British Airways is among the relatively few major airlines not to have rolled out a 12-month status extension for its frequent flyers, with Executive Club members seeing only a short-term lowering of the Tier Point threshold. However, there are signs this could soon change.
BA is granting an extra year of status to all member of its On Business loyalty program, which lets corporate travellers earn On Business Points for their company, along with Avios for their individual BAEC account, on British Airways, Iberia and American Airlines flights – and later spend those On Business Points on upgrades and free flights.
"We know that the COVID-19 outbreak is an unprecedented global challenge for you and your business," members have been advised by email.
"We're pleased to let you know that your On Business tier status will be protected this year. That means, if you do not spend the amount needed by the end of 2020 to remain in your current tier, you can be assured that your current tier status will be maintained until the end of 2021."
On Business has three tiers – On1, On2 and On3 – each of which earns one On Business Point per pound, Euro or US dollar spent – although at the On2 or On3 levels you'll pick up a 25% or 50% points bonus.
Working your way through those tiers requires a substantial annual travel spend: at least £30,000 per year to qualify for On2, and then a whopping £300,000 or more for On3.
No doubt that any company that's clocked up such sums over the past 12 months will no doubt be grateful to keep their On Business tier in tact for the next 14 months in the face of little to no travel for many months to come.
Sadly, there's no such extension for your stash of On Business Points, which continue to have a firm use-by date, which is the end of two calendar years after the year they appear in your account.
For example: if you took a BA flight which saw 5,000 On Business Points land in your account any time in 2018, those 5,000 points will expire on December 31, 2020.
With British Airways giving a full year of extended status for On Business members, it shows the airline is not opposed to the concept in principle, sparking hope that Executive Club Gold, Silver and Bronze members could also soon see another year at that tier.