Is CE to PMI worth 150pp more than ET?

Old Jul 9, 06, 12:25 pm
  #1  
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Is CE to PMI worth 150pp more than ET?

Howdy folks

I'm trying to arrange a late, cheapish getaway to Majorca in Sept, and am looking at the options - I'd rather fly ex-LHR and BD have some good flight times, but they are looking for >400 for 2 pax which looks very steep. Sleezyjet want just over 300 to fly ex-LGW and BA come out cheapest (allbeit with an oh-my-God-it's-early 0545 outbound departure time), at 209 inclusive.

Now I have a few options:

- just buy the cheapo BA flight and put up with LGW at that time in the morning
- suck deep and pay BMI nearly double, for the benefit of buying my own catering on board
- pay 525 for 2 pax to fly CE (now I've heard good things about GB Air's CE product when compared to BA's, but is it worth 150pp more of my own cash?)
- or else cash in some of the mountain of BA Miles, and maybe even chuck in an Amex 2-4-1 that I probably won't use elsewhere... I could blow 40,000 miles + about 100 in taxes to fly 2 in CE, or 20,000 + 85 to travel at the back.

What would you do?
I'm inclined to hang onto the miles but will probably lose the 2-4-1 if I don't use it, and I'm not sure I'd want to fork out an additional 300 to fly CE for a relatively short flight...

Decisions, Decisions...

cheers
Ewan
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Old Jul 9, 06, 12:54 pm
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As per GBBoi's thread here, why not buy the BA flight in economy, and see if you can upgrade at checkin for 60 pp. Not guaranteed, and I don't know if you need the tier points, but another option.
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Old Jul 9, 06, 12:56 pm
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Not worth the premium to fly CE - my limit is GBP75 over the cheapest available ET fare. I'd just fly the cheapest ticket you could on whoevers schedule suits best.
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Old Jul 9, 06, 1:37 pm
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Miles - no way, it's such a waste compared to how they could be spent! Unless you really have a huge mountain and know you won't use the 2-4-1 at all otherwise (although I don't think you can use the AmEx voucher on GB Airways operated flights since it's valid on BA Mainline only?). In which case, it may be better than letting the 2-4-1 lapse if you can get away with it.

What's your BA status? Given the early outbound time, I'd imagine you're not going to be in the mood to take much advantage of the lounge and/or on-board CE service (though I do wholeheartedly subscribe to the view that it's never too early for champagne! ). If you're Silver or above, I'd probably suffer ET and go BA. Unless you really need the TPs to get/renew status? The other factor to consider for such a Godawful departure time - will you need a hotel near the airport the night before to make it? If so, factor that in to the cost comparisons, of course.

I don't have a fixed CE 'premium' like Swanhunter. I will sometimes personally pay (and indeed have paid a few times to HEL, for example, on work trips where the policy is ET otherwise, for various reasons which suited me at the time) over that 150 quid fare difference. But there is only so far you can reasonably justify CE over ET in my opinion, especially with flight times like that

I would resent paying that much to BD (or even EZ) for a crappy buy-on-board product But will you still be BD*G by then for the lounge access and other perks at least (since the times are more civilised than BA's)? If so, that may make for a better trip.

Really, this is a very personal call based on your needs/desires. I'd probably personally pick the BA flight in ET (even if you do need a hotel to make it, the fare difference would amply cover a night at the HIEX near LGW)...

Phil
PS Don't forget to book through the BA Travel Shop link for a whole 10 quid off if you can wangle it (can't recall off the top of my head if GT flights are excluded or not).

Last edited by G-BOAC; Jul 9, 06 at 1:51 pm
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Old Jul 9, 06, 2:03 pm
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It certainly used to be the case that BA didn't have a lounge at PMI but BMI did... Granted the lounge wasn't much AND it was landside but could be useful in your decision making process...
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Old Jul 9, 06, 2:12 pm
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It is years since I flew to PMI but as memory serves it is ChavAir par excellence. I like my space and am prepared to pay for it. Yes, I would pay it - but ultimately it depends on how you feel about it. If you wear scads of Burberry, Bling, or better yet His and Hers shell suits you will blend in perfectly.

In all seriously - if you want to go as cheaply as possible take your BA option. If you want a better, the miles, and the tier points go CE. OIt really depends on you and whatever we say, you're the one that is going to hit the "Confirm Purchase" button - not us.
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Old Jul 9, 06, 2:46 pm
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BA Economy, and get a hotel at Gatwick, best option. And upgrade at check-in if you can.

Just an opinion from me, in case you wanted someone to throw a decision. But as Pucci says, you're the one pressing confirm
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Old Jul 9, 06, 3:07 pm
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Thanks all

I think I'll go for the ET option (I could use the lounge if necessary but given the early flight time I doubt we'll want to be at the airport any earlier than absolutely necessary... and certainly won't want to drink any champers or anything...)

