My route to Platino. Was it worth it?

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Old Feb 9, 19, 12:35 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Fuengirola, Malaga, Spain
Programs: Iberia Plus Platino
Posts: 20
My route to Platino. Was it worth it?

Woke up this morning, coffee and logged into my Iberia Plus account to see this.....

Congratulations
You have reached the 6,250 Elite Points needed to obtain your Platinum Card early.

So the questions are......
1. How did I do it? Flight Routes, classes etc?
2. How much did I spend?
3. How would I have done had I been with BAEC?
4. What can I look forward to and what will my strategy be going forward?

First, the background.
I live in Fuengirola, near Malaga. (English but with Spanish residency). In July 2017 I started a new contract with a company with offices in London and Tel Aviv.
As is the way of the modern world, I am able to work from home most of the time. However once per month I must spend a week in the UK office. Every visit to the UK I have a budget of 500 Euros for me to spend on my flights and hotel(s). If I go over the budget then the difference is down to me. It was also made clear to me that after some time, I would probably be travelling to customer sites too at various times, obviously with these trips being entirely paid for by the company although the policy is economy class.
So, start the job....... how to fly? Easyjet, Norwegian and Ryanair all have direct flights to London airports from Malaga at cheap prices. However, by the time you add on baggage, speedy boarding etc then actually these fares are not so wonderful.
So, on the basis that I MUST fly regularly, then it was a no brainer to join BAEC or IB+ so that I would get benefits from my travels. I am 52 years old now and don't want to get to the point where I hate the travel............... so do it in style and enjoy it is my motto.
As I live in Spain, it seemed natural to me to join IB+. After 2 months of economy flights between Malaga (AGP) and London using IB and BA metal, I started to opt for business class as much as I could.
On average IB Optima (Economy) fares between AGP and LHR via Madrid come to around 180-200 Euros
On average IB Business Class fares between AGP and LHR via Madrid come to around 370-400 Euros
BA from AGP to LGW similar.
I achieved IB+ Oro in March 2018. (8 months) Only just made it.

So, for my current year (April 2018 - March 2019) I decided to get to Oro as quickly as possible and take it from there.
The chart below shows all the flights taken up to and including this last Thursday 7 February.
The Points column is what I actually earned as in IB+ Elite Points
The Econ column shows what I would have earned had I flown economy.
The BA column shows what I would have earned for the same flight and class but with BAEC membership.

Date Flight Points Econ BA
  1. 22 Apr 2018 BA2713 AGP-LGW R 115 35 40
  2. 26 Apr 2018 BA2720 LGW-AGP I 115 35 40
  3. 28 May 2018 BA2723 AGP-LGW I 115 35 40
  4. 31 May 2018 BA2720 LGW-AGP R 115 35 40
  5. 25 Jun 2018 BA2723 AGP-LGW I 115 35 40
  6. 28 Jun 2018 BA2720 LGW-AGP R 115 35 40
  7. 12 Jul 2018 IB7584 AGP-LGW N 20 20 10
  8. 15 Jul 2018 IB7579 LGW-AGP I 115 35 40
  9. 28 Jul 2018 IB3166 MAD-LHR I 115 35 40
  10. 03 Aug 2018 YW8812 MAD-AGP R 75 25 20
  11. 03 Aug 2018 IB7443 LHR-MAD R 115 35 40
  12. 08 Sep 2018 YW8809 AGP-MAD I 75 25 20
  13. 08 Sep 2018 IB3164 MAD-LHR I 115 35 40
  14. 14 Sep 2018 YW8810 MAD-AGP I 75 25 20
  15. 14 Sep 2018 IB3169 LHR-MAD J 150 35 40
  16. 29 Sep 2018 YW8809 AGP-MAD R 75 25 20
  17. 29 Sep 2018 IB3316 MAD-TLV R 300 100 140
  18. 12 Oct 2018 YW8812 MAD-AGP I 75 25 20
  19. 12 Oct 2018 IB3317 TLV-MAD I 300 100 140
  20. 09 Nov 2018 YW8827 AGP-MAD A 15 15 5
  21. 10 Nov 2018 IB1960 MAD-HKG I 600 100 160
  22. 17 Nov 2018 IB1961 HKG-MAD V 100 100 20
  23. 19 Nov 2018 YW8809 AGP-MAD I 75 25 20
  24. 19 Nov 2018 IB3164 MAD-LHR I 115 35 40
  25. 24 Nov 2018 IB7645 LGW-AGP I 115 35 40
  26. 25 Nov 2018 YW8809 AGP-MAD I 75 25 20
  27. 25 Nov 2018 IB3164 MAD-LHR I 115 35 40
  28. 30 Nov 2018 IB3715 LGW-MAD I 115 35 40
  29. 30 Nov 2018 YW8810 MAD-AGP I 75 25 20
  30. 12 Dec 2018 BA2713 AGP-LGW R 115 35 40
  31. 15 Dec 2018 BA2712 LGW-AGP I 115 35 40
  32. 18 Dec 2018 IB8811 AGP-MAD J 100 25 20
  33. 18 Dec 2018 IB3126 MAD-FRA J 275 35 40
  34. 19 Dec 2018 IB3127 FRA-MAD I 225 35 40
  35. 19 Dec 2018 IB8820 MAD-AGP I 75 25 20
  36. 24 Dec 2018 IB7705 AGP-LCY I 115 35 40
  37. 27 Dec 2018 IB3169 LHR-MAD J 150 35 40
  38. 20 Jan 2019 IB8811 AGP-MAD J 75 25 20
  39. 20 Jan 2019 IB7465 MAD-LHR I 115 35 40
  40. 25 Jan 2019 IB7645 LGW-AGP I 115 35 40
  41. 28 Jan 2019 IB8811 AGP-MAD J 75 25 20
  42. 28 Jan 2019 IB3126 MAD-FRA J 225 35 40
  43. 01 Feb 2019 IB3217 FRA-MAD I 225 35 40
  44. 01 Feb 2019 IB8820 MAD-AGP I 75 25 20
  45. 03 Feb 2019 IB3865 AGP-MAD I 75 25 20
  46. 03 Feb 2019 IB3270 MAD-HAM I 225 35 40
  47. 07 Feb 2019 IB3271 HAM-MAD I 225 35 40
  48. 07 Feb 2019 IB8812 MAD-AGP I 75 25 20
Total IB+ Elite Points actually earned = 6370
Total IB+ Economy points had I flown this way = 1755
Total BAEC points = 1855

