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I never thought reaching Gold would be so sad

I never thought reaching Gold would be so sad

Old Jun 9, 20, 1:58 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Milton Keynes, UK
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 216
I never thought reaching Gold would be so sad

Iíve been dreaming for a day like today, but now itís happened Iím in contrasting emotions. Having been a BAEC member since 2015 Iíve actually just reached Gold - something I never thought would happen. I donít really get to fly with work, instead being a leisure traveller with frequent weekends away to new destinations. Iíve always been an Economy traveller, but maxing out at 20 TPs per segment means itís a slog to hit Silver (despite what many here say, itís hard work!). This year though Iíve actually paid attention to those POUGs for Club Europe and itís made a massive difference!

Iíd have naturally hit Gold at the start of May had my final four flights not been cancelled, but without them my earning journey this year has been 29 BA flights, 8 AY and 7 QR. Thanks to the POUGs it was 31 Economy, 4 Premium Economy and 9 Club Europe. I was lucky enough to secure 3 OPUGs to Business on all three carriers (QR definitely the best on an A330 to KTM, a thoroughly enjoyable BA on a mid-haul A321 to AMM, but I was banned from sampling the food on AYís A350 to HEL so that has to come last!).

Total cost has been just over £6k (donít let my partner find out!), with 150 hours spent in the air (plus 29 non-earning redemption hours), every single one of which Iíve genuinely loved with not one bad moment. Has it been worth it? To me, absolutely. Iíve explored ten new countries with Kazakhstan becoming a new entrant in my favourite list (although unfortunately not enjoying Japan) and made some wonderful memories. I know I could have done it much cheaper by not being OneWorld exclusive, but thus is the incredible power of airline FF programmes!

I always wonder how I ever coped before having Silver status, with seat selection and lounge access transforming my travelling experience (particularly in Economy) and I wonder whether Iím going to become equally as addicted to this new levelÖ?! I hope not as I doubt Iíll ever earn it again. However with the current situation all my joy and excitement is quashed - will l actually get to use the benefits before they expire? Will I have to continue to admire the First Wing only from a distance? Iím finding the lack of flying and adventures quite upsetting as it is, but if I miss out on the T3 First offerings as well it could just be too much! Itís so sad that the only excitement Iím getting from the level is opening the app to see a Golden tint in the background.

I really hope travel can get back to as close as normal as possible soon, but in the meantime thank you to all the FT community for entertaining and educating me throughout this past year. I may not be a heavy poster but the tips Iíve picked up (and hours Iíve passed waiting in airports while reading your stories) has made it all the better. Hopefully one day things will return to how they were and Iíll get to meet some of you at one of the events, but until then stay safe and Iíll decide whether to fasten my new shiny piece of golden plastic to my trusty hand baggage; hopefully itíll be back in use soonÖand hopefully BA are still dispatching the cardsÖ!
stevebintley is offline  
Old Jun 9, 20, 2:06 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: LHR, LGW
Programs: BAEC
Posts: 2,397
What a great post for a very basic Tuesday morning. Thank you. Yes itís sad we canít really travel as we once did. Well done on getting Gold for the first, Iím yet to do the same, albeit Silver feels like a sweet spot for my personal travel.

As for not being able to enjoy it, thatís one of the many reasons why BA would be welcomed in actioning a resolution for ALL BAEC members. Iím sure you if wrote in with some of the above wording to BAEC it may help towards the greater goal of hearing an update or new outcome for 20-21 status.

But anyway thatís been discussed to itís death and back!

Hopefully youíll get use of some of benefits as soon as safe to do so. Enjoy it when itís comes around again.
rockflyertalk is offline  
Old Jun 9, 20, 2:22 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Kingston upon Thames
Programs: BAEC: Silver
Posts: 54
Whilst the world is a strange place at the minute with a lot going on. I can empathise with your post. My girlfriend has just made Gold for probably the one and only time and feels much the same as you do. We both look forward to resuming flying and whilst the most important aspect is everyone's safety I am looking forward to when some of the benefits return.
dgreen678 is offline  
Old Jun 9, 20, 2:34 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: EDI
Programs: BA Gold (GGL/CCR)
Posts: 507
Fantastic post Steve!

