BA Executive Club changes mean many reward flights will cost more, economy flights will earn less, and Silver status is harder to obtain. The cost of some upgrades will double.
British Airways Executive Club changes are on the way. From the end of April 2015 members flying in economy, and Silver members, will be hit the most in the BA's Frequent Flyer loyalty scheme. In most cases they will earn a quarter of what they were earning before the changes.
Passengers flying purely in economy will now have to fly twice as much to gain access to the BA's Business Class lounges via Executive Club Silver status.
Rewards flights are also increasing, in some cases by 33%.
Economy tickets, except for the most expensive, will now only earn 25% or 50% Avios per mile flown instead of 100%.
There is also a reduction in the number of Tier Points collected on economy tickets, which is down 25% rather than 50%.
The Silver Members' Tier Bonus (extra miles) will change from 100% to 50% of Avios, however the Gold Bonus remains 100%, and Bronze stays at 25%.
Fewer Avios are also on offer on the dedicated Club World London City to New York JFK service; previously Avios were earned at the First Class rate: now, that is bumped down to Business Class earning and Tier Points.
The price of reward flights is also increasing, with more Avios needed to fly during the peak periods, particularly for the most popular Business Class rewards. In business, you now need on average 25% more Avios, and 50% more during peak periods. In First Class you need 33% more during the peaks. Premium Economy (World Traveller Plus) also increases during the peaks by 33%.
However the seasonal pricing has a complicated calendar, with March, May and November considered mostly 'off-peak' for the month. UK school holiday and Easter months of April, July and August are mostly peak (except for Tuesdays and Wednesdays) as is Valentines week, and the last week of October.
It is the biggest shakeup in the EC since lux-traveller reported on the British Airways Executive Club creation of Bronze, and the axing of the 800TP gold level four years ago.
One bonus is that the number of Avios needed for off-peak seasonal rewards in economy to Sydney from London Heathrow are reduced by 33%.
Connecting domestic flights onto long-haul reward flights will also be charged for at full rates. Previously they were free.
|1||BRU, PRG, CPH, LIN||4,000||4,500||5,750||6,750||7,750||9,000||15,500||18,000|
|2||BCN, MAD, LIS||6,500||7,500||9,500||11,250||12,750||15,000||25,500||30,000|
|3||IST, ATH, DME||8,500||10,000||12,750||15,000||17,000||20,000||34,000||40,000|
|5||BOS, JFK, ORD, DXB||13,000||20,000||26,000||40,000||50,000||60,000||68,000||80,000|
|6||LAX, SFO, SEA, CPT||16,250||25,000||32,500||50,000||62,500||75,000||85,000||100,000|
It is the changes to the British Airways Executive Club upgrade pricing which will hit many savvy passengers the most. The cost of the most valuable upgrades will more than double. Premium Economy to Business is going up by 140%.
Some of this is understandable: the cost of an upgrade from World Traveller Plus to Club World on BA from London to Sydney was a mere 25,000 Avios. An absolute bargain. Now it will cost 60,000 Avios one way during the peak, and 50,000 off-peak. There is the same huge jump for shorter journeys: Dubai from PE to Business now costs 24,000 peak, instead of 10,000. An upgrade to longer European journeys such as Athens now costs 10,000 Avios.
The upgrade cost from economy to Premium Economy on BA is also rising doubling at peak time from 25,000 to Sydney to 50,000 now, although to only 32,500 off peak. In effect, you will now have to spend the same number of Avios to get an upgrade, as you would have to, to get an economy seat.
These figures aren't very well displayed on the BA site: in effect however it is the same 'reward' chart. You will now have to spend the same number of Avios to get an upgrade, as you would have to, to get the lower class of seat in the first place. However, you can upgrade by paying the difference between the cabin you've booked and the cabin you want to upgrade to, meaning you can now upgrade from economy to First for example, although it is a very poor return on Avios.
|Zone||Econ to PE/Euro Biz||PE to Biz||Biz to First|
|1||BRU, PRG, CPH, LIN||3750||4500||-||-||-||-|
|2||BCN, MAD, LIS||6250||7500||-||-||-||-|
|3||IST, ATH, DME||8,500||10,000||-||-||-||-|
|5||BOS, JFK, ORD, DXB||13,000||20,000||20,000||24,000||18,000||20,000|
|6||LAX, SFO, SEA, CPT||16,250||25,000||25,000||30,000||22,500||25,000|
Iberia is also joining in the changes, with the same seasonal pricing.
There is a small window to book tickets before the changes: tickets booked before 28th April 2015 earn at the old rates.