British Airways offers free first class upgrade from business class

By David Flynn, July 28 2014
British Airways offers free first class upgrade from business class

British Airways is offering a free upgrade to BA first class for business class travellers flying from Sydney to Singapore or London.

It's a pretty straightforward deal: book a Club World business class Sydney-London or Sydney-Singapore return fare and you'll spend either your outward or return journey ensconced in BA's elegant first class cabin.

That'll also get you one of British Airways' new first class amenity kits – or 'washbags', as the British flag-carrier prefers to call them – with skincare products from Aromatherapy Associates and London grooming specialist The Refinery.

Read: British Airways' new first class amenity kits take flight

There are caveats, of course. For London flights, you'll have to book at least 28 days ahead, whereas the free upgrade on flights to Singapore can be locked in up to seven days in advance.

Also, the freebie isn't available on flights operated by Cathay Pacific on a BA code – only British Airways' own flights qualify.

Bookings must be finalised by 11:59pm on August 4 for travel through December 15 2014, else you'll miss out on that first class suite.

And, naturally, upgrades are "subject to availability and seats are limited."

To book, just head to the BA website and search for your flights. Where upgrades are available, you'll find the business and first class prices matching on the outbound flight:

If you'd prefer to travel in style on the journey home, simply opt for business class on this flight and it'll unlock the upgrade on the return:

Better yet, you'll earn Qantas Points and status credits at the first class rates for half of the journey, as the upgrade books into a standard British Airways first class 'fare bucket':

Round-trip ticket prices start at $7,855 for Sydney to London and $3,791 for Sydney to Singapore.

For more details and to book, visit the British Airways website.

Also read: Leave Sydney? "We're here to stay" says BA

Additional reporting by Chris Chamberlin.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 733

So who are they gonna stick in the biz-class cabin?


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1529

I did this upgrade last year and it really nice to have such a treat for “nothing”. However it is “subject to availability” so you have to be quick and book quite in advance. On that flight booth cabins First and biz where fully booked, there where no one single seat. Also keep in mind that First is not that big – just 14 seats. I would say deal is excellent and those who toying themselves with treat of First must participate to understand that First (albeit being excellent product) does not really worth money or points over biz. Well, this is my conclusion anyway. Though if I would be on the market for biz ticket in Europe, I would definitely consider BA offer :-)))

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Mar 2013

Total posts 169

I flew BA15/16 this week in Business, purely because of the deal over QF & SQ to Singapore for a few days of meetings. Without being too much of a -anker you'd have to say why BA?

As a Plat One and previous SQ Solitaire BA Business is a real let down. The service was average to say the least. If this is the best the BA product is then I can't see BA competing. First looked OK, but not up to QF, SQ, EK, CX or EY standard from my experience. 

It looks like a good offer, but I doubt the offer is a guarantee. If BA can sell the First seat they will.

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1242

It's clear the free upgrade offer is not a guarantee - "upgrades are subject to availability".

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Dec 2012

Total posts 40

It's locked in if there's an available seat in appropriate fare bucket in F at the time of booking. At least this has been the case with every other such promotional upgrade fare BA have offered.

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 542

I think that BA's F product is more like a well polished reverse herringbone product (slight inclination to Lucky @ One Mile At A Time's opinion). So while it's definitely better than their business class (which means I'll be damned to bump up to F from 7-8 across J), I do believe "ensconced in BA's elegant first class cabin" is a little extreme. OK, I could be biased as it's the only F product I've taken. Comments?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 259

I have flown BA F SIN-SYD and while the seat and 'area' is nice, it's not spectacular. And the service was well below par, actually downright disappointing. Maybe because I paid for the flight with points and not $ the crew felt they didn't need to offer me the proper First experience?

Club World looked far too cramped, and halfway to SYD I was kicking myelf for not flying home in QF J.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2012

Total posts 124

I flew Sydney to Singapore in First on BA's B77-300ER. It felt as though I was in a Cathay Pacific Business Class Seat. They forgot to bring any menu's on board in 'First' requring the cabin crew to try and memorise the main parts of the menu. It was quite embarrasing for them. Their famous afternoon tea has many elements of their afternoon tea missing, including their famous scones. The crew again admitted they were embarrased by the situation. The B777 first class bathroom is worse than business class on Qantas and Cathay. The foot traffic in first of cabin crew going through the cabin was extensive and noisy. The food quality was very good (even though no menu was produced).

Overall the crew were very good, but the hard product and other elements of the trip was anything but First unfortunately.

04 Dec 2013

Total posts 154

I've spent a lot of time in CX's J seats (both "coffin class" and the new ones) and a little time in BA first.  If you confused the two, you must have over-indulged in the lounge.  

Cathay's is a (good) business class product, the BA seat is similar to the old QF first on the 747s - sure, it's not a walled-off suite like on a QF A380, but there's plenty of space and it's very comfortable.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 698

Yes, the BA 777 First/Business toliets are not much different to those in Economy (size wise certainly). It's perhaps the starkest lack of premium feel.

While the food is fine, it lacks the wow feel other First services (SQ, etc).

The seat however is decent enough and I enjoy the Kir Royal on arrival :-) 

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