Welcome to lifetime status on British Airways. That is, if you can swing it. The lead story in this week’s edition is the announcement by BA’s Executive Club program that they are now offering both Gold and Gold Guest status lifetime qualification levels. The lower Gold level requires 35,000 tier points to earn; that’s ~23 years of just qualifying for Gold at 1,500 TPs annually. And 20ish years to reach that level in the program isn’t all that crazy. Actually, it is reasonable relative to the levels from other programs. The real crazy is the Gold Guest program which requires 100,000 TPs to get there. That’s a TON of flying, really. If you’ve got some spare time and are bored you can earn ~1mm Avios and lifetime gold for about $60,000, flying back and forth on LAS-MIA-SJU return on AA in first class. Only ~70 round trips required. Have fun!
United Airlines screwed up last week and gave away a whole bunch of tickets for free. They managed to catch the mistake reasonably quickly, which is good, but they couldn’t really fix it live. They ended up shutting down their website for a few hours while they resolved everything. That’s gotta hurt.
But probably not as bad as the hurt they put on passengers with the changes to the booze they’re offering up in the United Club lounges. Significant cuts to the free offerings were announced and the paid offerings are not at a particularly favorable price. I know a few folks looking in to the Vino Volo loyalty program VERY closely right now as an alternative lounge program.
Seth was working at the APEX Expo last week, covering all the news in the world of in-flight services, connectivity and awesomeness. The good news is that the offerings available to airlines to implement have never been better from a technology perspective. The bad news is that it’ll never happen. Only a mildly disappointing realization, really, as the good bits are still really, really good.
Qatar Airways has set a date for their marriage to oneworld. They’ll be joining the alliance on 30 October 2013 at which point elite status and earning will kick in with all the other partners. And, if tradition holds, there should be some bonus earning opportunities on Qatar flights for the first few weeks of their membership in the alliance.
Have a great trip!