Do you know your ‘secret’ British Airways CIV score?

A few years ago, British Airways brought in a concept called ‘Corporate Individual Value’.  It is an attempt to distil your importance to BA into a single number.

It is a pretty rough and ready system as you will see below but it can have an impact on how you are treated on-board – whether you get your first choice of meal for example.  It will also impact your upgrade and waitlist priority.

British Airways staff are forbidden from telling you your CIV number.  There is an easy way to find out though.  On your next flight, have a wander up to the galley.  You will often see a piece of paper sitting around or pinned up with the names of all the passengers on it.  Their CIV score is printed alongside.

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This is the current scoring system (out of 105):

0-5 points – banding for Blue BAEC members

6-13 points – banding for Bronze BAEC members

14-35 points – banding for Silver BAEC members

36-96 points – a surprisingly wide banding for Gold BAEC members

97 points – Gold Guest List members (basic level)

98 points – Key Decision Makers

99 points – a Key Decision Maker who is also Gold Guest List

100 points – Lifetime Gold Guest List and higher tier Gold Guest List members

105 points – Premier (a special BAEC membership level usually reserved for people who control major travel budgets for corporates – see the Black BAEC card pictured above!)

What I don’t know is the formula used for allocating CIV scores within the Blue, Bronze, Silver and Gold brands.  You can be fairly certain it is a function of travel volume and travel value.

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Comments

  1. In principe have no problem with this however it simply should nog be available yo crew.
    Service on board should be consistent to all and most BA crew use this number crudely. If I fly First I expect to get the same service as everyone else not some degraded product because I happen to be just silver or gold as opposed to GGL or premier.
    I don’t know of any other quality carrier who differentiates service on board and believe this is a major reason why BAs premium products are now so poor.

    • avidsaver says:

      I agree 100%.

    • Maximus says:

      Absolutely right Paul, Whether you are are a Premier, a celebrity, a regular BA flyer, flying on a rewards ticket or a first-time BA customer, it is irrelevant. If booked in to a specific cabin the service should be exemplary and the same standards for everyone.

    • callum says:

      You get virtually the same product as everyone else. Some crews don’t even know what it is, some don’t use it at all and those that do only use it as the article says, e.g. to prioritise meal choices when they haven’t got enough. Things you wouldn’t even notice onboard.

      • Callum
        Would have to disagree. I have lost count o watching BA crew flit all around the First Cabin trying to ensure that those with the biggest CIV score get a meal they want as opposed to the left overs. A first world issue perhaps but this inconsistent approach is what has ruined BA Firs to the point it is no more that Club world with direct aisle access.

        • Calchas says:

          The problem here is not the CIV scores; it’s that sufficient F meals are not loaded in the first place.

  2. squills says:

    What’s yours then, Raffles?

    FWIW I bet mine is about 2 😉

    They don’t get any money from me, though I do notch up several flights a year with BA.

  3. Aeronaut says:

    On the other hand a genuine smile and greeting to the members of cabin crew serving you costs nothing, and is the decent thing to do anyway…

  4. Saw mine the other day whilst waiting for the bathroom – 38 – which is actually a very accurate reflection having just scraped Gold last year and flying very little this year (well, flying little paid this year anyway!)

  5. Presumably if you sent off a Data Subject Access Request to BA they would be obliged to tell you?

    • Raffles says:

      Not sure, because this is not personal data of yours they have collected.

      • mrtibbs1999 says:

        Have to disagree. It is information relating to you based on your spending, behaviors and other factors. It is then used to determine your treatment. It is the very definition of personal data. You’d get it: If not from BA then 100% you would from THE IC.

        • mrtibbs1999 says:

          ‘Scuse excess capitalisation on the last line. Fat fingers………

        • Chris C says:

          To clarify for you – only BA can provide the information

          The information commissioner has no access to the information (which would be in breach of the DPA rules) what the IC can do though is force BA to release the information to the subject..

          • mrtibbs1999 says:

            That’s what I meant. You’d go to the IC who would force the info out of them.

    • Please explain the process for such a request. I always thought it was just for government / public entities. Need to do this for a certain payment provider linked to a certain auction site

      • mrtibbs1999 says:

        LMGTFY http://ico.org.uk/for_the_public/personal_information

        And I think the process you’re thinking about is Freedom of Information Act Request.

