Two nested tickets can secure British Airways Executive Club Bronze Elite with the right itineraries by earning 300 Tier Points.
Fly San Francisco to Helsinki with American Airlines and Finnair operated flights for $462 round trip deep discount economy O class. Fly Stockholm to San Francisco in British Airways Premium Economy T Class for $610 round trip. Nest these tickets by flying outbound to Helsinki and return to SFO via Stockholm.
Fly back to Stockholm for a second trip to Europe at a date several weeks or several months later, then fly home from Helsinki to SFO at the end of the second Europe.
This is part 3 in a series on the Finnair $428 San Francisco to Helsinki fare deal from this weekend. The price is $462 today.
Loyalty traveler – Oneworld San Francisco to Helsinki $428-$510 Jan-May, Aug-Oct
Loyalty traveler – Maximizing British Airways Executive Club elite tier points on $428 SFO-Helsinki tickets
In this post I show two different timeframes for these Nordic itineraries. The cheaper itineraries are two sets of flights January to March. The second set of itineraries is a more practical set of tickets for a leisure traveler who can take a winter/spring 2016 trip and a late summer/early fall trip to Europe.
$461.94 Finnair operated and codeshare AY economy O class flights
San Francisco SFO – New York JFK – Helsinki, Finland HEL – New York JFK – San Francisco SFO
ExploreTrip.com online travel agency ticket for (found via Skyscanner.com).
- SFO – JFK Economy AY-O class (American Airlines operated codeshare) = 20 Tier Points + 643 Avios.
- HEL – SFO Economy AY-O class (Finnair) = 20 Tier Points + 1,029 Avios.
- HEL – JFK Economy AY-O class (Finnair) = 20 Tier Points+ 1,029 Avios.
- JFK – SFO Economy AY-O class American Airlines operated codeshare) = 20 Tier Points 643 Avios.
- $462 SFO-HEL Finnair economy O class ticket earns 80 Executive Club Tier Points and 3,344 Avios Points.
- 80/300 = 26.67% progress to BA Executive Club Bronze Elite.
British Airways Elite Tiers
Blue – base level
Bronze = 300 Tier Points in membership year (based on member enrollment date, not Jan 1-Dec 31 calendar year).
Silver = 600 Tier Points
Gold = 1,500 Tier Points
Nested Ticketing Strategy for Discount Airfare to Europe
While you could simply take four trips to Helsinki and earn Bronze elite, there is a way to earn Bronze elite with two trips to Europe and save $500 on airfare, along with all the time savings of flying to Europe four round trips.
The ExploreTrip.com Finnair ticket SFO – Helsinki shown above departs on February 1, 2017. Nest a round trip Stockholm to San Francisco British Airways premium economy ticket within the Feb 1-Mar 1 dates and complete two round trips to Europe in four weeks.
$609.34 British Airways Premium Economy T Class ticket
Stockholm ARN – London LHR – San Francisco SFO – London LHR – Stockholm ARN
Google Flights shows inaccurate $1,200 fare, but deep links to BA Swedish website with ($609 USD / 5,593 SEK) lower fares.
Premium Economy T class is a high Tier Points earning ticket in Executive Club.
San Francisco – London LHR in British Airwasy Premium Economy T class earns 90 Tier Points each way.
180 Tier Points for LHR-SFO-LHR flight segments (British Airways Points Calculator).
There is no Premium Economy cabin on Stockholm – London BA aircraft. The deal is these two flight segments for ARN-LHR, LHR-ARN book in Economy K class and earn 10 Tier Points each way for another 20 Tier Points.
Stockholm ARN – London LHR – San Francisco SFO – London LHR – Stockholm ARN in British Airways Premium Economy earns 200 Tier Points.
SFO to Helsinki Finnair economy O class round trip earns 80 Tier Points and Stockholm to SFO British Airways Premium Economy T class earns 200 Tier Points round trip. You are now 20 Tier Points away from British Airways Bronze at 300 Tier Points for 25% bonus Avios points.
You still need connecting flights between Helsinki and Stockholm.
Finnair flies Helsinki – Stockholm ARN nonstop for 67 EUR / $72 USD round trip in Economy W class. Those flights earn 5 Tier Points each way.
Finnair $462 SFO – JFK – HEL 80 Tier Points + BA $610 ARN – LHR – SFO 200 points + Finnair $72 HEL – ARN 10 points = 290 Tier Points for $1,144.
You can push Tier Points to 300 by adding a stopover in the USA on the BA Premium Economy flight. Even changing one flight segment from LHR-SFO to LHR-LAX-SFO increases ticket earning from 200 to 220 Tier Points.
