British Airways BA Club Europe Review [Update 2020] - Was it worth the extra ?
What is it like flying on British airways in BA Club Europe Business Class? Read on to find out our reviews on the flight, the seats, Baggage allowance, the in-flight dining menu & drinks, lounge access, cabin crew service, benefits & options - Overall was it worth it?
Also during our review we will cover the BA Business class dedicated check-in zones, the fast track security, the BA Club Europe lounges, priority boarding, Catering, menu's including breakfast & lunch, seats, luggage & hand baggage policy.
Our First British airways BA Club Europe Experience
Probably just like you reading this, we had never flown on BA Short haul in Business class and we were in serious need of some winter sun being a cold December day in England.
We were always seated at the back in Economy looking towards the front of the plane, just wondering what was it actually like to be seated forward of that blue curtain divider - time to find out we thought..
So using the Google Flights search on the web, we found that all the London to Tenerife flights at the lowest price with availability was coming in at £330 each, a whopping £660 for the two of us return.
We remembered we had some Avios points in our Executive club so researching availability in early March resulted in only a cost of 68k avios plus £98.00 Taxes, clicked and booked, yes please - what a saving!
British Airways Club Europe flights in the regular BA Sales can be found for as little as £200 Return, per person. When you find a Club Europe flight that cheap we strongly recommend booking immediately as these sale fares sell out fast.
From London Gatwick to Tenerife South are the only direct BA flights available in March from taking approximately 4 hours, 20 mins & consisting of 1,572 nautical miles using the Airbus A320 aircraft. Tenerife North is available from both Gatwick & Heathrow also but stops in Barcelona for 1.5 hours and the shortest flight takes approx 6 hours, 30 minutes.
BA Club Europe Gatwick Dedicated Check-in Zones
When flying BA Business class in Europe, you receive as part of your flight package the use of the dedicated check-in zone.
From the main BA check in area, we entered via an entrance signed as above. As we walked through we found ourselves in a queue awaiting service. Many Business Class luggage drop off booths were open and staffed but still some long queues.
We were directed to the First Class check-in booth on this occasion. The staff member was very attentive and chatty and attached a yellow First Class luggage label to our suitcases. Normally in Business Class you get an Orange luggage label which means your luggage receives priority within the baggage system.
BA Club Europe Fast Track Security
After our luggage drop off, we headed our way to the fast track security which is also part of your package if you fly BA Club Europe.
To find the fast track security lanes, you enter through the normal security area but then keep to the left through a dedicated fast track lane. There was one conveyor system for checking your hand baggage but the system worked efficiently and after only a few short minutes, we found ourselves already through.
Normally, the security gate system at Gatwick can at times be long and a frustrating wait. Fast track security is definitely a benefit in our opinion and highly recommended.
British Airways Club Europe Baggage Allowance
Checked in luggage allowance is 2 x 32kg baggage allowance per person. The hand baggage allowance is 1 x laptop bag of 23kg and 1 x cabin bag of 23kg.
Extra baggage in size & weight can be booked in but will incur additional charges.
Please refer to the BA Baggage allowance dedicated page below:
Does BA Club Europe come with lounge access?
All British Airways Club Europe flights automatically provide all passengers lounge access to any BA Business Class Lounge throughout Europe. These lounges will be either run by BA or by another airline in the One World Alliance.
Access to all BA Business Class Lounges Will have certain restrictions such as opening & closing times, some lounges will have restrictions on the amount of time can be spent in the lounges also.
Read our review of the London Gatwick BA Business Class lounge
BA Club Europe Priority Boarding
Also part of the Club Europe package is Priority boarding of the plane.
By the time we had reached our boarding gate we just caught a Tannoy message requesting that all Business class passengers to board the plane now.
It appears that Short haul boarding is a lot quicker process than in Long haul we found out.
Priority boarding is definitely a benefit in our opinion, just to be able to board the plane first gives you enough time to place your hand baggage away and be seated and settled before the bulk of passengers enter the same aisle.
British Airways Club Europe Cabin & Seats
As we entered the plane we were warmly greeted by the Cabin Crew who checked our tickets and directed us to our seat location/s in the front section of the plane.
