Beginners' Guide

Beginners’ guide to the Amsterdam to Jersey British Airways tier point run – updated 2019

I realise that sometimes I assume a certain level of knowledge when it comes to airline terminology, or a few well-known techniques regarding points maximisation. Occasionally I want to help plug that gap especially where it's not easy to find on the internet.

This post is one of them. Back when I started getting into air miles in earnest, I wondered how I'd ever reach British Airways Silver or Gold. I was informed of the Amsterdam (AMS) to Jersey (JER — yes the one in the Channel Islands between UK and France, not New Jersey in the USA!) tier point run verbally at a Flyertalk event, and having a quick dig around on Flyertalk it's not exactly easy to find for a beginner.

Here are the three airports in question as depicted on GCMap.

General concepts

The idea is that you fly the shortest possible segments in regional Business Class (or “Club Europe” in British Airways terminology), and so each sector gets you 40 Tier Points. Do this a few times and you've boosted your Tier Point balance. The requirements to hit BA silver are 600 Tier Points, and Gold is 1500 Tier Points. A simple AMS-LGW-JER round trip will get you 160 Tier Points.

In case you're not aware, a “mileage run” is a flight you do solely for the air miles. The “tier point run” is exactly the same, except due to British Airways' Tier Point system of elite qualification, it has adopted this name. The principle remains identical. Quite handy too, because if someone said “I'm doing a TP run” then you know it's for British Airways points and not any other airline's.

In recent times Qatar Airways have been the go-to airline for a mix of comfort and efficient earnings, with some pretty decent sale fares, though the ultimate gold mine of tier points is American Airlines' “Instant Upgrade” domestic first class fares where you can easily grab over 800 or so Tier Points in one go. In this guide I wrote about how plan mega tier point runs which can hit close to 1000TP at a time.

Why this route?

So why AMS and JER? Here are a few reasons:

  • Conveniently both of these destinations are available from London Gatwick airport, so you don't have the same level of transfer chaos as London Heathrow.
  • It's incredibly easy to do turnarounds at AMS and JER. In both cases the arrivals passengers and the departures passengers get mixed into the same (airside) gate, so it's a case of stepping off the aircraft and waiting for it to take off again.

  • The inbound aircraft at AMS and JER is in over 99% of the cases the same as the outbound aircraft.  So if your inbound flight is delayed, you don't have to worry about. This isn't necessarily the case at LGW though!
  • AMS and JER are two of the nearest and cheapest destinations to LON (airport code for London, not just LGW). This is especially important because air fares are calculated by city rather than airport, so the base fare for LHR-AMS and LGW-AMS will be the same since they are calculated as LON-AMS, but because the airports carry different “Passenger Service Charges”, the total cost of the air fare will be different.
  • LGW-JER is classed as a domestic flight, so positioning flights to JER are free if you can use a Reward Flight Saver Avios redemption ticket.
  • JER attracts no Air Passenger Duty
  • They are very short flights, around 30-40 mins flight time (though the taxi to/from the favoured 36L/18R “Polderbaan” runway at AMS is nearly as long as the flight itself!). You can easily complete a few flights in one day.

Not specific to AMS and JER though is the ability to purchase “back-to-back” tickets on British Airways. This means buying at least two tickets whose timings at-least-partially overlap. Don't confuse this with “end-on-end” tickets whose timings don't! Most airlines don't allow this because it circumvents minimum stay requirements, usually something like a Saturday night, but British Airways allows it.

So because of that you can nest two tickets within each other and have some fun. If you buy a AMS-LGW-JER round trip as ticket 1, and an JER-LGW-AMS round trip as ticket two, a fairly realistic itinerary might look something like:

Segment 1: AMS-LGW 10:25 – 10:30 (ticket 1)
Segment 2: LGW-JER 12:05 – 13:00 (ticket 1)
Segment 3: JER-LGW 14:50 – 15:40 (ticket 2)
Segment 4: LGW-AMS 18:00 – 20:10 (ticket 2)

