A sad day for a leisure traveller.

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Old Jun 7, 19, 4:48 am
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A sad day for a leisure traveller.

Mr Zebradome and I are flying to London tonight as Silvers and coming back on Sunday as bronze :-(

We have only accumulated 30 tier points each this year due to using up lots of Avios plus one 2-4-1. We've been to the Caribbean, Florida and London twice for taxes only and we've also used a fair few hotel points for free stays so can't really complain.

We managed 2 consecutive years at Silver and have enough travel booked after 8th June to regain Silver around February. Obviously we've been able to select our seats, and the class of travel means we'll have lounge access while we are bronze. We'll miss the second bag on economy trips.

Does this seesaw happen to other FTers who travel on their own dollar? How do you cope?
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Old Jun 7, 19, 4:55 am
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Originally Posted by Zebradome View Post
Mr Zebradome and I are flying to London tonight as Silvers and coming back on Sunday as bronze :-(
If you're Silver today, you'll still be Silver on Sunday.

If your membership year ends on 8 June, your Silver card will still be valid to 31 July.
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Old Jun 7, 19, 4:57 am
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We avoid the 'seesaw' like the plague, and carefully organise/calculate our travels to ensure it doesn't happen!

It can't go on forever, of course, and one day we will start the slide down the scale.
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Old Jun 7, 19, 5:38 am
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As a mainly blue with a bit of bronze every now and then, I completed my rise from Gold some time ago.
Once one realises that lounges are uncleaned sweat pits of fools with loud mobile phones and noisy children, which often have no space as individuals seek to occupy four seats, all you have to do is seek out the right coffee bars and bars, and areas for the great unwashed that are pleasant.
The coffee bars serve freshly made barrista coffee which beats any lounge, and the almond croissants are never stale.
I am not going to tell you where to go at T5 and LGW as you might make it crowded. It is more secret than T5B lounge.
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Old Jun 7, 19, 5:44 am
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I'll be falling to silver this summer, and it doesn't bother me. I find it reflects my travel frequency quite well. I never saw it as the grass is greener on the other side - precisley because I've been there and it's not that green except in a handful of cases.

I feel (for me at least), the bigger cliff is from silver to bronze as the seat selection options become more limited and start costing money.
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Old Jun 7, 19, 5:44 am
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After many years in the elite bracket (including 10+ at Gold), I slid down the slope a couple of years back after making a conscious career decision which took me away from flying in the pointy bit (or indeed having the disposable income to pay for the pointy bit out of my own pocket). BA comped me Gold in the first year which was nice and then I dropped to Silver and then Bronze. I managed to maintain Bronze last year and will likely do the same again. I'm also about 3.5k tier points away from LTG, though that's going to take me about 10 years to achieve at my current accrual ratesÖ. I'm of course now wishing that I hadn't spent time maintaining Star Gold at the same time as BA Gold over a period of a decade as I'd now be comfortably across the line on LTG. But ho-hum.

The good news is that life goes on. I now fly a broad range of carriers around Europe, including Ryan Air - which back in the day I swore I would never do (and it's not as bad as some people make out). I'll fly BA if the price is right (or almost right) but otherwise I'll pay based on price/schedule. I very rarely check a bag and if I want priority boarding on any of the so-called low-cost carriers I pay for it. I sometimes miss the lounge access, but to be honest the food and drink options in many airports these days is pretty good - the wine is mostly better outside the lounge, and the coffee always. For long-haul, I still try and use OneWorld where possible - and for the US will try and pay for Premium Economy at least on the return leg as it can be a cost-effective way of getting TPs - but will also look at other options, i.e. a TATL via Reykjavik on FI last year was fun as we added a two day stop in Iceland for free (actually that should read "free" because it was a horrendously expensive couple of days!).

All that said, our household recently had some good news as Mrs Schmidt re-qualified for Silver so our next long-haul will allow us to pre-assign seats (including MCE on AA which is very useful) and a trip back to the T5 lounges.
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Old Jun 7, 19, 5:52 am
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Originally Posted by Captain Schmidt View Post
I'm of course now wishing that I hadn't spent time maintaining Star Gold at the same time as BA Gold over a period of a decade as I'd now be comfortably across the line on LTG. But ho-hum.
I'm the other way around - I have lifetime UA Gold, currently mapping to *G. So, I'm taking the opportunity to fly BA more, and maintain status on it. However, I'm concerned that UA Gold will get devalued and so now I'm focusing on getting to UA Plat just in case. The treadmill never ends!
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Old Jun 7, 19, 5:56 am
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Hmmm, I drop to Silver tomorrow (well end of July technically) after 10+ years of Gold. That's come from a bit less travel and booking flights by schedule and price rather than alliance. That started a couple of years ago but last year I made sure I just made it, but this year I decided not to bother chasing it at all and I'm only at 1000ish TPs (mostly on BA - I'm not anti-BA). I've enjoyed the freedom it's brought - I feel pretty airline agnostic these days and have a healthier view that flights are there to serve me for convenience and price instead of spending a lot of effort scheduling trips around particular routings/flights/airlines.

