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COVID-19: British Airways FINALLY gives 12-month status extension to executive club members

COVID-19: British Airways FINALLY gives 12-month status extension to executive club members

If you had been holding your breath for this one, you would be well and truly dead. While most other major airlines have already announced some kind of extension in membership status extension as a result of the pandemic, the British Airways Executive Club (BAEC) has been the holdout, until now.

BA anecdote

At the risk of being accused of national profiling, I remember a check-in counter staff member at Berlin’s Tegal Airport, referring to British Airways as the ‘Scottish Airline’. I was travelling with my partner (now husband), he on a business class ticket, and me in economy, on a BA flight back to London. We asked, given we were travelling together, would a gate upgrade be possible? It’s always worth asking. The gate attendant said, BA didn’t give him that power. He was implying that they were parsimonious – a common stereotypical view of the Scottish at the time.

a plate of food on a table

Status extension and reduced Tier qualification target details

All members with a Tier Point collection end date (or ‘renewal date’ in non-BAEC speak) between July 2020 and June 2021 will get the 12-month extension. This sounds generous, but Qantas issued a 12-month extension from March 2020.

However, British Airways are sweetening the deal by making it easier to retain your status by reducing the Tier Points needed by 25%.

This results in lower Tier qualification thresholds, as shown below:

  • Bronze: 225 (was 300) Tier Points or 18 eligible flights (was 300)
  • Silver: 450 (was 600) Tier Points or 37 eligible flights
  • Gold: 1125 (was 1500) Tier Points

Those flight requirements apply to renewal, not the extension.

Upgrade Voucher extension bonus

For those BAEC members who have earned upgrade vouchers via British Airways branded credit cards, then those vouchers already issued now have a 6-month extension. This includes Gold Upgrade Vouchers, Companion Vouchers and Travel Together Tickets.

a woman sitting in a chair

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

The British Airways Executive Club (BAEC) is not a great scheme for Australians, mainly because unless you have a British address, or access to one, you can’t join.

While other airlines like Qantas have issued status extensions in a timely manner, BA is a bit late to this party. On the other hands, it didn’t suspend all international operations, like Qantas did.

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