How do you get a British Airways Executive Club Premier card?

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Most people think that the British Airways Executive Club tiers are Blue, Bronze, Silver and Gold.  There is also Gold Guest List – see here for how you get that – but it is a subset of Gold and does not have its own membership card.

There is, however, another elite tier you may not know about – British Airways Executive Club Premier.

This is the card you get:

How do you get a British Airways Executive Club Premier card?

How do you get a British Airways Executive Club Premier card?

This information is taken from official British Airways guidelines, although the guidelines are now a few years old and may have been updated.

The aim of Premier is to keep on the good side of people who control the travel budgets at British Airways’ largest corporate accounts.

In order to get a British Airways Premier card, you need to control a travel budget which spends at least £2 million per year with British Airways.

Importantly – and this is taken verbatim for the guidelines – giving someone a Premier card:

“will not always reflect the revenue generated for British Airways by the company, but should be based upon the individual’s ability to influence travel policy”

High profile celebrities and sports stars are also given Premier status.

How do I apply?

You don’t.  Based on the guidelines I have, you need to befriend a member of the British Airways board or a key sales manager.  They will submit an application on your behalf.

Five other BA executives (specified people, not random staff) must ‘second’ the application, including the British Airways Chief Operating Officer, currently Klaus Goersch.

How many British Airways Premier cardholders are there?

850, at the time of publication of the guidance notes I have.

A comment below from a BA employee states that the current number is nearer 450 following a decision by Alex Cruz to reduce the numbers.

What do you get if you are a British Airways Premier cardholder?

What you DIDN’T get, interestingly, is tier points according to the BA guidance, although this may have changed recently looking at the comments below.  Perhaps introducing lifetime status criteria meant that Premier members still wanted to track their points?

As a Premier, you receive all of the benefits of British Airways Gold membership plus:

use of the Special Services team at key airports

access to British Airways lounges at all times, even if the member is not flying on British Airways

ability to bring two guests into a lounge (a Gold member can only bring one guest)

access to The Concorde Room at Heathrow Terminal 5 and New York JFK, irrespective of class of travel

ability to give Gold status to a friend or partner

an annual upgrade voucher, allowing a single cabin upgrade for two people – this is the same as the Gold Guest List GUF2 voucher

Anecdotally, from crew reports on Flyertalk, British Airways will remove paying passengers from a flight if a Premier member wishes to travel on it, and will hold flights if a Premier customer is delayed.

Not a bad deal if you can get it …. but don’t get your hopes up!

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  1. I was talking about this with my Boss just the other day when he told me had a secret tier for BAEC. I had never heard of it! Doing a quick calculation (Based on my own travel budget multiplied by numbers in the department) would mean his team spend around £5M per year on travel so that would fit with your description. – In fact it is probably closer to £7M as the first calculation is the UK based staff visiting the markets but of course the markets also visit the UK.

    However our company policy still says that we should fly Easy Jet, Ryanair or Norwegian if possible so not sure how much of an effect it has.

  2. Quote:- “British Airways will remove paying passengers from a flight if a Premier member wishes to travel on it, and will hold flights if a Premier customer is delayed.”

    I can’t say about now, but during the last Labour administration when there were a fair few Scots in the Cabinet, It was quite common to be discretely approached in the lounge with generous offers to be “bumped” from the 18:xx Edinburgh flight on a Friday evening.

  3. William Morrison says:

    When BA peddle out my £5 bottles of wine out to their first class customers they need as many Premiers as possible to maintain the illusion.

  4. Rob, your numbers are out of date. AC introduced a cap of 500 on Prems when he came in, and every so often goes through and ‘culls’ a few. It’s currently about 450. It’s now limited to corporate budget holders (and their CEOs), sports stars and the like have been downgraded (but are still looked after).

    • Thanks, have added a line.

    • The “Celebs on BA” thread on FT tends to report sports and movie stars in the CCR, even when they’re reported on UK/EU flights later. Maybe they’re given a kind of GGLfL benefit instead?

      Anyway, you wouldn’t want Lewis Hamilton / Idris Elba / Emma Watson in the terminal or the Club lounges since you’re most likely to create a riot of people wanting selfies and autographs (or worse).

    • do sports stars / politicians / actors etc. have their own category ?

  5. R.P McMurphy says:

    The premier card is somewhat overhyped, The main differences are –

    1 They’ll let you relax in the lounge until the last minute when someone will come and escort you to your seat.

    2. They’ll meet you from the plane and if you’re at a remote stand take you through a side exit and drive you to the special services immigration, although this seems to be entirely at random. Sometimes they are there to meet you, sometimes not.

    3. They will delay the flight if you are somewhere near the gate, but that’s all.

    • Shoestring says:

      You sound like you know/ genuine.

      The only time they held a flight for me – Glasgow, I forgot my passport so they let me go home & get it – I faced the Wrath of Khan from people in the front rows – just glaring at me and melting me into the floor – so would not advise it lol

      Worse than the walk of shame when you are a student.

      It was only a few minutes, as well! 🙂

  6. Well if there is no tier points, then I’m OUT.
    I’ll keep my blue card, with my zero CIV score

  7. UK Bribery Act

    1 Offences of bribing another person

    (1)A person (“P”) is guilty of an offence if either of the following cases applies.

    (2)Case 1 is where—

    (a)P offers, promises or gives a financial or other advantage to another person, and

    (b)P intends the advantage—

    (i)to induce a person to perform improperly a relevant function or activity, or

    (ii)to reward a person for the improper performance of such a function or activity.

    (3)Case 2 is where—

    (a)P offers, promises or gives a financial or other advantage to another person, and

    (b)P knows or believes that the acceptance of the advantage would itself constitute the improper performance of a relevant function or activity.

    (4)In case 1 it does not matter whether the person to whom the advantage is offered, promised or given is the same person as the person who is to perform, or has performed, the function or activity concerned.

    (5)In cases 1 and 2 it does not matter whether the advantage is offered, promised or given by P directly or through a third party.

    • Somehow I think BAs lawyers know about this and don’t believe the premier scheme is illegal in any way shape or form,

      Remember BA is doing this as a corporate board level not a single individual in the contracts department looking for a backhander.

      • Shoestring says:

        It’s not illegal or immoral in any way!

        Might sort of stray into that area, but lines are drawn for a purpose: as in – 16 is legal, 15 & 364 days ain’t!

  8. I had a premier card for a couple of years when I was commuting NYC to LON twice a week (F LHR and J LCY). They took it away pretty quick when we fell out over pricing.

  9. No mention of the personal spend thresholds for Premier…

  10. Jonathan Clague says:

    I don’t think many people at all has ever been the same flight that has someone who has this membership level, since the number of people with this membership won’t exceed three figures.

    It also wouldn’t surprise me if very few BA airport staff and cabin crew have will’ve encountered anyone with this membership level as well, either way though I definitely won’t want to be spending half my travelling around in planes on a near daily basis, working in one is a different kettle of fish entirely, so let’s not get too technical

  11. Remove me for one of these folk and Messrs Sue, Grabbit and Run will be sharpening their pencils within the hour 🙂

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