BREAKING NEWS: British Airways WILL Award Avios & Tier Points For Qatar Airways’ Best Fares

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Fantastic news for all British Airways Executive Club members – it looks as if BA has backtracked on the decision to remove Avios and Tier Point earning from Qatar Airways’ “R” Business Class fares. Well…British Airways is calling this episode a “mistake” but, call me cynical,  I don’t think that’s necessarily true.

I sent British Airways a tweet earlier today asking when the airline planned on emailing its Executive Club members about the sudden and wholly unwelcome change……


…and I’ve just got back the following response:



I’ve checked the BA website and, where previously the mention of Qatar Airways “R” Business Class fares had been removed from the Avios/Tier Point earnings chart…..


….it’s now back in full view:


This really is fantastic news for BAEC members and I’m genuinely very, very happy for them – this change would have been a huge blow had it remained in place.

Note: There has still be a slight devaluation, albeit a mostly insignificant one. Economy Class “G” fares now earn 25% of flown miles rather than 50% of flown miles.

I Don’t Think This Was A Mistake

If you take a look at my earlier post in which I detailed the conversation a Flyertalker had with a British Airways representative as well as the tweets sent out by British Airways last night you’ll see that there was  quite a bit of certainly around the change. There weren’t any signs of a misunderstanding or mistake.

I know that those of us who have been around this hobby a few years are used to taking what airline phone representatives say with a grain of salt but the phone agent that the Flyertalker spoke to gave a very specific reason for the change….and that’s unusual if an agent is making things up.

Here’s the extract from Flyertalk once again:

I spoke to somebody at BAEC who confirmed that at Qatar’s behest you can earn neither BAEC tier points or Avios when you make an R class booking. Qatar requested it as part of their code sharing agreement with BA and it is likely to be like this for the foreseeable future. Time to rebel… BA lady was incredibly apologetic!

The BA agent cited Qatar’s new codesharing agreement with BA as the reason why R fares would no longer earn Avios and Tier Points….and who makes something like that up?

At this point I am assuming that the Flyertalker has reported back accurately but, as I have no reason to believe otherwise and as BA confirmed the change via its twitter account, I’m happy to believe that this is how things played out.

What I Think May Have Happened

Clearly I have no insight into what the geniuses at Waterside are thinking or doing (I’m assuming that they think every now and again despite increasing evidence to the contrary) but here’s what may have happened.

I think BA and Qatar wanted to put though this change and probably still want to…but they weren’t prepared for the backlash that they unleashed when the news seeped out.

It was a terrible way to put through a change to the BAEC and I think that they realised that they may have overstepped the mark this time. It’s one thing to change the rules of your program but it’s a whole other thing to change them with zero notice and make the changes retroactive too.

Bottom Line

I suspect that BA has walked back this change and come to some agreement with Qatar Airways for the time being….but I have a bad feeling that this may only be a temporary respite.

I think that BA and Qatar Airways have now shown their hand (a bit like when American Airlines accidentally released details of its devaluation to earnings with BA) and that we’ll see this change pushed through at a later date.

Hopefully they’ll handle the situation a lot better if/when that time comes.


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