Bringing BA status within reach: Earn 160 Tier Points with these short-haul destinations
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Instead of doing Tier Point runs, which essentially means travelling when you wouldn’t have otherwise, there are many destinations in Europe and parts of Africa that earn up to 160 Tier Points for a return trip in Club Europe that you could visit for a holiday in 2020.
But before we start, what does 160 Tier Points even mean? Well, if you’re new to the game, that’s more than half the required Tier Points to reach British Airways’ Bronze status level, which comes with a number of benefits.
There are 30 destinations to choose from, spanning all corners of Europe and into North Africa. As the amount of Tier Points increases per the distance flown, you have to travel more than 1,000 miles to benefit from the full 160.
Greece‘s many stunning islands and Cyprus are about as far as you can fly east in Europe before getting into the Middle East and Asia. The distance means that flights in Club Europe to more than a dozen popular Greek holiday spots will earn you 160 Tier Points. You can choose from Athens (ATH), Chania (CHQ), Corfu (CFU), Heraklion (HER), Kalamata (KLX), Kefalonia (EFL), Kos (KGS), Larnaca (LCA), Mykonos (JMK), Paphos (PHO), Rhodes (RHO), Santorini (JTR), Skiathos (JSI), Thessaloniki (SKG) and Zakynthos (ZTH).
There’s only one snag — you’ll pay a premium. Flights to these popular destinations are often only seasonal and don’t operate seven days per week, which makes them considerably more expensive to get there in Club Europe than the other destinations on the list. For example, a return flight to Mykonos in Club Europe for a Thursday to Sunday in May can cost more than £1,000.
Other popular tourist destinations include the Spanish islands of Gran Canaria (LPA), Lanzarote (ACE) and Tenerife (TFS) in the Canaries, Dalaman (DLM) in Turkey, Funchal (FNC) in Madeira, Malta (MLA) and Reykjavik (KEF) in Iceland. Prices for these destinations vary per the time of the year. It’s worth watching out for flights in the off-season, especially to Malta, where I recently flew return in Club Europe for £209.
Off the beaten track
If you fancy trying something new, there are some destinations on the list that you may not have considered visiting before, like Tirana in Albania, where I spent 72 hours eating and drinking to my heart’s content. Not only are returns in Club Europe often cheapest to places like Tirana (TIA) and Sofia (SOF) in Bulgaria, it’s also very cheap when you get there — winner, winner.
Other destinations in Europe you might not have considered before are Catania (CTA) in Sicily and Helsinki (HEL) in Finland.
If you want to mix it up even more and head to Africa, where a Club Europe return to the capital of Algeria, Algiers (ALG) or the popular Moroccan city of Marrakesh (RAK) will earn you those Tier Points.
When is it worth it?
As a general rule, spending more than £300 on a Club Europe ticket just for the Tier Points wouldn’t really be worth it.
After monitoring these routes for a while, the top-five cheapest destinations tend to be Catania (CTA), Helsinki (HEL), Malta (MLA), Sofia (SOF) and Tirana (TIA). Catania is a great one — even in the summer months until June, there are return fares from as low as £216, which is really great value.
When you’re looking for your value-for-money Tier Point fares, keep an eye out for Bucharest (OTP), Romania from £243, Malta (MLA) from around £270 and Istanbul (IST) from £283. On the slightly higher end of the scale, the best prices around for Madeira (FNC) should start from around £328, Marrakesh (RAK) from £313, and Gran Canaria (LPA) from £310.
Earning Tier Points doesn’t mean breaking the bank or doing unnecessary harm to the environment. Be flexible with your destinations and you just might nudge yourself into the next tier of status while discovering somewhere new and flying there in style — what’s not to love?
Featured photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/Getty Images