Monday, December 04, 2006

Redeeming miles on British Airways Executive Club

A slightly more detailed version of this post is posted on my new site:

Another work in progress on the new site is that you will be able to filter postings. For example, you can see only the airline-related postings.

This posting is probably useful only to British Airways Executive Club members who live in the United States.

Back in the “good old days,” it was pretty easy to rack up miles on British Airways.
First, they had household accounts, which allowed people living at the same address to pool their miles into a single account. As a result, even people who hardly ever traveled could collectively earn a free ticket.

Secondly, it was pretty cheap to buy tickets with miles. For example, 40,000 miles would buy a ticket from anywhere in the United States to anywhere in Europe. I once went from Washington (IAD) to Istanbul forjust 40,000 miles. I also once had a fabulous trip in First for 120,000 miles. My route was Washinton to London; London to Dubai; Dubai to Tehran; Tehran to Dubai; Dubai to London; London to Manchester; Manchester to London; London to Washington.

Third you could accumulate miles really fast using a Diners Club card. For every dollar you spent, you earned a mile. And every summer, British Airways used to have a two-for-one offer.
These happy days are over. British Airways now gives you only 25% of miles flown if you use a discount ticket. The number of miles required has risen massively. And the Diners Club offer in the summer gives you only 1.5 miles to the dollar. We are going to book some tickets to southern Europe sometime this summer (probably Athens), but each ticket is going to cost 65,000 miles.

It almost looks as if British Airways wants to hide free tickets on its web site. They advertise deals that allow you to pay part cash and part miles, and these are easy to find. They also seem to hid the chart that tells you how many miles you are going to need.

So here is the link for members (with a number/userID and PIN/password) wanting to get free tickets for their miles.

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