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British Airways extends Executive Club elite status – but only for some

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British Airways has announced another 12 months extension of elite status for some Executive Club members.

The screw seems to be tightening, however. The initial extension in 2020 covered all members. The previous extension in March 2021 covered half of the membership base. This extension only covers a quarter of members.

There will be no extension to American Express 2-4-1 companion vouchers or any other vouchers. With 2-4-1 vouchers starting to expire next month, I think we have to assume that there will be no more extensions offered. You should start planning your flights accordingly.

British Airways Executive Club status cards

Who gets an extension?

We should say first that British Airways is NOT calling it an ‘extension’. It is calling it ‘protection’.

This not just semantics. It will make a difference for some people, but not others. For example, my Gold status run until 31st October 2022. I will NOT receive an extension until October 2023. However, if I was due to be downgraded on 31st March 2022 I would benefit.

Only members with a tier point collection end date between the 1st January 2022 and 31st March 2022 will receive protection / an extension.

If your tier point year ends during this three month period, your existing status level will be rolled over automatically for another year.

For clarity, your tier points will still reset to zero at the end of your current membership year. BA is not extending the time period you have to earn the necessary points for requalification.

Unlike Virgin Atlantic, which has been able to extend status in three and six month increments, the way that Executive Club is set up means that it can only process 12 month extensions.

This means that British Airways has chosen to limit the status extensions to those whose status was set to expire in Spring 2022 – ie. those whose membership year resets on 8th January 2022, 8th February 2022 or 8th March 2022.

BA’s view, I assume, is that members with a year-end between 8th April 2022 and 9th September 2022 should be able to renew under their own steam. Remember that tier point thresholds have also been reduced.

To be honest, it is questionable – to put it mildly – how many people with a year-end after 8th March will manage five long-haul return business class flights to retain their Executive Club Gold status.

What are the reduced tier point targets?

For the 75% of members whose status has not been extended / protected today, you may still be able to make the most of the 25% reduction in tier point requirements for each status tier.

BA has never been totally clear about how this offer worked. My impression is that the published deadline of 30th June 2022 applies to everyone, irrespecitve of year end.

If this is correct, it means that you will renew on the reduced threshold if you earn enough points by 30th June, but from 1st July to 8th September (if you have an 8th September 2022 year end) you will need the full tier point rate.

The reduced thresholds are:

  • Bronze status will require 225 tier points (was 300 tier points)
  • Silver status will require 450 tier points (was 600 tier points)
  • Gold status will require 1,125 tier points (was 1,500 tier points)
British Airways BA Amex American Express cards

What about American Express 2-4-1 companion vouchers?

There are NO extensions to companion vouchers or Gold Upgrade vouchers.

With the first batch of vouchers due to expire in October, I think we have to assume that it is not going to happen. Time to book an Autumn break …..

Conclusion

Today’s changes do not go far enough, by a long way. I think most people will agree on that.

Only 25% of members will receive a status extension.

The remaining 75% are being told that they must reach the reduced tier point threshold by 30th June, or earn the full standard amount of tier points if their year-end is later than that.

This is happening despite rumours from the United States that border restrictions may not be lifted until after the midterm elections in November 2022, because relaxation is seen as a vote loser. There is also minimal progress on lifting restrictions in Asia. Even if all restrictions were lifted tomorrow, I doubt any business would immediately bounce back to its pre-covid level of travel.

Don’t despair though. It is commercial suicide for British Airways to deliberately strip their (ex-) top customers of status, just months before they are likely to start picking up their travel. Virgin Atlantic, SkyTeam and Star Alliance will be waiting in the wings with status match offers if there is any sign of this happening. At a time when every full fare business traveller counts more than ever, is BA really likely to let them slip away?


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Comments (150)

  • John says:

    Well, given the resumption of transatlantic flights I doubt there will be more extensions, maybe only for the next 3 months of membership dates.

  • Andy says:

    Any ideas on how long BA will keep the FTV scheme? Got a 241 expiring June 2022 so debating whether to wait it out or convert it.

    • J says:

      If you are sure of the person you are travelling with, I would book sooner rather than later. I just used a 2-4-1 voucher that expired in 2024 but this was only to wrap a GGL Space Release voucher in before my GGL year ends. That said, I’ve been lucky and just had that extended for another 12 months.

  • Robert says:

    Now that my silver has been extended to March 23, does that mean I should wait before going for gold until after March 22, then that way I’ll be gold until March 2024?

    • Rob says:

      Unless you can hit Gold by 8 Feb 2022, you’re wasting your time accumilating tier points before that date, put it that way.

      • Robert says:

        Thanks Rob, I’ve got some double point 5 nighters either side of my renewal date.

      • soundnomad says:

        Hi Rob, Just to clarify my understanding.. Current BAEC Blue. Sept 8th year end. Booked double TP holiday for early Feb 22 to get enough for TP for gold in one go. Trade off being 4/5 months opportunity loss this membership year. So long as those 1200ish points are accumilated before June 30th 2022 – discount limit applies? so will be gold until Oct 23 assuming all other requirements are met?

  • Dimitrios says:

    BA cancels my flights for a 5th time this year. I try to accept new changes on the app and IT error; return flight is now split in two, although I never accepted this! And tier points are now also lower! Trying calling customer support, nope call lines are down. Trying raising a complaint online, spent 30 minutes filling in the complaint form, then there it is another IT error and all information lost!!
    This is from a loyal customer on a business class flight. I don’t think I’ve had so much stress generated by any company ever before and I have done a fair bit of travel with Ryanair!!
    Go to hell BA.

  • Victair says:

    I’m currently silver. I have a TP run for March 2022 using the double TPs BA Hols offer. Is the reduced TP threshold for tier upgrades (I.e silver to gold) or just for retaining gold? I can remove some flight sectors if I only need to get half of 1,125 rather than half of 1,500. Gold in 4 long haul and a short haul

  • Tom says:

    Now that it seems 2-for-1 vouchers won’t be extended, does it make sense to look to do the manual extension via the ‘future travel voucher’ route?

    • Rob says:

      No need until the last minute, unless you think BA will pull FTV overnight with no notice (which is possible).

  • Dwadda says:

    Just checked my account. I have a Feb 8 renewal and have been extended to Feb 8 2023. However, they zero’d my tier points and flight segments. Does that mean that I have from now until 8 Feb 2023 to earn renewal, that is I have 16 months to do it… or will they zero my tier points at 8 Feb 2022?

  • Brett says:

    My account reset is on 8 of April. So I missed this by 9 days. I am waiting for gold status match and eventually switch. BA wont extend my account.

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