In a move that I must confess caught me completely by surprise, BA sent emails to many members of their frequent flyer loyalty program, BAEC, over the weekend with details of a very generous gesture. This would seem to be the first proactive move by the airline to try and compensate for the experiences endured over the Bank Holiday weekend by so many travellers.
The communication that many people received is offering a complimentary 2-year (!) status extension for Bronze, Silver and Gold BAEC members caught up in the mayhem.
This is being offered to those who were due to travel on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the Bank Holiday weekend.
Rather bizarrely, not all members have received these emails but I feel confident that it will be extended to all Bronze, Silver or Gold members who were affected in due course.
If you are a status member who didn’t receive this email or know of family members or colleagues who were affected but haven’t been contacted, it is worth reaching out to BA to make sure that you also benefit from the complimentary extension.
On a side note, while it’s very nice to reward Bronze, Silver and Gold members with an extra perk, I can’t help but wonder why they haven’t come up with an alternative offer for non-status members, who, after all, were just as affected by this chaos. Surely, it would have made more sense to either come up with a gesture that is applicable to all customers or have an equally generous version for non-status members lined up.
Now, all that I see happening, is a further alienation of a large portion of (non-status bearing) customers who have already had their travel plans thoroughly ruined and whose feelings towards BA are none too positive anyway at the moment.
Executive Club changes
Even writing those words brings back dark memories of the big Avios changes of 2014/15 but before you panic, these are good changes. Yes, it seems that BA hasn’t completely forgotten how to introduce genuine enhancements in the Alex Cruz-led era of cuts. Even if this won’t affect all British Airways Executive Club members, it is nevertheless a welcome sign.
Exciting rewards for new parents
Executive Club Members who may be taking fewer or no flights during their maternity, paternity or adoption leave can put their account on hold for a year, protecting hard-earned Executive Club Bronze, Silver or Gold status.
In order to qualify for this, members just need to provide a letter from their doctor, a birth certificate or documentation relating to the adoption or paternity leave and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with their Executive Club membership name and number.
As a further bonus, if you use this benefit, BA will credit 1,000 bonus Avios to your new addition when you enrol them into your Household Account.
While the cynic in me wonders which benefits will have to be slashed in order make ‘room’ for these newly announced changes, on face value this is definitely a welcome move from BA and a sign that customer feedback has, to some extent, had an effect.
In truth, the likes of Virgin Atlantic have been offering a complimentary hold of your current status while you go on maternity leave for some time. Nonetheless, it is good to see BA coming on board (sorry!) with this too.