Despite flying on a very regular basis, somehow I have never ever had the luxury of flying Club Europe. Well I did fly Club World last year from New York back to London (when we were unexpectedly treated to a free upgrade courtesy of British Airways).
But to be honest, I struggle to see the point of spending extra cash for the upgrade to Club Europe on a 1-2 hour short-haul flight within Europe (neither can I see my client voluntarily splashing out for it).
Saying that, I have recently had the pleasure of having not just one but two flights in British Airways Club Europe, one from Frankfurt back to London City, one from London Heathrow to Rome. However both of those were in fact Executive Club Reward flights, meaning I spent my bonus points for them rather than my hard earned cash.
As far as arriving at the airport and boarding the plane is concerned, flying Club Europe isn’t much different from my usual experience, as I have silver status, so lounge access, fast track security and priority boarding is something I am accustomed to by now (oh wow, this sounds so smug… I do apologize). However my husband had the pleasure of being allowed into the lounge on his own, rather than accompanying me and believe me, he totally enjoyed it.
For the flight from Frankfurt to City Airport having the upgrade somehow wasn’t quite worth it.
It all started well. Soon after take off we were given the menu with that day’s food selection.
Unfortunately it seemed I wasn’t the only one fancying the fish & chips, as it was already completely out by the time the flight attendant came to take my order. As the beef cheek didn’t quite tickle my taste buds, I opted for the chicken salad (that wasn’t on the menu, so no idea where that came from) and the chocolate tarte for after’s… luckily I am not a vegetarian… the girl next to me had the choice of the side salad or a pack of crisps (she decided on the crisps). But this only seems to be due to the rather small planes (and therefore very limited selection) travelling between Frankfurt and London City.
It was a totally different experience flying British Airways Club Europe to Rome.
This time we were not given a menu, so when a tray full of food was put in front of us, we automatically assumed this was the selection for the day. As we were flying in the afternoon, getting some oat crackers with cheese and chutney, some cold ham, bread and butter accompanied by a small Waldorf salad seemed like an appropriate choice, followed by yet another delicious piece of rich chocolate cake. Little did we know this was supposed to be starter and desert. So after polishing off most of it (and certainly the chocolate cake), all of a sudden the flight attendant started the second round, handing out the main course. Whoops, not expected. But hey, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t go for chocolate cake first, given the choice.
The mains selection was either chicken with garlic and green beans in a creamy sauce with jasmine rice or baked salmon with linguine and Mediterranean vegetables. As between husband and I we went for both options, I can confirm both were delicious. Certainly no where near what plane food used to taste like.
Travelling in business class means you get real cutlery, cloth napkins and proper glasses, not all that plastic stuff.
And a larger drinks selection at the bar. You are offered Champagne. And instead of the standard Gordon’s London Dry Gin you can have Bombay Sapphire or Tanqueray. Instead of Johnny Walker Red Label, you get offered Black Label.
Still not convinced I would splash out loads of cash for the experience of flying Club Europe, but it is a nice treat every now and then, so well worth looking out for, if the price difference isn’t too big (or if like these two times I am using up some of those bonus points that keep piling up). But only for flights of more than an hour… otherwise you don’t really get to enjoy it.
Flying long haul this is a different story obviously and I am more than willing to consider the upgrade, if the price is right.
So what about you? Willing to splash out for some added luxury?