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British Airways rolls over tier status for On Business members – although their points are still stuffed

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On Business is the British Airways loyalty scheme for small businesses.

British Airways On Business allows the company booking your travel – which can be your own company if you are self employed – to earn additional points on top of the Avios and tier points earned by the traveller.

You can find out more about On Business on the BA website here.

However, you’ll learn more by reading our comprehensive review of British Airways On Business here.  There is also a referral code in that article to get you a bonus on your first flight.

On Business was gutted in a shake-up a few years ago.  Even British Airways admits that this went too far and a relaunch is currently in development.  You need to spend £30,000 per year with British Airways to reach the first elite tier in the scheme, which is out of reach for the majority of SMEs.

How is British Airways helping On Business members due to coronavirus?

On Business status members received an email from British Airways yesterday.  Non-status members don’t seem to have received anything.

The good news is that On Business is rolling over tier status to 2021.  This will come as a surprise to British Airways Executive Club members, who are now virtually the only elite frequent flyers in the world not to have received an automatic status roll-over.

A status roll-over only helps a very small percentage of On Business members, however, because the spend required to earn status is high.

The bad news is that On Business is not stopping your points expiring.

Unlike the Executive Club, On Business points have a hard expiry date.  There is nothing you can do, even with On Business elite status, to stop them expiring after three years.

When I log in to my account, for example, I see this:

As it happens, I am lucky.  I have a very small number of points expiring on 31st December 2020.  If I end up losing 635 of my 18,994 point balance it won’t be a disaster.

Other people won’t be so lucky.

I fully appreciate that it is only April, so the points will not expire for eight months anyway.  I also appreciate that you only need to book by 31st December 2020, with travel possible in 2021.  However, if British Airways is willing to roll over status for a year, it should also be willing to roll over your On Business points for a year.

What is the position with cancelling On Business redemptions?

If you have an On Business redemption flight booked, the situation is the same as for an Avios booking.

If you are willing to take the hybrid ‘points and cash’ voucher – which I don’t recommend – then you can order it online.  If you want your taxes refunding in cash and the On Business points putting back into your account, you need to brave the call centre queue.

What is NOT clear is what happens if you need to cancel a redemption which was made using On Business points which expired on 31st December 2019.

(EDIT: Reader comments below are that cancelled flights mean your points are returned with an extended 2020 expiry date.)

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Comments (47)

  • JR says:

    I cancelled an OnBusiness flight to HKG booked with points expiring 31/12/2019. Agent told me the only option I had was to re-book (whilst I was on the phone cancelling) for a flight anytime up to 31/12/2020. I was not offered the opportunity to have the points credited back. It’ll be interesting to see what happens if by chance the re-booked November HKG flight needs to be cancelled.

  • Linda says:

    OT- anybody else received an email from BA explaining ‘anomalies’ related to their Avios, which in my case looks like over 200,000 Avios have ‘disappeared?! Another IT security problem/hack??

    • Rob says:

      200,000? That’s a pretty big anomaly! Not heard anything.

      • Linda says:

        I agree!….frightening. Been advised by BA my Avios account closed for next 4 weeks although still able to access Exec Club, bookings etc. 🙁

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      We got hacked a few months ago, 180k used on a hotel. Took 3x weeks to get avios back.

  • Vinz says:

    Any rumours you can share about the onbusiness relaunch? 🙂

    • Rob says:

      I honestly don’t know, except that I know BA was working on one.

      • Peter K says:

        Seems to have been the way with BA over recent years. Make large cuts (or lots of small ones) then realise you’ve over done it and and make an about turn.

        • Lady London says:

          Intelligent way to do it though. As people are saying there’s an equilibrium point BA would only retreat back as far as that is ‘just’ enough given to keep people booking with them.

          • Lady London says:

            And if they pass that equilibrium point on the way down then they will know where it is on the way back! So they won’t ‘give’ too much. They will retreat the cuts just back to the tipping point. Not unintelligent at all.

  • Michael says:

    “This will come as a surprise to British Airways Executive Club members, who are now virtually the only elite frequent flyers in the world not to have received an automatic status roll-over” … Incorrect statement. Aer Lingus AerClub customers are not receiving automatic rollover either

  • David says:

    I can confirm that for cancelled flights your points are returned with an extended 2020 expiry date. I’ve just had two such OB cancellations and the points were back in my account within 24 hours after a VERY efficient call on the UK OB line. Also, the taxes were immediately put back on my CC.

    I wish the cash element of Avios bookings was being handled with such speed. I just had to cancel a First award and substitute a different one with a changed destination. The new fees and taxes were debited the same day (over £1,000), but they told me the cancelled ones (again over £1,000) would not be credited for quite a long time – “backroom delays because of the volume of business”. So BA hold on to over £1,000 for 2/3 months. So much for being a Lifetime Gold!