Thanks to SriLankans’ extremely good business class offers from Abu Dhabi to Jakarta, Indonesia, you can easily put together a mileage run in March 2020 to gain British Airways Executive Club Silver and with it Oneworld Sapphire status. This run takes a week of your time and costs roughly €1,300 in airline tickets.
This status run is still available, so we’ve set our expample dates from March to May 2020.
This tier run can start almost anywhere in Europe (except London). While you need to purchase two different tickets to do this, we will guide you through it step by step. The goal is to get 600 British Airways Executive Club tier points and four flight segments on either Iberia or British Airways.
€1,300 Oneworld Sapphire Tier Run
Ticket 1: SriLankan Business Class from Abu Dhabi to Jakarta
This is the more expensive ticket of the run – a SriLankan Arlines business class ticket from Abu Dhabi to Jakarta. These tickets are sold as low as €750 trough various online travel agencies and around €800 on SriLankans’ website. They are worth 560 tier points in British Airways Executive Club, doing most of the heavy lifting in terms of tier points.
In our sample, the outbound flight from Abu Dhabi takes place on May 3, 2020 and the return starts on May 7, 2020. Since there is no minimum stay restriction in SriLankan’s offer, you can make your stay in Indonesia as short as you please.
As most of these flights are operated by Airbus A320 series aircraft, you’ll likely be taking this trip for the points than for the comfort. Sadly, we cannot say when this deal will expire.
You may find these flights from March through October 2020. We’ve compiled all possible flight dates at the lowest fare for trips up to one week:
Ticket 2: Europe to Abu Dhabi with British Airways
Knowing the flight dates of the long haul segments, the next step is to purchase a roundtrip from Europe to Abu Dhabi. This itinerary always features flights between London-Heathrow and Abu Dhabi – these two trips (in combination with the SriLankan trip) will get you past the 600 tier points threshold. Even the cheapest economy ticket will do the trick.
The feeder flights from your starting airport to London earn you the missing two flight segments on BA metal. The ticket should cost around €500. Nonstop roundtrips from London start at €375, but you’ll need two more flight segments on British Airways to get Oneworld Sapphire tier. You my find the following origins & prices on ba.com:
- Stockholm at €447
- Copenhagen at €459
- Luxembourg at €469
- Glasgow at €487
- Milan at €496
- Paris at €514
- Frankfurt at €512
- Madrid at €528
You may try many other airports in your vicinity. They should work as well, at the same price level.
All examples are given for departure on May 2 and a return on May 8, complementing the aforementioned business class flights.
If you’re just interested in the 560 tier points of the first ticket, you can find roundtrips from Europe to Abu Dhabi well below €400.
All links above are part of an itinerary you can follow through. It looks like this:
- May 2
- Hometown – London in British Airways Economy
- London – Abu Dhabi in British Airways Economy
- May 3
- Abu Dhabi – Colombo in Sri Lankan Business
- Colombo – Jakarta in Sri Lankan Business
- May 7
- Jakarta – Colombo in Sri Lankan Business
- Colombo – Abu Dhabi in Sri Lankan Business
- May 8:
- Abu Dhabi – London in British Airways Economy
- London – Hometown in British Airways Economy
This trip is available at €804 + €447 = €1,251 (from Stockholm) and grants Oneworld Sapphire status. Not included in this price is food and lodging. This trip may get even cheaper when purchasing long haul tickets through online travel agencies.
Why is booking with an airline better than with an online travel agency?
More often than not, online travel agencies offer lower fares than airlines do. We still recommend booking with the airlines directly. There are three main reasons for that:
- The Covid-19 Pandemic
During the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19, planning international travel got more and more risky because of ever-changing restrictions. In contrast to many online travel agencies, most airlines modified their terms & conditions to become more customer friendly. Rebooking conditions are eased, change fees are waived and cancellations are much easier when there is no third party involved.
Further, by adding an OTA to your plans, you increase the risk of one service provider involved going bankrupt. Now, the airline and the online travel agency involved could vanish along with your money.
- Better Customer Service
In case any problems like delays, cancellations or missed connections arise, you can communicate directly with the airline. The airlines has to take care of you because you have a contract with them.
If a travel agency issues your ticket, you may have to reach out to them first. You also depend on your OTA to forward you information like flight changes instead receiving them directly from the airline. You may get a prime exhibition of responsibility shifting rather than problem solving.
This especially applies for premium tickets. You don’t want to spend more than €1,000 to wind up with some budget OTA’s telephone hotline in case anything goes wrong.
- Baggage Fees
Economy fares not including hold luggage are more and more common. In most cases, travel agencies charge much higher baggage fees than the airlines themselves. If bags are not included in your fare, airlines are often the cheaper alternative.
Most EU-Citizens won’t need a visa to travel to either Indonesia or Abu Dhabi.
Advantages of Oneworld Sapphire
Holding a Oneworld Sapphire status will get you quite a few benefits when traveling with one of the alliance’s member:
- Access to all Business Class lounges – worldwide and together with one guest. No matter which cabin class you’re traveling in
- Access to Business Class priority check-in – you can check in at any Business Class counter. Again, irrespective of your cabin class
- Extra baggage allowance – you can bring a second piece of luggage, assuming your fare includes at least one checked bag. On domestic flights, you can bring one bag, even if your fare does not include one (the only exception is British Airways)
- Priority boarding – get on the plane will others are still waiting
- Priority baggage handling – your bags should be the first to appear on the luggage belt after you arrived
- Access to preferred or pre-reserved seating – chose your seat at the time of booking, free of charge
- Priority on waitlists and when on standby
Compared to Star Alliance, there is actually only the fast-track that is missing. And the reason for this is an additional level that you can find within the Oneworld alliance program: the Emerald tier. This level will get you access to first class lounges and also fast-track through security.
In addition, your British Airways Executive Club Silver tier will grant you additional perks:
British Airways Executive Club Silver Facts
- Qualification: 50 flight segments or 600 Tier Points in addition to at least 4 segments flown on British Airways or Iberia within one membership year.
- Validity: Current membership year + another full year.
If you can’t manage the re-qualification, your status will stay valid 7-8 weeks after the end of your membership year.
Example: Your membership year end on November 8th, 2019 -> next membership year will end November 8th, 2020 and therefore your status will be valid until December 31st, 2020.
- Additional benefits
- 50% bonus Avios on flights with British Airways, Iberia, American Airlines and Japan Airlines
- Guaranteed seats until 24 hours priors to departure (booking class Y = most expensive Economy Class)
- Lifetime Gold status (Oneworld Emerald) if you manage to collect 35,000 Tier Points
- Household account for up to 7 people that don’t have to live with you or be relatives
- Re-qualification: same rules as for the initial qualification
- Softlanding: Yes, Bronze status (Oneworld Ruby)
Thanks for the inspiration, YHBU!