British Airways Announces 12-Month Elite Status Extensions…And More

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The headline says it all. British Airways has finally followed most other global airlines in announcing that it is extending elite status for its frequent flyers by a period of 12 months.

While Airlines like American, Qantas, Delta, United, and Virgin Atlantic all announced elite status extensions well over a month ago (some announced extensions back in March), British Airways has, up until today, staunchly refused to offer elite status extensions to members of its Executive Club.

At the end of March, the airline said that it would be reducing the elite qualification requirements for flyers whose statuses were expiring in April, May, and June but, with the global travel crisis not showing any real signs of easing in the near-term, management has finally come to terms with the obvious – most people won’t be doing much traveling during 2020.

British Airways Elite Status Extensions

In emails being sent out right now (and on this webpage) British Airways has confirmed that British Airways Executive Club members who have a Tier Point collection date of July 2020, through to June 2021 will have 12 months added to their Executive Club membership.

Here’s what British Airways had to say in the email I received:

We all love to hear some good news every now and then. And so today, we wanted to tell you something that we hope will make you smile.

As the world prepares to fly once more, we know there is still a long road ahead, and we wanted you to know that we’ll be right there with you every step of the journey.

To say thank you for all your loyalty and support, we’ve added 12 months extra onto your Gold Executive Club membership. So you have more time to enjoy your benefits, whenever you’re ready to return to the skies.

For an airline that has appeared reluctant to offer elite status extensions, this is incredibly generous and it means that some members will see their elite status extended through to July 2022.

Tier Point Targets Reduced

I addition to extending elite statuses, British Airways has also pulled a surprise out of the bag by announcing that, when the time finally comes for members to renew their status through flying, the number of tier points they’ll need to accrue to earn status will be 25% less than normal.

Per BA:

 …it will be even easier to retain your status next time you’re up for renewal, as we’ve decreased the amount of Tier Points needed by 25%. This is the same for upgrades thresholds too, making that next Tier more achievable.

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

    • Bronze: 225 Tier Points or 18 eligible flights
    • Silver: 450 Tier Points or 37 eligible flights
    • Gold: 1125 Tier Points

Considering British Airways is extending some elite statuses deep into 2022, this additional bonus will mean that flyers will be benefiting from today’s announcement well into 2022.

An Example Of How This Works

If you’re an Executive Club member whose tier point collection date ends in August 2020 (for example):

  • Your elite status is now extended to August 2021
  • Between August 2020 and August 2021 you’ll have a reduced Tier Point target (see above) if you want to retain/earn status for the year to August 2022.

British Airways elite status just got a lot easier to hold on to.

Bottom Line

This is very good news for British Airways Executive Club members. We all knew that BA would have to make some kind of announcement about the future of elite status this month but I was expecting it to be an announcement of reduced Tier Point targets for the rest of 2020. I wasn’t expecting elite status extensions and I definitely wasn’t expecting to be given an elite status extension and a reduced Tier Point target for the next time I have to qualify!

Absent any major changes to the program, this will keep me “loyal” to the Executive Club (if not necessarily the airline) for at least a few more years.

How do you feel about these announcements?


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