READ THIS FIRST >>> The Ultimate BA Guide!

Old Aug 4, 07, 4:15 am
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Arrow READ THIS FIRST >>> The Ultimate BA Guide!



Updated 2nd June 2008

Welcome to the BA Forum and the latest iteration of the ‘Ultimate BA Guide’. This thread is meant to be a collection of information and frequently asked questions which are useful to new visitors and old hands alike. Before asking a new question, please have a read (or search – see this thread for general FT search tips) of this thread first and see if what you want to know is already covered.

Say my name!
The airline is called ‘British Airways’ which is often abbreviated to ‘BA’ (the same as the flight prefix). One thing people here tend to get a little touchy about is referring to our favourite carrier incorrectly! So, ‘British Airways’/’BA’ ^ ‘British Air’/’Brit Air’/’British’ or other variations thereof

Housekeeping
This thread is a revised and updated version of the previous Ultimate Guides, all of which stemmed from the very original one which Dave_C pioneered. Since the first versions, Dave_C and some other regulars give the content a bit of a ‘spring clean’ on a semi-regular basis. In addition to Dave_C’s excellent work, thanks are due to G-BOAC, More Champagne Sir?, phreegreens,Raffles, Shuttle-Bored, SLF, Teece and Swanhunter on the big effort to review and update the guide.

If you have comments, questions or suggestions for this guide – great! The constant revision and feedback is what makes the BA Board such a useful resource. However, to ensure this main thread does not become too daunting for new visitors and get bogged down in too many responses, we’ve had our friendly moderators lock this thread and created a new one for comments. Please use this:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=830198

thread to provide feedback and we’ll try and incorporate it as rapidly as possible.

Also note that the dreaded U-word (*cough* ‘Upgrade’) can come up regularly as a frequently asked question. So regularly, in fact, that it has its own dedicated sticky! If you have an upgrade question or story to share, please visit that thread. Likewise, if you’re looking for how the sure-fire way to blag a free upgrade, (1) don’t because it doesn’t work like that and (2) have a read/search of that thread for all the ‘advice’ there.

Approach
This guide covers three main topics:

1. An ‘ULTIMATE’ guide to ex-EU travel (originally pioneered by dnw)
2. A general guide to BA and the Executive Club with various hints, tips and frequently asked questions (the collective wisdom of many FTers!)
3. Some hints and tips on maximizing the BA First, Club World and World Traveller Plus experiences (more collective wisdom!)

Who’s Where?
Sometimes it’s nice to know who is flying where – especially with a view to coordinating lounge access or meeting up. There is now an excellent calendar tool to help with this. Although it’s not BA-specific, it was launched by some of our most (in)famous board members and the extremely helpful BA97 hosts and maintains it on his website. It’s free to use and very useful, so check out:

http://www.ba97.com/calendar.asp

and see if you can ‘put a handle to a face’ (not literally, that sounds painful)…

Enjoy!

The BA Board

Last edited by Prospero; Sep 17, 09 at 4:47 pm Reason: June 08 Update
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Old Aug 4, 07, 4:16 am
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The Guide Itself

Each item in the contents page will link to a separate post in the thread, allowing easier access to each part.

Say what!? (AKA Common Acronyms…)
The ULTIMATE ex-EU Travel Guide
Travel Classes
Fleet Overview and Seat Map Links (AKA “What’s the best seat…”)
Lounges and Lounge Access
BA’s Web Services
Joining the Executive Club
Tiers and Tier Points
Membership Countries
Household Accounts
Earning Miles
Spending Miles
oneworld / Franchises / Airline Partners
American Express
Earning BA Miles at Tesco and other Partners
Fare ‘Buckets’/Letters
Some Suggestions for Travelling with Children
What London Airport, and What Terminal is my BA Flight?
Some Tips on Maximizing the BA First Experience
Some Tips on Maximizing the BA Club World Experience
Some Tips on Maximizing the BA World Traveller Plus Experience
Shareholder discounts
Other useful links

This thread is designed to be a first stop for new people to the forum and a useful ‘dip in’ resource for existing FTers. It hopefully will address the most common questions to do with flying BA, and membership of the Executive Club.

Last edited by Shuttle-Bored; Jun 2, 08 at 3:46 pm Reason: June 08 Update
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Old Aug 4, 07, 4:16 am
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Say what!? (AKA Common Acronyms…)

241 or 2for1 - Voucher received from BA when set level of expenditure on BA American Express card is reached. This gives a free ticket when purchasing one full miles redemption ticket.
AVOD Audio Video On Demand - An updated IFE system allowing users to watch TV programs/movies etc when they want with the option to pause, rewind, stop etc as needed.
B/H - Bulkhead Seat (At the front of each cabin, often providing extra legroom. However, BEWARE bulkhead often = bassinet = babies screaming )
BA - British Airways
BA AmEx PP - British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card (or without PP to represent BA AmEx standard card)
BACON - BA Connect – the now deceased BA regional domestic service
BAEC or EC - British Airways Executive Club
BMED - Used to be a franchisee of BA operating flights to Africa, Middle East & Central Asia with tickets booked through ba.com – now owned by bmi, but still operating with BA codeshares attached for now
CC - In context of Tesco, refers to Clubcard
CCR - Concorde Room - for pax ticketed in First ex-LHR T4, T5 and JFK T7 only (or the invited few who hold a special Concorde Room pass, first issued on 2003 after the retirement of Concorde, now said to be issued to the very highest frequency Club Europe passengers)
CE - Club Europe (European Business Class)
CPN - Coupon - Refers to Paper Tickets (becoming more and more unusual)
CR – Concorde Room (see CCR above, this abbreviation is also used sometimes)
CSD - Cabin Services Director (Most senior member of cabin crew)
CSDM - Customer Service Duty Manager (Most senior member of airport ground staff)
CW - Club World (L/H Business Class)
DO - officially a gathering of 12 or more at an event intended for FlyerTalkers. In reality, a gathering of any number of people involving large amounts of alcohol!
Click here for a list of all upcoming Dos.
Dummy Booking – the act of pricing up a booking on ba.com right up to payment, but not actually paying (e.g. to check a price, check miles availability, etc.)
Dusking - not an acronym/abbreviation, but often seen on the board - refers to the process of a plane going from OCW to NCW, and also adding WT+ to L/H aircraft.
DYKWIA - Do You Know Who I Am? - Often heard by Gold BAEC members after being refused an upgrade. (Also Rick's handle!)
ECCA - Executive Club Corporate Agreement – a legacy scheme which BA ran for major corporate clients, with reduced thresholds for qualifying for Gold, Silver, etc. and various other benefits. Removed from use in July 2003, but still referred to on FT occasionally.
EF - www.expertflyer.com - useful website which shows flight & seating availability for all carriers (incl. BA). Subscription is $4.99per month, which can be cancelled at any time.
ex-EUR - refers to starting a journey from an out-station in Europe which often results in a significant discount in fare. Click here for more info
Fare Classes - Not an acronym, but click here for details
FBD - Fast Bag Drop (to be used at the airport after using SSCI or OLCI)
FFP - Frequent Flyer Program (e.g. BAEC)
FSB - Friends & Supporters of BA (new way of scoring BAEC members - only listed on the CSD's manifest) - this one's a fun fake, that some completely fell for!!
GB - GB Airways (former franchisee of BA operating flights to destinations around the Med. GB was sold to Easyjet in 2007, and ceased to operate routes for BA in March 2008)
GEx - Gatwick Express (Fast train between LGW and London Victoria)
GGL – Gold Guest List (for the top TP earning Golds)
GUF2 - Gold Upgrade for 2 voucher - voucher given to Gold members upon reaching 2500 TPs and again at 3500 TPs.
HHA - Household Account
HEx - Heathrow Express (Fast train between LHR and London Paddington)
H.I. - Him/Her Indoors (Not a BA acronym but a very common FT one and deserves a place on this list)
Hi-J – BA’s 747-400 configured with 70 Club World seats
IFE - In-flight entertainment
ISTR - I seem to recall/remember (not BA, but useful)
KUP – Type of American Airlines fare (pronounced K-Up) that books into cheap First class, but gets full allowance of BAEC F TPs
L/H or LH – Not Lufthansa, but Longhaul
Low-J – BA’s 747-400 configured with 38 Club World seats (a configuration which is no longer in use)
MCO - Miscellaneous Charge Order (a form of credit note given to passengers from BA
MCT – Minimum connection time – the minimum time between two flights connecting via an airport – between the scheduled arrival time of flight A and the scheduled departure time of flight B. Differs from airport to airport (and between terminals at a single airport), reflecting relative complexities of connecting
MFU - Miles for Upgrade (Method of redemption using cash + miles to upgrade)
MHC - Mile High Club (Ahem )
MIC - BA missed interline connection
Mid-J – BA’s 747-400 configured with 52 Club World seats
MMB - Manage My Booking (Tool for seeing details about your booking)
MVCC - Most Valued Corporate Client
NCW - New Club World (New style of Business Class - flat beds)
NGCW - Next Generation Club World (New style of Business Class replacing NCW)
NOCW - New Old Club World - Only found on BMED, this is a new style of BA's OCW Cradle seat.
NSFU - Not Suitable for Upgrade
OCW - Old Club World (Old ‘cradle’ style seats – no longer in use)
OLCI - Online Check-In
Op-Up - Operational Upgrade (free upgrade given for no specific reason)
OW or 1W - oneworld (American Airlines, BA, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, LAN, Malev, Qantas, Royal Jordanian)
PCPM - Part Cash Part Miles (Another method of redemption using cash + miles. Generally considered a poor use of miles)
PFUG - Pre-Flight Upgrade
PNR - Passenger Name Record - also known as the BA Booking Reference
PUTI - Posting Under the Influence - VERY common on this board
PYOBP - Print your own Boarding Pass
RDUG - Redemption Upgrade
RTW - Round the World ticket
S/H - Shorthaul
SAU - Space Available Upgrade
SEx or StEx - Stansted Express (Fast train between STN and London Liverpool St.)
SFU - Suitable for Upgrade
SM or SPML - Special Meal (e.g. Vegetarian, Kosher etc)
SS or S/S - Special Services (BA Staff as the airport usually in suits, to help VIP or Premier passengers with anything they need)
SSCI - Self Service Check-In
SSSS - Selected for Secondary Security Screening (printed on selected boarding passes usually ex-USA meaning you're going to be extra checked by security)
T1/T2/T3/T4/T5 - LHR (London Heathrow) Terminal
TATL – TrAnsaTLantic (as in a ‘TATL trip’)
TCP - To Complete Party - Used where you have two separate bookings on the same flight (e.g. you and spouse) and want to join the bookings up to ensure you sit together. Previously possible for all, now only available to Gold/Premier BAEC members or oneworld equivalents
TFTG - Tales from the Galley (kindly provided to us from Pucci, Purserette, Tits (see below) and a few other BA Lurkers. Click here for a great example)
Tits - Again not an acronym, but worth mentioning to avoid confusion... Tits is short for Tits McGhee who is one of our BA Cabin Crew Lurkers.
TP - Tier Points
WT - World Traveller (Economy)
WT+ or WTP - World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy)
WW - Willie Walsh (aka "The Boss"), BA’s current CEO.
YUP – What ‘KUP’ originally was!

And finally.... FT - FlyerTalk!!!

In addition, check out the official FT Glossary for general (non-BA specific) abbreviations, click here.

Last edited by Shuttle-Bored; Jun 2, 08 at 3:26 pm Reason: June 08 Update
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Old Aug 4, 07, 4:17 am
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The ULTIMATE ex-EU Travel Guide

This guide is based on what was written by the divine dnw who pioneered the use of ‘ex-LIS’ fares (i.e. fares which began by flying from Lisbon) on the BA Board a few years ago. The ex-LIS deals themselves have now ceased to be so attractive but the principle remains and does apply to other European cities. Thanks to a tool posted by pauldb and a process honed by Raffles, this guide should still explain everything you need to try and take advantage of this (perfectly legitimate) approach to getting cheaper premium travel.

What's all this about cheap BA premium fares from Europe?
What is the catch?
How much/when/where?
What are the rules and restrictions?
So how do I find/book these fares?
But I want to book further ahead / I'm worried they won't renew the offer?
But I have a UK/other credit card and ba.com wants a local one?
Can I do the EU part of the trip back2back?
Can I use Miles to upgrade the trip?
Will I ever be able to go back to Economy?

What's all this about cheap BA premium fares from Europe?

The worst kept secret on the BA board…if you want to save thousands (literally!) on J (Club World) and F (First) travel on BA to a number of destinations just by doing a quick roundtrip to somewhere in Europe first, read on…

Although this guide will often use LIS (Lisbon, Portugal) as an example, the principle applies to many other cities. At present, the cheapest starting point for an ex-EU trip is generally Milan – but where you see the word LIS here, substitute wherever is currently cheapest. You’ll learn where to find the cheapest point later.

What is the catch?

There isn't one! Instead of paying, say, £3000 for a semi-flexible Club World ticket LHR-BKK-LHR, you can buy one for £1700+ if you start your journey in LIS instead of LHR. You simply need to buy a cheap one-way ticket to LIS first. You can also, for a fee, build in a stopover in London – so you could, for example, fly to LIS for a weekend break in August (using the first leg of your BKK ticket for the return) and then do the LHR-BKK leg in September.

The only catch is that you MUST MUST MUST start your journey in LIS! You CANNOT discard the LIS segment and just turn up for the longhaul at LHR – BA will automatically invalidate your entire trip (and don’t go crying for a refund either, this is just one of the rules!)

However, you don't need to take the final segment back to LIS if you don’t want to. If you are on a J ticket (where stopovers are chargeable) and are worried about BA wanting to check your bags all the way through to LIS and you’re coming off a longhaul flight at LHR, then book your return segment back into OPO or FAO which go from LGW instead. In these cases, the LHR/LGW transit means they CAN'T through check your bags (the same principle works particularly well for AMS too, which is served from both airports). Booking the last leg ex-LGW will make the ticket slightly cheaper as the airport service charges are slightly lower than LHR. Conversely, booking the last leg ex-LCY will make the ticket slightly more expensive. If you cannot book your last leg from the ‘other’ airport, you may want to book it for the next day (but less than 24 hours from arrival, so it is not treated as a stopover). This gives you far more leverage with BA if check-in at, say, BKK try to insist – incorrectly - that you must check your bag to your final destination.

