OW Status Benefits flying BA

Old Oct 16, 20, 12:39 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 9
OW Status Benefits flying BA

Good evening everyone,

I am thinking a lot about which OW airline's loyalty program I should try and reach status with next year. I am currently BA Bronze and was thinking of aiming for BA Silver, potentially Gold next year with the 25% reduction.

This is where I started thinking: Maybe with the current AA reduced thresholds and/ or their status challenges, it could make sense to go for AA status (based on segments rather than miles) as opposed to BA - perhaps even status with Alaska as they are joining OW early next year. (I realized with Alaska's status challenge one could get their highest status with one RT Business Class flight from Europe to the US which would result in OW Emerald, hopefully)

Based in Berlin most of my flying is on BA with a few Economy longhaul trips to US and within the US (hence switching to AA for the upgrades), but I would say the single most valuable benefit to me has been the free seat assignment as a BA Bronze. Now my question is: what are the downsides I would experience with BA if I had OW Sapphire with AA rather than BA? Does the free seat assignment benefit work just the way it does as BA Silver?
I do know that I would lose lounge access domestically US but I have PP so I am thinking that might be worth it for the Upgrades. I also have 8 flights coming up now which I could start crediting to AA since they allow flights from now forward to count into next years status - particularly nice since my BA collection year starts mid January.

BA Bronze was my first status and now I am kinda hooked, I look forward to your thoughts! Thank you.
FB747 is offline  
Old Oct 16, 20, 1:02 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Programs: TK M&S Elite Plus, QRPC Platinum, BAEC Silver, PC Bolbol, All Silv, HH Blue, Bonvoy, BW Rewards
Posts: 7,377
Just a warning that American Airlines AAdvantage has a spending requirement in dollars. If you could not meet the spending thresholds for each status, you would not be able to get it so it's cheaper to get BAEC status.

For your question, if you have AA Silver you would still get your free seating on BA.
ISTFlyer is online now  
Old Oct 16, 20, 1:03 pm
  #3  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 471
Are you on expensive tickets (purchased short-term by your employer or the like)? If not, the EQD on AAdvantage can be a challenge. BAEC is a lot friendlier without the spend requirement. It's also cheap and convenient to make a status run out of Berlin (80 TP out of Berlin cost you a mere EUR 159 plus the cost of a night at a Heathrow hotel at this point in time).

I don't hold AAdvantage status. But the domestic first upgrades seem kind of weak, what's with the 500 mile restriction? (Feel free to correct me on this.) And I have held status with the other two big US network carriers. For UA and DL, the complimentary upgrades are a mixed blessing unless you can achieve a high status level. Because with a Gold or something, your upgrade priority may be so low that you hardly get those upgrades, particularly when flying domestically in and out of the airline's hubs.
flyertalker28120 is offline  
Old Oct 16, 20, 1:56 pm
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 9
Thank you both!

I was assuming that - like with Delta - living in Europe meant I do not have to meet the EQD requirements. Do I?
FB747 is offline  
Old Oct 16, 20, 2:18 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: AUS
Programs: AA PLT, Amex Plat
Posts: 4,654
Originally Posted by FB747 View Post
Thank you both!

I was assuming that - like with Delta - living in Europe meant I do not have to meet the EQD requirements. Do I?
Yep, you sure do.

Regards
scubadu is online now  
Old Oct 16, 20, 2:24 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 719
Quite frankly you're best staying with BA. Not just saying that as this is a BA forum. You're based in Europe, Executive Club is a very good programme when it comes to earning and burning (availability is very good for redemptions compared to other programmes which can be miserly - I've been a member of Qantas Frequent Flyer, so I know), so really, stick to BA,
FlightDetective is offline  
Old Oct 17, 20, 11:39 am
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 9
Thank you both!

