A month ago I wrote this piece about the launch of diamondclub.org, the new website that BA has set up. It is there to allow former bmi Diamond Club members to check their Diamond Club mileage balance, and to move those miles across to Avios (they now have no other use).
When we saw this site, a lot of people were pretty shocked by this wording:
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.
This was a complete about-turn from what BA had originally promised, which was:
- UK members – you can cancel flights after 31 December and get all your miles and all your taxes back, less a £25 per person fee
- Rest of the World – you can cancel flights after 31 December and get your taxes back, less a £25 per person fee, but not your miles (as all Diamond Club accounts for non-UK residents are being closed on 31 December)
The position BA adopted on the Diamond Club website was appalling. For a start, cancellation is often outside your control.
Ex-bmi Diamond Club members will have booked redemption flights up to the end of August 2013, but airlines will not confirm their Summer timetables until nearer March 2013. The idea that an airline cancels a route and you lose all your miles AND all your taxes was preposterous – and probably illegal as well.
Anyway, the good news is that BA has backtracked. In fact, they have actually improved their original position.
Now, wherever you live in the world, you will be able to refund a Diamond Club redemption booking at any time. You need to call the Executive Club to cancel and to give them an Avios account number where the miles can be redeposited.
The text on the diamondclub.org website that I highlighted has still not been updated. This is a poor show, frankly, since it is a couple of weeks now since this u-turn was first announced.
(PS. Here is one upside! BA is paying taxes back in the form of bank transfers or cheques, not credit card refunds. This means that you will retain the miles you earned from your credit card payment when you booked the original ticket.)