Fabulous Fridays: Free Heathrow Express Business First Class Upgrade For Star Alliance Gold Members


Our Fabulous Friday topic this week is about the Heathrow Express and their continued promotion of free upgrades to Business First Class Cabin for Star Alliance Gold members.

Members of the British Airways Executive Club who hold Gold Guest List status can also enjoy this complimentary upgrade, based on the purchase of a regular ticket.

The promotion of the free upgrade for Star Alliance Gold members has been going on (with short interruptions) for a couple years now and it’s nice that it’s still available.

You can access the Heathrow Express here.

The difference in fare is usually GBP 10.00 for the one way. Considering the Heathrow Express has a travel time of approximately 15 minutes it’s probably not worth it to actually pay a surcharge of 10 quid for such a small time period but the free upgrade is a nice thing to have at least.

You can access this promotion on the Star Alliance website here.

Star Alliance and Heathrow Express have teamed up to provide upgrades to Star Alliance Gold Card holders travelling on Heathrow Express trains. Just purchase a standard class single or return ticket for the Heathrow Express, the fastest rail link between the airport and London Paddington Station. Once on the train, choose any available seat in Business First Class and show both their train ticket and Star Alliance Gold Card to the attendant. Amenities in Business First include complimentary newspapers and magazines, more leg room, wider seats, a personal table, a power socket at each seat and on-board TV.

This promotion is open to all frequent flyers holding Gold Status in any of the 21 Frequent Flyer Programmes offered by the Star Alliance member airlines.

How does this promotion work?

The Promotion operates only on Heathrow Express trains and at London Heathrow Terminal 2. The Fulfilment Partner offers a benefit (“Offer”) to Star Alliance Gold Holders as further specified in Section 6 below.

You must present your original and valid Star Alliance Gold Frequent Flyer Programme card in order to receive the Offer offered by the Fulfilment Partner.

You may not use the Offer in conjunction with any other reward, discount or benefit of whatever nature and regardless of whoever provides such other reward, discount or benefit. …

Fulfilment Partner offers Star Alliance Gold Holders a free upgrade to Business First Class on trains to and/or from London Paddington and Heathrow Airport T2. …

To receive this Offer you must purchase of a full fare standard class ticket to and/or from London Paddington and Heathrow Airport T2, and show your valid Star Alliance Gold Frequent Flyer card when prompted in Business First Class on the train.

So officially the offer for Star Alliance is valid from T2 and the BA GGL promotion can be used from T3/T5 which are BA’s terminals. In reality however I never had a problem with either combination IF you’re actually prompted to show your ticket/card in the first place.


It’s nice that these offers are still around and the Star Alliance website says it’s until further notice, so at least for now without limitation. A little bit extra comfort for the quick 15 minute ride from Heathrow to the city.