BA Gold for £1400 + 90k Avios

Old Yesterday, 6:53 am
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BA Gold for £1400 + 90k Avios



So this year Iíve managed BA gold for around £1400 and splashed out 90k Avios to achieve it. (9x return HEL>LHR in Club and a few holidays traveling to Europe in Y)

Iím based in Helsinki and so many of my trips were essential back to the UK where my mother lives. Considering how cheap the HEL route is these days, maybe 3 trips are TP runs. Is this as cheap as it gets to get to BA gold? Was the extra £420 and 30k avios worth it?
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Last edited by Finavia; Yesterday at 6:54 am Reason: Typo
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Old Yesterday, 7:32 am
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Well I remember when I first started on the Moscow route when it was Club Europe (40TP each way in those days), I took 8 x CE returns for well over £10k spend just to achieve Silver. So I would say Gold for around £1.5k is not bad at all..
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Old Yesterday, 7:39 am
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Hmm... normally I'd say gold is easily worth £500 of anyone's money but most golds will either fly a shed load of short haul, or do a fair bit of long haul.

As things stand: V-class availabilty for avios bookings could get you that back easily enough. 20-odd Flounge visits have to be worth a couple of hundred quid. And you'll have had about 20k of those avios back through better mileage earning.

But at the same time, given your travel patterns I'm not sure that Gold does add a great deal - you almost always have lounge access of some kind, and you're not racking up enough miles to cash in the bonus avios on long haul. Maybe you will get the chance to do so in future. I certainly wouldn't regret anything, because you've got to gold very cheaply and comfortably, which is important - but at the same time I don't think you'd really be hurting that badly if you got to silver and then switched to Y if the fare differnece was significant enough and you simply stopped using avios to reduce the cost of your flights.
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Old Yesterday, 7:42 am
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Originally Posted by Finavia View Post


So this year I’ve managed BA gold for around £1400 and splashed out 90k Avios to achieve it. (9x return HEL>LHR in Club and a few holidays traveling to Europe in Y)

I’m based in Helsinki and so many of my trips were essential back to the UK where my mother lives. Considering how cheap the HEL route is these days, maybe 3 trips are TP runs. Is this as cheap as it gets to get to BA gold? Was the extra £420 and 30k avios worth it?
OK I'll bite. How does spending 90k Avios help you get gold given reward flights don't give you tier points? Or is this all by reducing the cost of cash-booked tickets with Avios? In which case that's pretty impressive. What is the cash price of a return (before reduced to 139 GBP + 10,100 Avios)?
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Old Yesterday, 7:44 am
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Originally Posted by abligh View Post
What is the cash price of a return and what were you paying in cash and avios?
Looks like 9x returns @ £210 with a £70 reduction for 10k avios - not a huge saving but it definitely keeps the cash number low and I doubt you'd get a better ratio on a pure avios booking on this route.
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Old Yesterday, 7:48 am
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Originally Posted by abligh View Post
OK I'll bite. How does spending 90k Avios help you get gold given reward flights don't give you tier points? Or is this all by reducing the cost of cash-booked tickets with Avios? In which case that's pretty impressive. What is the cash price of a return and what were you paying in cash and avios?
Each flight initially was around the £200-£210 mark. It was 10,100 to reduce the cost by £70 each time. Iíll be getting a fair chunk of that back, about 6400 avios per booking as BA ran a double base points promotion recently.
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Old Yesterday, 8:06 am
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I'd say that's pretty good value there Finavia.

Different folks put a different value on Avios including to reduce the cost of a revenue ticket as you have done. I tend to use/spend my Avios rather that holding onto them.

