British Airways launches ‘Lifetime Gold’ for an exalted few

If you log in at ba.com you will see that there is a new feature.  On the top line, next to My Avios and My Tier Points you will see ‘My Lifetime Tier Points’.

And, if you scroll down the page, you will see ‘Date of joining the club’ – with a very precise (in my case) ’17 December 1996′ next to it.

This is all linked to the new benefit launched yesterday – lifetime Gold membership of British Airways Executive ClubFull details are here.

BA Gold

BA has certainly set the bar high.  To qualify for Lifetime Gold, you need to accumulate 35,000 tier points.

This represents 1,750 return flights to Manchester in economy!  More likely, it represents 125 Club World return flights to the US.  This is a pretty tough call unless you are on the road full time, for pretty much half your working life.

(Interestingly, BA is counting all tier points, whichever airline they were earned on.  There is no minimum requirement to have flown a proportion of these on British Airways.)

There is no sign yet of Lifetime Silver, although the wording on the website:

It also gives every Member of the Club the chance to accumulate enough Lifetime Tier Points to achieve the new rewards we’ll be introducing in the future – starting with the launch of Gold membership for life.

… implies that other others will be forthcoming in time.

It is worth remembering, of course, that Lifetime Gold technically means for the lifetime of British Airways, and not YOUR lifetime!  After all, when BA bought bmi, all of the bmi flyers who thought they had ‘lifetime Gold’ after achieving ten years of Gold status with bmi, were told to take a running jump …..

At some point in the next few years, the EU and the US will agree to loosen the restrictions on who can own airlines, and at that point IAG is likely to get swallowed by an overseas airline.  That may be the end of your lifetime Gold!

I am hugely unlikely to ever achieve lifetime Gold, given that I try to avoid spending money on flights when possible.  To be honest, I was surprised that my tier point balance since 1996 is as high as it is …. but I am still over 100 Club World flights to New York away from the target!

(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to see our latest articles on earning and spending your points and click here to see our list of current Avios promotions.)

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Comments

  1. The marketing email I received for this last night was really confusing, I had to go to Flyer Talk to find out what they were actually talking about. All the email contained was a flashy image, followed by some terms and conditions; as a lowly blue I really wasn’t interested in the lifetime blue status that they seemed to be suggesting.

  2. David Froude says:

    Eternal life required for this to be any benefit to me – the bar is set too high for most

  3. In 90s or early 00s I could have achidved it in 3 to 4 years. Now it would probably take me 10+. For me the interesting part is the other new awards they hint at. I hops these are something in addition to what we have and they are not accompanied by a devaluation. A real dilemma for me to book 2014 awards now or keep waiting for tesco conversion bonus and BA redemption sale.

    • AviosNewbie says:

      Why would you say so? Unless I have misunderstood the campaign, your travels from the 90s or early 00s will also count – so if you had registered for BAEC back then and also recorded your flights, you should still be eligible.

      • Yes, if only I had been flying BA which could quite easily have been thr case as it was weekly LHR to SFO. I chose United; back then it seemed and probably was the better option from points perspective.

        • Given the lack of fuel surcharges on United redemptions, it probably was the best option!

          • I was flying C at works expense, gstting class of service and elite bonuses on top of base, ffsquent bonus promos and comp upgrades on about half the flights. Was worth suffering the old cradle seats as miles paid all my personal travel and kept me flying C for over 6 years after changing jobs. No cause for complaint.

    • Given the modest cancellation fee to rebook an award, I would always book now if seat were available

      • Thats true thx but I think I will hedge on my clubcard points until just after next statement. If nothing then I will convert and book if anything is suitable but with a view to cancelling if a useful sale comes along.

  4. Back in 2011 we booked to go to Prague with Airmiles, at the same time we each signed up for the BA Executive Club and earned BA Miles and tier points (only useful for the lifetime balance now!) on those flights. Obviously it’s all been transferred to Avios now and I have Avios miles in both my Executive Club account and my avios.com account. I guess the loophole of earning miles & tier points on a miles booking has now been closed though? I can’t find any information about it.

    • Yes, they have fixed this. Sometimes, if you book a redemption via avios.com or OnBusiness, it will show as earning Avios and tier points. However, when you eventually take the flight, they do not post.

  5. 100k for lifetime GGL also confirmed! (even less chance of getting that one)

    Not sure if lifetime Silver will be the other offer, I wonder if instead it will be things like bonus Avios, 241 redemption, etc.?

    • Avios were carrying out a survey of members a few months ago, perhaps we are starting to see a new initiative based on its’ findings – perhaps also due to an improved Virgin flying Club scheme which is now a good competitor to the avios scheme.

      Wonder what would be folks wishlist for new avios/BAEC offers. With Virgin offering bonus points on Tesco conversions, and a redemption seat sale it would be nice to see BA at least match that.

      • BA is due to announce ‘pay for cash flights with Avios’ very soon. Devil will, of course, be in the detail.

        However, as you can get 0.58p per Avios by cashing in for hotel rooms, that does provide some sort of floor.

  6. Interesting loophole that one could gain lifetime Gold after 24 years of BAEC silver as there is no requirement to have ever actually been Gold.

    Glad the BA have done something like this but vanishingly unlikely ever to benefit me. After all the fantastic point of HFP is NOT to pay for flights!

  7. BA really need to stop copying Virgin and start coming up with their own ideas.

  8. Dear Raffles,
    Thanks for your very clear exposition which cuts through BA’s marketing spin and shows what a poor deal this really is… if only you were in charge of BA’s customer relations strategy!

    • To be fair, it is better than nothing, which is what you had before! My biggest gripe is that BA is filling up a lot of ba.com screenspace with all of these ‘lifetime’ numbers which are totally irrelevant to the vast bulk of members.

  9. I like the idea of saving for my Exec Club gold pension over the next 40 years. Though perhaps like an actual pension – not something to count on being there when you actually need it!

  10. As Raffles has cautioned… BA might not still be around in 40 years’ time!

  11. Lady London says:

    Note it says Lifetime Status will be accorded “for as long you are a member of the Club”.

    This nicely leaves the door open for later requirements to be added of, for example, “x” minimum tier points of number of flights per year, in order to remain a member of the Club.

    As you mentioned the BMI experience should be educational regarding any Lifetime membership.

    • Farringdon says:

      Don’t they also have the right simply to revoke your membership of the Executive Club subject to certain notice periods (I don’t have the T&Cs in front of me at the moment)

  12. Based on my rate of earning over the past 12 years, I’m very pleased to discover that I’m due to receive my lifetime gold membership about the time I hit 280 years old…. Looking forward to it!

  13. I guess off point but interesting mention of the US-EU foreign ownership regulations. How likely do you think IAG would be bought by a foreign carrier?