Some links to products and travel providers on this website will earn Traveling For Miles a commission that helps contribute to the running of the site. Traveling For Miles has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Traveling For Miles and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. For more details please see the disclosures found at the bottom of every page.
In a move that goes further than I ever thought the airline would go, British Airways has announced that a significant proportion of its Executive Club members will be given a further one-year extension to their elite status to see them into 2022 and in some cases, through to the end of 2022.
In the first months of the pandemic, British Airways chose to only offer elite status extensions to flyers whose status was on the verge of running out. In July 2020, the airline finally caved to reality and announced that it was offering one-year elite status extensions to all British Airways Executive Club members who have a Tier Point collection date of July 2020, through to June 2021.
New Status Extensions
Now, with some Executive Club Elite statuses set to expire at the end of this month and with a lot more set to expire from July onwards, British Airways has confirmed that all Executive Club members whose tier point collection date falls between 1 July and 31 December 2021 will be offered an extension of one more year. The status extensions will appear in members’ accounts at some point this week.
In part, this move will have been hastened by the recent announcement that Virgin Atlantic has extended elite statuses by 3 months and by the fact that Virgin Atlantic was recently offering all British Airways elites a very generous status match, but I’m still more than a little surprised to see BA offering extensions of a full 12 months. I’m also surprised to see the airline offering extensions to flyers whose tier point collection dates end as far out as December – that seems very generous.
With thousands of elite flyers set to lose their status in the coming months, with it being illegal to fly out of the UK on leisure before the middle of May, and with the pandemic far from beaten back in large parts of the world, British Airways clearly felt the need to act to keep its elite flyers happy…but it’s done so in some style.
With flying out of the UK set to start in earnest this summer (a time by which all UK adults are expected to have been vaccinated), I have no idea why the airline has decided to extend so many peoples’ elite statuses (it would have been hard to complain if the airline had simply chosen to drop the elite qualifying criteria by whatever percentage of the qualification year that a member had missed out on) but it wouldn’t surprise me if it had something to do with its creaky IT systems.
BA’s IT infrastructure is not only hugely buggy it’s also regularly shown to be highly inflexible, so it’s very possible that the airline was left with the choice of either offering very short status extensions (eg. a month) or the status extensions that have been announced today. If that turns out to be the case, the irony of BA’s much-criticized IT systems finally coming to the rescue of elite flyers will be one to enjoy.
From a personal point of view, I’m delighted with this news. I had resigned myself to the fact that I would be losing my top-tier status at the end of this year but with my tier-point collection date ending in December, I’m one of the incredibly fortunate individuals who is now guaranteed BA Gold status through 2022 and who should have a full and uninterrupted year (in 2022) to requalify for 2023.
Given that I plan on making an 880 Tier Point run in December, that shouldn’t be a problem, but the fact that I’ll now be doing that Tier Point with BA Gold status still locked in is a situation that I definitely wasn’t anticipating.
If you hold British Airways elite status and have a Tier Point collection period that ends between 1 July and 31 December 2021, keep an eye on your Executive Club account over the next few days as you should see your elite status extended by 12 months.