LHR – DME: A Long Haul Experience on a Short Haul Flight


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The Overview

Having a quick scan of google flights will highlight that the BA (British Airways) service from LHR (London Heathrow) to DME (Moscow Domodedovo) will be changing in the coming months, and for the better. At present the current timetable of flights looks likes the image below, offering a standard A320 for a near 4 hour flight, not to dissimilar to flights found going to Malta or Greece.

However, when the summer timetable kicks in a change occurs on one of the three planed flights going to Moscow which subsequently turns the short haul Airbus A320 into a long haul Boeing 777 or 787 with all the accouterments you would expect. While common logic dictates that on would only see the B787 on a long haul route, BA for some reason has decided it makes financial sense to put this aircraft on a European route (likely due to the demand for a first class offering).

But with this said, why take this route?

Well; one of the main reasons for taking this flight, aside from the desire to travel to Moscow, is that this route allows the average Joe to experience a new aircraft with the offerings of Club world at a relatively economical price. And while the below table shows the three different flights at three different price ranges for business class offering, all three flights collect the same number of Tier Points, 90 in Premium Economy, 140 in Business and 210 in First Class.

But a cheap business class flight to collect Tier Points is not all; as this is classed in the case for business, as a Club world product, this means that the perks of the Elemis travel spa are included in the ticket price. As the BA website shows (Link Here):

“A complimentary 15 minute treatment menu is available if you are travelling in our First or business (Club World) cabins or you are a Gold card member flying long haul”

What About the Points?

According To BA, the flight will cost 17,000 Avios + £80.90 off peak or 20,000 + £79.19 during the peak season which means that it is possible to take a flight and pay 40,000 Avios and £158.38 in taxes and airport charges.

However, if you have collected at least one Avios point in the preceding 12 months, you will qualify for the Rewards Flight Saver and only pay £25.00 in taxes one way, even though this is a Club World flight. For those who do not know, Reward Flight Saver, or RFS, saves you money on European flights by giving you a reduced fee on taxes, fees and carrier charges.

I was able to receive a complete fare in Club World for £1,307.52 and punching this into the calculator brings the redemption of Avios to 3.14p per return flight in peak times (£1307.52 – £50.00 / 40,000), which is a above average return on Avios.

If you did decide to splash out on first class, the redemption on Avios would decrease and the value of Avios would drop to 1.87p. But you would be able to do is gain access the Concorde room so your mileage may vary on the value of the return.


With that said, if you did fly business, you would be getting a lie-flat bed, lounge access and a free Elemis Spa treatment included in your ticket. Furthermore, the 280 TP you would receive as a result would put you 20 points off Bronze and the opportunity to fly a long haul plane with the service level of a premium cabin does stand out as a good option.

Just remember that you may need a visa to enter Russia.

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