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Who can book and sit in Row 1 on British Airways?

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Who can book and sit in the front row, Row 1, on British Airways flights?

The front of the cabin has always been the best place to be – not only is it quieter but it’s also closer to the doors, meaning you’ll be out of the plane sooner than everyone else.  In this article I want to look at how you can book the front row, Row 1, on British Airways flights.

Who can book the first row on British Airways?

Depending on what aircraft you are on, Row 1 might be in different cabins.  On some long haul planes, row 1 is part of First Class. On others, it’s part of Business Class. On short-haul, it’s part of Club Europe Business Class.

Head for Points has published a series of British Airways seat map which are indexed here.

However, a common rule on every aircraft is that row 1 is reserved for British Airways Executive Club Gold status holders. Whether that row is in First or Business, you must hold Gold status to book these premium positions.

Fellow passengers booked on the same ticket as a Gold member can also sit in Row 1.  The only exception is First Class where you must be a Gold member to sit in the front row.  If your partner is not a Gold member they will need to sit behind you!

One exception to the rule is that on particularly busy flights, Row 1 seats may be released at the time of check-in opening – 24 hours before departure – to non-Gold members.

If you’re lucky, you might be able to bag a seat but the odds are not high.  If a flight is not busy, British Airways prefers to leave empty seats in Row 1 blocked to give extra space to those Gold members who are booked into it.

(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. )

(Head for Points is the UK’s biggest frequent flyer website with 2.4 million monthly page views.  Want to learn more about earning and spending Avios?  Click here to read our latest news storiesclick here to join our email list and click here to read our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series.)

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 2023)

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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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

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

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and a huge range of valuable 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 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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.

EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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.

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