Earning miles is a lot of work. It requires a series of smart moves and thorough planning. One important aspect that helps households, whatever the size may be, is to be able to consolidate earned miles into a household account. Very few airlines offer that option: British Airways, Hawaiian, Qantas, Asiana, JAL, Emirates, Qatar Airways and ANA to name a few. However, in my opinion, the most pertinent one for Canadian travelers is the one proposed by British Airways Executive Club. There are 3 major reasons why the British Airways Executive Club is the best bet for traveling Canadian households.
Reason 1: British Airways flies direct to 4 major Canadian cities and more
British Airways services Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal daily. This provides Canadian travelers access to British Airways' world network out of its Heathrow hub. Like all airlines networks, it has its fortes and weaknesses. BA's EMEA (Europe, Middle-East, Africa) destinations and fares make it very competitive. However, Asian destinations tend to be very expensive (China, Malaysia, Thailand). Here is a preview of flight schedule out of Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.
Canadians who live in secondary cities can also access he British Airways network. The airline has codeshare agreement with Air Canada and WestJet to bring passengers from smaller airports to the main 4 airports it services. Here is a sample.
Reason 2: The Household Account is flexible & extensive
Let's take a closer look to the Household Account. We will look at the many benefits and the rules.
- First you must determine who will be the Head of the Household. As a member of the British Airways Executive Club, the Head of the Household will manage the entire account. Only one Household Account can be created per family for up to 7 people living at the same address. Children can become Executive Club members at the age of 2. That’s when they are not allowed to sit on laps anymore. Therefore, the parents need to buy a seat for them. The children will earn miles from age 2.The Head of Household as the authority to add and remove members, change household address (once every six months), business addresses are not permitted, and receive all the Executive Club communications.
- Once part of the Household Account, under the same address, members will continue to earn tier points individually. If a member attains Executive Club Tier level such as Silver or Gold, then it only applies to them.
- Members can redeem using available Avios in the Household Account. They must be 18 of age or older. There is no limitation to the use of the miles. Make sure you have a clear discussion on how and when Avios miles will be redeemed. Redemptions miles will be debited in proportion to the size of each Household Account member. Keep in mind that you cannot redeem your Household miles on someone outside of the Household Account.
Family and Friends
The Family and Friend list is an extension of the Household Account. It allows Household Account members to nominate 5 individuals who do not live in at the same address. Household Account members can redeem Avios on those individuals. Only the Head of the Household can add the name of the 5 individuals. If they remove people, then they cannot make any changes for the next 6 months. However, they have a window of 24h from time of changes to backtrack. The Family and Friends group is practical if you redeem Avios miles on a regular basis on the same people who don’t share your home address. Also, all of their travel information is stored and available for the next bookings.
My Travel Companions
To make cash bookings only, members can have their friends info stored in the Travel Companions group. This allows for a quick booking process without having to repeat the input of personal information.
This is an extensive program. British Airways helps its members to manage efficiently their household members accounts as well as their friends and travel companions. No Canadian frequent flier program offers such depth for households.
Reason 3: 10% discount with RBC British Airways Visa
When you have to book your entire family's tickets, you know you're in for a big amount. You will spend a minimum of $750 per person to cross the pond. You'll fork out a solid $3,000 in low season and up to $5,000 in summer or Christmas on a family of four. The RBC British Airways Visa Infinite card grants a 10% discount on bookings operated exclusively by British Airways. I wrote a post about it. The discount is significant: $300 to $500 off based on sums mentioned above is no small change.
I personally have and manage a British Airways Household Account. Although some years we don't travel a lot, we still manage to redeem Business Class short haul tickets for the entire family. The benefits of the program make accruing and using Avios miles so much more efficient. Therefore, it prevents rewards delays, idle miles or waste.
If you have any questions about thhis post, don't hesitate to reach out on Amin On Miles Facebook page.