British Airways is among the most dominant airlines in the world, having been founded back in 1919 and now flying to over 300 destinations around the globe. Its different customer loyalty reward programs are among the most popular because of the immense benefits it offers its members. The British Airways Executive club program is a frequent flyer reward program for the rich who want a service and recognition to match. This program is a part of OneWorld Alliance and promises tons of benefits but has its downsides.
Executive club members earn a standard 1 mile for every mile they fly, but there are deductions for cheap tickets. Tickets G, K – O, Q, R, S and V earn ¼ miles of actual flight miles but Y, B, H, J earn full miles. All tickets earn a minimum 500 miles even for short flights except for discount economy fares that earn 125 miles.
Executive members earn full points on OneWorld Alliance carriers and have other ways to earn even more miles including spending on partner companies e.g. Tescos. If you are a very frequent flyer, you can apply for a CIV score, a number allocated to the most important individuals, by filling a Subject access request form.
Members of the British Airways Executive Club can redeem the points they have earned for free flight tickets and flight upgrades (called Miles for Upgrades) on British Airways and a number of OneWorld Airlines including: Finnair, SN Brussels Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Lan Chile, Japan Airlines (JAL), American Airlines, Qantas, America West Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Iberia and Lan Peru.
Domestic flights within UK and flights to anywhere in region Europe1 in Economy class cost 12,000 miles, those to Europe2 cost 20,000 while flights to Europe 3 region cost 25,000 miles. Flights to the Middle East, West Africa and Central Asia cost 40,000 miles; flights to Central and South Africa, Caribbean, North America, South Asia and Hawaii cost 50,000; South America flights cost 70,000 miles; Far East 80,000; and South West Pacific flights cost 100,000 miles.
Miles can be redeemed in other classes besides economy: World Traveller Plus (WT+) tickets cost 1.5 times more, Business class (Club World/Club Europe) x2 and First class x3.
Members of Executive Club can also redeem their miles for par cash part miles or use miles to upgrade their flights from Economy to other ticket classes. Alternatively, you can redeem your points for gifts. Interestingly, most often British Airways does not deduct the miles redeemed for gifts.
The Executive club has four elite membership levels:
Bronze: requires 300 tier points or 25 eligible flights per year. Benefits include earning 25% mileage bonus, seat selection on BA flights, Business Class check-in, access to Executive Club phone number and priority waitinglist and standby.
Silver: Equivalent to Sapphire level in OneWorld, the Executive Club Silver level membership requires 600 tier points or 400 for residents of mainland Europe. The benefits it offers include 25% bonus miles, cabin bonus and all benefits of the Bronze level.
Gold: To be an Executive Club Gold member, you need to have 1,500 tier points (800 for residents of mainland Europe). The benefits it comes with include premium award seats, one upgrade voucher at 2,500 and 3,500 tier points and all benefits of Silver membership. The Concorde Room Card is available to Gold members who achieve 5,000 tier points in a year.
Premier: This is an invitation only level with just over 1,000 members worldwide. You don’t need to fly to earn this level, only people considered important are eligible but must be approved by the board.
• A wide variety and large number of partner airlines
• Large selection of lounges for elite members
• Premium quality customer service
• Awards can be redeemed for anyone the member chooses
• Option to purchase points in annual increments.
• Points structure, especially tiers, are very confusing.
• Huge fees and charges makes ‘free flights’ very expensive.
• Miles expire after 36 months of account inactivity.