What madness is this? Booking a trip with the sole purpose of getting as many BA tier points as possible?
Yes. This is my life now. I’m so comfortable with my BA Gold Status, that I’ll do whatever it takes to keep it.
@TheFrankFlyer did a quick calculation of my (and his) airline miles status, only to point out that without a significant upturn in flights this year, I will certainly be downgraded to Silver with BA in November.
This is despite all the trips we’ve already booked for 2018 (Tokyo, Berlin, Sitges, Mallorca, Tokyo again…) and all the business trips to Dublin and Barcelona in my calendar.
After a significant amount of clutching of pearls on my part, we set about planning a trip to ensure I have sufficient tier points to keep my sacred gold card, but also have some fun long the way.
What’s a mileage run?
Well, there are some people in the world who are so attached to their airline status that they’ll take additional, unnecessary flights to keep it each year. Many such enthusiasts will book multi-leg journeys in an effort to stack up the miles/points, rather than take the most direct – or popular – routes.
How to plan a mileage run
When the only reason you’re flying is to collect the miles, it makes for a different planning experience. It’s much more about identifying routes and destinations where you can get as many airline miles as possible. You can also sacrifice a lot by way of efficiency – multiple legs to each journey, longer airport layovers etc – but it’s worth it in the end. I think.
We quickly realised that we’d have to go long-haul, probably taking several flights to get to our destination and obviously, it would need to be with OneWorld airlines, so the miles counted.
For me, there was also the chance to go somewhere new and travel on a new (to me) airline. After a few discussions about places in Asia, we agreed on Singapore. Now, this isn’t new to me, but we’ve both enjoyed our time there enough that we’d go back. Plus, give the travel time to get there and back, I decided to opt for the familiar.
Then it was all about dates. I am lucky enough to run my own business, so getting holiday time is really only about ensuring it doesn’t clash with times that clients needs me. @TheFrankFlyer still works for ‘the man’, so we were dealing with his leave allowance and the need to get leave signed off.
This left us with Easter. Gah! Owing to school holidays, prices go through the roof. But not, as it turns out, to Singapore. And not with Qatar Airways and not via Munich.
You’re going where?
So yes, we’re going to Singapore, via Munich and Doha. And more interestingly, our second leg of the journey – from Munich to Doha – will be on a Brazilian plane that Qatar Airways have leased from LATAM in Brazil.
It’s going to be a long old slog, but you know what? Going business class will take some of the sting out of it. How else can you expect to get all those points?! I’m looking forward to experiencing the Qatar Airways service, which I gather is really excellent.
It’ll also be interesting to be in Doha, even for a few hours. I’ve never visited the Gulf region, so this will be another first for me. So our plan is:
London->Munich->Doha->Singapore. And back again, obviously.
I promise to take plenty of photos and have some in-depth reviews of the airline experience. I also promise to eat loads of delicious food while in Singapore and return to the very excellent onsen there.