It’s back – British Airways Gold Executive Club for around £2100 in one hit (almost!)

BA Executive club avios

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This article first appeared in December 2018. Now that British Airways has a good Wolrd Traveller Plus fare to Abu Dhabi (as well as a great Club World holiday deal), I thought it was worth updating Paul’s article with the current prices and details.   

We get told by readers of success hitting Silver and even Gold, but what about doing it in one hit cheaply?  Interested?  Keep reading.

Thanks to some very good pricing from Sri Lankan and a good sale fare from BA you can construct some excellent Tier Point runs around Asia.

How about 1400 Tier Points in one trip for £2124?  That’s an amazing ex UK price per point of £1.41/TP.  Yes, I am aware Gold needs 1500 points, so at the end I’ll give some ideas for around the last hundred.

If you are not sure if Gold is worth it for you have a read of this article which explains the benefits of the different tiers.

Let’s start putting this together then.

The “Main Fare” starts in Inverness, so unless you are local you will need to position there.  Inverness is a very small airport which makes doing a “Back-to-Back” very easy.

What is a back to back?  Well put simply, you get off the plane and get back on the same one.  At Inverness, you will walk off the plane into the terminal, straight into the security queue and voila – back in departures waiting to board the plane, in likely the same seat! You can read more about back to backs in this article.

Security at Inverness – yes I still made the flight home!

So in my examples below you will be doing two back to backs, at each end of the trip. If you wanted you could overnight at Inverness instead, although the choice of hotels near the airport is limited and expensive. The Holiday Inn Express is easy to reach via public transport. There is also a Premier Inn nearby. The Courtyard by Marriott is due to open in January 2020.

The following flights are just suggestions on random dates for the sake of ease. You can make up your own itinerary within the rules allowed. Remember you can always add a stopover of fewer than 24 hours for free.


The Positioning Ticket (Ticket 1)

This is a straight point to point BA fare to Inverness in Club Europe and can be bought on from £191 to £350. It can also be reduced in price by using Avios. This will net you 80 tier points total for the flights.

 A BA Flight at Inverness Airport


The “Main” Fare (Ticket 2)

This is a very good value Premium Economy fare from Inverness to Abu Dhabi via Heathrow which will get you 200 TPs.  This is a special Expedia fare (always worth checking Skyscanner too) so you will struggle to find it on

Restrictions are currently –

  • Minimum stay 3 days
  • Non-refundable
  • Changeable for a fee


Tier Point Run 1 (Ticket 3)


A good value 560TP run to Jakarta on Sri Lanka – I must stress that this is currently not on lie-flat planes.  You will get full business class service, however. Sri Lankan are now starting to introduce new lie-flat seats for regional business class. 

Current restrictions are –

  • Travel dates: Travel is not permitted mid-May 2020 to end of July 2020
  • Ticket changeable or cancellable for a fee

Tickets can be booked through Sri Lankan or via an online travel agent.

Tier Point Run 2 (Ticket 4)

The same run as above, the following days!



Now as with most complex Tier Point runs this one will require overnights to prevent doing “dangerous” back to backs where the connection with security is too much of a risk. Remember you must keep the stopover to less than 24 hours to avoid extra charges.

So here are TLFL’s recommendations for each location –

Abu Dhabi

Shangri-La Qaryat al Beri, Abu Dhabi reviewShangri-La Qaryat al Beri, 

Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri: I love this hotel and you can read my review here. If you book through our new travel partner Propeller on you would get additional benefits on your stay such as:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily Buffet breakfast, for up to two in room guests
  • Complimentary one-way car transfer from the airport to the hotel
  • $100 USD equivalent Spa Services credit to utilize during stay
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • With minimum 4-night stay receive Round trip transfer

You book via the special TLFL Propeller page here.


Four Seasons Jakarta

Hotels are generally very cheap so you can afford to splash out a bit. The closest one to the airport that is decent is the Bandara International Hotel which is part of Accor hotels. I have stayed there and thought it was fine if a little worn for being close to the airport with a free shuttle to the airport.

If you want to splash out a bit more there is the Four Seasons hotel which can also be booked through Propeller travel for additional benefits on your stay.


Extending the trip

It is possible on these fares to split the time, even more, to allow a few days in Abu Dhabi, Sri Lanka and around Indonesia – so perfect for a little Asian jolly!  Have a play with the dates and trips in ITA Matrix and if needed check my articles here for more info. and part 2.


The last 100 TPs!

Well, 100 is an awkward number to gain in terms of tier points.  A Club Europe return will get you 80, unless its one of the longer ones for 160. You can read this article for suggestions of all the current cheapest tier point earning flights. 

There are some good Club Europe fares in the current British Airways sale. Some of the cheapest and easiest options are:

80 Points 

  • Amsterdam
  • Dublin 
  • Manchester
  • Luxembourg 
  • Venice/Rome 

160 Points

  • Helsinki 
  • Malta
  • Catania 
  • Sofia
  • Tirana

These fares are all available from British Airways here or you can see if you can get a cheaper deal online with Skyscanner.


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39 Comments on "It’s back – British Airways Gold Executive Club for around £2100 in one hit (almost!)"

  1. For the extra 100 TP needed

    Gatwick to Barcelona on skyscanner
    Out Iberia via Madrid
    Return direct with BA


  2. Im falling at the first hurdle? trying to price up the flight from inverness to abu dhabi and the price is now showing as £1521?

    • What dates? If you are using matrix be sure to add “f bc=t” to the advanced routing codes as per the ITA guide, else you can find dates easily using Google flights.

