British Airways has launched its semi-regular Autumn promotion on long-haul travel. And it’s a good one – 30,000 bonus Avios for a return flight (or two one-way flights) in Club World or First, and 15,000 bonus Avios for a return or two one-ways in World Traveller Plus.
There is, of course, a snag. This offer is not open to people with a BA account registered in the UK. But we’ll come back to that later – it is not necessarily a problem.
Here are the summary rules:
This offer is available on all long-haul routes operated by British Airways.
The offer is also available across all of the airlines in the ‘price fixing gang’ that BA has on North American flights, ie American, Finnair, Iberia, BA and OpenSkies (the BA subsidiary flying from Paris to New York). You could therefore fly Madrid-New York, Helsinki-New York, Zurich-New York (American) etc and it will still count.
Iberia and Finnair flights which do NOT go to North America from Europe will not count
The eligible booking classes are British Airways First (F, A), Club World (J, C, D, R, I), World Traveller Plus (W, E, T), OpenSkies Biz Bed (J, C, D, R, I), Prem Plus (W, E, T); American Airlines First (F, A, P), Business (J, D, R, I); Iberia Business (J, C, D, R, I), Finnair Business (J,C,D,I). In plain English, this means that even cheapo Club World tickets (which book into I or R) will count.
The travel dates are 1 September to 19 December.
Note that there is no upper limit to how many bonus Avios you can earn! If you have two long-haul flights on one itinerary (eg Moscow – London – New York return) then that counts as four flights and you would get 60,000 bonus Avios in Club World!
Getting around the residence restriction
The rules say:
Eligible Countries for this promotion are: Andora, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Vatican City State, Malta, Gibraltar, Albania, Russian federation, Tunisia, Turkey, Israel, Belarus, Iceland, Moldova, Serbia, Ukraine, Morocco, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Algeria, Bosnia Herzegovina, Macedonia, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Uganda, Montenegro, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Botswana, Tome and principle, Seychelles, Senegal, Namibia, Sudan, Libya, Guinea.
As I see it, you have three options:
You could change your BA registered address to an address in one of the countries above. However, you would not be allowed to change it back for six months. Remember that any documents posted to you over the six months – including any new BAEC card – would go to that address. Note that if you move your BA account abroad, you cannot collect BA Amex points. They remain sitting with Amex and are only transferred across when your account returns to the UK. Any 241 voucher will also not be triggered.
You could open a new BAEC account purely for the purposes of this promotion, registered in one of these countries. This is strictly against BAEC rules, and BA will close the second account if it spots it. If you added your date of birth or passport number to the second account, you massively increase the chance of BA spotting the duplication. There is also NO WAY of merging the Avios points with your UK-based account, and of course your UK account would not benefit from the tier points. If you have BA status, you will not earn any status bonus on flights credited to this account as it will be Blue – that reduces the benefit of the 30,000 Avios bonus.
Assuming you are flying to the USA, you could register for the American Airlines version of this promotion. You earn the same amount of bonus Avios points. You would still need to change the country of your AA account to one of the participating ones (note that the country list is different for the AA offer) but you wouldn’t be running the risk of having two BA accounts open.
If you have a chunk of Club World flying coming up, you need to have a think about whether this is worth going for. It is a big bonus, though.