BA Luxury Sale: How to fast track to British Airways elite status
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As we have mentioned before in previous posts, the only way to gain elite status with British Airways Executive Club is by flying with BA as well as its various partner airlines.
Tier Points are awarded based on the length of the flight and what class you fly in, so you can stockpile points either through lots of cheap flights or by splurging on some business-class travel.
Due to the pandemic’s massive impact on the travel industry, BA is one of many airlines that has adjusted their rewards programmes in over the last few years to make attaining, and retaining status easier with various promotions. This is why a just-announced British Airways sale for business-class flights and luxury holiday packages caught our attention.
The sale applies to select short and long-haul journeys with business-class flights and luxury holiday packages out of London across 2022 and is available to book and take advantage of until 28 March 2022. Through the deal, you can either book just the business-class flight or arrange a complete holiday package that includes hotel accommodations.
There are some great deals to be had, including a seven-day holiday to Tenerife, Spain (TFN) from London Heathrow (LHR) that includes Club Europe seats and a hotel room for a total of £1309.
You can find great prices for just flights as part of this sale, including business-class fares to cities such as:
- Boston from £1048 one-way
- New York City from £1606 one-way
- Dubai from £1445 one-way
How to fast track elite status
But what struck us at TPG is that you can also maximise your use of this deal if you’re chasing status, whether it be silver, gold or beyond.
If Executive Club members combine this sale with the airline’s reduction of its Silver status threshold to 450 Tier Points, as well as the extension of its double Tier Points promotion (running until 31 October 2022) for flights that are part of a BA package holiday booked through BA Holidays.
By doing this you could maximise your point earnings and score Executive Club silver status with a single trip.
If this all seems a bit much and the idea of pulling it off seems ambitious, don’t worry. Let TPG U.K. walk you through it.
First, it helps to understand what it is you’re trying to attain. British Airways Executive Club Silver status is the airline’s threshold where the perks begin to make sense for frequent flyers.
Silver status-holders get, among other benefits, the following:
- Priority boarding
- Free seat selection
- Entry to business lounges
- 50% bonus Avios points
Typically, silver status is earned by obtaining 600 Tier Points, although it has been reduced to 450 Tier Points through to October 2022.
As TPG UK has written about in the past, BA doles out Tier Points based on the distance you travel and the class you fly in. Considering that most economy flights on BA will only earn you 5 Tier Points, most travellers don’t stand a chance of earning this status because they won’t fly enough to earn sufficient Tier Points. However, Club Europe business-class flights earn you 40 points, which means that flying business is your best shot at attaining status.
As an example, the trip to Tenerife mentioned above is considered a short-haul business class route since it’s less than 2,000 miles. As it is a business class flight, it would normally earn you 40 Tier points for each flight.
With the double Tier Points offer in effect since that flight was part of a BA Holiday package of at least five nights, you would double your total. That means you would bank a total of 160 Tier Points in one trip (80 tier points for both the departing and return flight0, which puts you more than a quarter of the way toward Silver status.
But we mentioned above that a savvy traveller could potentially book the right holiday that could earn enough Tier Points for silver status in one getaway.
To manage this we take into account the current reduced level to gain status, and also the double Tier Points bonus for booking a holiday. Armed with that information, we went to British Airways’ website and started experimenting with different itineraries.
As TPG U.K.’s Ben Smithson has pointed out before, the key to being able to pull off this “one-trip status run” is beginning your journey from a regional U.K. airport such as Edinburgh (EDI) or Manchester (MAN) and then connecting in London before going on to your final destination.
This way, if you’re flying in Club Europe or business class, you maximize the number of Tier Points you earn. The other trick is to book your holiday to what is known as a “far Europe” location, such as Greece, Albania, Bulgaria or Romania, to get a greater amount of Tier Points. Morocco fits the bill for this type of destination if you are departing from London Gatwick Airport (LGW).
A seven-day trip, flight and hotel room, through BA Holidays that began in Manchester, connected in Gatwick and then headed to Marrakech, with return flights connecting at London Heathrow before returning to Manchester is an option we found when searching BA’s website. Together with the seven nights at the Riad el Farah Kasbah in Marrakech, the total for the trip was £1,511.
The grand total of Tier Points earned for this itinerary? How does 480 Tier Points sound?
This is the breakdown of the points earned:
- Manchester (MAN) – London Gatwick (LGW) – 40 Tier Points
- London Gatwick – Marrakech (RAK) – 80 Tier Points
- Marrakech – London Gatwick – 80 Tier Points
- London Gatwick – Manchester – 40 Tier Points
That is 240 Tier Points, which we then double because our trip was booked through BA Holiday and it runs at least five nights. That brings us to a grand total of 480 Tier Points, which under the current reduced threshold, gives us enough to earn BA Executive Club Silver status. And if you’re already Silver and have your eye on Gold, you can make a huge jump towards that goal if you plan your travel just right.
Remember, you don’t have a lot of time to waste if you want to try and book this type of deal. The current sale on BA business-class flights and package holidays expires 28 March.
The double Tier Points bonus runs through October of this year, as does the lower requirement for earning Silver status. Oh, and remember, this only applies to BA Executive Club members. Before you book travel, be sure to sign up for an account if you haven’t already done so. It’s free and takes only a minute or two.
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