2 odd routes to oneworld (=BA) status – pay £190 per month or match via airberlin or Lufthansa

Two slightly obscure alternatives have come up if you are looking to earn British Airways status.

To be honest, the easiest way to get Silver status in British Airways Executive Club – which is the one to aim for, because it gives lounge access and fast track security – is to take a Qatar Airways sale flight to Asia!

You can often pick up a ticket from Europe to Asia for around £1,000 in Business Class in a Qatar Airways sale. The flight would earn 560 tier points return due to the change of plane in Doha.  This is 90% of the points required (600) for a British Airways Executive Club Silver card, although you also need to have flown 4 British Airways one-way flights in your current membership year before you are promoted.  You also get a good holiday out of it too.

Here are the two alternatives which are currently available, one for the equivalent of BA Silver and the other for the equivalent of BA Bronze status:

S7 Airlines

Pay S7 £190 per month!

You may never have heard of S7 Airlines.  It was formerly known as Siberia Airlines, which you have probably not heard of either.  The legal name is actually PJSC Siberia Airlines which also might not ring many bells.

However, S7 – with bases in Moscow and Novosibirsk in Siberia – is a Russian airline which has been a member of the oneworld alliance since 2010.

S7 has started to sell Gold status in its S7 Priority loyalty scheme for 15,000 roubles per month.   This works out at £190.

There is no minimum time commitment, which makes it interesting.

As per the oneworld alliance website here, S7 Priority Gold is equivalent to oneworld Sapphire.  This means that you would receive all of the benefits of a British Airways Executive Club Silver card, including lounge access.

In normal circumstances this would not be a good deal.  However, given that oneworld Sapphire members get free seat selection on British Airways, it could actually save you money.  It may work if you had a period where you had several long-haul flights and would also benefit from the additional baggage allowance and lounge access.

Whilst I doubt many readers will be jumping on this, details are on the S7 website here.

Get Finnair to match your Lufthansa Miles & More or airberlin status

This option is substantially easier – but only if you qualify.

Finnair is offering to match your status with airberlin or Lufthansa, but only up to Finnair Plus Silver.  Obviously airberlin was already a member of the oneworld alliance.  However, with the airline now in administration, it is only a matter of time before any status you have with them becomes worthless.

More interesting is that Finnair will also match your Lufthansa Miles & More status.

However …. Finnair Silver is only oneworld Ruby which means the equivalent of British Airways Bronze.  You will NOT receive lounge access when flying British Airways or any other oneworld airline.  You CAN however select seats on BA flights for free from seven days before departure, as well as use Priority Boarding and Business Class check-in desks (London City excluded).

If you currently have top-tier status with airberlin or Lufthansa, Finnair will give you a challenge to earn Finnair Gold.  This is not exactly generous though – you need to earn half of the annual number of status points, but have only six months to do it!  If you are UK based you are better off continuing to channel your flights through British Airways Executive Club.

If you want to claim your free Finnair Silver status from your airberlin or Lufthansa status, the application form is here.  There are no nationality or residency restrictions.

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Comments

  1. OT but related to Finnair – I’m off to HKG with Finnair on 4xA350 sectors in J. BA Silver so free seat selection – any top tips for the best seats? Any advice appreciated!

    • Free seat selection for all Finnair J passengers. Being minimum of silver is just a BA thing . Window seats are my preference with the direct aisle access.

    • Personally I’d take window in either 11 or 12. I prefer the smaller part of the business cabin.

      Flew to shanghai earlier this year on it and tried both front cabin and rear, just my preference but definitely window if travelling alone.

  2. Check on seatguru.com – useful commentary on where/where not to sit

    • Hi – yes I’m aware of seatguru, but there’s limited information. Would like to hear from people who’ve flown it!

  3. ankomonkey says:

    Finnair Silver gives lounge access when flying on AY metal (or did).

  4. Interestingly, you can purchase S7 gold for a single month (minimum term). That would give you the flexibility of being BA silver as and when needed which could be useful if you don’t fly often.

  5. OT- a couple of HILTON HONOURS questions. I recently qualified for the free night with Hilton Honours Barclaycard. I’m assuming this gets you the cheapest room at any given hotel(?).

    Secondly, is it possible to use points to add breakfast to the booking?

    • It gets you a ‘Standard Room Redemption’ – one must be available in order to use the voucher. Usually cheapest room category only. Can’t use points for breakfast.

      • But Hilton Gold gets you breakfast. Easily obtainable through Amex Plat / £10k spend in calendar year on the Hilton Visa card.

  6. Do I need to add the S7 FF number to the booking in order to enjoy the benefits (priority baggage and lounge)? We (2 adult+ 1child) are flying to Oz with CX in Y next month, so it may work out better with lounge access for the 4 segments, but I want the miles credit to our BA account.

