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BA Club to First Upgrade - Advice please

Liverpool, UK
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BA Club to First Upgrade - Advice please

It is several years since I’ve flown BA and I would welcome advice from regular BA flyers on the following.

I am planning to book BA flights from Manchester to Las Vegas via LHR for May 2014 and the current BA Club price in the sale is just over £2,100 per person but as the flights are part of my 60th birthday vacation I ideally would have wanted to book First but I cannot justify the cost of just over £4,100 per person.

I am considering upgrading to First on the outbound flight only as I think this would be a better overall experience and can do so when booking the flights at a cost of £1,000 per person.

Would I be better simply booking BA Club and hoping for a cheaper upgrade to First via MMB nearer my travel dates which are on a Tuesday in May 2014 on BA 275 from LHR to Las Vegas.

The prices quoted are in the current BA sale and any booking must be made by 28 January although the fares could disappear before then.

I appreciate that any upgrade offers via MMB will depend on the load on the particular flight and waiting is a gamble - I understand that nobody can give a definitive answer and the best advice is to book the travel class you want to fly but any views would be welcomed.

London
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1. Re: BA Club to First Upgrade - Advice please

I've just done a similar thing for a BA flight to Sydney.

During November, I tracked the loads in each cabin using Expertflyer for the following two weeks, and then compared these to the reward seats that were released.

If there were lots of empty seats, they tended to get released about 2-3 days prior to the flight. Some even on the morning of the flight (which I guess could give you problems if already checked in).

This probably won't work durung December though, as everything is busier than normal.

I would just spin the dice and book CW, and start checking back two weeks before departure. Worst case, you end up in the CW cabin.

A few months ago, Expertflyer allowed you to set up alerts for BA award availability that would email you as soon as they were released, but they seem to have stopped now.

Liverpool, UK
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2. Re: BA Club to First Upgrade - Advice please

I should have added that I do not have any FF status with BA and am looking for advice on a paying for an upgrade with cash - I am not expecting a free upgrade from Club to First.

London
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3. Re: BA Club to First Upgrade - Advice please

Apologies. I assumed that you were planning on doing it with miles.

Would you be able to sign up for the BA Amex & collect the bonus mileage? If you use the card to pay for the tix, then you should have enough miles for the upgrade one way.

18000 to sign up, plus 8000 for the purchase

I don't really pay much notice to the MMB cash upgrades from CW to F, but this is probably because they haven't been attention grabbingly good.

Manchester, United...
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for Manchester
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4. Re: BA Club to First Upgrade - Advice please

I would get the CW return booked now and get the very good sale price. I recently did something similar and upgraded with money to first on the outward journey. Many would do the inbound overnight journey in First, but I agree with you about enhancing the experienced on the outbound journey. Also it means you can use the excellent Concorde lounge at LHR on the way out.

If you keep checking MMB you might get the offer of an upgrade and generally that's for each leg rather than return journey only. I used to check it daily and as I had only booked outbound in first I was checking whether they would offer it on my return journey. They did do, but it doesn't last long, and I ended up getting a good price on a return upgrade to first.

London, UK
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5. Re: BA Club to First Upgrade - Advice please

£2100 is a great price for a CW flight to Las Vegas so I'd snap it up now and hope that the gamble pays off and you can upgrade for less than £1000 later. Whether £1000 extra for first is good value or extortionate would depend on two things for me - is it new first or old, and is it usually a 747 on that route? i don't think there's much difference between CW on the upper deck and old first for instance - certainly not £1000 worth of difference anyway. But if you're talking the difference between new first and CW on a 777, then there is more of a difference. Still not £1000 worth of difference for me, but if the food, drink and service is a big deal for you, then perhaps it would be worth it. And if the gamble doesn't pay off and you end up in CW ... well, it's hardly a hardship, is it?

New York City, New...
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6. Re: BA Club to First Upgrade - Advice please

If it's important just book it now. In my eyes £1000 to upgrade one way to First from CW is a good deal....as I say sitting here waiting to board the 30min flight where I paid £150 premium for business class when I get all the business class ground perks and more through status. I've a different perspective to others though...

7. Re: BA Club to First Upgrade - Advice please

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