British Airways Executive Club runs rolling membership years based on the date you joined. Everyone's year end will be different but it is usually on the 8th of the month.
Due to the unique nature of how BA's frequent flyer programme works, the length of the flight is only indirectly linked to the status points (Tier Points) you will gain. For example, a cheap intra-European business class fare will earn more towards your status than a very expensive economy class fare.
But earning 300, 600 and 1500 Tier Points for Bronze, Silver and Gold levels respectively can sometimes result in agonisingly close scenarios. One reader was just 5 Tier Points shy of Silver when his new membership year ended. Literally any BA flight would have earned the status, including this one:
So what should you do if you are in a similar situation? Uncertain that you will hit the required tier points? Here are some tips.
Extension by 2 weeks.
This is an unwritten policy and probably not something you can request too many times, but there is a 2 week grace period if you fall just short of the thresholds for Bronze, Silver or Gold. For instance if you are at 580TP and can can hit 20TP for the Silver tier requirements, just call BAEC to request it. (If you are having trouble calling them due to geo-blocking restrictions, here is how to circumvent the issue)
You will probably be granted it if you use it only once in a while (like, 5 years or more) but even still don't take this for granted.
Maternity / Paternity break
If you have a new arrival in your family then congratulations! You are eligible for BA's Maternity/Paternity Break. You can effectively extend your elite status by a year, though you will only be able to do this twice within 5 years. Your child gets 1000 free Avios too so if you want to boost your Avios earning then better to have twins or triplets I suppose….!
- Members can apply for their status to be extended due to the birth/adoption of a new baby if they are Bronze, Silver or Gold status. Members who have received complimentary status or have Gold or Gold Guest List membership for life are not eligible.
- In order to qualify, Members will need to provide a letter from their doctor, a birth certificate or documentation relating to the adoption or paternity leave and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Members who are taking Shared Parental Leave can also apply, subject to providing the relevant documentation.
- Eligible Members are limited to a maximum of two approved applications within a five year period.
- Eligible Members can continue to collect Tier Points and Avios and enjoy their tier benefits. Should a Member qualify for a higher Tier during the extension period this will be honoured and the extension on your previous Tier will come to an end.
- The Member can enrol their child into the Executive Club by creating or adding to an existing household account.
1,000 Avios will be credited to the child’s account should the Member choose to enrol their child within 6 months of the application of the extension. To find out more about setting up a household account visit here.
- Status Hold is a discretionary benefit. British Airways reserves the right to require any reasonable form of evidence or identification to validate an application and reserves the right to decline the application and to change or withdraw this benefit at any time.
If you are flexible about which airline you fly, and you are lucky with the timing of promotions, then you might be able to do a status match (note the linked article was written in 2015 so something things will have changed. I will update it in due course). This involves asking a competitor airline to see if they will grant you a shortcut to their elite levels without having to fully satisfy the normal flying requirements.
These days it is very rare for status matches to appear, and if they do then it usually needs to be cross alliance, i.e. if you are trying to match from British Airways which is a Oneworld Alliance member, then you will need to look around for Star Alliance or Skyteam Alliance airlines to match to.
A couple of reported successes in recent times are from BA to Turkish Airlines (Oneworld to Star Alliance), and somewhat exceptionally from BA to Cathay Pacific (Oneworld to Oneworld). Which goes to demonstrate that even if airlines are in the same Alliance they are still competing against each other!
Tier Point running
A last ditch attempt to grab tier points can result in some wacky Tier Point runs. Yesterday I posted about the Amsterdam to Jersey run, but to win big there is my guide on earning mega tier points. If you want to see how exhausting this can be then watch my facial expression slowly die away on CNN Business Traveller
A final and slightly facetious tip which works according to the T&Cs though not to condone unconventional parenting practice, if your baby has a BAEC account linked to your Household Account then it will be earning Avios and Tier Points of its own. This means potentially parents can share tier point running duties to earn the baby elite status, and the baby can and up guesting a parent or babysitter into lounges if he/she is lacking the status!
I cannot be held responsible if you get contacted by NSPCC.