17th August 2009 at 13:26 #430785
Anonymous17th August 2009 at 13:26 #430786
British Airways has run a trial over the past four months or so whereby Silver and Gold cardholders earned a reduced amount of Tier Points (TPs) on discount economy fares.
The trail was extended in July to last until August 18, when it was due to end. This trial has now ended and this benefit will now be made permanent for Silver and Gold cardholders.
This echoes structure of the BAEC scheme five years ago, in which requalification for your existing elite tier was easier (a reduced threshold) than qualifying for the first time.
Previous to this trial, discounted economy fares earned only BA Miles, the currency used for redeeming award tickets. They did not earn the TPs required to gain status within the airline’s Executive Club scheme.
As was the case before, ALL flexible Domestic, flexible EuroTraveller (shorthaul economy), flexible World Traveller (longhaul economy), Club Europe, World Traveller Plus, Club World and First tickets continue to earn full Tier Points.
Now the least expensive inflexible Domestic, EuroTraveller and World Traveller tickets will also earn a reduced rate of 25% of the normal full amount of TPs.
This will help those whose travel policies have been changed to allow only inflexible tickets to be booked to maintain their loyalty to BA, rather than defecting to Low Cost Carriers (LCCs).
A European resident needs 400 TPs in a membership year to qualify for Silver, which allows premium check-in, advanced seat allocation, a 25% mileage earned bonus and Galleries/Terraces lounge access for you and a guest on any oneworld flight.
You get 40TPs for each Club Europe sector (even on inflexible advance purchase CE sale fares, available from £180ish rtn inc. tax), and 75TPs for each WT+ sector from the UK to the USA (restricted sale fares usually price at about £500 rtn inc. tax). So a couple of USA round trips plus a CE weekend in Europe and four restricted economy Domestic flights per annum is enough to get you a EuroSilver card.
A typical flexible UK domestic or Euro Traveller one way earns 20 TPs, and under the new scheme if booked in the cheapest booking classes these sectors will earn 5TPs; not a huge number when you need to reach 400 TPs per annum, but enough to help out those just short of requalification.17th August 2009 at 13:36 #430787
Edited to add:
Contrary to the Silver/Gold restriction outlined above, this new TP earning policy will apply (from August 19) to all tiers in the Exec Club, *including* lowly Blue.17th August 2009 at 13:53 #430788
So if the UK is part of Europe why can we not only earn 400 TP instead of the 600 TP we are currently required to earn for Silver.
So by being ‘ British ‘ – British Airways is discriminating against us or is that too simplistic ?
I have a holiday home in European Spain – can I join there ?17th August 2009 at 14:08 #430789
My understanding is that if you have a European address that you can give to the Exec Club, then you could be registered as a member resident in for example Spain and thus only need the 400 points to reach/maintain silver.17th August 2009 at 14:34 #430790
That is true. I split my time between my homes in London and Berlin and use my Berlin address for the EC.17th August 2009 at 14:57 #430791
There are some downsides to “EuroCheating” as it is known:
1. You cannot have a British Airways American Express card if registered in mainland Europe, so lose out on miles earning and the 2for1 voucher.
2. You can only move your address once every six months.
3. You can still book online, but if you do need to call up, you must book any redemptions via your local “European” call centre. They are very helpful and do speak excellent English. However, it is an expensive call. Whichever communication channel you choose, you get charged taxes and fees in something called Euros….
4. You will only be able to take advantage of special promotions and offers in your registered country (generally these are as good if not better than UK promos, but sometimes you might be frustrated by this).
5. Your card and bag tag will be sent to your registered address. As you need to show the card to get lounge access, you will need to be able to collect or have the card sent to you if you want to be able to use its most significant perk.18th August 2009 at 17:12 #430792
This is good news, I have always felt that there should be some recognition of loyalty on the cheaper fares. Certainly a step in the right direction.20th August 2009 at 13:08 #430793
Surely expecting British people to have a different, and higher, threshold is racial discrimintion?
If you go on the US site, you will see better deals for americans too!20th August 2009 at 13:31 #430794
That is good news about TPs at all fares. It is more difficult for all to achieve / retain tier status nowadays.
As to the comments about discrimination, that is a fact of life. Swiss and Miles and More have similar policies. It is natural that airlines push for “marginal traffic”. If you take a route LIS > HKG there is no direct flight so AF/KL/LH/SF/SR and, of course, BA all compete and offer FF benefits and lower, or equal, fares than from the home base.
Vintage Krug is correct that the bigger promos target the domestic market first so, for instance, the recent BA Club World deals were available ex UK 2 or 3 weeks before ex the rest of Europe, and the CE deals never hit the rest.
You win some, you lose some.20th August 2009 at 15:02 #430795
Because it is a fact of life does not make it beyond the law of the land20th August 2009 at 21:54 #430796
It is illegal, but BA have expensive lawyers who will make it difficult for anyone who takes them to court…..23rd August 2009 at 19:05 #430797
It’s not even vaguely ‘illegal’.30th August 2009 at 12:12 #430798
What a great news for Exec Club members!! It is really easier now to retain one’s status. Thank you BA !!!30th August 2009 at 17:56 #430799
I think the reasoning is that if you live in the UK you can fly almost everywhere direct with BA. If you live in Spain, Switzerland or any other European city flying BA usually involves a change of plane and transiting through the UK. For example if I fly Zurich – NY I can go direct with Swiss, but if choosing BA I have to fly via London which will add to my journey time, not to mention the hassle of going through security twice and having my swiss army pen knife relieved from me!!!
To encourage more business BA has a lower qualifying status for non UK residents. Besides, if they lowered it to 400TP in the UK, think how crowded the lounges would be and then we’d all be complaining about that.
As to legality, it is perfectly legal as it is by definition a club, and therefore BA is entitled to set the membership criteria it wishes, in the same way a private club has different membership rates for “Town”, “Country” and “Overseas” members.
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