an airplane wing in the sky

For travelers who favor British Airways or Virgin Atlantic, today is a good day. Both airlines announced moves to make it easier to keep, or maintain elite status, and some ways to perhaps even move up a tier or two.

Here’s the latest on what members of British Airways Executive Club or Virgin Atlantic Flying Club can expect in the months to come, including an attractive opportunity.

British Airways 2X (Double) Tier Points Offer

If you’re booking during a pandemic, despite the marketing, airline flexibility policies generally don’t go far enough. There’s an exception though. British Airways is actually now incentivizing you to book the smartest way, with 2X tier points if you do.

Package holidays booked from the UK, aka those that include flight and hotel, or even just flight and one days car rental have different rules, so if government advice on travel changes, you’re eligible for a full refund, rather than flight only bookings, which are not, unless the flight is cancelled.

British Airways is offering 2X tier points for British Airways Holidays packages booked by September 21st, for travel between June 9th and September 30th, 2021.

an airplane wing with clouds in the background

Tier points are earned in addition to Avios and help members move up from blue to bronze, silver and gold in the Executive Club, earning perks along the way. A complete guide to tier points and status with BA can be found here.

If you were to book a long haul business class trip to the USA, like Los Angeles with a stop in New York in each direction, you’d net huge tier points, which coupled with the overall 25% reduction in tier points needed to requalify, means you could almost instantly hit elite status.

These flights would typically earn 140 tier points each way between New York and London and a further 140 tier points each way between New York and Los Angeles for a total of 560. But under the 2X promotion, you’d earn 1120 tier points, which leaves you just 5 tier points short of Gold qualification!

Just be sure to read the T&C’s, since only BA marketed or operated flights are allowed. Codeshares on other airlines should be fine, as long as they have BA flight numbers.

You can check out the double tier points promotion here.

a red and white airplane in a hangar

Virgin Extends Elite Status By 3 More Months

Even with green shoots appearing, Virgin Atlantic is still extending elite status by a further 3 months, as the UK lags behind in reopening travel, compared to other highly vaccinated countries.

Virgin Atlantic is automatically extending elite status for Flying Club Silver and Gold members by 3 months, for a new grand total of 18 months worth of status extension. According to the release, the extension applies automatically and should show in all accounts within the next couple days. Members don’t need to do anything.

In recognition of the continued impact Covid-19 has had on its customers’ ability to travel, the airline is offering an extra three months for Gold and Silver members to maintain their tier status.   

This latest move marks the fourth extension for Flying Club members throughout the pandemic and underpins Virgin Atlantic’s commitment to providing a high degree of flexibility for its most loyal customers.  It means in total all members will have been given an extra eighteen months to maintain tier status and redeem a host of benefits.   

In addition to tier extensions,  Companion, Upgrade or Clubhouse vouchers, will be extended further, totalling 18 months.  

To ensure its customers receive a seamless digital experience, changes have been automatically applied to members accounts. Customers will not need to call to update their status, as the airline is extending automatically.   Members will be able to download or print  their digital membership card from the Virgin Atlantic website or app.   Virgin Atlantic

Great News From Both Airlines

The last thing people need to do right now is worry about losing key benefits, or not having a fair chance to re-qualify for perks. In different ways, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are helping to solve both issues, while still encouraging people to get back into travel.

With many countries opening up travel, it’ll be fascinating to see whether the summer is the beginning of a recovery for airlines, or a lost opportunity stymied by government bureaucracy. I’ll hope for the former.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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1 Comment

  1. 2x tier points sounded good for a Tierpoint Run, but the T&C says “To qualify, you’ll need to book a holiday of at least five nights for two or more guests “.. bummer, my wife isn’t keen on TP runs..

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