End of BA “Grandfather” tier rightsBack to Forum
Anonymous26 May 2015
It seems that buried in the small print of the BA April “Enhancements” was the fact that members who live outside the UK and have very limited access to flight routes operated by BA unless they always fly through London lost there “Grandfather” rights [this is how BA referred to this] when I queried why my tier points needed had increased from 800 to 1500 and right in the middle of my earning year and without any prior notice!
Once again BA are clearly penalising long standing and loyal [over 23 years in my case] passengers whose travel in mainly short haul.
So regrettably after all these years its going to be goodbye to BA and I will switch my business to KLM who have a far fairer scheme and also offer me multiple arrival points in the UK. OK the KLM lounge at Schiphol may not be a patch on the BA “first” lounge at T5 but having said that the T5 “first” lounge is rapidly going downhill.
One day BA will find out to their cost that loosing long standing and loyal customers is not really a very clever idea.26 May 2015
I too have the same issue – 800 to 1,500 to retain Gold. My view is it was good whilst it lasted and I too remember a thread from 3 years or so ago discussing the tier point increase (or equalisation) for European/Overseas based members.
However, I still retain my European address as once or twice a year there are offers available to European members that are not available to UK based members.26 May 2015
SimonS1 – pretty obvious really, they want frequent flyers who have other local options to choose them instead – why I opted for UA rather than BA was my local flights would be all US based…… so it is a good deal for Cathay, Qantas, BA to give lower qualification thresholds for those based in the US so their long haul are on (in my case) the none US airline, and vice versa for BA for potential FF’s based out of the UK26 May 2015
Mine ended this month also (I live in Finland). This is despite my BAEC page saying that 800 points were needed for gold until half way through the tier point year and then it jumped to 1500. It would have been nicer to have it change at the start of the tier point year not give me a false target that I spent extra money on to get to 800 points and now realise I could have spent zero pounds with BA this year and still had silver next year.
Why should it be different for european members? to give us some incentive to fly via heathrow. For intra-europe flights especially other airports are much better. 30 minute minimum connection time in munich. no second security check when changing planes. No taking a bus from terminal 3 to terminal 5.
Perhaps those living in the UK don’t realise it but when you fly say helsinki-munich-madrid there is no passport control anywhere and security check only at the helsinki end. That does not happen if you fly via London. And i’ve never flown around in circles waiting to land at frankfurt or munich as you do about 80% of the time when approaching heathrow.26 May 2015
Peter – I don’t agree that should result in lower tiers. The decision to fly via London is a personal choice and you get the extra avios from the connecting flight as compensation if you do.
RichardB – yes I agree it wasn’t ideal changing the systems at the last minute but presumably you would agree that people have had over 3 years to adjust their travel habits.26 May 2015
SimonS1 – “people have had over 3 years to adjust their travel habits” – firstly you make the wild assumption that every member knew about this – I most certainly did not and it came as a bolt out of the blue in the middle of my earnings year which starts in early December! :Like RichardB I have been misled into planning my year based on 800 points [which incidentally I earn by paying for a European business class fare before you raise that one!] You also mention Avios which has absolutely nothing to do with Tier points.
In addition, RichardB does have some cushion as he lives in Finland and can enhance his BA card earnings by using Finnair. I live in Norway and nothing has changed. The only BA flights available to me are to Heathrow and nothing has changed over the past 3 years nor likely to in the future. The only other Oneworld partner is Finnair, but I never need to fly there and the BA franchisee Sunair which apparently occasionally flies to Denmark [again not a regular destination of mine] must hold the European record for the most cancelled flights in any one year.
So perhaps you could explain how I could have “adjusted my travel habits” when nothing new has happened to increase the availability of using BA from my home airport and country other than just not bothering to use BA at all?
Hopefully you have now understood why BA would incentivise the number of tier points for people like me who do not have ready access to the vast number of BA / former BMI and soon Aer LIngus flights that residents of the UK can enjoy!26 May 2015
Lesmclaren – yes I meant tier points not avios.