If you are on an F ticket then a neat trick is to take advantage of the free stopovers and book your final LHR-LIS segment a long time in the future – you can then use this to get down to LIS to start your next trip!

How much/when/where?

Following the steps below (idiot-proofed by FTers for some years now!) to find the cheapest starting point for your trip.

(1) Go to http://matrix.itasoftware.com

(2) Complete "From" as
Code:
AMS;ARN;ATH;BRU;BUD;CAI;CPH;FRA;HEL;IST;LCA;LIN;LIS;MLA;PAR;VIE;WAW :: BA+
Be careful - if you can see gaps between any of the three-letter airport codes above, they shouldn’t be there. This is an FT formatting error and you will have to remove them manually..

For completeness, you may want to do a second search on the rest of the EU and potential EU member states:

Code:
BTS;DUB;LJU;LUX;MAD;PRG;TLL;OSL;OTP;RIX;SOF;VNO;ZAG :: BA+
Do also bear in mind that some of the airports there are quite far way from London (e.g. ATH, CAI, IST, HEL, MLA) and you may not want to have the hassle of such a long flight to begin your journey. If so, you can come up with your own list based on the above with airports (or others) that suit you best personally.

(3) Complete "To" as:

YYY :: BA+

Where YYY is your destination - if you don't know the airport code, use the glossary under 'Search' on FT.

(4) Enter rough dates which suit you and LON as "sales city" to get GBP prices

(5) Click "More Options", change cabin to "Business" or "First" and uncheck "Check seat availability"

This will bring up the cheapest listed fare for the route on that day, although it does not necessarily mean that tickets will still be available at that price. You can use dnw's method below to find days with actual I (Club) or A (First) availability. You can also use a tool such as www.expertflyer.com or KVS, though these are not free.

If you're looking for WT+ pricing (e.g. to MFU), set the cabin as "Cheapest" and add " / F BC=T" to the "From" & "To" lines. The results will say "Coach", but it will be a WT+ T class fare. You will need to delete a couple of cities from the list to fit in the extra bit of text.

When comparing WT+ prices for potential MFU's, don't forget that MFU's from countries further away from the UK ('Europe 2' zone in BA terminology) require more miles than MFU's from 'Europe 1'. You should factor in the worth of the extra miles needed when considering which fare offers best value.

(6) Click "Go". Scroll down the results if you don't fancy the first options (usually TIP/CAI/IST) or just delete them in the first place.

Note that you may need to click on 'Cost' to reorder your results in price order, as the default is to list CAI flights first as they offer Club and First on all legs, not just the longhaul one. If searching for First flights, be careful as it sometimes lists itineraries where only one longhaul leg is in F and the return is in J.

Now that you know what the cheapest fare is, you need to find days on which it is available. In order to get a special fare you need availability in the following booking classes on your required flights. Again, taking LIS as an example:

LIS-LHR segment I-class (sometimes D on First fares but we'll say I to be safe)
LHR-<DEST>I-class for Club, A-class for First

You can use expertflyer.com to check availability by I/A code. Once you have found the right flights you can put them in to the ba.com site with your departure location set as Portugal and it should price it up perfectly. If you have problems, you may like to go directly to the local BA site in question (for example, for ex-LIS bookings the Portugal site at: http://www.britishairways.com/travel/fx/public/en_pt) but this has not been an issue of late. Also note that as of early 2007, the ‘feeder’ flights more regularly tend to book in J class now – this is better since J is nearly always available, meaning less ‘hunting’ for availability on your part.

For example, I want to go to Sao Paulo in F and I want to go on the 20th Dec and back on 2nd Jan. So I check the following (hypothetical results) using the link provided:

LIS-LHR on 15th Dec I9 - OK
LHR-GRU on 20th Dec A5 - OK
GRU-LHR on 2nd Jan A3 - OK
LHR-LIS at some random date in the future - I9 - OK

So I go to ba.com and using the stopover section on Fare Explorer plug in these dates:

LIS-GRU
Departing on 15th Dec, returning on 2nd Jan
I want to make a stopover on my outward Journey
I want to stop in LON and leave there on 20th Dec
I want to make a stopover on my return journey
I want to stop in LON and leave there on <some random date in future>

Hey presto the nice F fare I want comes out. If it doesn’t, and you don’t know what you have done wrong, then please post all the key information and someone will try to help you!

What are the rules and restrictions?

Cancellation penalties and stopover fees change from fare to fare and from country to country, although stopovers are usually Euro 200 each-way if you break your journey in London for > 24 hours. Also remember you need to factor in the cost of getting to your point of departure, and potentially the cost of a hotel if you are travelling too far to return in a day (e.g. Cyprus, Athens). whichbudget.com lists budget airlines flying to all major cities, and www.skyscanner.net may also be useful.

In general, you will see the rules are much more flexible for the equivalent fare bucket ex-UK. Again, taking ex-LIS as the example at the end of 2005, the rules were:

First fares:

- Unlimited free Changes
- Unlimited free Stopovers*
- No cancellation penalty
- Return within 12 months

Club fares:
- Changes charged at E200 each
- Stopovers* charged at E200 each
- Cancellation penalty E250
- Return within 12 months

*A stopover is a transit of an intermediate point that exceeds 24hrs.

A neat trick for the Club fares – if you time your arrival into London and the departure of your longhaul segment right, you can essentially have a free nightstop in London without having an 'official' stopover. For example, you arrive from LIS on a Monday at 2115 and you can then book your longhaul flight the next day (Tuesday) at any time up to 2114 (<24hrs) and it is NOT charged as a stopover. Book it for 2115 or later and that'll be E200 please!

Note: BA seem to have clamped down on stopover rules, potentially in light of more widespread use of ex-EU fares. Check your fare rules carefully – lots of fares (except seemingly on the JSA routes like SIN/SYD) now limit you to a month’s stopover in the UK at most in either direction.

But I have a UK/other credit card and ba.com wants a local one?

If you are booking on ba.com from your home country and just varying the departure city on the front page, all should be well – BA will quote your fare and advise you of the estimated GBP price but your card will be charged in the local currency (typically EUR). If you are booking on ba.com and using the local site directly (e.g. the BA Portugal site as in dnw’s method), then you have two choices:

1) Just put your number/details in anyway. It has been reported to work but the choice is yours.
2) Call the nice folk at the local BA office in question. For example, at BA in Portugal, they speak perfect English, are very helpful and well used to people phoning up for the cheapo J/F fares. They'll be happy to take your card. Their number is: +351 21 415 4151. Telephone numbers for all other BA overseas offices can be found at ba.com.

Can I do the LIS part of the trip as a turnaround/”out and back” trip?

Yes you can. However, if you plan to return on the same plane you arrived on, then you MUST ensure that you arrive at an airport where departing and arriving passengers are not separated. Because turnarounds are so short these days, it will often not be possible to go through passport control and back through security before the gates are closed, even if you are already holding a boarding pass.

Destinations where a back2back is possible include AMS, DUS, FRA, LIS and BLQ at least

Can I use miles to upgrade the trip?

In short, yes provided (a) there is availability (always a tricky one!) and (b) you booked it correctly. The MFU ‘rule’ is that you can (in theory) only upgrade tickets booked in your registered membership country – if you book directly on ba.com (using the standard MFU engine from the start) this works fine (but you may have to play around with a few dummy bookings and dates to hit the right availability and price you expect). The only stumbling block may be if you use the ‘old’ method above and phone the local BA office to issue the ticket then subsequently try to phone BA and MFU (if, for example, availability opens up later on). In this case, the ticket would have been issued outside your member country and the MFU will probably not be possible.

As with ‘normal’ ex-LON bookings, the best use of MFU is usually WT+ to Club World. Using the ‘new’ method above to isolate the cheapest T class fares, you can then play around trying to find award availability for the trip to match those flights. Doing this, we have seen it possible to MFU a journey like EU-JFK for as little as 650 UKP (ex-BUD at the time of writing). Generally, an ex-AMS MFU routing consistently prices up at around 750UKP.

Will I ever be able to go back to Economy?

What’s Economy?

Last edited by Shuttle-Bored; Jun 2, 08 at 3:27 pm Reason: June 08 Update
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Old Aug 4, 07, 4:18 am
  #5  
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,910
Travel Classes

BA has four different classes of travel. They are:

First
Club World and Club Europe (Business Class)
World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy)
World Traveller and Euro Traveller (Economy / Coach)

Note: From July 2006 AVOD (Audio Video On Demand) began rolling out across the fleet, in all classes of service. From early 2007, New Club World (www.newclubworld.com) began rolling out across the 747 fleet, which is now complete. The first 777 went in to be fitted in Early May 2008 and commenced service at the end of that month. Rumour has it that the 777 embodiment will run over the course of a year or so. The 767s have all received AVOD but none will ever receive the New Club World seating.

Even more important note: there is NO WAY to predict or plan for sure whether your particular 777 flight will have New Club World! Aircraft are being refitted gradually and there is an effort afoot to track which routes these planes appear on the most, percentage wise – see http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=633240 for more details but do bear in mind there is no way someone can tell you for sure what configuration your plane will have until the entire fleet is finally converted. The only ‘guarantee’ is that all 747 operations are New Club World now .

First (Picture) is on all 747 equipment, located in the nose, and on some 777 aircraft. The 747’s have 14 seats, the 777’s have 13, 14 or 17 depending on type. It is a 6’6” bed that goes totally flat. Also there is an ottoman, which, if travelling with a companion, can be used by them to sit on, allowing you to dine facing each other. The seat also features EmPower which is what most airlines use for providing in-seat power. There is a video screen, which gives access to the 12 or 18 channel entertainment system on the aircraft (or AVOD if available). Additionally, on 777’s that have not had AVOD installed as part of the ‘NGCW’ upgrade, there’s a Hi-8 video player allowing you to watch movies supplied by the crew (this has now been removed from all 747’s). On some routes (primarily 777s which have the “small” video screens) your crew will also provide a portable DVD player and a selection of DVDs for your use. You also get a nice amenity kit, with an Anya Hindmarch designed BAg (with Kiehls toiletries). The ‘turndown service’ is now available on all bar a few of the short fifth-freedom flights (BA72/73, BA124/125 and BA246/247), with a mattress pad, duvet and pillow, a pair of slippers and the dark blue pyjamas (emblazoned with the First logo). Good crew should offer to make up your bed at the appropriate time!

BA has a flash animation that shows the product’s features in more detail:
http://www.britishairways.com/travel...c/public/en_gb

Club World (Picture) comes in two varieties these days! The first is New Club World – the newest variation (sometimes called ‘NGCW’ for ‘Next Generation Club World’ on here). See above for some further background.

The second is what ‘used’ to be called ‘New Club World’. Confusing, eh? This configuration is probably just best referred to as CW or ‘Club World’ now. This is the minimum level of product you will find on all BA Mainline aircraft (i.e. 777 and 767). It offers a 6-foot, fully flat and horizontal bed. Like First, it also features Empower and the same IFE options, though there is no tape player. The seats alternate forward and backwards facing to fit together in an almost yin/yang like shape. The ‘New Club World’ product offers incremental and evolutionary improvements to this ground-breaking seat, and retains the same physical layout.

Currently, all Club World amenity kits feature Elemis products in a nice brown ‘foldover’ bag.

BA has a flash animation that shows the product’s features in more detail:
http://www.britishairways.com/travel/cwexp/public/en_gb

World Traveller Plus (Picture) is an improved economy product, and definitely not a downgraded business class. It features eight abreast seating (6 abreast on the 767), instead of nine or ten abreast, and a 38” pitch. They are new seats, specially designed by Recaro and have foot rests and extra recline. They also have Empower. The discounted WT+ fares are typically around £400 more than the cheapest WT fares (£200 each way). WT+ passengers receive the same food as World Traveller passengers, but do benefit from being served first (oh, and getting a real glass not a plastic cup for their wine!). There is no stated benefit of dedicated check-in desks for WT+ but gradually more and more airports are offering them (e.g. LHR T4, LAX, IAD at least). In general, however, WT+ passengers check in with the rest of World Traveller. Note that you get no rights to use the Fast Track security lane at LHR or LGW with a WT+ ticket.

BA has a flash animation that shows the product’s features in more detail: http://www.britishairways.com/travel...p/public/en_gb

World Traveller (Picture) is standard economy. It’s 3-4-3 on the 747, 3-3-3 on the 777 and 2-3-2 on the 767. It’s got a 31” pitch and each seat has a personal TV with either 12 or 18 channels depending on the aircraft (or AVOD if present). There is no at seat power.

Club Europe (Picture) is the European business class seat. On the narrow body planes, it’s configured with convertible five-abreast seating. This means on the left hand (ABC) side of the aircraft, the B seat squishes, leaving wider A C seats (an extra two inches or so). On the right hand (DEF) side, they expand giving around an extra couple of inches per seat. If the flight is busy, BA will sell the E (middle) seat. The front two thirds of the aircraft can be converted like this according to how many Club passengers they are expecting. The curtain also gets moved to wherever the divide is that day. Club Europe has around a 34” pitch, so not particularly generous, but adequate. Some newer Airbuses have 120V European style plug sockets, although there aren’t too many of these. The new A321’s should have them. On the 767 aircraft, Club Europe is configured 2-2-2 with the ‘collapsed’ seat being in the middle block (DF).

If you’re travelling ex-LCY on the BA CityFlyer services operated be the BAe 146 aircraft, a similar principle applies except it’s the right side which is convertible (i.e. Club Europe is 3-2 seating).

The diagram below (created by jamespvg) illustrates this convertible seating:

Code:
1 A---C   D--E--F
2 A---C   D--E--F
3 A---C   D--E--F
-----CURTAIN-----
4 A---C     D-E-F
5 A-B-C     D-E-F
6 A-B-C     D-E-F
7 A-B-C     D-E-F
etc...
Here, rows 1-3 are Club Europe, row 4 is the first row of Euro Traveller (with the AC seats still in Club Europe format) and rows 5 and onwards are standard Euro Traveller.

BA has a flash animation that shows the product’s features in more detail:
http://www.britishairways.com/travel/ceexp/public/en_gb

Euro Traveller (Picture) is the European economy class. On the narrow bodies, it’s in a normal 3-3 configuration, while on the 767, it’s 2-3-2. Again it has a 31” pitch. One side effect of the convertible seating on the narrow body aircraft is that the very first row of Euro Traveller, on the left hand side also features this A C configuration, with no B seat. They are the best in Euro Traveller.

