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British Airways and American Airlines currently have some good prices in Business Class/ Club World from the UK to Seattle around Christmas and New Year. By stacking the low fares with the temporarily boosted ‘part pay with Avios’ offer, you can get some serious value – and it’s an excellent way to earn BA status too!
Manchester- Seattle, 28th December-4th January: £854.54
Edinburgh- Seattle, 28th December-5th January: £894.33
Inverness-Seattle, 30th December-5th January: £767.51
Jersey-Seattle, 28th December-5th January: £760.95
Birmingham-Seattle, 28th December-6th January, £855.43
The best deals seem to be for fairly limited dates clustered around the festive period.
To get these prices you do need to use 30,000 Avios to knock £300.00 off, but you will earn about 15,000-18,000 Avios back, so the net figure is more like 13,000-ish. Remember that the current boost to ‘part pay with Avios’ ends tomorrow (12th July).
(Bonus Tip: If you happen to still have a BMI/Diamond Club credit card, you can get an additional 10% off by signing in here and clicking through to the BA website through the big banner advert at the top of the page).
To provide context, a standard Avios redemption from Manchester for example, would cost 125,000 Avios + ~ £550 off peak, or 145,000 Avios + ~ £550.00 peak (or on a partner like American Airlines).
In other words, paying an additional £200.00-300.00 saves 110,000-130,000 Avios!
Tier Points – how to earn BA status
When it comes to status with British Airways, Silver is where things start getting interesting. It grants you free lounge access when flying in Economy on Oneworld airlines, as well as free seat selection, additional baggage allowance and 50% bonus Avios. Silver status requires 600 tier points, and you keep status for the rest of your current membership year and all of the next.
How many tier points you earn from any particular flight is determined by distance, class of travel, airline flown, and fare bucket – so it’s quite complex and worth going through a few examples.
If you start from somewhere in the UK like Manchester or Inverness, and then opt for one of the direct British Airways flights between Heathrow and Seattle, you will earn 20 tier points each way on the connecting UK flights, and 140 each way on the long-haul segments = 320 tier points. That’s more than half way to Silver status, so isn’t bad – but with a few adjustments we can do better.
Connecting lights to/from Jersey are technically in Club Europe rather than just Domestic UK, so earn an additional 20 Tier Points each way – so 360 in total.
Where things get really interesting is by breaking up the journey in America. The example flight from Birmingham (above) requires a connection in New York – but that’s actually a great thing if you want to earn BA status!
You get 140 tier points each way from Birmingham to New York (280), and the same again for the flights between New York and Seattle = 560 in total. That’s almost Silver status from one trip! (note that you need at least four British Airways flights too to be eligible for status, but short-haul/domestic flights count).
If you can find a route starting from somewhere in the UK that goes via London and via somewhere on the east coast of the USA to the west coast (in Business Class), you will earn at least 600 tier points – and if the transatlantic legs and UK connections are BA flights you’ll have the required four BA flights too. That means you can earn BA silver status from just one paid transatlantic Business Class flight to the West coast!
Always check how many tier points a flight will earn using the calculator here – you need to search leg by leg.
If you don’t want to go to America, and are interested in how to earn BA status as cheaply as possible, you should take a look a this post about how to earn BA Silver for ~ £285.00!