British Airways Executive Club Changes
||:: Late-Breaking News
(Posted: Sep 1, 2011)
Starting Nov. 16, 2011, British Airways is making some major changes to its Executive Club loyalty program. While the name of the program will stay the same, members will earn a new type of currency called Avios points instead of miles.
The new Avios points will be the loyalty currency of British Airways Executive Club, Airmiles and Iberia Plus. In an interview with Business Traveller, Andrew Swaffield, Managing Director of the Mileage Company said that the new program was created to provide a "new shared global reward currency to provide benefits for all three members."
British Airways Executive Club miles will automatically be converted into Avios points at a 1:1 ratio when the program switches to the new currency in November. Members do not need do anything when the program changes and Avios points will have the same expiration policy of Executive Club miles. Points will not expire as long as members earn or redeem at least one point every 36 months.
There will be other changes to the program as well. Members will be able to redeem Avios points for hotel stays and car rentals and a new flight award will be launched called the Reward Flight Saver, which will be available on flights in Zones 1-3. Instead of being required to pay the regular airline taxes, fees and surcharges, members will be charged a a flat fee of 27 euros/27 pounds if you are travelling in Euro Traveller and 34 euros/34 pounds if you are travelling in Club Europe when redeeming points for a Reward Flight Saver award. Zones 1-3 include many destinations in Europe from Prague (Zone 1) to Moscow (Zone 3).
The award charts will also be changing, although the new pricing has not been released. According to the Executive Club website, "On 97% of our routes there will be either no change or the route will require even fewer Avios points than the current BA Miles." For example, flights between New York and London will actually decrease from 50,000 miles roundtrip in coach to 40,000 miles and from 100,000 miles to 80,000 miles in business class.
At first glance, the Executive Club changes don't seem too bad. Members will be earning a new currency but the value of that currency will remain the same-one mile equals one Avios point.
There is, however, one major change that will effect members who redeem miles for partner awards. Under the current structure, partner awards are much cheaper than awards on British Airways. While we don't know what the new award pricing will be, it's likely that awards on partner airlines will increase to match the miles required for flights on British Airways.
According to the BA Executive Club representative on FlyerTalk: "partner rewards will be priced the same as BA. So a single pricing table for itineraries which are: BA only, BA +1 partner or partner only."
While the changes will benefit members redeeming flights for short-haul European flights, members redeeming miles for partner flights may be looking at increases of 100 percent, as Ben pointed out in his blog post at http://www.webflyer.com/link/?5205
posted: Sep 3, 2011 at 12:36am (MT)
Avios points have to be better than what you had. BA miles are usless unless you travel to London, Paris, Rome, etc. I tried to book a flight from ORD to AGP and had two choices, one to fly into Heathrow and depart Gatwick and the other to use American Airlines and Iberia (both affiliate airlines and supposidly Iberia is part of the same entity as BA) and then you would charge double the miles. I booked my flight on American advantage miles and am flying Iberia all the way with no premium on miles charged, 40,000 round trip. It looks like BA miles are structured to benifit the airline and not necessarily to accomodate the customer. I can't see using my BA or Avios points in the near future.
posted: Oct 31, 2011 at 10:28pm (MT)
The tier levels will be revised as well, new bronze level, but you will need more flying to enter silver and gold!
The ilogical element remains that you need a mínimum of BA flights, traveling to South América with BA and Iberia, only BA flights count for tier. Contacted executive club about it and they are great in making you feel unwelcome. Loofy and uninterested attitude that is a major problem with this airline.
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