BA Executive Club SilverBack to Forum
Hi All – I’m looking for some advice and after years of reading these forums am confident that someone here will be able to give a good recommendation.
Background: I’ve been a Silver member for 5 years, my father has been gold for ages, mother silver etc. sister silver etc. We fly from South Africa and have used BA (primarily for its connections…) for years and spend tens of thousands of pounds each year across our family account.
Unfortunately I realized earlier this year I was going to be shy of silver due to a ton of avios flights. Rookie error, so I called BA and explained my situation, background and history with the airline. After 30 minutes on the phone the agent came back to me and offered a tier point bonus to bump me to silver, provided I could get another 150 tier points within 2 months. After receiving email confirmation of the offer I used BA for a trip that I was going to us AF for, and got to the required level of tier points.
The Issue: My membership year ended a few days ago and I called BA (as instructed) to get the silver status renewed. BA said they would follow up and have phoned me twice to say they can no longer honor their promise. They tried to offer me 10K avios, which I laughed at, and they immediately went up to 25K avios, which I laughed at again.
Aside from the thousands of pounds I spent booking travel ahead, this is blatant lying and cheating. I have written confirmation from BA, in a BA template and all, yet they insist they can’t honor their promise and refuse to give a reason. I don’t care anymore about the status, but on morals and values I cannot leave this alone. I was hoping for some advice from the readers here, and perhaps an email address to write to. I use the gold line to call BA and they are not more helpful than the rest.
Sorry for the negativity. I’ve been a happy (ish) BA customer for over a decade and am shocked that this is happening. Even if they messed up and should never have given me the offer, they surely have to honor it. I’m hopeful that if I can get through to a “decision maker” I’ll have this sorted.
Thanks- JP16 Sep 2019
Disappointing for you but no surprise here.
If it’s any consolation to you, Lufthansa treated a friend of mine, a very loyal customer who held top-tier status for many years, in a similar manner.
The moral of the story is that appalling as they are, this type of devious behaviour is not limited to BA.16 Sep 2019
I’ve not tried it, or had to need to try it myself, but you could try and tweet BA. Some say they are a bit more responsive on this front.
If you have an email from them that categorically says ‘if you earn 150 TPs in 2 months you’ll earn Silver’, I’m struggling a little to see why they would not honour this. Or what their specific reason is for rowing back on this.
That said, it sounds like you were a fair way shy of re-earning Silver in the first place, so rather than begging for a benefit you are not really entitled to, the better option would have been to fly the actual number of TPs required for Silver, or suck up Bronze until you earned enough in your next membership year.
Apologies if this comes across as a little blunt, I certainly don’t mean to offend. If you were 5 or 10 TPs shy, in might be a different kettle of fish.
Naturally as we don’t know the entire story it is a little difficult to comment in any real detail. I’m sorry you’ve been messed around and hope you find a solution.16 Sep 2019
I agree it seems strange for them to make such an offer and then not honour it without explanation.
That said, I don’t think they should be making such offers in the first place. The whole point of a tiered loyalty scheme is that you maintain the flights needed to meet the level. I have been gold for 5 years mainly because I live in the Middle East and shuttle back and forth. Both my parents are gold. When I move home, I’ll probably lose that status as is absolutely right. I’d no longer be entitled to it (until such time as I make gold for life). The fact that other members of my family also chose to fly with them (again chiefly because they live in New York) isn’t really relevant to whether I should keep my status.
Of course – however – it is completely unacceptable that such a promise was made and then not honoured and I’d email Alex Cruz to try and understand why.16 Sep 2019
To Fly To Swindle.
Sadly unless it’s in writing, or you’re aware it was recorded, they will unlikely back down. I had a similar issue with Qantas years ago with expiring miles and an offer they made for me to keep it. I emailed senior management and had it resolved.
My suggestion is to persist. They’re not in a great place PR wise at the moment – so use social media to your advantage. If indeed you feel so passionately about it. Otherwise, book a few CW returns to London from SA and earn it back the old fashioned way.16 Sep 2019
MartynSinclairParticipant16 Sep 2019
Thanks to all for the advice. I ended up being 70 points shy and am based out of the US with limited holiday to allow me to travel. I called half jokingly to see if on the off chance I got lucky and, with a bit of persuasion I did. Call it luck, cheek or simply being slightly more entrepreneurial.