Milestones and conclusions.
1. Flight 19 is when I achieved Oro again. October ie mid way through my year. At this point, I was not actually planning to get to Platino. It seemed to be a long way off. The leap from Oro 2250 to Platino 6250 is massive x2.77 (BA Silver 600 - BA Gold 1500 = x2.5)
2. Flight 37 is the flight that I would have achieved BAEC Gold had I been a member. So, It took me another 11 flights to get to IB+ Platino, ie Oneworld Emerald.
This proves the theory that attaining Gold with BAEC is easier than attaining Platino with Iberia. BA award the same points (40) for MAD-FRA as MAD-LHR.
Iberia award 225 for MAD-FRA but only 115 for MAD-LHR.
3. Had I stuck with Economy flights the whole way I would still be a long way off Oro in terms of points 2250-1755 = 495. However, I would only need another 2 flights between now and March 31 to hit 50 to achieve Oro that way.
4. I have paid double the money more or less (ie bus class - econ class) but achieved treble the points.
5. Is BAEC really better than IB+. Something I have noticed this morning makes me really happy that I am with IB. My Platino is valid until end of March 2021. 2 YEARS
BAEC Gold would only be for 1 year. So, my strategy now for the coming year is to save money by flying Economy most of the time to London and only flying Business Class when the price is good or I am doing long haul where I only have to pay the difference between econ and bus for company travel. Either way, I will enjoy the benefits of Oneworld Emerald. Next week I am going to London again and look forward to trying out the First Wing at LHR on my return.

I know that this has been a long winded thread but I find the whole concept of frequent travel and FT programs fascinating.
It makes company and leisure travel so much more enjoyable.
I hope you all agree. Any comments/questions welcome.
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Last edited by ndwint; Feb 9, 19 at 1:12 am
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Old Feb 9, 19, 9:04 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Barcelona, London, on a plane
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Originally Posted by ndwint View Post
This proves the theory that attaining Gold with BAEC is easier than attaining Platino with Iberia
It doesn't really "prove" anything. It shows that, for your travel patterns, BA Gold would be easier to attain. That said, I don't think it is controversial to suggest that BA Gold is easier to attain for most travel patterns.

Originally Posted by ndwint View Post
Something I have noticed this morning makes me really happy that I am with IB. My Platino is valid until end of March 2021. 2 YEARS
BAEC Gold would only be for 1 year.
BA Gold, once attained, is good for the rest of the TP year, plus all of the following year + 2 another months. And you soft land to Silver for a year.