$614.06 (5,644 SEK) British Airways Premium Economy T Class ticket
Stockholm ARN – London LHR – Los Angeles LAX – San Francisco SFO – London LHR – Stockholm ARN
Tue Feb 7 – Tue Feb 21
USA Domestic flight segments operated by American are booked in Economy B class with BA Premium Economy ticket purchase and flying AA in economy for USA segments.
$1,148 SFO – HEL / ARN – SFO Nested Tickets Itinerary Recap for 310 Tier Points in British Airways Executive Club:
- Feb 1 Finnair San Francisco – Helsinki 40 Tier Points
- Feb 6 Finnair Helsinki – Stockholm 5 Tier Points
- Feb 7 British Airways Stockholm – LHR-LAX – San Francisco 120 Tier Points
- Feb 21 British Airways San Francisco – LHR – Stockholm 100 Tier Points
- Feb 28 Finnair Stockholm – Helsinki 5 Tier Points
- Mar 1 Finnair Helsinki – San Francisco 40 Tier Points
Stockholm ARN – London LHR – Los Angeles LAX – San Francisco SFO – London LHR – Stockholm ARN flying on a British Airways Premium Economy T Class ticket for $614 earns 220 Tier Points in British Airways Premium Economy T class for Stockholm to San Francisco round trip.
San Francisco SFO – New York JFK – Helsinki HEL – New York JFK – San Francisco SFO flying on a Finnair Economy O Class ticket for $462 earns 80 Tier Points.
British Executive Club Bronze elite tier is earned with 300 Tier Points for $1,076 with Finnair SFO-HEL and BA ARN-SFO nested tickets.
Connecting Finnair flights for Helsinki – Stockholm are $72 for $1,148 in airline ticket spend.
While I wrote this piece with a USA-centric focus as the starting point, you can use this same strategy from Europe flying BA Stockholm to San Francisco and return on Finnair ticket for two trips to San Francisco in 2017.
Leisurely Ticket Nesting for two trips to Europe in 2017, while earning British Airways Executive Club status
I am currently traveling on nested tickets between California and Europe similar to what I have shown here, but starting from Europe. I am flying to Vienna with British Airways this month and flying home with Scandinavian SAS from Stockholm on an ARN – SFO round trip ticket. I will fly SFO to London in February with United Airlines. The return portions for both these tickets will happen in July 2017 when I fly SAS to Stockholm in July and United back to SFO in August. I frequently nest tickets to allow me to spend one to three weeks in Europe and return months later, especially during USA peak holidays when airfare is much higher from USA to Europe.
Itineraries shown for February travel are an example of how this strategy can be done quickly to reach elite status.
Here is an example of how I might plan these Finnair and BA Premium Economy flights to maximize vacation travel for two Europe trips in 2017..
$461.94 Finnair operated and codeshare AY economy O class flights earns 70 Tier Points.
San Francisco SFO – London LHR – Helsinki, Finland HEL – New York JFK – San Francisco SFO
JustFly.com online travel agency ticket for (found via Skyscanner.com).
Sun April 9 – Wed Sep 13, 2017
SFO- London earns 20 Tier Points and LHR – Helsinki earns 10 Tier Points. HEL-JFK-SFO earns 40 Tier Points.
British Airways Premium Economy T Class ticket
Stockholm ARN – London LHR – Chicago – San Francisco SFO – London LHR – Stockholm ARN
$732.69 (6,738 SEK) Sat April 22 – Mon Sep 4 (4 months between Europe trips).
Earns 220 Tier Points in Executive Club.
Finnair Helsinki – Stockholm earns 10 Tier Points for $105. Three tickets Finnair SFO-HEL, Finnair HEL-ARN and British Airways ARN-SFO earn 300 Tier Points and Bronze elite at a total airfare cost $1,372 or $686 per trip to Europe. One round trip flying in BA Premium Economy with an April vacation and September vacation in Europe.
$1,372 SFO – HEL / ARN – SFO Nested Tickets Itinerary Recap for 300 Tier Points in British Airways Executive Club:
- Sun April 9 Finnair San Francisco – Helsinki 30 Tier Points
- Fri Apr 21 Finnair Helsinki – Stockholm 5 Tier Points
- Sat Apr 22 British Airways Stockholm – LHR-ORD – San Francisco 120 Tier Points
- Mon Sep 4 British Airways San Francisco – LHR – Stockholm 100 Tier Points
- Mon Sep 11 Finnair Stockholm – Helsinki 5 Tier Points
- Wed Sep 13 Finnair Helsinki – San Francisco 40 Tier Points
Of course the real benefits come with 600 Tier Points and BA Executive Club Silver elite. That opens up airport lounge access.
No need to plan all of 2017 on this one set of ticket deals. There will be other ticket deals available throughout the year. The key to British Airways Executive Club elite status is finding Oneworld Alliance airlines with cheap Premium Economy and Business Class routes to maximize Executive Club Tier Points. Asia routes offer many possibilities.