Executive Decision

British Airways has re-launched its Executive Club.  Tom Allett reports.

On November 16, British Airways (BA) re-launched its free-to-join Executive Club (EC), which provides rewards and assistance to its premium passengers.
The EC is split into several tiers denoted by colours, beginning with Blue and rising through Bronze, Silver and Gold membership.  Members collect ‘points’, now known as Avios, according to the regularity and distance they fly, and the type of ticket held.  The new Bronze tier is a key part of the re-launch.
The club move coincides with the official launch of Avios, the new rewards currency for BA and Iberia frequent fliers.  The travel reward scheme Airmails has also changed its name to Avios.  EC customers can earn Avios through flying and collecting across a wide range of non-airline partners, such as using the British Airways American Express co-branded credit card.  They will be able to spend Avios on flights, upgrades or hotels and car hire.
Each EC membership tier has been given a distinctive new membership identity to broaden the club’s appeal, but the new Bronze tier has been created to reward frequent-flying Blue tier members.  These customers will be promoted to Bronze status on collecting just half of the tier points they would need for Silver membership.  This will give passengers an opportunity to ‘progress through the ranks’ much faster than before.  Before the announcement, members started as Blue card holders and qualified for a Silver card after collecting 600 tier points, including four BA flights, and moved up to a Gold card after achieving 1,500 tier points, including four BA flights.
All EC customers will now be able to collect as many tier points as they can in any one membership year, rather than starting again when they have reached the next tier level.
Executive Club members who qualify for the new Bronze card will benefit from: business class check-in, seat selection at seven days before departure, earning a 25% tier bonus, (that’s 1.25 Avios for every mile flown), a dedicated help line telephone number in the UK and US, plus Bronze tier luggage tags.
Frank van der Post, BA’s Managing Director for Brands and Customer Experience, said: “The re-launch of our award-winning Executive club reinforces the huge importance we place on customer loyalty and emphasises that customers are at the heart of everything we do.
“We have created a new Bronze tier and stylish new identities to bring a greater range of rewards and increased recognition.
“The re-launch of the British Airways Executive Club, which now has over seven million members worldwide, is part of a massive £5 billion [US$7.8bn] investment we are making across the whole airline on new aircraft, lounges, and technologies for our customers.”
BA says that Blue card members who have already collected 300 or more tier points are now in the process of receiving new Bronze cards and all members will receive the newly designed EC cards upon annual renewal.
Executive Club members will also now receive their own new digital magazine, The Club, which was launched at the end of November.