End of BA “Grandfather” tier rightsBack to Forum
I just looked at the BAEC site out of curiosity to see how many avios are needs for a free flight to JNB, and it seems if connecting from (continental) Europe via LHR you need more avios than if flying direct from London. UK connecting flights do not incur this penalty with BA.
I’d say that’s a disincentive as KLM and LH/LX do not impose this but maintain the same miles needed wherever in Europe you start your journey connecting through AMS/FRA/ZRH.27 May 2015
Interesting point Lesmclaren, but perhaps BA have enough local business that they no longer need the ex Europe long haul flyers?
I’ve often thought BA should give up short haul and do a deal with Easyjet who seem to make money out of it!27 May 2015
As SimonS1 said, we were all notified on or around 18 October 2011 when we were told:-
“Continued Silver or Gold status.
Finally, as a way of recognising your continued loyalty to British Airways, and to help make the transition to our new higher tier thresholds easier, we are offering you the chance to retain your status.
If you are a Silver or Gold member on 1 March 2012 you will be able to renew at the existing Tier Point threshold (400/800 respectively) for the next two membership years. However, in order to move up a tier after the 1 March 2012, you will need to do so at the new thresholds “
I guess that I was not alone in recently receiving mail almost daily telling me that I needed 750 points to renew Gold. I thought it was an error as, at that stage I had 750 points so needed just 50 points by November to reach 800. In fact it was correct as I do indeed need 750 to achieve 1500 by November. I booked flights for an October USA trip, from DUB and using a slightly indirect route to maximise Tier Points. I shall achieve 1560 this year as a result, and it will also take me to 35,060 so Lifetime Gold.
A word of advice to all non-UK based BAEC members. If you have moved from being UK based to overseas, or vice versa or a combination thereof, do give BAEC all of your old BAEC numbers. When LTG was introduced my account only showed ~21k points but I knew it should be more. Giving the Exec Club my old numbers drove my lifetime tier points to ~33,500, and in sight of LTG.27 May 2015
Indeed LuganoPirate many of us feel this is the next “enhancement”. Could even be the main reason for chasing the acquisition of AE so hard. Just what we need, another low cost model based out of Ireland!!27 May 2015
1500 for me too, but the change took place at renewal date. Since, as mentioned above, this was announced a while ago, can’t really complain.
More generally, I don’t think it is a question of fairness, but rather a strategic move. BA needed obviously more the non UK Gold members before than now…
Be it…27 May 2015
Between Skyteam members there is also a difference. Saudia Alfursan requires 25,000 miles or 15 international sectors to reach silver tier. However if you’ve AF or KLM Flying Blue you can achieve silver with 15 domestic flights on Saudia domestic in any cabin.27 May 2015
Clearly I either missed or did not receive the change notice 3 years ago!
However the point remains that BA just imposed this without any reminder or notification part way through many members earning years.
The proper way to handle it would have been to remind members at the START of their year that this would change and not when they had already started their program. I can also see from mails that they moved the goal posts even for members who would have achieved the 800 points prior to the unannounced change date.
Of course the proper and sane way of BA handing anything that relates to retaining loyalty from their long standing members went out of the window a while back!27 May 2015
Same thing happened to me and for 2 months of my new year I planned my travel around the 800 target booking flights with avios instead of cash.. When it changed I contacted BA and they said it was an IT problem and basically tough luck. I asked them if I could change my avios flights and pay for them instead to earn the tier points and they flat refused.Now for the first time in a decade I´ve booked flights with other Oneworld carriers.27 May 2015
@lesmclaren – there was a big mail out in February 2014 when the grandfathering period was extended for a third and final year. So in effect BA did remind people at the start of the membership year.
In respect of your comments about “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”, why is that any different to encouraging regular flyers flying TO European destinations?