The change was announced in 2011 on the website and by email when people were given 2 years grace period. Subsequently BA offered customers a third year on the grace period. So I think they made a fair effort to let people know.
I understand the point about frequency of flights to Norway etc but I still don’t understand why this should mean BA should give discounted entry to the BAEC. You could make that argument with most airlines. As a regular traveller around Southern Africa I don’t have access to the same network of SAA flights as someone in Johannesburg. Do SAA offer me discounted access to Voyager? No.
In fact I can’t think of any airlines that go this, which is probably why BA stopped it.
If you are a regular user of BA for long haul and choose indirect flights then you benefit from the extra TPs that you get from the feeder flights into London. If you only fly to LHR then you are not in a different position to a London based member doing the trip in reverse.
In fact I think BA would also argue that EU based members already benefit from cheaper flights ex- EU so if ultimately BAEC were to look at changing to a spend based programme as many US airlines have done then EU members might be further impacted.26 May 2015
Logically speaking, someone residing outside Britain area would;
1) Benefit from lower fares on BA, particularly ex-EU ports. Therefore the cost of hitting the tier points thresholds is lower than a UK domiciled pax
2)Their BA flights would require them to backtrack to LHR (inconvenience = lower fares), which results in the ability to earn more tier points.
As such the old lower tier points requirement is irrational.27 May 2015
about “benefit from lower fares on BA”: i think you are dazzled by the long haul fares from non UK EU cities sometimes being lower than they are from London. BA are not doing this for short haul.
At least from Helsinki the BA europe fares via london are always more expensive than direct finnair flights. Lufthansa on the other hand do understand that they have to be cheaper than direct flights to take account of changing planes vs direct flight. And like I said before connection time at Frankfurt and Munich is drastically shorter than LHR.
But perhaps this is BA strategy – to only want long haul customers from european cities. In my working career in Finland it’s almost unknown to take a european flight via London for the reasons I mentioned above.27 May 2015
the only other program that had different levels for Gold that I know of, was Lufthansa’s Miles and More, where German based members needed 130,000 miles and all others (including Swiss) needed just 100,000. It seems LH lowered this to 100,000 miles for everyone as I cannot see a difference anymore on the German website.27 May 2015
The only European FFP I can now think of that is discriminating between “home” and “other countries” is Turkish. Not sure that’s fair but 25,000 miles to requalify for Star Gold is a steal and that’s why I’m in.27 May 2015
My point exactly Richard – if you choose the indirect route via London for a European flight then you get TPs on both sets of flights. Why do you need a lower threshold as well?
BA makes its money on long haul routes so I think you are right in saying they are primarily interested in the connection traffic from Europe.27 May 2015
Fully agree with you RichardB and this has been my point for a long time, BA only wants EC members that use long haul. The lower tier requirement was a marketing tool used when BA had a marketing policy that understood that if you encourage Europe only passengers to use BA when flying to the UK rather than a local carrier [e.g. SAS in my case] then you need to reward them and encourage them to use BA to help fill flights from BA European destinations as regular flyers. It also had the added benefit of retaining the loyalty of those members who occasionally fly long haul to use BA plus of course UK domestic flights.
In the case of Finland I think you will find the Finnair prices are set within the One World alliance to encourage Finns to use Finnair rather than BA.
On the subject of different earning requirements: AF/KLM requires slightly higher level points [Tier points] from residents of France and Monaco. Where AF/KLM score highly in my opinion is that they offer an open and transparent alternative to earning level miles for everyone by having a number of flights flown program for each tier level. Plus of course all the advantages you state of flying through a non UK hub.
At the end of the day its all down to marketing. If BA want to encourage customers from outside of the UK who only have very limited access to BA flights to use BA rather than a local carrier for trips to the UK and maybe beyond LHR then they will adopt a policy to make this happen. If BA only want customers who will use LHR for long haul flights then in my opinion that is a policy that will backfire on them and loose them a lot of customers who help make their short haul fleet viable.27 May 2015