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. British airways: the Marriott of the airline world…

  2. 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.

  3. 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!”)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Sharon says:

    Shame. I was due to make Silver in April but my flights were cancelled. Would have been nice if they had done something but there we go. I have come to expect nothing more and a whole lot less from BA

  7. George K says:

    Is this a blanket rule? Should I be concerned that I haven’t had the email?

    I also see this as poor. I had flights that would have requalified me cancelled, and it’s frankly unlikely that I will be able to travel anywhere in the next three months. Let’s see what happens…

  8. John G says:

    Just extend all status by 1 year and be done with it!

  9. Shoestring says:

    Thinking about the way I got my 2 UK vehicles their Halfords MOTs this year and last for about 50p each, (wife’s is a company car so under 3 yrs), now we have got another 6 months free

    So I’m up to 30 months’ MOT per vehicle for £1 each, grand total £2 🙂

  10. Have GUF1/2 been auto extended like the 241 vouchers? Nothing changed on my account yet.

  11. Neil Donoghue says:

    Pathetic policy from BA! Virgin will be getting all of business moving forward – 12 month extension on silver status, fantastic MasterCard earning rate and now earning potential on KLM & Air France. A simple 12 months extension was all we needed BA. Idiots

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