look after the Gold's or is it just me thinking that ???? for example topping up their glasses constantly, giving them better service etc etc, hoping to receive a 'Golden ticket' !!
This is my experience, and feeling.... they just check on the tablet who is gold, treat them like Kings and queens, and sot the rest as there is nothing to get from them................ as they are to busy with the 'golds'.
I have been gold continuously since BAEC membership by TP's was introduced, 1989 I think (it was £50 p.a. before that IIRC, I didn't bother). So, in my 28 years of gold, I do not recognise the crew fawning over golds that you report. Like most BA regulars I have had fantastic crews and awful crews, but for the most part they have been good and I haven't seen other pax being treated any differently, perhaps I was being plied with too many drinks to notice! I do think golds get better service on the ground or on the 'phone however.
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Old Nov 19, 17, 4:16 pm
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Originally Posted by IAMORGAN View Post
Everything that CWS says. I book it for the extra service from crew (normally you get looked after much better) in particular. This is an oft overlooked benefit of business class.
Just back from LPA in Club with 48 CE passengers. Did not get very well looked after (not the crews fault - I don’t think that three crew is enough for such a large cabin) - got 100 ml of champagne in a plastic glass (they used the glass ones on the way out) and had to wait 40 mins to get a top up as two crew had to serve 12 full rows.

They also run out of vodka and other drinks mid way through the flight ( the crew said they had a rough time on the outbound as they ran out of alcohol). This is similar to my flights last year. Given that this is (I think) the third winter of doing the route they either need to reduce the Club cabin or fully stock and staff it.

So for me, don’t see the point of Club on this route - rather self cater to get what I want when I want it.
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Old Nov 19, 17, 4:25 pm
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
You certainly are not alone in challenging this, and many FTers have voted with their wallets by staying clear of Club Europe. It's an entirely reasonable point of view, and there are plenty of recent threads on this very topic. But to get the ball rolling:
- extra TPs and Avios
- empty middle seat, so more personal space
......etc.
I used to book CE for all the reasons given by CWS, but most importantly because with the old seating you were guaranteed legroom. Now, my best chance of legroom is in the ET exit row and this is where I book with BA. For some reason, most European airlines use the same model as BA for SH so I get no joy from trying the opposition.

Worst of all is when I book an ex EU and end up flying into LHR in CE with my knees jammed into the seat in front of me while someone else enjoys legroom in ET behind me.

I really enjoy flying AA where you can get great service and legroom in "First", or you can bag a seat in "main cabin extra". If only BA would adopt the AA model of short haul in addition to their group boarding policy!
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