How to Upgrade to Business Class on British Airways

When you’re on a long-haul flight to an international destination, who wants to be wedged into economy class? Especially when you can score a class upgrade to the executive club and be treated like a VIP. It may not be as hard – or as expensive – as you think. Here’s how it’s done and how to score a bargain on business class BA flights.

Note: British Airways flight upgrades extend to partner airlines:  Iberia and American Airlines flights.

There are only a few realistic ways to wave goodbye to premium economy seats and step up to a luxury experience:

1. Buy an upgrade. (you can only bump up one flight class)

2. Use British Airways Avios Points to bump up your fare class

3. Earn British Airways Executive Club Gold Upgrade Vouchers

4. Get a hugely discounted deal on a new booking through Business Class Experts

Let’s talk about how to get an upgrade without relying on luck or fantasy scenarios where a flight attendant begs you to move to first class as a personal favor.

How To Find Deals on British Airways Business Class Flights

Getting an upgrade is rarely a sure thing. Everything has to fall into place at the right time, and there are quite a few roadblocks to securing a British Airways upgrade. If you’re not the kind of person who leaves comfort to chance, your best bet is to contact Business Class Experts.

We work with British Airways to offer the lowest prices on unsold business class seats. How deep are the discounts? We can save you up to 70% off advertised sales. It’s definitely worth finding out if you can affordably escape economy class for a long-haul flight…without breaking the bank. Just give us a shout and let us work the magic.

Benefits of British Airways Business Class

British Airways provides an amazing experience to business class ticket passengers traveling from the United States to Europe. From check-in to exiting the plane at your destination, you’re treated like royalty. 

  • No lines. Dedicated check-in and concierge service lets you skip the lines and spend your time relaxing with a drink or a meal instead. Or using their office setup, if you’re traveling for business. You get fast-track priority boarding as well.
  • Luxurious Club World lounges.  Since British Airways is  dedicated to international business travel, you’ll find their most elaborate lounges in London Heathrow  airport (LHR) and New York JFK.  
  • Lots of baggage, no extra fees. One perk of business class and first class is the lack of picky little add-on fees that skyrocket your cheap price. You’ll be allowed a carry-on plus a personal bag or laptop, and up to three checked bags.
  • More comfortable seats. On board, you’ll find a spacious, contoured leather seat that folds down to a lie-flat bed. You’ll have plenty of legroom, privacy partitions, and fluffy bedding designed by The White Company to help ensure a good rest.
  • The White Company amenity kit. Awaiting you will be a kit filled with items to help make your flight more comfortable: lotion, an eye mask, ear plugs, and other essential goodies.
  • Amazing entertainment. Your entertainment options are virtually endless. Choose from a huge selection of music, movies, and shows, put on your noise-cancelling headphones, and let the time fly. Or use WiFi, power outlets, and USB plugs to get some work done.
  • Gourmet dining. Complimentary three course meals, snacks, and drinks are available on request.

How to Find Out If Upgrade Space is Available

Before you waste your time searching for upgrades, you need to determine whether you’re eligible for an upgrade. 

Unlike other airlines, British Airways allows you to check for available business class upgrades. If you’re are eligible for an upgrade

1.  Log in to your account on 

2. Go to “Manage My Booking.”

3. Click “Executive Club” and then “Spend Avios.”

4. Look for “Reward Flights.”

5. Search for empty seats in the next cabin up from yours. If there are available seats in the next higher fare class, you may be able to upgrade with cash or points.

Upgrade Restrictions and Info

You can move up only one fare class. That means you may be able to jump from economy (World Traveller) to premium economy (World Traveller Plus), premium economy (World Traveller Plus) to business (Club World), or business (Club World) to first class, but you can’t move up from economy to business or first class. If you’re hoping to move up to business class, make sure to buy a premium economy ticket.

When you’re flying round trip, your journey may have several legs. For example, if you’re flying from Los Angeles LAX, and you change planes in New York, some parts of your trip may not be upgraded. If you’re arranging your own booking, make sure you understand the rules governing your upgrade. And don’t forget to book your return upgrade. If you have enough miles, you may be able to get your return upgrade using Avios Points.

How To Upgrade To Business Class For Free on British Airways

  • Book it. The most reliable way to guarantee an upgrade is to book one from the start. Why gamble when Business Class Experts offers business class flights priced at up to 70% off? 
  • Talk to the gate agent – Board in the last group, and ask if there are any unexpected no-shows. They may offer you a free or deeply discounted airport upgrade. 
  • Earn British Airways Executive Club Gold Upgrade Vouchers  – Frequent flyers get a lot of perks. If you meet elite status requirements,  British Airways offer you and a companion an upgrade the next highest fare class. With 2,500 Tier Points, you’ll qualify for one companion voucher. When you reach 3,500 Tier Points, two companion upgrade vouchers, which you can use to upgrade you and a companion traveling on the same reservation.
  • Build up Avios points with a British Airways American express or Visa credit card. Points and perks add up faster when you take advantage of special offers.
  • Travel on Overbooked Planes – Airlines often overbook their flights. They know some people will cancel and some will miss their flights, and they compensate by booking more seats than they actually have. If they have crowded economy seats and a few seats available in business class, they may look for passengers to move. Look for flights that are off-peak for businesses, but popular with families, like flights around the holidays.
  • Hedge your bets  – To up your chances of being the chosen passenger, fly solo, sit near the front, be polite, and dress nicely. The odds that you’ll get upgraded from economy to premium economy are better than your odds of being moved to business class or first class….and the odds of being moved at all are pretty slim.
  • Ask after boarding – You’ll be more likely to be moved if you have a good reason. If your seatmate reeks of cigarettes, for example, explain that you’re allergic and your sinuses are already starting to bother you. If the cabin is packed and you can see there are empty seats in the next cabin, get creative and ask to be moved away from this location/person (without being offensive). 

Business Class Flights Scams To Avoid

  • Avoid shady mileage brokers – There are websites online where you can buy points. They operate by purchasing unused points from business travelers and reselling them at a discount. It may sound like a great deal, but it is against the rules of every airline, and there will be consequences if you’re caught. 
  • Phishing scams – Email and text scams offering unbelievable deals are common. If you receive a message about a trip you have not booked, or a giveaway flight tickets offer that seems unlikely, it’s most likely a scam. Before you click on any link that appears to be from British Airways, make sure the url is and not something that looks similar, but is not the same. 
  • Do a little research – Don’t do business with any company that doesn’t have a legitimate address and contact info. Make sure the phone number works, and the person who answers is knowledgeable. Look carefully at the website and content to be sure it’s not riddled with spelling and grammar errors – a dead giveaway to scam operations.

British Airways Resources