BA reopens Executive Club membership for Australia, New Zealand

After two decades in loyalty no-man’s land, Australians (and Kiwis) can once again join BA's Executive Club program.

By David Flynn, September 23 2021
BA reopens Executive Club membership for Australia, New Zealand

Frequent flyers from Australia and New Zealand can now sign up to British Airways' Executive Club loyalty program - or, to put it more correctly, they can once again sign up to the BA's Executive Club.

The airline pulled down the shutters on membership applications from Australia and New Zealand in 2003, at the time directing its customers to the Qantas Frequent Flyer scheme to "earn and redeem points when travelling on British Airways flights."

Qantas' decision in 2013 to walk away from its joint venture with British Airways in favour of an alliance with Emirates spurred some hopes that BA would recant on blocking Australian residents from BAEC membership.

And while that may have taken the best part of a decade, Executive Club membership is once again available to residents of Australia – and New Zealand, for that matter.

Savvy Aussie and Kiwi frequent flyers who valued BAEC membership worked around the long-standing restriction through a number of measures involving the use of an overseas address from a 'BAEC-recognised' country (which was most of them), but there's no longer a need for such shifty tricks.

In the Oneworld alliance, to which both BA and Qantas belong, Executive Club tiers line up as follows:

  • BA Executive Club Blue = Qantas Frequent Flyer Bronze
  • BA Executive Club Bronze = Qantas Frequent Flyer Silver = Oneworld Ruby
  • BA Executive Club Silver - Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold = Oneworld Sapphire
  • BA Executive Club Gold = Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum = Oneworld Emerald

There's also the Executive Club Gold Guest List tier, which is BA's rough equivalent to Qantas Platinum One; and the invitation-only Executive Club Premier status, similar to Qantas Chairman's Lounge membership.

Joining British Airways Executive Club is free, and while it obviously makes sense for people who regularly travel on British Airways – either to London, or on shorter BA flights within ther UK or to Europe – the BAEC scheme boasts a few advantages over Qantas Frequent Flyer.

That includes a higher serve of Tier Points (equivalent to Status Credits) even when travelling on Oneworld partner airlines such as Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways and Finnair.

BAEC's Avios points deliver solid value for money when redeemed on flights, and the Avios you earn travelling from Australia to the UK (for example) can easily be used for quick UK or European trips.

And if you want to set your sights on a lifetime of primo perks at the Oneworld Emerald level, BAEC Lifetime Gold status is far more attainable than Qantas Lifetime Platinum.

Also read: BA axes Concorde Room Card, opens elite lounge to more frequent flyers

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Aug 2011

Total posts 165

Four BA flights a year to attain/retain BAEC Silver or Gold status, but this includes codeshares... so this is excellent news.

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 214

About time! I'm one of the people who used a not-quite-legit address for my BAEC membership, but that's not something most people go for, this move to allow ANZ members back into BAEC is long overdue. It really is worth considering BAEC as an alternative program to QFF, especially if you fly on a number of Oneworld airlines, just credit all the flights to your BAEC membership number. BA is generous with extra Avios for status members on BA flights of course, and that's a bonus.

BAEC

10 Jul 2019

Total posts 16

I second that, BAEC is an excellent alternative to QF (and others)  whilst based in Aus and this allows more to take advantage. 

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 99

This is good news, judging from the reactions of some frequent fliers. But the really interesting and so far unanswered question (at least for me) is: why now? Is BA trying to snare more potential pax for the post-Covid Kangaroo Route rush? Or did BA recognize that locking out ANZ potential customers was not a good long term option? Or maybe something else...?

I'm going to guess that BA intended to do this some time ago but it was never a priority, especially given lack of flights 'down under', but now for whatever reason this has surfaced, maybe it was as simple as some new mid-level management  joining the Avios business and asking the obvious question and then making this happen. Whatever the reason, glad that sanity has prevailed.

C2K
C2K

British Airways - Executive Club

10 Dec 2020

Total posts 4

Whilst I am 100 happy to hear our antipodean and kiwi cousins can, without subterfuge, take part I am also worried that this move is one that is done on the snide to the determination of BAEC's members. 

Their "extension" was highly restrictive and most members, thanks the the UK Govs idiotic rules all year ( until the change due 4th Oct) mean it's near impossible for most BAEC members to retain status. 

Allowing QF members to join up will most likely be a way for them to pretend they, BA, maintained X % of elites ( BA Gold) and Y of the widely acknowledged 'sweet spot' Silver members whilst actually kicking their loyal homebased FFs down s grade. 

(( Yes we are painfully aware the, arguably more restrictive, limitations those of you in the southern hemisphere have been subjected to))

AT
AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 363

So boot ANZ members out in a backdoor deal done with Qantas, and then ask us to move back some 20 years later because it now works better for you to have our loyalty direct? Sorry BA, go away.

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 339

Hooray! I long ago cottoned onto joining BAEC and also collecting Avios once I started doing a lot of flights around the UK and Europe. Avios can actually be very competitive against Qantas Points on domestic flights within Australia.

British Airways - Executive Club

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 1

Now we need BA Amex and companion vouchers!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer - Chairmans Lounge

01 Sep 2011

Total posts 404

I wonder if  the aspects below could prompt QF to adopt similar measures...

That includes a higher serve of Tier Points (equivalent to Status Credits) even when travelling on Oneworld partner airlines such as Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways and Finnair.

And if you want to set your sights on a lifetime of primo perks at the Oneworld Emerald level, BAEC Lifetime Gold status is far more attainable than Qantas Lifetime Platinum.


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