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. Not surprising and everyone can moan – but this will always be BA’s attitude. They don’t really care and they know you often don’t have a lot of choice. It is a shame BMI disappeared. Were it not for Virgin offering at least some competition, I have no doubt that BA would be even worse…

  2. If this remains policy, I’m out and taking business elsewhere. Not good enough I’m afraid.

    • Haha will you though, can you? Everyone says that, but when normal times resume BA will be doing just fine.

    • Which program gets your ow Sapphire with just one return to Asia in business?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Not to state the obvious but of the scheme doesn’t work for you why do you use it?

      I think Marriott and BA will take this as a chance to thin heard. You can say it’s unfair but it’s not an issue they created with bad IT etc like other previous ones.

      • Doug M says:

        The thing is the scheme does work for me, and for many others. But given what’s happened BA have took a quite odd path. TPs are built over a year, so why pick 25% of your members and give them a break, whilst expecting the other 75% to suck it up.

        • Lady London says:

          Because this protects corporate flyers. Protecting their hold over corporate accounts and giving them privileges other people flying don’t get, is BA’s DNA.

          That and predatory pricing and elephant-sitting-on-someone’s sofa in their lounge, only so long as a competitor exists (Laker, Norwegian) is BA’s DNA.

  3. Andrew says:

    It makes absolutely no sense – regardless of when you renew, we’ve all lost several months of flying so why would only some people get a lower threshold for the current earning year? It makes an assumption that everyone leaves their tier point earning to the last minute. As usual BA gets it so wrong and does nothing to reward or value loyalty.

  4. xmenlongshot says:

    Looking through the comments, it is clear there are winners and losers here.

    I can add myself to the relative winners – 445 tier points and 8 June card expiry. It’s not guaranteed that I would have hit silver in the absence of their adjustment therefore I can only applaud it but totally understand why people are frustrated.

  5. mr_jetlag says:

    as an opening offer of course this sucks. I predict either blanket reductions in 2020 TP reqs or status extensions if things don’t improve by April.

  6. Eligible flights have also been waived as per the FAQ’s. So no need for BA or IB flights in case you earn your tier points flying other OW airlines.

  7. Status, who cares?

    I only fly CW or F – whether points or cash – and so get some sort of lounge.

    If it gave me CCR access, then maybe.

    But since it doesn’t, and I live in the regions – so Madrid, Amsterdam and Paris are great hubs – who cares.

    Perhaps BA should give tier points for all the flights they have cancelled – i.e. not my fault I didn’t fly them?

    (yes, bronze status is good for one thing – seat selection)

    • Doug M says:

      I care. It gives me a lot more Avios when I fly, odd in the comments I know, but some people collect by flying. It opens access to extra RFS seats where I use the Avios, it allows me the pick of the seats when I book long haul. So I care, all of these things have real value to me, and without them BA is just another option, not necessarily the primary one.

  8. Depressed Gold Member says:

    So no help if your year began on 8 March and you have zero prospect of flying for at least the first 3 months of this membership year. Pretty poor way to treat people who’ve consistently been Gold for 10 years…

  9. BA are unlikely to exist in 6 months time, so probably doesn’t matter one way or the other.

    • What’s your evidence?

    • Lady London says:

      Will you buy me a drink if BA still exists in 6 months’ time? in some form, at least.

      Mine’s a Negroni with 1 small ice cube. And I’ll have it at the American Bar at The Savoy thanks.

  10. Awful decision by BA. No one can fly (this has been longer in Asia). Bulk of my travel is in Jan to April.
    I renew in May, currently sitting on 340 TPs.

    Silver/Gold for 10 years.

    As others have said, no one can use benefits for months now too. Surely they’ll blanket extend?

  11. Give them a chance, they’ve dealt with the immediate issue of people in the next 3 months. They’ll have lots of time to consider what to do with everyone else as and when the time comes if indeed there is still an airline left at the end of this.

    Air travel will be the last freedom to return so it might be a “fallow year” for frequent flyers.

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