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Horrible Changes to British Airlines FF Program

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Mar 5th, 2003, 03:02 PM
  #1
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Horrible Changes to British Airlines FF Program

I don't know if many of you out there are in BA's FF program but if you are you should check out their web site for the changes they are instituting. If you are not a business flyer you can forget about getting much in the way of miles from them after July 1, 2003.

Economy class tickets will only earn .25 mile -- that is quite a cut, considering it was one mile awarded for each mile flown. Mileage from US to UK will be 50,000 (used to be 40,000 for off peak). It will also be 50,000 for peak which is a good thing (I guess) since it was 60,000 but I always traveled off peak so it makes it more for me, an extra 10,000 is a lot for some of us to come up with.

They will "allow" you to buy a US-Europe ticket for $175 plus 35,000 miles.

Lots of other tier point/award type changes too but since we're not at that level it doesn't affect us.

I guess BA is not too concerned about the "little guy" and those that fill up economy are just not very important to them.
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Mar 5th, 2003, 03:31 PM
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That does seem pretty chintzy. I have a fair number of miles on BA, and was considering switching to their mileage credit card (from United), but now I think not.

You still get 1 mile per mile flown in "full fare" economy, but who pays for that?

I guess this is how they make the cuts to pay for the 15 and 25% discounts they've been offering lately; you will get the cheap fare, but not earn many miles for the flights.

Thanks for pointing this out, Lori. Back to square one re which mileage CC to get now.
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Mar 5th, 2003, 03:39 PM
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I'm glad I used all my miles up except for 5000 or so! I really did like their family plan where we could combine miles from My H's account or mine. We live in Orlando and it can be hard to find cheap fares so the FF miles were great.

Had a bunch of delta miles and just joined their Amex program. I use my CC for all my purchases and getting 2 miles per dollar at a lot of places makes the miles add up a lot faster!
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Mar 5th, 2003, 03:43 PM
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They are still allowing the Household account which is a nice bonus, it's that .25 thing that got me mad. I've e-mailed them (they ask for comments) but I am sure it's a business decision and let the public be damned kind of thing.
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Mar 5th, 2003, 04:26 PM
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For the UK scheme you only got 25% of miles in discounted economy anyway and that was only introduced around 3 years ago!

The changes are also detrimental to people who fly business class occassionally and therefore don't qualify for Silver or Gold Status. For my once a year trip to Sydney now I'll only get 1.5x miles rather than 2x.

Looks like I'll be signing up to the Star Alliance (same miles better service!).
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Mar 5th, 2003, 04:55 PM
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Jody, can you tell me which credit card offers 2 miles to the dollar? I have a British Airways credit card, I wonder if they will change that too. Thank you. kathy
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Mar 5th, 2003, 05:25 PM
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I agree Star Alliance, esp Lufthansa Miles and More, is a good program. 100% mileage on discounted economy, and Silver status after only 35,000 miles which gives extra 25%, lounge entry, bigger luggage allowance etc. And they have recently dropped blackout periods for award flights.
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Mar 6th, 2003, 08:54 AM
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American Express/Delta Skymiles card offers 2 miles per $1 charged, but only at certain types of establishments - such as grocery stores, gas stations, etc. I was speaking to a friend who works for Amex and she told me that their goal is to try to get people to use their Amex cards for everday purchases, rather than only for big ticket items like restaurants and hotels.

Also, you can get 1,000 bonus miles when you book airline tickets directly through the Delta website.
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Mar 6th, 2003, 09:29 AM
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krpp75..

check the delta website, they had a special that might still be on..10,000 miles when you sign up for the Skymiles/Amex card and an additional 15,000 if you spend $5000.00 in 5 months. since I use mine for EVERYTHING ..groceries,gas,insurance premiums,phone bill, it is not difficult to do to get the extra 15,000.
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Mar 6th, 2003, 10:04 AM
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That doesn't surprise in some ways because BA is already cheap with FF miles for parters. On some other airlines, you get FF miles for their partners, same as usual (1 for 1), such as Delta and Air France. However, I have a FF account with BA as a partner (American), and they won't credit you any FF miles on transatlantic BA flights, only local ones within Europe.
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Mar 6th, 2003, 12:00 PM
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Although I hate to defend BA - they don't give airmiles for American Airlines Transatlantic routes for regulatory reasons.
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Mar 6th, 2003, 12:03 PM
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BA used to be my favorite overseas carrier, but they have gone badly downhill over the past 5-7 years. Sad to see, and by the sounds of this, they're not in any danger of winning me back anytime soon.

