Club people • March 2014
Systems support engineer Rumit Patel on the perks of being a Bronze Member, redeeming Avios for family holidays, and why it pays to have a Household Account
Why did you join the Executive Club?
I joined in 2004 because I was doing quite a bit of leisure travel and thought it would be wise to earn some mileage off the back of it. My wife wasn’t a Member but after we got married, I joined her up to a Household Account, and we started flying a lot more with BA, so we could pool our Avios in one pot. And now even our six-month-old daughter is a Member.
What’s the best thing about being a Bronze Member?
You get priority check-in, so you can use the Club World desk at the airport. But the best thing about it is that you can have a pre-allocated seat for your flight as soon as you book it, so you don’t have to wait until 24 hours before flying.
What makes you choose BA over other airlines?
There is a huge number of destinations you can fly to, plus the fares are also quite competitive – and to earn Avios, of course, especially on long-haul travel. I can also use Gatwick for some flights, which is closer to where I live, as well as Heathrow.
Do you travel more for business or leisure?
Most of my travel is leisure. I’ve had one business trip to Chicago with BA. I fly BA regularly to Tampa, where I have family, because it’s one of the few airlines that flies there non-stop from London.
Tampa, Florida Photo: Getty Images
What do you redeem your Avios on?
My wife and I are using our Avios to go to Faro this month. It’s our first holiday with our daughter. We wanted to visit Portugal anyway, so I thought I’d check whether we could use our Avios as part payment. It worked out much cheaper than using a low-cost carrier like easyJet. I’ve used Avios before to upgrade to Club, too.
What’s the best way to earn Avios?
Get a British Airways American Express credit card. The amount of Avios you can tot up is great. I’ve had the card for seven months, and I’ve probably earned about 10,000-12,000 extra Avios already. We’ve had a busy year with moving house and our first baby, so we haven’t had much time to travel – it’s a good way to keep the points going.
Describe your Perfect Day...
It would be on the south island of New Zealand. My wife and I went there on our honeymoon, and it’s just heaven on earth – the perfect place to escape everyday life. We’d spend the day outdoors walking and maybe even ski. The whole country is incredible.