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Following on from a recent article on current tier points runs which seemed to generate a lot of interest, I thought it was worth talking about how to maximise tier points. BA currently has a reduced tier points threshold for those that make status by 31 December 2022.
In this post:
Until 31 December 2022 you can renew or upgrade your status for 75% of the usual requirement.
So this makes the requirements:
From 1 January 2023, these thresholds will revert to:
• Bronze: 300 Tier Points or 25 eligible flights
• Silver: 600 Tier Points or 50 eligible flights
• Gold: 1500 Tier Points
• Gold Guest List: 5000 Tier Points to qualify or 3000 to renew
It is also worth bearing in mind that you will also need a set number of eligible flights on BA to make or renew status. That’s 2 for Bronze and 4 for Silver and Gold.
These must be:
Reward bookings and agency or industry discounted bookings are not eligible.
Tier points are earned on all BA and oneworld flights and BA codeshares. Here are the oneworld airlines you can earn tier points on.
Note this only applies to cash tickets (including if you use Avios to part pay), but it does not apply to Avios tickets.
It is a common misperception that you always earn tier points on Aer Lingus (and Vueling) as it is part of IAG. This is not correct as they are not part of oneworld. However, if you book to fly on Aer Lingus on ba.com with a BA codeshare flight number you will get the tier points.
You also get tier points on other codeshare flights you book through BA with a BA flight number. However, you don’t get the same if you book a codeshare on a oneworld airline for another non-oneworld airline.
BA code share partners include:
One exception that people may not know about is if you book a codeshare flight through Qantas for a flight on Emirates, you will receive tier points if you put your BA Executive Club number in the booking.
From the UK, the general tier point rates in business class ONE WAY are:
First class is 210 points each way in long haul. This also applies to the “proper” first class on AA’s 3 class US transcontinental services (not domestic “first”).
Economy is more complicated as it depends on the fare class you are booked in. You can find this by:
During the booking process you can see what you are booking into by clicking on the flight number link to find out the flight details. You’ll see a pop-up that looks like this, your fare class is shown beside ‘Selling class’.
It’s worth noting if you pay cash to upgrade, you should get the tier points for the new cabin. It is useful to check upgrade prices online, and at the airport as occasionally, these can be a good value way to earn tier points.
You can check specific routes using the BA tier point calculator.
The simplest way to maximise tier points is to book a BA Holiday rather than separate flights and hotels etc. As long as you book a hotel or car hire for a minimum of 5 days with the flights, you get double-tier points providing you travel before 30 September 2023. This only applies to flights from the UK.
Note this does not apply if you add the hotel or car afterwards. Don’t worry if it doesn’t show the double tier points next to the booking when you book it. As long as you meet the criteria it will be fine. This has been broken since the original promo launched!
You can find the promo page here.
There are a number of longer flights in Europe where you get double the normal tier points so that you can make 160 tier points in a return trip in Club Europe.
The best way to search for a bargain for these destination is to use BA’s low fare finder to find the cheapest dates and destinations. Sofia tends to be cheapest, although it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. If you want a couple of cheaper destinations with plenty to do I’d recommend Catania or Reykjavik.
Here is the list of destinations:
Tel Aviv has Club Suites on the route on many flights, so this could be the cheapest way to experience them on a cash ticket from the UK.
Routes over 2000 miles earn 140 tier points each way in business class (domestic first in US). So if you are flying to the West Coast of the US you can often add in a transfer at New York giving you an extra 280 tier points return for a slightly longer journey.
There’s a reason why tier point runners love Hawaii, and it’s not just its lush tropical scenery and stunning beaches! It’s because you can easily get at least 840 tier points return in Club by routing via New York and Los Angeles to Hawaii. Earlier this year, prices from Budapest were only around £1350 return.
For comfort, you may want to fly on American’s transcontinental service, which mainly has proper flat bed seats rather than the recliner you get on other routes.
These transcon routes are:
Other examples of AA routes where you would get 140 tier points are:
You can use Great Circle Mapper website to check the length of routes.
An easy way to add extra tier points and save money is to book to start from somewhere in Europe and then fly back to Heathrow as part of the ticket before continuing on. This will add 80 tier points “free”, but you do need to factor in the positioning flights cost. Currently, Dublin and Budapest have great deals for around £1200-1300 to the US in Club.
If you are flying eastbound or to Africa, the best way to do this in terms of tier points is with Qatar Airways via Doha. This is because you get two lots of tier points as you route via Doha, so you get a total of 560 tier points versus 280 if you flew with British Airways. Qatar is also a fantastic airline.
The Dubai and Abu Dhabi routes would give you an extra 120 tier points return for the Doha to Dubai part, making it 400 tier points total. This also gives you access to Qatar’s Al Safwa first class lounge as the Dubai route is classes as first class from Doha. There are often cheap deals for this route from Oslo.
What are your best tips for maximing tier points? Let us know in the comments below.
Cairo and Amman now only award 80 tier points.
And the Doha to Abu Dhabi or Dubai sector on Qatar Airways earns 120 tier points return as this automatically books into A class.
Sorry you are right! I should know I am doing it shortly!
I did AUH-CGK in early 2020 and it was a pleasant, if slightly surreal, experience. Not sure I’d risk it at the moment with the Sri Lanka issues though, plus I think BA has stopped flying to AUH so there is more faff involved.
Throughout the troubles the airport has remained open for connecting flights and was not against FCDO advice but obviously if something goes wrong you may have to enter the country. At the moment there is no FCDO warning but there are still a lot of issues as you say.
I did it in Nov 19 and agree it was surreal (twice!). I am veggie and the food was by far the best I’ve ever had in business class on any flight.
