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. Mike P says:

    This is not either terribly helpful or generous by BA. They will eventually have to do much more and I suspect blanket extensions will follow in due course. Those of us who re-qualified in March, for example, are largely unable to fly currently so will have far fewer tier points during this collection year.

    For example, I re-qualified for GGL/CCR on March 8th but currently have almost nothing booked. I would normally be accruing tier points at around 500 per month so this will quickly have a large effect on how my tier point collection year will look.

  2. Shoestring says:

    It is not clear why British Airways is not choosing not to simply extend status.

    Ahem! 🙂

  3. Graham says:

    My tp year is July 8th. I am seriously unhappy about this. Are BA just trying to drive us to other airlines? Because it’s working. Currently sitting at 1070TP and was due to hit Gold by May. Unable to now as our flights were cancelled this past weekend and the trip to the US mid May is unlikely to go ahead either.

    So frustrating.

  4. Shoestring says:

    I think an automatic extension of 6 months to your MOT with no need to take the test at 12 months (must by 18 months, though) was a very simple decision to take and BA could EASILY have done something similar

    +6 months, here you go everybody, we value your loyal custom

  5. Thegamebird says:

    Interestingly, this will affect me, and benefit me. My re-qualification is June 8th. I currently have 1060TPs with cancelled future bookings amounting to a further 700-odd, so this will benefit me in that I should qualify for Gold. HOWEVER, after spending the last 6 months in Australia and NZ all of my TPs have been earnt with Qantas and Qatar. Of the cancelled flights coming this month and next month, all of them were on BA metal, thus meeting (and exceeding) the x4 flight requirement. I wonder whether, taking x2 random return flights around the country to have the necessary 4 flights on BA metal would be considered by Boris as necessary journeys!

  6. It works for me – I’m on around 1100 with april renewal. And about 600 TPs worth of cancelled flights. So I’m not complaining

  7. Well that’s me finished with BA. All of the flying that would have got me 1500 TP’s is done in Apr-Jun (most of which now cancelled or postponed). I’m at 605 at the moment but had enough flights booked to take me well over 1500 by my 8th July renewal date.
    Apart from anything else I’ve been loyal to BA for years. And all they could come up with was this lousy proposition.
    I’m finished with them. Star Alliance or Skyteam is easy enough for me to swap to. Just have to decide which one now!

  8. This is a very poor response by BA.

    In contrast Qantas has extended all their memberships by the full 12 months.

    From their notice:

    What does status extension mean?
    To provide peace of mind when it comes to your Frequent Flyer status, Qantas will ensure that eligible Qantas Frequent Flyer members with a membership year anniversary date between March 2020 and February 2021 will automatically retain their current status, even if they have not already retained in their own right.

    Full details are at:
    https://www.qantas.com/au/en/frequent-flyer/status-and-clubs/status/status-extension.html

    Maybe BA might learn!

  9. Poor. Been silver for 5-6 years now. Only at 250 TPs with my TP year expiring in May but had to cancel work travel including a CW to TLV from EDI which would have taken me over 600 this year. Fortunately I’ve had status extended to 2021 due to the new parent scheme.

  10. I was quite worried as my renewal date is 8th May, and I had to cancel flights from Oslo to Bangkok for ApriI on Qatar Airways. But I am one of the lucky ones who benefits from this. I already have done 4 BA flights last year and currently have 1260 tier points. This means my Gold staus will be renewed. My feeling is that they will extend beyond June if the current situation drags on.

    • Surely it doesn’t matter if it ‘drags on’ or not? Anyone renewing after 8th June has still lost 3 months of their year.

      • Doug M says:

        This does seem a little odd, maybe it’s all they could manage with their ropey IT. Essentially they’ve chosen a set of people and given them a reduced target. Everyone is losing the same amount of flying opportunity, so why limit the reduction to a subset.
        My renewal is May, but I already have enough for Gold next year. But what I’m losing is the flights for next year that would qualify me for status in the 21-22 year. I had 720TP in a May booking, and another 720TP in June. That was pretty much the following year sewn up for me. They need to be a little careful that people don’t find this an excuse to stray to other choices. Having status does make you fly with them, if that gets broken they risk you give up on it.

      • What about anyone who renewed in February or March?. I renewed on 8 Feb but haven’t been able to book anything so I have already lost 6 weeks of my TP earning year. Do you see flights resuming by July? I have a booking for July I am expecting will be cancelled. Even if flights do resume on 1 July I will be 40% of the way through my TP earning year.

        • Nothing for you.

          • That’s what I mean it’s not just those who renew in July that miss 3 months of the year to earn TP to renew and lose out.They do have a chance to extend it to July and even August but if they keep extending it then they should have simply extended status for either 6 months or 1 year for everyone. I do sometimes wonder who thinks about these things.Poor show BA.

        • Catalan says:

          I’m in a similar situation. My point collection ended 8th March. I have had to cancel two 160TP trips due to the COVID-19 situation.
          Would you suggest I call Executive Club to see if they could lower my earring target from 600TP in order to retain Silver? I have another trip booked in Club for August.

  11. I just renewed silver on 8 February but haven’t been able to fly since.I have two bookings for July and September (both Avios bookings so not TP earning) and the July flight looks like being cancelled anyway. So currently sitting on 0TP and right now I think it’s unlikely anyone will be flying before October at the earliest. That leaves less than 1/2 the year to get the flights necessary to retain Silver. Not happy. I would have preferred at least a 6 month extension as that would have given me a chance to retain status. Poor show BA

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