Earning 378 British Airways Avios Miles For My US$300 Malaysia Airlines Ticket – Why Even Bother?


Today I realized my lowest mileage credit ever was just posted to my British Airways Avios account following a roundtrip flight with Malaysia Airlines last week: A total of 378 flights for two flights (189 miles per segment).

The disappointment was compounded by the rather high price of this ticket which was roughly $300 for the Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur Round Trip.

Not too long ago it was possible to fly this route for roughly a third of the price I paid now, even booking some of these exceptional Malaysia Airlines business class fares all over Asia at the price point of ~ US$300.

Here is how many (little) miles I collected after crediting them to British Airways Executive Club:

189 miles per segment for this ticket which booked into V Class despite being purchased as FLEX, the most expensive ticket option offered on the Malaysia Airlines website.

For some reason, the airline has decided to book every single ticket into the same low fare bucket no matter if it’s the most basic saver fare or the flex fare with unlimited changes.

Typically when customers choose a higher fare type, the fare bucket which is determined in alphabetical letters is changes to a more valuable one as well but not so with Malaysia Airlines, at least not when purchasing the ticket online. Travel agents will likely be able to choose a different fare type based on what is available in the GDS which is a lot more than just three fares displayed online.

I’m still British Airways BAEC Gold which maps to oneWorld Emerald so that was naturally the best choice of my oneWorld programs to credit these two flights to. V class only earns 25% of the base miles at both BAEC as well as American Airlines AAdvantage – a pittance. And with British Airways you won’t earn any Elite Bonus either.

Even in terms of status tier credits, this wasn’t very worthwhile, earning 5 points per segment. I was obviously aware of that and in the past, I was always willing to pay more for Business Class to earn 40 points rather than 5 but currently Business is so obscenely expensive for such a short flight ($1000 round trip) that it’s absolutely not worthwhile.

In retrospect, I should have just flown Thai Airways than Malaysia Airlines which became apparent when I realized that MH isn’t providing any oneWorld Emerald ground benefits at the moment. Both the First Class (Business Suite) check-in, as well as the First Class Lounge, have been closed and only Business Class facilities were available. THAI would have cost $50 less with slightly less convenient departure times but I could have made it work somehow.


My most recent Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur-Bangkok ticket for which I spent roughly US$300 only earned a total of 378 miles with British Airways Executive Club (and would have earned roughly the same with AAdvantage) based on the low fare class it was booked in despite the high price.

It’s no surprise that travelers are increasingly frustrated with their loyalty programs and at least in this case a program that’d credit miles based on price would likely be a more fair alternative depending on the distribution. Of course, I was aware of the small number of miles that I’d received out of this but price-wise it was the most reasonable ticketing option and it was better to forego the miles rather than just spending more money for the sake of loyalty points.

What was your most disappointing mileage credit?

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