Bye bye BABack to Forum
Anonymous30 Apr 2012
I am a loyal Gold for now 15 years (knowing I am in the mid-forties, that’s a lot :-)). But in a few days, I’ll probably loose my status. I could have saved it tomorrow (return flight to LHR in C would have been enough) but chose LX to LCY instead as it was more convenient. And why fighting for BA Gold anyway. Honestly I don’t see the point any more. They lost the customer focus.
I used to love Gold mostly for the Lounge Anytime Access that disappeared. And I was accumulating miles for a World tour in CW: not available any more! And in addition, they doubled the requirements (for me, based in Switzerland).
When it comes to BA in general, it is also loosing it in my view:
– Food remains one of the worst airborne. Even LH is better now!
– B747 remains the best plane in the world. But they are retiring them…
– Middle East: they changed the schedules a while ago to make it unusable for me (night flight to go there while I want a day flight to be able to sleep in a bed before working)
– Seat: OK, still one of the bests. But competition got it…
– T5: Still the best. But with the removing of IRIS, might become unusable.
OK, I won’t have access to the First lounge any more. But beyond this, Silver gives me almost the same advantages. So why bother?30 Apr 2012
– You’ll miss having the Captain seeking you out and thanking you for flying BA. Though if this is important to you am sure VirtualKrug could still provide you a recording or voice simulation along with a hologram of a pilot as an alternative.
– The e-reader is a good alternative to IRIS
– The food has recently improved from my experience.30 Apr 2012
You’re obviously not as loyal as you make out, or you would have flown with BA for that last flight to retain Gold.
I think, given you were so close to requalifying, it was not a sensible decision to choose not to earn the extra points; the benefit you would have received for the rest of the year with BA Gold would have been considerable, and it may well have outweighed the inconvenience of taking the BA flight to reach qualification.
It’s an especially perplexing decision for a frequent flyer given you were presumably gradfathered BA Gold at the old EuroCheat requalification rates (800 points vs. 1500 for UK members) for two years, up to 2014.
I think the importance you placed on the use of Open Doors lounge access suggests you often didn’t fly BA that much, or you wouldn’t have had an opportunity to use it. No other European airline offers such a service for free, and I think it was wise to withdraw it.
I’m perplexed by your concern that BA “no longer offers a RTW in CW” as it has never operated a full RTW service itself (so couldn’t have been done in CW), only via oneworld partners.
I’m not aware that BA ever offered a special “RTW” award fare, and it remains very much part of oneworld, so a oneworld RTW award itinerary is bookable as easily as it ever was.
In terms of food, there has been a marked improvement, with Waitrose/Duchy Originals now stocking the Club Kitchen, to the increase in use of Umami via the ground-breaking Height Cuising Programme:
The 747s are only slowly being retired, there are 50+ in the fleet and BA recently returned a couple into service from the desert, so all 50+ will be around for the next 2 years at least, and then will gradually begin to be removed from the fleet, but on current plans largely to be replaced with the excellent A380, which has similar privacy in the forward lower deck cabin. The last of the current 747 fleet could be around until the early 2020s, and who knows whether BA might consider ordering the 747-8?
Despite my own preference for the 747, I’ve flown twice on the new 777-300ERs and they are lovely planes, though lacking the Upper Deck, obviously!
Middle East flight timings are of course your personal preference, and there’s not much to be said on that.
Seats are still one of the best, and I think the advent of the A380 will see further improvements.
T5 and especially the lounges and spas are pretty good, but the UK Border Issue and IRIS removal are not under the control of BA so there’s not much they can do about that.30 Apr 2012
@Tete: right, food improved. From inedible to almost inedible (salad being a noticeable exception as they are usually quite good). Real improvement could only come from steam ovens. But these are not available in CW…30 Apr 2012
@VK: Right, should have written “was a loyal Gold”…
T5: I understand the UK border issue. But down to earth, this is not my problem. If I can smoothly enter the country at LCY, I’ll do.30 Apr 2012
It should also be made clear that BA has not “doubled” the qualification for European members.
While it was 800 points, now it will be 1500, which sounds like a large move. BUT notwithstanding the fact that this would not have kicked in for you another two years (as current European members are protected for this period at their old 800 TPs re-qualification levels) it should be noted that the amount fo TPs you earn on any flight has been increased, such that the 1500 required would really look more like 1400 TPs if earned under the old system.
Still less good than was the huge disparity previously, but it does allow BA to focus on its core UK customer base, and by doing so increase the quality experienced by each passenger.
Having said that, I think Silver will be fine. Do let us know what differences you notice.30 Apr 2012
A couple of years ago I was faced with a similar choice in respect of making a couple more flights on LH/Star Alliance to keep my LH Senator status.
For various reasons I decided not to, one of the main reasons being the awful place that FRA has become, the overcrowded lounges there, and the difficulty and time involved going to and from them if in transit between Schengen and non-Schengen.
