One of the lesser-known benefits of British Airways Executive Club Gold status is that you receive nearly-top-tier status with the Langham hotel chain.
Langham Hospitality Group is owned by a Hong Kong property company. The majority of the hotels are in Asia, with a scattering in the US, Australasia and of course the landmark The Langham hotel in Portland Place (below) after which the entire chain is named. I reviewed the Langham London hotel here.
There are three brands in the group:
The Langham and Langham Place – classical and contemporary luxury hotels
Cordis Hotels – luxury properties with a holistic ‘well being’ approach
Eaton – a smaller upscale affiliated brand which shares the Langham loyalty scheme
British Airways Gold benefits at Langham, Cordis and Eaton hotels
The Langham loyalty scheme is called ‘1865’ after the year that the London property was founded. You can find out more about it here.
Not all Langham Place and Eaton properties participate in ‘1865’ – the full list is in this link. All of the ‘The Langham’ branded properties do take part.
There are four membership tiers:
Explorer (entry level)
Gateway (3 stays in 12 months)
Voyager (5 stays in 12 months) and
Destiny (invitation only)
Even Explorer members receive free internet, a free newspaper and 2pm late check-out subject to availability, so you should definitely sign-up even if you have only one stay planned.
‘1865’ is NOT a points based scheme. I assume they believe that the chain is too small for that to work effectively. Instead of points to redeem for free nights, members receive airline miles in a variety of programmes, including BA Avios. Continued loyalty to the group is shown through the stay-based benefits that ‘1865’ members receive.
The British Airways Gold benefit is impressive as you are enrolled immediately at ‘Voyager’ level. This would usually require five stays and gives you the following benefits:
6pm check-out subject to availability – very handy for evening flights
a one category room upgrade subject to availability
free fruit and water
your choice of personalised welcome amenity
500 Avios points per NIGHT (maximum 3 nights)
The website also mentions that Voyager members receive a suite upgrade voucher but it implies that this is only given to Voyager members who complete five stays in the current year.
This page at ba.com has more information if you click through to the Langham area. You do not join ‘1865’ in advance. Instead, you show your British Airways Gold card when you check-in. The reception staff will arrange for your ‘1865’ membership and ‘Voyager’ upgrade to be processed.
The Langham London confirmed to me that BA Gold members will receive ‘Voyager’ benefits from their first stay – you do not have to wait until you come back to start benefiting.
I also had an email recently from someone who booked a Langham in Asia via Kaligo.com. Despite booking via a third party, the hotel still recognised his BA status and gave him Voyager status along with all of the benefits for his stay. You can’t complain at that.