Incredible Tier Point Runs Available From London (Travel In 2021)


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British Airways is far from a perfect airline but it’s still one of the airlines with a loyalty program that allows travelers to earn valuable elite status relatively cheaply if they’re prepared to take circuitous routings on some of their trips. In this post I’ll show you how you can earn British Airways Silver status for £1,200/$1,500 and how you can earn over half the points needed for British Airways Gold status for only marginally more. In both cases only one trip is needed.

The Key Aspects Of These Deals

  • You can book roundtrip Business Class fares for travel between London and Sofia for £227/$281 (earlier dates may be available).

  • You can book roundtrip Business Class fares for travel between Sofia and various cities in the United States for approximately £970/$1,200 for travel in 2021 (earlier dates may be available).
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  • London – Sofia is a route that’s just long enough to earn 80 Tier points (in either direction) for all Business Class bookings
  • All non-stop Business Class flights between London and the US earn 140 Tier points (in either direction)
  • All Business Class flights between the US East Coast and the US West Coast earn 140 Tier points.

Planning A 600 Tier Point Trip

Using the key facts that I’ve set out above, it’s possible to put together an itinerary that involves two bookings:

  • A roundtrip Business Class booking between London and Sofia
  • A roundtrip Business Class booking between Sofia and a US city of your choice

For this example, I’ll be using a trip to Los Angeles.

I’ve already shown that it’s possible to book a roundtrip fare between London and Sofia for £227/$281 so all that is needed now is a good fare between Sofia and Los Angeles that will dovetail with that fare…and here it is:

Note: This is bookable through British Airways as well as American Airlines

When you put the two bookings together this is what the pricing looks like…

…and this is how many Tier Points are on offer:

For £1,211/$1,502 a flyer will earn the 600 Tier points needed for British Airways Silver status (oneworld Sapphire) and will fulfill the additional Silver status requirement of booking 4 segments through British Airways.

Planning An 880 Tier Point Trip

This is a trip for the more battle-hardened Tier point runner because it involves a good deal more unnecessary travel (and waiting around at the airports) than the first trip I highlighted…but the rewards are pretty good.

For this trip I simply need to use the great Business Class fare between London and Sofia and a variation of the London – Los Angeles fare that I discussed above.

The key to this trip is to build in a stop on the US east coast before heading on to the US west coast in order to lock in an extra 140 Tier points in either direction. Amazingly, it’s possible to do this for almost the same price as a trip without the east coast stop:

Note: This is bookable through British Airways as well as American Airlines

When you put the two bookings together this is what the pricing looks like…

…and this is how many Tier Points are on offer:

For £1,224/$1,517 a flyer can earn 880 Tier points and book 4 segments through British Airways and that’s enough to earn British Airways Silver status (oneworld Sapphire) and get the flyer past the half-way mark for British Airways Gold status (oneworld Emerald).

At a cost of just £1.39/$1.72 per Tier point, this is an amazing fare to be able to book.

A Bonus

For anyone who doesn’t particularly wish to visit the United States, there are options with Qatar Airways too…but they’re more expensive.

It’s possible to book some pretty good Qatar Airways Business Class fares for travel between Sofia and Asia…

Click to enlarge

…and you can combine these with the excellent British Airways Business Class fare between London and Sofia to put together a very nice trip.

Here’s what a trip to Phuket would look like:

The pricing for the two bookings would break down like this…

…and this is what the Tier point earnings would look like:

That’s more than enough Tier points for British Airways Silver status but as the long-haul booking would have to be made through Qatar Airways there would be an outstanding requirement to book 2 further segments through BA before Silver status would be bestowed.

Bottom Line

It’s not very often that we see great Tier point runs that can be launched out of the UK (a positioning flight to somewhere in Europe is normally required) so these are pretty special deals…and I’m pretty tempted to book one myself.

Note: If you’re new to booking itineraries like this, make sure you read this post on the pitfalls of booking two separate trips that you then dovetail together so you know what you’re getting yourself into.

8 COMMENTS

  1. It would be crazy to book this now. One of the more likely ways for travel to restart will be compulsory 14 day quarantine. If you had to do that in Sofia, then London for the overnight, then LA, it would take 6 weeks to get there and six weeks back.

    • I respectfully disagree. It’s unlikely we’ll still be seeing 14-day quarantine periods in 2021 and, if for some terrible reason we are (and the flights aren’t cancelled), these fares will be exchangeable for vouchers valid through 2022. The type of person who would consider these Tier Point runs wouldn’t have a problem using a voucher if they absolutely had to take one.

  2. You said – no waiting around in airports for the first trip – so what do you call the 14 hour wait at LHR for the connection to LAX?

    Not everyone lives in London so you need to factor in a hotel stay, as LHR closed airside at night.

    So you should have added $150 onto your cost to make it more accurate.

    • Yes, the itinerary I posted would require an overnight in LHR but it wouldn’t have to cost $150 (some the Holiday Inn properties, for example, are often available for well under $100). Also, and more importantly, please indicate where exactly I wrote that there was no waiting around in airports for the first trip.

      • “ Planning An 880 Tier Point Trip

        This is a trip for the more battle-hardened Tier point runner because it involves a good deal more unnecessary travel (and waiting around at the airports) than the first trip I highlighted…but the rewards are pretty good.“

        It involves a good deal more unnecessary travel and waiting around at the airports than the first trip – what you wrote.

        If you don’t think 14 hours is “waiting around”, we have different ideas of acceptable connecting times.

        Personally I think you should have acknowledged the overnight stop required.
        It is a good fare, but not everyone wants to overnight at an airport when making these TP runs. A personal opinion.
        But thanks for highlighting the deals. I’m sure they will appeal to some……

        • Three points:

          1) Saying that the 880 Tier Point trip requires more waiting around at airports than the 600 Tier Point trip isn’t the same as saying that the first trip involves no airport time….which is what you claimed I wrote.

          2) As the 880 Tier Point trip requires a stop in New York as well as an overnight stop in London, my statement that “it involves a good deal more unnecessary travel (and waiting around at the airports) than the first trip” is 100% correct.

          3) For the specific trips I mentioned, you can book:
          – The Holiday Inn Ariel for $72
          – The Mercure for $34
          – The Ibis for $52
          – The Novotel for $75
          – 2 x Premier Inn properties for $49
          All prices include tax.

          I don’t think many people would consider any of those prices material to the overall cost of the trip.

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