LH’s business class service was stuck in a time warp, the IFE was, like that old joke about German humour ‘a serious matter’, the service was consistently good but rarely any better than that, and the food mediocre. The only tangible benefit that the SEN status gave me was 40kgs baggage allowance as I used to carry wine from SA and Argentina.
Loyalty schemes have gradually become of less and less value, the benefits limited, redemption a fight, and ultimately pointless. I lost my status and have not for one moment regretted it. My travel decisions are driven by when I want to travel, I then choose the carriers that suit me, and then look for the best price on those carriers, totally ignoring any FF ‘benefits’.
I felt liberated having made that decision.30 Apr 2012
I’m going the opposite direction, having recently achieved Gold. I haven’t flown BA yet since I’ve achieved this (will do later this month), but am interested to see if there is a difference from when I was silver. Not being charged a service/admin fee when booking a flight last week over the phone was a nice ‘known’ perk, but age of the internet makes that slightly redundant in some cases.
Used Cathay Pacific Regional (redemption) though, and enjoyed the priority first baggage, and the head purser came and individually welcomed/thanked all Emerald passengers for flying. Nice touch.
My ‘guess’ is that, whilst status levels bring different perks dependent on what tier you are in, with BA, the CIV score may start to make more of a ‘impact’ on how ‘important’ they consider you, in terms of revenue generation, etc (Not all Silver/Golds created equal?).30 Apr 2012
Interesting discussion. Question for posters… Is Loyalty a two way thing or one way? an airline runs a Frequent Flyer scheme to build loyalty amongst its current flyers and attract flyers from other airlines by offering added value or services. Once a member joins a Frequent flyer scheme the airline measures and rewards customer loyalty to the airline. What I am reading in many threads is that Frequent Flyers are expecting airlines to be loyal to Frequent flyers in return. Nickel And diming the plans seem to actually destory loyalty rather than being neutral. I find it interesting amongst us very frequent flyers who have elite status in multiple carriers/alliances the loyalty perceptions are different to the irregular short haul flyer who almost seems to feel grateful for their few “perks”. Views? (I am trying to keep this carrier neutral )30 Apr 2012
“and the head purser came and individually welcomed/thanked all Emerald passengers for flying. Nice touch.”
I’m sure you were very touched by the experience!
Joking apart, fine, but what is that worth in real terms? It’s an ego boosting exercise and people play into the hands of companies that do this. I look for tangible benefits and a faster and better resolution when things go wrong.30 Apr 2012
capetonianm – Well, we know Cathay have a reputation for that extra ‘persona’ touch 🙂
Nevertheless, you have a good point, I have been outright lucky that I haven’t had any major issues where I’ve had to pull the ‘status’ card to ensure that issues are resolved better than if I were not. Does anybody else reading this forum find this to be the case?30 Apr 2012
“but it does allow BA to focus on its core UK customer base……… “
Another fallacy ……the EU passengers and transfer traffic is holding up their operation and if it were not the case the fares ex the EU would not be so low.
The reason there were changes was due to individuals flipping their addresses who wanted low level Executive club status and an Amex card with 241. You had however to be UK based for the latter. The numbers were small but growing and the dissatisfaction of UK members in particular to the lower threholds combined with lower fares forced them to act. It was the usual sledgehammer to crack a nut approach. We had seen this before with the anytime/ open doors access changes simply to stop a problem at LGW.
I have previously predicted that 2 years down the line the 800 level will be retained for genuine EU members as they simply cannot afford to lose them all.
I am gold but I lose it on May 31st. It allowed me access to 1AK but not my travelling companions! I got better redemption availability in M class but got all my points in J and F. It got my wife and me into the First lounge when travelling on domestic flights but not when I travelled with my silver card holding kidstwice a year…..and I understand the rules.
I would have had a soft landing had I not acquired the requisite 600 points on a single round trip so will have silver for another year but 3 family member will all be statusless by year end.
Poor food (some green shots of recovery but too little too late)
Poor Service (except customer relations who excel)
Dirty Aircraft……No filthy aircraft the short haul fleet is disgraceful.
Inconsistent F cabin delivery both hard and soft product.
On board product differentiation by crew dependign on CIV score,
Executive Club. Lack of individuality and proper recognition
Shocking redemption opportunities, change of policy focusing on last minute upgrades.
Fees for redemption flights. £520 on average for F or J class seat. Remember when they were free?
Fees, BA has a fee for everything and now even fully flex fares have cancellation fees.
Premium leisure fares that are simply a rip off.
Being told changes are being made as a result of customer demand.
Oneworld is broken and does not work as an Alliance. That laughable announcement on board which states “please contact any of our one world partners” is cringe worthy. Just try approaching the T3 ticket desk with BA codeshare ticket on Qantas!
Better still ask Cathay at Heathrow about a BA flight to HKG or for a real laugh ask BA about a Cathay Flight to HKG.30 Apr 2012
Recently lost gold status myself (UK based). Perhaps I’ll soon recognise what I’ve lost but Silver is at least worth having and I will endeavour to retain it.
Notice strap on new tags is plastic and therefore will not perish in 10mins like old tags. A tiny Improvement30 Apr 2012