FYI: you can get 10 miles for every $1 spent at certain restaurants with some airlines--I use it on United, and I'm assuming some other airlines participate. It's great because I earn about an extra 1,000 miles a week, which adds up pretty quickly, just by going to the restaurants I normally go to anyway.
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Mar 6th, 2003, 01:34 PM
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That's interesting, Jack, what do you mean by regulatory reasons? Perhaps I wouldn't dislike them so much if I knew they couldn't.

As I said, I can get transatlantic miles on Air France posted to my Delta account with no problem.
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Mar 6th, 2003, 02:21 PM
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I thought that this kind of thing -- airlines not giving FF miles for some of their partners' flights -- had to do with the individual airline's agreements with their FF partners. FWIW, you can earn Delta miles for United domestic US flights, but not United international flights, and the same is true for earning United miles for Delta flights. It's always been that way, ever since they became FF partners.
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Mar 6th, 2003, 02:35 PM
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I’ll attempt to explain the BA/AA regulatory issues. I admit that there may be some inaccuracies in the following but I believe the gist is right.

When the BA/AA alliance was first formed (1997?), they were hoping for a much closer relationship than they have at present – possibly even as close as BA & Qantas on the UK – Sydney routes which operates under a joint service agreement.

However there were regulatory problems as there isn’t an Open Skies agreement between the US & the UK. The agreement in place, Bermuda 2, only allows 2 UK (BA & Virgin) and 2 US (AA & UA) to fly between the US & Heathrow. Even before the tie-up the other carriers were obviously unhappy with this agreement as they wanted access to Heathrow. US competition authority therefore put limits on how close the BA/AA tie in could be and this included frequent flyer partnership rules on transatlantic routes. Closer ties between the airlines would only be allowed if Open Skies was bought in.

Ambitious plans for the partnership were pretty much abandoned as the cost for British Airways of Open Skies in terms of giving up valuable Heathrow slots (which they have rights for but don’t own so wouldn’t be compensated), was considered to high a price.

EU regulators are involved to, as they are putting pressure on for an EU wide Open Skies agreement with the US - but not sure how they are going to force the issue now.
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Mar 6th, 2003, 03:07 PM
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I join the chorus of the disappointed BA frequent fliers. I found out about the new plan last night in a bulletin they e-mailed me. We have flown with them on our European trips for about 3-4 years now. We flew United prior to that and were disenchanged with them so switched to BA.

Like Jody, we fortunately used most of our miles for our trip to Italy last year. We are currently booked with them to Prague in May and London in December. Guess we'll get regular miles for the first trip and the cutback on the second. We like BA and I hate to change, but miles are miles, and when you aren't financially able to fly other than discount economy that's what you do.

Will be interesting to see if some of the other European carriers follow suit.
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Mar 6th, 2003, 03:27 PM
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Giavonna and others, if you are interested in making your feelings about the BA FF changes known here are a couple of e-mail addresses (I already wrote today).
Rod Eddington (CEO)
[email protected]
Mike Street (Exec Club)
mike.1.street.britishairways.com

I doubt if I'll get an answer, but .... it never hurts to let your views be known.

Also, if you log into the website and wade through a bunch of stuff it will ask your to voice your opinion about the "new plan".

A good place to follow all this is at www.flyertalk.com - lots of stuff on all the FF programs, including BA, complete with comments (10 pages of them so far and most are not in BA's favor).

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Mar 6th, 2003, 03:37 PM
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You can get America West miles by flying BA; as a matter of fact HP (America West) is allied with both BA and VS (Virgin Atlantic) which is mighty convenient.....
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Mar 6th, 2003, 03:43 PM
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Before anyone starts running over to Delta, you might follow Lori's advice to visit flyertalk.com and check the Delta forum there.

Recent changes to Delta's skymiles program has their FFers livid, especially the Platimum members - though after reading the posts here, it seems BA's changes are more draconian than DL's where cheap tickets net .5 points towards medallion status, but you still get 1 to 1 points for awards (I think).

mjm - DL Gold but now a member of LH miles and more
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Mar 6th, 2003, 03:55 PM
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One of 2 things could happen with this. If enough true frequent flyers complain (true vs. the once a year ff passenger) then the airline may reinstate the original milage credit and tier level advancement policy. The other thing that could happen is all the other major airlines will fall like dominoes into this "moneysaving" scheme. BA couldn't give a rats ass about their $400 rt ticket leisure travelers, their transatlantic bread and butter are the full fare coach/biz/first class business travelers who do fly their airline over 10x a year. BTW I'm one of those once a year $400 ticket frequent flyer members and was less than 3,000 miles shy of a freebie. Now I'm less than 13,000 miles shy.
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