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Considering British Airways’ generous status match? I flew American Airlines with BA status

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British Airways is offering a generous limited-time status match offer for U.S.-based members of its loyalty program, British Airways Executive Club.

BA is a member of the Oneworld alliance, partnering with airlines such as American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. BA status when flying these airlines can be even more valuable than holding elite status with American’s or Alaska’s own program.

So, what do you receive when flying American Airlines in economy class with British Airways status? Plus, is it worth making the switch from another loyalty program? Here’s what my experience was like.

Related: Complete guide to airline status matches and challenges in 2024

What is British Airways’ status match offer?


U.S.-based members holding the following status levels will be able to match to British Airways’ Executive Club Silver status:

  • Delta Air Lines SkyMiles Gold Medallion
  • Air Canada Aeroplan 50K
  • Lufthansa Miles & More Senator
  • United Airlines MileagePlus Premier Gold
  • Air France-KLM Flying Blue Gold
  • Scandinavian Airlines EuroBonus Gold
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Silver

Additionally, U.S.-based members holding the following status levels will be able to match to British Airways’ top-tier Executive Club Gold status:

  • Delta SkyMiles Platinum Medallion
  • Air Canada Aeroplan 75K and Super Elite
  • Lufthansa Miles & More Hon Circle
  • United MileagePlus Premier Platinum and Premier 1K
  • Air France-KLM Flying Blue Platinum
  • Scandinavian Airlines EuroBonus Diamond and Pandion
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Gold

To participate in this status match, customers must apply online and provide valid proof of eligible frequent flyer status.

Once approved, applicants will be upgraded to the matched tier for six months. You can extend this period for up to a year by booking two eligible flights or one round-trip flight, per the terms and conditions outlined on

Eligible flights include BA-marketed business- or first-class flights originating in North America, Canada or Mexico and landing in Europe, Norway or Switzerland; they must be operated by British Airways, American Airlines, Aer Lingus, Iberia or Finnair.

This offer is available through May 7.

Related: Receive Admirals Club lounge access with generous new British Airways status match for US travelers

What do you receive when flying American Airlines economy class?

I hold British Airways Gold status and booked a flight from London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), flying on American Airlines in economy class.

Seat selection

The first perk was offered when I booked the flight. When entering my British Airways Executive Club number upon booking, my elite Oneworld status was immediately recognized, allowing me to select a Main Cabin Extra seat at no extra cost.


While the same width as the regular economy seats, these seats offer extra legroom, dedicated overhead bin space, and free beer, wine and spirits.

Priority check-in

Since British Airways is a member of the Oneworld alliance, BA Silver status is equivalent to Oneworld Sapphire, while BA Gold status is Oneworld Emerald. This means you can use the benefit anytime you see the blue or green discs on a sign like the one below.

This means with either status, I could use the priority check-in at Heathrow Airport.


Even better, I observed a green disc at the Flagship First check-in counters, so I could check in with my BA Gold status even on an economy ticket; check-in took less than 60 seconds.


Priority security

BA Silver and Gold status offers priority security where available when flying on a Oneworld airline.

At Heathrow’s Terminal 3, I looked for the “Fast Track” signs and was able to access this shortcut by scanning my boarding pass, which had my BA loyalty number on it, and could access the priority security line, which was much shorter than the regular line.


Lounge access

Arguably, the most valuable perk of BA status is worldwide lounge access. While the right credit card can give you access to Priority Pass lounges across the world, these can be of poor quality and they can be difficult to access during peak periods. However, with Oneworld status, I had access to Heathrow Oneworld lounges.

Related: Overcrowding at lounges is not a new problem — but what can be done about it?

American Airlines operates an Admirals Club and a First Class lounge at Heathrow. BA Gold members can access either lounge, while BA Silver members are restricted to the Admirals Club.


While American AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro and Platinum members receive Admirals Club lounge access when flying internationally on American Airlines, a key “advantage” British Airways status has over American is that BA Silver and Gold members also receive lounge access when flying American domestically in any class, while AAdvantage members do not.

Related: American Airlines elite status: What it is and how to earn it

That means on a $49 domestic basic economy flight on American Airlines from Miami International Airport (MIA) to, say, Charleston International Airport (CHS), I can access the Flagship lounge with BA Gold status — but with AAdvantage top-tier Executive Platinum status, I cannot.

While I had access to AA’s First Class lounge, I knew that Terminal 3 has even better options, with some of the best Oneworld lounges in the world.

Keeping my eyes peeled for the blue and green discs, I headed to the nearby lounge affiliated with Cathay Pacific, a fellow Oneworld member. Cathay operates a business-class lounge for Oneworld Sapphires and a first-class lounge for Oneworld Emeralds.

With my BA Gold status, I could access the first-class section at no cost, and it did not disappoint; the design made me feel more like I was in a luxury hotel than at an airport.


Forget cubed cheese and trail mix. This lounge has a sit-down restaurant with an a la carte menu.


I opted for the eggs Florentine with fresh-cut fruit and a barista-made flat white coffee. All items were delivered in under 10 minutes by the friendly restaurant staff and were excellent.


After breakfast, I enjoyed watching the planes come and go across the busy tarmac while waiting for my flight, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows.


Three different complimentary Champagnes, as well as various wines and spirits, were also available for self-pour, with no tipping required.

Priority boarding

British Airways Executive Club elite members receive priority boarding when traveling in any class of service on Oneworld airlines.

On American Airlines, BA Gold members can board with Group 2, while BA Silver members can board with Group 3.


Main Cabin Extra

While the regular economy cabin seats have an industry-standard 31 inches of legroom, the Main Cabin Extra seats on my Boeing 777-200 aircraft had 34 inches of legroom.


It’s still economy class, but I found the additional 3 inches of legroom noticeable, and it was a comfortable and roomy seat for economy class.


Elite members also earn more Avios (the loyalty currency of the British Airways Executive Club program) flying with British Airways or American Airlines.

While base-level Blue members earn 6 Avios per British pound spent (about $1.25, so 4.8 Avios per $1), Silver members receive 8 Avios per pound (6.4 Avios per $1), with Gold members receiving 9 Avios per pound (7.2 Avios per $1).

Bottom line

There were plenty of benefits I enjoyed flying American Airlines with my British Airways status, especially on the ground in London. My Oneworld status was displayed on my boarding pass after I entered it when booking the flight, and all I had to keep my eye out for were the clearly marked blue and green discs to access airport perks.

While lounge access for elite members flying internationally is not unusual, the fact that BA status will give anyone flying American Airlines or Alaska Airlines domestic access to lounges is a huge benefit.

If you hold elite status with any of the eligible status match programs and have upcoming travel on Oneworld airlines — especially in economy class over the next six months — it’s worth considering the generous British Airways status match offer. Remember, registration for this offer is available through May 7.