British Airways goes OTT and gives 2 years of status to last weekend’s passengers!

There have been a few developments since I wrote my (well-received, I think) article last Tuesday on BA’s IT melt-down.

The good news is that British Airways is starting to back-peddle on its initial intentions to refuse to compensate passengers.

BA will now consider refunding passengers who bought alternative tickets on other airlines

BA has accepted that it will have to pay EU261 compensation, despite initially telling claimants that they would not be paid

BA will now consider claims for incidental expenses – the current issue is over whether it will insist you claim from your travel insurance first, which is likely to lead to you incurring an excess

The only issue where I don’t have any clarity is whether BA is still insisting that passengers who booked 2 x one-way flights instead of a return ticket will not be compensated for the return tickets they can no longer use.

That said …. if you read the comments under this article, you will see that the reality about what BA is offering to pay seems different (worse) to what they are telling the press.

Mail cover

A surprise gift for Executive Club status members

Some – but not all – travellers last Saturday, Sunday or Monday with British Airways Executive Club status received a pleasant surprise last night.

(Perhaps not as pleasant as being on holiday, which is where many of them were hoping to be but aren’t …..)

BA is extending the Bronze, Silver or Gold status of members travelling last Saturday, Sunday or Monday for two years.  This is a decent gesture and is the first genuine sign of attempting to ‘make good’.

In fact, to be honest, it is a bit OTT.

I can perfectly understand doing this for anyone travelling on Saturday.

On Sunday, however, 2/3rd of Heathrow flights departed – albeit some with long delays.  However, every single flight from Gatwick got away.  Almost all flights on Monday departed as scheduled from both airports.

We are now in a slightly odd situation where there are people who may still be left out of pocket – such as those with 2 x one-way flights booked – whilst many others who were not disrupted at all have had a very generous early Christmas present.

For some reason not everyone who should receive it is receiving the email.  I know of couples, both with the same status, where one has been sent it and the other has not.  Anika also hasn’t had it despite a flight last Monday.  Hopefully BA is not randomly picking out people to receive this, because if it is then there will be even more PR issues coming down the line.

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  1. The DailyMail headline in your picture is disgusting… A british company screws up and they immediately blame it on the “spanish” boss and the “indian” IT.

    Is this what Britain has become !?

  2. Will this really help BA in the media though? “We’re really sorry for last weekend so we are going to give the 10% affected who are frequent flyers an extra 2 years to drink champagne in our lounges”.

    • I like champagne particularly when I’ve paid for it. Anyway, I always fly CE and CW.

  3. Edinrob says:

    I was caught up in the chaos on Sunday… c. 3 hour delay from Boston and then had 2 cancelled flights from Heathrow to Edinburgh

    I’m Silver and still waiting for an email…

  4. LondonFoodie says:

    Ah the irony…
    Just when I bought a Tier point run to extend my silver for two more years! Oh well. On the plus side may skip the lhr-man-lhr day trip and enjoy a Saturday at home

  5. O/T can anyone decipher the forthcoming winter BA schedule (and specific aircraft) between LHR-NRT

    The route is ‘usually’ a 787-9. The above article says route will fly a 777-300ER on 2 days per week (26 and returning 37)
    …where the 2 and 6 (and 3 and 7) are days of the week…but which days do these correspond to?

    Thereafter, when looking at booking flights any day of the week, the info on the BA website says it’s a 777 every day. Most odd, I can’t work it out!

    • In airline routes speak,
      1 = Monday
      7 = Sunday
      And everything in between

    • Yeah my Narita flight changed from a 777 to a 787, strangely MyFlights app didn’t notify me and didn’t notify me of the resulting seat change. Spotted something had changed when logged into BA Manage My Booking and was no longer sat in window seat.

      I was ok with going to Narita as it was on 787, if on a 777 then the Haneda 777 flight would have bene less hassle.

