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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?


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

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You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

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Comments (150)

  • Steve says:

    Just to check: my account shows tier point collection year ends 8 Mar 2022, car expiry 30 Apr 2022. So this extension means that there is no point in me earning any more tier points before 8 Mar 2022 (unless I was somehow going to earn enough for the next tier up, of course)?

  • Bill Carson says:

    I’m set to lose Gold status in December with this, and I’ve had hardly any chance to travel. TBH I might just give up on BA and move my business to United. They’ve renewed my status multiple times even though I only go it through a status match and have barely flow them as well. That coupled with the insane taxes on US originating Avios flights leads me to believe that BA are a lost cause.

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      If your year end is December you were extended months ago! If you’re gold now you will be gold in 2022

  • Ayearinmx says:

    When does this kick in? I was about to book a bunch of 5 day holidays to get me over in time for my March 8th 2022 expiry date…

  • Phil W says:

    Can I still extend the life of my Companion Voucher by making a booking and then cancelling for a FTV?

  • Maurits Kalff says:

    That was it, then. My Gold status ends 8 April 2022. After achieving Gold status, I have not been able to use it, in spite of the extension.
    I will burn the last few avios and then, goodbye BA and hello to adventure!

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      Who says BA won’t extend you again? They’re being cautious with the decision making because they don’t want too many people to think they don’t have to earn status this year

  • Sam wardill says:

    When will they process this?

  • Lou says:

    This is rather interesting. With an end point of 8 June, the likelihood of me getting 450 to get silver is unlikely. I’m sure as hell not going to do a tier point run to make the cut. What’s the point? I’ll now have to mull over going for a Tap status match and have SA status for a year, or do some self treated biz flights post 8 June when it suits where you get most of the silver perks and effectively get almost 2 years of ‘status’ like that

    • John says:

      You have 75% of the year left to earn 75% of the usual silver requirement…

      Having silver and paying for business without status is mostly similar, so it really depends on whether you plan to take any economy flights that would be nicer with status.

      • Alan says:

        Although with only about 25% of the usual travel opportunities…

      • Lou says:

        Can’t fly to the US. Flying on holiday is a faff. Curtailed business travel. It’s not looking promising

    • Lou says:

      I’m not “upset”, just musing

  • AndyC says:

    Having had a companion voucher flight cancelled over the weekend, is it better to take another CV valid to 2023 and receive all monies and avios back, OR take a FTV with BA keeping all our monies and avios and having to use the call centre to book (according to the agent i managed to speak to at 8am yesterday) Thank You

    • John says:

      If BA cancelled the flight they should rebook you to a date of your choosing.

      If you want a full refund that’s ok too, but absolutely no reason to take an FTV. If you want an FTV you can make another booking (a long time later) and then FTV it yourself

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