Is it all worth it?

Old May 1, 20, 12:29 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 18
Is it all worth it?

The worldwide Covid-19 crisis is giving me a new perspective.

I have chased and retained BAEC gold status for 5 years now - but will I continue to do so?

Just for the record, all my flying is personal and self financed, no business trips etc, so having invested in a tier point run that I took in late Feb to retain gold, I am really wondering whether it is all worthwhile.

I requalified as gold from 8th March - my prospects of flying any time soon (I would guess September/October, realistically) mean that I will have less than 6 months at best to qualify again as gold provided BA don't ease requalification, and provided BA actually survives.

I have religiously used the BA Amex card and have 2 x 241 vouchers in the bank and 100s of thousands of Avios with very little prospect of using them any time soon.

Even if flying re-commences, do I want to take the risk of getting on a plane where god knows what viruses are being pumped around the recycled air?

My new perspective is telling me that, with limited flying in the short/medium term, perhaps taking the very cheapest flights I can find with any airline is more important than keeping gold status with BA; because, afterall, and in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't mean that much in tangible terms given the financial investment and effort required.

Am I alone in thinking this way?
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Old May 1, 20, 12:48 pm
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Am I alone in thinking this way?
I don't think you are, but chasing status for the sake of chasing status (in other words, taking more expensive flights or complex routing to collect points and/or qualify for higher status tiers) has always been a kind of dicey proposition, more in the nature of a hobby. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's a bit expensive, as are many hobbies. For example, I like to drive fast cars on a track, but I'm never going to be a professional racer, so I'm spending a significant amount of money to do something I simply enjoy. Aren't you, as well?
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rickg523 is offline  
Old May 1, 20, 12:50 pm
Join Date: May 2005
Location: London
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You could not have summed up how I view things better and I've been doing the same as you, but for 16 years.
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Old May 1, 20, 1:06 pm
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Cornwall
Posts: 144
I think we are perhaps all re-evaluating things that please us/we need/that matter.

I am (in my mind) fortunate as I live in Cornwall. By that I mean, I have read threads where people are saying their streets are surprisingly busy with non-essential stores open and where day-to-day life is marginally different. Not so in my part of the world. We are in total lockdown. For that I am grateful as I am able to appreciate it without the hoards that normally descend. With this weather it is a blessing I am truly thankful for.

Things that were important a few months ago, may not be now. But it is personal and your thoughts are neither right or wrong.

Find what does it for you and seize it.
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Old May 1, 20, 1:06 pm
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Las Vegas
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I suppose it's a question of why are you flying in the first place? Are you flying to achieve status for the sake of status, or does status come naturally as a result of the flying you're doing for other reasons? If you're not flying then status is pretty much irrelevant. If you fly First or Club then a lot of the benefits of status are already available by virtue of your class of travel, and hence the Gold card may be superfluous. If you're mainly flying WT+ then the benefits are perhaps more tangible and valuable.

For me, first Silver and then Gold status was achieved mainly because of business travel between Belgium and the Middle East / USA. Now that I live in the USA most of my travel is self-funded leisure, with a very small handful of LAS - LAX trips for business (earning 5 or 10 TPs each way, so inconsequential in the grand scheme of things).

I doubt very much that I will retain Gold this year assuming the 1500 TP threshold remains the same. I am currently on 630 points with no long haul travel scheduled until November. However, I do intend to visit the UK before then if at all possible as I would like to see my parents (who are getting on a fair bit in years) and my brothers. I'm thinking that September is probably the earliest I would be making that trip. For now, though, I am self-isolating here in the Silver State!

Is it worth it? I don't think that's a question anyone can realistically answer at the moment. I'd like to think that we will come out of this with a functional airline industry and that international travel will become the norm once again. Whether that norm is on a par with what we've been used to is another question entirely. I'm hopeful that it is. Others may have a less positive perspective.

Not sure if that truly answered your question though
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Old May 1, 20, 1:35 pm
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: HKG
Programs: BA GGL & CCR
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Same, I’m not afraid of risks or fearful of this new novel virus.

I do however see the overall value of flying BA in general to decline and the restrictions and frustrations of putting all my eggs in one basket to increase post this situation to the point that I’ll be on the first planes operating normal service to where I want to go to see my family, visit home and somewhat resume my normal life, regardless of what name or brand it says on the side.

I think this is going to be the end of complex pricing structures, overall more level and flat fares, less competition and connecting, less manufactured demand(selling extra holidays and destinations to people not specifically looking to travel) and budget airlines built on that demand and hasten the demise of a lot of F class cabins/routes. Also a massive cull in numbers of elites at all levels. The days of half a plane load of gold cards are gone for a few years at least. Even once this is over the environmental lobby see this reduction in planes flying as a blessing and a foothold into pushing their agenda.

All of which translates into less people sticking with an airline and its partners and racking up air miles for status.
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Old May 1, 20, 1:35 pm
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Originally Posted by rickg523 View Post
I don't think you are, but chasing status for the sake of chasing status (in other words, taking more expensive flights or complex routing to collect points and/or qualify for higher status tiers) has always been a kind of dicey proposition, more in the nature of a hobby. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's a bit expensive, as are many hobbies. For example, I like to drive fast cars on a track, but I'm never going to be a professional racer, so I'm spending a significant amount of money to do something I simply enjoy. Aren't you, as well?
This about sums it up...a hobby...

Especially when you retire, unless you've made better investment decisions than I have, then you can only do one thing well...and maybe two things so so well...

