What is the point of having BAEC status?Back to Forum
Anonymous29 Dec 2015
I am a lowly silver member of BAEC, but surely that is supposed to bring some benefit? If not, what’s the point?
A few days ago, my wife received an email advising of a schedule change to a flight we are taking in January.
Although the change was modest – from an original departure time of 16.45 to a new one of 19.00 – the knock-on effect at the destination meant that we would have to pay a significant “fine” for late arrival at our apartment.
Naturally I wanted to mitigate this impact, and consequently called the BAEC Silver telephone number.
After traversing the usual multidimensional menu lottery, I somehow ended up speaking with a person in an Indian call centre, who willingly admitted that I was speaking to general enquiries rather than the BAEC Silver line.
Having been down this fruitless route before, I immediately asked the operator to transfer me to BAEC silver line.
Well, for the next 20 minutes I was engaged in a wild goose chase, getting absolutely nowhere, until finally – my patience exhausted – I insisted on speaking with the supervisor, Gunjan.
She once again explained to me why she couldn’t transfer me to the Silver line – rather than just doing it – and invited me to call again on the very same number I had originally called. This was 30 minutes after I started my call.
To her credit – though after the usual flannel about not being able to do anything about the egregious schedule change – she agreed to see what she could do.
So, after another 5 minutes listening to that awful “world’s favourite airline” muzak, she came back to me to tell me what she had discovered …
… only for the line to go click and me to hear the disconnected signal !!!
So my question is: what is the point of having BAEC status, if there is no actual service benefit?
ps – I may be bloodied, but I am unbowed; tomorrow my wife will phone her Gold Line number and see if BA treat her any better 🙂29 Dec 2015
I had a similar experience when BA lost my bags and the ‘baggage service’ line was absolutely useless so I thought the Gold line might be able to help me out a bit more. They weren’t which was a bit annoying and just referred me back to the useless baggage services lounge.
On the flipside, when I was on a flight that was cancelled on departure due to a ‘tech issue’ the Gold line was a life saver. They sorted me out over the phone in minutes while others lined up at the counter for hours to re-book.
I guess most peoples MAIN reasons for BAEC membership is the perks it gives – I guess the two most important ones for me are lounge access and the ability to select my seat when I book. So that would be my answer to your question of ‘what is the point of having BAEC status’ 🙂29 Dec 2015
I agree that it is nice having the benefit of lounge access; but I think you might be wrong on the seat selection front. On a recent HBO flight to SVG, I was assigned a seat and was unable to change it at all through my BAEC account.
Thus, if having status is ONLY about lounge access and “seat selection”, then surely BA could save themselves a bundle of dough by “downsizing” the BAEC Silver and Gold line folk?
So my question remains.29 Dec 2015
The gold and silver phone lines are only for UK card holders anyway. On the back of my card is no phone number since I don’t live in the UK. Gold and Silver card holders in europe just have to use the normal phone line unless they can find out the gold/silver phone numbers (how?, since everybody assumes they are “on the back of the card”)29 Dec 2015
FYI, I have “sharpied” the geographical number of the BAEC silver line into the signature strip for exactly that reason !!
The other entry in the signature strip, of both this and ALL my other credit/debit/affinity cards, are the words “SEE PHOTO ID” – on the grounds that this provides one less opportunity for identity theft.
ps – why are you – “Richard B” – flying with BA when you have your own airline 😉29 Dec 2015
The benefits are largely tangible ones – lounge access, business class check in, faster Avios accrual and earlier seat selection (except on HBO fares).
BA doesn’t do customer service at Silver level. Probably a combination of the fact that there are too many silver members to do much personalisation and the airline being woeful at service.
I think for a delay of less than 3 hours your options would be to cancel with refund or go with it. Silver status won’t help much there. If you are looking for re-routing I suspect you will be out of luck.30 Dec 2015
Where were you going and were you trying to get on an earlier flight?
They cancelled a recent flight of mine to Glasgow [the 1800 flight] and stuck me on the 1100 flight. Utterly useless when there is one either at 1950 and many options before that. I called up and went through the same process as you and got rebooked on the 1950. The chap in India was helpful enough, but why on an hourly flight they reprotect you on one 7 hours earlier defies belief.30 Dec 2015
I was Gold for so many years that it was a testament to my stupidity in supporting a company that never offered me anything but the minimum benefits of this status level. No extra help ever when I ran into difficulties, even if it was the fault of BA. However I did have some good experience with You First when travelling First.30 Dec 2015
I just think the title of the thread doesn’t really relate to the issue.
We all know what the point if of having BAEC status. Those that everyone has mentioned – lounge access/bonus avios on earning/increased luggage/seat selection (except as the OP mentions HBO fares in europe).
The issue the OP highlights seems to be more about poor customer service from the Silver line call centre and reading about his experiences I totally agree.30 Dec 2015
Unless you are at the top of the heap in a FFP there is no point to it at all other than you will earn points, may be able to redeem them for something you want and you might get access to a lounge or fast track or similar.
If you are basic or silver, expect and ask for nothing and you won’t be disappointed.You might want to question whether for the benefits available you really want to hand over so much personal data to an airline that in return drops a few crumbs from the table now and again.
Instead, branch out, book the best value fares you can find and enjoy travel again. I recommend it!30 Dec 2015
What is the point of having BAEC status?
In my opinion, the answer is in the question, people want “status” and by giving them a gold or silver coloured piece of plastic and a separate “special” (but equally poor) phone line they believe they are getting it.
Many gold members will often travel in business or first (which is how they got the gold status in the first place) so will have lounge access anyway.30 Dec 2015
Being BA Gold does give you priority on wait lists. When I used to travel LGW-JER regularly some years ago, if the flight was cancelled due to weather on the occasions I was rebooked and the flight was full I was first on the wait list and travelled.
Interestingly I have been a BA exec member since 1998, although mostly silver or gold I have only been upgraded twice. Yet in less than two years I have been upgraded twice by QR and once on CX30 Dec 2015
What is the point of having BAEC status?
It gives people with it, something to moan about.
For the avoidance of doubt, I am bronze as only accrue on leisure flights, not business flights.
If some people were less focused on getting their Gold Tier status & even ditched the long haul treasure hunts (mileage runs)….they might find better value and better service with another carrier.
Hold on…am I really saying that!. As an IAG shareholder I should be encouraging you, yes positively encouraging gold loving trinket loving status loving gold hunters. Giving you just enough to tickle your fancy, but never enough to satisfy you. Oh how it is just like fishing.
Instead of chasing the Gold…and when getting/retaining it looking down on Silvers, sneering at Bronzes and almost spitting at Blues you might find you could enjoy life a bit more by binning it.
I guess Gold status is akin to my smoking…addictive….I know it is bad for me and will endeavour to give it up….what about you Gold chasers out there….can you give it up…or are you addicted……30 Dec 2015