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British Airways quietly devalues Gold Guest List partner cards

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(EDIT: exact dates added for clarity)

Back in December I outlined the benefits that Gold Guest List members get from British Airways.  This is the exclusive club for anyone who earns over 3,000 tier points per year.  You can read more about Gold Guest List on ba.com here (log-in required).

One of the perks of Gold Guest List is that you are able to gift British Airways Gold status to a friend or colleague and British Airways Silver status to two friends.

Very quietly (ie they did not notified Gold Guest List members about this) BA devalued the gifted cards.  This decision was taken at the end of 2013 but not communicated and the impact is only now being seen.

From the start of 2015, anyone who received Gold or Silver status via a Gold Guest List member will NOT receive a ‘soft landing’ when their membership year expires.

Gold Guest List British Airways

The means that a ‘referred’ Gold member will drop straight back to Blue at the end of the year if they do not earn enough tier points to requalify automatically.  They will not drop to Silver for a year, then to Bronze, then to Blue.

Similarly, a ‘referred’ Silver member will drop directly to Blue without an intermediate year as a Bronze.

This change applies to all existing referred members and not just anyone who is referred from the start of 2015.  British Airways is apparently treating 13th December 2013 as the cut-off date and if you were referred after that date you will be downgraded all the way.

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Comments (22)

  • Shayele says:

    Just trying to get my head round the soft landing thing. Say I made it to silver right at the end of my tier year will I go down to bronze two weeks later (the start of the new tier counting year) or stay silver for one year?

    • Rob says:

      Normally you would stay Silver for the rest of your current year, all of the following year and also get a full year as Bronze after that.

      A GGL referred person would get the first two parts but not the last bit.

  • […] British Airways has always given ‘soft landings’ when you don’t requalify for status. For instance, a Gold member who doesn’t fly at all would still get Silver the next year. But those who are gifted the status by a ‘Gold Guest List’ member will no longer receive…. […]

  • Rob says:

    I have altered the article slightly to reflect the exact dates which have now been sent to me.

    BA made this decision a year ago and December 13th 2013 was chosen as the cut-off date. If your referral was processed after that date then you will not get a soft landing. The reason that BA is now sharing this information more widely is that the first batch of ‘hard landings’ have just kicked in on January 8th.

  • travelbear says:

    Do most people give their gold and silver cards away or just forget about them. I’m curious

  • Chris H says:

    I had a hard landing from Gold to Blue on New Year’s Day after 12 months of Gold. Was a bit disappointing – and especially so, now I learn that if I had been referred a week earlier I’d still have some status for all of this year too!

  • Frequent Flyer says:

    Devalues?!
    Thats rather harsh…

    From my understanding of the program the removal of the ‘soft landing’ really doesn’t change much for the two silver status holders assuming they didn’t fly enough to retain that status.

    The person that loses out if the person awarded the free gold status, soft landing would’ve allowed an extra year of free lounge access during the dropped-to silver year .
    It stands to logical reason if one doesn’t fly enough to qualify for a particular level it shouldn’t be granted in my opinion

    • Rob says:

      It devalues it to the extent that people who gave out, and who received, the partner cards expected to receive a soft landing and now will not.