Is high tier BAEC worth it?

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This topic contains 37 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  K1ngston 3 Sep 2017
at 04:18
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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 39 total)

  • TominScotland
    Participant

    This has been widely debated before, with some posters avowing the benefits while others question the value of BAEC/ oneworld, given perceived higher costs of flights with BA compared to alternatives, especially in Europe. I am just back from a work-plus-some-leisure trip and was thinking about whether my BAEC Gold status (plus my wife’s recently achieved Silver) made any difference. I should say that I am a low spend traveller – most of my work travel is in Economy and I do work hard to retain Gold each year within very tight budget constraints.

    We flew GLA-LHR-HKG (stopover)-CNS (stopover)-BNE (stopover)-HKG-LHR-GLA on a mixture of BA, CX and QF, with all long-haul legs in CX and booked through the CX website. All but CNS-BNE was booked as one Economy ticket and was by far the cheapest option for that routing at the time we travelled. The two hour flight from CNS to BNE was booked as a reward flight in Business Class – at £16.70 plus 15,000 Avios each, it was far too good value to resist (QF domestic has to be some of the best value BAEC redemptions out there, BTW. Am back in Oz in December and have booked 4 legs for next to nothing….).

    So what were the benefits of BAEC status along the way?

    • Able to pre-book seats on all sectors at no cost and, on CX, able to book emergency exit seats together on all flights on B777-300, A330 and A350 services
    • Access to superb value reward flight on QF (see above)
    • First or Business Class check-in desks in GLA, HKG, CNS and BNE
    • Priority luggage tagging – limited benefit in reality. CX did not tag our bags in BNE and they were the first out in Glasgow anyway!!
    • Fast track security in GLA and LHR
    • Operational upgrades on 3 out of 6 flights (I know these could have occurred anyway) to Club Europe on GLA-LHR and to PE on HKG-CNS and HKG-LHR. This was uber-invaluable on the HKG-LHR leg on the daytime service where I had work to do and, in addition, had a free seat next to me. CX PE is very good (I understand the seating is even better on the A350)
    • First or Business lounge access in Glasgow (Business), Heathrow, Hong Kong, Cairns (Business), Brisbane (Business), Hong Kong and Heathrow. Cathay’s First lounges are superb in LHR and HKG (used both Wing and Pier).
    • Access to quality showers en route in the lounges
    • Full dining options availed of in Heathrow and Hong Kong (twice) prior to flights in lieu of on-board dining
    • CSD greetings on CX and QF and, when in Economy on CX, given additional water and first choice of menu items
    – Avios and tier points 9not a massive haul) towards BAEC renewal and further flights

    Given that the cost of the itinerary was very competitive with any other options I could find (certainly better than an EK/ QF combination), the overall benefits we were able to derive through BAEC/ oneworld high tier membership, in my view, speak for themselves. Others may differ in their evaluation of the above. It would be interesting to a) put some value on the above and b) estimate whether other alliances would give the same level of benefits as oneworld, obviously factoring in route considerations etc.


    SwissExPat
    Participant

    This reply has been reported for inappropriate content.

    I have been yo-yoing between Silver and Gold for a number of years.

    Next year I will be Silver and I find this to not be so disappointing.

    Having lounge access and use of business check in (as opposed to first) is generally fine with Silver.

    The biggest improvement (by a long shot) is the First check in channel at LHR (directly into the Lounge) so if I were LHR based (I an not) then this would be the single biggest advantage of Gold. All the rest I might be nice to have but I would not really miss it.

    For those traveling mainly long haul in Y, then getting access to exit rows is also quite a benefit, I agree.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    For me, a resounding YES.

    The Good

    **I live 25 miles / 40 minutes from LHR
    **an excellent route network and oneworld partners covers the rest that BA don’t fly
    **The new First Wing
    **Access to some very good lounges (T5) and some amazing lounges (HKG)
    **Seat reservations (free for all flights)
    **Avios, so far this year I have made 20+ redemption bookings for myself and others
    **I may have to take ex-Europe choices, but the fares are way cheaper in premium classes than I used to pay 5 – 6 years ago
    **occasional recognition and upgrades

    The bad

    **hit and miss whether you get decent crew who are aware of the firm’s motto, “to fly to serve”
    **probably (along with VS) the most dated flat class business product currently flying on any scheduled carrier (however – I sleep very well on the dated seat)
    **loyalty rewarded with unusable gimmick tickets (gold upgrade voucher) – just about to waste my third voucher in 18 months
    **a lack of decent aircraft cleaners
    **Alex Cruz – not really passenger / product centric, more shareholder centric, which I presume is the reason BA are in business

    Overall though, high tier BA works for me and I consider the benefits as “valuable” both on a personal enjoyment basis and in terms of monetary value..


    rferguson
    Participant

    Just my personal opinion:

    I think Silver is relatively easily achievable and worth attaining.

