Free One-Way British Airways Upgrade to First on Return Club World Bookings

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You can currently get a free one-way British Airways upgrade to First when you book an eligible Club World return flight (booking classes R, D, C, J). There’s no limit to the amount of upgrades you can score, so long as they are qualifying bookings (one upgrade per booking).

This promo is valid for departures between now and 27 August 2017 and you must return by 3 September 2017. You have until 25 June 2017 to book.

Note that you must depart and arrive in the UK to take advantage of this offer, on a booking that was purchased and ticketed in the UK. You cannot book online; you must call BA to get this deal or book via a travel agent. Existing bookings are not eligible. See BA’s promo page here for further details and full terms and conditions.

This could work out nicely. For random dates in mid and late June, I found that the cheapest Club World tickets available were all in the eligible fare bucket ‘R’ anyway. (The BA website doesn’t make it easy to find a fare in a specific bucket; click on the flight number to see the precise selling class for your chosen flight):

I have selected BA1 here not only because it had the cheapest fare on the dates I was looking at (£1856), but also because I actually value highly pre-clearing US immigration during the re-fuelling stop at Shannon. This means that once you get into JFK, you can walk straight out of the door – no more waiting immigration queues!
The return flights are more expensive, but then again every flight I was looking at was in one of the required fare buckets. I randomly choose BA172 (£2583):

In this example, you would pay £4439 for the return trip, but your return leg would be in First Class, effectively saving you £963 (i.e. the difference because the cheapest first fare and the cheapest Business Class fare for BA172).

Be careful however, as you may well find that the lowest available (restricted) First fare on the dates you require is cheaper than buying an eligible (semi-flexible/flexible) Business Class fare – So check carefully before you book! 

For those of you looking to qualify or requalify for elite status with BA, you will earn the higher First tier points and Avios rate on the upgraded leg. As per the terms and conditions for this promotion:

“17. Eligible Participants who are also members of the BA Executive Club will be awarded Avios and Tier Points in accordance with points allot table for the cabin that they actually fly in. Avios and Tier Points are issued for use subject to the Executive Club’s terms and conditions.”

British Airways Upgrade Bottom line

This is a good promotion as you get to fly part of your journey in a cabin that can be substantially more expensive. For anyone who has not yet flown BA First, this is a decent opportunity to try it out. Compare prices before you book, however, as sometimes buying a restricting First fare can be cheaper than purchasing an eligible (semi-flexible/ flexible) Club World ticket.

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