On first impressions, the Club Europe Cabin looks exactly the same as in Economy.
There are no notable differences to us with the decor inside this Cabin unlike the differences between long haul Business & Economy class.
The real differences became apparent when we arrived at our seats.
The seat layout in Club Europe are the same as in economy consisting of three seats either side of the main aisle. However, the notable difference is that the centre seat is not used for a passenger, but utilised instead as a tray table.
This tray table in the centre seat enables passengers both sides to enjoy more width to stretch out and place cups / glasses or personal items on the table.
For a single traveller, this set up would also provide more privacy.
We purposely choose seats as close to the front of the plane in the CE cabin as possible and managed to secure row 5, seats D/F.
Did you know that all BA Business Class seats are Payable - Find out here BA Seat Selection
This was due to us experiencing on our last BA Club World flight an unsatisfactory level of service by being unfortunately seated in the last row. It is common for meals to run out by the time the cabin crew have reached passengers in the last rows on BA.
If you're not already aware, seat selection is not free even for Club Europe passengers.
To read our New article on whether you should pay or not to reserve BA Seats click here
The legroom of the seats in Club Europe are 30 inches with a seat width of 17 inches. This according to the official information provided by British airways is the same as an economy class seat.
Club Europe cabins do not supply any in-Flight entertainment of any kind. We were a little surprised to discover this as we were on a flight lasting nearly 4.5 hours.
Do you receive hot food served on BA Club Europe?
Yes, all BA Club Europe passengers receive a complimentary three course meal as part of their flight package. Meals will vary depending on the time of day at departure and the flights duration.
Breakfast dining service can include hot, cooked food, cold selections and muesli or pastries. All breakfast servings come with tea or coffee or Champagne / Wines.
Usually all meals will be accompanied by fresh bread rolls & butter / fruit juices. Most flights will also serve Tea or Coffee separate servings with a snack.
British Airways Club Europe Menu
Our outbound flight departed Gatwick at 9.20am to Tenerife so was within the time slot of the Breakfast serving.
So decided against the full English again and opted for a lighter breakfast of continental meats and cheeses.
This dish came with meats, egg, olives & selection of different cheese's such as Brie & Mozzarella. Also accompanying the main dish was a fresh fruit salad and a shortcake style dessert with the usual Bread roll, butter & jam. We were also handed hot towels to clean and refresh our hands.
My wife choose the Omelette which came with mushrooms, a cooked tomato and potato style Rosti.
This was also accompanied by the same fruit salad and a cheesecake style dessert. My wife enjoyed the Omelette, I tasted some and was impressed.
Both our breakfasts were served with either fresh coffee or Twininings tea.
On our return flights from TFS, we were on the afternoon service so had the opportunity to experience the Club Europe lunch menu.
On this occasion, I opted for the Beef Massaman curry and my wife choose the macaroni cheese.
We found the Massaman Beef curry actually quite good and tasty. It used a creamy style, mild curry sauce with braising style beef chunks and a Khichdi rice with vegetables.
This dish also came with antipasti including stuffed peppers with feta, olives and Sun dried tomatoes. A dish of a selection of cheese which were delicious including Somerset brie and coastal cheddar, black grapes & crackers then for dessert an Orchard fruit crisp.
My wife enjoyed the macaroni cheese pasta dish. I also sampled some and was impressed for a pasta style dish on a plane, not dry and chewy.
Her meal also came with the antipasti, cheese selection and Orchard fruit crisp dessert, all accompanied by a bread roll and butter.
All meals were served up on Bone China crockery and accompanied by steel BA branded cutlery with Dining menus provided to all passengers in this Cabin.
BA Club Europe Drinks & Refreshments
Before departure, drinks were offered to all passengers by the Cabin Crew. This included any soft drink, spirits, still wine or Champagne. All drinks are served in BA branded glassware.
I still like to take every opportunity to have a glass or two of Champagne either in the Lounge, pre-departure or during the flight.
During lunch I decided to try the White Chardonnay which I found pleasantly drinkable.
Tea by Twinings and Union roast coffee was regularly offered by the cabin crew to all the Club Europe passengers.
