Will British Airways extend your Executive Club Gold, Silver or Bronze status due to coronavirus? This is what’s happening.

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British Airways has just announced the measures it is taking to ensure you may still be able to enjoy your status benefits once travel restrictions lift.

To be honest, it’s not good enough.  But it’s a start.

Here is what will change:

The number of tier points you need to earn or retain status will be reduced by 30% for members due for renewal on 8th April, 8th May and 8th June

If your membership is due to renew from 8th July onwards, there is no concession (yet?).  You will need to earn the full number of tier points to renew or gain status.

The requirement to have flown four BA cash flights (on top of earning the necessary tier points) is waived

All 2-4-1 vouchers and Gold Upgrade Vouchers will automatically be extended by 6 months (which we already wrote about here)

If your membership is up for renewal in April, May or June you should expect an email outlining the changes.

This page of ba.com has more details.

what are the British Airways Executive Club tiers?

How does the British Airways status extension work in practice?

The British Airways tier point thresholds will now stand at 210 tier points for Bronze, 420 tier points for Silver and 1050 tier points for Gold.

Assuming your membership year renews on 8th June, you will have missed out at least two (April, May) but more likely three (March) and possibly four (February) months of regular flying.  Assuming three months, and if you earn an equal amount of tier points every month,  you would be missing out on 25% of your annual tier points. Under this extension your status would renew, since the reduction of tier points required is greater than your lost earnings.

However, this is only on the assumption that you earn an equal amount of tier points every month. For most flyers, this is unlikely. 

The majority of people who are currently Bronze, Silver and Gold earn their status through only a handful of flights – it can take as little as one long haul return flight and a few short hauls to qualify for British Airways Silver status, for example.

Reducing the tier points required by 30% is unlikely to have an impact on these flyers, as they are likely to miss out on key bookings they made due to travel restrictions. These people will face a soft landing to the next tier down.

Because British Airways has refused to credit travellers with the tier points they would have earned from flights which were booked but then cancelled, some people will fail to earn or retain status even though their cancelled flights would have tipped them over.

Whilst this update protects some of BA’s corporate clients – people who commute to work, or have a weekly or monthly trip to US for example – it falls short of protecting many other status holders. These are customers British Airways is at risk of losing if it does not enact further concessions.

It is not clear why British Airways is choosing not to simply extend status.  Qatar Airways and Virgin Atlantic have announced they are rolling over status for an additional six months, no questions asked.  Qantas is going one step further and extending status by a whole year.  Hilton also announced a similar move yesterday – in fact, Hilton went further by saying that anyone who has recently dropped down will be reinstated.  This seems like a simpler and more effective fix than what BA is proposing here.

It also seems odd to apply this change from April onwards, given the levels of disruption to flying that happened in the weeks up to 8th March. If your membership renewed this month there is a chance you may not have re-qualified for your tier, and these changes do not offer any help.

We will have to wait and see if British Airways goes further than what it has announced today. I suspect it will have to, given the amount of people who will be losing out.

You can find out more on this page of ba.com.

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Comments

  1. Marcus says:

    We are in a similar situation. Have flow BA for many years, used them when we’ve been employees, and now having our own company. Must have spent hundreds of thousands with them. We use them for all our long haul travel and have maintained Gold for a good five years. However, this period has massively affected our travel – typically once a month, or twice a month on average. We are both expiring in late Summer but there’s no way we will have made Gold by then. BA’s offering is dwindling and they simply aren’t as competitive as other airlines. The biggest problem is that there isn’t really an alternative single airline that has the footprint that BA does. I would love to switch if I could. Treating their loyalest customers this way is disappointing and I’m sure they will need all the help they can get once things get back to normal. I’ll be stunned if they don’t do more.

  2. AndrewM says:

    Typical half hearted BA reply to its frequent fliers. I’m silver with them and its a joke. I find the crew are either fantastic (a real tribute) or dire and disinterested. Flying business with them is no joy. First is always fun. They need to improve this else a lot of us will take our money elsewhere, especially when they should be doing their damnedest to retain loyalty.

  3. My year expired in Feb and I made gold again. My travel this year ( at least confirmed bookings) is going to be non existent until December and by which point it will be beyond challenging to justify the travel required in two months (Dec and Jan) to retain gold. BA are effectively telling me they no longer value my or my families business (three easy gold members in our household account for the last few years, and longer for me). A possible soft land to Silver will confirm that to me and I will vote with my wallet. I may only be one person, but not the only one this impacts like this. I want to speculate that BA is doing this in a deliberate attempt to thin the herd of Silvers and Golds who take up space and “free food and drink” in the lounges.

    • Polly says:

      I agree about thinning the herd. We won’t be able to get our BA sectors in before August at this rate. Might have to do a quick day return somewhere if ness. If BA are up and running by beginning of August…what a mess.

  4. Roger says:

    What about a flyer who is expecting to qualify for silver based on number of flights which now cannot be taken because of cancelled flights and travel restrictions.

    • Unfortunately you fall through the cracks.

      • Roger says:

        Just to update.

        I contacted BAEC (well Senor Cruz via email) and within few hours received a reply back from an executive stating that the same terms apply for 30% reduction i.e. with 35 flights only I do qualify as BA silver as opposed to 50 flight requirement.

        The email does say though the status will be applied on BAEC anniversary which, I will find out soon.

        Not all bad, considering current situation.

        • Matthias Funke says:

          Sweet! I am Silver but only 50 TP short of Gold. My membership renews 8 July, so I still have some time. I could do a mileage run if really needed, but it seems like I wouldn’t have to.

  5. I had already retained gold prior to the disruption. My membership renewed this month and shows 1500 tier points have to be attained to retain gold, as per normal. This is going to be difficult due to no flying until who knows when. They have clearly felt the need to do something, but they haven’t properly thought it through.

  6. I am currently on 410 and my April flights which have been cancelled would have taken me beyond 600 points I need to retain silver status with tier year ending in May. The issue BA will face and not realise is that many people choose BA and often on upper classes to retain the tier points even when cheaper flight options exist. The moment that motivation goes the decision to fly with BA becomes purely an economic value choice. Which means they will lose potential revenue by not extending status by a year.

    I guess they need someone in the company to model it out and present it as the potential lost revenue as a result of not extending. It’d be so much simpler to follow the others who have simply extended the tier year.

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