UK Domestic (aka Shuttle) is the single economy class available on all UK routes using Airbus A319/20/21 and Boeing 757 to/from LHR; Boeing 737 to/from LGW. These types feature 3-3 configuration throughout. London City services operated by subsidiary BA CityFlyer feature Avro (configured 3-3). All BA flights still retain ‘full service’ in all cabins (i.e. complimentary catering).

On the Domestic RJ-100 operations, the window seats are extremely cramped. Seats in the middle are slightly larger...but at the price of overhead locker space. The best seats may be at the back (18DF) since there is no middle seat. Also, when flying into LCY at least being at the back is better since you will actually be slightly closer to the terminal when disembarking than at the front.

Last edited by Shuttle-Bored; Jun 2, 08 at 3:27 pm Reason: June 08 Update
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Old Aug 4, 07, 4:19 am
  #6  
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Posts: 4,910
Fleet Overview and Seat Map Links (AKA “What’s the best seat…”)

The BA fleet currently consists of the following aircraft:

Airbus A319
Airbus A320
Airbus A321
Avro RJ-100’s
Boeing 737-300
Boeing 737-400
Boeing 737-500
Boeing 747-400
Boeing 757-200
Boeing 767-300ER
Boeing 777-200
Boeing 777-200ER

The BA website shows which plane will be operating your flight if you click on the flight number on ba.com during the booking process. You can also work it out from ‘Manage My Booking’ (if your booking permits seat pre-selection).

The mainstay of the longhaul fleet is the 747-400. These are currently all based at LHR. There are two versions; one of them has 52 New Club World seats, and the other has 70 Club World seats. It’s a fairly even split between the two types (often referenced here as ‘52J’, ‘70J’ or ‘Mid-J’, ‘High-J’ respectively – if you see reference to ‘38J’ or ‘Low-J’, these are the original 747-400 New Club World configurations which had 38 Club World seats and which were replaced by the 52J variant during the refit phase).

The other main longhaul aircraft is the 777-200. BA has three different types, which are configured in four different seating plans. They have three of the oldest 777-200’s which are powered by GE engines. They have First (17 seats), Club World, a three row World Traveller Plus cabin (starting at row 18) and World Traveller. They are chiefly found on the Middle Eastern routes and sometimes East Coast USA/Canada rotations due to having a more limited range than the other 777s in the fleet. For an old seatmap, see http://web.archive.org/web/199904290...ocs/b777.shtml but note only the First configuration on that picture is still current. For the real geeks out there, the planes in question are G-ZZZA/B/C.

The main bulk of the 777 fleet are GE-powered 777-200ER’s which are also four class, but have the usual 14 First seats, Club World, five rows of World Traveller Plus and then World Traveller. BA more recently took deliver of some RR powered 777-200ER’s. These are split fairly equally into a four-class variant, and a three class variant. The three class plane has Club World, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller (no First). There are also some three class GE-powered aircraft based at LGW (the 777s are the only longhaul planes based at LGW). All RR-powered aircraft have large TV screens and an 18 channel IFE system. Some of the GE-powered 777s unfortunately have an older (GMIS) IFE system which has 12 channels, much smaller screens and a huge, retro-looking 1970s control pad! Sadly, it is pot-luck as to which type of plane you will generally get. Note that on the 777s with smaller screens, First passengers should be able to ask for DVD players and a selection of DVDs instead/as well.

The 767-300 does both shorthaul and medium to longhaul. The shorthaul version is configured with Club Europe and Euro Traveller. The longhaul variant has Club World, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller. All the 767’s are LHR based, just like the 747s. There is a curious message that sometime appears on ba.com for 767 flights warning they have Old Club World (cradle) seats – this is a bug and can be ignored!

The mainstay of the shorthaul fleet at LHR is the A319/20/21 fleet. They are configured with convertible seating as described in ‘Travel Classes’. The 757 fleet is much smaller than it once was. BA used to operate over 40, but now is down to about 12. It is the same seating as described for the Airbus fleet. Note that from 2008 when BA moved to Terminal 5 at LHR, the 757s are not used to service the T1 (in future T3) routes – BCN, HEL, LIS, MAD, NCE.

The 737 fleet is all based at LGW and in theory BA plan to replace them all with A319/20/21 planes over the next few years. Again, the 737s feature the same seating as the Airbus.

The only remaining Avros are now part of BA CityFlyer operating to/from LCY.

Can I or Can’t I Pre-Assign a Seat?!

A hot topic for a long time on the BA board indeed. The current BA policy restricts who can pre-assign seats before OLCI opens. See www.ba.com/seating for the ‘live’ version but in summary, you CANNOT pre-assign a seat UNLESS:

1. You have a BA Premier, Gold or Silver card or oneworld equivalent (i.e. Emerald or Sapphire only)
2. You are in the First cabin (regardless of how – paid, award, MFU…it matters not)
3. You have any other full fare ticket (specifically, booking classes J, C, W, Y)
4. Your company has a corporate special deal with BA to allow this (i.e. large companies with big discounts and BA account managers)
5. You have an infant with you on your booking

Everyone else is unable to get a seat until OLCI. The “semi” exceptions are:

1. Passengers with children (NOT infants) on their booking
2. Passengers with special needs/some specific disabilities (as notified to BA in the booking)

These passengers will be seated by BA (and not be able to move themselves in MMB until OLCI) 3 days before departure.

One of the ‘unpublished’ benefits of BA Gold is the ability to get seat assignments for passengers travelling on the same flight on a different PNR. See Bukhara’s post for the best way to do this.

What's the best seat?

This is a question which comes up time and time again - and quite understandably too, particularly for newbies looking to make the most of their first time in a particular cabin. I think we all remember that initial excitement of our first trip in First or Club World The purpose of the rest of this post is to collate the 'collective wisdom' on the topic to try and prevent the same question coming up over and over again.

The first thing to remember is, like upgrades, there is no definitive answer! A lot of this comes down to personal preference and circumstances. The following are some general tips and advice, by plane and by cabin.

There are also two sites which can prove useful:

http://www.seatguru.com/
http://www.seatexpert.com/

The latter currently has more detail and is widely referenced in this post.

Rule 1 - Know Your Plane!
As described above, BA operate several different types of plane and several different types of configuration within each plane type! Yes, it's confusing. However, you can normally get a good idea of which type of plane you are on from the layout you see in 'Manage My Booking'

Rule 2 - Shorthaul Is Easiest
The rule on shorthaul is pretty simple.

Club Europe
On anything but the 767s, get on the left hand side in Club Europe (the A or C seat config, with B squished) which has the most space. The DEF seats are wider than in Euro Traveller and OK if the 'E' seat is empty, but you can't always guarantee that. On the 767s, try for the middle seat pairs (D and F) because the 2-2-2 format in Club Europe vs. the 2-3-2 format in Euro Traveller means these are actually the equivalent to the AC seats on the other aircraft already mentioned (i.e. 3 seats which have been collapsed in to 2 for Club Europe). The window pairs on the 767 in CE are especially poor. They do expand – but only by around 0.5 inch. Some like the bulkheads as there is nobody to recline into you but others find the reduced legroom irritating (especially if you are 6ft plus). The only exception to this are certain 737-500’s operating from LGW which have lots of room in row 1 (the 737-300 has room on the 1DEF side only, the 737-400 has no extra room on its first rows – 2AC and 1DEF).

If you’re eligible to do so, you can pre-assign Club Europe seats in 'Manage My Booking' to try and reserve these in advance. If the left side is not available, the right side is much of a muchness, though obviously avoid the 'E' seat at all costs!

Whether or not you want to be in Row 1 (or Row 2 on the 737-400) is personal choice. Some people don’t like having their feet against the bulkhead (although 1C often has only a partial bulkhead in front) whilst others like not having a seat in front of them (and therefore running the risk of having that seat recline). The first rows of Club Europe are normally reserved for bookings containing a Premier/Gold member until OLCI opens.

Euro Traveller
If eligible, you can now pre-assign seats in Euro Traveller but watch out for the ‘buffer zone’ trick! Because the curtain is not fixed, you will see that your Euro Traveller seat map typically only lets you pre-assign from something like row 11 backwards. What BA do is ‘block’ the first few rows of the cabin until they have a better idea where the curtain will be fixed for the flight. At T-3 days, the entire cabin will open for pre-reservation to those who are eligible which is when BA pre-seat infants, special needs passengers, etc. At this point, you can try to move to the prized ‘first two seats on the left behind the curtain.

CAVEAT: BA can and do move the curtain during this period in spite of it being ‘fixed’ in theory. If you are in seats which are no longer part of the ET cabin (i.e. they moved the curtain back) you will likely be dumped in something not only undesirable but also insulting (e.g. 18B). This is a major problem with the system in ET and a big flaw in BA’s policy (quote why the buffer zone can’t be at the rear of the plane and, should the curtain move, people are automatically shifted back retaining their relative positions is beyond everyone on this board…and BA it seems!). The further kicker here is you will likely not be able to move yourself in MMB (well, you can move but it won’t ‘stick’ and you’ll get an error). To remedy this, you must call the EC up and request an agent to delete your seat assignment for that leg totally and then re-add them manually to where you wish to sit. The best advice is to keep a close eye on things in the period of T-3 days and react quickly if you get messed around.

In general, the seats closest to the curtain are best because they have the Club Europe seat pitch, if not width (or service!) due to the way the convertible seating is installed. On flights where Club Europe does not stretch very far back, this means you can get extra legroom in Euro Traveller by sitting towards the front of that cabin. We have the following data so far:

737-300 - Rows 1 to 8 convertible, plus over-wing exit at row 10 with extra pitch
737-400 - Rows 1 to 13 convertible, including over-wing exits at rows 11 & 12. No recline on rows 10 & 11. Row 1 is DEF seats only.
737-500 - Rows 1 to 11 convertible, including over-wing exit at row 8.

Additionally, on anything but the 767, the very first row of Euro Traveller on the left is still in Club Europe format (for safety reasons, so the crew can emerge with the trolley through the curtain and not hit anyone's legs!). These are the prize seats (as long as you don’t mind having the curtain right in front of you!).

On the 767, the best seats are on either of the left or right side 2-blocks, but again get as far forward as possible - right at the back, the seating which cannot be converted to Club Europe is cloth not leather and has less pitch. You need to be forward of the second emergency exit to benefit from the CE seat pitch - but beware that row 13 and 14 are missing windows!

Exit rows are clearly marked at OLCI (or in MMB if you can pre-assign) if you wish to select one of these seats.

On the 757, beware of 12AF and 14AF. These window seats have ‘blankers’ in place and as such offer less elbow room and can feel more claustrophobic. The 757 also has a variant with a 2ABC row – this may show on ba.com but they won’t be available for allocation.

There are a few ‘older’ A320’s originally from British Caledonian that have a shorter bulkhead in front of 1C, making it especially desirable. However, there is no way of predicting whether you will get one of these planes, unfortunately.

UK Domestic (Shuttle)
Generally, the best bet is to bag a seat at the front of the cabin, as you’ll invariably be in a position to get off first. “B” seats are to be avoided at the front of the plane, as often your aircraft will have come off of a European trip, and the conversion back to regular domestic seating can often leave the “B” seats a touch on the narrow side.

Rule 3 - Longhaul Will Vary

The good news is the mainline fleet now all have at least some version of the Club World flatbeds, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller, and some aircraft retain First too. The bad news is, the setup varies by aircraft:

747-400 (70 Club World Seats)

Seat Map

First: 1A or 1K are deemed by many as the best seats in the house. They are close enough for 2 people travelling together to chat quietly without disturbing the cabin and offer a great sense of isolation. However, some dislike that isolation and thus swear by 2AK instead (though the gap is too large for a ‘quiet chat’ if there are 2 of you). Also, 1AK have no overhead locker (but there’s no shortage of storage space in F anyway) and are next to the cupboard at the front. Again, some report ‘excessive traffic’ to this during the night and find it disturbing, others report no issue with this at all – it seems to be a risk, but a small one. Note if there’s more than 2 of you, the staggered layout means that 3AK are set much further forward from 4EF (3A can just about see 4E’s feet if they look sideways), so the only row you can really aim for which is ‘aligned’ is row 5, however some report seats in row 5 can experience excessive noise from the galley directly behind these seats. All of F is now available to pre-assign (1AK are held back just for Premiers/Golds – and do remember the caveat that for multi-person bookings, both members seeking these seats must be Premier/Gold to pre-assign, it is not sufficient for just one member to have the status and attempt to assign a non-Premier/Gold to one of the seats). There are bassinets at 1AK. 4EF and 5EF are nice if you are travelling as couple and want to share the experience, though some complain about the exposed position of row 4 which is somewhat more 'open' to the rest of the cabin.

Club World (Upper Deck): Simply the best place to sit in Club World! It’s smaller, in 2-2 configuration and has a very ‘private cabin’ feel. Seats up here are second only to F in most peoples’ opinion. 62AK and 63BJ are exit seats and held if pre-assigning you must remember to tick the disclaimer box saying you’re capable of sitting there. Only 64A is held back for OLCI normally since it’s the bassinet (and of course may get assigned by BA to a parent and child). Wisdom dictates that 62AK are prize seats (as exit rows, for ease of egress – i.e. you don’t need to step over anyone to get to the aisle due to the extra space) as are 64AK for the same reason, though some complain 64K can be disturbed by the toilet and/or light and noise from the galley. 62AK also offer a bit of extra legroom – they do not have the seat moulding in front of them which featured in the older New Club World product.

Club World (Main Deck): 14AK are widely regarded as excellent seats because of their privacy and the fact you do not have to climb over anyone to get out. Other seats are much of a muchness – though the standard ‘rule’ of avoiding the EF seats (unless you’re a couple together) applies, in which case 14EF are the best seats for ease of egress once more – though beware these are bassinets so may not be available to you if occupied by a baby. In the second cabin, 20AK offer similar advantages to 14AK – though with the caveat that they are closer to the WT+ bassinet. Again, 20EF are a bassinet too.

For info on which Club seats offer extra space on a 747, see Swanhunter’s very useful thread here

World Traveller Plus: The prize seats for the lone traveller are 28BJ since they are single seats with nearly unlimited legroom. Second best are 29AK because there is no seat in front, so they also offer excellent room. The other seats are all much of a muchness. The last row has the same recline as the other rows, so this is not a concern.