Sounds like you do not feel good about Alaska Airlines either?
FB747 is offline  
Old Oct 17, 20, 1:25 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Programs: TK M&S Elite Plus, QRPC Platinum, BAEC Silver, PC Bolbol, All Silv, HH Blue, Bonvoy, BW Rewards
Posts: 7,377
If you're based in Europe, it's better to stay with British Airways Executive Club if you're flying a minimum of 4 BA flights a year.
For Alaska, I wouldn't consider it at the moment as we still do not know how their frequent flyer program would change when they enter the oneworld alliance.
MatJarosz and wilsnunn like this.
ISTFlyer is online now  
Old Oct 17, 20, 2:31 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Programs: BA GGL, AA LTP, Marriott (sigh) Plat Elite
Posts: 1,393
agree with the above. i am lifetime platinum on AA and had been executive platinum/concierge key for almost ten years before moving to london. while i still have about 6-8 trips to the US each year, i will say that i am treated far better on AA as a GGL than i ever was with my AA status, oddly.

with resepect to the AA 500-mile upgrade certificates, (or even complimentary upgrades as an executive platinum), they were almost non-existent on my primary routes--the transcons--and had maybe a 70% success rate on other domestics. of course my account still have about 22 500-mile certs which are more than ten years old and will remain there probably for another ten.

finally, the spend threshold may make things complicated for you. they introduced that the year i moved to BA and while i know i'd easily reach that, i dont need an added metric to concern myself with! having been with BA for four years now, i just think overall i get more with my BA status while traveling with AA than the reverse.
VSLover is offline  
Old Oct 18, 20, 9:43 am
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 9
Thank you everyone. I that case I will try to upgrade my humble Bronze Status to, hopefully, Silver and maybe even Gold next year if I can find some cheap TP runs.

I appreciate all of your advice!
FB747 is offline  
Old Oct 19, 20, 9:12 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Programs: BAEC Silver
Posts: 116
Definitely BAEC.

Perhaps as a consequences of other programmes in the alliance being harder to achieve, I find I'm often treated better on OWA flights than on BA.
Truthmonkey is offline  
Old Oct 19, 20, 10:35 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: HEL-TKU
Programs: BA Gold, AS MVP, Hertz Cirque Presidentielle
Posts: 985
It mainly depends on three factors what's the best choice (read: compromise) for one:
  • Travel patterns - which OW airlines and what's the amount of premium cabins flown on revenue tickets.
  • Do award credits have any real value for you or are you looking for FFP status?
  • Are you in for the long run or is this something you decide one year at a time?
The last point I made is less mentioned in these types of elaborations, but with many FFPs (inc. BAEC) over time you earn lifetime status credits, which may become of importance later in your frequent flyer career. Also award credits are more valuable then and it affects adjusting e.g. your credit/charge card spend.

If you want the easiest route in terms of earning status credits in the OW alliance, the answer isn't actually BAEC, but rather Iberia Plus (hereafter IB+). But taken BAEC is easy as well, I personally see more value in doing BAEC, since I'm in for the long run.

Both BA and IB are viable alternatives in Germany, but of course BA has more flights due to their past. It really depends on your travel patterns. IB+ is better for redeeming smaller amounts of Avios for award flights, since you may also do Vueling and Level - yes, I mentioned something right out of the book of blasphemy for FFP junkies. Since you're new to the "business", I won't go into Avios transfers, but basically you can do both BA and IB, as well as EI (Aer Lingus). However you need to set your own priorities and think how far into the future do you plan stuff like this. Speaking of IB+: RJ Royal Club is also easy for reaching OWS/OWE, but it's easier to maintain status in IB+ and it's just more useful ex-Europe. Now, if only money spent on the flights counts, S7 Priority Platinum can be done relatively cheap in Y (AY+ is probably the second cheapest), but I doubt you want to hoard DME-LED etc. flights, which will probably be second to being in a gulag, taken how many hours it would require.

I personally have studied all OW FFPs (well, one exception: CX Marco Polo Club, since I knew it wouldn't work out for me), so my decision to stick with BAEC has been pretty informed. JL Mileage Bank is probably the most challenging one. AAdvantage can be tricked in terms of EQDs, but sure, not cheap either. I've considered IB+ in 2019, but I've so far stuck with BAEC. It's just tempting to become infinitely Spanish (read: IB+ Infinita or Infinita Prime) with a black card. And yes, I've ruled out AY+, even though most ex-FI FT'ers prefer doing it.
TravelManBiz likes this.
Flying Yazata is offline  
Old Oct 19, 20, 11:40 am
  #13  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 471
Insightful post, Flying Yazata, thanks!
Flying Yazata likes this.
flyertalker28120 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: