Is upgrading to Club Europe worth it? That depends.
British Airways is the only airline offering a club class experience on flights to Lanzarote from the UK, and they only fly from London Gatwick.
We’ve flown on the service a couple of times, so we thought we’d share our views. But in summary, unless you need a massive luggage allowance, the “normal” pricing for Club Europe isn’t really worth the extra. But BA often do special deals, and when they do, it’s something we would recommend.
So what do you get?
- Dedicated check in at both airports, and fast track security at Gatwick
- Priority boarding at both airports
- The BA Club lounge at Gatwick, which is superb, and the VIP Lounge at Arrecife
- A huge luggage allowance – up to a 23 KG hand luggage case and 2 X 32KG hold cases
- Two seats per row on the aircraft
- Free drinks throughout the flight
- A choice of meals served on the flight with real crockery and cutlery
- Dedicated cabin crew for the business class section
- Lots of extra avios and tier points
What are the downsides?
There are a couple of disappointments. BA don’t have a deal with Lanzarote airport’s lounge, so there is no free lounge at this end. But the BA lounge at Gatwick is truly fantastic as some compensation. *No longer the case*
Update: British Airways have now reached an agreement with César Manrique airport for Club Europe passengers to use the VIP lounge. It’s not a patch on the BA lounge at Gatwick, but at least it gets you away from the crowds, has good wifi, a nice sun terrace and free drinks.
But the biggest downside is the aircraft seating. Although the Club Europe seats are in the front of the aircraft, they are exactly the same as the ones in economy – with the same leg room and seat pitch. BA’s seats are pretty good – they are comfortable and leather covered, and offer more legroom than the budget airlines, but if you were hoping to stretch out in comfort in Club Europe, you’ll be disappointed. What is different is that there are only two per row, with a table in place of the middle seat, so you are guaranteed shoulder room, a window or aisle seat, and plenty of space for your “stuff.”
And finally, there’s no entertainment. BA don’t offer any kind of system in their A 320’s, whichever class you travel in. That might be OK on a short haul flight to the med, but at four hours, Lanzarote flights could really do with some entertainment.
Club Europe – Summary
One thing worth expanding on is the Gatwick experience, which is a bit special. BA have a dedicated check-in area for Club Europe, complete with red carpet and couches. From there, you go straight through security fast track, and as you pop out the other side, into the BA Club lounge. The lounge has loads of different seating areas, great views of the apron, free flowing drinks including Champagne, and plenty of hot and cold food on offer.
As we said at the top, it’s not easy to justify the additional cost of the Club Europe service – it can be as much as £200 dearer than an economy flight. But, if you pick the right date, it can be as little as £80 more, and then it starts to make sense. When you also factor in that the additional Avios for Club Europe mean you’ll get roughly one flight in five free, then, for regular travellers, it can be a prudent choice.
We tend to book Club Europe either when the upgrade price is very low, or when we need lots of luggage for a long trip.
More reading: Read about Lanzarote Airport.
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