World Traveller: Exit rows are the prime seats for the extra legroom so sure to be bagged early by those with the ability to pre-assign these days. 51BC, 52BC, 51HJ and 52HJ are the only pair seats in WT. Apart from the advantage of extra privacy if travelling as a couple, these are slightly roomier due to the ‘missing’ 3rd seat and the rear curvature of the plane. However, the downside is these suffer from being close to the toilet queues and since you're right at the back of the plane, you’ll be right at the back of the queue for immigration upon arrival which can be a real pain (especially to the USA).

747-400 (52 New Club World Seats)

Seat Map

First: As above.

Club World (Upper Deck): As above.

Club World (Main Deck): See the 70J plane’s second cabin advice only.

World Traveller Plus: Service in this cabin is done by one crew member. They pass down the left aisle then ‘double back’ in the galley between W and J and serve the right aisle – so if you want to get served sooner not later, sit on the left. Service issues aside, the bulkhead at 11JK is reported to be potentially slightly more spacious than the equivalent at Row 17 on a 38J plane so (assuming there’s no screaming kids around!) should be the most sought-after seats on the right, with 12AB the prime seats on the left. Other feedback welcome since this is a relatively new setup.

World Traveller: Feedback welcome.

For those looking for a seatmap of this rather new configuration (the above link is a placeholder, it is not valid), this is a crude version (where W is a seat, TT is toilet and J is a J seat):

Code:
   AB DEFG JK

11         WW
12 WW WWWW WW
13 WW WWWW WW
14 WW WWWW WW
15 WW WWWW WW
16 TT      WW
-------------
   AB DEFG JK

17 JJ JJJJ JJ
18 JJ JJJJ JJ
19 JJ JJJJ JJ
20 JJ JJJJ JJ
777-200 (4-class)

Seat Map

First: The centre rows (1EF, 2EF, 3EF) are good for couples – none of the other seats (e.g. 1A and 1K) are close enough like on the 747. Beware of the window seats in Row 1 as they only have two windows so can make some people feel slightly claustrophobic. Others, however, still like the privacy they offer.

Club World: Row 10 is the first row so 10AK are seen as the best window seats, with excellent privacy (and slightly less engine noise). The best aisle seats onboard are 10B, D, G or J as these seats have nobody climbing over them to get to the aisle. 15AK or 15EF are good for ease of egress, but are right next to the WT+ bassinets so there is a slim chance of disturbance. 15AEFK are also the Club World bassinet positions. The rest of the seats in the 4-class 777 Club cabin are much of a muchness, and the cabin tends to be least popular amongst FTers because of its large, unbroken nature. That aside, the seats are still very good, as should the service be. Row 12 has a missing window because of the way the plane is built, so avoid the window seat here if possible.

World Traveller Plus: All seats are much of a muchness, although row 21 has slightly more legroom if you’re not too tall. However, they are also bulkhead seats which means there is a risk of crying babies! If you are rather tall, some people report less legroom here because you can’t put your feat under the seat in front for extra space.

World Traveller: The six exit row seats 26ABC/HJK offer almost unlimited legroom, but beware 26AK, which is restricted by the emergency slide enclosure protruding from the door. Also, these seats are by the forward toilets, so can suffer from people congregating as they wait to relieve themselves. These seats also have the IFE unit mounted in the armrest as opposed to the seatback in front.

Note: there are 3 planes configured with 17 First seats. These are 'A' Market planes and most often used to the Middle East and sometimes on the New York routes. These all, sadly, have the tiny IFE screens fitted. Some of the longer range 777s have the area where 4K should be blocked out for flight crew rest. Watch this space for a new seatmap image link coming soon!

777-200 (3-class)

Seat Map

Club World: 4A is an excellent seat with a high degree of privacy and easy egress (on the LGW 3-class planes, this applies to 4K too – on the LHR planes, this is normally blocked for crew rest). The bassinet positions are 3EF and 11EF.

World Traveller Plus: Any feedback or wisdom welcome!

World Traveller: As for the 4-class, row 26 offers excellent legroom.

Note: the seatmap above relates to the LHR based configuration. For the 3-class planes based at LGW, they are generally used on shorter routes so do not have the crew rest area shown at row 4 on the right above - 4JK are valid (and very good, like 4AB) seats. Watch this space for a new seatmap image link coming soon!

767-300 (3-class)

Seat Map

Club World: Uniquely in the fleet, this plane has a forward facing window seat in Club World. As such, 1A is highly sought after and offers a little extra legroom to boot. 4K is also very good, though some find the window seats a little claustrophobic owing to the smaller 767 cabin. All seats facing the bulkhead seem to offer a little more legroom.

World Traveller Plus: On the 767 WT+ is configured 2-2-2 (like Club World) compared to 2-4-2 on the other widebody longhaul planes so this is often considered the best WT+ cabin on the fleet.

World Traveller: Any feedback or wisdom welcome!

For completeness, here are some shorthaul seat plans from ba.com – though note they will rarely resemble reality since the curtain is moveable:

757-200, A320 and 737-400 Club Europe seating plans from ba.com
http://www.britishairways.com/travel.../en_gb?divseat

757-200, A320 and 737-400 Euro Traveller seating plans from ba.com
http://www.britishairways.com/travel.../en_gb?divseat

Note: if you can find seating plans for the A319, A321, the 737-300, 737-500, 767-300 (European Version) or the 777-200 with only three rows of WT+, please let us know! The A321 also has a solo seat in row 6 on the right. Rows 7 and 8 are the exit rows in Euro Traveller, but row 7 is also a bulkhead (so fixed armrests).

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=749973

Below is the full fleet breakdown as of March 31st 2006, according to the 2005/6 annual report…

Code:
AIRCRAFT FLEET							
							
Number in service with Group companies at March 31, 2006

			On balance 	Operating Leases	Total 	Changes 					2005/06 	Average 	Average
			sheet 		Off Balance Sheet	March 	since March 	Future 				revenue 	hours per 	age
			aircraft 	Extendible	Other 	2006 	2005 		deliveries 	Options 	hours flown 	aircraft/day 	(years)
											(Note 7) 	(Note 8)
Airline operations (Note 1) 							

Boeing 747-400 		57 					57 							275,548 	13.25 		11.8

Boeing 777 		40 				3 	43 							211,494 	13.47 		7.3

Boeing 767-300 		21 					21 							71,664 		9.39 		13.1

Boeing 757-200 		13 					13 							33,363 		7.03 		11.5

Airbus A319 (Note 2) 	21 		10 		2 	33 					32 		106,809 	8.87 		5.4

Airbus A320 (Note 3) 	9 		2 		16 	27 	1 		7 				79,340 		8.24 		8.7

Airbus A321 		7 					7 	1 		3 				20,238 		8.33 		1.4

Boeing 737-300 						5 	5 							16,929 		9.28 		16.7
Boeing 737-400 (Note 4) 19 					19 	1 						60,433 		9.00 		13.6
Boeing 737-500 						9 	9 	(1) 						28,157 		8.39 		13.5

Turboprops (Note 5) 					8 	8 	(1) 						18,777 		5.99 		8.6

Embraer RJ145 		16 		3 		9 	28 							78,341 		7.67 		6.1

Avro RJ100 (Note 6) 			10 			10 	(6) 						34,669 		6.38 		10.5

British Aerospace 146 	4 					4 	(1) 						10,019 		6.41 		15.1

Hired aircraft 21,087

Group Total 		207 		25 		52 	284 	(6) 		10 		32 		1,066,868 	10.14 		9.5

Notes:
(1) Includes those operated by British Airways Plc and BA Connect.
(2) Certain future deliveries and options include reserved delivery positions, and may be taken as any A320 family aircraft.
(3) Includes one Airbus A320 aircraft returned to service from sub-lease to GB Airways.
(4) Includes one Boeing 737-400 aircraft returned to service from sub-lease to Air One.
(5) Comprises eight de Havilland Canada DHC-8s. Excludes five British Aerospace ATPs stood down pending return to lessor, and 12 Jetstream 41s subleased to Eastern Airways.
(6) Excludes six Avro RJ100s sub-leased to Swiss International Air Lines.
(7) Future deliveries have increased by four to ten to replace ten A320 aircraft due to leave the fleet from 2007.
(8) Excludes secured delivery positions on ten Boeing 777 aircraft.
You can usually find a full, current fleet breakdown from the official BA accounts on the BA shareholder site.

Last edited by Shuttle-Bored; Jun 2, 08 at 3:28 pm Reason: June 08 Update
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Old Aug 4, 07, 4:22 am
  #7  
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Posts: 4,910
Lounges and Lounge Access

NB: From March 27 2008 BA is moving to Terminal 5 and the lounge/check-in advice will change. See the ‘What Terminal Is My BA Flight From?’ section below for some links and information.

There are currently four types of lounge on the BA network; the Concorde Rooms, First lounges, Club Lounges/Terraces, and Arrivals Lounges (and I guess you could say a fifth type too – outstation lounges operated by a 3rd Party and not BA). With the launch of T5, BA has embarked on rolling out a new lounge concept, known as “Galleries” across the network - over the next three years the Terraces/Executive Club lounges will be refurbished with the new Galleries Lounge concept.BA has an excellent table that shows exactly the entrance criteria for all of their lounges, based on either your status or class of travel. It can be accessed at the following url:
http://www.britishairways.com/travel...e/public/en_gb

There are currently three Concorde Rooms on the network, two at LHR (T4/T5) and one at JFK. They are only open to people in ticketed First on BA or QF, people who are BA Premiers, Qantas Chairman’s Lounge members or the lucky holders of special ‘Concorde Room’ cards (which cannot be earned and were issued after Concorde’s retirement to its best customers and are issued now to the most frequent Club Europe customers). Guests are only permitted to BA Premiers, and Qantas Chairman’s Lounge and anyone travelling in BA First can also bring an extra guest (regardless of the status/travel class of either person) who is travelling with them.

The First lounges are open to people travelling First, and oneworld Emerald members. oneworld Emeralds are allowed one guest.

The Club lounges (sometimes referred to as Terraces) are open to people travelling First, Club World, or Club Europe and to all oneworld Emerald and Sapphire passengers, and Qantas Club members. AA Admirals Club members are NOT granted access (unless they fulfil one of the other class of travel and/or status criteria). oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members are allowed one guest (subject to capacity). Full fare "Business UK" Domestic travellers are also invited into the Terraces lounges located at UK airports with a BA Mainline service.

At Heathrow T4 there are two sets of lounges. One (by Gate 1 – “The Gate 1 Lounge”, it is no longer strictly speaking branded as a Terraces) offers a multi-level ‘business class’ style-lounge complex. The other, by Gate 10, contains the Concorde Room and Spa (the former Terraces lounge at T4 Gate 10 has now closed, and the First lounge will close from June 5th). If you only have Terraces access and are seeking a Spa treatment, you’re probably best to call at Gate 10 to book your spa treatment first, then head over to the Gate 1 Lounge..
Terminal 5 Lounges
There are six lounges within British Airways' new exclusive Terminal 5: The Concorde Room, Galleries First, three Galleries Club Lounges and an Arrivals Lounge. Collectively the lounges, known as ‘Galleries’, can host up to 2,500 people, which is 25 per cent more than the Terminal 1 and Terminal 4 lounges.

The departures lounges are split into three distinct areas. In T5A (the main/biggest terminal building), there are lounges at the North and South ends of the terminal. There will also be a lounge in T5B shortly. BA suggests that passengers traveling on domestic services should use the North lounge (Galleries Club) as the lounge sits directly above the domestic gates.

At the South end of the terminal, you’ll find the Galleries South complex, containing The Concorde Room, Galleries First and Galleries Club. There is an unmarked door into the Concorde Room immediately after South security – there should be a BA staffer sitting outside. Other passengers need to go through the shops, down the escalators, past more shops and then go up the escalators (taking you back to about 50m from where you started!) to reach the First and Club lounges.

Outside HeathrowSome airports have separate First and Terraces lounges, even outside the UK – e.g. Boston. At others, all eligible passengers use the Terraces lounge.

BA Golds and Premiers are also allowed to use BA operated Club/Terraces lounges regardless of the airline they are flying on - this is known as "Open Doors". Guests are not permitted (except for Premiers – who can also use the First lounge as well if they wish).

Qantas Club is a club run by Qantas (not surprisingly!) which was designed to offer lounge access to Qantas fliers in Australia. However, the scheme also allows members to use any BA-operated Terraces lounge in the world when flying on BA. Qantas Club is the ONLY way that you buy your way into BA lounges. Membership is good value if your flying pattern means you never earn enough tier points to reach Silver – it costs about £100 per year (plus a c. £150 joining fee at today’s exchange rate). See the Qantas Club website to apply. Note that it will not get you into lounges at airports where BA shares a third-party lounge, e.g. Paris CDG.

Nearly all BA lounges have WiFi provided by BT OpenZone.and as of March 2008 this is now being rolled out as a free service within BA lounges globally (which is a great change as it used to be paid access only). As the list will probably get longer, we won't include it here. However here is a link to the AskBA? article that should have the correct info:
AskBA? Answer 2802

Outside the lounges at LHR, there is T-Mobile WiFi access for those of you who subscribe to their service.

BA has a comprehensive list of worldwide lounges on their website.
They also have a list of all the "Terraces" styled lounges. If you follow this link and then click "Locations".

BA also use contract lounges in many locations. These are of variable quality! For some collective hints/tips notes, see the BA Wiki:

http://flyerguide.com/wiki/index.php...eads_Index_(BA)

Another useful website for information on airport lounges throughout the world is: http://www.loungeguide.net

Arrivals Lounges
Arrivals lounges are open to people travelling in First or Club World, BA Premiers, BA Golds (on longhaul only), Qantas Chairman’s Lounge and Qantas Platinum members (again from longhaul only from BA/QF ‘joint’ flights), but NOT any other oneworld Emeralds. Premiers and Chairman’s Lounge are permitted one guest.

There are BA operated arrivals lounge facilities at LHR T4, T5 ,LGW and JNB.

At LHR the arrivals lounges are located landside. At T4, turn right after leaving the baggage hall and clearing customs. At T5 follow the signs but you will find the Arrivals lounge on the Arrivals floor (one below Departures), a simple right turn after you exit the Arrivals hall.

At LGW the arrivals lounge is located on the ground floor of the Sofitel hotel and is operated by the hotel for several airlines. It has multiple shower units and a continental breakfast offering – not quite as good as the BA lounges at LHR, but very welcome nonetheless.

