Is silver just a pipe dream?

Old Apr 4, 11, 7:43 am
  #1  
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Is silver just a pipe dream?

Hi there, I guess I'm something of a noob here, have been a lurker for a while, decided to join today.

I have been a member of the EC for a few years now, mostly flown for pleasure occasionally on business aroudn Europe. Have enjoyed several upgrades in the past (including a trip with 4 family members who were all boosted to CW with me). I have the BA Amex and have had a couple of companion vouchers as well. All in all I have had a great experience with BA and the EC, although I am now travelling more with work it would be great to get out of blue membership, if only to be able to use the lounges.

I work for a small company as a Regional Sales Manager, my region being South America, focussing mainly on Brazil & Argentina to start with. Sadly the company are only willing to pay for economy travel.

Is there any chance of getting out of blue only flying economy? Currently not travelling as much as I should be but expect to get down to SA every 8 weeks or so, travelling to Sao Paulo or Buenos Aires. Of course there are holidays as well, but is it reaslistic to expect to get to Silver with 5-6 trips to SA annually. Or is that just not frequent enough?

Any tips to get the best return on the trips? Is there any other way of getting lounge access without Silver? Considered priority pass for the "alternarive" lounges, as I had that a few years ago. But T5 has no lounge for PP and the lounge in Sao Paulo is closed mid afternoon - about the time I would be arriving to get the flight to LHR.

Finding the place very interesting, but I think my definition of frequent travel and others may be poles apart!

Looking forward to being a part of the community.

Richard
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Old Apr 4, 11, 8:00 am
  #2  
 
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Hi. Welcome to FT and the BAEC corner!

If you are fliying every 2 months (ie 6 times per year) to GRU and EZE, you should be able to crack silver. (Especially if you can convince your company to pay for WT+ or CW - get your head down, do a good job, make a good profit for them and who knows.....)

A couple of tips:
- Fly from EZE-GRU and v/v on BA. You'll get full Long Haul TPs (40 I think in Y) for the short hop. So LHR-GRU-EZE-GRU-LHR could give 160 TPs all in)

- Check out Ex-EU fares (there are several threads on this). Sometimes a CW return costs only a little more than a Y ex-LHR (and maybe your company will agree to the (small) extra cost.). You can maximise TPS including positioning flights, (eg. LHR-(10)-AMS-(40)-LHR-(120)-GRU-(120)-EZE(120)-GRU(120)-LHR(40)-AMS(10)-LHR up to 580 TPs I think!

- Do what some of us do - wave goodbye to the family, social life, etc etc and just fly too much . Well, the flying is OK (I actually like the 8/12/14 hours that my phone can't ring and I can be looked after and watch a movie) but being away (and having to work)

You seem to be doing OK with the Amex, 2-4-1s etc., so keep it up!

Have fun.
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Old Apr 4, 11, 8:01 am
  #3  
 
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I see that you fly Y, but while your down in those parts do you need to do any internal flying ?

if so you could consider using other OW airlines to boost your TP's and miles, AA or LAN should help you out

cs
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Old Apr 4, 11, 8:02 am
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Sorry, welcome to the forum BicesterTerrier

cs
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Old Apr 4, 11, 8:02 am
  #5  
 
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Welcome to FT!

Well, you'll get 30 tier points for discounted longhaul economy sectors, which makes 60 per round-trip - 6 round-trips a year is 300 tier points - but you need 600 to hit silver. However, if you can book into a semi-discounted fare bucket on economy, it's 60 TPs/sector - which takes you to 600 TPs after 6 trips - and gets you a shiny card.

So it's tough, but not necessarily out of reach!
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Old Apr 4, 11, 8:04 am
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One other option is to consider some of the MMB offers that come up to upgrade to WT+. That would hike your tier points up. I managed Silver last year on 4 TATL WT+ tickets (plus some assorted EU Y stuff). Not a CW ticket in sight...
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Old Apr 4, 11, 8:05 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by LHR-HUB View Post

A couple of tips:
- Fly from EZE-GRU and v/v on BA.
Not any more you can't.

The EZE flight is now direct.
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Old Apr 4, 11, 8:05 am
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* BA have ceased flying EZE-GRU so that is one avenue removed
* IIRC the only AA fifth freedom route is MVD-EZE, but an east 20TP
* Do look at the various LAN options in Argentine, Peru as well as Chile.
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Old Apr 4, 11, 8:22 am
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Stopping the flight from GRU to EZE may explain a few things, I was trying to book just that flight last week, it wouldn't let me, clearly as they stopped it.

That's good to hear though, as the flight from GRU was always packed when you got on, could have saved myself 20 and not pre-booked the seat to avoid disappointment!

Thanks for the welcome btw!
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Old Apr 4, 11, 8:25 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by cornishsimon View Post
I see that you fly Y, but while your down in those parts do you need to do any internal flying ?

if so you could consider using other OW airlines to boost your TP's and miles, AA or LAN should help you out

cs
I will eventually be flying around internally, my plan was to use GRU as a gateway into SA. Flying from LHR to GRU and then on to Chile or Colombia is probably quicker than sitting in Miami or Madrid.

