One of the 4 Miles Mogul Basics things to do is get your frequent flyer details sorted. As a kid, I used to obsess over the different pretty cards the airlines would send me for signing up to their programmes, even though I was hardly ever flying anywhere!

These days I’m lucky enough to fly more, and I always want to earn the most miles I possibly can every time I fly.

So know you need to punch in your frequent flyer number every time, but which airlines’ programme is the best one to credit each flight to?

Let’s say you are flying on British Airways - you are able to credit the miles for that flight to ANY One World airline’s frequent flyer programme, like American Airlines AAdvantage. However, some programmes give you more miles for certain classes and distances, and sometimes you might earn nothing at all.

This is total mindfield!

Which programme will allow me to earn the most miles for my specific fare?    

Luckily - a couple of websites have popped up that can save the day here.

http://www.wheretocredit.com/ allows you to pop in your flight details and it will tell you which programme will give you the most!


I obsess over nabbing the best seat on a plane. Having the right seat can make all the difference to your flight experience. Most people would like a quiet location, and the most legroom, and there are resources out there to help you find the perfect seat for you! Over the years I’ve found loads of amazing tricks like flying in economy seats that have no seat in front of them and booking seats in mini cabins which are much quieter and private just like a private jet!

The best seats vary between airline, aircraft and class, and so you will need to do a bit of research. It’s quick and easy and here is where I head to find that dream spot:

1. Seatguru.com

Seatguru is backed by tripadvisor and is great for allowing you to simply punch in your flight number. It does the rest of the work (most importantly for a beginner - it works out the exact aircraft you are flying on).

2. Seatexpert.com

I find this a bit more clunky - but it reviews the pros and cons of each seat and is colour coded well. I have found the information here to be a bit more hit and miss.

3. Flyertalk

The wealth of detailed information on Flyertalk is completely insane and still astounds me every time I dip in. For example - for British Airways alone there are details guides to each aircraft, and the information here is precise and accurate. This is the holy grail of seat information. Start here - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/13749011-post6.html

Flyertalk will EVEN help you work out the best side of the plane to fly on to get the best view of your destination from above as you approach! http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/british-airways-executive-club/1222905-guide-best-side-airplane-landing-different-airports.html

For example I always without fail book window seat on the right side when flying into Heathrow for perfect views over central London!



However enthusiastic you are about air travel, one thing unites all travellers… the desire to turn left on the aeroplane. For me, it gives me unparalleled excitement!!

Much of what I write on this blog is focussed towards attaining premium classes without paying premium prices. Upgrading Using Avios, as per this previous post, is one way of having a fully flat bed in the sky, and will extract the maximum value for each Avios if done correctly.

Along with paying full whack, shameless begging, and using Avios, there are other methods of bagging an upgrade, and today I will look into Pro-active Online Upgrades (fondly known asPOUGs). Just like trying to avoid extortionate UK air taxes, there is no exact science behind chasing a POUG, but there are games to be played!

What is a Pro-active Online Upgrade (POUG)?

After you have booked a British Airways flight, you may be offered to upgrade to the next class of travel through “Manage My Booking” (you can sign into this on the British Airways site to look at details of your flight, select seats, book hotels etc.)

BA will charge a cash fee for the upgrade.

BA may also offer similar cash upgrades in the airport at check in, and a trial of on-board upgrades is also being conducted.

Here is what a POUG offer looks like for an previous flight of mine to Madrid:

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 22.20.10.png


Now the outbound offer is nothing to shout about, but on the inbound flight, an offer of £79 may represent excellent value. I went on to check how much this upgrade would have been by simply booking business class on the website, and this would have come in at £239. This is £145 more than what I paid for my ticket. By upgrading after booking, utilising this POUG, I stand to save £66.

This is on a short-haul flight. The savings on a long-haul upgrade could be more significant.

So in the first instance, you should always check on Manage My Booking, by clicking on “upgrade using cash” to see if you can have yourself a bargain upgrade.

Can I speculatively chase a Pro-active Upgrade?!

In short, YES! As they say, you must speculate to accumulate.

Here is method that can be tried, but should be exercised with maximum caution. I would only advise doing this with a flight that you definitely want to take anyway, just in case anything goes wrong.

The loophole that shall become your friend is BA’s policy of allowing you to request a full refund of any flight (including non-refundable flights) within 24 hours of booking. This is in place to assist people who have accidentally booked tickets with the wrong name, or for the wrong date.

However, nothing stops you cancelling if you haven’t managed to find a cheap enough POUG!

Here is how it works:

1. Book your desired flight in the class of travel below that you would really like to travel in (you may only be able to upgrade by one class)

2. Immediately log in to “Manage My Booking” using your name and booking reference

3. Follow the links to “upgrade using cash”

4. Check if BA are offering you a POUG, and if so, check the price.

5. If this is satisfactory, upgrade, pay, and you’ve won!

6. If not, immediately cancel your flight (or keep it if you still want it in that class of travel!)

Can this go wrong?

It would be foolish to conduct such a plan with full confidence you will receive a refund. You should check BA’s terms and conditions carefully, and be aware that they may change. To be safe, only try this trick when booking flights you are happy to take anyway, that way, you can’t be disappointed.

How much is the average POUG?

There is huge variation between prices offered (if offered at all). However, the magical world of Flyertalk has a thread titled “Pro-active Upgrade Cost Tracking Thread” (click here to view). There are currently over 1700 posts detailing how much people have been offered upgrades for and is a fantastic place to get a good feel for POUGs. I have put together a few recent offers from the board in the chart below as a quick reference guide:

London – Sydney

World Traveller Plus


London – Madrid (and many other European destinations)

Club Europe


London – Toronto

Club World


London – Dubai

First Class


London – Hong Kong

World Traveller Plus


London – Buenos Aires

World Traveller Plus


WARNING – you may still earn tier points and miles in accordance with your original booking class.

In conclusion

If you are after an upgrade, this is a method that may well suit your circumstances. It is ALWAYS worth checking both online, and at the airport. You may get lucky and get your upgrade for bargain price.

As always, please feel free to comment with any questions or additional tips you may have. Please follow the blog to get posts straight to your inbox, and follow the Miles Mogul on Facebook!



avios and tier points miles mogul blog

The British Airways Executive Club (BAEC) has two types of points, Avios, and Tier Points. Confused? Here’s an explanation with a little help from our friends at BA:

AVIOS - For spending on rewards

  • Avios are collected on flights with British Airways and oneworld airlines as well as a on wide range of other purchases.

  • These are the points that are earned on some credit cards, through Tesco Clubcard and TopCashBack.

  • Avios can be spent on flights and upgrades.

  • Avios can be bought and shared.

  • Avios expire only if your balance is inactive for three years.


TIER POINTS - For moving through the tiers of the club

  • You earn Tier Points by flying with British Airways and their oneworld airline partners (including American Airlines, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Iberia and Qatar).

  • The number you earn depends on your ticket type and fare class — in general, you’ll earn more on longer flights in premium cabins and on flexible fares

  • Unlike Avios, Tier Points cannot be bought, shared or spent — their sole purpose is to move you through the tiers of the Club

  • Tier Points are reset to zero at the end of your membership year which is the anniversary of the date you joined the Club

  • All the Tier Points you've earned as a member of the Club count towards your Lifetime Tier Points total, for more recognition and rewards.

The Tiers:

BRONZE - 300 Tier Points

SILVER - 600 Tier Points (SILVER is where you want to get to for what I think are the most valuable benefits -  free seat selection at the time of booking AND  Business Class lounge access regardless of class you’re travelling in)

GOLD - 1500 Tier Points