Many (most?) people here gain the levels through business travel. I'm definitely one of those, having had 6 back to back TATL flights last year (out Mon, back Fri/Sat, out Mon) and dozens of other LH trips. So if your'e flying in J or F the points rack up (EDI to LHR to IAD return is 500TP in F). I admit I did cringe when I saw that you'd done 31 in economy!

So to read a post when you've done it "the hard way", and enjoyed it, and you've managed to see ten new countries, is fantastic.

Your post has made my day. Thank you!
HighwayToHEL is offline  
Old Jun 9, 20, 6:55 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Kazakhstan
Programs: BA Gold, AirAstana Silver (much use as chocolate teapot)
Posts: 574
Originally Posted by stevebintley View Post
Iíve explored ten new countries with Kazakhstan becoming a new entrant in my favourite list and made some wonderful memories.
You obviously didn't make it to the bits of Kazakhstan I infest! But then I have been stuck here since February!
DorsetKnob is offline  
Old Jun 9, 20, 6:57 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 15
I got myself a BA AMEX last year for the sole purpose of collecting avios. Seems like that'll just be collecting dust for the foreseeable future.
Mint Fresh is offline  
Old Jun 9, 20, 7:36 am
  #7  
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Milton Keynes, UK
Programs: BA Gold
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Originally Posted by DorsetKnob View Post
You obviously didn't make it to the bits of Kazakhstan I infest! But then I have been stuck here since February!
Nur-Sultan - it was like walking round a symmetrical sci-fi movie. Bizarre but fascinating. On two separate days I wandered for at least three hours before I saw a single other person. At the time I thought this was so strange for a capital city, in hindsight I was clearly getting visions of what has been a common sight in lockdown...
stevebintley is offline  
Old Jun 9, 20, 8:41 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Kazakhstan
Programs: BA Gold, AirAstana Silver (much use as chocolate teapot)
Posts: 574
Originally Posted by stevebintley View Post
Nur-Sultan - it was like walking round a symmetrical sci-fi movie. Bizarre but fascinating. On two separate days I wandered for at least three hours before I saw a single other person. At the time I thought this was so strange for a capital city, in hindsight I was clearly getting visions of what has been a common sight in lockdown...
Astana is somewhat odd, but ultimately soulless. Almaty however is very pleasant!
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DorsetKnob is offline  
Old Jun 9, 20, 8:49 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 2,184
Originally Posted by DorsetKnob View Post
Astana is somewhat odd, but ultimately soulless. Almaty however is very pleasant!
I agree. Almaty is supremely present, Charynskaya canyon is really nice, and I'd say I also liked the steppe. The trip I made to Kyzylorda-Aralsk-Aqtobe-Aktau & surrounding areas was really interesting. My wish would be to see more of the Altai, lake Balkash (a friend of mine gatecrashed Priozersk for no obvious reason) and do a Urbex to Baikonur although I lack the guts to do anything of that kind...

Oneworld could do with a bit more coverage of Central Asia!
13901 is offline  
Old Jun 9, 20, 10:40 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 7,420
Originally Posted by 13901 View Post
Oneworld could do with a bit more coverage of Central Asia!
One could say the same for Central/Eastern Europe also.
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rossmacd is offline  
Old Jun 9, 20, 10:53 am
  #11  
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Join Date: May 2020
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Originally Posted by stevebintley View Post
Total cost has been just over £6k (donít let my partner find out!), with 150 hours spent in the air (plus 29 non-earning redemption hours)
Very well done on reaching Gold. £6000 is a fair amount of coin to hit 1500 tier points.

I'm interested to know how much it would cost to reach 5000 tier points nowadays. Would anyone know how much thats likely to cost?
WATP is offline  
Old Jun 9, 20, 11:41 am
  #12  
Ambassador: Emirates Airlines
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 15,419
I got Gold back in 2011 after doing lots of transatlantic flights (mainly in WT or WT+). A flight to IAH got me there. Whilst in Houston, I found my next client would be UK based. I flew back to the UK a couple of weeks later, and got to "enjoy" the IAH F Lounge.

That was the only occasion I got to use my Gold benefit!
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DYKWIA is offline  
Old Jun 9, 20, 1:25 pm
  #13  
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: JER
Programs: BA Gold/OWE, several MUCCI, and assorted Pensions!
Posts: 30,235
Oh, stevebintley, what a hard road you took. Had you never considered visiting Hawaii? 😎

That said, where do we Goldies go now? We renewed by our 8 May date, since when all our bookings are either dead or dying. 😢
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T8191 is offline  
Old Jun 9, 20, 2:49 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Leeds, UK
Programs: BAEC GGL/CCR, Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Stena Gold
Posts: 683
Originally Posted by WATP View Post
Very well done on reaching Gold. £6000 is a fair amount of coin to hit 1500 tier points.