I'm actually looking forward to doing the same with lounges. I'd got into the habit of heading to the lounge as quickly as possible but travelling on airlines with which I have no status has shown me that many airports are actually pretty decent places to wait these days. There's wifi almost everywhere (my main requirement), soft drinks are readily available (I rarely drink in lounges) and it's usually easy to find a quiet spot to sit, or move if noisy neighbours arrive, unlike a lot of lounges. I sometimes hang out in the terminal even when I have lounge access.

I'm a tad sorry to be losing my long standing status with BA. Not because I will actually miss many of the benefits but because I feel nostalgic about the days when I felt that BA was the 'world's favourite airline'. It was mine. It's kind of the final step in the break-up. But the world is different now - air travel has changed a great deal, and so have I. We've both moved on and I have no regrets about that.
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Old Jun 7, 19, 5:59 am
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I'll be landing from silver to bronze in September. But part of a plan in that I've got a lot of work travel in the pipeline that should be enough to get me back up to gold, as long as I wait for my next TP year...

So, QR runs to HKG beckon in September... My wife thinks I'm mad not to go direct but at the same time she'll happily partake in the status benefits... we've had a couple of flights recently on Etihad, the last being right at the very back of Y on a totally full 380, after dealing with multiple queues that she's not used to. I think it's been educational!
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Old Jun 7, 19, 6:01 am
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We generally maintain the heady heights of Bronze but will attain silver later this year for the first time. We travel for leisure only and generally go for whichever airline's cost/schedule works best for us, so a trip to NY in J a few weeks ago and a trip to Sin with AY/CX via HKG will push me over the silver line. We generally fly J so it will be nice having the free seat assignment aspect if flying BA or one world carriers where applicable.
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Old Jun 7, 19, 6:07 am
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My Dear, I feel your pain. Everyone here will one day be faced with the same thing. Unless there are those who will be Lifetime Gold, the majority of us will sink into obscurity. On Wednesday, we flew from Alicante to Nantes on Vueling. They are not baddish but it is Lo-Cost although it does not come as vilely as Rubbishair. There was a throng at the gate and we were not priority to board - I was not even able to buy a Gin and Tonic aboard as they have none. Still, I caught up with episode 3 of Line of Duty 5 on my Ipad Air and my wonderful Sony noise cancelling headset which is 100% better than the Bose that I used to use and a glass - albeit plastic of Cava and I managed. I survived. I missed BA so much except when it came to paying for the flights.

Chin up, Dear One, we ladies know how to be stoic in the face of profanity. We stoop to conquer!
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Old Jun 7, 19, 6:10 am
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
If you're Silver today, you'll still be Silver on Sunday.

If your membership year ends on 8 June, your Silver card will still be valid to 31 July.
And crucially, for "see-sawing" leisure travellers, this is the key window - book a couple of points-earning trips whilst you've still got the silver perks but that contribute to the next year's earning window.

If you're a 'budget' traveller then you'd just do one 600TP trip in this period every 2 years and you're sorted for permanent silver with minimal hassle!
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Old Jun 7, 19, 6:34 am
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I feel you! As a leisure traveller, my career circumstances have meant my flying as dropped off a cliff, luckily the aircraft hasnít!

I hope to return to the joys of Silver and beyond one day, once the business gets off the ground, hopefully Iíll become a business flyer as well as leisure flyer.

I really enjoyed the benefits of Silver for a few years. I think itís a sweet spot for leisure travellers and I couldnít have had achieved it without the wonderful
advice, knowledge and inside tips that people share on FT.

I hope you travel safe on your next trip OP.
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Old Jun 7, 19, 6:48 am
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I'm a leisure traveller who wonders about maintaining CCR:-). I'll probably try and maintain Gold until I get GfL. I'm travelling enough to make it feel worthwhile, but do a couple of pure TP runs per year to keep the status up...
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Old Jun 7, 19, 7:14 am
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I’m a Leisure traveller and have managed to keep Silver status for the last 3 years but this year my travel plans meant using other airlines. My year ends in September and I’m considering a couple of tier point runs just to keep silver but need 270 tier points to do that so not sure it’s worth it.
The thought of going back to bronze, no lounge access and more importantly having to pay extortionate fees for booking a seat at time of reservation may push me to other airlines, Virgin/Delta could be the winner in my case but BA make it hard for us Leisure travellers now.
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