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Follow Will as he tries to hit Gold Guest List via 40 flights in (less than) 40 days

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Don’t try this at home kids.  Or even in a plane.

Head for Points reader Will, who credits me / blames me on the first page of his blog for getting him into this in the first place, is currently doing something very fascinating / stupid (delete as applicable!).

He is trying to hit British Airways Gold Guest List status, from scratch, in one trip.  This means that he is taking 40 flights in very short order to hit 5,000 British Airways tier points!

In an attempt to keep himself sane, he is blogging about his trip.  It is called ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Tier Points Runner‘.

BA 747 retirement

This is the first part of his flight itinerary (apologies for the airport codes).  I think there is a second similar run to follow after this!

1. LHR-BRU (London to Brussels)
2. BRU-HEL (Brussels to Helsinki)
3. HEL-LHR (Helsinki to Heathrow)
4. LCY-JFK (London City to New York)
5. JFK-LAX (New York to LA)
6. LAX-HNL (LA to Honolulu)
7. HNL-LAX (Honolulu to LA)
8. LAX-MCO (LA to Orlando)
9. MCO-MIA (Orlando to Miami)
10. MIA-STT (Miami to St Thomas US Virgin Islands)
11. STT-MIA (St Thomas US Virgin Islands to Miami)
12. MIA-LAX (Miami to LA)
13. LAX-HNL (LA to Honolulu)
14. HNL-LAX (Honolulu to Los Angeles)
15. LAX-JFK (Los Angeles to New York)
16. JFK-LCY (New York to London City)
17. LHR-HEL (Heathrow to Helsinki)
18. HEL-BRU (Helsinki to Brussels)
19. BRU-LHR  (Brussels to Heathrow)

At the time of writing (Sunday) he has posted about flights 1 to 15, which have taken him 15 days.  7 days of this was actually non-flying holiday, amazingly.

Will photo

I have no idea what all these flights have cost – all are in Business or First Class.  It will be substantially less than you think because of the way he has squeezed multiple segments into what are actually ticketed as single trips.  I am guessing he has only actually booked two tickets – Heathrow to Honolulu return and, nested within it, Honolu to St Thomas US Virgin Islands.

Hopefully when he gets back I can persuade Will to tell us what he has learned from this.

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Comments (55)

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

  • Edd M says:

    Great read but definitely not for me! I’d be too sad not to stop off and explore most of these destinations en route!

    Quick Q: With BA’s policy of soft landings, what happens if you reach GGL in Year 1 and, say, don’t requalify for any status whatsoever in year 2?

    Do you get downgraded to Gold, or do they bump you all the way back down to Silver?

    • Will says:

      You go down to silver, however if you qualify early on in your membership year then you’d be a GGL for the remainder of your membership year, all of the next year and then a silver after that. You also get to ‘gift’ a gold membership as a GGL so if you have a partner/relative you could in theory use this to extend the gold privileges to your partner.

      • Edd M says:

        Seems a bit cruel of BA to bump from GGL to Silver (rather than Gold!) but I guess if you can survive GGL in 40 flights, then Gold should be a breeze after the second membership year expires!

        I’m doing a mad routing in a week using Ex-EU to America to get 720 TP in one throw and Silver- it’s the day after my membership year starts, so maybe this is the year for more mad TP runs and to get Gold, maybe I’ve been inspired! 😉

        • Jonathan says:

          GGL is the upper end of the Gold tier so it really does make sense to drop to Silver as a soft landing from GGL.

  • squills says:

    Hi Will, I’m guessing this will cost you £5000 & 3-4 weeks of getting p!ssed & tired on planes without having the time or energy to much appreciate the places you’re flying to.

    GF week apart – but I’ve excluded that from the 40 days. Say, £4000 then as £1000 was worth it to get to Florida I suppose.

    Wouldn’t £5000 pay for a lot of champagne & sushi without going into lounges? 😉

    OTOH if you’ve somehow managed to mitigate the cost, I humbly etc lol

    • Will says:

      If your savage with the routing (which I was) then you can squeeze all of the flying into just 14 days. I’ve sandwiched 2 week long holidays in it because, as others mentioned, its a real shake to miss out on visiting at least some of the wonderful places the routing takes me through.
      Also (and ill cover this in full in the next few days) I will get approx 200,000 avios and 13,000 on business points for the trip both of which have tangible value. You’d be crazy to do it for the lounge access but I’ve a pretty clear objective which I’ll cover properly in a post this week.

      • Matthew says:

        Subscribed to hear more. Interested in the 200k avios and 13k OB points gained as this is clearly a very large ‘sweetener’.

  • Brian says:

    Slightly off-topic, but does anybody know how to find out how many tier points you get for AA First Class domestic flights on two-class planes? I’m flying from Chicago to Boston and the BA calculator tells me I’ll get 60 points, but it also tells me I’ll 40 for Business, even though there isn’t business on the flight. Any ideas?

    • thesaver79 says:

      It’s 60 TP provided that it’s ticketed with the AA flight number.

    • Jonathan says:

      Brian, I agree with thesaver79 and the reason you also see Business Class listed in the calculator is because a BA booking in Business Class will book you into a First class seat on AA domestic but will only deliver Business Class TPs (i.e. 40).

      • Jonathan says:

        (unless >2,000 miles in which case it’s 210 on an AA flight number and 140 on a BA codeshare)

        • Brian says:

          Thanks to both of you. It’s an AA booking, so I guess it will be 60 TP. :))

  • Rohan says:

    Great going Will , we are all here only once , got to do what you want , well done! , look forward to hear further about your trip

  • From zero to British Airways Gold Guest List in 40 days - Points to be Made says:

    […] most of the commenters from the Head for Points post which prompted me to write this, I reckon he’s made good use of 3 tickets nested within each […]

  • Col A-B says:

    Is it even possible to book the BRU-HNL return on I’ve fiddled around but run out of sectors.

    • thesaver79 says:

      What’s the full itinerary with all segments?

      • Rob says:

        He hasn’t posted the second half. Not sure, given that he was flying to see his girlfriend, it is a carbon copy of the first one or not.

        • thesaver79 says:

          I meant of the BRU – HNL part. I wanted to help Col A-B. I guess I can find out from Will’s blog.

    • Rob says:

      You may need to use for best results. Hopefully Will will pop up and advise.

  • Lady London says:

    Maybe we better all pay attention to this, as GGL is looking like it’s the new ‘Gold’ given recent downgrading of Gold privileges

    • Will says:

      Full details are:
      Trip 1:
      Trip 2:

      I’m now on trip 2, just starting posting again with a Q&A thread.

      Sorry for lack of recent content, work had me snowed under but should get some worthwhile content up every day now.

      • Alan says:

        Enjoy, hope you’re not affected by the technical issues that have been plaguing the LCY service recently! (I sadly missed my first trip on it, now also have the fun of trying to get back the resultant missing extra TPs!)

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