Plane crazy or plain crazy? BA passenger flies 18,479 miles in five days to achieve gold status


September 8 saw British Airways roll out the red carpet at Heathrow airport for a UK customer who had travelled a staggering 18,479 miles in just five days on 12 flights. The reason? Business? Love? Close – the customer was going for gold. A British Airways gold frequent flyer card, to be precise.

The status seeker in question is Adam Rowland, a 30-year-old online marketing manager who decided to take on the challenge and document his entire experience through an online blog (, in which he explained that as well as trying to achieve a British Airways gold card in less than a week, he also hoped to use the trip as a way of overcoming personal challenges, including a “white-knuckle fear of turbulence” and “seeking pleasure in the company of strangers”.

Writing on his blog Adam said: “I’d convinced myself that I would never get to Gold the long way round and then I found a way that I could. I’d broken out of the boundary that I’d set myself and the challenge was afoot. It might not be the most conventional way of spending a long weekend, but then again I’ve never been that much of a fan of convention.”

Rowland was officially presented with his Gold card at the First lounge at Terminal 5, BA’s hallowed ground which he will now be able to make full use of. Here’s what it took to go for gold:

• 18,479 miles

• 12 flights

• 3 airlines

• 9 airports

• 2 hotels

• 45 hours in the air

• 3 countries

• 7 cities

The journey began at London City Airport, and then took Rowland on an exotic journey (though we expect he didn’t have time to immerse himself in his waypoints):

1) London City to Amsterdam

2) Amsterdam to Heathrow

3) Heathrow to Boston

4) Boston to Los Angeles

5) Los Angeles to Honolulu

6) Honolulu to Los Angeles

7) Los Angeles to Washington Dulles

8) Washington Dulles to Charlotte

9) Charlotte to New York

10) New York to London City

11) Heathrow to Amsterdam

12) Amsterdam to London City

Adam Rowland, you are a true British eccentric, and we hope to meet you in a BA lounge some day. Enjoy the Gold card!

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About Author


Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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