Travel With H

My personal journey to obtaining a shiny British Airways Executive Club Gold Card

Category: Flying (Page 1 of 2)

How I Plan My Trips

My friends and colleagues alike always ask, “how do you choose your next destination?”

There isn’t one answer, a lot of different factors come into play when I sit down to plan the next country to visit.

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Your first ever experience in business class?

Do you remember the first time you flew short or long haul that wasn’t in economy?

Mine was back on New Years Eve in 2011 and I didn’t even know I was going to be sat in business class.

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Road to Gold – Update

After months of meticulous planning the first two flights in my challenge have been completed. 

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British Airways Club Europe BA0677 IST to LHR 08 October 2017


  • Airline: British Airways
  • Aircraft: Airbus A320 sharklets
  • Cabin Crew: Eurofleet
  • Route: Istanbul Ataturk to London Heathrow Terminal 5
  • Cabin: Club Europe (European Business Class)
  • Flight Duration: 4 hours 20 Minutes
  • Purpose: Tier Point run/Birthday Celebrations

Less than 24 hours after departing London on BA0678 it was time to head home  on BA0677.

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Challenge Accepted…

The ‘Road To Gold’…

begins in 14 hours’ time when I walk through a cold autumnal morning into Terminal 5 to begin the Road To Gold with the first stop being Istanbul.

What is the ‘Road to Gold’?

That’s the name of the next set of trips which are being taken to collect Tier Points for the British Airways Executive Club to progress up the tier of the frequent flyer club.

I’ll be starting from the lowest tier which is called Blue. Over the next 3 months I aim to reach Bronze, Silver and finally Gold before the end of my membership year in September 2018.

Upcoming Destinations

  • Istanbul;
  • Tallin via Helsinki;
  • Budapest;
  • Hong Kong;
  • Tallin via Helsinki again;
  • Istanbul;
  • Bangkok (via the longest routing possible of London – Amsterdam – London – Hong Kong – Bangkok).

Economy or Business Class?

To maximise the Tier Point earning potential the above trips have been booked into Business Class cabins (where available). For example Istanbul on BA Club Europe nets 160 Tier Points whereas Euro Traveller only nets 40 (depending on how flexible your ticket is which can then increase to 80 Tier Points return).

Wouldn’t it be EXPENSIVE?

Yes and No. No matter which cabin I book myself into there will always be a cost. The cheapest tickets (non-refundable and restricted) would be likely to be found in Economy but as seen above there is a trade off with the number of Tier Points available.  So savings in cash would result in missed opportunities for Tier Point maximisation.

There are several tricks to booking premium cabin travel (First or Business). One way is to start a flight in Continental Europe. This can knock off thousands in one go as there will be the inconvenience of connecting through London and a lower APD payable for transit passengers.

I will go into more detail on how to save in later posts.

Why do you want to reach Gold?

Reaching the upper tiers of the Executive Club opens up the possibilities of ‘perks’ available to those within that level. Namely:

  • Lounge Access (Business Class or First Class depending on Silver or Gold level);
  • Increased Avios earning rates (+50% for Silver and +100 for Gold);
  • Extra Baggage allowance (handy if you have a large family);
  • Dedicated customer service lines for ‘Status’ members etc…

But for me I want to reach Gold not for those reasons BUT to prove to myself that I COULD, with determination, aim high and succeed.

I only hold a regular office job, through activity on Flyertalk Forums and Avios miles collecting I am now able to fly in Premium Cabins without paying Premium Cabins.

Good Luck!

See you in Istanbul!

Travel With H


One Morning in Berlin (Part 4)


Berlin, Germany


03 August 2017


Part 4

The Bellevue Schloss didn’t appear to be as popular as the other spots I had visited so far on my morning travel which seemed harsh on the venue. The white of the Schloss set against the midst of greenery of the Tiergarten provided a good contrast for the pictures.

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One Morning in Berlin (Part 3)


Berlin, Germany


03 August 2017

Part 3

Moving swiftly on from the Brandenburg Gate and, oddly, a hoard of clowns that had been selling balloons at the gate (random right!) I ventured into the vast Tiergarten.

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One Morning In Berlin (Part 2)


Berlin, Germany


03 August 2017

Part 2

Having been wowed by Humboldt University and the surrounding buildings built up quite an appetite. Naturally this called for a gelato and luckily for me there happened to be a cafe selling one nearby.

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The romance of flight

Do you enjoy flying or is it just a form of transportation to get you from A to B?

Before the modern aviation boom, flying was seen more than a mode of transportation.

This was during the golden age of flight where getting on an aircraft was just the start of an experience!


Dining in the sky

Airlines focused on giving their customers a 5 star service from the ground to the air.

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