British Club World: Upgrade, Change to AA, or Deal With It?


Does anyone have anything good to say about British Club World? It doesn’t seem so. The title of Gary’s post Just How Bad Is British Airways Club World is another chapter in the series of not so great reviews of British business class. After reading a review for the Grand Hyatt Cannes and the great perks for Hyatt Diamond, I began to think about my round trip ticket from South of France with a return from Milan on British for 30k Avios + $800.

When I booked, I had the choice of flying American or British. I scoffed at the idea of flying a US carrier and even paid a few more dollars to fly BA. Now, with one bad flight review after another, it seems like a made a mistake. If I had to do it over again, I still would fly BA there on the A380 but return on American. At least I would be able to try two different products instead of repeating, if the reports are true, the same mediocre experience twice.

Now I’m wondering if I should use Avios to upgrade to first class, try to call terrible British customer service and switch my return flight to AA (without paying a change fee), or stop being a baby and endure the grave injustice of a round trip business class flight for the decent deal that I paid.

Concurrently, I implore bloggers to stop writing about how awful Club World is. Alternatively, maybe BA can stop sucking. 

Photo courtesy of
Twitter / @NicoGausserand



  1. We recently flew r/t on BA Club World SFO-LHR. It was perfectly fine (and we have flown all the fancy-pants products and always try to book first class not business class). I definitely recommend trying to use Avios to upgrade to first. It is an excellent value, IMO.

  2. Recently flew LHR-SFO A380 Club, upper deck. Avios upgrade bucket never became available, but it was £649 cash DoD at the lounge at LHR. Did not bite, since we were three traveling together. Return was LAX-LHR, bucket for Avios upgrades did NOT clear. LAX does NOT offer a “low priced” cash option DoD. I found the A380 upper deck club to be far superior to my experiences on AA recently. The AA J hard-product on a newly modified 777-220 is superior. But everything else, from flight attendants to food was inferior. I happen to like the upper deck on the A380 and if you get a window seat it’s a fine experience. I’m also more of a service and “soft product” guy. My other two experiences on BA over the past few months were F on the 747, and both were excellent.

      • I think the BA F product on the A380 would be nice. The problem, and I am far from an Avios expert… Is that J to F upgrades pull from the same bucket as F award tickets. My experience has been that BOS has been an easy route to find F bucket availability. I also hear ORD is decent. Believe it or NOT (I hardly do, and I over-heard it) a guy at LAX in front of me spent $3000+ to upgrade (DoD) from J to F. So, there are obvious reasons why they restrict LAX upgrades. I thought the LHR-SFO deal (cash) was decent. If traveling alone I might have done it.

        • I think I’ll stick with what I got because I already paid $400 more than I should’ve because I got in late on the deal. It may not be as good as other flights I have taken but I think it will still do.

        • It is really not as bad as people make it out to be. Though, the A380 (upper deck) is probably the “best of the bunch” with regard to J (Club World) on BA. Will be interesting to see your feedback.

  3. I booked the same Avios+AARP+discount business class deal for BWI-JFK-BCN. Just double checked and the AA plane I booked was recently retrofitted to the new 777-200 business class. Looks way better than what I was going to fly in initially!

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