British Airways Executive Club has announced that it is extending the elite status of all members by 12 months.
In addition, it is reducing the number of tier points you will need to retain your membership for the following year by 25%.
This is good news. To be honest, I think that most people had decided that British Airways was not going to bother – especially as it will need to restrict airport lounge numbers going forward – but it is good that they have.
How will the British Airways status extension work?
Full details are on this page of the British Airways website.
Because of the complex way that British Airways operates, with each member having a different membership year end date of the 8th of a particular month, it was never going to be easy to keep everyone happy.
I think that most people will be satisfied but it is clear that some people will feel aggrieved.
This is how the BA status extension works:
Your current membership tier will be extended by 12 months, for memberships renewing between 8th July 2020 and 8th June 2021.
Extensions will show in your British Airways account within the next two weeks.
And you mentioned reduced tier points?
After your extension, you will be able to requalify for the subsequent year for 25% fewer tier points than are normally required.
This means that British Airways Bronze status will require 225 tier points (was 300 points), Silver status will require 450 tier points (was 600 tier points) and Gold status will require 1,125 tier points (was 1,500).
If you qualify by segments, Bronze will require 18 one-way cash flights and Silver will require 37.
Similar drops apply to Gold Guest List and the sub-tiers inside Gold Guest List.
The reduced tier point thresholds apply to all membership years which expire up to, and including, 8th July 2022.
When I first heard about this, I went back to BA with a few questions. Here is my understanding of how it will work but please don’t take any specific action without additional confirmation:
I am already above the reduced tier point threshold. Will I be promoted immediately?
For example, if you are currently on 250 tier points with a membership year ending on 8th August, you will be promoted to Bronze as soon as British Airways pushes these changes through its system in the next couple of weeks.
I gained a new status in my current membership year, so I already have it for next year regardless. Do I get an additional extension?
For example …. if your year-end is 8th September 2020 and you qualified for Silver status in February 2020, you already have Silver status until 31st October 2021. This will be extended to 31st October 2022.
However, you would need to earn the FULL 600 tier points between 9th September 2021 and 8th September 2022 to retain your Silver status for 2023. The lower tier point thresholds only apply to membership years which end on or before 8th July 2022.
I have already requalified for my current tier. Do I get a further extension?
For example, you are Silver and your year expires on 8th September. You already have 600 tier points to renew until 31st October 2021. You do not receive a further extension.
I have an 8th June year-end and did not requalify for status. However, I won’t drop down a level until 31st July 2020. Do I keep my old tier?
No. You will drop down a tier. However, your new lower tier will be rolled over.
For example …. if your year-end was 8th June 2020 and you failed to retain Gold, you will still drop to Silver on 31st July. However, your Silver status will last for two years instead of one year.
My year-end was 8th March / 8th April / 8th May and I failed to retain status due to reduced flying. Can I have my old tier back?
No. However, you will retain your ‘soft landing’ tier (Silver if Gold, Bronze if Silver) for two years instead of one year.
I am not a member of British Airways Executive Club at the moment. Can I join and benefit from the reduced tier point threshold in my first year?
Yes. You would only need 225 tier points for Bronze, 450 tier points for Silver and 1125 tier points for Gold.
The new reduced tier point thresholds will apply to all membership years which end up to 8th July 2022.
I am a BAEC member but have no British Airways status at the moment. Do I still benefit from the reduced tier point threshold?
If you are a Blue member and reach the reduced qualification requirements (225 tier points) for Bronze status before your next tier point collection end date, your membership will be upgraded to Bronze for the remainder of your tier point collection year, and the year after. These are the normal rules, albeit at the reduced qualification thresholds.
The reduced thresholds will also apply to your next membership year too, as long as it ends on or before 8th July 2022.
Is the requirement to fly a minimum number of British Airways segments still suspended?
No. This rule is back on the books.
To earn or renew Bronze status you will need to earn 225 tier points plus fly at least two British Airways one-way flights for cash. To earn or renew Silver or Gold status will require the requisite number of tier points plus flying at least four British Airways one-way flights for cash.
This is a very aggressive move by British Airways and goes further than anyone realistically expected.
Not only do you get an additional year of elite status – which admittedly most other major airlines have already put in place – but you will have a reduced tier point threshold to renew it. If you believe that your flying pattern will be back to normal by late 2021 / early 2022 then you may well be able to reach a status level which you have not managed before.
You can find out more on ba.com here.
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