And to all those skeptics out there: I’d argue it was a smart move for BA. With millions of customers my silver card means nothing to them or anyone else based on how much I travel (don’y try tell me that lounges are “getting crowded”). However, my business and my families business means a little more. They squeezed tens of thousands of pounds in revenue and future loyalty from a family of 5. In return they gave me fast track security access (helps when you run around with a green covered passport) and lounge access for my long layovers, where 95% of the time, I avoid any BA operated lounge like the plague. Not a bad corporate strategy if you ask me.
Update: I was also just told this afternoon that those EC members who have held status for longer than 5 years usually get promotional offers if they ask. So worth a shot for anyone who is expiring soon.
I’ve been given the customer service line and told to call again. The people I have been speaking to are second language English and seem to struggle with general verbiage. Nothing against them or their intellect, but worth noting.
1 user thanked author for this post.16 Sep 2019
Unfortunate and I have had the same in the past, dropping from Gold as used a few Avios returns instead of paid.
Luckily my company has a large account and account manager and I was able to get the card back.
I have long believed that tier points should be given on redemption tickets also. Status is no use if you do not actually travel. To lose status because you redeem the miles you earn, in the way they are intended to be used just isn’t right.17 Sep 2019
I (we) fell fowl of a similar issue (well the other half did) we have both been silver members for 10 plus years with occasional elevations to Gold. This year as I am leaving Dubai for good (yaaaaaay) we had one big holiday for his big 50 to the Philippines using CX. I worked it all out for the other half that using BA LHR-DXB-LHR joining me here and we both did CX DXB-HKG-MNL-HKG-DXB would enable the other half to retain silver, all the sectors were revenue. And so at his renewal in June there were over 600 Tier points in the account, but did he get silver nooo downgraded to bronze because he had only done 2 sectors on BA Metal. when the executive club were contacted we were politely reminded that although you get tier points on CX you do not get qualifying flights on their metal and that is why. There was no movement not that I expected there to be. Again we were informed that this is clearly stated on the website.
I must admit in all my years in the exec club – joined in 1989 I had never come across this and as we had used a lot of avios for his flights to DXB in the last year it never occurred to me to check and then do a revenue return.
I myself retain silver this year, so we will travel together and get the lounge access, but the days of using BA regularly will be gone as I have more choice out of London and can use good deals on QR.
I must admit I would still be using QR if they flew to the UAE but after the competition of who has the biggest appendage between the UAE and Qatar that option was out.
Final flight out of here booked on the 10th November on the A350.17 Sep 2019
first_class_please – interesting concept re: earning TPs on redemption flights. I think this is more common in the hotel world. I use Hyatt a fair amount and if I redeem points for a stay, that stay still counts towards elite status. Will airlines follow, I wouldn’t hold my breath! Or at least in the case of BA, who I suspect would be more likely to move to a revenue based loyalty programme (like most of the major US carriers), than make their current programme ‘more generous’.17 Sep 2019
Frustrating for all, however I wouldn’t expect much latitude from BA in these areas.
To be honest, why would they. The rules for qualification are clear and have been the same for years. You can get a 2 week extension to your TP year, otherwise it is the traveller’s job to get the TPs and flights required.
Actually the reason I like BAEC is because it is a good way of getting and retaining status on Oneworld. There are several ways around the 4 flight rule and it’s quite easy to maintain silver without ever setting foot in a BA aircraft. That suits me.17 Sep 2019
All – thought I’d update here. After 3 more calls with no luck I wrote to customer relations. As expected, BA were not happy with the manager that made the offer, but honored it based on my loyalty (so they say) and future bookings that tally up to well over 600 tier points 5 months before the end of my year.
In my humble opinion, the BA Silver status is one of the best frequent flyer statuses to achieve, given the low number of tier points required, and very valuable Oneworld Sapphire status. After living in NYC for 3 years I’ve been tempted to follow my colleagues on Delta but their frequent flyer program makes it significantly harder to attain high status on such few flights. Let’s not even get started with United and Star Alliance…
1 user thanked author for this post.2 Oct 2019
J_Pathmore, I am glad you got the right result in the end. I was about to suggest the legal arguments you could present for retaining status but since BA have finally done the decent thing in honouring their promise (whether they should have made it is a separate question which I know others may question, but that’s not the point I am trying to make) that isn’t necessary.
It often takes very little to retain a customer’s loyalty. I have status with CX and a couple of times they have either extended my qualifying period in order to enable me to get the necessary miles (they have, incidentally, subsequently formalised this for people who for some reason need to take a “travel break”) or ignored a very slight shortfall and renewed my status. I appreciate that, as a longstanding top-tier member, and it gives me some comfort that they do genuinely value my custom enough to bend the rules occasionally. Now if only they would upgrade me once in a while (rolls eyes).3 Oct 2019