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Whilst other airlines are extending elite status for their most loyal members, British Airways appears to be keen to drive them away. That’s the only conclusion I can draw from today’s announcement. Here is what BA is doing:
The number of Tier Points you need to earn or renew status will be reduced by 30%, but only for those members whose Tier Point year ends in April, May and June.
This means that you will require (in addition to the standard 2-4 flights on British Airways or Iberia):
- 210 Tier Points for Bronze
- 420 Tier Points for Silver
- 1,050 Tier Points for Gold
This is just nonsense! Assuming that your Tier Point year ends on 8 June, you will surely miss out on travel in March, April and May. And perhaps you were cautious about travelling during the second half of February. So, it makes sense that your target should be reduced by 30%. However… ALL Executive Club members whose TP years end in July, August, September, etc. will ALSO have been unable to travel during 25-30% of their TP collection year. Yet no reduction in their required number of Tier Points…
I just can’t see how this works out well for BA. Members whose TP year ended on 8 March, 2020 should be truly annoyed – the coronavirus was impacting travel plans well before then. If travel returns to normal within a couple of months, but the targets aren’t reduced for all, then those members with July – February year ends will feel mistreated.
And that’s just the qualification angle. If you recently earned or renewed Silver or Gold status, you won’t be able to take advantage of your status until the world starts flying again. None of this is a recipe for keeping your most loyal customers happy.
Why doesn’t British Airways just extend status for another 6 months or longer? Why doesn’t British Airways credit member accounts with the Tier Points from confirmed and paid for flights that were cancelled due to the coronavirus? I have no idea… Either option would be far fairer than BA’s first attempt at adjusting the criteria for earning elite status.
I suppose this post will be moot one day – whenever BA realises the mess they have made and announces a new policy – or perhaps BA truly wants to reduce the number of members with elite status by driving them away…