      • Lady London says:

        If you have problems with the certain payment provider linked to the certain auction site that I think you mean, then good luck. I spent hours trying to get them to acknowledge that they had caused a serious problem by their own ridiculous assumptions and then trying to get them to resolve the issue. It was an awful experience with no intelligence whatsoever in the call centre they provide. I use that company most reluctantly now and actively on the lookout for any new service that I can replace them with.

    • Sean Brennan says:

      Yes – Make a request to BA and they will supply this and all the other data they have on you. It will include your CIV on the front page where your adress DOB etc is listed. Mine was 16 when I was a Silver on 1,240 points half way through my year last October.

      They provided the info in about three days so were very quick

      • Paul Atkins says:

        Who did you make the request to? Was it via email?

        • Sean Brennan says:

          Unfortunately you have to write in by snail mail. It can be as short as “please could you tell me my CIV score”. Sorry for the delay but I had to dig out the emails that I had to sent to eventually get this info. They sent me everything they had including all my past flights (that are included in your flightpath on ba.com) which was really useful. It must have been a closely guarded secret but eventually I received an original uncopied and pasted reply as below:

          If you would like information about any transaction over three years old, you will need to contact our Information Security team.

          If you want to know what personal information we hold on our databases, they will ask you to complete a Customer Data Request. By law, as part of the Data Protection Act, we have an obligation to give you, on receiving a written request, any data that we hold on our systems about you.

          You can contact them at the following address:

          Data Protection Manager
          British Airways plc
          Waterside (HDB2)
          PO Box 365
          Harmondsworth
          UB7 0GB
          UNITED KINGDOM

  6. Quick lesson for you all: The data protection act covers any information which they hold about you. This would include how they categorise you and any paperwork which has your name on it. That would mean that the information which they sent to the crew, for example the list which raffles is talking about, would be disclosable under the data protection act. I expect that they would say that because of security issues they wouldn’t released that particular item., but any information which they do have stored about you should be disclosed if you were to make a data subject access request.

  7. andy stock says:

    My score will be 1 as every flight I take is a redemption booking!

  8. Flieduk says:

    “On your next flight, have a wander up to the galley. You will often see a piece of paper sitting around or pinned up with the names of all the passengers on it. Their CIV score is printed alongside.”

    I am guessing not after today!

  9. I’ve always found BA customer services very quick to hand out Avios, by way of an apology, if their service isn’t up to scratch!

  10. Czechoslovakia says:

    I doubt this is of any real importance to the crew; I`m sure they have better things to be doing than playing CIV bingo. Would have thought OW status level and fare bucket be enough indicator of a passengers “importance” on board. On the other hand, if I`m wrong about that, it will explain why most BA crews I`ve come across are bunch of miserable …..

    • What shocks me is the massive inconsistency of crew. I’ve had literally some of the most courteous service imaginable, and then also a very good chunk of dismal service on board from BA.

      I’m guessing their training or at least recognition of that training actually being taken on board is poor and when you get good staff it’s because they are dedicated human beings.

      They need to go and learn from AA – the old planes might smell but the crew service level is much better, importantly without being stuck up at all.

      • You only need to fly with Thomas Cook to make you hugely appreciate BA, or practically any other airline. Their cabin crew do their set routine – which is mostly sales (pay-for drinks, snacks, lottery tickets, earphones, etc.) – then spend the rest of the flight chatting to each other at the top of their voices behind a curtain on many subjects which just sound like they are oblivious and worse to their customers. I cannot imagine how they are trained or even if they have ever encountered good manners.

        Thomas Cook Airline is the perfect antidote for anyone who has a complaint against BA cabin crew. Seriously.

      • AA??!!!

        To be fair I had exemplary service on my last flight from DFW in business but that’s the exception that proves the rule – AA (and the other American carriers) have been consistently awful.

        I honestly believe that I’ve had better service in Iberia than an American carrier.

        BAs levels are the best in the West. However, the Eastern and Middle Eastern airlines are leagues ahead again.

        • squills says:

          Can’t believe BA is besi in the West 😉

          Eg I remember flying on Lauda a few years ago now and it was on a par with Cathay.

