It is generally accepted that flying on Concorde was for the 1%. You know, royalty, wealthy people, top flight politicians, A-list actresses, models, corporate high flyers, rock stars and so on. What is not known is that you could fly the supersonic aircraft relatively inexpensively.
You could of course use frequent flyer miles, which meant a big saving on the standard fare. At the same time, if you were in the know, you could also buy tickets for a pretty low cash price too. Here are some examples of how cheap a trip on British Airways Concorde could cost.
BA Concorde Flights With Miles
The final year of service for Concorde was 2003 and that year a member of the Executive Club redeemed 80,000 miles and paid £61.50 in taxes for a flight between London and New York. Not bad at all! Anther person did it the other way, 80,000 miles and just £4.10 in tax. Of course, that means a return trip would have set you back 160,000 miles, which is a lot.
Further back in time, the rates were even lower at 125,000 miles for the return trip between New York and London. First Class, by comparison, was 100,000 miles return.
How Cheap Was It With Cash?
It is reported that before 2003, LHR-JFK-LHR was as low as £1,600 return all in with eBookers. You could also pay US$2,140 for one way on Concorde and one way in Club World business class. People on a First Class around the world ticket could upgrade the transatlantic leg to Concorde for an extra £650.
Another way was to start in other cities. You could fly First Class from Cairo to New York and back (via London, of course) and it would be £1,200 return including a flight one way on Concorde. Someone else paid €1,600 return for similar, starting in Lisbon with one leg on Concorde.
According to those in the know, an arcane method was to buy 20 InsideFlyer subscriptions, transfer the points to SPG and then to Qantas and book Concorde that way. The total cost for that was around US$1,200.
Staff might have had the best deal though. This set people back £500 for a one way ticket, which someone reportedly did on their 21st birthday. I’m not jealous at all!
It seems Concorde was quite accessible to the masses if you knew what you were doing. I imagine most people wouldn’t even consider looking for flights on the supersonic aircraft as they would automatically think it was out of their price range.
You still see this today, with people paying through the nose for economy class tickets, when it may only be a small difference to go in a higher class. Often people don’t even consider checking the higher class, which can sometimes be better value.
Did you ever fly on British Airways (or indeed Air France) Concorde? Do you remember how much the flight cost you? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
With thanks to FlyerTalk.
Featured image by Aero Icarus via Wikimedia Commons.
Seattle Concorde Cabin by FaceMePLS via Wikimedia Commons.