So indeed you can achieve Platino, take a year off and then go for another 6250 Elite points in year two and requalify. That isn't too different from achieving BA Gold, taking a year off, soft landing to Silver then doing 1500 TPs again...

And of course those BA TPs are accumulating towards a lifetime status - so you can eventually avoid these mental maths - which AFAIK IB+ doesn't offer.

Congratulations nonetheless. It's good to have some more data points on FT about elite status with IB+.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 9:59 am
  #3  
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Fuengirola, Malaga, Spain
Programs: Iberia Plus Platino
Posts: 20
It doesn't really "prove" anything. It shows that, for your travel patterns, BA Gold would be easier to attain. That said, I don't think it is controversial to suggest that BA Gold is easier to attain for most travel patterns.

BA Gold, once attained, is good for the rest of the TP year, plus all of the following year + 2 another months. And you soft land to Silver for a year.

So indeed you can achieve Platino, take a year off and then go for another 6250 Elite points in year two and requalify. That isn't too different from achieving BA Gold, taking a year off, soft landing to Silver then doing 1500 TPs again...

And of course those BA TPs are accumulating towards a lifetime status - so you can eventually avoid these mental maths - which AFAIK IB+ doesn't offer.
Hi craigthemilf.
Maybe "prove" was a bit strong. However Iberia do separate Europe into 3 zones unlike BA. So, United Kingdom from Spain is Zone 1 whereas Germany is Zone 2.
MAD-LHR 2 hours (approx) , MAD-FRA 2 hours 20 minutes (approx.) very little difference in flying time but big difference in Elite points. 115 v 225 (Business class I)
BA do not make this separation, so for someone living in Spain and flying regularly to to the UK there is a difference.

As for the 2 years Platino v 1 year BAEC Gold + soft landing to Silver, remember that in the 2nd year at Silver - no access to 1st class lounges etc. and the double Avios.
I must admit that when I saw that my Platino would be for 2 years, thereby as you correctly said, having the chance to take a year off from expensive Business Class fares in my mind is ..................... HUGE!!!

As for Lifetime points, Iberia Plus website does display the Lifetime points and has been quick to point out to me that I have 11,335 on my way to this status. (Infinita)
Something else that I am looking forward to is the 2 free upgrades. I will keep them in reserve for long haul.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 10:10 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post

And of course those BA TPs are accumulating towards a lifetime status - so you can eventually avoid these mental maths - which AFAIK IB+ doesn't offer.
IB does offer lifetime status. There are two tiers, starting at 100000 elite points.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 10:29 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Barcelona, London, on a plane
Programs: BA Gold, TK E+, IB+, VS FC, Hyatt Globalist, MR Plat Prem, IHG Plat, Hilton Gold
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Originally Posted by ndwint View Post
remember that in the 2nd year at Silver - no access to 1st class lounges etc. and the double Avios.
The thing about "1st Class lounges" is that it sounds great on paper, then you eventually realise that about 75% of the time you end up in the same lounge as "Business Class". A notable exception is of course LHR T5, but sadly my main routes are T3 where I'm just as happy in the CX J lounge as BA/CX F. And of course no lounge in Spain or AFAIK the rest of Europe is "1st class / Emerald only". YMMV...

Double Avios vs. 50% bonus is less relevant than it might seem when you're just doing a bunch of European flights. 250 Avios per Y flight roughly...
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Old Feb 10, 19, 1:30 pm
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Join Date: May 2013
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The 100% bonus has really added up for me on TATL's but my travel pattern that led me to get Platino flying mostly Y has led me to abandon my job to start my own business regardless so I'll get less use out of it but if it goes well I'll try to get there from personal flying.
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Old Feb 11, 19, 4:28 pm
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Montreux CH
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Posts: 7,205
Were some of those flights indicated in the list above really coded with the YW code? I thought Air Nostrum didn't use their own code. In Geneva, I have seen BA Citiflyer flights to LCY listed with the CJ code, but I don't think you can purchase them as such.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 2:47 am
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Location: Fuengirola, Malaga, Spain
Programs: Iberia Plus Platino
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Originally Posted by Concerto View Post
Were some of those flights indicated in the list above really coded with the YW code? I thought Air Nostrum didn't use their own code. In Geneva, I have seen BA Citiflyer flights to LCY listed with the CJ code, but I don't think you can purchase them as such.
Hi. You are correct in a way.
When I purchased these tickets they had IB codes, the boarding passes had IB codes and the info on the display screens at the gates had IB codes.
This list actually came from the Balance/Activity page of the IB+ website and then doing the download of the csv file. At that point, the YW codes were there.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 12:57 pm
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Join Date: May 2013
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if your budget was $500 per journey for flights and hotels and you have been flying the routes in business... I think going to work did cost you money.
Said that, congrats for the achievement!
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Old Feb 23, 19, 6:26 am
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Join Date: Jun 2017
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my question, if I may, is, what is in your opinion the advantage of being platino over oro? because to me, its the same...
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Old Feb 23, 19, 7:20 am
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Originally Posted by asrmco View Post
my question, if I may, is, what is in your opinion the advantage of being platino over oro? because to me, its the same...
Hi asrmco
Got my first taste of it on Thursday this week. After my usual monthly visit to the office in the UK, I found myself in the BA Galleries First class lounge in Heathrow T5.
What a pleasant way to relax after working hard all week. It is way better than the Galleries Club lounges.
Better selection of wine.
Better food. I ate from the buffet but the A La Carte menu looked good to and I did someone with the famous BA burger, it looked good.
The seating is better, the ambience is better.
All this and I was flying on Iberia in economy.
I had become used to accessing the Club lounges with my Oro card over the last year, so this was a welcome "new" benefit.

