Don’t Forget this Alternative Method of Earning Oneworld Sapphire Status

With elite benefits fairly standardized across the Oneworld alliance, people often choose a main program based on whether they prefer:

  • Domestic upgrades on American and Alaska –> only available to AA and Alaska elites
  • Lounge access before domestic flights –> NOT available to AA / Alaska elites, but available to others (British Airways, etc.)

I’m one of the people who definitely prefers lounge access, so when British Airways Executive Club announced back in April – for some members only (including yours truly) – a further reduction in (re)qualification requirements, I made sure to meet the further-reduced targets.

BAEC’s tracker doesn’t show the reduced requirements…

What Did I Miss?

Along with those 310 Tier Points, I appear to have taken 20 eligible flights. And that has me close to the alternative method of earning Silver status – through eligible flights.

Why is that Relevant?

In my particular case, I paid more than necessary in order to upgrade a few flights to fare classes where I would earn more “Tier Points”. I could have instead aimed for 25 eligible flights and potentially renewed my Silver status more cost-effectively.

How Do I Earn Silver Status from British Airways Executive Club?

Between now and December 31, 2022, you must accumulate:

  • Silver: 450 Tier Points or 37 eligible flights
  • Gold: 1,125 Tier Points

You also need at least 4 flights on British Airways / Iberia.

It doesn’t matter when your Tier Point year ends, as long as you have crossed the appropriate hurdle on or before December 31, 2022…

Starting on January 1, 2023, the system returns to normal, so you will need:

  • Silver: 600 Tier Points or 50 eligible flights
  • Gold: 1,500 Tier Points

Bottom Line

Assuming that you fly to Europe every year – making it easy enough to take the 4 qualifying flights on British Airways or Iberia – you might find it easier to earn Oneworld Sapphire status through the eligible flight method.  After all, a standard domestic return trip requiring a hub connection would pick up 4 eligible flights each trip…

Compare that to the large number of “Loyalty Points” needed for AAdvantage status, and you might just find it preferable to become a British Airways Silver member. An AAdvantage Platinum member probably isn’t clearing an upgrade anyhow, but a BA Silver member will waltz into the Flagship Lounge / Admirals Club before their domestic flight…

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