        • Well I have switched to AA whenever they have the 777w as the business product on board is simply superb. The crew can be very mixed but then I have to endure that with BA as well as ying yang high density seating.
          As for best in west…..I flew KLM a while back on a short 3 hour sector on their 777. Full product delivered including the little houses and a crew that were simply outstanding.
          I fly BA as I live 20 miles from LHR and ex EU makes club competitive. When I have to pay full whack then BA simply not in the top 10 ex LHR

      • Lady London says:

        I have had good experience with really sweet USAir cabin crew transatlantic on my approx 4 flights with them in Y. I did get the impression that my seating opportunities did take my Star Alliance Gold into account though so who knows perhaps other rows were not getting the same. Domestic USAir in Y was a very different experience though.

  11. I have news for all of you , BA does NOT keep it as a secret at all !

    Just go to any flight attended and simply ask her to show you the information she holds on you. And she will.

    Now , regarding service, my score is 0. Yes , a simple zero , as I only fly with miles and all my paid tickets I credit to AA. But I never felt that service was poor because of that. The opposite, I once set next to a GGL member, their score is minimum 96 , and I got first choice.

    It’s basically something internal that BA uses for their own calculations and had no real impact on the costumer.

  12. Re: Jason’s comment, that BA are quick to hand out Avios if the service is not up to scratch.
    You are correct up to a point, I have complained about the “Club Europe” cabin on the ex BMI A319s’, or should I say lack of!
    Both passengers and crew always complain about the unsuitability of this aircraft, especially when it is used for a 2.5 hour flight or more. I frequently travel between AGP – LGW and always travel Club Europe. I have consistently complained to BA customer relations every time I have suffered this type of aircraft, initially I was given Avios compensation, but after several complaints, I was told that they were not interested and would no longer offer any form of compensation!
    I now check before booking to see the type of aircraft being used, the 320 is fine, so long as it is not ex BMI, poor seating, poor pitch and no wardrobe. OK this might seem petty, but what are you getting for the additional fare?
    I guess as a Gold card holder my CIV score must be terrible and for sure BA customer relations have marked me as a serial complainer! However after watching the BA documentary last week I think that my complaints are valid, especially when it was mentioned that BAs’ First Class passengers are likely to complain about a surface scratch on the interior.

  13. I recently had a flight attendant come up to me and thank me from BAEC for having been a loyal member; apparently it indicated that I had flown lots of short haul flights recently. This is entirely true, but still kinda odd, as a good deal of those segments were RFS.

  14. Completely off-topic, but this looks ominous:

    https://www.hhonorscard.co.uk/Hilton/partnermicrosite/Welcome.aspx

    • No, it is the same as the IHG rebrand. Barclaycard is moving the card onto its own systems – this means reissuing all cards with new numbers and opening new accounts for people.

  15. Just curious – would a legal victory against a OW airline have a negative effect on one’s CIV?

  16. squills says:

    I’m not sure that’s strictly true. I think you earn status even on reward flights. So you could fly ‘free’ enough to get to silver in theory.

    Have I got this right?

    • Calchas says:

      No avios or tier points accrue from reward flights, ergo no status can be earned this way.
      Also, reward flights do not count towards your minimum “qualifying” BA flights required for status upgrades.

  17. Dwadda says:

    BA use the CIV to determine Opup priority from my experience. Once I checked in and the agent made a call, whereupon she stated that I had the highest score (to whomever was on the other end of the phone) and I received an upgrade from CW to F. That has happened to me 3 or 4 times in the past six months. Yes, I spend £10ks on BA tickets. I have no idea what my CIV score is, but the unexpected upgrades do encourage me to spend more with BA than other airlines, so it has effected my behaviour in BA’s favour.

    • Yes, that is the perfect reply. It must be a hundred years ago since my income was “£10k” or more.

  18. Metropole says:

    I think it’s easy to exaggerate the mystery and importance of CIV. I have always found the crew ready to tell me my score (98), but have never noticed much benefit. The crew seem to serve me my second or third choice of meal as often as those next to me. I occasionally get upgraded but not much more than others. Many crews seem oblivious to the whole concept of CIV. The overall improvement in BA’s standards over the past year has overshadowed any variance caused by CIV, I would say.