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British Airways Adds Bronze Elite Level

by on October 18, 2011 · 7 comments

in British Airways, Elite Status

Last month I wrote about some rumored changes to the BA elite program, including the introduction of a new elite tier – Bronze. BA just confirmed the details of this new elite status level:

“Bronze is our new tier between Blue and Silver. It will give you all the benefits of Blue with newly added benefits including:

  • Business class check-in
  • Free seat reservation from seven days before your flight departs
  • 25% tier bonus (1.25 Avios) for every mile you travel with us, Iberia and American Airlines
  • oneworld® Ruby status benefits when you travel with our oneworld partners

From 16 November, you can achieve Bronze status in two ways: by earning 300 Tier Points and taking two eligible flights, or by flying on 25 eligible flights in one membership year.”

Another key thing is changing – they are making their elite qualification more comparable to the US programs. Currently they reset your Tier Points once you hit an elite level and then you need to re-achieve the next. In the new program, it will be a cumulative year-long tally which will also let you enjoy your status longer if you earn it early in your qualification period.

“Rather than resetting your Tier Points when you reach a new tier, from 16 November, you’ll keep them until the end of your 12 month membership period. As a result, your point balance can grow more quickly, allowing you to move through the tiers faster. As soon as you have earned enough Tier Points for the next tier, you’ll qualify for all its benefits straight away. What’s more, you will also keep accumulating Tier Points towards the next level until the end of your membership year. Then your Tier Point balance will be reset to zero, but you will retain whatever status you finished the year with for your next membership year.

Overall, I think this is a smart move to bring in more leisure flyers and encourage them to make elite status when they normally didn’t think it was possible. While Business Class check-in may be a bit more crowded, I don’t think it will be enough of an impact to really ruffle the feathers of Silver/Gold/Premium flyers.

The biggest question for me and most North American BA Executive Club members is, “What are the new redemption levels for Avios?” BA has still been mum on exact details, so I hope they end up releasing that information before the first day of the program, November 16, 2011.

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  • Yaswanth

    TPG – I know without that new redemption chart you are in the dark as well but I still want your opinion. I have 100K BA miles from the Chase card and I could also transfer in another 50K from my Sapphire card if needed. I was thinking about using them all to do a South East Asia tour for about a week and a half all in F. But honestly I hate to visit new places by myself and would rather go with a S.O. or a friend which isn’t feasible before the Nov.15th deadline for booking. So would recommend I go ahead and redeem for F or even C anyway or just hold onto the points in the hope that there will still be some decent redemption options even in the new chart and take a trip with a S.O. or friend (even if it ends up being in Y) which would be more enjoyable?

  • calbear77

    Not that I really know what I’m talking about, but I wouldn’t expect to see that big a difference in before and after redemption values for your planned trip. What’s the worst case scenario going to be? 10% inflation?

    My personal opinion is that people on this board sometimes get so focused on using their miles in the most efficient way possible (and it’s nice to be able to do that, I agree), and forget that the whole point of using your miles is to have amazing experiences that you’ll remember forever. I believe that if you have to compromise on one side or the other, maximize the experience first and the reward second.

    So my personal advice is “risk it and just wait.” You can hunt me down later if I’m wrong. :)

  • JohnnieD

    You just cant beat traveling in business for 100K to Asia. I just booked a trip for 2012 that connects in Hong Kong from N America to BKK>SIN>DPS>HKG>N America. The only negative is that BA is charging higher YQ on this route (about $290 ea). This still beats traveling on BA TATL via London with its YQ and lux tax being over $800 ea………….

  • Anonymous

    BA only charges $90 to cancel an award, so I say book an amazing F trip and if you need to change/cancel it figure it out then.

    Only you can answer whether bringing a friend would outweigh the comfort lost of going from First to Coach for a trip to Asia. Personally, I’d just figure out a way to get both of us in First (or business!).

  • Anonymous

    You are correct that British Airways redemptions (which carry insanely high fuel surcharges) won’t change drastically. The worry is related to partner awards and I can almost guarantee you that many of the best redemptions will go up by much more than 10%. Of course I would LOVE to be proven wrong by BA, but they refuse to give any details so we will have to wait and see!

  • MJLouise

    Is the $90 cancel / change award per tickets, even non-elite domestic US on such as AA? I’m trying to figure out if I can “lock in” a

  • slim

    is there a list of “BA operated flight” routes or detinations that are not partner shares? I’m trying to use the companion ticket, but it says flights must be “BA operated flights”. I’m departing from ORD and wonder if there is a quicker way than trying cities over and over again in their search

    thx

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