BA Bronze Useless?

Old Nov 22, 19, 4:06 am
  #61  
 
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Originally Posted by lels View Post
Can you provide an example of how a long haul econ yields 140TP? The only instance that happened with me in my examples were the London-China via Doha trip, which required layovers (35TP each segment). Every other flight I've taken in econ (at the fare class offered at time of booking) was around 20TP ea. Even London-Australia was only 20TP/sector giving me 80TP ea time.
I consider purchasing a return ticket under 1000 usd return a good deal and then reducing the cost by using avios which brings down the price by at least the cost of the avios I earn (around 13000 for silver) which is around at least $100 and sometimes using more avios that I have converted at 50% from Royal Bank Canada for example during promotions. Net cost is usually around $800 USD generally.

I have purchased around 40 of these return tickets the last 10 years during various times of the year and I do not believe I am purchasing the most expensive economy or perhaps...my timing is off for less expensive economy but I cannot image the difference is very much at all between economy earning 140 avios and earning fewer avios...in all my ticket purchases over the years my tier points per return ticket has always been 140...never less than that and I have purchased what I consider even less expensive economy from time to time.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 4:14 am
  #62  
 
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If one travels on business class often, basically only Gold gives you extra perks. The only difference between Silver and Bronze is seat selection (I still think charging club passengers seat selection is ridiculous). Very rarely you need the extra luggage since business class gives you a very generous luggage allowance.

If you travel on economy or premium economy, the different tiers gives you a different experience. Who doesnít want priority boarding and lounge access? But as a bronze member, Iím happy with the priority checkin, especially in outer stations. The difference can be more than half an hour.

The only thing I think Oneworld can add is that OWR can board via premium economy queue when applicable across all airlines. Some non-oneworld tiers (eg. CX Green) gets priority boarding through premium economy but not the (supposedly higher) oneworld ruby. The boarding sequence on BA is something other airlines should introduce

Last edited by thomas164; Nov 22, 19 at 4:15 am Reason: Better spacing
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Old Nov 22, 19, 4:16 am
  #63  
 
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A single ex-EU to a long haul destination in Club World will net Bronze so it's not really surprising that the benefits aren't amazing. I don't have any experience at all with other FFPs beyond a base understanding of Virgin's, but I'd be surprised if that nets the level above the entry level in the majority of cases.

I'll make Bronze next year (as a result of an ex-EU in J) which will be my first ever experience of something above the entry.

I'm looking forward to free seat selection, even if a few days out, as my daughter will be 2 and therefore we won't get free seat selection any longer when we travel. Business Class check in will also be pretty useful.

I think given that I am clearly not commercially valuable to BA, that the benefits are probably quite good in the grand scheme of things given my spending with BA. There will be many chucking more £££ at BA than me in the next year who will get nothing in return.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 4:45 am
  #64  
 
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Originally Posted by lels View Post
Yeah, that makes sense. Tbh, I've never bought a full fare "Y" ticket. I find that you can get W or even J in some cases for the price of a full priced Y ticket
It totally depends on circumstances, and you seem to be getting the rough end of the stick.
I travel to the US east coast mostly, for business but only allowed WT travel. That said I usually book only 3-4 weeks out and travel mostly Sun-Fri. So more often then not the only fares left are Y/B/H and I end up with 140TPs. So despite flying only 6/7 times a year, I achieve Bronze almost every year. I say almost because one year in the last 7 I didn't, and spent 6 month back on blue, I really missed the early seat selection and earlier boarding during that time so I appreciate Bronze a bit more than I used to.
One year I reached Silver and I just did again, but will be back to Bronze next year. Since I can expense meals/drinks and don't spend a lot of time in airports, the lounge access will be nice but not game changer for me.. Bronze is a happy medium..
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Old Nov 22, 19, 4:46 am
  #65  
 
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Of course Bronze is the lowest "elite" level.

However, at my most frequent airport other than LHR, which is MAN, a bronze can use the same checkin as I can and can board before me as MAN boards 1-3 at once.

Also, as I rarely book more than 7 days in advance, they can choose their seats t the same time as me.

It's only really the lounge that's a different experience for me - I think that this isn't bad for a qualifying level which is about 10% of what I need to achieve to renew!

Just another perspective..
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Old Nov 22, 19, 6:10 am
  #66  
 
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Originally Posted by lels View Post
Yeah, that's very true! Pretty much all those flights were in the lowest econ bucket (other than the China flight, which somehow was both a cheap ticket (~£650) and not the lowest TP/segment), and it's pretty hard to justify WTP given how cheap I got some of those tickets for (<£900 to SYD both times, <£650 to China, <£350 to West Coast). IIRC, W and J were nearly 2x and 4x more expensive!
On the flight it's a cost vs duration vs comfort thing for me.
On shorthaul, happy to do Economy, although I will still do CE for the 80TP for a return flight, rather than 10 in Economy

Earlier this year I managed to get some £100 tickets for me and my wife to Barbados as part of the BA 100th anniversary, but they were 'un-upgadable' and not had a worse flight in terms of comfort and rest in years (I'd just had a slipped disc with trapped femeral nerve, so that didn't help), but did confirm to me that I would to WTP as a minimum, even if it did cost a bit more. I wasn't necessarily considering BA status in my decision, but at 49 everything takes a bit longer to recover than it did 20 years ago, plus at 5'11" and being reasonably broad I can't get comfy in an Economy seat on a long haul flight, for knees against the seat in front, or fighting for space with the person next to me.