BA Club Europe In-Flight Cabin Crew Service
BA cabin crew service in our experience can be unpredictable. On one flight you can experience a great cabin crew, then on another flight can be not so good which we feel is a real shame and does not portray the correct customer service level to all BA passengers.
On our outbound flight the cabin crew were just ok, they completed the basics of their job and nothing else.
On our return flight,we experienced a much more customer focused crew with an on-board cabin crew manager present. The cabin crew manager made conversation with every passenger on our flight whilst serving customers with a smile.
We struck up a conversation with the Cabin crew manager during our flight on a few occasions and he shook my hand and wished me an onward pleasant journey when we departed the plane.
BA Club Europe Benefits vs BA Economy Class
Flying on British Airways Club Europe does certainly come with some Perks.
What do you get with British airways Club Europe?
In comparison to Economy class on the same flight we received a better seat in our opinion. This was due to the layout of our seats with the middle seat reserved by a tray table. Just having the tray table located in the middle seat provided us both extra space to relax, spread out a bit rather than almost rub shoulders with a stranger if were seated in Economy class.
The Club Europe Dining options were in our opinion actually quite good including a 3 Course Meal & Drinks inc Champagne.
In Economy you have to buy your food which includes sandwiches, snacks & drinks and that is if your lucky and your sandwich or snack has not run out.
Club Europe providing Business Lounge access at Gatwick on British Airways Airways is definitely a big bonus.
You gain complimentary access to the prestigious BA Galleries South Lounge, economy class receives no lounge access unless you pay £25.00 each and with paying you do not get access to BA Gatwick South lounge, but a lounge nearby and not as good in our opinion.
Club Europe passengers receive priority boarding, economy class passengers have to wait until Business class passengers have boarded and settled.
Flying BA Club Europe can cost as little as £200 per person, Return.
This Business class flight will also come with extra Tier Points & additional BA Avios Points.
After only 2 Club Europe flights at 80 TP's each way on the longer european routes, you will receive automatic British airways executive club Bronze membership which provides free seat selection 7 days before departure and an increased avios point earning level.
When you take into consideration all the extras associated with BA Business Class,Club Europe including free BA Lounge access & Priority Boarding, dedicated check-in, additional luggage allowances at 2 x 32kg each, 3 Course Meals, Free drinks and more room in your seat allocation you can start to see why it is worth paying extra.
In our opinion there are not a lot of difference in the prices between Economy & Business Class.
Our Verdict / Recommendations on British Airways Club Europe
British airways Club Europe is "as good as it gets" for BA short-haul European flights unless your lucky enough to be flying on one of the very few, long haul aircraft used on some European routes in which case you would be lucky enough to be sitting instead in a Club World cabin.
Is BA Club Europe worth it?
The cabin & seats are the same as in Economy except for the middle seat being reserved & used for a tray table. The real difference is the meal & drinks selection served and being seated in the front cabin of the plane, fast track security, priority boarding & the extra baggage allowances and don't forget access to the Premium Business Class Lounges throughout Europe.
Is it worth paying any extra?
This all depends on how much you place a value on those extra benefits you receive in Business Class towards Economy.
We will always go out of our way to fly Club Europe now if flying short-haul but would always research the cheapest way possible.
Remember we only paid 68k avios points plus £98.00 in taxes towards a cash fare price of £660, this makes 68k avios valued at £562 in our eyes.
Were you aware BA offer a Price Match Guarantee - Review Found Here - BA Price Match
If you would like to learn how to earn almost 50% of the avios points required to fly direct to Tenerife for two people just by signing up for an American Express Free UK credit card, please read our Review by Clicking here -
Our other recommendations would be to keep an eye on the regular BA Flight sales for discounted business class flights as some bargains can be found.
Another option would be to always try a "Dummy Run" booking using BA Holidays. The dedicated holiday package site regularly displays packages potentially making the Club Europe flights cheaper than purchasing your basic flight & hotel separately.
We strongly recommend to Definitely reserve your seats as close to front of the cabin as possible as this almost guarantees that you will receive your preferred meal choice.
If you have any questions or would like to express your opinion on Club Europe, please leave a comment below.