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Do I get free seat selection as a British Airways Executive Club member?

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Do you get free seat selection as a British Airways Executive Club member?

In this article I want to look at whether you need to pay for British Airways seat selection if you have Gold, Silver or Bronze Executive Club status.

Whilst most airlines now charge for seat selection in Economy, British Airways is one of the very few to charge in Premium Economy / World Traveller Plus and Club World / Club Europe.  Only First Class passengers avoid the fee if they want to select a seat in advance.

Do I get free seat selection as a British Airways Executive Club member?

We’ve written about the basics of British Airways Executive Club tier levels here, but as a recap, remember that Blue membership is your default entry level status whilst Bronze, Silver and Gold must all be earned with the collection of tier points from flights.

Unfortunately, Blue members do not get any special seating privileges.  If you only hold British Airways Blue membership you will still have to pay to select a seat more than 24 hours in advance.

Bronze, Silver and Gold status holders get varying levels of free advance seat selection depending on your tier. Here are the details:

Bronze: free seat selection up to seven days before departure for everyone on your booking

Silver: free seat selection at the time of booking for everyone on your booking

Gold: free seat selection at the time of booking for everyone on your booking and friends and family who are flying in the same class on the same flight

If you’re a Bronze member, you get a significant head-start on all those without Bronze status and who refuse to pay for advance selection, so you should hopefully find a seat to your preference. 

Silver and Gold members can select seats at the time of booking with the best seats – such as Row 1 in Club Europe – held back for Golds and their fellow passengers.  (The full rules on who can sit in Row 1 on British Airways are in this article.)

Seat selection isn’t the only benefit of status, however. You can read all the perks of British Airways Executive Club status here.

If you want to see a seat map for your upcoming long-haul British Airways flights, Head for Points has commissioned an exclusive series of British Airways seat maps which you can find here.

(This article is part of our ‘BA Q&A’ series which explains how British Airways Executive Club works.  You can see all of our ‘BA Q&A’ articles here. )

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How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also good bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These are available to sole traders as well as limited companies.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

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