AMAZING British Airways Tier Point Run fares – £1 per Tier Point

I refer to £1 per Tier Point (TP) as the Holy Grail for British Airways Tier Point Runs.

In my (now slightly outdated) guide I pointed out that American Airlines domestic first class is consistently the best way to haul huge amounts of TPs in a short amount of time. This changed in January this year when American Airlines changed the booking code of domestic first to be aligned with those of business class elsewhere. Still it's a great deal, but just not as good as before.

Malaysia Airlines logo

British Airways is an oddity in the sphere of loyalty programmes. It spans two airlines and a separate non-airline entity,  and to earn higher levels in the programme you will need to earn TPs by flying on BA or its partner airlines which are not directly linked to the length of routes you fly. (See the Avios and TP calculator here)

Currently one excellent source for TPs is Malaysia Airlines especially their intra-Asia and domestic routes. There are a couple of fares stands out amongst the rest.

Kuala Lumpur to Penang, priced at £43 one way or £78 return. Each leg yields 40TP so on the return fare you can get £0.975/TP. This one is nice as the gate-to-gate time is approximately 1hour, so the airborne time is somewhat less.

There is a 2-day minimum stay requirement for return tickets, but the fare works in both directions so you can plan outbound and return legs using two separate tickets. If you want a quick turnaround, you will need to book as one way fares. (Please also see Joe's comment below for his experience with Malaysia Airlines using nested tickets)

Taipei to Kuala Lumpur is 2012 miles, a smidgen above the 2000 mile threshold to hit the 140 TP you get from long haul business business class.

Taipei to Indonesia (Jakarta or Bali) priced at £412, or £1.14/TP. (found on Malaysia Airlines' Taiwan Deal of the Day page. You can save it by dragging and dropping it into your bookmark bar.)

Note the overnight layover in Kuala Lumpur!

You can search for both fares on Malaysia Airlines homepage.

You must remember that to qualify for BAEC Silver or Gold status you must have at least 4 BA flights within the year. Therefore doing these Malaysia Airlines runs in themselves will not suffice. However, if you can buy the cheapest and shortest Hand Baggage Only fares in economy class, typically about £30 to places like Amsterdam, Malaga, Brussels, Luxembourg, or domestic UK Routes then this would be the most economical way. You can see the cheapest routes here.


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About Tim

Tim is an engineer and a nerd who analyses every travel deal, travel hack. He has travelled to around 90 countries and also speaks Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin.

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  1. DON’T DO nested tickets!!! MALAYSIAN WILL NOT let you fly!

    I tried it this January with the outstanding BKK-KUL-PEK fares published last year and lost two out of five returns because of nested tickets.

    You will be fine with one-ways though, spend a bit more to be on the safe side. It’s still a bargain tp-run.

    • How did they justify stopping the nested tickets, Joe?

      I was thinking of nesting TPE-KUL-SIN rtn inside KUL-TPE rtn, taking the turnaround flight both times at TPE.

      • They (MH) call it “out of sequence”.
        In my case it did matter where you start e.g. PEK-KUL-BKK was significantly more than the other way around.
        So, to work around of the stopover requirement and for being able to do a direct return I booked the following (short version, to show the idea of it
        I booked more returns and finished that way at least some of ’em):

        ticket 1:
        out: BKK-PEK

        one-way ticket A:
        in: PEK-BKK

        ticket 2:
        out: BKK-PEK
        ticket 1:
        in: PEK-BKK

        one-way ticket B:
        in: BKK-PEK

        ticket 2:
        in: PEK-KUL-BKK

        I got an email from MH saying the one-way ticket is out of sequence. I canceled that one and got myself an award ticket with a different airline to be back to start my second ticket but wasn’t able to check-in because that one was “out of sequence” as well. So I lost ticket 2 completely because I hadn’t finished ticket 1 yet and was not allowed to check-in so missed the first leg what forfaits the whole ticket.

        may be worth noting:
        I booked via expedia as well as directly with MH; Expedia showed always confirmed even on the date of departure. MH still denied check-in.

        • Ouch! That’s harsh play from MH, but I understand that airlines do it to protect their revenue and enforce minimum stays. Some airlines don’t care about nested tickets e.g. British Airways.

          • I don’t buy the revenue protection argument, at least when all tickets have been bought individually at the airline’s published price and all segments are flown. Revenue is the same MH would have made if different customers bought and flew each of these.
            Glad to have discovered MH’s stance on this point. Now looking to see if I can construct something worth doing without the nesting…

        • Sorry to hear you had go through that Joe, but thanks for sharing – you may well just have saved me a heap of trouble!

          • You’re more than welcome, at least it was not for nothing in the end 😉 glad to be able to help others to stay away from that idea when booking MH.
            As I mentioned above get yourself one-ways, that’s the only way with MH. I can’t remember where I saw it but they do have a sequence number – I reckon it was on the boarding pass. They have a certain procedure in place for tracking flown segments.

            I could write a book about that tp run this January, that’s for sure! I’d already have a title for it: “Trick it – loose it” 😀

            This would be one episode of it:
            I got that email saying out of sequence and was asked TO CALL MH. I thought I’d rather ring a number in Europe instead of having to call to Malaysia. Tried the German one first – which was clearly a regular landline (as well as the US as 1-800 is toll free as well)
            But Frankfurt is just a marketing office – no reservation issues handled there. Second on list I rang the UK one without knowing that the number – to me apparently landline – was a premium number. And on top of that they had an automated answer saying “an agent will be with you shortly”, even when the office wasn’t open at all. After 45 min beeing on hold I hung up, checked the website again found out the opening hours and rang again, was kept for another 20 min on hold and “solved the matter” with cancelling that one-way ticket (worth 170 euros). I got charged 150 euros for those two phone calls. No-show would have done the same….

            They have changed their UK number to a regular landline number few weeks later.

  2. Hi i have a different experience with MH (and potentially nested tickets). I did the following

    Ticket 1:
    KUL-TPE return

    Ticket 2:
    KUL – TPE return

    Ticket 3
    KUL-TPE return

    So this is what I did

    Day 1:
    Ticket 1
    out: KUL-TPE
    redeption ticket to get me out of TPE

    Day 7
    Ticket 2 Out: KUL-TPE
    Ticket 1 In: TPE-KUL

    Day 14
    Ticket 3 Out: KUL-TPE
    Ticket 2 In: TPE-KUL

    Day 21:
    Redemption to TPE
    Ticket 3 In: TPE-KUL

    Is there considered some form of nested ticket?

    • I’m curious if MH will let you fly that way. It’s some sort of similiar to my MR.
      There are reports of successful nested tickets but those were within Malaysia. Not sure if they’ve been treated differently.

      Please report here, thx.

  3. Apologies for necroposting but I have the following booked (all returns):

    <stay 3 days in Penang

    I was kind of hoping they would pass the MH sniff test, but reading the comments above has made me slightly nervous !

    Does anyone have any more recent experience of the MH "out of sequence" policy please ?

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