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Diamond Club and Avios: the details

Published: 20/04/2012 - Filed under: News »

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British Airways has announced details of what Bmi’s Diamond Club members will be offered within BA’s Executive Club programme, following the completion of IAG's purchase of Bmi today (April 20).

Business Traveller has been sent the following, which will be emailed out to existing Diamond Club members today.

Among the key points are status match for existing Diamond Club members in BA's Executive Club programme, 1:1 conversion of Diamond Club destination miles into Avios, and the continuation of earning and redemption rights within Star Alliance (except for Lufthansa Group carriers) until May 31.

From today Diamond Club members can also earn destination miles when travelling on either Bmi or British Airways flights.

Here is the communication if full (barring a few links that were not live when it was sent over, and the email header and footer): 

Communication to Diamond Club Customers

I’m writing to advise you of some important changes to the Diamond Club programme following the sale of bmi to IAG, the owner of British Airways, on 20 April 2012.

As a result, there are some key changes to your Diamond Club membership, which I would like to outline below, which also includes an invitation from British Airways.

  • Announcement of bmi’s exit from Star Alliance
  • A new partnership with British Airways
  • Business as usual for Diamond Club

bmi’s exit from Star Alliance

I’d firstly like to advise that from 20 April bmi will no longer be a member of Star Alliance.

However, you will still be able to enjoy the following Star Alliance benefits associated with your membership tier level until 31 May 2012.

  • You will continue to earn membership status miles and earn and spend destinations miles on bmi and Star Alliance carriers (excluding Lufthansa Group airlines) until 31 May 2012
  • For all Star Alliance carriers you will also be able to take advantage of your bmi and Star Alliance status benefits, including lounge access, priority check-in and priority boarding until 31 May 2012
  • From 1 June 2012 any benefits associated with your tier membership and the ability to earn status miles and earn and spend destinations miles on Star Alliance airlines will end
  • Star Alliance award bookings made before 31 May 2012 will be honoured

For further information including changes to award bookings, retrospective claims and award flight bookings please visit flybmi.com.

A new partnership with British Airways

We’re pleased to announce that Diamond Club members will benefit from a new partnership with British Airways from 20 April 2012.

  • All members will be able to earn destinations miles on BA, for flights taken from 20 April 2012, and we will shortly introduce the option to spend your destinations miles on BA award flights
  • From today, Diamond Club Gold and Silver members will be able to access the British Airways lounges at London Heathrow and London Gatwick, when flying with bmi or British Airways - please present your Diamond Club Gold or Silver card on arrival to gain access

As part of the transition of bmi into British Airways, from 1 May 2012 British Airways is inviting you, as a Diamond Club member, to also join the Executive Club at your equivalent tier status level.

Diamond Club Gold customers will be invited to become Gold members of the Executive Club and Silver members to become Silver, which will be in addition to your Diamond Club membership.

You will also be able to transfer your destinations miles to Executive Club Avios points at a rate of 1:1. British Airways will also be offering Executive Club customers the ability to transfer from Executive Club Avios points into destinations miles at a rate of 1:1. For example 100 destinations miles could be transferred into 100 Avios points and vice versa.

We are creating an online tool that will allow Diamond Club and Executive Club customers to undertake transfers, which will be available from 3 July 2012. We will contact you nearer that date to explain how the tool will work and how to access it.

Business as usual for Diamond Club

Although today we are announcing a number of changes to the programme, we would like to assure you that it is business as usual for Diamond Club, including members who have a bmi Credit Card Account with MBNA.

We very much appreciate your loyalty to bmi and hope that you continue to enjoy the benefits of Diamond Club membership.

We look forward to welcoming you on board again soon.

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COMMENTS » 

Vistaro - 20/04/2012 10:47

Great result, 1:1 Exchange for BMI miles to Avios!, Always struggled to spend BMI Miles, never had that problem with BA!

biarritzsurf9 - 20/04/2012 11:59

Can you earn BA Tier Points and Avios on bmi flights?

BusinessTraveller - 20/04/2012 12:31

Hi biarritzsurf9 - we posed your question to BA, and the response was:

"Executive Club customers can start earning Avios on Bmi flights today and we'll be introducing the ability to redeem shortly."

ScottWilson - 20/04/2012 13:36

This is superb news for Diamond Club holders, as Executive Club Gold is, in effect, a higher standard of FF status than Diamond Club Gold - because it offers access to OneWorld First Class checkin and lounges (Star Alliance does not have such a tier). Executive Club Silver is, in effect, similar to Diamond Club Gold in status, offering OneWorld Business Class checkin and lounges (Diamond Club Silver only offered such privileges on Bmi flights, not Star Alliance generally).

This should certainly help IAG secure loyalty from Diamond Club holders who might have been thinking of moving to other Star Alliance programmes such as Miles and More, and may in fact woo them away from a whole series of competitors, including of course, Virgin Atlantic.

