Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What Does British Airways Have to Offer Missionaries?

Today, an airline is an airline. Gone are the days of airlines trying to impress passengers with excellent meals, great service and perks to keep you flying! While this is true in general, each airline has held onto a few of their "perks" and British Airways has retained a few which we think our Missionary families might be interested.
Delayed Ticketing:
British Airways understands that missionaries have to "raise" support from individuals and other sources and they realize that this can often be a long process. They also understand that you need to book/reserve your ticket when prices are cheap. So, British Airways allows a few travel agents, like World Missions Travel, to reserve special "Missionary Contract Fares" for missionaries and we can hold them for several weeks while you organize the funds to pay for the tickets.

FREE Checked Baggage:
If traveling on a British Airways Missionary Contract from a gateway city in the USA (Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, New York, Miami, Houston, etc.), then each missionary is entitled to 3 FREE checked pieces of luggage at no additional cost!

FREE Date Change:
Often missionaries find themselves needing to change dates. Whether it was that terrible food you ate on the mission field which caused you to get so sick that you needed to go home early or whether those orphans just stole your heart and you want to stay a little longer, British Airways wants to help make those ticket changes possible! BA will allow one free date change as long as the same class of service is available. If the same class of service is available (and no we do not mean any economy seat, we mean the same price structure seat) then your ticket can be changed for free!

Household Mileage Accounts:
Frequent flier mileage accounts are great ways to earn you and your family free travel. However, let's face it...if the average missionary travels once a year (or less), it will take forever for you to earn enough mileage for that free ticket. British Airways is a little different. While each member of your family (including the kids) has their own mileage account, the head of household can invite everyone living at the same address to join the "Household Account." This pooling of miles allows you to pull miles from any family members individual account and add to another account in order to reach a free ticket faster! Unlike other airlines, British Airways does NOT charge for the mileage transfer if it is from within the household account. Check out the BA Household Account Website for more details.

On Business - Corporate Account for Non-Profit Organizations:
For missionaries who have started their own non-profit organizations, this will be of significant interest to you. When you, your family or short term mission team members travel, they can all earn miles for the ministry! British Airways has a program called On Business which allows small businesses and non-profits to earn "corporate points" towards free travel. Each individual is still allowed to earn their own personal mileage, but then based on the distance they travel, they earn the organization points. These points, added together create the On Business account and allows the organization to get free tickets from the travel of its staff and volunteers.

So, consider using British Airways next time you travel to Europe or Africa on a mission trip!


  1. Hey Andrew, thanks for the good info. The *date change* benefit is good, I have often needed to change the date of my return to Russia, thanks to waiting on visa renewal. And *it ain't cheap!*

    Yesterday I spent some time at the BA site to get a feel for their flights Moscow to the US. A couple of questions: 1) About *gateway cities* - is Atlanta one of those, per chance? I didn't see a list of gateway cities there... 2) Re *missionary contract* - please explain how a person goes about qualifying for that with BA.

    Thanks so much!

  2. Eileen,
    I think the BA Missionary Contract might be something you look into.

    Yes, Atlanta is a gateway city for British Airways. By gateway, we just mean that it is a city that British Airways flies into, there is no need for a connection on another airline.

    To qualify for a "missionary contract" all you need is a letter either from a church or a mission organization stating that Eileen is a missionary in X location. Simple. You do not need that to purchase the ticket, but you will need it to travel in case you are asked to proove you are a missionary.

    Hope this answers your questions.

  3. Andrew, blog idea: how about How to layover in London? Like, if a person has 5 hrs - what is do-able in that time? Also, you gave me helpful ideas about how and where to overnight in London. Please share more!

  4. Hey so I have been looking for this for awhile and is you could give us the steps of how to do it woud be great and im a world missions traveler and anyway to save money is great.

    1. Clark -
      I am just now seeing your comment on our blog. Please contact us if we can assist you with making travel plans for your next mission trip!

  5. What is the biggest box or "Rubbermaid" allowance on British Airways for missionaries?

  6. BA has some good perks for missionaries, BUT to qualify you must book through a travel agent (not online) and you must ask for and be granted a missionary fare. I just got off the phone with a BA agent. Also the baggage allowance is "allowed bags plus one free bag". so you get two bags not three. still a good deal though.

    1. Jody,
      You are correct...in order to get a "Missionary Fare" you must purchase through SPECIFIC agencies who sell them. World Missions Travel, the agency whose blog you are reading and commenting on, does sell these and that is why we wrote the article! Also, the luggage is THREE. The person you spoke to at British Airways was wrong! I sell HUNDREDS of these tickets each year and I am also a missionary myself, living in Ukraine with my family. We travel on these tickets and always check 3 bags and carry 1. If you would like assistance in booking a missionary fare, please contact me at akellyukraine@gmail.com or 325-480-0889.

  7. As a full service British Airways include most An Every things you will need for your journey as part of your ticket price, but there are i will travel on British Airways and i can fell good on this but i can travel again and i can see some things about British Airways so Admin can you tell me the British Airways Toll free numbers , Details About him self .

  8. Question: We already booked our ticket British Airway ticket on Expedia, we did not know about that a missionary had to go through a special agency to get the 3 free bags. Is there anything we can do now? Patti

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  14. I see that it exists, but how do I actually get allowance for three checked bags on my flight from London to BWI. I've got a Missionary Credential card from my Church-Employer in my wallet...

    Thank you!

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  16. Thanks for sharing a great information with us. The date change option is great. There is also a another way where you can get your ticket booked, Know your flight status, Date change etc on a single call. British Airways provides their trusted British Airways Helpline number 24*7 available. Call now and book your ticket in a easy way. 1-888-912-7017