Note it is not possible to re-enter the baggage hall after you have cleared customs so you cannot use the Arrivals lounges before collecting your bags.

The lounges should be open at 5am for the first arrivals of the day and close at 2pm.

The arrivals lounge facilities are available to any BA passengers who have travelled in First or Club World, BA Gold cardholders who have arrived at LON on a BA/QF long-haul flight (however, no guests are permitted), and Qantas passengers have travelled in First or Business on Qantas from Australia. The arrivals lounges are not included on the oneworld lounge network and therefore access to the lounges is not available solely by virtue of oneworld status. Detailed access guidance for QF frequent flyers is available here:
http://img77.imageshack.us/img77/7010/qfffsyf4.jpg

One exception to the rule, is that passengers who have travelled in Club Europe on the early arrival from DME can use the T5 arrivals lounge.

Facilities include shower suites, valet service, Elemis Travel Spa (at LHR only and availability of appointments is generally better than in Departures), hot breakfast, luggage store, quiet area, and business facilities.

The hot breakfast is usually cleared away at approximately midday. If you are arriving at LHR at 1pm, it is unlikely that you would have sufficient time to clear immigration, collect bags and use the lounges.

If you are connecting to another flight at LHR, if time permits you can clear immigration and use the arrivals lounge. However, if you have a connection of 2-3 hours it is generally recommended that you go to the Flight Connections Centre and take advantage of the facilities in the departure lounges to avoid missing your connection.

Also, currently the only arrivals lounge for BA passengers outside LON is at JNB which is a third party lounge. There are no arrivals lounges for BA passengers at any other outstations (e.g., JFK).

Other Notes

At LHR T4 and T5 and JFK T7, there are Elemis Travel Spas. They offer various free treatments such as massages, facials, etc. They are open to people travelling First, Club World and BA Premiers and Golds (on longhaul). Other oneworld Emeralds, and people travelling in other travel classes are not entitled to a treatment. The Spa is first come, first served. Flying F does not enable you to jump the queue! Do note that tipping spa staff (or lounge staff, or any other BA staff!) is NOT expected.

When flying with a oneworld partner that uses a non-oneworld lounge in a particular airport, BA Gold and Silver members may not always gain entry to that lounge.

It is also worth noting that, strictly speaking, the BA rules say 'Guests must be travelling on the same carrier as Executive Club member' in order to access any BA lounge.

BA’s own lounge access policy also contains the following useful scenario (thanks to Fraser):

'7. Lounge access for connecting passengers

Passengers travelling inbound or outbound in First, Club World or Club Europe on a British Airways flight have access to the applicable British Airways departure lounge prior to their onward flight, regardless of class of travel - so long as travel is on a BA or oneworld flight.

British Airways lounge access also applies when travelling inbound in First Class or Business Class on a oneworld carrier.

For example: Travel Chicago to London Heathrow on AA in First Class arriving LHR T3, departing on BA ex LHR T5 to Stuttgart in Euro Traveller. Passenger is entitled to use the BA First lounge upon production of their AA boarding stub and onward BA boarding card'


In BA’s Own Words!

With thanks to Fraser again for scanning these official BA rules:

1) British Airways non Executive Club and Executive Club Blue Members
2a) British Airways Executive Club Silver members
2b) British Airways Executive Club Gold members
2c) British Airways Executive Club Premier members
3) oneworld tier members (excluding Qantas Frequent Flyer members)
4) Qantas Frequent Flyer members
5) British Airways codeshare passengers
6) Concorde Room Pass
7) Lounge access for connecting passengers

I’m on one of the T1 flights – what lounges do I use?

At T1 now, ALL BA passengers check-in and clear at Zone R (at the far end of the terminal towards T2, the opposite end from the HEX lifts). Once through security you must then walk ALL the way back (left) from there to the Domestic end of T1 where BA (and AY) are using the Gate 5 area for the remaining international flights. If you have lounge access rights, you will be able to use what used to be the old Domestic lounge.

Note the lounge is only accessible through this international departures route – so no more Open Doors for BA Golds on BD/EI flights out of the ‘real’ Domestic part of T1 Inside, however, both floors are in operation for eligible passengers. There is no separate First/Gold section.

Exceptions

Gatwick (LGW) – AA Admirals Club members are admitted when travelling on AA only from the North terminal.

Geneva (GVA) - Open Doors for Golds on CHARTER flights doesn't apply during the ski season due to lack of space. You're OK if you're on a non-oneworld scheduled flight. Again, this seems to be a bit contradictory to BA's rules.

Hanover (HAJ) - Only oneworld Emeralds and Sapphires are allowed access; NOT Club Europe passengers with no status (although this route has recently been dropped from both LHR and LGW, this information is preserved in case it returns on a seasonal basis).

Lisbon (LIS) - oneworld Emeralds and Sapphires are allowed access; Club Europe passengers with no status will require an invitation (usually given at check-in).

London City Airport (LCY) – this has no lounge at all, for any airlines! However, with a generous check-in closing time it is not necessary to arrive too early.

Miami (MIA) – They are just odd here. AA members seem not to be welcome here, in contravention of the oneworld rules.

Munich (MUC) – Same as HAJ above.

Nice (NCE) – It used to be the case that only oneworld Emeralds and Sapphires are allowed access; NOT Club Europe passengers with no status. However, this seems to have been relaxed of late so it’s worth asking…

Paris (CDG) - only admits BA J/F and BA Silver/Golds, not other oneworld elites. This is due to it being an Air France contract lounge.

Tel Aviv (TLV) and Cairo (CAI) - The BA (contract) lounges at TLV and CAI are open to Silvers/Golds/oneworld Emeralds & Sapphire but you must ask for an invitation at check-in if you're not flying in a premium cabin. Showing your card at the lounge reception is likely to prove unsuccessful.

We’re sure there are more to add in – if there are, please let us know!

Last edited by Shuttle-Bored; Jun 2, 08 at 3:29 pm Reason: June 08 Update
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Old Aug 4, 07, 4:23 am
  #8  
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Posts: 4,910
BA’s Web Services

Ba.com

ba.com is (unsurprisingly) BA’s website, allowing you to book tickets for any BA flight. There’s also an area for Executive Club Members.

ba.com should now properly support Macs but it only officially supports Safari under MacOS X. Any other browser is NOT supported. Under Windows, they are only supporting IE. Gecko based browsers such as Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox tend to work mostly (especially since it’s been re-written for Safari support), but some things may not work properly.

If you’re booking a flight that’s a single hop, you’ll be presented with the Fare Explorer to choose your dates and times. It’s an easy colour-coded way of selecting the cheapest fare. It’s recently been enhanced to allow you to upgrade either one, or both legs of the flight (if applicable), and also to allow you to choose the lowest fare which will earn tier points (if logged in to your EC account) Also available if you’re logged in to the Executive Club area is the count of how many miles you’ll earn too for that booking.

If you have a problem or issue on ba.com then we have a very helpful BA staff member on the forum who may be able to help. There are no guarantees for fixes (or response times) but a PM to ba.com helper (who goes by the real name Dilly) may be useful (for both you and BA!).

Paying for Flights

It’s a little more of a pain to book flights that don’t depart from your country of residence, but it is possible. On the current website, you can directly select a different starting destination from the front page. However, if that doesn’t work you can force the issue…

In the navy blue bar near the top of the site, the country you selected when you first visited the site will be displayed (for the majority of people it’ll be United Kingdom or USA). Clicking on it brings up a country list, where you can change your starting point. Proceed through the booking process as normal. When you get to the payment page, the country in the field is irrelevant despite what the website says. As long as the credit card number, name on the card, expiry date, and security digits are correct (and it’s not a nicked card), it will process and authorise regardless of the billing address.

BA currently accept:

American Express
Diners
JCB
MasterCard
Solo
Switch / Maestro
Visa
Visa Debit (Visa Delta)

Note that all credit cards (even BA’s branded AmEx) are now subject to a booking fee PER PERSON on ba.com (currently GBP3.50) If you change your country to something other than UK before booking, you will find that this fee does not appear …..

If you collect Air Miles (as opposed to BA Miles) you may want to consider booking revenue tickets through the airmiles.co.uk website as you will receive a handful of Air Miles as a reward for using the site. Your e-ticket confirmation email will include the BA booking locator which will allow you to pull up your booking in Manage My Booking on ba.com and add your BAEC number. This will not allow you to MFU your ticket, though. Alternatively, websites such as quidco.com offer cashback if you book flights through Opodo, Expedia and similar sites – for expensive tickets, the cashback can outweigh the booking fees charged. No UK cashback website currently offers a rebate for booking flights on ba.com as far as we know.

Functionality to select “lowest price flight earning tier points” presents itself only once you have logged into BA.com

Does BA Have a 24-hr "Cooling Off" Period if I Make a Booking Error?

The word from BA is that there is currently no official, global policy on this - though one is being worked on. So the response you get may differ between 'home' regions. In the UK, the official line at the current time is that refunds/cancellations for non-refundable tickets will not be allowed but changes to the names or flight and/or dates may be (provided it's an all-BA operated itinerary). The best advice is to politely ask the question if you get in to this situation and see if the call centre can help you - but bear in mind the scope of what can be done is likely to be very limited. Actually, the very best advice of course is to be very careful before hitting 'Confirm' and triple-check everything

Check out prices on the AA website as well as on BA.com

Savings can sometimes be made by booking via the AA website (www.americanairlines.co.uk) rather than the BA website as not only are taxes generally less but the AA site sometimes has access to discounted fare classes not available via BA.com due to booking from a different ‘point of sale’ inventory pool. Just click on the oneworld option to be sure you get BA flight prices as well as AA ones. For those looking to gain extra miles by paying with their BA AmEx cards, sorry, the flights will post as AA rather than BA spend.

Can I get a refund if the price goes down?

No! BA do not follow this practice which some North American carriers have. If your ticket is not explicitly flexible or refundable, you will not be able to get any kind of refund just because the current market price is now lower – which is quite fair because you wouldn’t like it if BA came calling asking you for the increase if the fare went up.

However, BA do have a ‘price promise’ in place – if you can find the exact same fare elsewhere cheaper, BA will refund you the difference. The devil, as usual, is in the detail – specifically proving the booking is exactly the same. This will include the same dates, times, flights, cabin and more importantly booking class/fare bucket too.

Manage My Booking (MMB)

Once you’ve booked a flight, you should get a reference number. It’s called a PNR (Passenger Name Record). It’s a 6 character alphanumeric string, which will start with either, X, Y, Z or a number (typically 2 or 3). MMB will allow you to do the following:

• add your Executive Club number (or an On Business number) to your booking
• request a seat (if applicable)
• arrange help at the airport if you have mobility or vision impairments
• advise dietary requirements
• view, print or email your itinerary
• print or email your e-ticket receipt (if applicable)
• provide Advance Passenger Information for travel to relevant countries (e.g. USA)
• check in online

If you’re stuck without the ability to assign seats, wait until 24hrs before the flight, and OLCI.

On-Line Check-In (OLCI)

This brings us nicely to OLCI. OLCI is a great tool, but has some limitations.

All users can now check in online from 24hrs before their first flight. This applies to Executive Club members, registered users of ba.com or anyone else (so long as they have their PNR and can remember their own surname!) We highly recommend that you OLCI at as close to -24hrs from departure as possible in order to guarantee yourself the best seat, especially if you cannot pre-assign one.

If you have a multiple segment itinerary, you will be able to OLCI for all segments from 24hrs before the first one. This means that for some segments, you will be able to check-in greater than 24 hours in advance. This also works if you have a return flight on the same day – i.e. you’ll be able to check in for the return segment 24hr before the outbound.

OLCI on its own, will NOT give you a boarding pass. More and more airports are now using ‘Print Your Own Boarding Pass’ (PYOBP) though. If available, you will be offered this option on the final screen of OLCI. Note you can now also OLCI multiple people on the same booking at once.

OLCI was recently enhanced to offer a range of options at check-in. In addition to PYOBP, you can now e-mail or fax your BP to the destination of your choice, save as a PDF or opt to collect your BP at the airport via SSCI (see below). The combination of options appears to depend on your departure airport – some will only offer the Print/Collect option.

You can also now OLCI via BA for a number of carriers if your first sector is with BA and you have an onward sector with any of the following airlines -

Aer Lingus
Cathay Pacific
Finnair
Flybe
Gulf Air
SAS
US Airways
United Airlines

Flights need to be on the same booking reference, and the first flight on the booking must be with British Airways. If the BA flight isn't the first flight, then this will not work.

Note: once you have completed OLCI you CANNOT change your seat if you PYOBP. . If you choose to “Collect at Airport”, you will be able to come back into OLCI and change your seat at a later point
The ‘Choose your seat’ function will not work on any web browser using the Gecko rendering engine (Netscape / Mozilla / Firefox), nor will it work on Safari. You will need to use IE5/6 for Windows or IE5 for MacOS X.

Sometimes, you may not be able to pick your seat. This could be because the flight is very full, or the airport have taken control of the seating or because OLCI is having a bad day! It is worth waiting a few hours, and going through the OLCI process again, seats may have opened up. You can at least try OLCI as many times as you want during the 24 hour window.

OLCI can be used if you have baggage to check-in. Most airports have a “Fast Bag Drop” (FBD) desk (tellingly being re-branded ‘Bag Drop’ desks these days…) where you can tag the bags, and obtain your boarding passes (if you haven’t already). At some outstations, the FBD desk doubles as the Club/First counter, meaning it’s worthwhile. You can also drop your bags at a normal counter if the queue is shorter – the Club line (assuming you have a Silver card or are travelling Club) is often quicker than Fast Bag Drop.

You can OLCI through your EC homepage with a direct link (where you’ll then be asked to select your booking) or from within MMB.

Self Service Check-in Machines (SSCI)

Most UK and European airports, and JFK have self-service check-in machines. From these you can select your seat and obtain your boarding passes (with an e-ticket receipt). You don’t need to be an Executive Club member to use them, however it does speed things up. The machine will also normally require you to insert the credit card the booking was purchased with. There are usually a few staff milling around to help customers with them, however they are very straightforward and easy to use.

If you are travelling on a UK Domestic flight, it is now compulsory to use the SSCI machine. If you have baggage, it should be checked in at a ‘Fast Bag Drop’ desk. Unfortunately, this is now likely to have a queue as long as the old-fashioned check-in queues used to be!

