One of the greatest thrills when travelling is undoubtedly booking economy on a plane – and having a spare seat next to you.
This turns a cattle-class seat into a budget business-class berth, with the option of angling your feet to one side and using the companion seat for storage.
It’s a scenario that travel expert Nicky Kelvin reveals he’s well used to when flying with British Airways – because he’s guaranteed a spare companion seat. Every time (well, almost).
How? The Points Guy Editor-at-Large revealed all in an Instagram post – and added further explanation in an email to MailOnline Travel.
The secret? Tier status.
Nicky Kelvin, the Points Guy Editor-at-Large, revealed in an Instagram post why he’s guaranteed to have a spare next to him when he flies economy with British Airways
Nicky wrote: ‘I fly for work a lot, and often in economy. I worked hard earlier this year to re-earn gold status in the British Airways Executive Club.
‘Alongside the usual benefits of first-class check-in, first-class lounges, extra baggage allowance and more, a largely unknown benefit is that British Airways has a system of blocking seats next to gold members to give them a chance of a free seat next to them, and only releasing those seats when they have to.
‘So, unless a flight is completely full, you will often have a free seat next to you, greatly improving your economy flight experience.’
Wondering if this status is out of reach?
Nicky explained that it’s actually easier than ever.
He continued: ‘It’s become easier to earn status with British Airways these days due to the double-tier points offer on British Airways holidays, which was one of the tactics I used to achieve status quickly.
Nicky wrote: ‘I fly for work a lot, and often in economy. I worked hard earlier this year to re-earn gold status in the British Airways Executive Club. Alongside the usual benefits of first-class check-in, first-class lounges, extra baggage allowance and more, a largely unknown benefit is that British Airways has a system of blocking seats next to gold members’
‘For those that spend large amounts on credit cards, you can now earn an extra 200 tier points every year by using the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card.
‘Another tactic is to find cheap flights in premium cabins on British Airways or one of their partner airlines and doing as many segments as you can.
‘You can often find these cheaper flights by starting your flight in different European airports such as Amsterdam, Oslo, Sofia, or Bucharest.
‘I aim to earn tier points at a cost of less than £2 per tier point. That would mean gold status would usually cost somewhere between £2,000 and £4,000.’
For more from The Points Guy visit thepointsguy.com/uk-travel.
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I’m a travel expert and here’s the secret reason I’m GUARANTEED a free seat next to me in economy