Dec112016

Maximizing British Airways Executive Club elite tier points on $428 SFO-Helsinki tickets

An airfare deal available today for Finnair San Francisco to Helsinki $428 to $500 round trip tickets provides a good opportunity for an introduction to British Airways Executive Club tier points for elite status. Last week I covered how to maximize AAdvantage EQM/EQD for 2017 flights with international Oneworld Alliancepartner airline long haul tickets. A reader suggested British Airways Executive Club elite status in 2017 could be a good alternative to American Airlines.

Finnair SFO-HEL $428 fare deal offers nonstop flights, but there is a routing strategy to double British Airways tier points earned for about the same ticket price by routing via New York JFK with American Airlines flight segments.

Loyalty Traveler – Oneworld San Francisco to Helsinki $428-$510 Jan-May, Aug-Oct (Dec 11, 2016).

I show in this post how different routings available for SFO-HEL change BA Executive Club tier points and Avios points earned for similarly priced tickets San Francisco to Helsinki.

In a follow-up post I will show how to nest San Francisco – Helsinki $428 with Stockholm – San Francisco $606 in British Airways Premium Economy. For around $1,050 to $1,250 and two trips to Europe in 2017. Two round trip tickets for earn or come very close to earning American Airlines AAdvantage Gold elite normally taking 25,000 EQM/$3,000 EQD or British Airways Executive Club Bronze elite status 300 tier points.

British Airways Premium Economy deal for $606 round trip tickets Stockholm to San Francisco offers a way to earn AAdvantage Gold 25,000 EQM/$3,000 EQD with two round trip tickets. Three BA Premium Economy tickets earn AAdvantage Platinum 50,000 EQM/$6,000 EQD in 2017 for under $2,000. The main problem is you need to start in Stockholm for that deal.

Loyalty Traveler – ARNing to AAdvantage Platinum elite for $1,818 in 2017 (Dec 5, 2016).

That is where this Finnair $428 economy round trip ticket SFO to Helsinki gets you in the neighboring Nordic countries of Finland and Sweden for easy access to British Airways $608 Premium Economy Stockholm to San Francisco round trip deal.

Introduction to British Airways Executive Club

This post looks at Tier Points (elite status) and Avios Points (redeemable miles) earned with three different routings for Finnair and American Airlines operated flights for San Francisco to Helsinki.

Important Rule: Executive Club Membership Year based on enrollment date and not calendar year 

Executive Club Tier Points Collection Year is based on member’s enrollment date. I joined British Airways on April 28 and my Tier Point collection year ends May 8. My earned Executive Club Tier Points reset to 0 on May 9, 2017. American Airlines AAdvantage members start new membership year Jan 1, 2017.

British Airways Tier Points and Elite Membership

Executive Club Elite Tiers and Benefits

Avios and Tier Points Flight CalculatorEnter each flight segment and British Airways elite status level to see Avios and Tier Points between any two airports.

 

Skyscanner.com search: OTA ticket for Finnair-operated flights San Francisco SFO – Helsinki HEL nonstop flights

$429 round  Tue Sep 19 – Thu Sep 28

SFO-HEL $429 Skyscanner Sep19-28

$429 SFO-HEL Finnair nonstop flights earn 40 Executive Club Tier Points and 2,738 Avios Points.

  • SFO – HEL Finnair AY – Economy O class = 20 Tier Points.
  • HEL – SFO Finnair AY – Economy O class = 20 Tier Points.

SFO-HEL BA-O Tier Points

While nonstop Finnair flights might be a preferable itinerary, that ticket earns only 40 British Airways tier points for elite status.

A one stop itinerary SFO – New York JFK (American Airlines) – Helsinki (Finnair) earns 80 tier points for near the same ticket price.

Finnair issued ticket  San Francisco SFO – New York JFK – Helsinki HEL – New York JFK – San Francisco SFO

$522.86 round trip  Wed Feb 8 – Tue Feb 14

SFO-HEL $523 AY Feb8-14

$523 SFO-HEL earns 80 Executive Club Tier Points and 3,344 Avios Points.

Finnair codeshare (American Airlines) and Finnair operated flights :

  • SFO – JFK Economy AY-O class = 20 Tier Points + 643 Avios.
  • HEL – SFO Economy AY-O class = 20 Tier Points + 1,029 Avios.
  • HEL – JFK Economy AY-O class = 20 Tier Points+ 1,029 Avios.
  • JFK – SFO Economy AY-O class = 20 Tier Points 643 Avios.

BA Tier Points SFO-JFK AY

BA Tier Points HEL-JFK AY

Momondo.com and Skyscanner searches pull up these same flights on same dates for lower ticket price.

ExploreTrip.com Online Travel Agency issued ticket:  San Francisco SFO – New York JFK – Helsinki HEL – New York JFK – San Francisco SFO

$442.86 round trip  ExploreTrip.com for Finnair codeshare and operated flights Wed Feb 8 – Tue Feb 14

SFO-HEL $443 AA-AY-ota Feb8-14

The difference between earning 40 and 80 Tier Points may seem negligible along with the extra 600 Avios points you can earn with a one stop New York itinerary compared to nonstop San Francisco to Helsinki. There is no real reason to book a one-stop if you are not going to reach 300 Tier Points in 2017. I’d go for the nonstop and avoid airport connection problems.

My next post shows how nesting this $443 SFO-HEL round trip ticket for 80 Tier Points with a British Airways Premium Economy Stockholm to San Francisco round trip ticket for $608. These two tickets will place you within a single USA domestic flight of 300 Tier Points needed for British Airways Bronze elite status with two trips to Europe. 

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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