Plus using The First Wing, Group 1 boarding, better chances of a blocked seat using Theoretical seating, more Avios bonus are other values amongst a few other things. I definitely noticed a difference going from Silver to Gold re RFS availability which can be worth a lot for last minute bookings.
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Old Yesterday, 8:20 am
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For me itís actually being able to use the CX F lounge each time I fly back to Helsinki, and as most of my flights begin in HEL I get to use the Premium lounge there. From reading other threads on this forum I get to use the best 2 lounges in Europe. With all the other benefits that you mentioned above Iím convinced now that the 3 TP runs done on top of my other travel is well worth the extra buck!
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Old Yesterday, 8:25 am
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So your 90k Avios saved you £700, meaning if we look at it in pure cash terms, that's about £2100 or about £1.31 per TP (taking the actual 1600 earned). Obviously if you value your Avios lower than that, the value becomes better still. It's not the absolute cheapest possible, I've seen instances of TP runs at <£1/TP but it's certainly very very good indeed. According to a press release from the c-w-s Dept.of Self-Admittedly Invented Statistics, 99% of Goldies paid [1] more than you.

From a purely logical perspective I think Cymro's analysis is fairly sound but we don't have to be entirely rational all the time! In my (one) visit to the new Platinum Wing at HEL I was very impressed, so that's a welcome benefit if you'll be doing this route routinely.



[1] Or had it paid on their behalf
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Old Yesterday, 8:36 am
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Well done indeed, Finavia!

Goes to show the cost of variety - I'm on track to make Gold this year, but having crunched the numbers, that's cost me around £4,300 (and 0 Avios). My family's back in HEL, so I could've done it the same way as you, but instead, happenstance and wanderlust makes us go further afield with a larger variety of destinations.

Doing a few pure TP runs to CTA though, as it gives quite a tasty £1.11/TP compared to £2.06/TP for HEL.
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Old Yesterday, 9:09 am
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Originally Posted by ThatT1Feeling View Post
Well I remember when I first started on the Moscow route when it was Club Europe (40TP each way in those days), I took 8 x CE returns for well over £10k spend just to achieve Silver. So I would say Gold for around £1.5k is not bad at all..
I remember that too, the prices were insane, yet they always filled it apart from that late departure at 10pm. To top of it, your hotel would cost a minimum of 500 a night too.
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Old Yesterday, 9:17 am
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Originally Posted by carat22 View Post
I remember that too, the prices were insane, yet they always filled it apart from that late departure at 10pm. To top of it, your hotel would cost a minimum of 500 a night too.
Those were the days. You're right - a 767 rammed all the way back to door 3 in CE Luckily the hotel wasn't that bad for price... or that good for quality I think it was called the Mezhdunarodnaya (The International). Wonder if it's still there on the banks of the Moskva??
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Old Yesterday, 9:17 am
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As another HEL resident, the TPs on a CE ticket for this route definitely help me too. It's just a shame BA have kept the flights to 1x day.
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Old Yesterday, 9:20 am
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Originally Posted by Finavia View Post
For me it’s actually being able to use the CX F lounge each time I fly back to Helsinki, and as most of my flights begin in HEL I get to use the Premium lounge there. From reading other threads on this forum I get to use the best 2 lounges in Europe. With all the other benefits that you mentioned above I’m convinced now that the 3 TP runs done on top of my other travel is well worth the extra buck!
The two best lounges in Europe? Rrrrrright...

The AY Platinum Wing sure is nice/good, but it's not stellar. The Š la carte operating hours resemble a Sodexo staff canteen at some public institution, plus the portions aren't really that big. The menu and quality is better at the CX First Class Lounge at LHR T3, but the CX lounge isn't either all that great - pretty small seating area etc. The BA Galleries First at LHR T3 has many nice features and also offers Š la carte, just like CX. And for the record: so does the QF London Lounge in the evenings, eventhough I myself haven't yet tried it. As for the AY Platinum Wing: the bar is indeed among the better ones in Europe, but it limits the self-service options. At times there's not any nice seating available. My point: I would hardly call these the best two in Europe. E.g. the BA CCR is better than those, eventhough the CCR has the shortcoming of not having anything potable that I could serve by myself.

Last edited by Flying Yazata; Yesterday at 9:41 am Reason: typo
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Old Yesterday, 9:32 am
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finavia, I am impressed! £1,400 is an amazing figure ... I dread to think what Iíve spent renewing Gold this time round. But then that did involve a bunch of l/h holidays and many weeks of warm sunshine in the USA, Caribbean and South Africa!
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