British Airways Executive Club: BA introduces “status hold” for members taking maternity, paternity and adoption leave

British Airways Lounge - London Gatwick South Terminal
British Airways Lounge – London Gatwick South Terminal (Credit: British Airways)

British Airways announced two major changes to its Executive Club frequent flyer programme today.

The first is the introduction of the option for members to put their account “on hold” for up to a year if they take maternity, paternity or adoption leave.

What this means is that if a member has Bronze, Silver or Gold status they do not need to earn the requisite number of tier points (eg 300, 600, or 1,500 tier points) in their membership year in order to renew their status for another year. However, tier points and Avios will still be earned if flights are taken whilst the account is on hold.
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Do you (still) have a bmi British Midland Diamond Club frequent flyer account? Your miles will expire permanently on 30 November 2016!

It’s nearly five years since the parent company of British Airways, International Airlines Group, acquired bmi British Midland from Lufthansa.

The bmi name was long disappeared from London Heathrow (its regional arm bmi regional is still flying having been acquired by independent investors).

However, bmi’s frequent flyer programme Diamond Club has remained in operation.

Whilst it hasn’t been possible earn Diamond Club miles from flights, it was possible to earn miles through Diamond Club credit cards issued by MBNA Ltd until 30 September of this year.

Any remaining miles in all Diamond Club accounts will expire in perpetuity on Wednesday 30 November 2016.

However, it is possible to transfer any remaining miles in your account on a 1:1 basis to Avios in a British Airways Executive Club frequent flyer account. This must be done before 30 November 2016.

In order to do this you will need to be able to access your Diamond Club account online (to retrieve your membership number and miles balance) and have an active British Airways Executive Club account.

BA has a dedicated tool on its website called Combine My Avios. You can use this to transfer however many Diamond Club miles you have to your Executive Club account.

A transfer of miles should only take a few minutes to do and should then appear in your Executive Club account shortly afterwards.

On a related note, here’s our analysis (albeit superseded by recent events) of what happened shortly after the merger of bmi into BA.

British Airways removes advance seat selection privileges for Silver and Gold Executive Club cardholders on “Hand Baggage Only” Fares

Two years ago, British Airways introduced “Hand Baggage Only” fares on its short-haul route network. As their name suggests, passengers purchasing these fares have to pay a separate fee if they wish to check in a bag into the hold of the aircraft.

BA has long claimed that these fares have been a success. They enable the airline to keep headline fares low when competing against low cost carriers (who have the advantage of generating considerable ancillary revenues from pasengers).

In a somewhat surprising move, BA has today announced that Silver and Gold Executive club cardholders will no longer be able to choose a seat free of charge at the time of booking when booking a hand baggage only fare from Thursday 26 March 2015.

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British Airways’ Executive Club announces major changes to earning and redeeming Avios for bookings made after 28 April 2015

British Airways has today announced major changes to the way members of the British Airways Executive Club can earn and redeem Avios on BA and partner airline flights.

BA’s International Airlines Group sibling Iberia has also announced changes to its Iberia Plus programme that take effect from 1 March 2015.

The changes are quite significant and will impact on members depending what level they are in the Executive Club, what cabins they fly on BA and, for the first time, what type of ticket is purchased.

There are some definite negatives and some positives may emerge in time. It is also important to emphasise that they only apply to bookings made after 28 April 2015, so there is a three month window to make bookings in advance of the changes.

Here’s a summary of the key changes and our take on them:
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Will British Airways move its “Executive Club” frequent flyer programme from a mileage to a revenue based model?

We’ve seen speculation online recently (much of it completely unfounded it has to be said) regarding whether British Airways will follow other airlines (such as Delta) in changing its frequent flyer programme whereby points/miles are awarded solely by reference to the absolute amount of money spent with the airline, rather than the distance flown on eligible flights.

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Members of Qatar Airways “Privilege Club” can earn frequent flyer miles on British Airways from Monday 2 September

Qatar Airways has today announced that members of its frequent flyer “Privilege Club” can earn frequent flyer miles when flying on British Airways from Monday 2 September.

Member of the Privilege Club will also be able to redeem their frequent flyer miles on British Airways flights from 1 October 2013.

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