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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)

  • roberto says:

    I’m a March 8th guy and happy with the announcement. The rollover of my status and (if I am reading it right) the lower TP threshold for my year ending 8th March 2023 @ 1125TP means I should be gold until April 2024 at least.

  • Paul says:

    My year is April 8th. Given that BA have cancelled over 1000 tier points of flying this year I find this very irritating but not surprising. More irritating is that my wife whose flying is even less than mine will get an extension!
    With my status intact till May 31st I can survive as all my flying after that point is in Club or First but it is clear BA don’t value their customers and the set up of the executive club means their ability to flex is limited.

  • Lord T says:

    My membership year ends on Jan 8…is it better for me to attempt to get to Gold before then or wait until after Jan to chase up the TP’s?

  • DR says:

    I need to use 241 just to extend it to FTV, lowest I can find is 18,500 per person
    (off peak ABZ/LHR/ABZ) looked at seatspy it shows as 4,000 pp (presume wrong) routing or date does not matter as it will turned into an FTV, suggestions would be very welcome, thanks

    • John says:

      There are multiple pricing options

    • Dan says:

      Presumably if you are getting an FTV it’s best to pay more Avios and less tax? e.g. £1 – that way if you do end up cancelling the FTV to get the Avios back (losing the 2-4-1) you will only lose £1 in tax? Or will they still charge a fee?

  • L Allen says:

    Phew! That’s a relief. With my TP year ending in January I was struggling to see how I’d get the extra trips in. My partner’s TP year ends in April but he’s on track to retain Gold so isn’t going to miss out.

  • Will says:

    “ 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”

    Any chance of seeking clarity on this from BA on behalf of the rabble?

    • Rob says:

      The email I got from BA about these changes implied that everyone got flipped back on 1st July.

      • Will says:

        Let’s say you were at 1125TP on June 30th 2022 and hence gold, EC year end far away (say Dec ‘22).

        Are we reading as flip back to silver on July 1st?

        • Rob says:

          If you’d been given Gold it won’t be taken away I’m sure!

          • will says:

            I see the two unknowns as
            1. 1125TP on June 30th, do you retain gold post July 1st until the end of your EC year
            2. Assuming yes to the above, will BA asses your 1125 for the rollover to the next EC year as silver or gold?

  • Shirley says:

    If I book a 2:1 flight and cancel for a FCV does the same companion have to travel on a future flight or can I change to someone different?

  • SH says:

    Have a tier point collection year ending in May 2022. It has not been extended. Sorry, protected.

    I work for a Fortune 250 company. International travel is still prohibited company-wide including for the C-suite.

    So far I have one flight booked between now and May, and it’s UK domestic economy.

    Frankly very disappointed with the lack of further extension. BA must be aware that firms are still drastically curtailing travel and members have little chance of requalifying.

    If I can’t hope to get near Gold, what’s even the point of trying to go for Silver since I will soft land there anyway. Not much incentive to try and book as much as possible on BA and instead just book whoever is cheapest which keeps the bean counters happy.

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