  3. same dates as per your article

  4. Thanks – another question, do you need to take the last leg, i.e. from LHR to INV. We are based in London so it would be pointless travelling up to INV if we didnt need to….

    • You “should” always fly the whole ticket.

      • Hi Paul

        Re: the back-to-back/overnighting issue … If you were travelling HB only, do you think it would then be possible to do back-to-back at AUH rather than needing to stay overnight? i.e. having done CMB-AUH, get off the plane and then just head through transfers and so board it straight back for AUH-CMB again? Is that possible at AUH? (presumably it is same UL metal being used? I see it is one hour between flights.)
        Also, I see the UL tickets need to be booked by 10/01 … but in your experience, do you know how restrictive these business fares are? Can they be cancelled and/or changed — any fees involved?


        • Guy, changes and cancellations will likely be cost prohibitive. As to a B2B at AUH – I don’t know anyone to have tried it…yet….

          • Ok thanks Paul for this advice, much appreciated. I thought that might be the case, re: change/cancel costs. Better make sure I could do the dates then!

            Re: AUH B2B … interested in yours and Michele’s opinions on if in theory it could be possible, based on your past experiences of AUH (including maybe doing transfers there) ?

            Thanks again


          • Hi Guy. You don’t need a transit visa for stays of less than 4 hours at the airport.There is a trasit desk that you head to. I haven’t done a connection at AUH for a long time so I honestly couldn’t say if its possible.

      • Sandra O’Brien | 22 December 2019 at 10:20 am | Reply

        I have a very basic question, if you were to achieve your status in, say, September and your exec club year is December, how long would enhanced status last for? Thanks

  5. I need to go to Seattle in February next year the day after my BA year starts. Any ideas on an interesting TP run?

  6. I’m looking for a decent business class flights for 2 people anywhere nice! flexible with dates but would like 2-3 weeks over the Easter period… any ideas? Is there a trick on how to best search given the flexibility that we have (on location and dates!).

  7. Is the 1400 Tier Points in one trip for £1770 in business class or a back breaking horrific experience surrounded by poor people ?

  8. Will have to see if any of these price up competitively on Amex Travel website, have the £200 off a £600 spend – which unless you’re careful just brings their inflated prices down to around everyone else’s !!!

  9. Would love a couple of days in AUH but a week or so in Sri Lanka and an add on from CGK to Bali for a week or so too.
    Need to check out weather and date options here.
    Can see me doing this to top up. Won’t need quite so many AUH-CMB-CGK sectors !

    Although……GGL 😉

  10. Ah, business class thankfully but not lie flat AUH-CMB-CGK rtn.

  11. I flew DXB-CMB-CGK and back last year and found the UL seats perfectly comfortable. Jakarta itself is a bit rough and ready, but definitely worth a couple of nights. My top tip would be to stay somewhere near Sudirman Baru train station (there are a couple of Holiday Inn Express properties within a few minutes walk) and take the modern air-conditioned airport train – SERIOUSLY better than spending hours in the notorious jams !!

  12. why not just do AUH – CGK return x 3 with a direct eco flight from london or manchester – gets you 1680 tier points !

  13. Google Flights came up with an interesting route when I went from DUB to SEA

    DUB > PHL > CLT > SEA
    SEA > JFK > PHL > DUB

    Across the Atlantic in PE and Economy in the US. I’m guessing around 260 TPs including positioning flight to/from DUB. The good thing about that is clearing customs in DUB. One of the legs has a 68 min layover, I’m thinking that isn’t enough time, I did a 2hr JFK change but that included customs.

    Any views on connecting flights within the US?

  14. Just to add onto my last comment, found a much simpler route, DUB > LHR > SEA, ok so 20 odd TP less and £50 more, but a lot less stress and pain, just the DUB positioning flight needed.

  15. ClaytonTheCruton | 25 July 2019 at 6:35 am | Reply

    BA spend for 2019 currently sits at £12.6k ( including forward bookings for the rest of the year already in place) we will comfortably maintain silver but only that, not even close to Gold. I love my lady but it frustrates me to the highest degree she can’t just do TPR’s. If we could drop just a couple of the, admittedly very nice, holidays at the other end then for the budget we spend we’d be Gold so easily!

    This article is brilliant and makes it so easy but i’ve reached the point I know the futility of even showing it to her – ughhh

  16. Can i book it but i dont fly.what will happen.i know is gona be cancelld but can i still get the tiers ?

  17. Book INV-AUH-LHR and it’s quite a bit cheaper – just £406. You lose a few tier points but TP/£ goes down even more

  18. OT Air China is doing a return trip to Hanoi from LHR for £1300 in J.. found tix for end of Jan. Stopver in Beijing

  19. Excellent article thank you. I know you’ve covered it before but can you remind me how to collect Avios/tier points on Etihad please?

    • You can only collect Avios on Emirates, not Etihad. For Emirates you have to book on a Qantas codeshare so it has to have a QF flight number. These are usually only to the Far East/Australia.

  20. How are you even getting to 1400 points the sums do not add up!

  21. Good article Paul.

    I’ve done this a few times too. Sri Lankan have regular sales, one ends today 22nd Dec 19 giving 40% off biz circa £525 (2,505 AED) RT AUH-CGK in business! You will have to be quick to snag it tho its still valid as of 18:00hrs GMT 22/12/19. valid for travel1/2/20 – 30/11/20.

    B2B in AUH is dead easy – Lots of info on the dedicated Oneworld AUH/DXB – CGK Flyertalk wiki .

  22. I’m confused.. because to do the INV-AUH sector, it leaves INV at 0700ish to connect @ LHR to AUH at 1245… it’s impossible to get the positioing ticket to arrive on the same day.. you need to leave the day before surely??

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