One of the funniest weekly, or daily, conversations I tend to have regards travel elite status benefits. People tell me they’re pushing for X,Y, or Z elite status because it will unlock a benefit which sounds amazing. They then ask me if it’s worth either the added time, money or combination of the two to reach said status and benefit. My reply is always the same: will you actually use it?
Lounge access is a pointless benefit if you always fly business class. Upgrades are a pointless benefit if you always book suites. Free baggage allowances are pointless if you never check bags. You get the point.
There’s one British Airways Gold Executive Club benefit which wasn’t a factor in my loyalty when acquiring the status many years ago, but it’s become a benefit I now covet dearly, especially as my inflexibility grows. It’s the gold priority reward.
A Gold Priority Rewards is a status benefit for British Airways Gold Executive Club members which allows you to “force” availability on a British Airways flight. Basically, if there are seats for sale with cash, but not with points, you can force them to open up a seat on that flight so you can cash in your points, rather than your cash. There’s two catches: you’ll pay double the points for the privilege, and you’ll need to request it at least 30 days in advance.
Frankly, quite a few Gold members have no clue it exists. If you’re Avios Points rich, or enjoy taking advantage of the frequent points sales, it’s a diamond in the rough.
To request a Gold Priority Reward with British Airways, you simply phone up the airline on the number at the back of your card and state your intent to do so. As long as there’s a cash fare left for sale in a common fare bucket, you’ll be able to apply double the standard Avios and acquire the seat!
2019 is a banner year in many respects on a personal and worldwide level. One example: flights for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will go on sale this summer. For football fans in the UK, two teams are set to compete in Madrid for the Champions League title. These are dates which are fixed, which feature insane demand. When there’s insane demand, there’s rarely flights available using points.
Using the Gold Priority Reward benefit, I can guarantee myself tickets to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in any cabin, direct from London to Tokyo if I’m willing to cash in double the points. Considering demand and likely cash prices – I’d say that’s an absolute steal. And yes, I’m dying to go.
There are countless other examples where I, or people I love need to get somewhere and have no flexibility. They don’t want to play the multi connection game, they don’t want to pay cash and they have limited time. This benefit allows me to make that happen and get people moving, regardless of what the reward space gods decide to make happen.