While I find it somewhat galling the email contained the phrase “following feedback from our customers” which is just not true, this was an inevitable “enhancement”.
I can count on the fingers of one hand the times I have used Anytime Access (flying Virgin America from SFO, no longer possible as they switched terminals) and on Alaska from SEA.
This move was especially brought about because of the co-location of EasyJet with BA at Gatwick North. The numbers of Easyjet customers with BA Goldcards using the Terraces lounge (free mags/newspapers, food, champagne, showers, net access) was no doubt a significant factor in this decision.
It is a sensible business model to focus valuable perks on those who actually drive revenue towards British Airways and its oneworld partners; with reciprocal access to oneworld alliance lounges/flights now available from many airports, it seems sensible to make access to such facilities conditional on pushing some money oneworld’s way.
When this Anytime Access policy was formulated, oneworld did not exist.
I was initially disappointed to receive this email, but worked out that in fact it won’t affect me, as I usually fly oneworld/star alliance/skyteam carriers for which my top tier status permits lounge access, and if that fails have American Express/Priority Pass access to other lounges.
The advent of such non-airline lounge access schemes is another reason the Anytime Access perk was not as useful/essential as was once the case.