BA

New benefits across all oneworld airlines for BA Silver and Gold card holders

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British Airways is one of 15 major airlines in the oneworld alliance, alongside American, Qatar, Qantas etc.  For you as a customer, the key benefit is that you can earn and spend Avios points on all 15 members.  If you have status with one airline, you will receive reciprocal status benefits with the others.

In my view, oneworld is already the most generous airline alliance.  This is driven by one key benefit – oneworld allows Silver or Gold (whichever is the middle tier – BA is Silver, Cathay is Gold) status cardholders to access the lounges of any member.

This is NOT something you can do with Star Alliance. A Silver (middle tier) Star Alliance status card only gets you lounge access with the airline group which issued your card. This means that a Lufthansa Miles & More Frequent Traveller (Silver) member can only access lounges when flying with Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, LOT or Adria. They are out of luck if they try it with Thai or United. You need to be a Star Alliance top-tier member to get universal lounge access.

oneworld has now improved its benefits even further.

oneworld

From December 1st, holders of oneworld Sapphire and Emerald cards (BA Silver and BA Gold) are entitled to Priority Baggage tags when flying with any oneworld airline – even in economy.

Well, not EVERY oneworld airline.  One airline is refusing to honour this benefit, because it is incapable of offering it even to its own premium customers. Yes, step forward British Airways.

If you have a Cathay Pacific Gold card and fly BA in economy, don’t feel bad when BA refuses to give you a Priority Baggage tag, even though every other oneworld airline will.  BA’s priority baggage system doesn’t work for anyone, even full fare First Class customers.  I am not even sure why BA bothers to put Priority tags on bags going into Heathrow because the service does not exist.

There is a second new oneworld benefit.

oneworld Sapphire (ie BA Silver, Cathay Gold) holders now receive a higher baggage allowance. This brings Sapphire members in line with the increased allowance given to Emerald (top tier) members last year.

The rules for this are a little complex:

On international or domestic itineraries using the baggage allowance “weight” system – you get an extra 15 kgs in addition to the ticketed Economy allowance

On international itineraries (including domestic sectors flown as part of international itineraries) using the baggage allowance “piece” system – you get a second bag, weighing up to 23 kgs, when the ticketed allowance is one bag

On purely domestic itineraries with flights using the baggage allowance “piece” system – you get the assurance of at least one piece of checked baggage, weighing up to 23 kgs, even when the regular ticketed allowance has no free allowance

This benefit does not apply if you are travelling on a Brtish Airways ‘hand baggage only’ fare.  Even British Airways Executive Club elite members are not allowed a free case when travelling on those tickets …..

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Comments

  1. Robert F says:

    Hi Raffles, don’t know if this is the right thread but looking for a bit of advice, I have just been refused entry to the BA lounge at Gatwick with my CX gold card, travelling on a BA ticket with my Baec number on it, I was told I would only be allowed in if I changed my FF number to my CX number on my ticket, is this correct, currently in No1 traveller lounge. Thanks

    • Not correct but change it and then change it back (at the gate if necessary)

      • Robert F says:

        Thanks for the reply, was going to do that but they told me it was illegal, never had any issues before, it might just be a Gatwick thing

        • Haha illegal, I love it! 😀 Not sure it’s even a Gatwick thing, it must just be that agent. I remember using the Gatwick lounge before with my parents – they used the CX Gold for access but collected the Avios. The lounge agent asked if they wanted to switch to the CX card but when they said they wanted the Avios they were told that wasn’t an issue and welcomed into the lounge!

    • Some agents get confused about this. If you have an ignorant one, let them change it then change it back at the gate.

      HOWEVER, No 1 Traveller is far better than the BA lounge at Gatwick (see my review from earlier this year) so I would stay there.

    • Same comments as Alan, never had any issue when using CX gold for BA lounge access although this seemed to be an issue in the past. BA agents always been happy to use either FF number. I’d be fuming if this happened to me, you should consider complaining.

    • 2 domestic flights a couple of weeks ago with BA bronze on the booking. No problem at all in getting into the lounge at Heathrow or Manchester just by presenting my CX Gold card.

      On a slightly different note it did show quite how inconsistently status benefits are publicised and applied. I was surprised to find that bronze/ruby gets priority boarding, even though the highlife business magazine has that as a silver/sapphire perk. On entering Fasttrack security they would have let me through with bronze status, and certainly no issue with my CX gold/sapphire even though that is apparently supposed to be a OneWorld emerald benefit!

  2. As regular Thai and Singapore flyer into LHR they manage to get priority tags to work – why can’t BA?

  3. I’m a BA Gold & tend to find my bags come out among the first on arrival at LHR T5 most of the time, especially on longhaul flights. I also get priority tags outbound from LHR also “work” more often than not.

    I imagine some of this comes down to how the *other* airports treat bags, and also how containers get loaded/unloaded from the plane.

    I’d say it’s a benefit, albeit an inconsistent one, especially for short-haul

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