Avios has very good value for short haul flights (especially for Club Europe) where single way seat cost just 7500 Avios and up. I paid about 15000 Avios at SGD $96 for 2 person. No doubt Club Europe is nothing spectacular, one still get Priority Check in and Security Screening (which is helpful), Lounge Access in Terminal 5 Galleries Lounge and of course priority boarding. So how did the flight go?
We were dropped off in Terminal 5 departure area which is where British Airways operate from. The terminal looked fairly new as it is one of the newer Heathrow terminals. Check in was very fast as we had access to the Club Word/Club Europe priority check in. Once done, we get to use the Priority line for security screening. The whole process was very fast and soon we were on our way to the Galleries lounge. The lounge is located in the same area as the First Class lounge (which has a direct access after the security queue). The Galleries Lounge is located at the top floor and even though the lounge is spacious, getting a seat in the morning seemed an uphill task! The lounge was very crowded.
We managed to get a sofa seat eventually. Food selection wasn’t great but it was still reasonable. One section of the lounge has a good tarmac view which is excellent for plane spotters to be (provided one can get a seat there).
Soon, it was time for boarding. Being a Business Class seat, priority boarding is another perk of Club Europe. The east however is anything but spectacular. It is just your regular economy seats with the middle seat being blocked (the advantage I guess is that these armrests can be removed if there are no demand for Club Europe seats). I would recommend the bulkhead seats as the pitch is slightly better (with no one in front reclining their chairs).
We were quite lucky that our flight was on time as due to the ‘Beast of the East’, quite a number of flights in the last one week were either delayed or cancelled. We left Heathrow with lots of sun. As the plane was taxiing to the runway, we were treated to the British Airways safety video featuring many stars (such as Ian McKellen, Gillian Anderson, Rowan Atkinson and more). It was certainly entertaining and refreshing change from the usual safety video we get (the other one that I find entertaining is the Lord Of The Rings safety video from Air New Zealand).
The flight to Munich took slightly less than 2 hours. Despite the short flight, food and beverages were provided. There were no menu available, hence I wasn’t sure if alcohol (or if any, what types) were available. However, as I was still on antibiotics (and not fully well), I did not explore this further.
Overall, the experience from ground to ground had been fairly positive. For only 7500 miles per person, you get priority check in, security and boarding, lounge access and on board food and beverage (which you otherwise need to purchase). Other ways to utilize your Avios effectively would be redemption on US domestic flights and short haul intra-Asia flight (which I have done for my trip in May to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific).