What Is British Airways Gold Guest List Status?

What Is British Airways Gold Guest List Status?

30

There can be lots of value to having airline elite status, though it goes without saying that not all elite levels are created equal. In this post I wanted to take a closer look at British Airways Executive Club Gold Guest List status.

I’ve written about Air France-KLM Flying Blue Ultimate status and Lufthansa Miles & More HON Circle status, and in this post wanted to take a look at the comparable status offered by British Airways. Unlike at the other airlines, Gold Guest List isn’t technically a fully separate elite tier, but rather is a special tier within Gold status. It affords several valuable elite perks, and it’s not easy to earn.

How do you earn British Airways Gold Guest List?

British Airways Executive Club awards elite status based on earning a certain number of Tier Points per membership year. On top of that, to qualify for British Airways Executive Club status, you need to fly at least two or four revenue segments on British Airways or Iberia per membership year.

British Airways Gold status requires earning 1,500 Tier Points per year. Meanwhile Gold Guest List has significantly higher requirements:

  • To qualify for Gold Guest List, you need to earn 5,000 Tier Points in a membership year
  • To requalify for Gold Guest List, you “only” need to earn 3,000 Tier Points in a membership year
  • To qualify for lifetime Gold Guest List, you need to earn 100,000 Tier Points over the course of your account

As you can see, it’s really hard to qualify for Gold Guest List the first time around, as you need more than three times the activity required for Gold status. However, requalifying only requires double the activity of Gold status.

It’s also worth noting that you could qualify for this status primarily through travel on partner airlines, as long as you complete at least four segments per year on British Airways.

How hard are Tier Points to earn? While British Airways doesn’t publish a Tier Points earnings chart, you earn them per segment. You can expect that a business class flight covering a distance of under 2,000 miles will typically earn you 40 Tier Points, while a flight of over 2,000 miles will typically earn you 140 Tier Points.

Gold Guest List requires a lot of flying

What are the perks of British Airways Gold Guest List?

What benefits do you receive for having British Airways Executive Club Gold Guest List status, above and beyond the benefits of Gold status (which gets you oneworld Emerald perks)?

  • A British Airways Concorde Room card, meaning you can access British Airways’ best lounges, including the British Airways Concorde Room Londonthe Chelsea Lounge New York, etc.
  • The ability to invite one more guest into lounges than you’d otherwise be able to; this means you can guest two people into the Concorde Room when traveling in first class, or one person into the Concorde Room when not traveling in first class
  • The ability to have access to more Avios award seats twice per year, for up to five travelers each time; as long as fare classes A (first class), D (business class), T (premium economy), or B (economy) are available if booking with cash, you can redeem Avios for these flights at standard costs
  • The ability to gift British Airways Gold status (oneworld Emerald) to a partner, plus the ability to gift British Airways Silver status (oneworld Sapphire) to two others
  • Priority boarding on all British Airways flights, with Group 0 (ahead of all other passengers)
  • A dedicated phone line that’s supposed to provide an even more elevated level of service
  • Hilton Honors Diamond status for as long as you’re a member
  • While not published, Gold Guest List members can also expect much better “soft” treatment from staff across the board
  • While also not published, there are some reports of Gold Guest List flyers sometimes getting Concierge Key treatment on American flights in the event of irregular operations, but this isn’t consistent
Gold Guest List members can open award seats

I’ve gotta say, the perks of British Airways Gold Guest List status are really quite robust. I think three benefits stand out most:

  • Being able to open up award seats is potentially hugely valuable; for example, being able to snag up to five first class award seats on a flight as long as the “A” fare class is available could save a lot of money
  • Getting access to British Airways’ top lounges is also nice; while they’re not my favorite lounges in the world, they’re still way better than what you’d otherwise have access to
  • Being able to gift oneworld Emerald to one person and oneworld Sapphire to two people is also cool
Access the Chelsea Lounge New York with Gold Guest List

How does this status compare to Air France-KLM & Lufthansa?

Between British Airways Gold Guest List, Air France-KLM Ultimate, and Lufthansa HON Circle, I’d argue that the British Airways status might just represent the all-around best value. Now, that says nothing of which airline group I’d prefer to fly, but I think there are several things that make this status stand out:

  • While Air France-KLM and Lufthansa primarily make you fly their “group” airlines to earn that status, you can earn Gold Guest List largely through travel on partner airlines, providing lots of flexibility
  • If you have Gold Guest List, you can gift status to three different people, which friends and family will appreciate
  • Unlike with Air France-KLM and Lufthansa, British Airways offers significantly expanded award availability to Gold Guest List members (though in fairness, with high surcharges, in some cases)
  • I’d argue the improved lounge benefit isn’t as good as what you’re getting with Lufthansa (since Lufthansa First Lounges and SWISS First Lounges are better than the Concorde Room), but it’s better than what you get with Air France
Lufthansa HON Circle offers better lounge access

What is British Airways Premier status?

It’s worth noting that Gold Guest List isn’t even British Airways’ highest status, as there’s also Premier status. However, this is really, really exclusive, much more so than just about any other elite status out there (including invitation only elite status with other programs).

This is generally only awarded to those who control huge corporate travel accounts worth millions of dollars, so it’s not something to realistically aim for through independent travel.

British Airways Premier is even more exclusive

Bottom line

Gold Guest List is a special level of British Airways Gold status, for those who over qualify. The requirements are very high to qualify in the first place, and are a bit lower to requalify. There’s a lot of value to this status, from access to more award seats, to Concorde Room access, to the ability to gift status to others, to Hilton Honors Diamond status, and more.

In all honesty, it’s a pretty compelling elite tier if you do fly British Airways frequently. Having to essentially double qualify for Gold status to get all these perks isn’t a bad value.

Are any OMAAT readers Gold Guest List members? If so, what has your experience been with the status?

Conversations (30)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Kelly Guest

    How does Premier status compare to GGL?

    1. Creditcrunch Diamond

      Just more personalised service, everything that GGL offers plus use of the Windsor Suite at LHR, driven to the aircraft, space available upgrade to the next cabin, personal escort through airports, favourite seat will be always available even if that means bumping another non premier passenger to another seat, your onboard preferences are also noted say you like an extra pillow etc.

  2. Crosscourt Guest

    Qantas has a similar system with platinum 1 and the invitation only Chairman Lounge.

  3. John Guest

    I’ve held BA GGL, AC SE, LH Hon at various stages over the past 6 years. The “hard” benefits are similar for all 3, but the “soft” benefits at BA were non-existent compared to lots of examples of incredible service at AC and LH.

  4. anon Guest

    The key point I derived from the article, as a GGL with a BA, is the potential restructuring to make GGL a distinct tier. Under this new system, GGLs like myself, who are unlikely to meet next year's criteria, would be demoted to Gold rather than directly falling to Silver.

    Given my frequent LHR-TLV flights are now in Club Europe (a coach setup with the middle seat vacant), and the indirect routes due to the...

    The key point I derived from the article, as a GGL with a BA, is the potential restructuring to make GGL a distinct tier. Under this new system, GGLs like myself, who are unlikely to meet next year's criteria, would be demoted to Gold rather than directly falling to Silver.

    Given my frequent LHR-TLV flights are now in Club Europe (a coach setup with the middle seat vacant), and the indirect routes due to the regional tensions involving Hamas, maintaining GGL—or even Gold status—seems unfeasible.

    Although I rarely utilized perks like "joker" cards, Hilton benefits, or car rentals directly from the terminal at LHR, I greatly valued the opportunity to gift gold and silver status to others (hi, mom!) and of course, the GUF vouchers and the GGL line was a coin flip, depending on who you spoke to (there are some tips about that, like which center or what time to call).

  5. Guytp Guest

    The telephone line and email address straight to GGL teams are probably one of the most valuable benefits. The team are, unlike everyone else in BA, great. I’ve had fees waived more times than I can count and huge effort made for me in times of disruption. Of all the benefits when push comes to shove I think I value this even more than CCR on domestic flights

  6. Pierre Guest

    I'm a 3rd year GGL and still a newbie, the space release, CCR access, dedicated call line and card gift are definitely useful.

    I don't think you should expect anything special on the ground or on board though, you get a bit more attention than if you were just Gold but nothing like QR, CX or JL.

    They introduced group 0 this year but it's still in chaos, the real group 0 at...

    I'm a 3rd year GGL and still a newbie, the space release, CCR access, dedicated call line and card gift are definitely useful.

    I don't think you should expect anything special on the ground or on board though, you get a bit more attention than if you were just Gold but nothing like QR, CX or JL.

    They introduced group 0 this year but it's still in chaos, the real group 0 at BA are the people checking bags at the gate lol

    My conclusion is that it's still worth keeping it at 3k if it gets past the initial barrier of 5k.

    1. Lee Guest

      In spite of adding Boarding Group 0, it will not change the fact that Boarding Group 5 is always the first to board. Ha.

  7. AA Guest

    “ How hard are Tier Points to earn? While British Airways doesn’t publish a Tier Points earnings chart….”

    They do. The tp calculator is here: https://www.britishairways.com/travel/flight-calculator/public/en_gb

  8. Lee Guest

    Premier is the true invite-only tier. BA's CEO himself must approve it and now there are only about 200. Think FTSE 100 C-Suite types and travel managers. That's it. About 7 years ago, celebs were removed from the list. Khatl's story (below) about holding a flight is only beaten by a Premier who forgot his passport at home -- BA held his flight for two hours so he could drive home, get it, and return....

    Premier is the true invite-only tier. BA's CEO himself must approve it and now there are only about 200. Think FTSE 100 C-Suite types and travel managers. That's it. About 7 years ago, celebs were removed from the list. Khatl's story (below) about holding a flight is only beaten by a Premier who forgot his passport at home -- BA held his flight for two hours so he could drive home, get it, and return. Separately, one seat on every intra-Europe flight held back for Premiers.

  9. Lee Guest

    Approximately five years ago, I suggested to AA and BA that they extend reciprocity of benefit to GGLs and CKs . . . and they adopted it. But, as Pierre notes, there has been poor training of staff. It's getting better but awareness is still poor. And, yes, GGL will be segregated as a distinct tier. Andrew is correct in that at least 4 BA segments must be flown as a part of the tier points earned.

  10. Pierre Guest

    BA is planning to separate GGL into a separate tier from Gold because there is a lack of information or awareness of GGL status among outstation agents such as AA.

    We generally get much the same ground service as AA CKs, but many of the ground handling staff don't know what it is.

    1. MB Guest

      When is this planned split of Gold and GGL happening? Maybe we get the white concord card back??

    2. Creditcrunch Diamond

      BA have been lobbying select GGL members and have set up a focus group to discuss various aspects of the current and future developments, no timeframes but clearly the amount of members has increased post pandemic and a short term change in the re qualification criteria (3000 TP) is probably a way to reduce the head count.

  11. Andrew Guest

    Pretty sure its 5000Tier points with 2-4 on BA metal? Meaning you cant just earn it flying other oneworlds

  12. BAGold Guest

    "It’s also worth noting that you could qualify for this status primarily through travel on partner airlines, as long as you complete at least four segments per year on British Airways."
    Not correct. The four segments could be also BA marketed flights, not BA metal flights. Any partner flight with BA flight number counts. Only with IB it must be four IB marketed/operated flights.

  13. Nikojas Guest

    It would also be interesting to know what extra benefits Premier has and anyone’s experience of it.

    1. Khatl Diamond

      You get an unpublished phone number you can call that, even in the worst of events (major cancellations at lhr) you'll get through almost immediately, you get invited to special events (canapes with the chairman of BA at the House of Lords was one I had), you can arrive at pretty much any time for a flight and you'll get on it. I once was very late for a flight from LHR-JFK arriving 20 mins...

      You get an unpublished phone number you can call that, even in the worst of events (major cancellations at lhr) you'll get through almost immediately, you get invited to special events (canapes with the chairman of BA at the House of Lords was one I had), you can arrive at pretty much any time for a flight and you'll get on it. I once was very late for a flight from LHR-JFK arriving 20 mins before departure with a bag to check, was checked in and escorted through security and onto the plane. It was very cool, not least as I was only in my late 20's/very early 30's at the time and only 1 of 2 people in a company of 100,000 who had the status!!

    2. Biglaw V10 Partner Guest

      You know what's cool, making equity partner at my law firm in my very early 30s and seeing my AGI on my tax return in the amount of $10,xxx,xxx.xx.

      You keep checking your bag, though.

    3. Pete Guest

      You had to work for your money?

      Peasant.

    4. Lee Guest

      You're out of Philly, aren't you? Your wife is an attorney as well, isn't she? See ya 'round.

    5. Santos Guest

      Tony went from starting a $50b market cap company to being an associate at a biglaw V10 firm to making partner, all in about a month. We should all be humbled by his ability.

  14. Geo Guest

    Got GGL few years ago and held it till past August. Never earn 5000 TP per year, but BA counts two conjenctive years sometimes. Use only one perk — Concord room (love it) and ‘secret’ entrance to CR, right from security lines level.

  15. CF Crost Guest

    You should include the surcharge cost of awards when comparing one airline to another.

    1. TravelinWilly Diamond

      Great comment!

      It always a good idea to demand different content of a blogger who does all the work for you. Never say "Thank you, that was great information!" but tell them how they can better please you, unsolicitedly. It makes you sound well-mannered and grateful for all the free advice dispensed on their blog.

    2. Biglaw V10 Partner Guest

      Quit being a dick. Surcharges on the same oneworld award can be $5.60 on AA vs $560 on BA.

      This blog makes money. It's not a charitable service.

      Quit being a dick.

    3. TravelinWilly Diamond

      Get back to us if you ever make it to law school. Cooley doesn’t really count as a law school. :)

    4. Eskimo Guest

      And you wonder why people believe in propaganda and fake news.

      They are even grateful for all the free propaganda dispensed on the internet. WOW!

    5. AD Diamond

      Says the guy who, in his next post, flaunts what he allegedly earns. Who is the dick?

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

TravelinWilly Diamond

Great comment! It always a good idea to demand different content of a blogger who does all the work for you. Never say "Thank you, that was great information!" but tell them how they can better please you, unsolicitedly. It makes you sound well-mannered and grateful for all the free advice dispensed on their blog.

4
Pierre Guest

BA is planning to separate GGL into a separate tier from Gold because there is a lack of information or awareness of GGL status among outstation agents such as AA. We generally get much the same ground service as AA CKs, but many of the ground handling staff don't know what it is.

2
Eskimo Guest

Nepotism at it's finest.

1
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
5,163,247 Miles Traveled

32,614,600 Words Written

35,045 Posts Published