Mileage Upgrade to First LHR-MIA

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  • Anonymous


    susan3681 – 21/08/2009 18:03 GMT
    Newbie–Need advice. Had a very terse uninformed discussion with BA today and the adviser couldn’t wait to get me off the phone when it was clear I wasn’t booking anything today. My question is this. I have 44,000 airmiles and want to purchase 6,000 more at a cost of £111 to make the 50,000 in total. I intend to fly from Heathrow to Miami first class. The adviser told me I had to pay £910 plus 40000 airmiles to upgrade to club class but said she couldn’t tell me the additional cost to upgrade to First class!

    When I go online the website says i have insufficient airmiles as I haven’t yet bought the additional 6000 air miles so it won’t allow me to access information any further. Can anyone enlighten me please as to the additional cost to ugrade to First class on top of 50000 air miles?


    It sounds like you already tried to use to make the booking you want, but do be warned booking offline by telephone will incur an additional fee, so it’s best to try booking online once you have enough miles in your account to do so.

    For future reference, the currency of the BA Exec Club is BA Miles; in the UK the “Airmiles” scheme is a different frequent flyer scheme (though confusingly this is also partially owned by BA).

    To fly LHR-MIA you need 50,000 BA Miles one way in or 75,000 in First.

    Alternatively, you can use an “MFU” (Miles for Upgrade) which entails purchasing a ticket (for which you will still earn the relevant miles and Tier Points for the fare purchased) and upgrading to the next cabin using BA Miles.

    With an MFU, it would cost 12,500 BA Miles to upgrade one sector LHR-MIA from World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) to Club World (Business Class). You can only use this methodology to upgrade one class; therefore to travel in the First cabin you would need to purchase a Club World ticket, and in more bad news, it costs double the miles to upgrade from Club World to First, so you would need 25,000 miles to upgrade an expensive Club World one way ticket to First.

    One way tickets are normally VERY expensive, and so using miles to upgrade a one way fare is not a good investment at all. My advice would be to not proceed with a plan to “MFU” from Club on a one way ticket.

    To fly in First one way LHR-MIA on what is know as a full redemption ticket, you would need to earn or purchase enough miles to reach the 75k requirement.

    Getting a British Airways American Express card would help with this.

    Tip: for the same 75k BA miles, you can start your journey in Europe, flying Club Europe into London and you are allowed a stopover of up to 330 days, adding the possibility of a weekend break to maximise the value of your miles.

    The best use of your current 44,000 mileage pot would be to MFU a round trip ticket from WT+ to Club World using 25,000 BA Miles; in this way you would still get a fully flat bed, lounge access and Elemis Spa Arrivals and Departure massage, as well as the Arrivals lounge in LHR.

    Your underlying purchased ticket would earn about 12,000 miles, meaning you have enough for another MFU from WT+ to Club World next time you make that trip, with a few thousand left over.

    The WT+ ticket should cost a modest £600ish round trip depending on time of year; my advice would be to wait about a week for the BA Sale to start (around 25 August) when fares are likely to reduce.

    Alternatively you could just purchase the 6k BA Miles you need to reach 50k and travel on way in Club World on a full redemption 50,000 BA Miles ticket. Or indeed buy the 6k BA Miles and purchase a Club World return ticket and upgrade to F for 50k BA Miles round trip.

    Do be aware that availability is restricted, and MIA is a very popular route, so do consider flying direct to Tampa TPA or Orlando MCO as alternatives, or even into NYC, and for the same BA Miles cost you can complete the journey on American Airlines. Be warned the TPA/MCO flights leave from Gatwick, and do not have a First cabin.

    Hope that answers your question!

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