British Airways (BA)’s frequent flyer programme, the Executive Club has four different tiers. Starting with Blue, and up the ranks from Bronze, Silver, and finally Gold. In this blog, we focus on how to qualify for British Airways Silver status quickly.
Having elite status on airline loyalty programmes can often bring you the added benefits of what premium passengers get while travelling in Economy. As passionate travellers, we are usually on a plane at every opportunity, however, we also want to travel in high levels of comfort without breaking the bank! In this post, we have outlined our top tips for getting British Airways Silver Status quickly, while being super-conscious about how much it will cost.
We have also written a blog about whether it’s worth having BA Executive Club Silver or Gold status, be sure to read our take on it.
Why British Airways Silver?
For us, the most meaningful benefit of reaching British Airways Silver status is access to airport lounges, even if we’re flying in Economy class. It sets us up for the flight, as we’re able to have a meal and a couple of glasses (sometimes bottles) of champagne. Over the years, we’ve consumed so much food and drinks in BA’s lounges while travelling in Economy, we’re probably due an invoice from the airline soon!! Not to mention the countless guests we’ve brought with us to use the lounge too! We have frequently used the priority boarding benefit and we also get to select our seats at the time of booking.
This is not an exhaustive lists of all the benefits you’ll get, so do read our blog post on the benefits you get with British Airways Executive Club for the full list.
We have singled-out getting British Airways Silver status here as we believe it’s the level worth pursuing, especially when you consider the level of investment and the benefits that you get in return. To achieve Silver status with BA you need to accrue 600 tier points and fly 4 eligible flights with BA within a single year.
Getting to Gold is on a completely different level – 1500 tier points and 4 eligible flights. It requires a lot more investment than Silver, but the same techniques we discuss below can be applied to reaching Gold quickly too.
BG1 top tips for getting to British Airways Silver status quickly
Our top tips for getting Silver status quickly are:
- Fly in premium cabins – the higher the class the more tier points you get
- Keep your eyes peeled for seat sales – flying in luxury doesn’t always have to break the bank!
- Add a transit stop to your journey – a short stop can nearly double the number of tier points you earn
- Fly long or medium haul flights – long and medium haul flights will earn you more tier points
- Maximise your positioning flights – use positioning flights as a way to earn more tier points and qualify for eligible flights
Even if cost isn’t an issue (lucky you), we hope some of the these tips might still come in useful and help you maximise the tier points on the flights you take. Disclaimer – this is our view on the topic, and I’m sure others will have a different approach but if you have any other ideas we would love to hear from you.
Fly in premium cabins
The higher the class of the cabin, the more tier points you’ll earn. Business class and First Class cabins will earn you a lot more tier points than Economy. We really think that luxury travel doesn’t need to break the bank. As cost-conscious frequent travellers, we’ve devised some guidelines to test if the latest “sale” is a good deal or not: “How much you should pay for business class seat?”
We’re always keeping our eyes peeled for the best premium seat sales, so don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter for the latest flight offers and deals.
Keep your eyes peeled for seat sales
For a tier points run, we would usually wait for decent flight deals from Oneworld carriers, such as Finnair or Qatar Airways.
Personally, we have paid ~£1,000 / €1,100 to travel from Sofia to Shanghai on Qatar Airways Business Class, with part of the journey in the amazing QSuites. Read more about our experiences flying Qatar Airways.
For comparison sake, a non-stop flight from London to Shanghai on British Airways Business Class would cost ~£4,000 / €4,500!
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Add a transit stop to your journey
Adding a stop to your journey will earn you more tier points. Here’s where it gets better! Booking a flight with Finnair or Qatar Airways will invariably mean that you need to add a transit stop to your journey, either via Helsinki or Doha.
A direct flight from London to Bangkok on BA will earn you 280 tier points if you travel in Business Class return. While travelling with Qatar Airways, with a transit stop via Doha, will earn you a whopping 560 tier points for the return journey.
We know the catch is that you’re not travelling direct, but we found that the extra couple of hours transit in Doha really isn’t that bad! The business class lounge at Doha Hamad Airport is amazing, and let’s not forget to mention that you get to fly on the world’s best business class product. To be honest, once you board a Qatar Airways flight, you’ll never want it to end!
Fly long- or medium-haul vs short-haul
You get more tier points by flying on long-haul or medium-haul flights. For example, a flight from Helsinki to Malaga (4 hours 45 minutes) on Finnair will earn you 280 tier points in Business Class return. There’s usually a 2,000 mile sweet spot, and this is one of the best guides out there. Medium-haul BA flights from London to Sofia or Tirana will earn you 160 tier points return, if you fly in business class.
Maximise your positioning flight
Maximise your positioning flights by using these as a way of earning tier points. You can also use these sectors to qualify for the 4 eligible (BA) flights needed.
Qatar Airways flies from Sofia, Bulgaria, with very good deals often being offered for departures from Sofia Airport. With BA doing a daily flight to Sofia, offering 160 tier points in business class, there’s an added bonus for combining your positioning flight as part of your tier points run!
What’s a positioning flight? A positioning flight is a flight for the sole purpose of positioning you to take another flight from another airport.
How did we get to British Airways Silver quickly and how much did it cost?
So, to show this in action, we thought it was useful to share how we got our Silver status quickly and how much it cost us.
- We jumped on an amazing flight offer from Sofia to Shanghai in one of the Qatar Airways Business Class sale for £1,050
- This earnt us 560 tier points
- We paid £130 for our positioning flight from London to Sofia in Economy with British Airways
- This earnt us 40 tier points
- It also gave us 2 out of the 4 eligible flights required
- Additionally, we did a short trip from London to Faro in Economy class return, which cost us £80
- This gave us 5 tier points and crucially it gave us the other 2 eligible flights bringing out total to 4 required to qualify
In total, we qualified for Silver status by having 605 tier points. As we spent a total of £1,260.00 to achieve it, it cost us £2.06 per tier point to get to Silver.
In general, it is seen as acceptable if you pay £3 per tier point. Getting it for £2 per tier point is great. Anything below £2 per tier point is frankly amazing. So if you can achieve this, let us know, as we’d love to hear from you!
We have since reached British Airways Gold status and will explore the practical difference for both tiers in a future blog.