I'm interested to know how much it would cost to reach 5000 tier points nowadays. Would anyone know how much thats likely to cost?
If time was no object it can be done for around £7K at the moment- plus the cost of hotels etc
Gastrocnemius is offline  
Old Jun 9, 20, 3:10 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: BHX
Programs: BA Gold, Accor Gold
Posts: 321
I'm in a similar situation to OP. Upon graduating from uni in 2015 and entering the corporate world, I could afford to upgrade from Ryanair to BA. A couple of G&Ts, multiple packets of lemon melts and a bit of food on some longer ET sectors was a far cry from today's offering. The first step earning on my own account was a multiple sector Y trip to DXB and BAH.

Then came a promotion, and some work W and ET trips. This got me in to Bronze and I then had Silver in my sights. After more time spent reading this forum, I embarked on some TP efficient routings which meant starting as many trips as possible from MAN and splashing out on a W return to DXB. That got me to Silver and back then, W long haul sectors booked in to Business Class UK on domestics. These returned 20 TPs per sector and afforded lounge access.

I got fed up of the shuffle to/from MAN so flew more but direct from LHR. I enjoyed Silver for a couple of years and its probably the sweet spot for me in current circumstances and in terms of ROI, however the benefits of Gold had caught my envy. Posts on here about the Cathay F lounges at LHR and HKG, more avios, exit row seats for free on long haul Y, bisonravs thread about getting to GGL etc caused me to open Excel and try to map a route to Gold without TP runs or pointless flying. If I was going to get there, it would be through booking in more premium cabins for trips that would otherwise tempt me because of the destination and/or event being held there.

I was newly minted in March, about 2 weeks before full lockdown took hold. By the time of my last trip, I'd reached Gold, but flew LCY-FLR and PSA-LHR so didn't really get any benefit other than Group 1 boarding in PSA.

In addition to a couple of Avios tickets, I flew 52 fully paid sectors comprising 48 on BA, 2 on AA, 1 on CX and 1 on QF. This was made up of 1 Club World sector, 6 Premium Economy sectors, 3 World Traveller sectors, 7 Club Europe sectors, 34 Euro Traveller sectors and 1 Main Cabin sector. The CW sector was in 62K on the 744 and I visited the cockpit upon arrival. So glad I crossed that one off now!

Other than the 6 ET returns to WAW for work I did
  • A long weekend in ACE
  • A long weekend in MIA
  • Easter in NCE
  • Day trip to JER
  • Weekend in GVA
  • Weekend in CDG
  • Summer holiday in CHS
  • Long weekend in NTE
  • Long weekend in JFK
  • Long weekend in SKG
  • Autumn holiday in LCA
  • Weekend in VIE
  • Weekend in SVQ
  • Long weekend in TFS
  • 2 week trip to ADL/MEL
  • Weekend in ATH
  • Day trip to AGP
  • Weekend in FLR/PSA
I got 1 OPUP from W to J on the 788, LHR to CHS.

I haven't worked out the cost of it all, and in honesty I don't want to. A few of the CE sectors were POUGs and the lesson I've taken from this is to go for attractive premium fares when booking if you think the next tier is in sight. Had I snagged an ex ARN fare in J with QR to Australia rather than flying in W with BA from LHR, I wouldn't have needed the multiple CE POUGs at the back end of my year and would most likely have saved a fair bit of cash.

Like a lot of people, I'm 3 months in to my new year and I've earned 0 TPs, but cancelled a number of trips. Hopefully I can have an intensive summer and early autumn and cram in the trips I had planned in addition to 2 trips to Oz in the winter. I can't see myself getting anywhere near renewal this year, so I guess this pesky upstart won't be crowding out the C suite in the F lounges for too long and I'll be returning to the DYKWIAs and middle management holding pen on the top floor of T5 next year. What a sickener it'd be if the year I make Gold passes by with 0 greetings, highly limited lounge access, no fast track, masks on all the time, no alcohol and I end up using the public showers at Chek Lap Kok rather than The Pier.
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