My preference would be to fly CW, but economics stops that from happening on every flight
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Old Nov 22, 19, 6:19 am
  #67  
 
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Another thing not to forget is the extension of benefits to others on bookings. Ba is very generous in this regard and it can increase the value enormously.

When I flew with latam they said only I could reserve a priority seat in Y and that other two on booking would have to pay 90 usd each per leg. Plus extra baggage was only for me. Had same issue on aeromexico in skyteam. Benefits were useless when traveling together as could only select my seat for free. So selecting a front row meant free for me, but over 120 usd for wife.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 7:24 am
  #68  
 
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Travelling back from Brisbane to Hong Kong in Y on Quantas - Bronze does give you access to Business Class check-in as all the other Y counters were really busy. The baggage belt broke down and all business class check in got transferred to another desk whereas the Ypax had to wait for the belt to be fixed. It's little things like these that makes it worthwhile to have Bronze/OWR status. Unfortunately will be landing back to Blue with a big bump soon! :-(
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Old Nov 22, 19, 7:43 am
  #69  
 
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On a bit of a side note... what generally happens if someone below Bronze and not flying in a premium cabin tries to check in at a business check in desk? Are they refused and made to join the back of the standard check in? Clearly they should but does this actually happen?
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Old Nov 22, 19, 8:19 am
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Snax.,
Last time I flew with BA, in Econ, as an exalted Blue, EU trip from FCO, to LHR, the lady monitoring queues for bag drop directed us to join the J queue, which was shorter.
A few minutes later, the J queue was longer than Y. It grew to be much longer.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 8:29 am
  #71  
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Originally Posted by snaxmuppet View Post
On a bit of a side note... what generally happens if someone below Bronze and not flying in a premium cabin tries to check in at a business check in desk? Are they refused and made to join the back of the standard check in? Clearly they should but does this actually happen?
In some cases there are good reasons - running late, maybe they have a disability, don't understand BA's system, may not have the right language skills. Generally speaking there its not a great idea to force people to queue up again, particularly as CW desks may not be much of a short cut. A better approach is to process them as quickly as possible, gently mention that next time they should try the other desks. Having an argument over this doesn't work for anyone.

At LHR T5 (and to some extent LGW and T3) there is another factor, namely that if travelling ET, WT, WTP and without status, you are more or less forced to check-in with the self service machinery. If it doesn't work (can't find ticket, passport API issue) then they will get a slip of paper from the machine saying "go to a desk". At that point there is no alternative but to use the CW desks.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 8:36 am
  #72  
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I was thinking about the various things mentioned above as to what BA could do to add a bit more to Bronze, without "cannibalising" the Silver level. Some FTers above have mentioned increased baggage allowance. I'm wondering how that could work. The possible answers seem to be either
- allow the 32 kgs limit on BA metal (instead of 23 kgs), or
- allow 2 bags but only at 23 kgs.
Silvers get 2 bags at 32kgs on most routes.

The other option, bearing in mind HBO travellers, is perhaps to grant a voucher allowing a couple to use the lounge once per membership year during pre-defined off peak periods (so all of November, February, March and specific days in other months). The problem perhaps being that it then gets tricky to explain where are the BA lounges and which are third party lounges.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 8:48 am
  #73  
 
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I think there should be some changes if Iím honest.

I have been thinking recently, that if a business traveller flies in a premium cabin, paid for by his company he can achieve Silver or Gold very easily. However, I as a leisure travel pay for each flight myself and always choose BA. Arguably, my 12 flights this year show more loyalty to BA than a business traveller who hasnít had to pay out a single penny, yet I am still blue...

Maybe there should be a separate business and leisure loyalty scheme.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 8:55 am
  #74  
 
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Originally Posted by BAeuro View Post
I think there should be some changes if Iím honest.

I have been thinking recently, that if a business traveller flies in a premium cabin, paid for by his company he can achieve Silver or Gold very easily. However, I as a leisure travel pay for each flight myself and always choose BA. Arguably, my 12 flights this year show more loyalty to BA than a business traveller who hasnít had to pay out a single penny, yet I am still blue...

Maybe there should be a separate business and leisure loyalty scheme.
Hi there. I see your point, but I would disagree on this one. A business traveller's tickets in J may well have been 3k each return to USA, so let's say 9000 gbp for 3 trips to get to Silver, assuming there is no ex-EU element.

If you get a return in Y to NY for example on HBO, might be as low was 275-350 quid. The J traveller has still paid way more and the profit margin on the J traveller still much higher.

I get your point about flying more legs, but BA are ultimately setting up their scheme to encourage people into higher cabins and to thus generate revenue. People who fly a lot of legs can get to Silver/Gold still. There was someone on here recently who qualified for Gold through aquiring the 100 odd legs or whatever it is.

Loyalty in terms of time is one thing, hard cash is another.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 8:57 am
  #75  
 
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I think that's why they introduced the "or 25/50 flight segments" for Bronze/Silver respectively
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