It will be interesting to see what happens to that, since Virgin is outside any Alliance, and Diamond Club Gold cardholders have access to the Virgin Clubhouse at Heathrow.

TominScotland - 20/04/2012 15:45

Yes, this is a brilliant result and congratulations to BA on seeing the big picture here. As a DC Gold Card holder, I can certainly see my loyalty switching. One thing is slightly unclear here - the letter I received this morning talked of access to BA Lounges in Heathrow and Gatwick. I am flying BA tommorrow from Glasgow and wondered whether I can use the Lounge there with my bmi Gold card? BT, can you clarify for me?

BusinessTraveller - 20/04/2012 16:06

Hi TominScotland - we've asked the question and will post any response here, although I can't promise we'll get it in time for your trip tomorrow.

BusinessTraveller - 20/04/2012 16:12

Hi TominScotland. I don't think you're going to gain access to the Glasgow lounge with your Bmi Diamond Club gold card. A representative for BA said "My understanding is that it's just Heathrow and Gatwick."

Let us know if your experience is any different.

TominScotland - 20/04/2012 16:51

Thanks for your prompt reply, BT. That was my reading too. Will test things out at Gatwick and see what happens. I guess we have to wait for full status match on May 1st to get the full benefits.

matt303939 - 26/04/2012 12:04

I have a DC card and an Iberia card, would there be an option for my DC miles/points be transferred onto my Iberia card (seeing as this is Avios and part of IAG), or could I combine my DC and Iberia miles onto a new BA executive card?

RossMac - 26/04/2012 14:22

BT - last year I was allowed to pay £150 to keep DC Silver status. I've asked via call centre and they didn't seem to know what I was talking about. I've asked via bmi web site, but had no response as yet. Any chance you could get an answer?

Thanks.

TrolleyDolley - 26/04/2012 18:56

Have been doing a few calculations regarding the recent 'offer' by BA of equivalent avios for bmi airmiles.

Here is a small example of why that is not effectively correct:

LHR - SYD - return

bmi / Star alliance - good selection of stopover cities

First Class: 250,000 miles + tax, charge etc or
125,000 miles + £850 + tax, charge etc
Business Class: 150,000 miles + tax, charge etc
75,000 miles + £510 + tax, charge etc
Economy: 100,000 miles + tax, charge etc
50,000 miles + £340 tax, charge etc

BA (One world) - few stopover availibities - fewer available seats

FC: 300,000 avios + tax, charge etc
150,000 avios + £1,800 + tax, charge etc
BC: 200,000 avios + tax, charge etc
100,000 avios + £1,600 + tax, charge etc
EC: 100,000 avios + tax, charge etc
50,000 avios + £400 + tax, charges etc.

Not sure this is true parity on a 1;1 basis.......!

Jetwash - 02/05/2012 08:29

TrolleyDolley offers the most interesting observation and many will recall the devaluation of air miles when they became the rather daft named Avios. Star Alliance had a much simpler system: "Have you room up front with the driver?" - "Yes" - "Have I enough miles?" - "Yes" - "Good, can I upgrade?" - "Yes". This being a better method than call, a few years before travel, to see if the 1 seat available, for redemption miles, is available.

So "use them or lose them" stands. Lufthansa and their offshoot airlines, have already picked up their bat and ball and decided they don't want to play anymore - which at a stroke wipes out a lot of chances to use any miles for many, many European trips. If you are crossing the pond, it may be that United will let you upgrade... but failing that, unless you fancy a free trip to Sierra Leone, a lot of people will see a huge chunk of their hard flown mileage collection, simply disappear.

davemoomin - 10/05/2012 12:35

hi all, what about people that have just signed up?

I got the BMI credit card and spent the £250 on it to get 20000 free miles, will i be able to transfer them into Avios?

I'm due to get the bonus around the 6th June.

gerster - 28/05/2012 14:05

can anyone explain why there is a difference in redemption rates between DC and BA Exec? I am looking to book club BA flight UK/US - BA Avios is 80k points but DC looking for 100k? I understand DC points will transfer at 1:1 ratio in July but not why there is a difference now?

special_k - 01/06/2012 12:14

Despite me join the BA equivelent to Diamond Club I cannot see how I arrange for my BMI Diamond Club miles to be transferred to my BA account?
How is this done?

jsphd11 - 13/06/2012 18:39

Does anyone know what the position is regarding the STATUS and DESTINATION miles, i.e, will they be carried over to your BA Exec Club account if you already have sucn an account with BA??

david100 - 12/07/2012 13:56

Just transferred 80,000 points and avios deleted them all saying they are expired - be warned!

furiousanne - 24/10/2012 13:28

I have been a member of British Airways executive club for many years.

They purchased British Midland last year and I was told I could transfer my airmiles to the Avios scheme.

Well, I spent an hour of so trying to get through to BMI who then told me it was nothing to do with them and told me to try British Airways.

British Airways also did not want to know.

The scheme expires in two days. Am I to lose all my miles because everyone is shirking responsibility?

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