Segment 5: AMS-LGW 10:20 – 10:25 (ticket 2)
Segment 6: LGW-JER 12:35 – 13:35 (ticket 2)
Segment 7: JER-LGW 14:10 – 15:00 (ticket 1)
Segment 8: LGW-AMS 18:00 – 20:10 (ticket 1)

As you can see, the whole of the itinerary of ticket 2 takes place within ticket 1. Alternatively if you swapped the start point to JER instead of AMS, so you have JER-LGW-AMS as ticket 1, and AMS-LGW-JER as ticket 2, you could do:

Segment 1a: JER-LGW 07:05 – 08:00 (ticket 1)
Segment 1b: JER-LGW 08:55 – 09:45 (ticket 1)
Segment 2: LGW-AMS 11:00 – 13:10 (ticket 1)
Segment 3: AMS-LGW 13:55 – 14:00 (ticket 2)
Segment 4: LGW-JER 15:50 – 16:45 (ticket 2)


Segment 5a: JER-LGW 07:05 – 08:00 (ticket 2)
Segment 5b: JER-LGW 08:55 – 09:45 (ticket 2)
Segment 6: LGW-AMS 11:00 – 13:10 (ticket 2)
Segment 7: AMS-LGW 13:55 – 14:00 (ticket 1)
Segment 8: LGW-JER 16:10 – 17:05 (ticket 1)

Times correct as of writing. These might change so be very careful if booking this!

Don't forget there are more flights between LGW-AMS during the weekdays so if you have this flexibility you could complete around 5-6 segments on the first day. In addition you need to factor in the costs, scheduling and time spent in your positioning to AMS or JER.

You should try to only buy these tickets during British Airways sales, drag this link* to your bookmarks bar and check it occasionally for. as it normally costs £400 or so per ticket, so aim to get it to around £150-£250 per ticket. At the top end of the scale, £500 for 320 tier points comes to £1.563/TP so doesn't represent the greatest of value if relying solely on this to qualify (the best TP runs should come in a <£1/TP). It should only be used to knock you over the qualification threshold.

*Note this link is an affiliate link which offers me a small commission if you later buy a flight. Your support for this website is gratefully received – thank you!

Who best benefits from AMS-JER tier point run?

I can only really think of two scenarios:

1) Regular long haul economy class traveller struggling to hit silver: If regularly fly long haul in economy class you need just over 17 segments at 35TP per segment (over 8.5 round trips) in discount economy class to reach the 600 TP silver threshold. This is excruciating! BA Silver, or Oneworld Sapphire allows free seat selection at the time of booking, additional Avios points an extra 23kg piece of luggage, fast-track through most airports and lounge access. This can make the difference between an extra holiday per year using all those extra Avios, or travelling in relative comfort in the pre-selected emergency exit row. Based on my crude calculation of the amount of tier points you offset, it's only worthwhile to do a simple JER-AMS round trip if you do at least 6 round trips per year, and a nested JER-AMS round trip if you do at least 4 round trips per year. Of course you'll need to factor in other things like how much you value those extra Avios, the luggage and lounge access, but I doubt it'd do more than knock off another round trip from my recommendation.

2) Anyone within striking distance of BA Gold: BA Gold, or Oneworld Emerald gets free lounge access on all flights, as opposed to American Airlines Executive Platinum holders being denied access on domestic USA itineraries. BA Golds also have the added bonus of extra award ticket spaces and no service charges for booking flights by phone, and no cancellation charges or penalties on refundable tickets (normally £15 per person) or redemption tickets (normally £25 per change). So you can provisionally book a flight somewhere using Avios if the space opens up without any fear of penalties.



The Amsterdam to Jersey run an important addition to your mileage arsenal, especially if you need tier points with relative ease. I have provided a couple of traveller types who might benefit from this, and hopefully I've explained with enough detail for the beginner the importance of this itinerary.

For a bit of fun, if you want an idea of just how long the taxi is onto Polderbaan, here's a video to whet your appetite

Do you have any further questions or comments? Are there any points that are unclear and you want explained better? Please let me know below!


  1. I live in Jersey, Channel Islands and I have been doing this route for years. JER-LGW-AMS and return in Business Class on BA. Its an easy way to earn 160 Tier points without having to go too far. You can go to AMS on a Saturday and back the next day! And AMS is a nice city to visit!