Note: if your credit card has expired or been re-issued since you made the booking, this will delay things (and you’ll need to queue at a ticket desk) – it’s always worth holding on to your old credit card if you can for these situations!

Last edited by Shuttle-Bored; Jun 2, 08 at 3:31 pm Reason: June 08 Update
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Old Aug 4, 07, 4:23 am
  #9  
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,910
Joining the Executive Club

Most frequent flier programmes are open to anyone to sign up for – thankfully, this now applies to the Executive Club too! You can sign up by visiting the link:

http://www.britishairways.com/travel...l/public/en_gb

Previously, you could only join if you had a flight booked that would earn you Tier Points. Flight classes which earn Tier Points are:

Euro Traveller/World Traveller/UK Domestic: Y B H
World Traveller Plus: W E T
Club Europe/Club World: J C D R I
First: F A

For posterity (and in case BA change their minds and revert to the old policy any time soon!), we’ll record the previous ‘workarounds. Firstly, if you are based in the UK, you would automatically get enrolled in the EC if you took out a BA AmEx card and are not already a member. In the USA, you can join by taking out a BA Visa card. TEX277 also found a helpful partner link which had no eligibility requirements:

http://www.ba.com/starwoodec

If you are based in Australia, you will not be able to join the Executive Club. BA recommends you join the Qantas programme instead. Currently If you are based in Asia, you will be able to join the Executive Club but collect Asia Miles instead of BA Miles. However effective 17 June 2008, the Executive Club will no longer be linked with the Asia Miles programme, and instead members in Asia will automatically become a full member of the Executive Club and will be eligible for all benefits, including earning BA Miles instead of Asia Miles. You don't need to do anything as the change will take effect automatically on 17 June 2008, and your Asia Miles membership will still be valid so you can remain a member of both programmes if you choose.

For more information on this, see the membership countries section, later on.

You also need to be 18 or over to join the EC. The only exception to this is the household account, which has its separate section, later on.

Comping from other FF programmes

BA very rarely comp status from other FF programmes. The exception to this is if you’re an employee of a large corporate that has a deal with BA. Your best bet is to speak to your account manager to see what he/she can arrange. Comps can also come through contact with your local country office – obviously this would be easier in somewhere like Romania rather than the US.

BA's official position on matching status (‘comping’) is:

Originally Posted by BA Executive Club
It is very rare for BA to match the tier status you hold with another airline. There are a few examples that I’m aware of in the US where this has been done for individuals from specific corporate clients, however as a general policy we don’t match tier status.

Kind Rgds

Lyndsay Meldrum
Executive Club Customer Service
British Airways
It is worth noting, however, that you can comp from BA. bmi is very keen to recruit BA Silver and Gold card holders – the sticky on the bmi board will explain all. Remember that bmi is in Star Alliance so your bmi Gold will give you lounge access across *A globally. However, a *A Silver card only gives you lounge access on the airline which issues your card – a significantly poorer benefit than the BA Silver card (oneworld Sapphire equivalent).

Last edited by Shuttle-Bored; Jun 2, 08 at 3:31 pm Reason: June 08 Update
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Old Aug 4, 07, 4:24 am
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Posts: 4,910
Tiers and Tier Points

Most airline programmes work on the principle that if you fly “n” thousand miles in a twelve-month period, you’ll get elite status. BA’s programme doesn’t work like that – it essentially exists as a reward programme for those flying in premium cabins and on flexible tickets, rather than purely from accruing miles from flying. So instead, each flight, if it’s booked in an eligible fare class, will earn a certain number of points. Get enough points, and you get promoted to the next tier.

There are four tiers in the BA Exec Club;

Blue
Silver
Gold
Premier


Blue is the basic level and is what you start on. Once you reach the required number of points, you will be promoted to Silver. From Silver, with another load of points you’ll get to Gold.

Premier is an invitation only level. There are only around a handful (low thousands) of Premiers worldwide. You can’t get to it by just flying a lot. They are generally given to people that BA consider are important, and each new Premier has to be approved by the board (BA’s Board of Directors, not the FT Board – would that it were so simple!).

Within Gold there are effectively two levels now; ‘Normal’ and ‘Gold Guest List’. So far, the information we have is that members are invited to join the Guest List based on the criteria of earning at least 3000TP’s in the previous 2 years. To remain part of the list you need to continue to earn 3000TP’s in each year going forward. There are two major benefits; a once per membership year (note this is GGL membership year not your EC membership year, they are not necessarily the same) redemption for up to 5 people (i.e. member + up to 4 others) booked into revenue classes (A, D, T, B) rather than award classes, and a dedicated priority service phone number with dedicated 24-7 support desk.

See also the relevant entry in the BA Wiki.

Promotion

The promotion process is not as simple as it could be at first glance. First off, you need to have four flights on BA (or BA franchise partners) in your membership year that earn Tier Points. If you don’t have this, as your flights are all on partners, you will remain forever Blue! Also, the number of points required for each level, depends on where you live. The levels are given below.

Code:
Normal	Europe (excl. UK/Ireland)
Silver	600		400
Gold	1500		800
The chart shows that if you are a UK/US resident, you need to get 600 Tier Points before you can be promoted to Silver. A resident of the rest of Europe (by BA’s definition, i.e. excluding the UK and Ireland for a start!) only needs to get to 400. To reach Gold, a UK/US resident would need a further 1500 points, and someone living in the rest of Europe, only a further 800.

When you reach or exceed the number of points required for promotion, your Tier Points will be reset to zero. Your membership year will also be rest immediately. This means that from that date you are promoted, you will have one further year to maintain your status.

So (for a UK member) to get to Gold from Blue, you will need at least 600 Tier Points to get to Silver, these will then be reset to zero, and you will need a further 1500 points to get to Gold. Once you hit 1500 points, these will again be reset and your new Gold membership year will commence. From then on, your points continue to build (for the next year) – if you exceed 1500 when you are already Gold, they do not reset (they continue to add up towards other perks such as the GUF2 or Partner Silver Card as mentioned elsewhere).

There are some additional pitfalls that you need to be aware of during the promotion process. For most people, it’s fairly unlikely that they will hit 600 points exactly. When I was promoted, I got to 680 points, which then got reset to zero. So what happens to those extra points over the 600 mark? Well, you lose them. BA will not credit them back to you. So if you’re on 580 points, and you take a First flight, you are effectively losing 160 points. As with most “rules”, there are some exceptions. A few people have managed to get these points credited so if you desperately need the points, it may be worth a try.

Secondly, the promotion process itself can take a few days. This means that you can get several hundred points over the promotion threshold. When you do get promoted, and reset to zero, you will lose these points as well. However, do not fret. You will need to contact BA, and they will put a note on your account saying that you are “owed” how ever many points got reset. When it comes to getting promoted or renewed, you will need to contact them for them to manually process things.

Provided you have the required TPs and have done the required 4 flights, promotion will happen – typically in 3 days, sometimes longer (if weekends are involved) so don’t fret about it. Only if it’s not happened after a week would it be worth contacting BA.

You have probably wondered by now whether – if you live in the UK – you could get promotion to Silver or Gold more quickly by changing your mailing address in your profile to one in Europe? Well, yes, you can! However, there are five things to remember if you are thinking of doing this:

1. You can only have a BA AmEx if your Executive Club account is UK based. If you already have a card, it WILL be cancelled right away. There is one slight catch to this rule: if you are a UK based member and hold a BA AmEx card and then ‘move’ to Europe, your card should not be cancelled if you ensure that it has a zero balance, and stays that way whilst you are ‘living’ in Europe.
2. You cannot transfer Tesco Clubcard points to BA if your account is not UK based. One way around this is to keep the paper vouchers (they are valid for 2 years) and move your account back to the UK for six months once every two years.
3. You will not longer be eligible (or targeted) for UK-based promotions (although you will instead be targeted for promotions in your new region, which may work out better or worse – but either way, you can’t really complain!)
4. The European address you give BA must exist, because they will send your shiny new card to this address. One subtlety is that if you move back to the UK just after hitting Silver/Gold, the new card will likely be sent to your UK address rather than your European address. This is a lucky loophole rather than a guarantee though, so don’t rely on it 100%.
5. You can only change your address once every six months (i.e. you can’t just move, get promoted then return).

If your account is moved to Europe when you already exceed the next new, lower Tier Point threshold you require, you will automatically be promoted and your membership date reset to the day you move. If you move your address back you will retain your current status until the end of your membership year (for example a Euro Silver who has 500 Tier Points and a membership year end date of September 8th moves to the UK on March 20th and does not earn any more Tier Points – they stay Silver until September 8th when they get demoted to Blue for not having hit the UK renewal level of 600).

Renewal

Renewal is fairly simple. Again, you need to achieve the required number of Tier Points and make four Tier Point earning BA flights within the year to maintain your status. The number of Tier Points required for renewal is exactly the same as the number required for promotion.

Gold card holders who do not retain their card benefit from a 'soft landing' in the first year - i.e. they will drop from Gold to Silver for a year and then either go back up to Gold or retain silver (if they reach the required number of points), or drop down to Blue the year after. The soft landing applies regardless of flying – i.e. even with zero flights and/or even if you don’t take 4 qualifying flights.

Earning Tier Points on one-way BA Flights

Tier Points can only be earned on oneworld flights. Below is a table that shows how many points you’ll earn for a single segment flight that has a BA flight number:

Code:
Cabin           Economy             Economy             WT+                 Club                First
                (Discounted)        (Semi/Full Flex)   
Fare Class	K M L V S N Q O G   Y B H               W E T               J C D R I           F A
                _________________   _________________   _________________   _________________   _________________
UK Domestic	5                   20                                      20
Europe		5       10*         20       40*                            40       60*
Longhaul	15                  60                  75                  120                 180
Australia	30                  110                 135                 220                 330

* Sectors between London and Antalya, Athens, Helsinki, Istanbul, Izmir, Kiev, Larnaca, Moscow, Paphos, St Petersburg, 
Thessaloniki, Tripoli, Tirana, Tunis, Varna.


A small point with the Australia flights; if you’re booked to travel to Australia, but with a stop over (i.e. booked as two flight numbers), it will count as two longhaul flights, so you will actually earn slightly more than it booked as a single flight.

What’s the cheapest way to get X Tier Points?
Threads along this line pop up regularly. The cheapest ways to get Tier Points is described are described below – exactly what suits you best will depend on your budget, how many TPs you need and where you are based. In general, for people based in the UK at least, the cheapest way to get any number of TPs under 80 is an I Class Club Europe LGW-AMS-LGW. For anything under 40 TPs, it is likely to be LGW-AMS-LGW priced up in economy with the return leg upgraded to Club Europe in I class at the time of booking (upgrade the return to avoid the extra ‘APD’ thievery the Chancellor hits you for on ex-UK Premium cabin bookings).

Note this also applies if you only need 20 TPs. You may think it’d be cheaper to book a H class one-way Domestic/shorthaul but invariably H class is priced higher than I class in Europe.

I Class
Within Europe, a good way to earn Tier Points is to take advantage of Club Europe’s cheapest (discounted, totally inflexible) fares. These book in to the I fare bucket so you will see ‘I Class’ referred to a lot on this board. These can be a great way to ‘just top off’ your account if you’re short of a threshold…and great fun for weekend breaks or even daytrips. The list of destinations and the best fares is somewhat seasonal and will also depend on fare sales, offers, etc. However, LGW is usually better than LHR. You used to be able to check the official BA fare rules for the base fares (i.e. excluding taxes/surcharges) in the PDF files on their Travel Trade site:

http://www.batraveltrade.com/trade/t...ok&sec=farerul

but BA no longer publish these The above link does currently contain the last current files though (at the time of writing). Inside these PDFs, you can search the European listing for the fare basis ‘IEUNBA’ to turn up the I Class fare to each destination (other possible useful searches/fares can be ‘IGOBA’ or ‘IEULGW’). These fares are perfectly valid Club Europe fares and you get all the services and benefits, including the full miles and 40 Tier Points each way.

The current recent thread listing ‘reasonable’ I Class fares is:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=708602

which is well worth a look.

Some flights also (for now) appear to earn longhaul Tier Points and miles, even though they are flown on a shorthaul plane and marketed as Club Europe. The last known example was SSH in Egypt (operated by the old franchise partner GB Airways, currently not operated by BA Mainline). Whether it’s worth over 5 hours on an Airbus in a Club Europe configuration, however, is debatable!

Fifth Freedom Flights

Also, BA operates a number of short flights that do not originate, or travel to the UK, these are known as fifth freedom flights. The full list is below:

Abu Dhabi – Muscat
Antigua – St Lucia
Antigua – Tobago
Antigua – Grenada
Bahrain – Doha
Baku – Bishkek (operated by BMED – keep an eye out for developments on the continuation of BA codeshares/earning opportunities since it was acquired by bmi)
Bangkok – Sydney
Nassau – Grand Cayman
Nassau – Providenciales
Sao Paulo – Buenos Aires
Singapore – Sydney

These are available to book by anyone, and for the short flights, can be fairly cheap, sometimes as low as £300 for a return in First for BAH-DOH. The Asia to Australia flights aren't that cheap but BAH-DOH-BAH in First (for example) used to be a potential bargain for 360 Tier Points if you were already out there – however BA corrected this anomaly in Q1 2008. If you booked your ticket prior to early March 2008, you’ll still receive the 360 tier points – thereafter it is down to normal levels (i.e., 60 TPs in First each way).,
Earning Tier Points on one-way oneworld Partners

Most oneworld flights (as long as they are in an eligible fare class) can earn you Tier Points. The only exception to this are flights with a oneworld airlines code, that are operated by a non-oneworld airline. For example AA put their codes on to Alaska Airline flights and these would not earn Tier Points but do earn miles since BA has a separate miles relationship with Alaska. A flight operated by VN with a CX code earns you nothing. There are (as there often are) some exceptions – but in general, treat it as a hard and fast rule and a ‘nice surprise’ if you get something unexpected when they post.

Below is a basic table that shows the Tier Points earned on oneworld flights. Later, in the oneworld section of this guide, I will document which exact fare classes for each carrier are eligible for points.

