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oneworld elites now able to use Heathrow FastTrack security

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The shuffling of benefits for airline elite members goes on.

Last month I reported how British Airways was now letting its Bronze tier member use Priority Boarding – a decision which may or may not prove to be sensible in the medium term.    It has also tightened up the baggage rules for Gold and Silver members.

The latest tweak involves the use of the FastTrack security lanes at Heathrow.

As of last week, Fast Track security at Heathrow is available to ANY oneworld Emerald or Sapphire member if they are travelling on a British Airways, Iberia or American Airlines flight.

Cathay A350-900

I was wondering whether those people who get a free Cathay Pacific Gold card via American Express Platinum now have the same benefits as a BA Silver card holder?  I think they do.

Historically, there were two things that a Cathay Gold couldn’t get with BA that a BA Silver could :

Extra baggage allowance, and

Fast Track security access

The ‘extra baggage allowance’ issue was fixed back in January, when ‘additional baggage’ became a guaranteed oneworld benefit across all member airlines at the Sapphire level (BA Silver = oneworld Sapphire = Cathay Gold).

The ‘fast track’ issue has now been fixed as well, as of last week.  More details can be found in this Australian article here – I can’t find a oneworld release anywhere.

All of the other BA Silver benefits (business class check-in, lounge access, free seat selection) have always been available to Cathay Gold holders.

Yet another reason, then, to feel confident that you can gain status in a different oneworld airline apart from BA and not miss out on anything when flying with them ….

PS.  See this post for more details about getting Cathay Pacific Gold by getting an Amex Platinum card.


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As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

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There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

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You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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The Platinum Card from American Express

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You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

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There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

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American Express Business Gold

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Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (19)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Rohan says:

    How do I get free seat selection when I book online ? I have the free Cathay golf card

    • Sir Stamford says:

      You haven’t mentioned your BA status. Assuming you are Blue or Bronze (seat selection from 7 days pre departure only), you can use the Finnair website to change your frequent flyer number on the booking to your CX Gold number. Go back to MMB on the BA website and you will be able to select seats for free. Once this is done, return to Finnair to put the BAEC number back in.

      For completeness, certain seats can not be reserved free of charge for OW Sapphire members.

      Sir Stamford

      • darrenf says:

        I had no idea I could do this. Thank you so much! 62A and 2A chosen for free by this Platinum Amex BA blue.

    • Max says:

      How can I apply for the Cathay “golf” card Rohan?

  • Geoggy says:

    I have the Cathay gold from amex and have used fast track at Heathrow at least 4 times in the last 12 months and no one said a word

    • Alan says:

      Yeah I don’t think they really bother checking – security isn’t run by BA so they don’t seem that bothered about status! At least this way you can feel entitled to use it 😀

    • Max says:

      Does the fast track and extra luggage allowance apply to all pax travelling with the Cathay Gold card holder i.e. whole family?

      • Rob says:

        Fast Track – you’d be OK, almost certainly.

        You do not get the extra luggage weight allowance though – only the cardholder – although everyone in your group can check 2 pieces.

  • BlackberryAddict says:

    A Cathay Gold doesn’t get the double Avios either, I think.
    By the way, the magazine article also mentions getting fast track access at Hong Kong airport. That’s interesting too.

    • Sir Stamford says:

      That’s the Frequent Visitor e-Channel “fast track” arrivals.

      It is not much of a benefit actually given that registration is available to anyone who has made visits to the HKSAR by air via the Hong Kong International Airport 3 or more times in the past 12 months.

      Sir Stamford

  • Nick says:

    This is great news!

    As raffles mentioned in his article, if I have Marco Polo gold (from my amex card), but simple blue BA status – if I book say lhr to jhb in economy from the website (or a site such as Expedia)- am I then entitled to 2 bags of 32 kgs each?

    This seems to good to be possible?

  • Hingeless says:

    I used the fast track a couple of weeks ago via the automatic barrier and it let me through, I had the cx card number attached to my booking so wasn’t sure if it was the sapphire status or the gate lets everyone through – anyone tried it with no status?

  • Danksy says:

    I have a RFS flight to Madrid in October to take advantage of the free melia night!
    I added the MPO card to the booking on the finnair website to get to choose our seats, but the baggage allowance remains standard on the booking!

    (Since it is a RFS flight it doesn’t count for tier points or avois so I left the MPO details on, rather than putting back to BAEC)

    Should my baggage allowance have increased (not that I’m planning to use it!!!)

  • Rob says:

    If I have the Cathay Gold card, can a person i’m travelling with have access to fast track and extra baggage allowance just like I can bring one extra person into the oneworld lounges with the cathay gold?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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