  2. This is more relevant to your previous CX article that you reference, but I’ll mention it here.

    Possibly worth mentioning in passing that you also need to ensure you have 4 “Qualifying Flights” in your current membership year to be promoted to Silver or Gold status.

    A qualifying flight being a revenue (cash) and not redemption flight either:
    – Marketed by BA (BA flight number on your booking)
    – Operated by BA (other flight number on your ticket)
    – Market and operated by BA
    – Marketed and operated by Iberia

    Hence if you JUST did the CX deal (or similar) you would not be getting qualifying flights – if you needed them.

    You can check your qualifying flights when logged into your BAEC account.

    So, another advantage of this one, compared to CX or AA runs to earn BA Tier Points, is that it also gets you your 4 qualifying flights in the process.

  3. Yes and no. I’m well aware of the Amex Platinum and CX gold but there’s some speculation of it disappearing and I don’t want to be the one to recommend it if its future isn’t exactly certain. It’s not even an advertised benefit on Amex’s own website right now!

  4. Hello – I’m 280 points short of Gold, so I’m having a look at this. My start point is Glasgow. I’m torn between doing a GLA – HEL (465) return in business which gets me 200 points or going for a nested GLA – AMS (292) AMS – JER (281) which is 280 (but a lot of flights!)

    Any better suggestions very gratefully received. I need to do this before 8th Nov but am pretty free with dates.


    1. I’d say do GLA-HEL, as 80 TP difference is a small price to pay for the time cost! It depends on what other trips you have planned of course, but 80TP is another quick trip in business or a few long haul economy sectors

  5. Hi Tim!

    I have just reached Bronze for the first time and plan to travel a lot next year. I only travel for leisure, but I do go to South America at least once a year and plan at least one more long-haul flight for 2018.

    I have 320 TP at present, my collection year ends on 08/10 and I’m wondering if it’s worth making the dash for Silver.

    My home is London and I’ve come up with the following plan: two Club Europe trips, one to Helsinki (£325 +10 000 avios discount) and one to Marrakech (£293), each giving me 160 TP, which would mean a total of 640 by 08/10. I would actually visit the places though, meaning I’d end up spending upwards of £1K total, but I’d always want to visit them in the future anyway.

    What are your thoughts? Worth it? If those plans fail, do you have a better idea for me to get the 280 TP I need? Hehehe
    Thank you so much

    1. If I were you I would stick with your Helsinki and Marrakech trips. If you wanted to visit those places anyway then it would be worth it. A lot of the BA TP runs are to places where people will turn around immediately, so if you are talking only money and TP, then the flight portion is £618 (+10000Avios) for 320TP which at £1.93/TP is pretty decent in its own right. Beyond that, the accommodation, food and other expenses is up to you to optimise!

      In terms of where else to get 280TP, the JER-AMS TP run which gives 160TP is currently priced at around £260 (checked 4pm 29th April 2017) which is just over £1.63/TP but has a 2-3 day minimum stay and quicker to complete than Helsinki and Marrakech, but you would need to do extra runs on top, so better to just stick to your existing plan 🙂

      1. Wow, such a quick response, thank you so much!!!
        I am new to all this and am finding your blog pure gold 🙂 Will try my best to book these trips before the current fares are taken then.

        Based on your answer I’m assuming you think it’s worth pursuing Silver, correct? I’ve never had any travel perks so was a bit dubious, but again, I’m asking someone who is super keen on those benefits so mine probably qualifies as a rhetorical question, hehehe.
        Many thanks again

        1. The only thing Bronze is good for is priority boarding, but the fun things in flying kick in at silver (extra baggage, oneworld lounge access, free seat selection) and in my opinion gold is not worth it unless you are doing a lot of flying – at least 6-10 long haul return trips per year.

          Have fun in your trips, and please do follow our Twitter/Facebook and tell others about this site!

  6. Hi Tim.

    Where can I find BA sale prices. I’d like to do round trip LND- AMS- AMS- JER round trip?

    Thanking you in advance

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