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. This actually works for me.
    I’m on 570 points. Year ends on 8th April.
    I was supposed to fly to INV for a golf competition tomorrow which would’ve made me Silver but of course golf is cancelled and my return flight has also been cancelled so I couldn’t just go up on a tier points run.
    I would imagine BA have done this by looking at the data.

  2. Shoestring says:

    More inept management by Senor Cruz

    everything he touches turns to mud

    IT
    cost savings
    strikes
    pandemics
    is there more?

  3. It’s unpopular, but it’s fair. At least for the time being.

  4. Fairly ridiculous that this only applies for people up to June. All members are missing out on 3-4 months of normal travelling, where those month fall in their Tier point year is irrelevant. If I get to the end of my Tier point year with 1050 TPs and BA does not manually upgrade me to Gold it would be actually be a disincentive for me to remain loyal. I reckon they will make further concessions, the question is – why are they dragging their feet (and creating extra work for themselves)?

  5. “ The requirement to have also flown 4 BA flights for cash before you change status appears to remain”

    The FAQ linked to suggests otherwise: “The eligible flight requirements have been waived for Members who qualify for the 30% Tier Point threshold reduction in order to renew or upgrade.”

  6. Redhroogar says:

    Doh! I was due to earn 70 tier points in April on AA internal flights that I won’t be able to take as BA cancelled my LON-PHL flight on 5th April. I need 25 points to make bronze and my year ends 8 August so unless the 30% reduced requirement is extended, I guess I’ll miss out😢
    My transatlantic flights were booked with Avios 2-4-1 vouchers but that’s another story!

  7. Simon Pope says:

    This is just daft and unreasonable. It’s simply unfathomable why they can’t simply match the strategies of Virgin and Qatar (Qantas would undoubtedly be a step too far for super-tight BA!) They compete with pricing, so why not this? Grrrrr. . .(facepalm)

  8. Oliver says:

    Damn. I’m on 450 tier points with a July 8 renewal date. Fingers crossed they extend it to include July in a few weeks.

  9. Andrew says:

    I am currently gold and won’t be able to retain it now and probably won’t get much value out of being gold this year as most of my trips are being cancelled. I’m going to take the opportunity to step away from BA and OW and try some other airlines next year – SQ, EK etc. Thanks for nothing BA – Rishi was right not to bail you out.

    • Kevin 9876 says:

      BA didn’t ask for a bailout?

      • They want one if anyone else gets one. The preferred plan is to drive Virgin and Norwegian into bankruptcy by saying ‘no bailout, and then demand a bailout.

        Bit like the kid who murders his parents and asks for clemency because he’s an orphan.

  10. I expect they will pick up future year ends when the extent of disruption in early summer becomes clearer.

    I’ve done OK for my upcoming renewal, I’m comfortably over threshold despite having 500+ TPs cancelled. Requalifying for 2020-21 might be a different matter if disruption persists into the summer and there are no further concessions.

  11. Really disappointed with BA here. I am on 1,200 Tier Points and had 500+ in bookings which I’ve had to cancel. Going to lose my Gold. Renewal month is July so just miss out on this reduction. Feels very harsh by BA and does question why I stay loyal.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Do you hit 1500 every year? If so then you’ll have another year of gold still.

      • Strongly suspect they are doing this on a rolling basis so you’ll be grand if your year end is later in the year.

    • Kevin 9876 says:

      “ does question why I stay loyal.”

      Surely that applies at all times, not just now?

      I just pick whichever airline is best value/more convenient (not necessarily always the cheapest). Any loyalty points are just rewarding me for purchases I would have made anyway rather than changing my behaviour

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