On the cashing-in-miles front, it's a pretty close call - 24,000 Miles accrued for 100 of Tesco vouchers, so saving 100 (after tax) on blowing 20,000 miles isn't really worth it. I'm probably going to lose the 2-4-1 but I suppose there's always the hope they'll extend it beyond the new 3-month max

PMI is a bit of a nightmare airport, but we're off to a friend's appartment in the north of the island so it's a short journey in the opposite direction from all the shell suited hordes.

cheers
Ewan
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Old Jul 10, 06, 4:02 am
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If I don't need the tier points, I'll go to 100 per person return for the CE premium on any flight up to 2.5 hours. And I'm probably being generous, since I already have lounge access due to my Silver card.

And I would think twice about even paying 100 extra for another Band 2 flight that only serves salad as the meal - I want hot food for my 100!
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Old Jul 10, 06, 4:08 am
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I regularly use BA to get to PMI and agree the flight is v. early however I can be at the pool shortly after 10am on a good day. The new motorway to the North of the island has cut tavelling time in half, we can do desk to doorstep in 5 hours now.

BA's chav count is a lot lower than the charters and sleazyjet, tending towards owner occupiers and not the 3* accomodation allocated on arrivals hen parties. It is a rare day not to see a dozen giggling girls in matching pink tshirts and too much flesh on display at PMI.

There is access to a lounge at PMI but it closes at 10pm (ish) YMMV. It has been closed at 10 for me and my wife has used it at 11 the following evening. It has been updated recently and the airside lounge is apparently quite good now. BUT I would avoid spending much time at either end if possible although the North terminal is much better than the masses at PMI.

My wife and I are both Sliver and have access to the lounge, we also have a good upgrade rate on these flights. Unless you are desperate for the lounge or TP, go ET. The flights is 2 hours and the incremental gains aren't worth the additional cost - to me at least.

J
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Old Jul 10, 06, 6:43 am
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I took the early morning flight to PMI last week in CE....not worth much of a premium in my opinion.

I OLCI'd the night before & got to the airport for about 4.30am (reason in itself to avoid this flight, although you do get the whole day there I guess). There were no CE desks open to dump my bags (too big to take on board) & huge queues for the 'fast bag drop'...took a good 30 mins.

Next off to security...Fastrack closed at this hour so another 15-20 mins for security. By this time there was only time for a quick drink in the lounge & then off to the plane for a horrible breakfast!! Would much rather have a panini in ET (if that's what they were serving).

All in all poor value for money on the Gatwick side as so many of the CE facilities are not available so early. Taking the evening flight to PMI would probably be a different story as you could do a days work, have a few beers in the lounge & get into PMI just in time for dinner (why do they eat so late?)!!!!
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Old Jul 10, 06, 7:20 am
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Originally Posted by Jeremy
I regularly use BA to get to PMI and agree the flight is v. early however I can be at the pool shortly after 10am on a good day. The new motorway to the North of the island has cut tavelling time in half, we can do desk to doorstep in 5 hours now.

BA's chav count is a lot lower than the charters and sleazyjet, tending towards owner occupiers and not the 3* accomodation allocated on arrivals hen parties. It is a rare day not to see a dozen giggling girls in matching pink tshirts and too much flesh on display at PMI.

There is access to a lounge at PMI but it closes at 10pm (ish) YMMV. It has been closed at 10 for me and my wife has used it at 11 the following evening. It has been updated recently and the airside lounge is apparently quite good now. BUT I would avoid spending much time at either end if possible although the North terminal is much better than the masses at PMI.

My wife and I are both Sliver and have access to the lounge, we also have a good upgrade rate on these flights. Unless you are desperate for the lounge or TP, go ET. The flights is 2 hours and the incremental gains aren't worth the additional cost - to me at least.

J
Thanks for this posting - most interesting - one to pencil in the diary I think for some winter sun.
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Old Jul 12, 06, 9:58 am
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for the extra cash you'll get slightly more appetising breakfast but even in ET they get a hot brekkie b4 10 so unless you fancy opening the champagne at 6am there's not much to do in CE at such an early flight. From what i see, most pax just sleep at that time. It seems a bit steep for a better meal and a newspaper...... in the day time you would certainly get more as ET get a soggy sarnie and thats about it.
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Old Jul 12, 06, 10:15 am
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE
If you wear scads of Burberry, Bling, or better yet His and Hers shell suits you will blend in perfectly
It's ok, his profile says he is from Wokingham, not Bracknell.
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Old Jul 12, 06, 10:35 am
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE
It is years since I flew to PMI but as memory serves it is ChavAir par excellence. .
as sad as it sounds, PMI is one of GB Charter's classier destinations. There is less polyester on one of those than to e.g. "Iraklion" or "CharmeldSkake".
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