Glad to see discussions of TP runs coming back. These days, I think the biggest concern (particularly if you are doing an ex-EU run) is making sure all the flights will go. I also think that its probably wise to allow more time for connections than you would have in the past, simply to allow time for transitioning. Maintaining flexibility is essential if one ore more of your carefully planned flights gets cancelled.
Absolutely. I’ve always been fairly cautious as I generally have time on my side but I’m now adding in an overnight stop on any positioning flights just in case! Plus you get to see somewhere different too!
I did AUH-CGK a few weeks ago and it was ok but the AUH legs are normally on an A320 with recliners in 2+2 layout. Sri Lankan’s fleet is old and tired but the service was decent and the crew friendly. I got caught out in Abu Dhabi where you still need to have a recent PCR for any public places so I was confined to my hotel room before my flight back to the UK next day.
Useful info. I wonder if flying via Dubai for positioning could be a better option given the greater number of flights
Gave back BA GGL – I don’t see the value. The most they could do was find me a personal shopper and there was no support at all for the kinds of trouble where one really needs help. I have lifetime Hon/ Senator (Swiss) but I am now CKey at AA where the phone line as well as the people in the Admirals club have complete empowerment to solve problems. Delays, weather etc.
I understand most of your following is about points, but if one is working Gold (and equivalents at other companies) then that is a lot of (physical) mileage to get through in a year with virtually no support when it’s needed. BA stinks when it comes to real help. The way travel has changed in the last years (not just because of the recent misery) means these memberships are a kind of insurance policy to me. I admit I don’t seek to do it on a budget but whether I am on book value and (you) are on miles and clever routes we need the same help when we need it… I am getting it. Are you?
I can only speak from personal experience. I have found GGL a god send during Covid and this years issues. Admittedly I have not had last minute cancellations but for every other issue I have got through quickly and had it sorted. Only once did I have a problem and when I escalated it, it was solved quickly.
It’s all about individual needs. Everyone has different things that are important to them. For many having free lounge access and priority check in is important if their company flies them in economy. For others being able to get a Gold upgrade voucher could be the most important. And as you say for some it’s not worth it if you travel business class all the time as most perks are already included.
Conrad, completely agree with you regarding American’s staff. I travel globally as we work in F1, the last two years have been extremely stressful and I also book my staff’s tickets. Currently sitting with nine BA vouchers that I can only use if I can get through to BA to speak to someone. As you may imagine that is akin to winning the lottery… I have had AA Exec Plat status for some time and their agents have been amazing no matter what time of their day I have called them. As you say, they have authority and can “make” things happen…
The vouchers should be either refunded or converted to an e-voucher in the coming months which may solve the problem. Phone queues should be better now as there have not been any mass cancellations for a couple of weeks.
I was AA Exec Plat for a number of years and can echo the sentiments regarding the AA EXP help desk. When I’ve needed help, they were always able to find a way. AA may have their issues, but their EXP desk is first rate in my experience.
Question. I normally never book as a BA holiday, especially through BA.com as the hotels invariably refuse to acknowledge these types of bookings as eligible for their own reward programmes. Hilton and IHG are particularly bad for this, and I’ve had 7-10 nights stays earn 0 HH points: keeping status is hard enough without that nonsense, and last time I went to a Hilton, they wouldn’t even acknowledge my HH diamond as “booked through an agent”
That said. Double tiers points is not to be sniffed at! . Is there a way round this to still get the TP/status benefits as well?
Not generally as it’s against the rules of most programs to give points on stays not booked correct. You can still add your details to the booking and get points on subsequent spend at the hotel. The occasional hotel will honour some or all of the benefits. However, you have to weigh up which is more important I guess.
Hire a car instead?
That’s also a good point!
Doh! Sometimes its the most obvious thing you don’t think of..Thank you ..
So annoyed I currently have 960 points and my year finishes on 8 October. I am due to fly to Athens on 12th and then to Rome in early December which means that I won’t go up to Gold despite the moratorium until December 31? Thank you
Yes it has to be within your own TP year. If you earned the TPs between October and December you’d have to get the full 75% of the tier points in that period. Time for a quick couple of weekends away!
My status is due to end in January but my understanding is that I can get my silver status by getting the reduced tier points before 31st December….Is this correct?
Yes you can get the 25% reduction in tier points providing you earn all the points by 31 Dec 22.
Sorry for the dim question….does this mean that if my tier point year ends July 2022 (now 2023) and I will be on 240 tier points by end of October, that I only need to do 1 return club world flight to Europe to get another 80 tier points which means I will have silver status till July 2024?
No it’s a slightly confusing statement. But I believed it to only apply to the year leading up to July 22. So you would need 450 TP in total by end of 22 or the usual 600 if you don’t make that.
I booked a BA holiday package in April for business class and car hire in the USA will I get double tier points?
Yes providing it’s at least 5 days flying from the UK and on ba or ba codeshare flights.
As stated there have been (and continue to be) great offers to the US from both Dublin and Budapest. The cheapest combination can involve departing from one and returning to another. For example, we have flights out from Dublin and back to Budapest. This was cheaper than any of the quoted examples of simply Dublin or Budapest. We also prefer the variety!
We always structure as a multi trip with the first leg to London. Overnighting in London (as we live nearby). The timing of the leg from say Dublin will impact the choices of the next days flight (as must be less than 24 hrs in London). On return we then do a leg to London before the final leg to say Budapest. Again we stay the night. Also means we do not need to take all our luggage on the euro legs. By structuring as a multi trip we get far more flexibility on flights and avoid any crazy short changes.
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