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As much as BA is maligned in the press and the blogging community, British Airways Executive Club remains one of the best Frequent Flyer Programs for UK based flyers, and British Airways elite status can be well worth pursuing.
Back in April, Joe outlined how to use the regular Qatar Sales to achieve BA Silver Status – which is precisely what I will be doing this year. Normally I wouldn’t get anywhere near BA Bronze let alone Silver as I only travel for leisure, but this year I bagged a return Business Class trip from Brussels to Tokyo for €600 in their Travel Festival (yes- seriously!). So I started looking at how to achieve the remaining 40 Tier Points and 4 BA Flights I’d need to qualify for BA Executive Club Silver.
British London Airways
One of the biggest criticisms I could level at BA is their (almost) complete lack of direct services from the regions outside London. They have created their fortress hub at London Heathrow and seem to have little interest in expanding to the regions beyond a domestic shuttle services to London and a few infrequent leisure routes using tiny aircraft, at inconvenient times, that they’re having to bribe people to take, whilst London City Airport is closed over the weekend.
Luckily there are options for those of us who choose to live outside the M25…
At the bottom of the information page outlining how many Tier Points you need for each level, is a very important bullet point defining what counts towards your “4 BA Flights” for Silver or Gold – “Codeshare flights on other carriers with a BA Flight Number”.
This means you’ll have to book through BA.com, but can fly direct from your local airport without the hassle and expense of first travelling to London!
In the example below for a random weekend in September, you could pop from Birmingham to Paris for £57 each way on BA’s LCC sister airline Vueling – earning 10 Tier Points and 2 qualifying flights for £114! Repeat and you’ve got your 4 Flights in the bag.
When booking Vueling flights through BA.com, you get a 23kg checked bag included as standard – this is why it might look a little more pricey than the headline price with Vueling direct which won’t include checked bags.
Checking this specific example, booking direct with Vueling the equivalent fare with baggage is £103. £10 extra, if you’re trying to qualify for BA status, is well worth it in my book!
Remember though, that if you already have British Airways elite status you won’t receive status benefits such as free seat selection on Vueling as it isn’t formally a OneWorld member.
Vueling is just one example
BA operates a number of codeshares with other OneWorld alliance partners, such as Iberia, American Airlines and Finnair – so wherever you want/need to go, you have plenty of options that will count towards your BA Status qualification. Just book via the BA website and ensure it has a BA flight number and it will count!