1. Why Do it?
If you want to make your flights a bit more comfortable without necessarily paying for a business or first class seat, airline status would pretty much be the way to go. The premium perks offered on the ground such as lounge access, fast track security and premium check in are usually the same for both a premium ticket holder and someone with a certain level of status.
The idea of taking a connecting flight helps maximise the number of status miles you are able to earn when flying providing you have the time and your connections are optimised in distance.
2. Going East with Qatar
when looking at British Airway and especially when it comes to travelling eastwards from the UK or Europe Qatar Airways is often the way to go.
Not only does Qatar have an excellent business class product (and if you are on flight with their Qsuite product, you will also be lucky to have an amazing experience to boot).
Punching for Silver
However in terms of miles, the connection in Doha really works in your favour. An average flight to east Asia in business on Qatar Airways will earn 560 Tier points return in business compared to only 280 when flying direct. The reason for this is because the stop in Doha creates creates two additional flights which themselves credit 140 tier points each direction.
By going through Doha this in itself gets you 560 of the 600 tier points required – or 93% of the way – to BAEC silver (or Oneworld Sapphire depending on how you see it).
Don’t think this will get you straight into BAEC silver. You still need to clear 4 flights on BA to get it.
Going for Gold or Saving a Few £££
However, what if what if silver wasn’t good enough and you were aiming for gold. In this case you would want to start your tip somewhere in Europe. This has two benifits
- By starting in Europe the overall fare maybe lower than starting from London Heathrow. Airport taxes maybe lower and the need to pay Air Passenger Duty would be non existent, although the extra fare may negate any savings;
- However if you have time on your hands, starting in Europe adds a few extra tier points to the meter.
But choosing the right starting location can impact your points earning capabilities quite drastically. Take the bellow example, from taking a direct route to Doha from London, by starting in Europe you could earn upto an extra 280 tier points by flying 2 extra legs in Business Class.
|No Extra TP||80 Extra TP||160 Extra TP||280 Extra TP|
Purple – Getting an Extra 80 Tier Points
At the most basic level, the no brain’r approach is to add an extra flight from Europe. The purple line shows this by illustration four destinations where adding a stop in Europe will add an extra 80 TP to the journey to Doha
A return on these sectors (plus the additional onward flight to East Asia) would yield 640 Tier points. The two flights to your Europe starting point would fulfil the BAEC Bronze requirement and give you Oneworld Ruby status. Two more BA flights would clear you into BAEC Silver and you would be 42% of the way to BAEC Gold.
Blue – Getting an Extra 160 Tier Points
The idea with the blue line is to be a little smarter choosing your starting destination. To do this, one needs to understand how BA operates its short haul routes, specifically with reference to the 2,000 mile rule.
in short, the 2000 mile rule is the semi hard line which defines a short haul and long haul route. However the line is semi fluid, and flights which get close to the 2000 miles are designated “short haul plus” routes”.
While there are several dozen flights marked as short haul plus only a handful are marked as short haul plus routes, and more crucially, are still 2000 miles away from Doha (meaning your onward flight to Doha isnt then classed as short haul).
The five cities are Marrakesh, Malta, Sofia, Kiev, Helsinki – Fun Fact – Sofia to Doha airports are exactly 2,000 miles apart.
A return on these sectors (plus the additional onward flight to East Asia) would yield 720 Tier points. Like the above, two flights to your Europe would fulfil the BAEC Bronze requirement but you would still need two more BA flights to clear you into BAEC Silver. however, you are now 48% of the way to BAEC Gold.
Orange – Getting an Extra 280 Tier points
Getting that extra 280 tier points requires a different understanding of BA’s route map. While Moscow’s’ Domodedovo Airport is under 2000 miles, it does have its own set of exceptions. Is the only flight within Europe which operates on a long haul aircraft and credits as if its a long haul flight. Crucially, you use the latter to your advantage creating another two sectors which credit at 140 tier points each.
A return on these sectors (plus the additional onward flight to East Asia) would yield 840 Tier points. Like the above, two flights will not get you past the BAEC Bronze requirement, and you will still need 2 more BA flights, however, you are now 56% of the way to BAEC Gold.