Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

2 odd routes to oneworld (=BA) status – pay £190 per month or match via airberlin or Lufthansa

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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:

S7 Airlines

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.

Comments (35)

  • David says:

    OT but related to Finnair – I’m off to HKG with Finnair on 4xA350 sectors in J. BA Silver so free seat selection – any top tips for the best seats? Any advice appreciated!

    • C77 says:

      Free seat selection for all Finnair J passengers. Being minimum of silver is just a BA thing . Window seats are my preference with the direct aisle access.

    • Will says:

      Personally I’d take window in either 11 or 12. I prefer the smaller part of the business cabin.

      Flew to shanghai earlier this year on it and tried both front cabin and rear, just my preference but definitely window if travelling alone.

  • BillB says:

    Check on seatguru.com – useful commentary on where/where not to sit

    • David says:

      Hi – yes I’m aware of seatguru, but there’s limited information. Would like to hear from people who’ve flown it!

  • ankomonkey says:

    Finnair Silver gives lounge access when flying on AY metal (or did).

  • Ed says:

    Interestingly, you can purchase S7 gold for a single month (minimum term). That would give you the flexibility of being BA silver as and when needed which could be useful if you don’t fly often.

  • Phil says:

    OT- a couple of HILTON HONOURS questions. I recently qualified for the free night with Hilton Honours Barclaycard. I’m assuming this gets you the cheapest room at any given hotel(?).

    Secondly, is it possible to use points to add breakfast to the booking?

    • Rob says:

      It gets you a ‘Standard Room Redemption’ – one must be available in order to use the voucher. Usually cheapest room category only. Can’t use points for breakfast.

      • Genghis says:

        But Hilton Gold gets you breakfast. Easily obtainable through Amex Plat / £10k spend in calendar year on the Hilton Visa card.

  • Ron says:

    Do I need to add the S7 FF number to the booking in order to enjoy the benefits (priority baggage and lounge)? We (2 adult+ 1child) are flying to Oz with CX in Y next month, so it may work out better with lounge access for the 4 segments, but I want the miles credit to our BA account.

    Also, we have bookings for next year to SFO in CW, do i need to be OW sapphire when I reserve seats and at the time we fly? Or just when I reserve seats?

    • Scallder says:

      You can normally have the number in the booking to get busienss class check in, lounge entry etc, but then have the number changed in the lounge – however doing this 4 times, for 3 people might be a bit of a hassle (or might annoy the people at the various lounges).

      You can book seats whenever you have the status – so if you bought it and put your S7 FF into the booking, you could reserve seats for free and then once completed, change it back to your BA number.

    • Nick says:

      You can choose seats if you’re silver when reserving, but there’s a risk you might lose them again if they recalculate seating for any reason after you’ve dropped down (e.g. aircraft change). In that case you wouldn’t have any claim to get them back.

  • Nicholas Shaw says:

    £190 for BA silver status would appeal, however under T&C S7 say that “the service “Gold Status Purchase” is available for members, who have miles on their account accrued for at least one S7 Airlines flight made from the moment of registration in the Programme.”

    So you’d have to fly with them first.

  • Concerto says:

    Can you really purchase this S7 thing if you haven’t had a reasonable amount of activity on the account?