Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

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

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)

  • BP says:

    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.

  • Tom says:

    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.

    • Rob says:

      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.

      • AJA says:

        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.

        • Rob says:

          Nothing for you.

          • AJA says:

            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.

  • AJA says:

    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

  • Chrisasaurus says:

    British airways: the Marriott of the airline world…

  • Phil says:

    My renewal is June. I don’t tend to travel much over winter and the journeys I may with the largest rewards are usually April and May (one of which is 240 tier points for the return journey). BAs proposal will not allow me to retain my silver status through no fault of my own as it’s usually the months of Spring which allow me to earn my status.

  • Peter Taysum says:

    Everyone is going to lose three months of flying (possibly more). As I’ve still had nothing back about cash/vouchers and we’re past all the dates they stated I’m more than frustrated with BA. My Gold would have been renewed in September with flights I had booked. If I fly to Seattle in August (First) and they extend I’ll be close.

    As per others; do they want to drive us to other airlines? I’m NCL, so KLM to AMS or Air France to PAR gives me two Hubs; and/or Emirates to their hub.

    This is just cheap and nasty; the Cruz vision. Surprised he didn’t put PPE on and “announce it!” (A la “hi vis!”)

  • Michael says:

    My renewal date was 8th February.
    I did manage a quick US trip immediately after in mid-February but after that I decided not to travel because it was becoming too risky.
    I’m NOT eligible for this tier discount even though I’m unable to travel freely for at least 25% of the year (Mar, Apr, May and probably more!), so it’s an incredibly poor show from BA.
    After a period where BA where seen to be beginning to do the right thing for their customers after all the cost-cutting, their management of this crisis has been truly abysmal, clearly
    BA ARE TRYING TO GET OUT OF THIS CRISIS WITH BEING AS UNGENEROUS AS POSSIBLE.

  • Alastair says:

    This is poor. I renewed Silver in February, am already a quarter of the way back.
    But even if I wasn’t going to bother trying to renew for next year – which is probably the case, it’s not like I’ve been able to even use much of this year’s silver! It’s literally useless right now! So even just extending it by a couple of months (and maintaining the tier point need) would’ve been a nicer gesture.