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Was it much easier to reach and keep BA elite status in the 1980s-1990s?

Was it much easier to reach and keep BA elite status in the 1980s-1990s?

Old Aug 26, 2022, 7:20 am
  #1  
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Was it much easier to reach and keep BA elite status in the 1980s-1990s?

I know someone who used to travel very frequently back and forth across the Atlantic in economy in the late 1980s and early to mid-1990s. I have a feeling they once told me that at some point BA changed their frequent flyer program and it became much harder for them to earn miles/status or to have the flexibility and benefits they had once had.

Does anyone know what specific changes they might have been referring to? I dont know much about the history of BA Exec Club and wouldnt know where to find these details but I am intrigued.
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Old Aug 26, 2022, 7:44 am
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Between 1992 and 1995 I was doing 4 or 5 return trips to Dharan a year in heavily discounted, non-flexible, economy and I had BA Silver. These days that would earn about 350 tier points at most so I reckon that at some point when they had sufficient members, they must have doubled the requirements. I also have a vague recollection that they used to let me into the BA Lounge even when I wasnt actually flying on BA, just so long as I had my card? Is that at all possible?
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Old Aug 26, 2022, 7:46 am
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Originally Posted by JP Flyer
Between 1992 and 1995 I was doing 4 or 5 return trips to Dharan a year in heavily discounted, non-flexible, economy and I had BA Silver. These days that would earn about 350 tier points at most so I reckon that at some point when they had sufficient members, they must have doubled the requirements. I also have a vague recollection that they used to let me into the BA Lounge even when I wasnt actually flying on BA, just so long as I had my card? Is that at all possible?
Until 2010 or so, GCH had lounge privileges even when not flying on BA or One World (Lufthansa had something similar for SEN).
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Old Aug 26, 2022, 7:51 am
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Thank you denhaagflyer - I was really starting to doubt myself that this could ever have been possible.
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Old Aug 26, 2022, 7:56 am
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There was a long time when most economy flights didn't even earn any tier points.
The ability to gain status by number of flights alone is an even newer addition to the FF programme.
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Old Aug 26, 2022, 8:11 am
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And some people (cough) were less than honest about their abode as TP targets required were lower if you lived outside of the UK. EuroGold as was known was only 800 TPs back in the day, it ceased to be a thing about 10 years ago i would guess.
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Old Aug 26, 2022, 8:11 am
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Originally Posted by crazy8534
There was a long time when most economy flights didn't even earn any tier points.
That's right. For a long time I think that only full fare domestics earned tier points. On the flip side, the number of points to qualify for gold was lower. The figure of 1,200 springs to mind.
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Old Aug 26, 2022, 8:20 am
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Yes I always assumed as a student there was no point signing up if you are flying economy. I recall the first time I booked the almost brand new World Traveller Plus to SFO that in the booking process it said something like You will be invited to join the Executive Club and thats when I did.

Its hard to really remember how much more expensive it was. My first long haul with BA to Mumbai was 3x my monthly rent so thats how I try to keep it in perspective and I didnt even sign up or think about an FF program. The Club World seats looked amazing to me because they had individual video screens unlike the communal one we had in the back.
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Old Aug 26, 2022, 8:22 am
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Originally Posted by denhaagflyer
Until 2010 or so, GCH had lounge privileges even when not flying on BA or One World (Lufthansa had something similar for SEN).

​​​​​​That would be one thing I would be happy for them to bring back

Being close to Gatwick, if I want to fly on BA, in many cases I need to go to Heathrow. If I could still use the lounges and fly on Fake Tan Airways that would be perfect
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Old Aug 26, 2022, 8:25 am
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Originally Posted by golfmad
That's right. For a long time I think that only full fare domestics earned tier points. On the flip side, the number of points to qualify for gold was lower. The figure of 1,200 springs to mind.
Yup, I remember booking a full fare ticket home whilst I was p*ssed at uni (I had to be to pay the price). I got my invite after that and that's when the game began. This was 2006 or so.
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Old Aug 26, 2022, 8:25 am
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Late 90s and early 00s it was significantly harder than now - far fewer partners to earn, far fewer cheap WT+ and CW fares, no earning at all on anything other than YBH in economy.

the flipside - Eurocheat Gold at 800 TPs was a thing.
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Old Aug 26, 2022, 8:27 am
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When I started flying BEA there was no such thing as frequent flyers. The fare MAN-LHR-MAN was 2 10 shillings.
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Old Aug 26, 2022, 8:43 am
  #13  
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One used to be able to get Silver status by paying 200 or 250 per annum, when the current version of the Executive Club started in 1985. There was no Blue or Bronze status at this point, Blue arrived in 1991.
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Old Aug 26, 2022, 9:12 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
One used to be able to get Silver status by paying 200 or 250 per annum, when the current version of the Executive Club started in 1985. There was no Blue or Bronze status at this point, Blue arrived in 1991.
...which is about 700 today considering inflation. I think the typical spend to get Silver nowadays is around 1500 to 2k?
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Old Aug 26, 2022, 9:27 am
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At some point in the mid 90s you would earn tier points but no miles on some economy tickets. I also got a letter at some point offering me silver for life on retirement. I am a long way off retiring and can't find the letter anyway. The bands were different as well so CPH would earn double the tier points as it wasn't just about distance then.
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