    I am a GCH but do not think there is a sufficient increase in benefits over Silver to warrant the over double amount of tier points required (600 for Silver, 1500 for gold). My favourite perk with Gold is being able to use the F class lounges of some of the partner airlines in OneWorld – namely CX and QF.


    TominScotland
    Participant

    Fully agree, Martyn – I also use European redemption extensively even though from Scotland it is no longer as good value as it used to be. Most of my long-haul travel is east or south and so I find the combination of BA, CX, MH, CF and QR covers virtually all bases.

    I should also have added to my above list the extra checked baggage allowance for Gold and Silver – after my wife’s retail therapy, this involved an additional case weighing some 15kg of our combined 35kg extra allowance


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    Just my personal opinion:

    I think Silver is relatively easily achievable and worth attaining.

    I am a GCH but do not think there is a sufficient increase in benefits over Silver to warrant the over double amount of tier points required (600 for Silver, 1500 for gold). My favourite perk with Gold is being able to use the F class lounges of some of the partner airlines in OneWorld – namely CX and QF.

    As a fellow GCH, I agree with your points.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Two different questions as far as I can see.

    Is BAEC status (silver +) worth it – yes.
    Is gold worth the difference over silver – I agree with rf – probably not.

    IMHO as part of BA’s conversion to a low cost operator I think there will be some changes to BAEC in the next 2/3 years with a move to a spend based model. In part because capacity is becoming an issue in some places and given a choice between capital expenditure and a cull of elites I think BA will take the latter approach. With a good TP model it isn’t expensive to get status – I believe a few Tallin returns would have got you there for well below £1,000 earlier in the year.

    In fact really you can separate BA and BAEC because best of all with the right combination of QR, Comair etc you can get status as well as collecting Avios without ever setting foot on a BA plane.

    I could see a change to the OW model as well – at present BA seem quite happy to pay for customers to use other OW lounges, however that model may not last forever. For example I gather the new lounge in DXB is hopelessly small for the number of users. QR were already stopping BA passengers before their flights were stopped.


    Irons80
    Participant

    You surely need to fly on 4 qualifying BA operated flights to have status?


    K1ngston
    Participant

    So I agree with you SimonS1 I am silver and I believe I may well retain this year albeit I dont travel on BA that often but use their partners in particular CX and QR and occasionally JAL

    The benefits I get from being silver over the Gold I used to have are negligible as I can check in like before dont get to use the benefits at T5 but I am not based in UK!

    Having Gold on SQ as per another thread is meh!!!


    SimonS1
    Participant

    You surely need to fly on 4 qualifying BA operated flights to have status?

    Nope.


    TominScotland
    Participant

    Yes you do, Simon


    FaroFlyer
    Participant

    Is it Panto season?


    FaroFlyer
    Participant

    Oh yes you do!

    As Irons80 states

    How to get to each tier
    To reach Bronze is easy. All you need to do is fly BA at least twice and earn 300 Tier Points or take a total of 25 BA flights. Whichever you do first will get you to Bronze.

    For Silver, you need to fly BA at least four times and earn 600 Tier Points or take a total of 50 BA flights.

    To get to Gold, you will need to fly BA at least four times and earn 1,500 Tier Points.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    Oh yes you do!

    As Irons80 states

    How to get to each tier
    To reach Bronze is easy. All you need to do is fly BA at least twice and earn 300 Tier Points or take a total of 25 BA flights. Whichever you do first will get you to Bronze.

    For Silver, you need to fly BA at least four times and earn 600 Tier Points or take a total of 50 BA flights.

    To get to Gold, you will need to fly BA at least four times and earn 1,500 Tier Points.

    From ba.com (follow the link in my reply to Tom and then open the ‘How many tier points do I need for each tier?’ link.

    BA flights are:

    – flights operated by British Airways, including franchises and BA CityFlyer
    – codeshare flights on other carriers with a BA flight number
    – flights operated by Iberia, including franchises, with an IB flight number

    So SimonS1 is correct.

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