In other words you fly regularly from Finland to London and back, traveller B flies regularly from London to Finland and back. Why do they need to be treated differently and have different BAEC tier thresholds?27 May 2015
I think you will find many people did not get this “big mail out in February 2014”. I certainly did not. In september 2014 at the start of the tier point year I was told I would need 800 points for gold. I bought tickets specifically to meet that target (I would have bought economy instead of club europe without this target to meet) and half way through the year the target changed to 1500 (I had 620 points at this stage) so I wasted my money (on identical seats with business and economy having the same legroom).
i’ve read that some people actually got over 800 points and their page then said “gold retained” only to find that change around march and they have not retained gold at all and also have the 1500 target.27 May 2015
Yes I agree Richard, BA’s IT department hasn’t played a blinder here and clearly some people may have been misled.
It could be that some people didn’t get the email, although the changes were quite well publicised on the BA website and all the main travel forums (including BT). All I am saying is that the comments in the OP about it being “buried in the small print of the April enhancements” are a bit wide of the mark.27 May 2015
Thank you RichardB. I have exactly the same situation as you and have wasted my money just like you have.
In response to SimonS1:
Just FYI – Yesterday I got an “apology” mail from BA addressed to me by name because they had sent me a First upgrade offer that evidently did not apply to me. I mention this because it clearly underlines that BA DO have the capability to send out personally directed mails and I contend that they should have done this in the case of the change of TP. I am sure that you can see that I am not the only one by far that has been misled by their lack of customer care and spent money that did not need to be spent nor am I the only one that did not receive the “general” messages or see forums etc.
Secondly – regarding your comment about someone who lives in the UK against someone who lives abroad flying the same route and requiring different points levels. This underlines the fairness of having an alternative “number of flights flown” as with Skyteam and also it is marketing 1o1. The short haul UK resident has the choice [even if he does not exercise it] of 100’s of destinations from the UK whilst in many countries there is only one choice with BA and that is to LHR.
Finally I again checked the “We are making changes to the EC” on the BA website. In fact there is NO mention of this TP change at all so I was wrong, it was not “In the small print”, it was not there at all!! – which makes it even worse in my book.
I appreciate that across many forums you are a big apologist for BA but surely even you must concede that BA handled this extremely badly and have left many long standing and loyal customers very annoyed and angry at BA who I am sure will finally vote with their feet to the detriment of BA.28 May 2015
Yes I know this was not buried in the small print. The reason for that is simple – it was in a separate announcement going back over 3 years. Why would you bury in the small print or re-announce something which was communicated 3 years ago and has now been implemented?
I have never suggested BA don’t have the capability to send out personal emails. That’s what they did here. There is a long thread on FT on this and most of the people on there received their notifications. Clearly you didn’t: frustrating and annoying I can imagine, although no comms programme will be 100% effective.
As far as the ‘same route’ bit is concerned I have personal experience of this – for 3 years I maintained Gold membership with a weekly commute with BA to Milan. However why did I have to reach a higher threshold for Gold than someone doing exactly the same trip in reverse? The fact that BA flies to 100s of destinations is totally irrelevant in such circumstances as the work I was doing was in Italy, not anywhere else.
Yes BA does have a “number of flights flown” alternative. It’s 50 flights gets you silver membership.
Yes I do agree that BA didn’t handle this well, equally from what I have read and been told most people did receive advance warning. But you are right – the best thing to do is vote with your feet. It may or may not have any impact on BA.28 May 2015
I certainly didn’t receive this email and I achieved 800 TP’s within a month and a half of my renewal and consequently got the gold retained banner. I assumed (yes I know a fatal mistake) that BA had quietly dropped the idea after likely flushing out those actually not resident outside the UK, to be surprised to encounter the “xxx TP’s required to retain gold” banner. Hmmmn. I rang EC in Germany to query why this wasn’t done at the start of the membership year to be advised that I was lucky to have received the more favourable lower rate for an extra 3 years. Hmmmn. Oh well I can’t say I was surprised by the schandenfreude of the quip.28 May 2015