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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 or even no status at all.

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.

We’ve written about the basics of British Airways Executive Club tier levels here. 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 (long haul exit row seats and Row 1 excluded)
  • Gold: free seat selection at the time of booking for everyone on your booking, with no restrictions

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.

(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 from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2024)

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 £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

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

40,000 bonus 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.

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

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up 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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