Book’n upgrade

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  RoadKing 18 Jan 2010
at 17:36

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  • Anonymous


    Hi all

    As I have had the great pleasure of getting an unexpected invite to a wedding in SFO, and have quite a few pts, I was thinking I should spoil my girl and me going First. Actually, we don’t have enough to go entirely by First, but I thought I should check out the Book and upgrade by pts option.

    That was an interesting experience. I found seats and it suggested 120K pts and approx £12000.

    Now, I thought that a bit expensive so I dismissed the idea. But for the fun of it, I checked the price for First without using pts, and my, was I surprised to learn that it was not only the same price, but it was even cheaper by about £60. Without spending pts…

    So, why would I waste 120K pts and £60 on a book and upgrade? Evidently this must be wrong.

    Gotta call BA on this, but thought I should give you folks a heads up, anyone else experienced this?


    How exciting to be heading off to SFO; it’s one of my favourite destinations.

    I am not clear which route you are planning to fly to get there?

    On BA the Book and Upgrade option is commonly referred to as Miles for Upgrade (MFU for short). With the BA Exec Club, “points” are Tier Points, which relate to your status within the scheme (Gold, Silver cardholder etc.) and BA Miles (“miles”) are the currency which can be redeemed for free trips.

    Other airlines, like bmi, offer “cash + miles” options.

    Sorry to be a nomenclature bore, but it helps to clarify such things so we are all “on the same page” and therefore can give you the most apposite advice.

    MFU’s from Club World to First are not great value IMHO as you are charged double the miles that would be needed for an MFU from WT+ to

    As BA is currently running a sale for Premium Economy seats until 22 January (Friday!) is it a good time to be buying WT+ tickets which can be upgraded to Club World for 25k BA Miles round trip from Europe/UK to USA.

    Prices start around £540 incl. tax return, and you earn 125% of miles flown so get about half the miles you spent back on the flight itself.

    If you can help me out with your routing, I can maybe work out why this seems to be happening, and possibly find you a better deal.

    Also, it helps to know what your country of residence is (UK or not) as using your BA Amex 2for1 voucher might be a more cost-effective approach to redeeming for your trip.


    Hi VK.

    Appreciate you being willing to assist. Sorry about my illiteracy regarding pts vs miles. Being gold member in both BA and SK confuses a bit :-).

    Country of residence is Norway.

    The route is OSL -SFO (May 5th through 9th).

    However, I just spoke with Exec club helpdesk and they told me what you said, that I could upgrade a full flex business to First using pts. Which, I agree with you, is not a good deal at all. After all I can get one person a discounted fixed business return OSL – SFO for approx £2100, while the full flex is approx £3800 (considering the ongoing one way free upgrade offer it is even lesser of a deal). I had a desire to make the unforgettable get away for me and my lady, but not for that much. There is a limit to love :-). Besides, I know we will get a nice experience in biz as well.

    So, I have decided that I will either spend pts in full for 2 biz, or I go for the discounted fare and keep saving until I got enough to cover the entire First in pts.

    Got to look into that WT+ offer and consider an upgrade. Interesting.

    Btw, I just got to know from my friend, that they will be doing the event in LAS, so perhaps we fly into SFO and return from LAS. I suppose BA will approve of that.

    Thanks for your reply!


    No problem.

    I am afraid you were given incorrect information; it is indeed possible to upgrade/MFU the inflexible, discounted fares (in any class) using BA Miles.

    You can even upgrade Sale fares.

    The only exception is that you cannot MFU the 10% off shareholder discount bookings.

    It may, however, be that there are only flexible tickets left, which is why you were quoted that price. BA is not running a Premium Cabin (Club/First) fale sale right now, but it is running a Premium Ecnomy WT+ fare sale.

    You would be best advised to go for either

    1) a full mileage redemption


    2) an MFU which has the advantage of earning both points and miles for the trip, but has the disadvantage of costing more in cash terms BUT the WT+ fares are currently on sale so you might snag a bargain.

    In both cases you can “open-jaw” the ticket, flying out to one hub (eg LAX or SFO, and returning from LAS or PHX.

    There is also some flexibility to mix cabins outbound and inbound. With a full redemption you can mix and match as you please; outbound in F, returning in Y for instance.

    For an MFU, you can only upgrade one cabin ahead of the class of service for which you paid, but you can choose also to travel only in the cabin for which you originally paid on one sector. So if you purchased Club World, you could upgrade just the outbound to F using miles.

    Note that there is no First cabin on the LAS services.

    If you are making a full redemption (BA Miles only) my recommendation would be to outbound in First to your most distant destination as you get to experience the Concorde Room on the outbound (be sure to leave time for this on your connection!) and the full daytime exLHR F experience.

    Then return in Club World, when you will be able to sleep on the fully flat bed, and on board experience is less important.



    Thank you for the extensive information. You are indeed a resource.

    I will give the options some thought, and see where I end up. 🙂


    Just to clarify for any readers considering using BA miles for upgrade (MFU) – discounted/non-flexible premium economy (World Traveller Plus) and business class (Club World) tickets may be upgraded to one class higher in this way, but not discounted/non-flexible economy (World Traveller) tickets.

    In the latter case, only flexible economy tickets may be upgraded with miles which, not unexpectedly (though arguably illogically), usually renders an ‘economy-upgraded-to-premium-economy’ ticket more expensive than a ‘premium-economy-upgraded-to-business’ ticket.

    A sample UK-US MFU itinerary, for example, prices up at £771 for travel in premium economy, but just £661 in business class – in both cases with the addition of 25,000 BA miles.

    (Log in to your BAEC account required.)


    VK; I’ve just got an award reservation for me and my lady, and did what you proposed, miles upgrade from WT+.

    Saved a lot of money and still have a decent amount of miles. Which will increase again with the trip.

    I also have to compliment the staff on the executive phone, they were very helpful when I could not find the exec # of my lady, she had to enroll the household account to get onto the reservation.



    Glad you got what you wanted.

    Now get busy and reserve your seats on the 747 Upper Deck!


    I know, I always try to fetch 62K, but this time I actually want to see my companion, so we have picked a pair on the main deck, 18E and F.

    A pity there are no pair seats upstairs, I really like it there. But we like each others company you see 🙂

    For once, one of the things I really like with Club World is a disadvantage 🙂

    Anyways I know we will get a splendid trip.

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