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If you are a member of the British Airways Executive Club, you may notice a small, but significant, change when you next log on to your account at ba.com
BA has, in addition to annual tier points which determine the level of status (Bronze, Silver, Gold) a member is entitled to for their membership year, introduced “lifetime tier points”.
Put simply, these are all the tier points a member has earned since joining the Executive Club.
At the moment, if a member has earned 35,000 lifetime tier points or more they are now entitled to gold membership for life.
It clearly takes a significant amount of flying over a long period of time to achieve this amount of tier points. The current (UK) threshold for annual gold membership is 1,500 tier points. So for an Executive Club member who just makes gold each year, it would take 24 years to achieve lifetime gold status!
However, this is still a considerable benefit for frequent flyers and a good reason to stay loyal to BA and the Oneworld alliance as travel patterns inevitably change over time. I would also surmise that, for BA, it’s a good opportunity to bring previously loyal flyers who may have lapsed for various reasons (operational issues at Heathrow etc) back in from the cold. One particularly good aspect of lifetime status is that does not require a period of continuous gold card status, which would discriminate against those who stop flying due to maternity leave, career breaks etc.
It is interesting to note that, as of yet, there is no lifetime Silver status.
The one caveat, and it is a significant one, is that a year, let alone a decade plus, is a very long time in aviation, so there can be no guarantees that BA will commit to lifetime gold membership in perpetuity. The terms and conditions of lifetime status clearly state that BA can withdraw lifetime status if it chooses.
More details about lifetime gold membership are on ba.com