    Also, we have bookings for next year to SFO in CW, do i need to be OW sapphire when I reserve seats and at the time we fly? Or just when I reserve seats?

    • You can normally have the number in the booking to get busienss class check in, lounge entry etc, but then have the number changed in the lounge – however doing this 4 times, for 3 people might be a bit of a hassle (or might annoy the people at the various lounges).

      You can book seats whenever you have the status – so if you bought it and put your S7 FF into the booking, you could reserve seats for free and then once completed, change it back to your BA number.

    • You can choose seats if you’re silver when reserving, but there’s a risk you might lose them again if they recalculate seating for any reason after you’ve dropped down (e.g. aircraft change). In that case you wouldn’t have any claim to get them back.

  7. Nicholas Shaw says:

    £190 for BA silver status would appeal, however under T&C S7 say that “the service “Gold Status Purchase” is available for members, who have miles on their account accrued for at least one S7 Airlines flight made from the moment of registration in the Programme.”

    So you’d have to fly with them first.

  8. Can you really purchase this S7 thing if you haven’t had a reasonable amount of activity on the account?

  9. Silver requires 600 tier pts.

    A domestic flight from London – Scotland in business earns 40 tier points and can be bought for as little as £90(ish) each way. So with a £1350 spend, that’s Silver Status and considerably cheaper than £2280.

    Or have I got my tier points wrong for domestics?

    • Domestics are indeed 40TP in Club Europe. It’s fairly easy to find returns from EDI at sensible times for around £200-250ish if you book a couple of months ahead and avoid the morning rush going south and Fri/ Sun evening peak on return. Hard to find <200 in my experience starting from Scotland anyway.

      Cheapest economy return for LCY/LHR is often about £160-180 for 10-15 TPs – for me, at the moment, worthwhile paying the difference.

  10. Does anyone else have Topbonus Gold status via previous status matches? I will match it to Finnair SIlver for the 7 day seat selection however I wondered if anyone else had any joy getting lesser airlines to match to the same level. I am keen to try and keep that tier of status even if I dont use it in case any future status match opportunities come up.

  11. Any idea when Qatar puts out their sale flights?

  12. OT but related, with BA silver status would you get the benefits if you book an Iberia express flight direct from the Iberia express website? I’m pretty sure you don’t get avios or tier points with BA exec club with these flights (although you do in Iberia plus)

    • I have an Iberia Express on Friday where I was allowed to select seats for free, but that is a redemption booked via the Iberia website. So not very helpful! There will be review of their business class next week though.

      • Excellent as I’ve just booked some redemptions through them and few more to add. I was allowed to select as well but one seat I had to buy through BA website (at 100.00 extra + they wouldn’t let me reserve seats + there was no notice you couldn’t reserve seats till after you’d booked + BA Cust Serv weren’t interested). Nice lady at Iberia did it for me at no cost.

        • As BA Silvers flying in Iberia Express economy we had a bit of a mixed experience – we were on Iberia flight numbers, if that matters and flights in March this year. My girlfriend flew Gatwick-Madrid-Seville and was denied lounge access (wrongly – she complained and got 2k Avios from Customer Services). May have been a South Terminal teething issue though. As a good HfPer she went to the Grain Store and consoled herself with an almost free breakfast and Bloody Mary there on Priority Pass.

          At Madrid in transit she got lounge access no problem. On the return, also from Madrid we got business check in, free checked bags, fast track and lounge access no problem. We could choose seats for free at time of booking but they got lost between booking and check in. Seats got “lost” but the check-in agent sorted us with seats together so all OK. Also got tier points and Avios for the flights.

          The big downer was legroom which was absolutely atrocious, I am just under 6′ (on a good day) and found it horribly uncomfortable. I wouldn’t fly them again if I could avoid it unless I was guaranteed Row 1 or exit, which feels unlikely given our experience.

        • I have Row 2 …..

        • Well all I can say is good luck…

      • Tweeted Iberia and they said you do get access. Looks like it doesn’t matter where you book it either

        https://www.iberiaexpress.com/en/general-info/passenger-information/at-the-airport/vip-services/vip-customers

  13. the_real_a says:

    Just a note, since Amadeus rolled out the updates to the oneworld airlines websites i was unable to find Air Berlin in the drop downs of the frequent flyer “manage my booking” sections. So its not possible to add this via Finnair/RJ any longer.

  14. My boyfriend needs to book a flight from Nepal to London and back to Nepal. Is the below still true or does the flight have to originate in the UK?

    “To be honest, the easiest way to get Silver status in British Airways Executive Club – which is the one to aim for, because it gives lounge access and fast track security – is to take a Qatar Airways sale flight to Asia!”

    • Can originate everywhere. 140 tier points per leg in Business as long as they are over 2000 miles (not sure how far Nepal to Doha is).