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Update: Confirmed that every Aer Club member is getting bonus Tier Points
It’s becoming increasingly obvious to most that the current crisis isn’t one that going to last for a few weeks or even a couple of months so airlines and hotel chains are starting to take a proper look at how best to shore up the elite status of their loyalty program members.
We’ve already seen hoteliers like Hilton and Radisson offering elites generous status extensions and airlines like Qatar Airways, Virgin Atlantic following suit, but a few hoteliers and airlines haven’t been quite so forthcoming and, up until now Aer Lingus was one such airline. Not any more.
Aer Lingus Tier Credits
As first reported by Travel Update (and confirmed by this Flyertalk thread) Aer Lingus is sending out emails to its elite flyers confirming that the airline is crediting their accounts with bonus Tier Points in light of the current crisis.
These are the current (and standard) Tier Point requirements for status with Aer Lingus Aer Club…
…and all reports appear to suggest that elites are being credited a bonus equal to ~33% of the Tier Points their current status requires.
- Green members are receiving 25 Tier Points
- Silver members are receiving 100 Tier Points
- Platinum members are receiving 200 Tier Points
- Concierge members are receiving 350 Tier Points
There doesn’t appear to be any official announcement of this move on the Aer Lingus website but I have seen the Aer Lingus email that’s going out to flyers and there are more than enough reports of this around the internet, so this doesn’t look like a targeted move.
Earlier, I thought that it may be that flyers will need to have credited at least one flight to the Aer Lingus Aer Club in their membership year before Aer Club offers up a Tier Point boost because, as someone with no activity in my account, I hadn’t received an email and my account showed a zero tier point balance.
This is definitely not the case as I’ve now had an email from Aer Club confirming that I’ll be getting 25 Tier Points and that they’ll appear in my account “shortly”.
Most people will have probably stopped flying no later than the beginning of March and, at a guess, most won’t be returning to the skies much before late summer so this isn’t a particularly generous move by Aer Lingus….for two reasons.
Firstly, most flyers will probably have been grounded for at least 5-6 months once this is all over so a lot will have lost half a year of flying before they take to the skies again…but Aer Lingus’ Tier Point credit indicates that the airline expects just 4 months of travel disruption. That seems optimistic to me.
Secondly, what happens to flyers whose membership year ends in April (for example)? They’ll presumably be credited their Tier Points in this current year but they’ll still be grounded for at least a couple of months into their next membership year – will Aer Lingus take that into account and issue another credit down the line?
It’s good news to see Aer Lingus taking some positive action to help elite members retain their status for another year but, just like with its sister airline British Airways, this move seems a little half-hearted.
More importantly, it’s a move that will require the airline to come back to this problem in a few weeks’ time and, in a period where airlines much have better things to worry about, what’s the point of that? Why not just extend everyone’s status by a year and move on?
With flyers around the world currently grounded, the Aer Lingus has recognized that a lot of its frequent flyers won’t be able to hit the standard targets required for elite status this year so, in an attempt to prevent these flyers from seeking pastures greener, the airline has taken its first steps in trying to make it easier for flyers to keep their current status…but will it be enough? I doubt it.