So pick your poison:
  1. Skiing or scuba dive around the world (whilst travelling in Y)...went to Hakuba in January so tick...
  2. Go long haul to visit places & do things while you can (whilst travelling in Y and staying at medium quality hotels e.g. Ibis). Flew to Chicago in Feb, travelled overland on the California Zephyr and then returned from San Francisco, just one week before the lockdown. Cheap as chips really...Ł200 for the flight and $600 for my own cabin (v.small) on the Amtrak all meals included for 3 days.
  3. Drive and occasionally track a fast car...with the occasional European tour (whilst staying in the Ibis) thrown in. Nope haven't done this, but if I do then option 1 and 2 will drop away...
  4. and of course go on tier point runs, collect for the sake of flying...stay a couple of days in HNL and head back... Used to do this, but no more and I'm actually a Bronze (oh dear when will I change my profile)
I'm sure other people have their own ideas...please feel free to suggest...

I'm 60, single and reasonable how should I spend the next 10 years based on (not) an unlimited pension...??

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Old May 1, 20, 2:02 pm
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: JER
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I think I feel the opposite to be honest. Once it’s possible to, I’m planning to redouble my efforts to fly as much as I can. Most of my trips are for leisure and it’s been a reminder that the chance to travel may not always be there. So once it is, I’d like to take advantage of it as much as I can in the most pleasant way I can - which, for most of the places I travel to, will probably mean flying BA J.
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Old May 1, 20, 2:09 pm
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Nope, not worth it. Much more important things in life besides airline status.
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Old May 1, 20, 2:17 pm
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I took some personal time off between jobs and one of the first things I did was to run for LT OWS (albeit with JL, not BA). I'm in a job type where business travel is insufficient to achieve any status.
I enjoyed it so much I mission creeped and ran to OWE for 2020/2021 (now extended to 31 March 2022).

Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have bothered running for LT OWS for itself - I fear post COVID, I will be mainly flying on LCCs or cheap indirect revenue fare (OWS in JL works well in conjunction with CX redemptions) (I looked at SQ for going back to Aus for Easter, good grief)
But was the experience enjoyable? Yes. Maybe not to the extent it would have justified the whole cost of running (about GBP4-5k). But certainly at least recovered a part of it in enjoyment.

I remember this law school graduate who got bankrupted by law school tuition fees but still saying there was some intangible benefits (e.g. prestige) from the degree
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Old May 1, 20, 2:19 pm
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: LHR, LGW
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Posts: 2,938
Airline status is a luxury. However we are on FT to discuss exactly that.

Is airline status worth it now? No. Is it worth it when we can travel?... possibly but possibly not due to a lack of travel between membership years.

But I think this doubt and lack of confidence (not you personally, I’m sure this is a question lots are asking) could easily be helped by the chosen airline, in this case BA, should they extend status or provide good will gestures to lure you back then I think this question would be less important for when we can travel.
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Old May 1, 20, 2:27 pm
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OP, you make an interesting and very valid perspective. Whilst everyone will be different, it does allow us time to think about our travelling habits; if you don’t fly enough out of necessity or because of the joy of travelling to new places (all of my flying is ok my own money too), then there may well be little point in chasing status, perhaps obtain a financial product with lounge access and then be a free spirit in buying your flights. You do have to accept there may be occasions when you miss it- like if you do end up with IRROPS and are stuck at the back of a long queue to reroute, but risk is a mixture of likelihood (not likely it your having to fly TP runs to qualify) and consequence (a bad experience for sure but it’s not the end of the world really). Others of course will be flying enough that status is valuables including perhaps some who don’t earn status without a TP run (for example those who fly a lot in Y and who would actually get more value out of a status as well).
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Old May 1, 20, 2:29 pm
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: LHR Air Traffic Control
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I chased BA Silver (TP Run-ifying an intended USA trip for example) so that I could use the perks for my approx 24 sectors a year short haul that I'd do for work meetings in Europe.

I imagine that due to travel budgets shrinking, and increase in video-conferencing, I'll be lucky to get four sectors a year in the future, once this all stabilises.

Don't think it will be worth it for the return I'd get, now, so I'll be open to flying on other carriers now.
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Old May 1, 20, 2:40 pm
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Just wondering, what is the purpose of this thread? I could not figure it out.

Yes, OP, I completely respect your opinion, giving away your TP earning passionate because BA did not change their (re)qualification but there is nothing that we could do.
It's completely OK to share your opinion, however, everyone may need to decide on something and make choices.
For your situation;
- You could either fly as you are passionate and retain Gold status
- You could reduce your flying activity to be less infected from the virus

There is no right or wrong answer to your situation. It's all up to you to choose your preference.

By the way, this was indicated when BA shared the reduced thresholds for April, May, June folks;

The situation is constantly changing, which is why we’re continuously reviewing our policy and will communicate any updates.

My Tier Point collection year ends in July 2020 or thereafter. Does the Tier Flexibility policy apply to me?The Tier Flexibility policy only applies to Members due for renewal in April, May and June 2020. We understand that the situation is constantly changing, which is why we are continuously reviewing our policies and will be in touch with any changes that are applicable to your membership in the future. There is no need to contact us.
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Old May 1, 20, 2:48 pm
Join Date: Dec 2001
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Thanks OP for provoking thought about this...
Although not 100% decided, we may as a family no longer put all our eggs in the Oneworld / BAEC basket and might try out a few other airlines - just watched a YouTube video on SQ suites and seeing a First product like that did make me somewhat regret the chasing of Avios / AMEX 2 for 1 / currently worthless, time limited BA status. I wish we’d just redirected holiday spend to a ‘once in a lifetime’ SQ suites experience. I’m sure there are many other airlines out there that we’ve missed out on over the years.
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