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:
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.