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Will British Airways extend your Executive Club Gold, Silver or Bronze status due to coronavirus?

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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.

Comments (155)

  • RJA says:

    Is this for earning a tier level, retaining a tier level or both? I’m currently silver due to renew May 8th, currently have 1055 tie points (a flight that would have got me thru 1500 was cancelled), will I be awarded Gold from May 8th onwards? Thanks.

    • Chechire Pete says:

      Yes, on May 8th you will be over 1050 so you will become Gold then, but not before, as looks like this new mechanism will only apply when your year resets.

  • Chechire Pete says:

    So, this measure ensures the immediate people year ending April,May,June are allowed a lower threshold. Why are people after this date having a moan when it’s 3 months down the line and why do they think it is affecting them now? BA will review this nearer the time.

    For people who had flights booked but they are now cancelled. BA have already stated as their years expire they will review each case individually, so there is a clear record of your cancelled flight. They asked these people to contact them after their year end. They won’t be impacted immediately as you have another 7 weeks before your card expires to sort it out.

    Even though some people might be genuinely disadvantaged, I also think there are a lot on here who are moaning for no good reason. Perhaps they were due to be downgraded anyhow, and so hoping for a get out clause of a blanket years extension might be to their advantage, and are playing on this as an excuse.

    Calm down everyone, and if you have a genuine case within the next 3 months then BAEC will still review your account. This automatic process of a reduced Tier threshold when you year is up is simply to remove the majority from having to call up.

    • Andrew says:

      People with an expiry after this date are having a moan, because it *is* affecting them now.

      In my case (early August expiry) I have two travel peaks… Sep-Nov and Mar-Jun with next to no travel over Christmas or the summer-peak. So I’m unlikely to be adding any more this this flight-year, but have had plenty of events cancelled (so no flights)

  • david dony says:

    To bad !!! I have 1020 points ending April 8th.
    I had to postpone my flight to BBK 3 weeks ago, which would have granted us Gold for the first time and for the whole family.

    • Sunguy says:

      Go find some kind of internal flight – somewhere / anywhere in business – see what you can find – I havent looked, Ive no idea whats flying (if anything much) – but there are flights……

  • Stephen says:

    Well at least this is good news for me. My membership year ends 8th May and my entire last 12 months of travel was designed such that my return from my honeymoon on 8th May got me Silver status for first time. With the honeymoon and the wedding now off I have just enough already to get Silver anyway and it means I will now get the silver bonus on both honeymoon flights instead of only bronze. As long as they keep this under review for later renewal dates and are sympathetic to genuine cases I cant see it is a hugely unreasonable approach.

  • RogerS says:

    Having booked a dream holiday of a lifetime to Florida for my family of 9 last year starting 5th April it has been a nightmare to unwind but am getting there. Thought others might be interested in my experiences.
    4 people booked via BA Holidays; Flight via , Car and Universal tickets. : Full refund within 7 days of flight cancellation.
    4 people booked LHR-PHL Rtn JFK-LHR using two 2-4-1 BA Amex vouchers (mixture of F C Ec+ and E) internal flights via AA. Plus paid for seats.

    Requested refunds from AA on the basis of Presidential decree. So far have received the refunds for seats but not for the flights; strange? This was a real hassle as they required separate claim form for each passenger and seat purchase stating the ticket number rather than Record Locator. 12 forms in all.

    BA: Unfortunately left it too late to use the JavaScript hack, so requested a Voucher for one booking and filled out the Refund form for the other. Having done that I was confused as to how they would deal with the 2-4-1 vouchers so tried calling. After four attempts, getting cut off each time, managed to get to the ‘select 1 for Avios booking’. Was expecting a long wait but it was answered in <4mins! However they couldn’t deal with my bookings because it wasn’t within 72 hrs of our flights. I their advice re Refund vs Voucher route and was told that “the Voucher would automatically extend the validity of my 2–4-1 that was due to expire in May, for 1 year rather than the 6 months if I cancelled. We’ll see. So far have received confirmation of the Voucher request but not the Refund.

    AirBnB booking for 13-18th April refunded in full 4 days from request!

    Bonvoy non-refundable bookings refunded immediately on request via phone.

    Multiple bookings via Marriott Vacation club; points returned on cancellation as per normal BUT with 12 month restriction on usage. Not so happy with this but was told that the policy could well change.

    Disney tickets: Purchased via Marriott in Orlando; awaiting announcement that Disney world will remain closed over our booking dates.

    Amex Platinum CC returned refunded cash to my bank account within 5 days on request via online chat. Very helpful!

    I think Customer Service from all of these organisations are doing a good Job (if and when you can actually speak to a person) under these very difficult circumstances 😬

    Apologies for the long post!!

    • Sunguy says:

      Disney has announced they will be closed “for the foreseeable” – Orange county has a stay at home order until April 9 and cast members will be paid through April 18th…check the official Disney sites about tickets as they are extending validity for 12months, etc – you might be better to hold onto them if you are going to try sorting this trip out again in the next year – Disney always puts up their prices in about Feb each year and the other parks then follow.

  • Simon says:

    Hi

    I was wondering if anyone knows if this reduction in tier points for qualification also applied to qualifying for GGL for the first time? (I.e. the 5000 TP level) My collecting year ends April 08 and just short of 5000 TP, but well within 30% of that level.

    Thanks

  • Craig says:

    Has everyone impacted by this received the email? My year end date is 8 June but I don’t have an email. Would make a big impact for me as I was due to make silver before the end of my year. flights have been cancelled but I have 470 tier points. So presumably I will get an email saying I have now got silver status (for the first time!)?

  • Jason says:

    Interesting way BA are approaching this. What about cards already renewed this year?

    I’m a Gold Member, renewed 8th Feb with over 2000 TPs. Already cancelled since Feb Renewal I have 1 x Hong Kong, 1 x Japan, 2 x USA and 1 x Lanzarote which would have been 1200 TPs in last 8 weeks, instead I have zero.

    So, everyone is “status impacted” with more or less 3 months of cancelled travel. Like others have said, my travel is quite seasonal and heavy Feb – May and Sept – Dec

    I honestly care about many other things more right now than my Gold Status, but the approach from BA feels like typical BA right now. I’m also a Hilton Diamond, again no nights so far with the cancellation of travel and really surprised to read their email with their approach.