Last weekend, bmi finally died. The last bmi flight landed at Heathrow (see photo below), the bmi credit cards were closed to new applicants and www.flybmi.com was closed down.
If you still have any bmi Destination Miles, you now need to go to www.diamondclub.org to check how many. Going forward, once any outstanding Hilton, estore etc miles have cleared, the only way you will be able to add to your DC miles is from the bmi credit cards. And they are closed to new applicants.
The only way to spend your miles now is to transfer them to British Airways Executive Club, turning them into Avios.
The www.diamondclub.org website launched last weekend. And it is a bit of a mess.
A lot of people have found that they cannot access it, although if your membership number is not working, try using the email address associated with your old bmi account. Some people have also found that they have a random amount of miles or are seeing other peoples transactions on their account. To be fair, I see none of this. My account looks correct at zero miles – although some credit card miles will be dropping in very soon.
There are two issues, though, which have cropped up during this process.
The first is Family Membership.
bmi allowed you to link up to six other accounts to your account, and transfer the miles to yours. My Mum has had a bmi credit card for a couple of years, and every month I would transfer her miles into my account. (Don’t worry – every year or so I would give her a nice redemption somewhere!)
The new website does not recognise family memberships. Going forward, my Mum’s credit card miles will have to stay in her DC account and be transferred into her BA account. At least she has an active BA account – if she didn’t, I would have been getting rid of her credit card immediately.
The 2nd issue is potentially more serious and reflects BA’s rules on refunds.
BA had previously stated that, for UK DC members, there would be no problem cancelling redemption flights going forward. (After all, people will have redemptions booked all the way up to August 2013 using their bmi miles.) The new website FAQ, though, says this:
I made a booking using my destinations miles for travel after 31 December 2012, will this booking be protected?
Yes. Any flight bookings made using destinations miles will be honoured but changes or refunds are not permitted.
It beggars belief that this can be true. I’m not sure it is even legal. Is BA seriously saying that if my Dubai trip at Easter on Austrian Airlines is cancelled (even if it is Austrian that cancels the flights) then I get NOTHING back? Not my 180,000 DC miles, and not the £1,500+ of airport taxes I paid??!!
This surely cannot be true, and also goes against BA’s previous policy. But then BA also said that you would be able to transfer INTO Diamond Club from Avios in order to redeem on Virgin Atlantic, and they went back on that. So who knows? We do know that the BA representative on Flyertalk has not responded to this issue, six days after she was asked about it.
If this really is the case, though, then I will need to cancel my Easter booking. I can’t take the risk (£3,500-worth, given the value of the miles plus the taxes) that something won’t come up that will stop us travelling.