Code:
				Economy		Business	First
Flights < 2000 miles		20		40		60
Flights > 2000 miles		60		120		180
KUP (pronounced ‘Kay-Up’)

These are fares on American Airlines which carry an Economy (K) booking code but as soon as you book them, they actually book in to a confirmed First Class seat (normally P). The great thing about them from our point of view is, they earn First Class miles and Tier Points as above too. With this in mind, there are some real Tier Point bargains to be had with KUPs (e.g. if you’re in America already on another trip). Our friends over on the AA Board:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=445

have lots more information. And there is a very useful tool on the FareCompare website where you can check what the KUPs are from a specific location:

http://www.farecompare.com/search/yu...rue&carrier=AA

If you’re new to these, see post number 4 in this thread:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=594639

for some additional useful information.

Note: Of course, you need your BA number in the booking for the points to post. The AA website will not let you do this, but if you call AA they can do it over the phone. Another recent development is that if you put the AA Record Locator in to MMB on ba.com 24 hours or more after making the booking then BA’s systems should be able to actually find the booking and retrieve it. Once retrieved, you can add your BA number as usual. If all of these fail or you forget, the first you’ll notice is at check-in with AA when your status doesn’t show on the BP. They can (if they’re knowledgeable agents) fix this but if they have troubles, simply wait and get the AAngels in the Admiral’s Club to fix it – they know their stuff and can do it without fail, and re-print you a BP wit your status and number showing.

LGW Club Europe Upgrade Offers

Although the rumour was these may be stopped soon (due to a lack of crew), we hope the promotion may be re-instated in future due to its apparent success (which thus caused crewing problems!). ex-LGW only, BA typically offer ‘Upgrade to Club Europe’ deals from Economy fares for 59 GBP each way. These are available in 3 ways:

1. At the time of booking – you price up your ET ticket and they offer you ‘upsell’ at the end of the process. This applies most BA bookings, but only ex-LGW are they on offer at the fixed rate (subject to availability)

2. After booking, in MMB – you will see a note on your ex-LGW ET booking enticing you to upgrade (for the fixed fee + change fee) – this can often be available even if method (1) fails (i.e. method 1 offers you the ‘full price’ upgrade to the cheapest available CE at that time)

3. At the airport on the day of departure by asking (or being marketed to!) at check-in

Important note: ONLY methods (1) and (2) will get you additional miles and tier points. It is explicitly clear in the printed literature that ‘paid on the day at the airport’ upgrades will earn the original points/miles for the ET ticket.

Depending on the route, flight time, length of flight, etc. this can be a good deal and a nice way to earn extra TPs – though the ‘value’ of these upgrades is often hotly debated here, and in the end it’s a purely personal choice.

Last edited by Prospero; Nov 18, 09 at 1:14 pm
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Old Aug 4, 07, 4:25 am
  #11  
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,910
Membership Countries

As we briefly touched on in the “joining information” and in the “Tier Points” section, BA has a different set of Tier Points, rules, and regulations depending on what part of the world you’re from.

Residents of these countries, BA recommends join the Qantas Frequent Flier programme:
Australia
New Zealand
Surrounding Islands (whatever that means)

Residents of these countries, BA previously recommended join the Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and/or Marco Polo Club – however effective June 17 2008 these countries will be eligible for full BAEC membership
Brunei
Cambodia
Hong Kong
Indonesia
Laos
Macau
Malaysia
Myanmar
North Korea
People’s Republic of China
Philippines
Singapore
South Korea
Taiwan
Thailand
Vietnam

You are allowed to change your country of residence once every six months and as mentioned in the “Tier Points” section, those living in North America, the UK and Ireland and Africa, have to get more Tier Points, than those living in other locations, such as Mainland Europe. Other items of note with regard to countries of residence include credit card programmes. You have to have an address in the USA to have a BA Visa card, and a UK address for the BA AmEx. If you subsequently change address after having one of these accounts, it will be CLOSED. More info on the AmEx is in the AmEx section, later on.

The North American region consists of:
Canada, Mexico, and the USA.

The African region consists of:
Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo (both), Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Reunion, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Mainland Europe consists of:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine.

The UK & Ireland region includes the Channel Islands.

Last edited by Shuttle-Bored; Jun 2, 08 at 3:32 pm Reason: June 08 Update
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Old Aug 4, 07, 4:25 am
  #12  
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,910
Household Accounts

IMPORTANT CAVEAT: If you set up a Household Account then you will NOT be able to redeem miles for someone outside the HA, unlike standard account holders. This also applies to GUF2 vouchers, including those redeemed for purely paid tickets via a Travel Agent which have nothing to do with miles and/or HHAs

Household accounts (HHAs), or family accounts as they are sometimes referred to are a way of pooling miles for redemptions. They are also a way of allowing under 18’s to join and earn miles.

Each member must have the same address. You previously (and in some regions may still have to) needed to fill in a form, and fax it to BA. They will then lose the form, not do anything, and you’ll probably need to call (and fax) a few times before they manage to set it up However, now the process should be greatly simplified and can all be done online from your account.

Once it is set-up, you will have two mileage balances when you log into the website, a personal one, and a household one. The household one is the mileage balance of all the members, combined.

Mileage is the only thing that is shared; status is NOT shared i.e. if one member is Silver and the other is Blue, the Blue member travelling alone, will not have lounge access, Club check-in etc.

As you have to be 18 or over to join the EC, the HHA is a good way to let kids join. There is no age restriction when joining a family account (however infant tickets will not earn TP and Miles). You will, however, have to phone BA to get them to add EC membership numbers to bookings of under-18s, as currently, BA.com does not allow you to do this.

The maximum number of members in a HHA is eight (one primary member, and seven others).

You can only make one change to a HHA (which means adding and removing members, changes to your address) every six months.

Spending Miles from a household account

There’s a specific formula that calculates how miles are get removed from each members account.

Where a is the first member, b is the second member, c is the third and so on; and x is the number of miles being redeemed:

Miles deducted from a = (a/(a+b+c+...)) * x
Miles deducted from b = (b/(a+b+c+...)) * x

What this means in English is:

If I have 20,000 and my partner has 40,000 (for a total of 60K), they would deduct twice as many miles from his account as mine. e.g. for a 10,000 mile award, they'd take 6667 from his and 3333 from mine.

Members of the HHA who are under 18 cannot redeem miles for tickets.

Keeping Miles Alive!

All BA accounts are subject to a rule which says they will expire and the miles be lost if there is no ‘activity’ (earn or spend of any kind) for 3 years. This applies to HHAs too unless there is at least one status member in the HHA. Other than that, make sure you keep an eye on this and ensure all accounts have some activity occasionally – of course, the easiest way to do that is a redemption due to the formula above.

See also the relevant entry in the BA Wiki.

Last edited by Shuttle-Bored; Jun 2, 08 at 3:33 pm Reason: June 08 Update
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Old Aug 4, 07, 4:26 am
  #13  
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,910
Earning Miles

Well, we finally get down to the business of actually earning miles!

First off, you need to actually work out how long a trip you’re travelling on. A great tool for determining the distances between two points in general is this website:

http://gc.kls2.com

The distances aren’t exactly what BA use, but they are pretty accurate. For BA earning specifically, you can use their handy calculator:

http://www.britishairways.com/travel...s/public/en_gb

BA are pretty stingy with miles if you’re not travelling on a Y B H fare or higher. In fact, anything less than that (i.e. most cheap economy tickets), only earn 25% of the total miles (subject to a minimum award of 125). That means if you’re on a flight that’s 1000 miles, you’ll only get 250 miles credited (excluding any tier bonus for Premier/Gold/Silver).

The chart below shows how many miles you’ll earn, depending on what class you’re in. BA call this a “Cabin Bonus”:

Code:
Cabin		Economy				WT+	Club		First
Fare Class	NVKMLOQS	Y B H		W E T	J C D R I		F A
Miles		25%		100%		125%	150%		200%
Award fares don’t earn any miles or Tier Points at all. These are tickets booked in to X, P, U and Z respectively. The only exception to this is that Gold members get extra award inventory in Economy class only – if there is no X class available but the cheapest fare bucket (V class) is still selling, Golds can have this ‘converted’ to an award class for them. Sometimes, such a booking will show as earning miles (at 25%) in MMB but the miles should not actually credit to your account! Note, however, that BA tickets booked with Air Miles – as opposed to BA Miles – can often earn miles because they (Air Miles) ‘buy’ your reward ticket from a BA revenue ticket class.

In addition to this, Silver members get a 25% bonus on the base mileage, and Premiers/Golds get a 50% bonus on the base mileage. BA call this a “Tier Bonus”.

For short flights, there is a 500-mile minimum. However, if you’re travelling on a cheapy ticket, you still only get 25% of this (which is 125 miles as mentioned above). The Gold and Silver bonus is actually calculated from the 500, so Golds then have the bizarre situation of your Tier Bonus being more miles than the actual flight.

Right, these are the rules, but how does it actually work?

Let’s take an LHR-BOS flight as first example. A Gold is travelling World Traveller Plus:

Base mileage 3265
Cabin bonus 816
Tier Bonus 1633
TOTAL 5714

Now let’s take an example of a Silver travelling LHR-CDG on a cheap N class economy ticket:

Base mileage 125
Cabin bonus 0
Tier Bonus 125
TOTAL 250

Hopefully that makes sense!

In addition to earning miles for flying, you can also buy miles from BA. You can currently buy up to 19,000 miles per calendar year, in 1,000 mile increments.

Below is a table, illustrating how much it costs to buy miles:

Code:
1,000	£31
2,000	£47
3,000	£63
4,000	£79
5,000	£95
6,000	£111
7,000	£127
8,000	£143
9,000	£159
10,000	£175
11,000	£191
12,000	£207
13,000	£223
14,000	£239
15,000	£255
16,000	£271
17,000	£287
18,000	£303
19,000	£319
You can also buy miles for other members in your HHA, up to 19,000 per year each.

Buying miles looks expensive, but can be good value if you’re just short of an award. A few hundred pounds worth of miles, when compared the cost of a revenue premium class ticket, compares quite favourably. However, unless you definitely need the miles in the short term, there are cheaper ways of accumulating them – for instance buying products from Tesco which come with bonus points.

Miles can’t be transferred between accounts. However, you can book a ticket in someone else’s name, and remember that BA allows one-way bookings – so a friend with only, say, 25000 miles could book you a one-way economy ticket TO the US, and you could use 25000 of your own miles to book the return ticket.

We’ll talk about earning miles from places partners such as Avis, Tesco, Shell and others in the partners section. However, do note that recent reports say that if you buy miles on your BA Premium Plus AmEx they will post as ‘BA spend’ (i.e. earn triple miles for each pound spent).

A note about SPG transfers

If you need to buy larger quantities of miles than BA allow, you could do so in a round-about way by joining the Starwood hotel programme, purchasing Starpoints and then transferring them to BA (see spg.com). Starpoints cost 3.5 cents each and can be transferred 1:1 to BA Miles. If you transfer 20,000 at once, you also get 5,000 bonus miles. This means that 25,000 BA Miles will cost you (20,000 x 3.5c x roughly $2 to the £1 ) = £350. You can buy up to 20,000 Starpoints per year. If you are not already an SPG member, you cannot buy points until you have been a member for 30 days.

Last edited by Shuttle-Bored; Jun 2, 08 at 3:33 pm Reason: June 08 Update
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Old Aug 4, 07, 4:26 am
  #14  
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,910
Spending Miles

So you’ve got a great wodge of miles, how do you spend them?

Well, being an airline, flights would be the logical thing, but you can donate them to Unicef’s Change for Good programme, among other things.

Award tickets and MFU’s (Miles for Upgrade) on BA book into one of four fare buckets, X for Economy, P for WT+, U for Club, and Z for First. The amount of seats left in each bucket is only viewable to BA. It isn’t made public on GDS’s such as Amadeus and Sabre – you cannot search for them on ‘availability tools’ (like ExpertFlyer or KVS). To check availability, you can either call them and ask (they’re usually very obliging), or just check yourself on ba.com – this shows the same availability as BA can see themselves.

Availability varies considerably. To destinations such as the US and Canada, where there a lots of flights, you can generally get awards in all cabins on roughly the dates and flights you want. Unfortunately, especially to popular places, such as the Caribbean, India, South Africa, and South America availability is rubbish, or even non-existent – even more so for premium cabins. Even if you book 11 months in advance, you will often find that certain days of the week are permanently blocked for reward flights.

We strongly recommend redeeming for Club or First seats as this is by far the best way to get the best value for your miles. You should also ensure that you get a BA AmEx if you are UK based to benefit from the ‘2 for 1’ voucher each year.

If you only have a modest number of miles, the best value redemption is probably a 25,000 mile MFU from World Traveller Plus to Club World to North America (or another equivalent ‘zone’ at that redemption rate).

When spending miles for flights, there are several options.

Part Cash, Part Miles (PCPM)

Firstly, part cash, part miles. This isn’t actually a very good deal normally, as you can only do it for Economy tickets. It reduces the number of miles you need for an award by 25%. For example, if you need 12,000 miles for an award, this will reduce it to 9,000. PCPM are best avoided, except on the most expensive of shorthaul routes (e.g. DME – Moscow).

Miles Only Awards

Secondly, you can spend miles for “free” flights! BA break up the world into different zones. The cost depends on what zone you’re travelling to and from. To work out how many miles a flight will cost, go here:

http://www.britishairways.com/travel...r/public/en_gb

or this link will give you the table, and you can work it out for yourself:

http://www.britishairways.com/travel...e/public/en_gb

This will give you the “base mileage” i.e. the amount of miles needed for an Economy class award. If you want to travel in a premium cabin, simply multiply the “base mileage” by the following amounts:

Economy 1x
Traveller Plus 1.5x
Club 2x
First 3x

You can book award travel up to 24 hours before departure. Once booked, miles-only award tickets are flexible (i.e. to cancel/change) up to 24 hours before departure too. After departure they are totally non-changeable. Now this is a really silly rule, and it would be great if BA was to change it, but so far it hasn’t. The easiest way to avoid it is to book two one-way awards, unless you have an AmEx voucher to use.

The ability to change the dates or fully cancel your seat are, in the view of most people here, the ONLY acceptable reasons for using BA Miles to book a short-haul flight in Europe! In 2004 and 2005, BA ran ‘50% off sales’ for redemptions on its European routes which reduced the number of miles for a certain period. At these levels, they are worth considering - though this is the exception rather than then norm. Although it should be noted that if you are relatively 'miles rich' and 'time poor', you may find yourself with an AmEx 2-for-1 voucher which is about to expire...in which case, one of the longer Club Europe redemption for a long weekend somewhere nice may be better than letting it lapse totally!