  6. Christine Cooper says:

    I got the email and I was one of the Ines stuck on Saturday. I didn’t gave a 6 hour wait I had a 40 hour wait. Getting home on Monday after a very stressful expensive two nights.
    I liked the way ( no fault of mine ) that I was given a letter to go and find s hotel and will be compensated up to £200. You tell me where I could find a hotel for that price on a bank holiday weekend, with the FA cup final and 50,000 passengers stranded.
    I did find a hotel eventually for £320. Then I had to pay another £171 for the Sunday night nearer the airport. Then I had a text from BA at 3.15 am on the Monday morning to say my Monday flight had also been cancelled. It was an extremely stressful time.
    So as a good will gesture I get to keep
    My silver status for another two years. Personally I deserve Gold status.
    I was one of the lucky ones I had a credit card. What about all those people who did not have the money to use in accomafsyion etc?

  7. Alex W says:

    No way. My Gold card ran out on 31 May. Really wish I’d had a flight now!

  8. Alastair France says:

    Flew on the Friday (so wouldn’t expect anything) but also on the Monday (although there was no problem with my (longish haul) flight). Not heard anything yet – but if I do get anything that would be an unexpected bonus 🙂

  9. We flew on Monday but neither of us has heard anything.

  10. Just had a chat with a BA rep and they’ve confirmed with me that whatever status I have when my collection year ends is the status that will be renewed for 2 years.

    I brought this up as i started my year in Feb and am 20TP away from silver…. I was hoping they would allow me to get to silver first.

    But this news is even better…what are the thoughts around going for gold? I would get to keep it for 2 years (not inc this year which ends in Feb)

    • Was that a chat instigated by you on the off-chance, or did you get an email beforehand?

      • Got an email before hand, but i didnt call in about it either. Got a twiiter message to send my details via direct message to BA. The social media reps called me and sorted out my flight refund, all my expenses, eu compensation. I then asked about the tier points and status and she confirmed it.

        As a side note, im happy they called me as I’m sure if i called in I would have ended up with someone at an outsourced call center like the last few times.

  11. Following on from the email this morning on some people getting the 2 years and others not and the indication this is caused by who booked. I’m not sure that is the case. I booked 3 flights for myself, wife and daughter (we have a household account). Both myself and my wife are Gold Card holders. We both had the email saying we would be getting 2 years. Ironically we were flying from Manchester on the Weekend City route to Alicante so got away on time and without delay, in fact we didn’t even know about the issue until was sat on the sun bed with drink in hand reading the news. So I’m not sure as to what logic BA are applying to alocation of the 2 years.

  12. Jason W says:

    We both got the email (partner is Silver, I’m Gold). However, even though we travelled during that weekend on the Sunday from the US East Coast to London, our flight was not cancelled. It was merely delayed by 90 minutes.

    An on top of it, to make it even more OTT, they oversold premium economy so they bumped our business class seats to first class to make space for some people in premium!!!

    So we got the two years extension, the first class upgrade and it just cost us a 90 minute delay. Thank you BA!

  13. Jack Contin says:

    Not sure if Rob’s planning to do any follow-up article on how BA is implementing this offer… but to add my experience, I noted in my online account that my Gold membership due to expire Jan 2018, now expires Jan 2020. So two years. Not sure what this means for my TP earnings this year – if I hit 1500 TPs this year (and am nearly there), would that push the expiry back to 2021? Or count for nothing?

    • It could count for nothing. Be happy that BA has made it easy for you to try other airlines for the next 2 years 🙂

  14. Is anybody still waiting for their account to be updated and show the extra 2 years? My account has still not changed.

  15. I was traveling from Stockholm to Miami on Saturday of IT problems. First leg on BA. Second on American. I didn’t have any problem whatsoever.
    I received the email about the 2 years. I was silver.
    On my return flight two weeks after, I became gold for the first time. It turned out that it will expire in Feb 2021!!!! Incredible my luck.