Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Does British Airways Executive Club have soft landings?

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

I am often asked whether British Airways Executive Club has soft landings.  It does, and I will explain how the BA soft landings work.

“Soft” and “hard” landings describe the way in which you drop through tiers in loyalty programs if you do not hit the renewal requirements for a particular tier.

Does British Airways Executive Club have soft landings?

A soft landing is generally seen as preferential when it comes to frequent flyer programs, since it is more generous than a hard landing.

For example, with British Airways Executive Club, if you hold Gold status but fail to reach the 1,500 tier point threshold for renewal, you will be gently lowered through the elite tiers rather than being demoted immediately to Blue at the end of your membership year. This is referred to as a soft landing since you can enjoy one year of Silver status and then a year of Bronze status even if you do not earn a single tier points after reaching GOld.

A hard landing, conversely, is when you do not transition through lower elite tiers but crash straight to the bottom of the tier ladder when your membership year (and elite status) expires.  This would be the equivalent of dropping from British Airways Executive Club Gold status to Blue status overnight.

Luckily, British Airways Executive Club operates soft landings, meaning that you are likely to enjoy at some benefits in the following membership year even if you don’t reach the requirements for renewal of your current tier.

There is only one exception.  Certain elite Gold Guest List members of British Airways Executive Club can gift Gold and Silver status to friends.  If you receive status in this way you will not receive a soft landing and will drop straight back to Blue.

You can read more about the different elite tiers with British Airways Executive Club in this article.

(This article is part of our ‘BA Q&A’ series which explains how British Airways Executive Club works.  You can see all of our ‘BA Q&A’ articles here. )

(Head for Points is the UK’s biggest frequent flyer website with 1.5 million monthly page views.  Want to learn more about earning and spending Avios?  Click here to read our latest news storiesclick here to join our email list and click here to read our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series.  Read this article to learn how you can get 10,000 FREE Avios by signing up for the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold credit card.)