Changes that require a re-issue of the ticket (changing destination, changing class, cancellations), cost £30 per person. Date-only changes (which only require a revalidation) are free.

Note that these “free” tickets will still be subject to departure taxes and surcharges, etc. so don’t be surprised to see your “free” First ticket still costs you GBP250 or so along with the miles. Yes, this is disappointing…but compared to the market value of the seat, still a very good deal (hence our advice to look to redeem for Club or First tickets only).

Miles For Upgrades (MFU)

A third way to spend miles for flights is to pay and upgrade (note this is different to PCPM in that you pay the entire base fare, then apply miles and it can be used in any class). This is usually referred to as a MFU (miles for upgrade). This can be an extremely good deal. Generally the best option will be to upgrade from WT+ to Club, but we’ll explain the process for any fare.

MFU’s can be from Economy to WT+; from WT+ to Club; and from Club to First.

You can only upgrade from Economy to WT+ if your ticket is a Y B H fare. You CANNOT upgrade from a cheapy economy fare to WT+, although you can upgrade from a cheap WT+ fare to Club World. Note that as confirmed by Lyndsay the ‘special’ fare sale seats – if you booked your WT+ (T class) or Club World (I class) fare under a special offer (normally indicated by a big red ‘D’ for Discount throughout Fare Explorer) – are eligible for MFU.

With complex bookings the eligible fare requirement applies to all sectors used to construct the underlying through ticket - Something to watch out for when purchasing long haul tickets originating from UK regional airports.

Another extremely important caveat is that you can only upgrade a ticket that has been purchased directly from BA. This applies to ba.com or over the ‘phone. If you are in North America, you can upgrade a ticket, but it must have been purchased from a “BA Preferred Travel Agent”. One North American Preferred Selling Agent (who so far will remain anonymous) confirms that currently (and valid for at least all of 2007), a PSA is always (subject to availability) able to upgrade ex-North American full J (J1US, J1CA, etc.) fares in to A class for the outbound leg (only). This is similar to the 'Buy J, fly F one way' promos BA often run but apparently a little known fact/permanent offer. You would, however, need to find yourself a PSA to take advantage of it…

Another improvement (since June 2007) is that one-way MFUs are now possible at any time for half the miles ^ (For posterity, previously you could only do this if only one segment had availability for the upgrade and the other didn’t – this could often require some lengthy discussion and quoting ‘AskBA 1056’ to the agent!)

The good thing about MFU’s is that you’ll earn Tier Points and miles for the fare you PURCHASED i.e. the paid fare you are upgrading from. This is about the only visible ‘difference’ in treatment between an MFU (or, in terms of entitlements rather than ‘earning’ anything, a full award ticket too) vs. a fully paid ticket for that class – you are entitled to all the benefits of a normal fare-paying passenger in the upgraded cabin (e.g. lounge access, relevant check-in desks, Spa treatments, etc. as applicable).

You can only upgrade one class at a time. The cost in miles for an MFU is the base (i.e. pure economy reward) mileage multiplied by a certain amount:

Euro Traveller to Club Europe x1.0
World Traveller to World Traveller Plus x0.5
World Traveller Plus to Club World x0.5
Club World to First x1.0

So for example, let’s say you want to book a flight from London to San Francisco, moving from World Traveller Plus to Club World. The basic fare is (say) £650 including taxes. Upgrading from World Traveller Plus to Club World will cost you 0.5 x the economy award seat mileage (so 0.5 x 50,000 = 25,000 miles). So for £650 + 25,000 miles, you get a seat in Club instead of World Traveller Plus.

When it comes to changing MFU’s it can get complicated. If you MFU from a restricted ticket, then those restrictions still apply. If you MFU from a full fare, unrestricted ticket, the base flexibility remains BUT to retain the MFU you must find award availability on the flight you change to. After departure, you will lose the miles (like for a normal award) if you make changes.

The Shareholders discount cannot be combined with an MFU and the MFU may be revoked/denied if you try it.

MFU’s can be extremely problematic when it comes to actually getting credit for the fare you paid – many here regard BA’s back-end systems as a disgrace in this respect! MFU’s are an oddity, as the system needs to track two fare classes, the one you paid for, and the one you booked into. The problem is, the fare class you book into, is the same as for award tickets. So the system can incorrectly log it as an award ticket, and it comes up on the statement as earning no points or miles.

For example, a normal MFU from WT+ to Club, should appear on your statement as J/T (i.e. you sat in J but paid for T). Most of the time, it comes up as J/U instead. To correct this, you need to speak to someone at the service centre. This can take anywhere from two weeks to months to credit. Some people have had tens of phone calls, and numerous faxes before it was sorted. What’s crazy is that it actually takes about five minutes for them to do. If you don’t get anywhere, a PM to the ever-helpful BA Executive Club will usually help ^ Luckily, however, in recent months BA has managed to dramatically increase the number of MFU’s which post correctly.

Additionally, seats must be available in the cabin you want to upgrade from (i.e. if WT+ is sold out and Club has award seats, you still won’t be able to make the booking), as well as the cabin you want to upgrade in to.

Gold (High Value) Upgrades for Two

At 2500 and again at 3500 Tier Points a (non-EU) Gold member earns one of these (so-called GUF2) upgrade vouchers (and if they hit 4500 Tier Points, they receive a ‘Silver Partner Card’ which can be given to anyone they nominate). For EU Gold members the threshold for the first voucher is 2000 Tier Points. There is no second voucher or Silver Partner Card as far as we know.

These are a nice perk, allowing the upgrade of the member and one person to the next cabin for a return trip on any BA flight number including franchise flights but excluding code-shares. Unlike an MFU, a Gold upgrade can be used on any revenue ticket (even deep discounted Y). Pre 1st July 2003, the upgrade booked into revenue fare classes (i.e. T, I, A) making them extremely easy to use. Post 1st July 2003, award-booking classes are used, with a consequent lack of availability. If you redeem your GUF2 on a booking made with BA, this is still the case. However, if you are booking through a Travel Agent they will still be able to use the easier-to-find revenue buckets (they do not have access to the award redemption buckets). You can find BA’s instructions to travel agents by clicking here.

Note: You can also use it for just one person if you really wish to. An ex-EU Club World ticket is typically seen as a very good value GUF2 redemption. A GUF2 applies to all legs on all flights and doesn’t have to start in your home country (e.g. you could in theory do something like JFK-LHR-SIN-SYD-BKK-LHR-JFK from paid CW to First if you wished!).

Expiry of BA Miles

BA Miles will expire if there is no activity on your account for 36 months (three years). If you're getting close to the end of three years, there are a lot of things you can do to extend the life of your account. You can buy miles, donate them to charity, order flowers, stay in a hotel, rent a car, or even take a flight! Anything that appears as an item on your statement will mean the account is active for another 36 months.

As noted in the other section, for Household Accounts, each account needs activity to keep its own miles alive (unless there’s at least one status member in the account). The easiest way to ensure this is a redemption (where miles are taken pro-rata from each account), or buying the minimum miles for EACH account – just buying miles for one account will NOT keep the whole household account active. However, as mentioned above, if one member of the Household Account is EC silver or higher, miles for other members of the Household will never expire, subject to status being maintained.

Partner Awards

You can also redeem miles on oneworld partners. You can even now do this online ^ First of all you need to search for the route you require as usual. After the search has been run (even if it turns up no results) you will be offered the option to search partners instead. This sounds cumbersome but works well enough and is designed this way to ensure BA options are exhausted first. To coincide with this genuine enhancement, Partner Awards have now got more flexible (they used to be totally non changeable, non refundable):

1. You can now change the date and time on partner bookings free of charge up to 24 hours before outbound departure
2. But you cannot change the route, i.e. you cannot change NYC-LAX with AA to NYC-SFO with AA
3. And you cannot change the airline, i.e. you cannot change from LHR-NRT with JL to LHR-NRT with BA
4. As will all redemptions (BA or partner) you cannot change the point of origin
5, You can now can cancel all partner redemption bookings and receive a full refund of your BA Miles, provided you cancel 24 hours in advance.

This link is a table on the BA website showing the mileage requirements:

http://www.britishairways.com/travel...e/public/en_gb

If you really have loads and loads of miles, you can redeem them for a oneworld award. This is an award based on the number of miles flown. The table that illustrates the number of miles needed is here:

http://www.britishairways.com/travel...o/public/en_gb

As with all awards, if you want to travel in business class, you need to multiply the miles you need by 2x, and if you want to travel in first, by 3x.

If you are looking to mix awards, here are some useful links. For redeeming on BA + one partner, see:

https://www.britishairways.com/trave...club/_gf/en_gb

For redeeming on one partner airline only:

https://www.britishairways.com/trave...club/_gf/en_gb

And finally the table for redeeming on two or more partner airlines:

https://www.britishairways.com/trave...club/_gf/en_gb

Spending Miles for Children and Infants

Infants (less than 2 years of age) travelling with a Member on a flight Award will travel for ten percent of the Mileage required for the Member's flight Award if they do not have their own seat. Children (2 years of age or older) and infants who require their own seat will be "charged" the full Mileage for the relevant destination. This also applies for MFU's too i.e. a MFU for an infant will only cost 10% of the miles.

Last edited by Shuttle-Bored; Jun 3, 08 at 4:53 am Reason: June 08 Update
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Old Aug 4, 07, 4:27 am
  #15  
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,910
oneworld / Franchises / Airline Partners

British Airways is a founding member of the oneworld alliance. At the time of writing, these are the members (with their codes in brackets):

American Airlines (AA)
British Airways (BA)
Cathay Pacific (CX)
Finnair (AY)
Iberia (IB)
JAL (JL)
Lan* (LA)
Malev (MA)
Qantas (QF)
Royal Jordanian (RJ)

*Lan is Lan Argentina, Lan Chile, Lan Peru and Lan Ecuador.

Within oneworld, there are three different elite tiers. This is an effort to identify a common elite standard across the different programmes.

They are:
Ruby
Sapphire
Emerald

There is no level in the BA programme that equates to oneworld Ruby. Ruby allows business class check-in, and that’s pretty much it. It does NOT grant lounge access.

Sapphire is equivalent to BA Silver and gives access to business class lounges, and business class check-in.

Emerald is equivalent to BA Gold and gives access to first class lounges, and first class check-in.

BA Premier members are also given oneworld Emerald status.

Partners

BA also has a number of partners that are not a member of oneworld. These partners allow you to earn miles, but not Tier Points when booked under that operating carrier’s code. You can also redeem miles on non-oneworld partners.

BA’s other partners are:
Aer Lingus (EI)
Alaska Airlines (AS)
Caribbean Airlines (BW)
SN Brussels (SN)

The most recent departures from these partnerships are Emirates and America West – you can no longer earn or redeem BA Miles on these airlines.

Note that in some cases, BA do sell tickets under a codeshare arrangement and these CAN earn Tier Points and miles at the BA rate – for example, on EI routes in to LHR if you are on a through-ticket (e.g. DUB-LHR-SIN), it’s possible to buy flights under the BA codeshare for the EI-operated flights. In these cases, if the class is eligible on BA flights to earn TPs, you should still receive them.

OpenSkies

OpenSkies is a BA funded start up airline which will operate from the Continent to the US, taking advantage of the recent Open Skies treaty between the EU and the US. Details are limited at present, but they do plan to launch services from June 2008:

- They will operate two BA 757 aircraft which have been refitted with Business (called “biz” in OpenSkies marketing parlance), Premium Economy (prem+) and Economy (econ) seats for longhaul operation
- Initial route is Orly – New York
- BA Executive Club members will earn miles/tier points, however OpenSkies will not be a oneworld member/affiliate. Earning levels haven’t been disclosed yet

Franchises

Sometimes when you fly on BA, you’re not actually flying on BA. In several parts of the world, BA has franchises. You’ll still get a BA flight number, the crew will still be in BA uniform, the planes will still be in BA colours.

The franchise carriers are:
BA CityFlyer (from LCY)
Comair Pty Ltd (South Africa)
Loganair Ltd
Sun–Air of Scandinavia A/S

Note, however, that Loganair departs October 2008, with GB Airways having left in March 2008.

Earning Miles and Tier Points on oneworld and Partner Airlines

Earning miles and Tier Points on partner and oneworld airlines isn’t as simple as on BA flights. In fact, depending on what fare class you’re booked into, and what cabin you’re in, it can be quite complicated. Rather than explain the “n” number of possibilities, we’ll link to the table on ba.com that does a pretty good job of listing all the possibilities by airline and fare code:

http://www.britishairways.com/travel...d/public/en_gb

Most of the time, you’ll need to travel in Y B H to earn anything other than 25% of miles. Business tends to earn 125% of miles flown. First tends to earn 150%. For Tier Points earning, see the “Tier Points” section of this thread, although the most important point for those hunting Tier Points to note is the '2000 miles rule'. If you can make this work for you, status gets a great deal easier - it can make an RTW trip especially lucrative, for example.

One very important point - you cannot earn miles or Tier Points, or redeem miles when flying on AA transatlantic except on the (few) flights where BA codeshares with them to/from MAN. This is the same for AA people, they can't earn miles or redeem miles on BA services between the USA and the UK. However, they can on BA flights between the UK and Canada or Mexico. This is due to UK/US government restrictions.

Note: You only get the Silver/Gold tier bonus on BA and QF – no one else.

It may be somewhat heretical to say in a guide to BA (!), but if you travel a lot on oneworld flights (especially in cheaper classes), you may be better served by completing a 'Platinum Challenge' on AA and crediting the miles there. There are more details on the AA Board for all the ins and outs of doing this and getting to oneworld Sapphire relatively quickly.

A Note About Checked Baggage
BA has quite a simple policy really:

1. If checking in for a BA flight, BA will check your bags all the way through as far as possible to any airline it has an interline agreement with provided the flights are all on one booking

2. If checking in for a BA flight where you are connecting to any oneworld member flight (including another BA flight) on separate tickets (e.g. CDG-LHR on a BA ticket, LHR-ORD on an AA ticket) then BA will still check the bags through for you.

3. If checking in for a BA flight where you are connecting to a non-oneworld member flight on separate tickets…enjoy collecting your bag and re-checking it, because BA won’t be through-checking it for you!

Last edited by Shuttle-Bored; Nov 25, 09 at 8:41 am Reason: June 08 Update
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