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Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club “Unwritten” tier status benefits

  • astra19 53 posts

    I was wondering what people’s experience has been with the benefits that you hear people talking about but aren’t really formalised everywhere.

    This week I took my first flights since reaching Gold and I had a few interesting perks. For one, although my flight was very busy, while travelling economy I did not have someone next to me. I know that theoretical blocking is in place but I was pleased to see it in practice. Even when I had someone sit down next to me on my return I was invited to move to my own row.

    Also, my return flight was delayed for 2 hours and I called BA and they allowed me to move to another earlier flight to another airport altogether with no charge.

    I was wondering how they vaguely-worded benefits described for each tier are reflected in practice.

    Andrew J 771 posts

    I never find BA do much at all, a couple of times I’ve had a free drink when I’ve been in ET, and occasionally the CSM bothers to come and say hello, clutching their iPad to prompt them of my name. Whereas Virgin practically treat me like a celebrity as a Gold – in Y a pre-takeoff greeting with champagne from the CSM, and then an offer of a drink straight after takeoff, before the bar service had started in Y with a G&T in a proper glass brought from Upper, with a selection of snacks from the bar basket. The value they put on loyalty is really genuine and something BA could learn from.

    masaccio 740 posts

    Cathay were always very nice to me. BA not so much. Occasionally I get first choice of meal if in CW and it’s busy. Of course the big benefit is First checkin at LHR and a higher chance of an upgrade when the flight is overbooked. Also when BA are in screw-up mode, the faster route to the call centre is helpful too.

    dougzz99 618 posts

    Theoretical seating as I understand it is a algorithm used before the flight comes under airport control at around 72 hours. For example I f you choose exit row seats because they’re desirable you’re much less likely to have an empty seat next to you. If you were offered a seat in another row that was almost certainly nothing to do with status, and more general offer to space out.

    I’ve been gold for a few years, and the better treatment was largely from AA and Finn, rather than BA.

    Thegasman 202 posts

    Cathay were always very nice to me. BA not so much. Occasionally I get first choice of meal if in CW and it’s busy. Of course the big benefit is First checkin at LHR and a higher chance of an upgrade when the flight is overbooked. Also when BA are in screw-up mode, the faster route to the call centre is helpful too.

    Status is way down the list for upgrades on BA. A bronze who always flies WTP will get upgraded to CW ahead of a Gold who flies a mix of WTP/CW. BA will give the bronze a few upgrades to try & lure them into paying for club in future. If you bite then great, if not the algorithm moves on to new targets.

    You need to be a high value GGL or Premier before BA will put your comfort/wellbeing ahead of potential profit!

    astra19 53 posts

    @Thegasman I think you’re probably right; my only ever upgrade was exactly as you describe. And I haven’t been in WTP since… so they certainly made a lot of money from me for it.

    AL 579 posts

    I concur re: VS versus BA on the treatment.

    Earlier this year, I was delayed at SEA on a VS flight returning to LHR for two hours. We returned to gate and the CSM came down to ask me if I wanted to go to the Upper bar since we had a long wait for engineering. Whilst at the bar, she mentioned that she had a seat open in Upper and moved me in to it. On arrival at LHR, the duty manager was waiting to provide an apology and ensure I made any onward connection.

    Another SEA trip, a couple in front of me in Premium were complaining that they hadn’t been upgraded despite their Delta elite status, and complaining that the salmon wasn’t cooked to their liking (there was nothing wrong with it). Crew offered to swap it out, which led to more moaning. A few minutes later, the couple had been kept quiet and the CSM heads to my seat and takes me up to Upper for the rest of the flights “for some peace and quiet”.

    Plenty more similar stories of this type. My VS Gold is worth it to me – I don’t chase BA status above Silver… their service is, overall, poor.

    Wiseoldman 93 posts

    I concur on VS upgrade as gold; My parents just flew from US to LHR and they were upgraded to Premium by the CSM saying they have empty seats and them being Gold.

    Fraser 56 posts

    I usually connect to/from Edinburgh at Heathrow, but was checking in after a VS flight recently and my boarding pass indicated baggage drop was open at 5.30am. I have Silver with both airlines, but when looking to check in my luggage with BA after using the VS arrivals lounge (UC ticket), I found the screens indicated bag drop opened only 2 hours before the flight. Thankfully, the “secret” perk of early bag drop for BA Silver rescued me, although I had to go up to the dedicated Silver bag drop area at the other end of T5. Good to know!

    qc 213 posts

    Theoretical seating as I understand it is a algorithm used before the flight comes under airport control at around 72 hours. For example I f you choose exit row seats because they’re desirable you’re much less likely to have an empty seat next to you. If you were offered a seat in another row that was almost certainly nothing to do with status, and more general offer to space out.

    I’ve been gold for a few years, and the better treatment was largely from AA and Finn, rather than BA.

    Why would be less likely to have an empty seat next to you in an exit row? We’re in an exit row later today and despite the flight not appearing full we have someone in the B between us – we’re both Gold.

    dougzz99 618 posts

    Theoretical seating as I understand it is a algorithm used before the flight comes under airport control at around 72 hours. For example I f you choose exit row seats because they’re desirable you’re much less likely to have an empty seat next to you. If you were offered a seat in another row that was almost certainly nothing to do with status, and more general offer to space out.

    I’ve been gold for a few years, and the better treatment was largely from AA and Finn, rather than BA.

    Why would be less likely to have an empty seat next to you in an exit row? We’re in an exit row later today and despite the flight not appearing full we have someone in the B between us – we’re both Gold.

    Because exit row seats have more legroom, so people like them. Once under airport control my understanding is theoretical seating no longer applies, so blocks next to gold not in place. So at check-in someone asks for exit row, because of legroom, or agent offers it as gesture. If the space is important you’re more likely to get the empty seat in a less desirable row, not that you won’t get an empty seat in exit row, just less likely.

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