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Earlier in the year I wrote about the advantages of having British Airways status while living in the United States. The long and short is if you credit your US AA flights to BA, while maintaining BA Silver status or higher, you’ll have lounge access here in the US. You earn status via Tier Points and because Tier Points are earned differently than Avios, there are some sweet spots on their award chart, specifically flying on partners, to earn enough Tier Points in a single roundtrip to earn Silver status. However…one of the key terms to earning status is flying 4 times with British Airways or Iberia. So what does that exactly mean?
That’s AA’s Flagship lounge at LAX, my home airport, and where I’ll be able to frequent flying AA after I pick up BA Silver.
An example of how I’ll earn enough Tier Points in a single roundtrip, but still need the 4 flights.
GSTP published a stellar deal from Edinburgh to Penang last month. $1000 roundtrip in Qatar’s business class. Outstanding deal, and we bought 2 tickets. I’ve never reviewed their A350 – super stoked to give it a go.
You can use BA’s own calculator, and it will tell you that from this single $1k ticket, I’ll earn 600 tier points and never touch BA metal. As you can see from below – as published on BA, I’ll earn enough Tier Points, but I need to pick up the “4 times”
What does 4 times mean?
- 4 times is take off to landing, in other words… segments. 4 times doesn’t mean roundtrips.
- But..there are stipulations to those 4 times – let’s take a look
What qualifies as a “time” – Pay attention to the and/or
If your flight is marketed OR operated by BA then it qualifies.
- You’ll know if it’s marketed because it’ll have a BA flight number
- You’ll know if it’s operated because your plane will have a big BRITISH AIRWAYS on it 😉
If your flight is marketed AND operated by Iberia then it qualifies.
- Your flight number needs to start IB and your plane needs to say Iberia
You could be flying on American metal, but if that ticket was sold by BA “marketed” then you’re going to have a qualifying flight. However, if you’re flying on an Iberia “marketed” flight, but it’s operated by someone else ( like AA )…you won’t earn the tier points. Big distinction.
Also – Award flights don’t count
Putting it to use in my circumstance, this is how I’ll fly 4 times.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ll be flying from Edinburgh to Malaysia; however, I’m based in the States so I need to get over there. My girlfriend and I were planning on seeing her family in England and then continuing on to Southeast Asia so I needed a flight across the pond anyways.
I was able to land an incredible roundtrip from Chicago to Madrid for just 68k Avios and $232 that pairs up perfectly with our trip and gives enough time before and after to do what we’d planned on doing. ( In fact, we’ve decided to add in a couple of days in Madrid )
And yes…I had these Iberia Avios from their crazy promo earlier in the year. I’ve also never flown Iberia business class so this fulfills a review need I have as well.
This gets me back and forth from the States to Madrid, but as I said…my roundtrip to S.E. Asia starts and finishes in Edinburgh.
While there are options to fly direct, if I add in a stop in London each way, I’ll get the 4 flights needed.
- MAD-LHR-EDI-LHR-MAD will fulfill the 4 flights that I need
- I can pick this up for roughly $200-$300
Also…British Airways status is based on Membership Year, not calendar year.
After I fly these 4 flights, and fly roundtrip to S.E. Asia I’ll achieve Silver status, One World Sapphire, and I’ll keep that until mid 2020 when my status year resets.