For me also, I know that the company I work for will be sending me to South America (Chile or/and Peru) during this year. The company policy is Premium Economy for long haul over 6 hours. So, I am keeping my two free upgrades (that you get with Platino) in reserve for these trips.

I also noticed something just yesterday. My company was trying to make my next booking to the UK. There was a a problem with it.
I intervened by calling the Iberia Plus Platino call center. The call was answered within 3 seconds and I noted a distinct difference in the way the call was handled and the problem sorted. The lady was incredibly attentive and helpful.

And finally, more Avios earned for the trip this week. 100% bonus over 50% bonus.

Not a bad start to my new Platino status.
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Old Feb 25, 19, 11:59 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: BCN
Programs: IB+ Gold, HH Gold
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Did you pay the difference over €500 from your own pocket for flight and hotel on each trip? If so you must have spent hundreds of €'s from your own money or did you manage to get biz class flights and hotels for €500 per week in London?
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Old Feb 26, 19, 4:19 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Programs: IB Oro
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It is interesting to compare the merits of the various schemes.

I am looking to just squeeze enough points to qualify for Platino by the year end.
I will have done it via the following routings, none of them on Iberia metal but that doesn't seem to matter.

LHR-HKG-TPE-HKG-LHR (4 times in Premium Economy, Cathay)
LHR-HKG-TPE-HKG-LHR (1 time in Economy, Cathay)
LGW-UVF-LGW (1 time club world BA)
LGW-FAO-LGW (1 time club Europe BA)
INV-LHR-JFK-LHR (1 time Premium Economy (transatlantic sectors), American).

I worked out this should end me up on around 6730 elite points.
The same routings credited BA would have been only just enough, 1520 tier points.

One thing I am very glad of is that I didn't join Cathay's Marco Polo. I originally thought of it due to the regular asian travel. That seems a terrible scheme. These routes would have worked out at 840 tier points.
The way the Cathay scheme works is that it resets at 20 (Green), 300 (Silver), 600 (Gold) and 1200 (Diamond) points. So I wouldn't have even made Oneworld Sapphire.
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Old Mar 2, 19, 7:12 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Barcelona, London, on a plane
Programs: BA Gold, TK E+, IB+, VS FC, Hyatt Globalist, MR Plat Prem, IHG Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 6,283
Can you IB+ Platinos confirm something for me:

If I were to start from zero and do 6,250 Elite points in, say, April and May 2019, I would become Platino for two years, until 31 March 2021. But since I did 6,250 Elite Points in "year one", I would already have requalified for Platino, so I would get a further two years on top, bringing me to 31 March 2023?

I would then have a requalification window between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022 to do another 6,250 Elite Points (unless I did the 12,500 over two years method)

Or does it work differently? Do you essentially need to do 12,500 EPs over two years (starting from zero) in order to earn and keep Platino? I'm stuggling to figure out how the switch from qualification to requalification works...

Last edited by craigthemif; Mar 2, 19 at 7:22 pm
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Old Mar 9, 19, 2:51 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Very interesting story OP.

I just spent two months living in Marbesa and commuting to and from London, mind you mine was a combo of the Norwegian and Ryanair flights

I did make liberal use of the newish arrivals car park at AGP, what an absolute gem and cheap as chips compared to any of the London airports when booked in advance.

Would be back in Andalucia in a heartbeat if I could make it work for work.

Enjoy the sunny weekend over there !
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