Is it worth looking at Iberia for the long haul portion?
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Old Apr 4, 11, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by BicesterTerrier View Post
I will eventually be flying around internally, my plan was to use GRU as a gateway into SA. Flying from LHR to GRU and then on to Chile or Colombia is probably quicker than sitting in Miami or Madrid.

Is it worth looking at Iberia for the long haul portion?
Is your user name a reflection of what I think it may be? If so, and like me (I generally use Gledholt Terrier on forums), achieving silver status will have been the least of your worries for many a year!

If the user name is, in fact, entirely canine related, apologies for wasting your time and welcome to FT (and good luck with the status thing)
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Old Apr 4, 11, 9:40 am
  #12  
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Welcome to FT BicesterTerrier.

Getting Silver status in your case is by no means impossible.

You have to buy tickets eligible for full tier points though, which at 120 per return trip will net you 720 a year if you fly 6 times to and from South America.

These tickets are issued under fares booking into fare classes Y, B or H. Y is the most expensive and H the least. There are three ways of booking these tickets:
* Instruct your travel agent to purchase only tickets booking into one of these fare classes
* Call BA and ask to buy the H class fare
* Log into your BAEC account on BA.com and when entering your city pair, dates and cabin be sure to select 'lowest price (earning full tier points)'.

The above of course relies on you being able to buy and expense these tickets.

For reference, for outbound flight on 20 April and return on 27 April the Y class fare quoted on BA.com is currently GBP 1,939.09 return. The H class fare (the lowest earning full TPs) is currently GBP 1,205.03, not so much more expensive than the lowest fare available, GBP 899.03.
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Old Apr 4, 11, 9:49 am
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Originally Posted by Sixth Freedom View Post
Welcome to FT BicesterTerrier.

Getting Silver status in your case is by no means impossible.

You have to buy tickets eligible for full tier points though, which at 120 per return trip will net you 720 a year if you fly 6 times to and from South America.

These tickets are issued under fares booking into fare classes Y, B or H. Y is the most expensive and H the least. There are three ways of booking these tickets:
* Instruct your travel agent to purchase only tickets booking into one of these fare classes
* Call BA and ask to buy the H class fare
* Log into your BAEC account on BA.com and when entering your city pair, dates and cabin be sure to select 'lowest price (earning full tier points)'.

The above of course relies on you being able to buy and expense these tickets.

For reference, for outbound flight on 20 April and return on 27 April the Y class fare quoted on BA.com is currently GBP 1,939.09 return. The H class fare (the lowest earning full TPs) is currently GBP 1,205.03, not so much more expensive than the lowest fare available, GBP 899.03.
I have flights booked going down in May and back in June, outbound is L and return is N, cost was 960, company seem happy enough up to around 1000, if I can sell something they might let me spend more.

I have considered paying to upgrade to WT+, was only 300 at the time of booking a couple of weeks ago, although would be out of my own pocket....

Originally Posted by Gledholt View Post
Is your user name a reflection of what I think it may be? If so, and like me (I generally use Gledholt Terrier on forums), achieving silver status will have been the least of your worries for many a year!

If the user name is, in fact, entirely canine related, apologies for wasting your time and welcome to FT (and good luck with the status thing)
Indeed it is Mr Gledholt Sir! As an ex-pat Yorkshireman living in Oxford I don't get much time to get to the games, although I have a couple of Uncles with season tickets if I ever need to get up there. Most important thing now is to see Huddersfield achieve Championship status!!
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Old Apr 4, 11, 10:35 am
  #14  
 
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I have no experience of flying to those parts, but was wondering whether with the recent Iberia tie up, routing through Madrid might now be a viable option? That should add in a number of additional SH sectors to boost your points - I have no idea whether these routings are attractive cost-wise, but might be worth considering.

Also do you have any possibility to use a European address and "Eurocheat" it? If so, Gold may even be within your grasp....
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Old Apr 4, 11, 10:41 am
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by arcticfox View Post
I have no experience of flying to those parts, but was wondering whether with the recent Iberia tie up, routing through Madrid might now be a viable option? That should add in a number of additional SH sectors to boost your points - I have no idea whether these routings are attractive cost-wise, but might be worth considering.

Also do you have any possibility to use a European address and "Eurocheat" it? If so, Gold may even be within your grasp....
To add to my earlier post, if you opt for this, make sure you fly the SH on BA metal - I recall my disgust at noe time to be booked in Economy on a BA flight number only to find myself on Iberian metal. As if the ancient 737 wasn't bad enough, to be charged several Euros for a bottle of water having already paid 700 Euros for the return was rather adding insult to injury!!

That was a couple of years back, so things may have changed - though I suspect not.

af
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